Relationships

Wedding Question: What Would You Do Differently?

My friend Megan and I were chatting the other day about how we loved our weddings, but there are little things we’d change if we had a do-over. Just for fun: What would you do differently if you got married again (to the same person, of course)? Here are some things I might switch up…

Skip the awkward family portraits (no one frames those anyway, right?) and instead join our friends for the cocktail hour!

Plan my speech! Alex and I had decided not to give toasts, but halfway through dinner, I felt so giddy and excited that I leapt up and grabbed the microphone. Thus ensued ten minutes of rambling and blubbering. Looking back, it would have been so much nicer if I had written a coherent toast ahead of time, and afterward I kept thinking of things I wished I had said. Alex, of course, somehow stood up and gave the most beautiful speech off the cuff! (Here’s a fill-in-the-blank toast and nine couples’ funny toasting moments).

Flowing locks are so romantic, like a loose braid or casual ponytail.

I loved my simple J.Crew dress, but I’d take another cue from their models and wear this amazing deep pink lipstick.

oxfordsMy shoes were uncomfortable and I ended up barefoot by the end of the night, so I’d switch it up with cool oxfords under a wedding dress, inspired by this pretty bride.

cheese-wedding-cake-cheese-wedding-cakeWhat a fun idea to serve a cheese wedding cake.

Of course, I’d keep a bunch of things the same, but it’s fun to think about what we’d tweak in hindsight!

What about you? What would you do differently if you got married again? Anything you regret? Another friend told me, “I wouldn’t get drunk for a start,” ha!

P.S. Wedding ideas: Old-fashioned veils, colorful shoes and big kisses? And did you cry at your wedding?

  1. Ash says...

    I would do a trial run of hair and make-up. Wear it outside for a few hours and see what happens. No matter where you get married, a reception = sweat. Also, I would have picked a lighter weight dress. I got married in the summer in Charleston, and my beaded goddess dress was so heavy that it actually sagged toward the end of the day.

  2. Kate says...

    I remember not being able to make up my mind about the flowers, and in the end my florist pulled something together that was pretty and tied in well with our Vermont country setting. When I look at wedding photography online, I always check out the flowers because I love to see what people chose for their bouquets and table settings. I would be able to offer a strong opinion now with photos and very specific color requirements!

  3. We were married by a judge, with only six family members present and then a lovely dinner at a French restaurant. My then husband had proposed not long before a planned move, and I rolled with the last minute nature of the ceremony.
    I wish I hadn’t. I think he might have had more respect for me and the marriage if it had been a bigger deal, with our larger circle of amily and friends.

  4. Oh and also, we had a very small rehearsal dinner on Friday (just wedding party, immediate family, and first cousins/our parents siblings), and then a larger welcome reception later that evening for out-of-town guests. We got to talk to everyone on Friday, and so didn’t feel like we had to do a receiving line or visit every table at the reception. This was the one fight I picked with my parents (who wanted to have everyone at the rehearsal dinner), and I’m so glad I did. Both parents ended up loving it this way.

  5. Sad to say, but I would change almost everything except my husband. From the venue, flowers, my dress, the color theme and the photographer! After only a week of getting engaged, my then-to-be husband found out he’s been offered a job in the States. Obviously wanting me to go along, we sped up the wedding date and everything that has to go with it. I felt so rushed and because of the timing, most of my family members and childhood girlfriends (most are from out of the country) weren’t able to attend, leaving me only with my elder sister as the M.O.H. Our florist didn’t listen to what I wanted and delivered pale boring flowers that didn’t compliment my dress and decor. My dress, well, I went searching for my gown alone. The females in my life are all overseas, so I didn’t get guidance, advises and/or compliments to the dresses I tried. My husband knew I went looking alone, went to my dress fitting alone and collected my dress alone. But when he said I looked stunning on the day, that made me very happy. Our photographer wasn’t professional, taking photos of us and our guests whilst having a cigarette in hand. He wasn’t very helpful in giving us ideas of lovely locations for our wedding portraits (he was from the area so would have known more compared to us). It seemed that he didn’t really care about the outcome of the photos so long as he “snapped” and delivered our good some 3 months later. Sadly, my husband and I are stuck with these photos and because of that, I’m unable to gift some wedding photos to my family and in-laws. And there isn’t one photo of my husband and I throughout the wedding ceremony and celebration that is worth printing and framing. It is that bad

  6. Don’t get me wrong.. I love that I married my gorgeous husband but I would seriously change so many things for my wedding that it’s not even funny!

