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Things I Would Have Done Differently

Posted by Teresa Coleman on

We have a guest blogger today who was recently married. I asked her to write about her experience, what went well and some of the things she might have done differently on her wedding day – here is what she had to say…


Things I Wish I Would Have Done Differently on My Wedding Day


I’m willing to bet you, like pretty much every bride-to-be, want your wedding to be the perfect day. After all, hopefully this will be your one and only opportunity, so might as well go all out while you have the chance.

My wedding day went surprisingly smooth, other than a brief moment when my mother-in-law thought the wedding cake was not going to arrive due to the bakery being a tad late with delivery. However, it all worked out. My Maid of Honor called the bakery, and the cake made it within ten minutes. Still, there are a few things I would’ve done differently, and brides-to-be might want to consider some of these things in preparation for the big day.

1. I would have worn makeup. I am a pretty low maintenance gal. Therefore, on the average day I do not wear makeup. For this reason, I chose to forego makeup outside of basic foundation and mascara, because I wanted to look like me. I wanted my husband to see the person he sees on a day-to-day basis. However, occasionally when I look at my makeup, I wish I could have found a professional, or at the very least have a friend, do something basic with my makeup to appear less plain.

I have to say in response because I used to be a wedding photographer – your photographer should tell you to wear your make up a little heavier than you usually do and to wear light makeup if you typically don’t wear any at all so you will look natural in your pictures. It is really amazing to me still how things show up in pictures that people don’t normally notice in real life.

2. I would’ve gone to a salon to have my hair done. My wonderful Sister-in-Law generously offered to do everyone’s hair (me + 3 bridesmaids) on the morning of my wedding. We arrived at the church at 8 AM for a 2:30 PM wedding to make this happen. However, one person was not enough for four people. We could’ve been much more efficient had we gone to a salon, even though that is an added cost we saved. Somehow my Sister-in-Law got backed up with one of my bridesmaids being late and that bridesmaid ended up having to curl her own hair before the wedding.

I think this is really good advice. Also from my days as a wedding photographer I
used to tell the bride to tell everyone to be there a half hour earlier than they actually
needed to be. There is always that one friend that can hold everything up…

3. I would’ve looked at my husband as I came down the aisle. Okay, maybe everyone does not have this problem. I am a total introvert, but like everyone else I dreamed of my wedding my entire life, and I never expected that I would be so nervous that I did not look at my husband the entire time I came down the aisle. To this day my husband still ribs me a bit about it.

I think people never expect how surreal getting married actually is. I found it very difficult to concentrate on my own ceremony due to my nerves. The ceremony went by and I did everything I was supposed to, said I do, kissed the groom, but barely remember any of it except something that kept buzzing off to the side. Not like a bee, like an alarm system. I wish I would have been less nervous and more present in what was actually going on. After all the preparation it is hard to believe it is was actually happening. Maybe a little meditation beforehand…or like one of my clients, a shot of Goldschlager with the bridesmaids.

Things We Did Right:
• We kept our budget low (less than $5,000) for the entire wedding plus reception. Of course, my in-laws generously gifted us the reception costs, which helped a lot. We bought a house six months before our wedding, so that was our priority, not some wallet-busting party.

This is great – I always tell people to put their money where their heart is. Think about what is important to you and budget accordingly.

• We invited those we wanted to be there. Seriously, just because you are getting married, does not mean you have to send an invite to every single person you have ever known or worked with. We invited around 120 and around 100 people actually attended. It sounds simple, but those people were people we actually wanted to see and share the day with.

Same thing – it is important to keep your budget in mind when planning your guest list. I figured about 20% of the people I invited would not be able to come for whatever reason. I was just about right on.

• We didn’t stress. I know this one is easier said than done, but in all seriousness what matters is not the pomp and circumstance, but actually being married at the end of the day. For example, minus the processional music/the song I walked down the aisle to, our musician had full range to pick what she felt was appropriate. Our wedding was not her first, and it removed one extra thing from our plate. Whenever you are able to allow someone else to use their expertise, do it!

When I arrived for my wedding, the coordinator said to me, “we couldn’t get the luminarias and your ice sculpture cracked.” I told her, “I don’t care!” To me, none of this was important – I had already decided that I didn’t care if anything went wrong, it was my wedding day. I was getting married and that is all that mattered. Although, I have to say I would have been really sad if something had happened to the cake. It was a great cake. We joked around for months that we were only getting married so we could have really great cake. All kidding aside it was a really great cake – white chocolate cake with a mocha/raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting. Mmmm. I still have fond memories of it…

Most of all, I hope you will enjoy the process of planning a wedding over analyzing every single detail. It’s a sad fact that so many brides miss out on having a good time, because they are overly concerned with putting on a good party or entertaining their guests. Remember, the most important thing is to end the day married. Everything else is a bonus!

Thanks for sharing your experience with us, T, you are absolutely right – you have to keep things in perspective and keep a sense of humor. You are getting married to your best friend, the person you care about most in the world, the love of your life and that is the most important thing of all. Like Elsa said, let it go, and enjoy your day come what may because in the end it is all about who you go home with… and maybe some good cake…


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