Real Newlyweds Share Their Biggest Wedding Planning Regrets

We asked newlyweds what they would've changed about their special day—and they had a lot to say.
Charli Penn
by Charli Penn
Updated Sep 19, 2018
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Who doesn't want their wedding day to go exactly as they planned with a minimal amount of drama? The truth is, you can plan your heart out, but things may not always work the way you hoped. That's why we asked newlyweds to be up front and honest about their biggest planning regrets so others could learn from their mistakes. Here's what they had to say.

"I would not have combined a chocolate fountain at our wedding reception with six flower girls. Thank goodness for Shout Wipes—they were the only thing that managed to save my dress."

Even if you aren't having small children or messy foods at your reception, pack an emergency kit. Items like aspirin, stain remover and fashion tape are musts. If you're worried you'll forget it, ask one of your attendants to be in charge of gathering the little things you might need.

"I would have ordered three times more food for cocktail hour. My brothers-in-law and a few other guests thought we were offering an all-you-can-eat buffet."

After sitting through the ceremony and waiting for the wedding party to arrive, many guests will work up an appetite. Beautifully prepared appetizers may not always be the most filling. If you have big eaters on the guest list, you may want to add to your food budget or plan a meal with lots of options, especially if you're having an evening reception. At dinnertime, guests expect dinner-size portions.

"I would have driven the route to the reception myself instead of just going by Google maps. A lot of people got really lost on the way, and I'm still hearing about it to this day."

If your ceremony and reception sites aren't taking place at the same location, include directions in the invitations. Don't rely on online resources because there can, of course, be technical glitches. Map the route yourself and then have a close friend or family member on hand with a cell phone for anyone who's lost and may need clarification.

"I would have taken pictures of my bustle at my final dress fitting. When I was 'bustling up' before the reception, we couldn't quite figure out how to get it right."

Arranging the bustle is indeed a not-so-easy task. Bring a member of your bridal party with you to the the bridal salon when you go for your last fitting. She can learn precisely what needs to be done for the wedding.

"I wouldn't have worn those crazy fake eyelashes. They work on some people, but I'm not one of them."

Be sure to try out any new beauty products a few times before the wedding day. It's better to know how they work and what you can expect.

"I wouldn't have worried about what everyone was wearing. Instead, I would have given the bridesmaids and moms a swatch of fabric and said, 'Don't clash with this.' I'm glad they chose their own dresses, but having to coordinate colors between different designers was more stress than I needed."

Always remember that when dealing with bridesmaid attire, being flexible comes with a price. Allowing the ladies to pick something that works for them won't always work for you. If you insist they have options, find a designer that offers multiple dress styles in the same color: You won't have nightmares about clashing colors, and they'll get a style they feel comfortable in.

"I wouldn't have jumped so quickly to choose my wedding party. Instead, I would have taken more time and given it more thought since I hurt quite a few people in the process. I realize now that out of sheer excitement, I hastily selected the people who were closest to me at that time, neglecting the people that were with me for many years before."

When it comes to picking your wedding party, give it some time before you contact anyone. There may be conflicts between who you'd like to ask and who expects you to ask them. You'll want to identify those problems before you make any announcements. In most cases, it's inevitable you'll have to do some damage control, but you'll most likely feel better if you ask after having thought long and hard about your choices.

"We wouldn't have done DIY invitations. The amount of money we saved just wasn't worth the time it took us to make them."

It's important to understand the nature of the projects you're taking on before you or your loved ones commit to something you ultimately just won't want to finish. Plus, websites like Minted and Shutterfly have great, customizable options for every type of budget.

"I would've hired a day-of coordinator. It got irritating when people would ask questions like, 'Where should I put the extra programs?' after the ceremony."

The one thing most brides and grooms don't get on their wedding day is a break. If you want to enjoy individual moments more and deal with questions and disasters less, hiring day-of help should be a high priority on your to-do list. The quality time you'll gain is well worth the fee. You can find planners and coordinators in your area, right here.

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