Real Brides (and Grooms!) Confess Their Biggest Wedding Planning Mistakes

Every bride has something she'd do over—if she could. Here, some hard-won wisdom from the recently married.
By: 
Michele Bender

When you're planning a wedding, you try to think of everything. You go over the details until you’re absolutely sure you’ve covered all your bases. You even work on developing a relaxed attitude toward those inevitable minor glitches — the kind that will make warm, funny stories later on. But then there are the things that even the most well-organized bride and groom get wrong and would change if they could. Their true confessions — and hard-won wisdom — may help you avoid making some bridal blunders of your own. 

Money Doesn't Buy Happiness
“If I could do it over, I wouldn’t assume that a vendor who charges top dollar is necessarily the best choice. My high-priced florist and band were awful: The band didn’t sing the songs on our list, and the florist, who was said to be a ‘celebrity floral designer,’ skipped meetings and showed up two hours late for setup. Meanwhile, the wedding coordinator and makeup guy I found on craigslist.com were fabulous—and they charged very reasonable rates.” —Michelle, New York, NY

ballroom wedding
Photo Credit: Javier Gomez Studio

Don't Overdo the Dieting
“I’d been dieting like a crazy person for three months, and then I was so nervous and excited that I barely ate anything the four days before the wedding. When I put on my dress, it hung on me like drapery— even though I’d had a final fitting just a week before. In the photos, the dress actually shows a gap in the back. I was mortified when I saw them!" —Loryn, Westport, CT

Don't Expect a Cakewalk 
“My cake didn’t have the icing that I ordered, and it was too small to feed all my guests. My mistake was that I didn’t ask for references from the baker. I just didn’t think the cake was such a big deal, and I trusted that he would produce what we had discussed. My advice is to get references and call them. I didn’t find out until it was too late that a lot of people had been unhappy with this baker’s work.” —Lindy, Johnstown, PA 

wedding cake monogram
Photo Credit: Long's Photography

Get Wedding Photos to Friends and Family—Pronto
“I had a few prints of my wedding pictures made for us and our parents. I got as far as having friends and family mark the prints they wanted, but I didn’t follow through. I’d also wanted to make a scrapbook, but that fell by the wayside. Now I wish I had that scrapbook! My advice is to order reprints a few days after you get your pictures back, and make your scrapbook, pronto. Otherwise, you never will.” —Mandie, Morristown, NJ  

Give 'Em a Schedule 
“I should have had an itinerary written up for the bridal party, listing the exact times when certain key things, like toasts, dances and cake-cutting, would happen. Because I didn’t do that and was just winging it, my brother was nowhere to be found during the bridal-party couple dance. Everyone went looking for him, but he’d gone outside to smoke and he missed it.” —Mandie

bridesmaids and groomsmen
Photo courtesy of Bliss Events

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