Wednesday, September 4, 2013

10 Things You'll Wish You Did at Your Wedding

Wedding planning requires attention to a lot of details. It’s nearly impossible to remember every little thing. So here are ten things brides often wish they had done at their weddings, so you won’t forget them at yours!

I wish I had...

hired a wedding planner 

Ok, ok, I may be biased! But every year polls show that one of the top things brides wish they would have done differently was hired a wedding planner instead of trying to do everything on their own. When you first get engaged, the excitement is high, and all you want to do is plan, plan, plan. However, after a few months or even weeks of planning, it’s common to feel overwhelmed trying to balance wedding planning with your job and daily responsibilities.

Wedding blogs and sites like Pinterest provide tons of great ideas, but there is a lot more that goes into wedding planning than pretty flowers and dresses. That’s where a wedding planner comes in! A wedding planner can take your ideas and vision and put them into action by finding the right vendors, managing your budget, and preparing for the logistics. On the big day, the last thing a bride wants to do is answer vendor questions or setup escort cards. A wedding planner will be behind-the-scenes, ensuring everything is set up properly, managing the timeline, and running the show. With the wedding in the hands of a professional, brides can relax and enjoy their special day.

personalized my wedding 

The purpose of a wedding is to celebrate the union of the bride and groom. However, in the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, sometimes that focus is forgotten. Keep that purpose in mind with personalized details that showcase the bride and groom’s interests and personalities. It’s as easy as serving a specialty beverage or the couple’s favorite foods. You can even get creative with table numbers featuring photos of you and your hubby at each age! Personalizing a wedding allows guests to get to know the couple better and makes the wedding stand out!


took more photos and videos 

Adding up wedding expenses can be a fearsome task. There are always ways to reign in the costs, but a common regret among brides is cutting back on wedding photography and videography. Your wedding day comes and goes so quickly. Photographers and videographers serve as the eyes and ears of the day and will often show you bits and pieces of the day that you never even saw yourself. Wedding photos can make for beautiful décor for your home, and watching your wedding video on your anniversaries is a lovely annual tradition.


appreciated my wedding party

Often, the first time the wedding party meets each other is the day of or day before the wedding, making for some awkward interactions. Instead of dealing with uncomfortable moments on your wedding weekend, introduce the wedding party to each other in advance! A casual lunch or bowling night is a fun way for the wedding party to relax and get to know each other.

You can also show your appreciation to your wedding party by recognizing each member. The reception introductions and bridal party gifts are traditional ways to acknowledge them, but you could also display pictures during the cocktail hour of each member of the wedding party with a description of how you met and a funny or meaningful memory of that person.

made it last 

Enjoy your wedding weekend to fullest. You don't have to leave for your honeymoon right away. Plan your honeymoon departure for a couple of days after the wedding, so that you can attend a wedding brunch with friends and family the day after and continue to celebrate.

Every couple wants those feelings from their wedding day to last long after the day has passed. A great idea is to place love letters into a box along with a bottle of wine, and nail it shut at the wedding. When you and your hubby have your first disagreement, open it up, pour the wine, read the love letters, and remember what it's all about!

From the
Another fun idea is to provide each reception table with note cards to write notes for you to open on different anniversaries! All of the notes from table three will be opened on your third anniversary. As you read the notes years later, you’ll remember all of the love from your wedding day!


had a unique guestbook 

Guestbooks are a great way to remember everyone who helped celebrate your special day. But who ever said a guestbook has to be an actual book?! Get creative with your guestbook! Make it something you will see every day rather than just a book that will collect dust on a shelf! Have guests sign a wooden initial of your last name. After the wedding you can have it hanging on a wall in your home to display! Or, have guests take pictures of themselves and sign the pictures. Put the photos in an album or frame, and every time you see the pictures it will put a smile on your face!


gotten creative with my "something blue"

The “something blue” tradition has been going on for as long as anyone can remember. But “something blue” means it can be anything blue! Think outside the box for this tradition and try something different.

The date sewn in blue in the wedding dress lining.

Your bridal party signatures and well-wishes on the soles of your shoes in blue!


kept my guests entertained 

You don’t have to limit your wedding entertainment to dinner and dancing. Provide your guests with fun activities to keep them entertained throughout the night. Print a Mad Libs story about the bride and groom on the back of your menu cards for guests to fill in the blanks. Or, let them build their own ice cream sundaes as a late night snack.


had a "first look"

A First Look allows you to have a personal moment alone with your future husband before the ceremony. Seeing each other for the first time can be really emotional. If that moment happens while you’re walking down the aisle, you’re limited in your interaction with each other, as your guests are watching and the formalities of the ceremony have begun. At a First Look, you and your hubby-to-be can have spontaneous reactions, touch, and hug, without any pressure, which makes for poignant photos.

Also, doing a First Look and then taking your bridal party and family pictures before the ceremony means you can attend your cocktail hour after the ceremony and spend more time with friends and family.


The number one thing brides regret after their wedding day is not taking a moment to take a deep breath and relax. Before they know it, the day is over and they can hardly remember what happened! One of my favorite customs geared towards helping the newlyweds relax is the yichud from Jewish tradition. After the ceremony, the bride and groom go into a secluded place for 10 to 15 minutes. This short time allows the couple to escape, savor the moment, and enjoy each other for a few minutes before joining their guests for the reception. Whether you borrow this tradition or find your own way to relax, make sure to soak up this special day!

*Sarah Madonia contributed to this article.

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