5 Things I Would Change About My Wedding
Today I’m sharing a few things I would change about my wedding if I could go back!
When I was planning my wedding six years ago, I wanted the day to be celebration of who my husband and I were at that moment. We were a young couple, only 23 at the time, and I didn’t want to feel like I was pretending to be someone else on my wedding day. I just wanted to feel comfortable and have fun with my new husband, family, and friends. Thankfully, we accomplished that goal and put together a l0w-key and budget-friendly wedding, and I think everyone in attendance had a great time at the event.
With that being said, there are quite a few things I’d change about my wedding if I had the chance to start the planning process all over again. Bridal magazines, Pinterest, and wedding blogs can hypnotize you with their breathtaking-details, but as someone who’s already had her wedding day, I can tell you that there are some things that look beautiful in a photograph that hold little to no significance on the actual day. Today I’m sharing five things that I’d change about my wedding day if given the chance, so that you and other brides-to-be can learn from my experience and have the most wonderful wedding day possible!
Tips for Brides-to-Be: 5 Things I’d Change About My Wedding Day
1. Incorporate More Family Traditions
As soon as you announce your engagement to your family, you’ll be surprised to hear about all sorts of family wedding traditions that have never been mentioned before. And get ready, because every woman in your family, and I do mean every woman, will have something to say about what you should do on your wedding day. As a naive twenty-three year old who assumed that weddings were the bride and groom’s special day, I literally had no idea that my wedding would be such a significant event for the members of my family.
I didn’t know that my grandparents had bought a mother-of-pearl Bible specifically for my wedding day during a trip to Jerusalem when I was just a baby. I didn’t know that all of the women in my family carried their Bible along with their bouquet as they walked down the wedding aisle. I didn’t know that my mother had slowly collected all of the supplies to hand-make a garter for my wedding day, including something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue, over the past 23 years. I didn’t know because they had been saving those special surprises for me until I was engaged.
Whether you’re planning a modern or traditional wedding, I encourage you to work in as many family traditions and personal details into your wedding day as possible. They seem like small things at the time, but I promise you that they will hold more meaning than you could possibly imagine in the future. I’ve lost my grandparents and my mother since my wedding day, and knowing these small traditions continue to be some of the most memorable moments from my wedding. While you’re planning your wedding, remember that your family has been dreaming about and preparing you for this day your entire life, so it’s not just your day – it’s their day too.
2. Allocate The Budget Differently
I’m a firm believer that it’s possible to have a wonderful wedding day no matter what your budget may be. While we were successful in maintaining our budget throughout the planning process, I would allocate the funds in our budget much differently if I had a chance to re-plan our wedding. Technology and consumer goods have advanced so much in the nearly six years that I’ve gotten married, and it’s now possible to find high-quality, unique wedding items at affordable prices.
I spent weeks searching through bridal boutiques for the perfect dress, but now I think I’d just purchase one of the many beautiful and affordably-priced wedding dresses online. Thanks to Pinterest, my idea for a candy bar, which was a blasphemous idea to even my wedding coordinator at the time, is now commonplace and can be achieved for a fraction of the cost. But do you know what was potentially the worst allocation of money at my wedding? My wedding stationery.
I am someone who’s passionate about paper goods. I’ve always been a lover of fine stationery, and as I was planning my wedding, I drooled over the custom wedding suites designed for brides. Despite having a small wedding, I was determined to have a custom-designed stationery suite created for my wedding, so I searched for months to find the perfect designer and coughed up the cash. At the time, I loved my stationery and thought it was worth every penny, but in today’s world, I know that I could’ve received even more beautiful wedding stationery for a fraction of the cost with Minted.
I recently had the opportunity to re-design my wedding stationery suite with Minted, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed the process. When I planned my wedding, I spent an obscene amount of time and money commissioning custom save-the-dates, invitations, RSVP cards, directions and accommodations cards, and envelopes. While I originally wanted to have menus, place cards, table numbers, and wedding day signs that coordinated with the stationery, I simply ran out of time and money to have them custom-made. With Minted, I was able to design an entire suite of wedding stationery in less than hour for less than the cost of my wedding’s envelopes alone.
Brides-to-be, do yourself a favor and skip the overpriced dresses, stationery, and decor, and invest your money in a high-quality photographer and videographer. After all, what’s the point of having gorgeous wedding details if you can’t preserve them? Plus, in today’s world, there are so many companies like Minted that offer gorgeous, high-quality items for extremely affordable prices.
3. Re-think The Menu
My husband and I are both foodies, so it was important for us to offer our guests a wide-variety of delicious food on our wedding day. We planned a cocktail hour with an assortment of delicious appetizers followed by a sit-down dinner with five options for the entree. We offered our guests an open bar throughout the wedding and wine was offered during dinner. At the close of the events, we had a variety of full-size and mini cupcakes for our guests to enjoy.
The menu sounded heavenly in my mind, but here’s what actually happened. Almost no one ate the appetizers at the cocktail hour because everyone was busy talking and taking pictures. The pricy appetizers were thrown away after the cocktail hour ended. While we offered a wide variety of entree options, everyone ordered the same two items. The waiters brought opened wine bottles to every table at dinner, and at least 50% of the bottles were untouched. We paid for all of the bottles.