    Because I had to bring the wedding date forward by 3 months (yes! you read correctly, 3 months), most of my family, cousins etc. and closest friends who live overseas couldn’t make it. I know it was difficult for my cousins as most of them have kids, but I’m simply devasted that ALL of my closest girl friends didn’t even put effort into it. Also, because of the change of date, I had to “cutoff” my bridesmaids (I originally had 3 including my sister but obvioulsy had her alone at the end, which was very sad).
    So if I could do my wedding differently, I’d change: Move the date to a few months after the original, the venue, colour theme (should have stuck with the original colour!), flowers, hairstyle, car hire, and without hesitation, the ‘so not creative’ photographer! It was so bad I have tears in my eyes every time I think about my wedding. =(

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  9. If someone is still reading this post for ideas I have a couple. I never did the wedding thing but had nice parties after- less formal and still fun. For my daughter’s wedding I learned a couple of things- the coordinator for the day is a great idea…I had to run around at the last minute and some things did not get done right….we had a Chef to put things together I had made but he didn’t listen- I made 100 loaves of cruty french bread to go with the antipasto and he didn’t warm it and serve…it was really needed, people had to wait too long for the main food.

    Also at the end of the evening no one was planned to ahead take everything down, clean, etc. The groom’s family did and were mad and got mad at my Ex who got madder – it was not pretty. There are so many things to learn when you have a Wedding, get help if you can.

  10. Does anyone have opinions on NOT having bridesmaids/groomsmen? I have never wanted that, which makes me feel kind of awful because I love my friends… Opinions please!

  11. – no attendants, less stress, loved it
    – my dress was amazing, even though it was more formal than i originally planned and was probably too formal for the wedding I ended up having
    – did my own makeup after many sessions and study at various department store counters. I did great but spent a lot of time on the prep.
    – got my hair done by a wonderful lady, we did a trial run which was perfect, and I should have shown her the picture of the trial because I was less of a fan of the day-of version!
    – guest list: fewer coworkers, more friend-friends. our wedding was right before we moved out of state and we were thinking of it as a going away bash and wedding, but guest-wise it was more wedding (and a little gift-seeking, now that I think about it) and less bash.
    – on the bash note, more dancing! I shoulda got a real DJ instead of getting a friend-who-has-DJ’d to play from a set of pre-selected songs off our own collections. We’re a little eccentric with our music, so I might have had more dancers if there was more recognizable music
    – we had hearty appetizers, not proper dinner. I still would go this route, but had more food & more variety, and had more of it myself.
    – set an expectation for husband and I to spend some more time together at the reception, we only danced together at the first dance (which was last-minute, he insisted on no first dance because he’s shy and not much of a dancer, then I panicked and made him dance with me so that other people would be comfortable getting up and dancing) and we hardly saw each other the rest of the time because I was trying to get people on the dance floor and he was having a heart-to-heart with a friend in a back room.
    – maybe put a little flourish into the ceremony, it was all talking and about 6 minutes long. we did have unique vows, which DH messed up on a little bit (and I don’t regret at all, it got a great laugh and one of our best pics is the moment afterward)
    – would probably go for videographer, because you get all caught up and end up missing a lot

  12. Snow flows over a quiet village cheap wow gold; Doves fly across a gloomy sky.Two names are carved deep on a birch; They promised to stay in love all their life.One day war broke out in their homeland.The lad picked up a gun to go to the front.“Don’t worry for me,sweetheart.”
    “Wait for me in the birch wood.”he said.Doves are still flying across the same gloomy sky.

  13. haven’t been married! but I just love the Kennedy wedding pictures, such a sad story in so many way. Your wedding pictures are lovely and very timeless I think.

