32 Secrets From Married People About Wedding Planning
We asked 30 married folks what they learned from their big day, so you don't have to!
If there's something you'd WISH you'd known before planning, what would it be?
1. "People want to help; let them!"
2. "Someone told me to set up a separate email account for wedding planning. I'm glad I did, because the amount of junk mail I get there is ridiculous."
3. "You're not gonna make everyone happy, so focus on what's important to you."
4. "It's OK if you have never thought about your wedding day until they popped the question."
5. "I wish we'd skipped the wedding and put money down on a house or gone on a better honeymoon."
6. "You will not eat your wedding food that you may have spent hours planning and/or tasting."
7. "Best advice I got while wedding planning: This might be YOUR wedding, but think of it as the first party you and your spouse HOST together. Make sure your guests are taken care of, don't skip the cocktail hour to hang out with your wedding party. Mingle, make everyone feel welcome, and just ENJOY it."
8. "There's a Jewish tradition where the couple goes off for private time after the wedding ceremony and before the reception. Historically, I think that was supposed to be the time when couples were supposed to consummate, but now most couples use that as a time to eat. We got married at a B&B, and we had them set up dinner for us in our room as our guests went to the cocktail hour and started the reception. We took like 30 minutes to just eat and have some quiet time before heading into the madness of saying hello to everyone, and it made it so much easier to enjoy the time socializing. I'd recommend it to every couple."
9. "Things you SHOULD worry about — ample clean bathrooms, having enough food, having a backup plan in case of weather problems, parking/travel accessibility (esp. for older family members), and please, please just get the open bar! That was my dad's only input on my wedding and he was CORRECT."
Is there something you spent WAY too much money/time on that you wish you hadn't? OR something that was WORTH the $$/time?
10. "Don't go insane on the flowers. They're done the next day."
11. "Invest in a great photographer. They will help document the memories that last. And spend time on figuring out your photo style, don't be afraid to tell them what you want!"
12. "We picked a venue that also did catering and decorations, which saved a lot of time and stress that would have gone into coordinating different parties."
13. "We had a DJ who played dance tracks, but also had a surprise performance by a Beatles cover band (in the Beatles' costumes and everything). It was totally worth it — everyone thought we were the typical wedding with a DJ, and then halfway through the reception we surprised everyone with the Beatles! Everyone danced like crazy, and it made our wedding memorable."
14. "Weddings are totally individualized and personal, but for me a big wedding (like 100 people) was worth it because it made my family SO freaking happy. There was a moment when we were doing the Horah, where I just looked at my husband and around at all these people who we love so much and I could feel the love coming from them and it was probably one of the most powerful things I've ever felt in my life and I totally didn't expect that."
15. "Hiring a limo to go from the ceremony to the reception was a splurge for us that was worth the money. It was a way to enjoy a moment together without the 'noise' and feel like we were special."
16. "Something that was worth the money was my dress. It was over the initial budget but I felt so beautiful in it and couldn't have imagined wearing anything else."
17. "Nobody looks at the label on your wedding dress. If you look through wedding magazines and see a dress you like, you can clip it out, go buy fabric, and pay a seamstress to copy that design for you. Way cheaper than Vera Wang."
18. "Get married in a developing country: That's my advice. We got married in Argentina in 2004 (my wife is from there, so it wasn't really a destination wedding). The peso was extremely weak against the dollar. In other words, everything was super cheap. Seriously, the wedding, all in, cost only $… you know what, I better not say it because it'll just piss people off. Anyhow, it wasn't even close to crazy."
If you could give one piece of advice to brides/grooms to be, what would that be?
19. "Advice: Eat beforehand. Have a big breakfast/lunch since odds are people will interrupt you as you eat. Alternatively, have someone run interference for you (like someone from the wedding party) to keep people from bothering you too much as you eat. They can also save you from getting trapped in an awkward conversation with that weird cousin of yours."
20. "Chill the F out. No one likes a bridezilla. Everything will end up perfect in its own way."
21. "Someone told me that the day will wash over you like a flood, and it does. They said when I caught myself in a moment, to take a breath, and think of it as my own personal snapshot. Some 11 years later, I don't remember the color of the chairs I agonized over or care that the candles burned holes in all of the rental tablecloths. I remember my moments, the times when everything felt beyond perfect. Invest well in the real photos too. After the wedding, all that lasts is your love, your memories, and the photos."
22. "Plan specific times during the wedding day to be alone together. A few minutes after pictures, a few minutes after the ceremony, and a few minutes in the middle of the night to just step back and watch it all go down, together."
23. "There's going to be something that goes wrong. Just know that. So when it goes wrong, say, 'Oh, that's it.'"
24. "Budget more for the honeymoon versus the actual wedding. I could've totally spent two plus weeks in Jamaica and had a more intimate wedding!"
25. "All those DIY weddings you see where everything looks so rustic and shabby chic or whatever — TOTAL LIES. Hands down it is cheaper and more efficient to have your wedding at a place that is used to hosting weddings and is equipped to do so. I never, ever thought I'd get married at a 'wedding venue' but I did — and everything went so smoothly and those people know their shit!! I didn't have to worry about anything except the details that I could have fun making myself, and that added personality without worrying about huge things on the day of the wedding."
26. "We limited inviting my wife's family to direct family and some first cousins only. Her dad has 10 siblings and her mom has four and it would have gotten hugely out of hand really quickly. Deciding who not to invite is important."
27. "Remember to always invite the friend who will enjoy the party the most. You may be slightly embarrassed when your grandmother is watching them dance but they know how to get people dancing. Besides she's seen it all before!"
Is there something you wish you'd done differently on your wedding day?
28. "I wish we had a professional videographer. We had a photographer, but video of the ceremony and the reception would've been nice to have."
29. "I would have had the facilities people turn on the air conditioning in the party venue earlier. Way earlier. It was 100 damn degrees in there and people were crowded around the A/C vent to cool down."
30. "We designed our own invites and spent huge amounts of time on that trying to wow everyone. But I think in retrospect people don't care about the invite unless it's a train wreck. Simple and clean and get the hell out of Dodge."
31. "Wish I wasn't quite so drunk at the end of the evening."
32. "Only thing I regret is that I wish I had taken a moment to slow down and really enjoy the reception while it was going on. Everyone tells you to do that because it will go FAST. But holy hell, it really flies by and then this event that you've been building up to for months, or even YEARS, is suddenly over!"