How Wedding Planning Differs in Your 20's vs. Your 30's

Planning Tips
Getting Married in Yours 20s or Your 30s

Photo: Getty Images

People love to debate about the best age to get married. But when it comes to the actual wedding planning, how different is it between a 20- and 30-something? We rounded up some former brides (all married in the past decade) for their thoughts. Check out their stories — and then head to our Facebook to share yours.

Married in Their 20's

Too Perfect
"I perfected every detail of my wedding. But looking back, did I really need the thick cardstock, overpriced shoes, and matching bridesmaid gowns? No. I obsessed over so many things that seem frivolous now. I kind of wish I could have that money back for things like baby expenses or buying a house!" —Cheryl, married at 26

VIPs for Days
"In my experience, getting married a few years out of college made for a huge guest list. I loved my big wedding — but I'm no longer in touch with a lot of the people, seven years later. I would have a much smaller guest list now." —Nicole, married at 24

Easy Breezy
"We really didn't give a crap about the details. The one thing I wanted was steel drums and the one thing my groom wanted was an ice sculpture. I think if we were to get married now, almost 10 years later, it would be a more extravagant affair because expectations would be higher." —Christine, married at 24

Silver Linings
"We got married on our own dime, so we had to really be resourceful in how we spent our money; thankfully, getting married during the financial downturn worked to our advantage. But can I just say how glad I am to have found a mate pre-Tinder?" —Holly, married at 26

See More: What Facebook Can Tell Us About Couples and Age Gaps

Married in Their 30's

New Perspective
"Some people said they couldn't believe how laid back I was about wedding planning, but I knew my bridal party and families now had their own lives: husbands, children, careers. We still had a gorgeous wedding — minus the freaking out that I probably would've done in my twenties." —Kate, married at 30

Refined Ideas
"I'm so relieved I got married later because my taste has completely evolved. If I had married young, I think I might have had things like a cash bar or a sexy reception dress or a baked flambé. I know those are just details and not what really matters, but it was still nice to know better." —Elizabeth, married at 33

One Woman Show
"Getting married in my 30s meant I had more financial freedom and the confidence from my career that I could handle it all. But it turns out that "princess" doesn't really happen unless someone else plans a lot of the wedding. It was a beautiful day, but it wasn't a fairytale. Looking back, it wouldn't have been so bad to hand the reigns over to my mom." —Michelle, married at 34

Informed and Reformed
"I spent 10 years going to other people's weddings and rolling my eyes at all the fuss. Then, when it was finally my turn, I was blown away by the enormity of executing a wedding. I wish I had more weddings to go to now because I'd appreciate them much more." —Rachel, married at 32

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from