When it comes to wedding planning (and most things in life), knowledge is power. So if a bride gives you some advice based on true-life experiences, believe it. Here, real brides share their biggest wedding day fails — so that you don't make the same mistakes.
"I got married a zillion years ago — but the lesson still applies. An unknown singer named Celine Dion was shooting her first music video on my wedding day. Celine and I had the same hairdresser, Bobby Ramos. I had an appointment with Bobby to come to my house to do my hair at 2pm... He was late, then really late, then really, really late — causing my wedding to start late. He arrived breathless explaining he couldn't leave the video shoot because the "star" was having a full-blown diva attack. So???? This is my WEDDING!!! Had I thought to ask Bobby what he was doing before our appointment, and heard he was doing a music video shoot, I would have hired someone else because things like that always run late... So, ask what your service people are doing before their scheduled appointments with you so you can assess if they are likely to run late." —Sherri
"My husband and I recently celebrated our sixth anniversary. The wedding at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, went great and I planned the reception in the hotel's penthouse suite. Everything was set up before the ceremony — which I should have told my mom. While we were taking our wedding photos, my mom and her friend rearranged EVERYTHING for the reception. It was A HOT MESS — what took us five hours to set up was destroyed in 20 minutes by my well-intentioned parent." —Sara
"I got married July 2016 in Los Cabos, Mexico. While my bridesmaids and I were getting ready, I was so into the time and scheduling, I forgot to have someone get my mother so she could be in the video. Now, I have a wedding video and my mother is not in the first half! A mistake that will likely haunt me for a lifetime. So, let someone else handle the schedule. If I was mentally present in the moment I would have realized my mother was not in the footage." —Belyne
"My florist used the one flower I gave her as an example of 'what not to use' because she got her notes mixed up. I didn't do much oversight and so she showed up with orange Gerber daisies in everything! My bridesmaids had to pick them out of all the arrangements. In retrospect I wish I had asked for a final list or sketch of the flowers, but I had put my confidence in this 'expert.'" —Maya
"I had a lovely, wonderful wedding... with one exception. I had forgotten stockings for under my wedding dress and asked my mom to pick up a pair of pantyhose or stockings from the department store. She brought knee-high nylons — they'd been mistakenly put in the wrong place at the store. It was horrible! It was all I had to wear, so on they went... But I felt so unsexy and just hoped no one would notice. Needless to say, we skipped the groom removing the garter tradition at the reception. Recommendation: double-check and pack your undergarments with your dress and other 'must-have' items if you're getting dressed somewhere other than home." —Kimber
"Even though I had everything planned and we had a wedding program, most guests didn't refer to that program. As a result, there were guests who didn't know where to go, or what was happening. A friend kindly stepped in and helped out. In retrospect I wish I'd had a day-of planner or a Master of Ceremonies who made announcements. This little bit of help would have allowed my husband and I to enjoy ourselves more, rather than worrying about people being confused." —Martine
"I bought the dress of my dreams for my outdoor wedding and did not think about what it might look like if it got wet. Well, we ended up marrying on the rainiest day of the summer, and by the end of the night my gown was soaking wet. The train was beautiful, but I didn't get to show it off. It was also so heavy with water that I ended up getting a bruised and bloody wound from the straps by the end of the night. I have no real regrets, because I really loved my dress, but if I went back, I would have considered buying one that didn't need to be bustled all night. The scar was totally worth it, but it was the most unfortunate thing about the night. It really hurt!" —Jordon
"I didn't spend time really trying out the high heels I bought. On the wedding day I wound up limping!!! Big fail!" —Ann
Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.