These Are Newlyweds' Biggest Wedding Planning Regrets


Photo by Sam Hurd Photography

No matter how much you budget and plan, it's inevitable: your wedding is going to take a major chip out of your wallet. And for first-time brides, it's hard to know exactly what details are worth spending money on and what can be left out. Luckily, wedding planning website Zola is here to help all new brides plan accordingly. The site recently released its 2018 Wedding Planning Survey, revealing the biggest spending regrets newlyweds had post-wedding. Zola surveyed over 750 newlywed couples to help others plan their big day.

Overall, newlywed couples say that their top three biggest wedding planning regrets include:

● Over 1/3 (35%) of couples wished they had hired a videographer.

● 20% of couples wish they had hired a wedding planner.

● 17% of couples wish they had stressed less about hiring the “perfect” vendors.

Jennifer Spector, Zola's Newlywed-at-Large, adds that hiring a videographer will help you enjoy your big day with more ease.

"Your wedding day can go by so quickly, the best way to savor everything is to hire a videographer," says Spector. "Your photographer might already have a videographer on their team, or recommend someone they like working with to help capture the big day without getting in the way. That way you can focus on the celebration and relive the details for years to come!"

In terms of budget, newlyweds have plenty of input on how they wish they spent their money on their big day. Zola listed the following as couples' responses to their biggest wishes for their wedding day, in hindsight.

Top 5 Wedding Elements Couples Wish They Spent Less Money On:

1. Flowers & decor: 22% feel they spent too much.

2. Hair & makeup: 20% feel they spent too much.

3. Catering: 19% feel they spent too much.

4. Day-of wedding attire (dress, suit, accessories, etc.): 19% feel they spent too much.

5. Invitations: 17% feel they spent too much.

Top 5 Wedding Elements Couples Wish They Spent More Money On:

1. Videographer: 25% wish they spent more.

2. Photographer: 22% wish they spent more.

3. Wedding planner or coordinator: 20% wish they spent more.

4. Flowers & decor: 12% wish they spent more.

5. Band/DJ: 10% wish they spent more.

Zola also surveyed couples to find out what their biggest wedding priorities were before and after the wedding, and interestingly, the list stayed relatively similar.

Before the Big Day

Top 10 Wedding Elements that Engaged Couples Deemed “Most Important” During the Planning Process

1. Venue

2. Photographer

3. Day-of-wedding attire (dress, suit, accessories, etc.)

4. Catering

5. Band/DJ

6. Flowers/decor

7. After-party

8. Hair and makeup

9. Wedding Officiant

10. Invitations

After the Big Day

Top 10 Wedding Elements That Newlyweds Say Actually Made Their Wedding “Truly Unforgettable”

1. Venue

2. Photographer

3. Band/DJ

4. Day-of wedding attire (dress, suit, accessories, etc.)

5. Flowers/decor

6. Wedding officiant

7. Catering

8. Wedding planner or coordinator

9. After-party

10. Wedding cake

The site also rounded up a list of the biggest wedding planning misconceptions, so brides-to-be, take note.

Biggest Wedding Misconceptions

Invest in a good DJ: Prior to the big day, couples prioritized day-of wedding attire (i.e. dress, suit, accessories, etc.) over the band/DJ, though after the big day, couples admitted that the band/DJ made more of an impact than the day-of attire.

Wedding officiants and wedding planners are your friends: As couples began the wedding planning process, couples ranked the after-party as more important than the wedding officiant and wedding planner/coordinator, though in hindsight, the wedding officiant and wedding planner/coordinator ultimately made their big day more unforgettable than the after-party.

After party > Rehearsal dinner: Couples admitted that their after-party was more memorable than the rehearsal dinner.

Don’t completely disregard the wedding cake: Surprisingly, couples ranked their own wedding cake as one of the least important elements when it comes to planning their big day, though after the wedding, the wedding cake ended up being one of the top 10 elements that made the big day truly unforgettable.

Hair/makeup and invites matter less on the big day: Engaged couples ranked hair/makeup and invites in their top 10 list of important wedding elements, but these items did not actually rank for newlyweds as having an impact on the big day.

As for the upcoming year, Spector added that 2018 is going to focus a lot more on personalized wedding details and making the big day feel more intimate.

“The biggest trend to expect in 2018 is personalization," she says. "Couples are spending more on elements that feel unique to them and their friends and family. We’ll see more unusual decor like hanging floral displays, customized foodservice like Shake Shack on the dance floor, and 90s-themed after-parties. Nothing is off the table. These are the experiences that modern couples truly deem unforgettable.”

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