    As a bridesmaid though I’d say I’d touch up my make up before pictures! (vain) and totally with you on the shoe front!

  14. A few things I would have changed:
    1. I wouldn’t have procrastinated and left the program (and assembly) until the last minute. So stressful!
    2. We didn’t have assigned seating since it was a buffet but we majorly messed up and didn’t have reserved tables for our families. I have awful memories of my grandparents cramped in a corner with a bad view. So sad.
    3. I would have gotten my dress fitted. I thought it fit well and wanted to save the expense but it ended up looking too big in the chest area.
    4. Finally I would have had a videographer to capture our vows, friends/families, and my Dad’s speech. He passed away almost 2 years ago and I would give anything to listen to that speech again.
    Overall everything worked out and we walked away as a married couple as planned!

  15. I wouldn’t have attendants (those friends would have been helpful and supportive anyway without the matching red silk dresses), I wouldn’t wear a wedding dress, and I would have made my playlist crazier. Other than that, my wedding was exactly what I wanted: it was a simple thing at B&B on a lake, one of my best friends played music and then we played David Bowie for the recessional and at the reception, and we had cheese and cake and wine. It was great. :)

  16. HP says...

    ps. I should also mention that the friend who made sure we had a car was a single dude!

    Also, we’re both HUGE music people but by the time we got to choosing our song and our father-daughter mother-son dance song we were burnt out and just got the DJ to play some songs that really meant nothing to us. Wish we had concentrated on that more.

  17. HP says...

    I’m extremely happy with the man, my hair, the flowers, the professional photos and the fact that we did have a video done.

    I would change a lot though.
    – The video was done by a friend of my mom’s and he set some of it to music. The song? Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne (“She’s like so whatever, You could do so much better”) – WHAT?
    – Also, I would not have bridesmaids – they made everything a struggle for months and were only concerned about themselves. I still look back and feel like they ruined the day for me.
    – I would’ve prepared a full speech ahead of time, instead of just jotting down a list of names to thank – it’s hard to find the words when you’re up there.
    – I would’ve liked to have someone looking out for me – collecting all of the notes and items guests were giving me, and ensuring the servers didn’t clear my courses before I’d had a chance to eat anything. My aunt gave me a copy of the grace she said and the servers cleared it away or something. I’m too embarrassed to ask for another copy.
    – I might not have assigned the seating or would’ve done a better job/cared more about the dynamic at each table.
    – Would have gone home that night instead of to a hotel. We paid a lot for a room at a swanky place where the shower didn’t work and we were only there for 6 hours as we had to run home to host a BBQ for the out-of-towners and close friends – wish that had been the real party – it was SO much more fun.

    The best little thing I remember:
    – When one of my friends stayed to the very end and ensured we had a cab to our hotel and paid for it in advance.

  18. We had an extremely laid back, chill wedding that turned into a serious dance sesh at the end. Totally bad ass wedding, but the laid back, cool vibe resulted in 90% of our guests smoking pot in the bathroom or out on the porch throughout the reception. We had 200 guests………lol. Thankfully my conservative parents let loose and were to busy being drunk dance machines to notice it!!! HAHA!

  19. I would have picked a local florist since they charged a lot let And ours left a lot to desire, and I would have figured out how to dim the lights come night time..other than that, nothing =)

  20. 1. Wish I would have had alcohol at my wedding (it wouldn’t have gone over well with some family members).

    2. I would have not used the tacky streamers I chose for the send-off and used sparklers instead!

    3. I would have cut most of the guest list… there were a lot of people I had never seen in my life before!

  21. I loved my wedding! I would do a smaller venue but keep everything else. I want it all just in a smaller place, probably our favourite restaurant/bar.

