THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS I HAVE LEARNED, both as a bride and bridesmaid, as well as a photographer and wedding coordinator that will help you have NO REGRETS when it comes to your wedding.
(Please take note: the photos below are of my own life story, with the exception of the flat lays, which are photos by me for other couples – I felt the best way to serve you all was to tell my own story going along)
First thing’s first, pick a budget, and stay to it; and while we are at it, don’t make your budget unreasonable – regardless of if you are paying or your family is. Budgeting is a huge precedent for almost every regret to come! A wedding should be a time of enjoyment, but there are just some things that are so outrageous that you will regret investing (or NOT investing) in later.
EXPENSIVE INVITATIONS and fancy stationery may look beautiful, but want to know where they end up? IN THE TRASH. Sorry to say, but those $10 beautiful invitations on linen paper that were wrapped up in a beautiful bow inside of the envelope embossed in a rose gold metallic script and sealed with wax that you sent out to each of your guests end up in the trash. The only people saving those beautiful invitations are you… and maybe your parents/grandparents, depending on how sentimental they are. You can get beautiful invitations made, for a reasonable budget, that you won’t kick yourself in the behind for later from a variety of vendors. Do your research.
I personally have recently fallen in love with Minted, amongst a few others I will go into on a later blog.
Now, just because you don’t need to spend a ton of money on invitations, doesn’t mean you should cheap out and print them off on computer paper either; it is a wedding after all!
THE RINGS are important, but decide where the money is going. Sit down, discuss a budget, and stay with that. Honestly, every man I have ever met (including my own husband) is NOT as sentimental about how much money is spent on their rings. (Honestly, the cheaper the better for many of them, especially if they have jobs that require getting their hands dirty! – I have lost count of how many times my SIL’s husband has lost his ring on the job.) Ladies tend to care more about their wedding bands matching their engagement rings than the men do about what their ring is made of. As long as it looks great, go for it! (This men’s ring, with rose gold Celtic detail, is beautiful, and was under $40 – no need to spend a fortune!)
DON’T CHEAP OUT ON THE IMPORTANT THINGS because you will regret not spending money where it is needed, just as much as you will regret spending too much in areas. Saving in one area can give you the budget you need to invest in the things that matter most to you.
DOING YOUR OWN MAKEUP & / OR HAIR may sound like a great idea to save some funds, but it just brings us back into budgeting appropriately. I am a makeup artist, but I was so tired (not to mention sick, as I said before) on my wedding day, I didn’t even have the energy to muster up putting on false lashes (if you aren’t planning on it, please do. Click HERE to grab some magnetic ones – super easy and glue-free! Vegan friendly too!) HUGE REGRET to not have them because they just really open your eyes… but let’s save that for another blog, shall we?
Hire someone to do it all for you. Save the trouble. I ended up doing my mom’s my daughter’s and my mother-in-law’s makeup, it just was a lot of hassle that didn’t need to have to be that way had we just hired someone to do it from the start. Not a task I should have been doing on my wedding day, even if I can do it for other people. TOO MUCH WORK ON YOUR OWN DAY. ALLOW SOMEONE TO PAMPER YOU!
A SECOND SHOOTER is something I am very happy I invested in. I have so much to say about this, I made it its own blog, click HERE to read it. But, let’s just sum that up with the fact that without one, I wouldn’t have photos of my venue before guests arrived, nor would I have this beautiful memory of my handsome husband fixing his tie in the mirror by our cake, or of my parents dancing, while other photos were being taken at the same time (REMEMBER, YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER ISN’T MADE OF MAGIC – THIS ISN’T THE LAND OF HARRY POTTER, WE CANNOT APPARATE YET) LOL (I ONLY WISH).
PHOTOGRAPHY / VIDEOGRAPHY – I cannot tell you enough that I fully regret cheeping out in this area at my own wedding. While I spared NO expense on my photos (because I am all about documenting the memories), I do truly regret not hiring a videographer.
I HAVE A FRIEND WHO ENJOYS PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY – now… this is where the mistake starts… just don’t do it! I said this. I DID have a friend who liked to take videos. I also have a video camera I bought just for this occasion… I spent my budget on things I should have saved from and done it right, but I felt I didn’t need to… I WAS WRONG! You see, I gave my camera to my friend to video the important moments of my wedding… guess who has ZERO footage from their wedding because it wasn’t recorded properly?
All I have are sideways, Facebook pixilated, video snippets of my father-daughter dance, and first dance & our vows.
I regret my lack of videography choice to this day. What if I had this moment walking down the staircase to my daddy. Or of my Father Daughter Dance (where I recorded a song of me singing this very special song to my amazing Daddy that we got to dance to) on video?
This beautiful moment of my first dance with my husband to our very special song? Our vows I sang.
OVERPLANNING vs ENJOYING also played a part in that regret. I had planned so many wonderful aspects of my wedding that I never got to enjoy myself, from the Grande reveal, to the amazing candy table, to the food choices… I lost sleep over making sure these things were perfect. Truly don’t even think I got to eat at my own wedding more than a few bites… don’t overthink it. Just enjoy the experience.
HIRE A DAY-OF COORDINATOR – just do it. I cannot tell you enough, from experience everywhere in the industry, it just goes so much smoother when someone can help dictate things. It doesn’t all have to be on your shoulders! They can direct people and vendors where they need to go, vs yourself. They are your second minds! HIRE ONE! YOU WON’T regret that!
I highly recommend Rebecca Champagne, from Let’s Say I DO Together, as she does both days of coordinator as well as full-service wedding planning. She is also a JP! Plus, she has contacts with EVERYONE!
HONEYMOONS sound fantastic right after your wedding… HUGE MISTAKE… one I am GLAD I did NOT make. The last thing you want to do right after you have just been through your wedding is to pack and get on a flight out to a honeymoon you will be too utterly exhausted to TRULY enjoy. You will sleep away half the trip!
Wait a month, and then go on your honeymoon. This will give you time to recoup yourselves, so you can truly enjoy the vacation you have been planning all this time!
For us, I am SO THANKFUL we chose to wait a month. I was so sick, I would never have enjoyed it or even been able to go had we gone right after our wedding. We got married on Halloween, then went on our Honeymoon for Thanksgiving. It worked well for us to have that gap of space where we could finally have everything done, put away, and out of mind, so we could enjoy our trip together. #DisneyNerds #AGrimmFairytaleWedding
I was so sick on my wedding day, I truly do not remember most of it. Had I not been sick with some crazy bug that left me down for the count for like a month post our wedding, I still would have been so much into greeting people, that I would never have had the chance to truly enjoy all of the things I paid for. One super important aspect for me was to have people enter the dining hall to BE OUR GUEST from Beauty and the Beast. My guests all said the reveal was like walking into Universal Studios. It was AMAZING, and all these years later, they still talk about it. Guess who has ZERO recollection of this MAJOR idea I wanted to be incorporated? MY HUSBAND AND ME! We were so caught up in everything, we were not even a part of that reveal to the guests. Now, had I had a video, I could have at least experienced a small amount of it.