Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda: Real Brides Share Their Biggest Wedding-Day Regrets

Planning Tips

No matter how perfect the wedding, it seems every bride has one thing they would have done differently. With the help of planner Heather Lowenthal, owner of Posh Parties, and real brides' own testimony, here's how to turn the most common "shoulda, woulda, coulda's" into your own pre-wedding planning tips.

"I definitely would have done my hair differently and had it done somewhere else."
Have a plan in advance. Lowenthal recommends doing a trial with your team, making changes until you are 100% happy and snapping pictures to document.

"My hair and makeup was rushed with no time to tweak, leaving me feeling unhappy with the way I looked."
Pad your beauty schedule. "If this part of your day goes awry, it can spiral into everything else getting off track," Lowenthal says. Allow 45 minutes each for bridesmaids' hair and makeup and two hours total for the bride.

"I would have gone with a less expensive photographer so there could be two shooters instead of one. She missed a lot of important moments!"
"Create a shot list including everything from the invitation to your favorite dress detail to make sure you're happy when all is wed and done," Lowenthal says. She also suggests the couple compose a list of important people.

See more: Wedding Planners Tell All: 11 Things They Wish Brides-to-Be Knew

"My biggest regret was not talking to all of our guests. I felt really guilty about it while writing thank you cards a month later."
It's hard to work the room when you're the bride. Lowenthal suggests keeping your conversations brief by thanking them for coming and ending with a quick, "See you on the dance floor!" Try a receiving line to get everyone in one shot or go old school and walk around to each table at the reception.

"My regret is forgoing the traditional mother/son dance, because we couldn't have a father/daughter dance."
Many couples are faced with tough situations that don't allow for both dances. "If this happens, talk to your fiancé about your feelings on what to do," Lowenthal says. One option is for the bride or groom to dance with another family member so there's two dances, she adds.

"I didn't want to leave the dance floor to fuss with my hair and makeup, but looking back at pictures, like my cake cutting, I wished I had primped more."
Lowenthal suggests making sure you have lip-gloss, powder and extra hair pins with you and enlisting a bridesmaid for help.

"I wish I would have changed into my second dress before the after party."
Do a dress change before or after the cake cutting, Lowenthal says. "The rest of the night is usually dancing, so it's the perfect time to change into your after-party dress," she adds.

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