  22. My husband and I are both photographers who had been recently shooting for a local wedding photographer. He offered to shoot our wedding for free, so we were definitely up for that. I’ve always been in love with photography, it is my career and passion, and all I wanted was to have a quaint, cozy backyard wedding with close friends and family. And most importantly, I just wanted beautiful photos. I made all my table decorations by hand, everything was Pride & Prejudice inspired (like the big white ball from the movie). I SO regret letting my mother in-law send out the invites, because she then told later that instead of about 35 close friends and family, she had invited all of HER friends, which put the list of people to above 100. Then I didn’t have enough money to buy all the lovely white chairs and white lace tablecloths for the outdoor reception, so we had to get rolls of plastic table clothes and cut them to size, duck tape them down, and we ended up with BROWN plastic chairs that they managed to get for free. We couldn’t do the gourmet dishes I wanted, so they got pasta catered. It turned out horrible, of course. Not that it mattered, cause the only thing I ate the whole day was maybe one bite of each thing, and a sip or two of wine. I was so distracted the whole time. What made it worse was our photographer “boss” had been shooting like a mad man, and we thought we had some great moments captured. It turns out that all his gorgeous previous wedding photos he had on his website were all shot by OTHER talented photographers he hired. And our photos were so bad that kids from the audience with iphones took better photos. I was and still am devastated. We haven’t printed, uploaded, or framed even one of our photos from that day. And I pretty much regret most of the day and what happened, except the part where we said “I do”. Because I know that’s all that matters! But being a wedding/fashion photographer, I just wince when I think of the disaster.

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  24. Rented a freaking photo booth!!! Not wear sunglasses walking down the aisle (I looked mean and you couldn’t see how happy I was) and stored our wedding cake in the hotel fridge. We left it in our honeymoon suite and ants devoured it. I am hoping to get my do-over on one of our anniversaries to re-new our vows.

  25. Also, when my husband was the best man at his friend’s wedding and it came time to give his unplanned speech, one of his lines was, in an Al Sharpton sort of way, “Let Jesus rain down upon you!”

    That should make anyone with speech regret feel better.

  26. Like a few others have said, little regrets are for vow renewals! Our wedding was pretty laid back and small. One regret was that I wish we’d been able to invite a few more people, but we had a numbers restriction. Also, and this is random, I had planned for milk to be served with our cake for everyone (since the hubs can’t have cake without it) and I completely forgot about it!

  27. Our wedding as a celebration (the dress, the party, etc.) I would not change at all! But I would make sure that our families would not ruin the day for us — sadly, as it has happened. That means: I would not ask my mo to be the wedding planner, for instance…

  28. Oh my gosh – we had a cheese cake!
    Since we had two big celebrations a couple of months apart, for the second one, we didn’t feel the need for another tiered wedding cake – so a while after dinner we rolled out a cheese course with a tiered cheese cake!
    http://www.lindisima.se/wedding/costa-smeralda-wedding/

    I also wish we had done speeches to each other…

  29. I’m getting remarried in two weeks and I love getting the chance to plan another wedding knowing what I know now (plus having Pinterest makes it so much easier!) My first wedding (in 2007) was large, fairly traditional, and expensive. The biggest change this time around is size, and I can’t emphasize that smaller is so much better when it comes to weddings. My biggest regret was how little time I had to talk to my guests and I didn’t want to repeat that.

    We’re doing it all in my parents’ back yard and keeping everything casual and homemade. There are things that I would never skimp on and that’s the photography, food and wine:)

  30. Our one big regret, we forgot to prepare a list of people to have our picture taken with. The result being we had hardly any posed pictures with our families! Luckily they all figure throughout our albums, but I periodically kick myself when I think of the beautiful photos we *could* have had. That said, we did do the best we could, and this is even with an amazing wedding planner, so I suppose it just was not meant to be!

    xoxo PARIS BEE kids blog

  31. One of the nice things about getting married a second time is that you get a chance to do exactly this (well, not exactly, usually it’s not to the same person)! :) My first wedding was super traditional, stressful to plan, and exhausting, and when it came time for me to get married again, I would have rather had my wisdom teeth out again than go through all of that a second time.

