Photo: Gina & Ryan Photography
The last thing you want to do is look back on your wedding day and wish you'd done this or that differently, right? So take it from these wedding planning pros (who've literally worked with thousands of brides over the years combined BTW) and follow their advice on how to have a wedding with zero regrets, which is the ultimate dream, of course.
1. Set your priorities from the start and stick to them.
For example, if a killer dance band is your number one priority find other areas to cut in your budget, such as from your menu or décor, to make it happen, suggests wedding planner Tracie Domino, founder of Tracie Domino Events. Otherwise, if you commit to too many things before deciding what's most important, you're bound to run into major budget problems.
2. Don't compare your wedding to others.
Whether it's your friend, cousin or a celebrity, planner Francesca DiSalvo-Follmer of Pure Luxe Bride strongly advises against making comparisons. "Their weddings were special because they did things that were unique to them. Remember: it's not a competition."
3. Hire an experienced wedding planner.
Seriously, they are worth their weight in gold! A wedding planner who knows what they're doing can tell you exactly where to begin and save you valuable time and money, notes Jessica Upton, owner of Uptown Events and Travel. "For instance, an experienced wedding planner can have a conversation with you about the style of venue you're looking for and can quickly recommend ones you should look at that fit within your budget. No need to spend weeks researching." Amen!
4. Don't plan with other people's expectations in mind.
Instead, make decisions based on your priorities and goals to create the dream wedding you envision, recommends Chief Amazement Officer at Vision Event Co., Daniela Grafman. "Traditions and rituals are just a guideline, and they don't have to be enforced. So if you don't want to introduce your wedding party (or do a bouquet toss), that's ok, don't let someone else convince you it must be done."
5. Be present the day of.
One thing wedding planner Lauren Chitwood of Lauren Chitwood Events tells all her brides on the big day is to let go of the details. "Turn off your phone, and truly live in the present moment. It's not every day that the whole world comes together just for you, so savor this time and feel all of the emotions that come with it."
See More: The 50 Mistakes Brides Always Make
6. Mix and mingle with everyone.
Be sure to say hello to every single guest (and hang out for a sec), or you'll wake up the next day guilt ridden for not doing so, warns Dezhda "Dee" Gaubert, owner of No Worries Event Planning. And trust us, you can never, ever get those precious memories back!
7. Think outside the Pinterest box.
Pinterest is one of the most helpful tools Florida-based wedding planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss The Planner has ever experienced, but there's a good chance that by the time your wedding photos get processed, your decor ideas will be old news, she says. "You may regret not taking the time to think outside the proverbial Pinterest box. Instead of taking what you see and duplicating it exactly, use it as a source of inspiration to put a new spin on an old idea and incorporate your personalities to make it your own."
8. Don't let family drama bring you down.
While it's great to take your family's feelings into account when planning your wedding, the most important thing to remember is that the day is really just about you and your fiancé exchanging vows, points out seasoned planner Sandy Malone, owner of Weddings in Vieques. "Don't let other extraneous noise bother you. Ignore the rest of the world's drama, and don't let anybody take away from the special day meant to celebrate you and your new spouse."
9. Really think hard about hiring a videographer.
Laura Irizarry-Garcia, owner of LIG Events, always ends up booking videographers last minute for brides who think they don't want one and as they get closer to the wedding decide they do. "You don't get to repeat your big day, and it's wonderful to have those memories captured on video." In fact, not having a videographer is a top regret we hear from brides all the time.
10. Ask for things in writing.
This ensures you're protected in the event that someone doesn't deliver what has been agreed upon, explains certified green event designer Veronica Cole. "Be very wary of any wedding professional who doesn't want to provide you with a contract or email to support what they have promised." And remember to always read your paperwork thoroughly, she advises. "Yes, it may be boring in comparison to shopping, but it is every bit as crucial. Don't be tempted to sign on the dotted line without understanding what you're committing to. No matter how friendly the sales manager!"