I Wish I'd Known

Most newlyweds admit that there’s one, or maybe two, things they’d do over, if they could. Here, some recent brides and grooms share their wisdom so you won’t have to share the pain.

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 confessions—and hard-won wisdom—may help you avoid making some exasperating 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 with me 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 Madhok, New York, NY.
Wedding: September 15, 2005

Don’t overdo the dieting

“I lost too much weight. 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.”

—Loryn Franco, Westport, CT.
Wedding: February 22, 2003

Check your makeup

“I should have had digital photos taken of myself at my preliminary makeup session. At the time I thought my makeup looked great, but when I got my professional wedding photos back, my eyeshadow showed up glittery and metallic in the camera’s flash. As a result, I hate all of my wedding pictures. If I’d taken digital photos beforehand, I could have had my makeup artist make the necessary changes.”

—Loryn Franco

Be attentive to your guests

“Many of our guests traveled a long distance to attend the wedding, but I only spoke to them for a minute or two in passing, or not at all. I wish I had made a concerted effort to spend five minutes with everyone at the wedding and visit each table in an organized fashion. I mainly talked to people who approached me or were out on the dance floor with us. It meant a lot to me that everyone came to share our day, but I realized later that some of them didn’t know that because I didn’t take the time to talk to them.”

—Lauren Auerbach, New York, NY.
Wedding: August 1, 2003