    My first wedding:
    -traditional wedding dress and white veil
    -about 150 people (almost everyone we invited came!)
    -fancy invitations (cost us about $1000)
    -bridesmaids and groomsmen
    -fully catered buffet from an annoyingly superstitious caterer
    -full wedding cake
    -30 minute ceremony in a church with walking down the aisle, readings, prayer etc. service was conducted by a pastor we didn’t know
    -tons of fancy flowers from a local florist
    -no drinks
    -held in an out of town location
    -had to get ready in the sunday school room of the church
    -paid a ton of money for a pro photographer who took 2 years to get us our pictures

    My second wedding (which was absolutely perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing):

    -green dress that I had made for me, cost about 1/5 of my original wedding dress and was way more comfy
    -made a lace wedding stole for myself
    -held it in a private room in a local restaurant
    -5 minute service was conducted by our best friend and was nonreligious (wrote our own very straightforward, modern vows)
    -20 guests
    -food was a small menu of the restaurant fare that I put together, and was AMAZING. restaurant desserts instead of cake since neither of us really get into cake.
    -full bar and some wines I selected
    -made the invitations myself online, $15 total and $10 for custom stamps
    -got ready at our hotel in comfort and leisure and drove ourselves down the street to the restaurant
    -got the flowers from our local farmer’s market from a very charming local grower
    -next door neighbor (who is a photographer) did the pictures

    I’m glad I had my first wedding in the sense that both sets of grandparents were there (they’re all gone now) and a lot of relatives came that I never see. But I would not change one thing about my second wedding, it was absolutely perfect and when it was over we all agreed that we wanted to go back and do it over again.

  32. I would have spent the money on a professional photographer rather than use my brother. He’d never done a wedding before so the pictures didin’t turn out too well. Fortunately, a few years later we became acquainted with a very talented photographer who did a beautiful session for us in our wedding clothes.
    I would also have had the groomsmen get nicer clothes. We just had them get some dress pants, a shirt and a tie. Unfortunately, the style we suggested didn’t fit some of the guys too well and they didn’t say anything because they didn’t want to cause a fuss. The result was kind of “fat-guy-in-a-little coat.” The groomsmen pictures were super awkward.
    Otherwise, our wedding was wonderful and I loved every part of it.

  33. I would have spent the money on a professional photographer rather than use my brother. He’d never done a wedding before so the pictures didin’t turn out too well. Fortunately, a few years later we became acquainted with a very talented photographer who did a beautiful session for us in our wedding clothes.
    I would also have had the groomsmen get nicer clothes. We just had them get some dress pants, a shirt and a tie. Unfortunately, the style we suggested didn’t fit some of the guys too well and they didn’t say anything because they didn’t want to cause a fuss. The result was kind of “fat-guy-in-a-little coat.” The groomsmen pictures were super awkward.
    Otherwise, our wedding was wonderful and I loved every part of it.

  34. This is a fascinating question, and one I have been thinking about! If I could do it all over again I would..

    * requested no gifts (I hated, dreaded, writing thank you notes)
    * Worn a different dress (I wore a white bridesmaid dress, but didn’t like it very much. Looking back I should have bought the dress I wanted even if it were a little more tan colored, to be even less formal OR even to wear a very wedding-ish dress)
    * I would have picked a different caterer and gotten our agreements down on paper. At the end of the wedding they would not agree to clean up, which was supposed to be a part of their package. Luckily, friends and family happily helped out to clean up the space
    * I would have chosen a professional photographer, instead of a friend who does great nature shots and wanted to break into wedding and engagement photography for cheap. 1.5 years later no one has seen our photos because I’m too embarassed to share them.
    * I would have done my hair differently and done a practice run, instead of deciding the day of

  35. I abselutely loved my wedding and would do it all the same again. Off course being such a perfectionest, I would probably have a longer reception and my hair. I didin’t have the best hair day, but I was so relaxed and happy that day that it didn’t matter. Looking at pictures now, wish that I had picked up my hair. Everything else was just majical and perfect.

  36. these comments are so fascinating. interesting to see what people loved and learned during the process. weddings are so intense! it’s kind of a bummer you only do it once, haha:)

  37. Make the “thank you” speech list ahead of time! I left out some vitally important people and still feel terrible about it. There are a few things I’d do differently, however, in the end people kept saying how much they enjoyed it and I myself had an amazing time which is really all that matters: I got to marry the best dude around and people remember it!