5 Wedding Regrets I Wish Someone Had Warned Me About
I got married this spring, and in so many ways the day was absolutely perfect. The night of the rehearsal dinner and the actual wedding were the only 70-degree days New York City saw in April, meaning everyone was in a great mood. Our guests busted out their floral dresses and danced the night away, and I was lucky enough to have three of my 90-something grandparents there. The entire weekend was brimming with laughter and joy, and I remember going to bed on my wedding night thinking I'd never had so much fun.
Naturally, the wedding regrets started the next morning.
Unlike the perfect sunny spring day we'd had the day before, that Sunday was as gray and rainy as they come. My first thought was, "Was that a fun wedding or did I just think it was fun?" After confirmation from my guests that it was indeed the great time I thought it was (postwedding brunches are good for that), I moved on to obsessing over other things. Was it bad that I hadn't I cried on my wedding day? Did I look bad in my dress? Was the music too loud for my grandparents? The thing that bothered me the most about my regrets was that unlike other things in life, you don't get a do-over with your wedding. I learned so much about what I coulda, woulda, shoulda done, but it didn't matter—because for the most part, you only get one wedding.
Here are the five biggest wedding regrets I wish someone had warned me about—take notes so you don't regret them too.
1. Not hiring a videographer.
When my cousin sent me a video of my spouse and I breaking the glass at the end of our ceremony, I was obsessed with it. I watched it probably 20 times that night. Sure, it was blurry, but it was such a great moment—and suddenly I wished there was someone around to capture every moment like that. We had opted out of a videographer because it was super expensive and we thought footage of our subpar dance moves would make us cringe. If I could do it over again, I think I would have tried to fit a videographer into my budget so I could have more big moments recorded.
2. Not making our vows more personal.
My spouse and I were very clear on not wanting to write our own vows. The day was already really emotionally charged, and as two people who aren't crazy about attention, we weren't sure we wanted to declare exactly what we loved about each other in front of 200 friends and family members. While I still think writing our own vows would have had been a little much, I wish I had told the rabbi marrying us a few things I wanted him to specifically say about our relationship. Maybe that would have gotten the tears flowing.
3. Drinking too much.
First of all, I'm all about having a blast at your own wedding. I planned to have the best night ever, and in preparation for that, I loaded up on the champagne. I don't know if it was the volume of alcohol or the fact that I didn't eat anything (I know, I know), but parts of the night were a little...blurry. I think it would have been like that anyway with all the adrenaline and excitement, but the volume of champagne consumed definitely made the whole thing fuzzier than it needed to be. My advice? Stick to two or three drinks and eat dinner.
4. Not letting myself get excited about the wedding.
In the months leading up to my wedding, I wasn't excited about the actual wedding day—I was excited about the honeymoon I was getting ready to take in Portugal. I wish I'd allowed myself to feel that same anticipation about my wedding day. Instead, I just felt nervous and stressed out when I thought about all the things that could go wrong and all the people I'd have to make small talk with. While stress leading up to a wedding is normal, I so wish I'd reminded myself to get excited. It would have made the whole experience so much sweeter.
5. Going too minimalist.
When I went wedding dress shopping, every time I slipped into a giant poof ball of a dress, I barely recognized myself. It was then that I decided that if I wanted to look like myself on my wedding day, I had to go minimalist. I ended up finding the perfect simple dress at Sarah Seven that I felt super comfortable in. It had a fitted skirt (but was still loose enough) and had just a tiny bit of lace in the back. While I stand by the dress being perfect, I wish I'd jazzed up the overall look a bit more. Maybe I could have added a few tiny flowers to my relaxed updo, opted into the whole veil thing, or worn a piece of jewelry that had a little more oomph.
At the end of the day, the regrets I have about my wedding don't really matter that much. I mostly have amazing memories, and every time I look at my pictures I feel happy. Wedding regrets happen no matter how much you try to avoid them, but hey—wouldn't it be nice if you could avoid making the same mistakes I did?
Leigh is a New York–based freelance journalist covering topics ranging from health and wellness to feminism and personal finance. Her work has been featured on Well+Good, mindbodygreen, NBC News, Bustle, The Huffington Post, Elite Daily and more. When she's not writing, you can probably find Leigh forward folding at Sky Ting Yoga, running along the Hudson, or coming up with a creative new take on avocado toast. You can follow her on Instagram here.