Buyer’s regret…we’ve all had it! Whether it was over something small like that sweater from target or that new car we probably spent a little too much on, buyer’s regret is something everyone has experienced. Wedding planning can be overwhelming and for those of you who may not be detail oriented or creatively inclined the process can be more stressful than enjoyable. With these wedding day regrets & tips, we hope to maybe reach one of you today and ease a bit of that stress!

We did a poll of married ladies and here it is – a little bit of wisdom from brides who have been there and done that, to you who may be just beginning planning your big day or right in the middle of your engagement. Here are the top wedding day regrets. We aren’t sharing this to slam anyone or anything, we just hope these bride’s wisdom can ease a little of your stress and give you some encouragement.

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1. Feeling Rushed. We heard this one most often – from getting your hair and makeup done early, to taking the time to sit and eat with your new spouse during dinner, to being able to really enjoy your guests and not being felt like you are rushed through an assembly line of greetings, please please please, dont pack too much in! Time is money, we all know that. But we would hate for you to look back on your 4 or 6 hour wedding and realize you didn’t get to enjoy your family who traveled from states away to see you because you were busy trying to get in all those formal dances because the DJ was contracted til 8pm or fit in photos before the next main event was to start.

2. Hire a coordinator; even if its just a day of coordinator! We’ve had many brides tell us they did everything themselves (with the help of friends and family) and it worked out BUT if they could go back, they would’ve absolutely hired a coordinator to worry about the details. These brides said they felt like they were on a time crunch with creating and organizing things and didn’t really get a moment to just relax and enjoy the day because they were juggling so much. You won’t need to stress about where the votives go & you shouldn’t be worrying about the timeline. Let someone else handle that. It’s totally worth it.

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3. Hire a professional photographer. Hire someone whose work you connect with and who you generally enjoy being around.  It may not seem like a high priority but in ten years you are going to want those memories to look back on. The good and the bad, the messy and the pretty, the candid and the romantic and every single moment in between. We’ve had many couples hire us for anniversary photos because they weren’t crazy about their wedding images. Loved their wedding but didn’t at the time prioritize making sure it was documented professionally. On that note, make sure you write out a shot list to make sure everything is covered – think of what moments and images you’d be really upset about missing.

4. EAT! Get your caterer to box you up some food so you have a late night snack for later. Most couples dont get a chance to truly enjoy dinner because they are taking photos or chatting with guests. Even if you do get a chance to sit for a bit and manage to focus long enough to eat something you will realize at the end of the day how hungry you are.

5. Bridal Party. Dont feel obligated to ask someone to stand by you because they asked you to be in their wedding or because you are related to them or your fiance to be is related to them. Have a best friend that’s a guy? Don’t force your spouse to take them on ‘their side’ because it looks a certain way. Have an uneven number? That’s ok too! This is your wedding. Honor those who have really supported you and your relationship, will be there when wedding planning gets tough, and are even willing to help hold your dress when you need to pee!

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6. Have an unplugged ceremony. You know who we are talking about – Uncle Bob or Aunt Kate who mean well, they really do but get all in the way. We actually had a wedding…years ago, where an ‘Uncle Bob’ stood in the center aisle to grab a shot of the couple’s first kiss with his ipad. Sweet of them wanting to capture that…but the professional photo of the first kiss had that person smack dab in the middle of it. We had to recreate the first kiss AFTER the ceremony so we could get a shot of it!

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7. Expect SOMETHING to go wrong…and accept it. No day is perfect. One bride said, “We had so many things happen and half of them I didnt even realize. My dad almost set the house on fire so my mom and dad were late to the church and I couldnt get dressed because of pictures with my mom so I was late… the power went out during our rehearsal… but its our wedding. We laugh about it all now. Expect something to go differently than how you had planned…for example when a fly lands on your husband’s nose as he is saying his vows and he continues reciting them or when your sister forgets his ring, the wedding goes on!” She says now people remember their wedding as the ring and the fly wedding!

8. Don’t stay out too late. (Especially if you are heading out on a honeymoon the next day) A few brides we chatted with mentioned that they had an after party and came home so late it ruined the next few nights because they were so exhausted. We absolutely recommend a good after party if you have a venue that closes a bit earlier but know your limits. It’s ok to let the guests keep the party going without you! Also – it’s a good idea to try to get as much planning done as you can before that final week so that the week/weekend of the wedding you can really use that time to spend time with those out of town loved ones.

9. Go over the songs and events with your DJ before the wedding so that everything runs smoothly! Give the DJ a do not play list, make sure they know how to pronounce everyone’s names correctly, and make sure they have an advance final copy of the timeline! We’ve heard from a handful of brides disappointed in their DJs because they didn’t respect their wishes and weren’t organized. One DJ was so focused on ‘getting the party started’ they played some raunchy and inappropriate songs, and this was at a wedding with a lot of children and elderly guests; that bride and her family were so embarrassed.

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10. DO YOU! From the venue to the guest list, we absolutely wanna encourage you to not do anything on your wedding day (or in planning) to appease someone else. All brides at some point or another have felt the pressure. They felt like they had to do what everyone else wanted or do something because someone else did it or because it was just what you did. And that’s stressful. “If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one.” We know this can be tough – especially when other people are paying for things or when you genuinely want this to be about making everyone feel involved. And to this we say pick your battles. If its something you know you will be hurt you did or did not include, don’t do it. Take the time to have some heart to heart conversations with people, be honest, tell them you need some grace or some space. Sometimes you may have to concede a thing or two but we would absolutely hate if you looked back on your day and realized it wasn’t you at all.

Lovers, at the end of the day please remember that amongst all the planning and the stress ultimately it’s about the marriage not the event. At the end of the day you are marrying your best friend and that is something beautiful indeed! We hope these wedding day regrets & tips have been and will be helpful!

Andrew & Tianna

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Andrew & Tianna Photography | Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Richmond, & Washington DC Fine Art Engagement, Anniversary &Wedding Photographers