Top 15 Wedding Day Regrets
My "Top 15 Wedding Day Regrets" is advice for the bride-to-be that I've learned from photographing weddings for over 20 years.
Choosing a wedding dress that is too big and heavy
Don’t buy a big, heavy wedding dress. You will be hot and miserable your entire wedding day.
Think about it. Most weddings are in the summer. Summer is super hot. The less clothes the better. You don’t want to be walking around for 14 straight hours, in the heat, wrapped in yards of heavy cloth.
Think light… flowing... weightless…
Wearing super high heels
Right after chucking the heavy wedding dress, chuck the idea of high heels.
Your feet will hurt. You will be miserable. Wear something comfortable. No one will see your feet anyway.
It also doesn’t work to say “OK, I’ll wear the high heels going down the aisle, then switch to lower heels for the rest of the day.” The dress is hemmed for the shoes. When you switch shoes, the dress looks like crap because it folds up on the front. This looks bad in the photos.
Wearing a strapless wedding dress
You will spend the entire wedding yanking up the front of the dress, especially if you are big busted. The...entire… day…
Getting into the limo (yank!), going down the aisle (yank!), during the photos (yank! yank! yank!), at the cocktails (yank!) during the first dance (yank! yank!).
It’s such a bad look.
Looking like the Incredible Hulk in your wedding dress
You want your arms to look nice in your wedding dress - yes - but beware of over-training at the gym. You don’t want to look like the Incredible Hulk.
Forgetting to thank your parents publicly
Don’t forget to thank your parents during the speeches. Thank your spouse's parents too. I don't know why, but many people forget to do this.
It’s thoughtless. Plus it will hurt your parent’s feelings. They did more for you than anyone ever will. Thank them.
Forgetting to thank your parents privately
Pull your mom aside on your wedding day and say “I love you.” Thank her for everything she’s done for you. Do the same thing with your dad. They deserve it, plus they’ll remember the moment forever.
Don’t skip the speeches
Weddings can get boring. Especially during dinner. Speeches liven things up. And the best man’s speech is always something to look forward to. Will he tell embarrassing stories, or keep it clean and classy?
Not getting enough photos with your family
Don't just assume your photographer will take family photos. Not all photographers make this a priority. Make sure you pick a photographer who does.
Having a receiving line
Boring, boring, boring. People don’t want to stand in line for 30-40 minutes to say hi to you. It also kills the party vibe.
If greeting everyone is a priority for you, grab your new spouse and go around to all the tables during dinner and do a toast. Even better, tag along with the photographer when they do the table shots. Not only will you be in every table shot (a great gift to send to your guests with your thank you notes) - but you can say hi at the same time.
Not wearing a veil
What little girl hasn’t draped a towel over her head and said “Look at me! I’m a bride!” Veils are so wedding-y. So classy. So fun. When will you ever get another chance to wear one? They also look amazing in photos.
Not getting table shots at the reception
Ask your photographer to do table shots. Again, don't assume they will, as many do not.
Table shots are when the photographer asks half the people at the table to stand up and go behind the people who remained seated.
Table shots are the best way to make sure you get a photo of everyone at the wedding. And while these pictures are not “high art,” these are some of the most valuable photos from your wedding.
It’s everyone you know and love. Plus, it’s a fixed moment in time. People die, move, get divorced, remarry, have babies, etc. Looking at your table shots is like visiting a time capsule, especially as time goes by.
Don’t get a smoke machine
If you want good party shots at your reception, don’t get a smoke machine. The photos come out flat and colourless.
Not hiring a good DJ
Your DJ will make or break your party. Get the best one you can find. A good DJ can read the room and get everyone dancing - not just the young people, but the old people too. DJs also make you a schedule, bring all the sound equipment, set up lighting, take song requests from guests, and make sure everything happens when it should, all night long.
Not having an open bar
If you can’t afford to offer your guests an open bar, reschedule the wedding until you do. Being cheap with your friends and family is a just a bad way to start your new life together.
Not having a second dress for the reception
By the time you get to the reception, you’ll have been sweating in your wedding dress for hours. An hour or two into the reception, slip on a fresh dress, touch up your hair and makeup, and you’ll feel - and look - so much better.