Real Brides Reveal: What I Wish I Knew When I Was Wedding Planning

Planning Tips
real brides reveal what i wish i knew when wedding planning

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The goal of creating the perfect wedding can blind you to what is most important about the wedding day: your marriage! Heed the wisdom of these women who have been there as they share about their wedding planning regrets after having been through it all.

"I wish I'd thought more about who we were as a couple — what we liked — to create a truly personal day, rather than trying to accommodate everyone's ideas of 'how it should be.'" —Tracy

"We did a destination wedding. I wanted to wear a full-length wedding dress with some beading or lace details. I had it narrowed down to two dresses I liked equally, but I selected the one made of heavy satin. The other dress was lighter, more 'flowy,' and didn't wrinkle. I hadn't thought about how I would carry my dress on the plane and put it in an overhead bin. In hindsight, selecting the lighter dress that didn't wrinkle would have created less stress and been easier to steam. So — if you're doing a destination wedding, think through the details of what you'll need to carry with you on the plane before selecting a dress. This includes anything you wouldn't trust to baggage handlers, like shoes, jewelry, veil, dress, and tux." —Tiffani

"DON'T go cheap on the photographers! You will have those for life, be sure it's EXACTLY what you are looking for!" —Elizabeth

See More: 20 Last Minute Wedding Planning Tasks You Can't Forget About

"Hire a Planner. It's not a luxury. A planner can save you tons of time and money by hooking you up with trusted vendors and helping you sidestep unexpected costs... And once you know you want a particular vendor, don't wait to book! Trusted and established vendors book up fast!" —Jennifer

"I wish I'd brought a change of COMFORTABLE shoes. I was switching between two 5-inch pairs of shoes, which gave me some reprieve, but I was in a lot of pain for something you couldn't even see! I'm usually fine in heels but you are dressed very far in advance to the ceremony and reception, and I think my feet were tired from the rehearsal dinner as well." —Ashley

"I wish I would have had better foresight when I signed contracts. My wedding was supposed to be the lead article in NY Times Sunday Styles section. This was a dream of mine and I was about to achieve it. The article was cancelled when my photographer informed me her contact said no other professionals were allowed to be present to photograph the wedding. The NY Times requires their own photographer to take the photos. My photographer wouldn't relent and essentially ruined my dream. My heart was broken, and I was completely upset about this a few days before my wedding. As if I didn't have enough to be stressed out about. I also wish I would have told my bridesmaids to check their alterations after receiving their dresses back from the tailor. One of my bridesmaids did not, and her dress was too long; she had to hem it herself at the last minute." —Amanda

"I learned not to stress about all the details of bridal showers and bachelorette parties. You will enjoy those events as long as you have friends and family by your side. And, a little champagne helps, too!" —Michiel

"In retrospect, I would have added a clause in my venue contract for no last minute changes without discussing/notifying us first. We'd planned our outdoor reception around the market lights hanging from the two trellises that framed our area. We contracted to have more lights added to create a specific ambiance. We had hanging candlelight added as well. The day of the wedding the new catering manager decided instead of replacing a few burnt out bulbs with the Market Lights he would cut them down and staple ice blue LED Christmas string lights. Moral of story: if you have an important element that is integral make sure you tell them — and have it written in your contract." —Lisa (

"While planning my wedding, I wanted the perfect stationery, the perfect shoes, and the perfect flower arrangements. It wasn't until a few months before the wedding that I realized that I was being unreasonable. The people we invited to celebrate our union and the memories we made on the wedding day were what would make that day 'perfect.' While I love the creativity we put into designing our wedding day, the thing I remember the most is the laughter, the joy and tears from that day. In the end, our wedding day was just beautiful." —Martini

"My honest advice for brides? Follow your heart, and don't listen to the many opinions that will come your way. I let myself get talked into navy blue beach towels in all of our out-of-town guest totes, and they looked like hotel towels!" —Kate

Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.

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