- I’ve worked as a professional bridesmaid at 125 weddings over the past seven years.
- I’ve seen couples unable to spend time with one another or eat any food on the big day.
- It’s important to thoroughly think the guest list and wedding party over before finalizing them.
When I started my company, Bridesmaid for Hire, seven years ago, I didn’t know that much about weddings.
After working at over 125, I’ve learned that weddings are filled with drama and endless decisions — and once they’re over, couples are often haunted by regret.
Here are the tops things I’ve seen couples regret after their big day.
How much money they spent
When the wedding ends, I always ask couples what they wish they did differently. The No. 1 answer is always that they would’ve spent less.
When you’re in planning mode, it can feel like you need more than you do. Before you start, set a strict budget for each category — flowers, food, music, etc. — and then find vendors who offer packages that fit your price range.
You won’t regret having 25% fewer flowers or one fewer appetizer at cocktail hour if it means you’ll save a few thousand dollars.
Not eating any of the food
Couples spend a lot of quality time picking out all of the food that’ll be served on their wedding day. But some couples don’t actually eat anything on their big day because they’re so busy or they simply forget.
Make a rule that you and your partner spend at least five minutes eating during cocktail hour before you say hello to guests.
When everyone else is eating dinner at the reception, make sure you two eat, too. That way, you’ll get to enjoy your carefully selected meal and won’t be hungry for the rest of the night.
Hardly spending time with one another
After working so many weddings, I started to realize couples hardly spend time together at their celebration. One person is usually saying hello to their family members while the other is on the dance floor with their friends.
To avoid this, agree ahead of time to stay close to each other during cocktail hour and the reception. When it’s time to say hello to guests or hit the dance floor, stick together.
Registering for gifts they don’t need
After the wedding ends and the couple settles into this new chapter of their life together, I usually check in on clients and hear how frustrated they are by the gifts they received.
Although most of the gifts were handpicked by the couple on their registry, they start to realize they don’t actually need another set of sheets or dishes.
Instead of having to return items post-wedding, be sure to only put must-haves on your registry. If you’re not sure what you want, ask for cash or a honeymoon fund instead. When the wedding chaos ends, you can buy what you really need for your home together.
Who they invited — and didn’t
Although it’s hard to know who to invite and who to leave off the guest list, some couples have said they wish they invited a certain friend or family member they decided not to. And other couples wish they didn’t invite friends or coworkers they hardly speak to anymore.
When you’re creating your guest list, do a gut check. If there’s someone you didn’t put on the guest list that you can’t stop thinking about, consider adding them to avoid any post-wedding regret.
If there’s someone you’re considering inviting, but it doesn’t feel right, think about leaving them off the original list. You can always invite them closer to the wedding if it ends up feeling right.
How many bridal-party members they had
Deciding who you want to ask to be part of your bridal party can be a tough decision. Some couples end up asking too many friends and family members to take on the role.
A lot of couples who have big bridal parties — 10-plus groomsmen and bridesmaids — often say they regret how many people they had to include in their decisions for the wedding.
If you want to eliminate stress, consider having a more intimate bridal party. You can still give special honors, like reading a poem during the ceremony or giving a toast at the rehearsal dinner, to those who don’t make the bridal-party list.
Not having the wedding of their dreams
Many people are influenced by what kind of celebration their friends or family want for them. Instead of having a small wedding or just eloping, they threw a giant and expensive party.
As you’re planning your big day, make sure you and your partner have a list of must-haves and non-negotiables — whether it’s the type of venue you want or a certain kind of food you like. That way, you can make sure outside opinions don’t take over the celebration you and your partner have always wanted.
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