I’m telling you my experience not to whine about the price tag of the event, but to let you know what does and doesn’t matter at your wedding. If I were to re-plan my menu, I’d skip or at least limit the amount of appetizers at the cocktail hour, reduce the offered entree options (a nice venue will make accommodations for dietary restrictions), and stick to a limited bar offering only a few options. These changes would have drastically reduced the food and beverage bill, and our guests would’ve had an identical experience.
Keep in mind that this tip doesn’t only relate to food. For every aspect of your wedding, scale down on what you think you need. If you’re thinking of 3 favors, opt for one. If you’re hoping to have five different activities, just go with one or two. Your guests will be extremely busy and entertained at your wedding, so there’s no need to overwhelm them with choices. Again, I’d invest the saved money into hiring your photographer and videographer. If you have extra money, invest it in a day-of wedding coordinator or a wedding planner.
4. Choose a classic aesthetic over trendy details.
I was 23 when I got married, so let’s just say my personal style wasn’t fully refined. I nearly chose a classic white, gold, and blush pink wedding palette, but my 23-year-old personality won in the end, and we went with hot pink and bright blue. I know, I know. In hindsight, it’s hilarious, but at the time, I thought I was extremely trendy.
Trust me, always choose classic details over what’s trending at the time of your wedding. When you look back at 80s fashion ads, you cringe at the crimped hair, blue eyeshadow and neon clothing. In contrast, when you look at movies set in the 40s and 50s, the timeless elegance and classic style of the stars still holds up today. You will look back at your wedding photos for the rest of your life, so trust me, you want to love every detail instead of cringing with embarrassment over the color palette.
When I had the chance to re-design my wedding stationery with Minted, I chose a simple design accented with luxurious gold foil. The mix of classic fonts, romantic calligraphy, and shining gold foil are timelessly elegant, and they look so much more expensive than my hot pink and blue wedding invitations that were triple the price. Plus, I am confident that I could look back at this wedding stationery suite in fifty years and be happy with my decision.
No matter your age, I encourage you to choose classic designs for your wedding. You will feel comfortable at your wedding, and you will be confident in your decisions for years to come.
5. Choose Time-Saving Services
After being a bridesmaid, bride, and a daughter-of-the-groom, I can safely say that every task in your wedding will take approximately four times longer than you think it will. When you hear what each individual service costs, you might be taken aback at the price tag, but keep in mind that you aren’t just paying for the actual goods themselves. You’re paying for the vendors time, experience, and connections. There are so many things that I tried to DIY at our wedding to save money, and it ultimately cost me the same amount of money and took away dozens of hours away from myself and my family members.
For example, when I ran out of money in my wedding stationery budget, I decided to create DIY dinner menus, place cards, escort cards, table menus, and ceremony programs. It took me weeks, if not months, to finalize all of the designs, and then I had to print and hand assemble all of the items. When I think back to how much the cardstock, ink, and print cost me – let alone the amount of time my family and I spent folding, cutting, and assembling, the costs in time, money, and stress far outweighed what I would have paid from a professional vendor.
If I had the chance to re-plan my wedding, I’d invest in time-saving services that allowed me to spend less time stressing and working and more time enjoying the process with my family. For example, when I recently designed wedding stationery on Minted.com, I was able to design an entire suite of stationery in less than an hour for a fraction of what I paid my stationery design. My order was professionally printed, and I received my order in no time at all.
Plus, they have amazing options that would have saved dozens of hours in my wedding planning process. They will professionally print all of your wedding guests’ addresses on your invitations, and you can upload the guest list to have all of your escort and place cards printed for your event. Those two tasks alone took my husband and I several days to finish. By the way, both of these options are FREE with your order. The designs they offer are absolutely stunning, and you can also get your stationery customized to your exact specifications.
They offer custom illustrations and maps along with literally every piece of stationery needed for your wedding from bridal shower invitations to custom stamps. Whatever your stationery dream may be, Minted can make it happen. Plus, for some designs, you can save 10% off your order when you have the name of the artist who designed your stationery printed on the back of your items. I chose the Eloquence Gold-Foiled Wedding Suite for today’s post, and I save 10% off most of my order using easy option.
Whether you opt to use Minted for your wedding stationery or choose a florist over doing the flowers yourself, I promise you that it is worth the investment. At the end of the day, anything that takes stress of your and your family’s plate leading up to and on the day of the wedding is worth the money. DIY projects can be fun, but in my experience, they always turn out to be a lot more time-consuming, stressful, and expensive than you think they will be.
You want to be relaxed, happy, and care-free on your wedding day – not staying up all night trying to finish assembling bouquets or wedding favors. That way, you and your family can soak in all of the special little moments on your wedding day. Your mother can only help you put your veil on once, and your father won’t have another chance for a father-daughter dance. Spend your time with your loved ones and not stressing over wedding details.
Even though I’d change a few things about my wedding if given the chance, I wouldn’t trade the moments from that day for anything in the world. Your wedding day goes by in the blink of an eye, and all of the little details that stress you out during wedding planning don’t matter when the time actually comes. As long as you’re surrounded by your loved ones, you will have a beautiful event.