We asked 15 local brides to dish on the one thing they would change about their big day and were pleasantly surprised to find that the local Wisconsin/Illinois brides we talked to had similar regrets about their wedding. Here’s the top six:
1. “We didn’t meet our vendors until the day of the wedding”
We found in our bride conversations that most vendors (DJs, photographers, etc) didn’t request to meet couples in advance which proved disastrous for some.
“Our DJ was recommended by a friend so we thought it was a safe choice. However not only was he extremely late, but he also never played any of the songs we had sent him in advance to play. If we had met him we would’ve known how unprofessional he was right away.” — Tiffany, Afton
“I wish I would have spoke up to my photographer and not wasted time with the style/poses that he wanted us to do. Some photos looked like 90s glamour shots, he didn’t care what we wanted, he just did what he wanted.” — Christina, Chicago suburbs
The brides we talked to who LOVED their vendors all had one common factor: they met with them in advance. One bride said their vendor even had them complete a survey covering questions about their personalities, what specific songs they wanted to play, and even how much they wanted the DJ to interact with guests. Ask to meet with them, it’ll be worth your time!
Remember: most wedding vendors are small businesses and they truly want you to be happy. And it makes sense, if you love your photos you will share them with everyone, word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful (and free) advertising they can get! Just remember to provide constructive criticism and that they take great pride in their work.
2. “I only cared how my dress looked on me, I didn’t think about how comfortable it would be to wear for a full day.”
A few brides complained that their dresses were either too elaborate or like Shannon from Janesville encountered:
I would have decided where we were getting married before I bought my dress. My dress was big and heavy, perfect for a Wisconsin wedding...but then we decided to get married in Jamaica.”
Buying a wedding dress is one of the more exciting parts of being newly engaged. You figure it’s one thing you can get crossed off the list right away. But consider a few things before making your purchase:
Where will your wedding take place? Will it be indoors or outdoors?
Get your wedding date on the calendar! Is it the dead of winter or middle of summer?
Does your weight fluctuate? Alterations can be very expensive and oftentimes can be avoidable if planning appropriately.
3. “I couldn't stop adding to my guest list!”
Bigger is not always better. Brides commented that these two reasons were why they wish they would’ve gone for a more intimate celebration:
They blew their budget because they kept adding people to their guest list.
They never had any time to really enjoy the day because they felt obligated to socialize equally with everyone.
Believe it or not, most people these days understand the massive costs involved with a wedding. Don’t feel guilty for not inviting your hairstylist, dog-walker, or your third cousin who you haven’t seen in ten years!
4. “I regret not having everything at one location to make things easier on our guests”
Although it seems untraditional, many couples are opting to consolidate their wedding into one location. More and more local vendors, such as Ironworks Hotel and Beloit Club, will gladly incorporate a beautiful ceremony (indoors or outdoors) into your wedding package. This ultimately leaves you with one main contact person for everything rather than several—so less stress and time spent organizing!
Some couples even said they saved money by combining all the festivities into one place. Your out of town guests will especially thank you because not only do they not have to worry about getting lost but if you pick a hotel they’ll also have a place to rest their head that night!
Oh and you may be able to forgo the cost of a limo—that could save you over $1,200!
5. “I TRIED TO DIY too much!”
With the rise of Pinterest it’s become commonplace to DIY your wedding. Some projects are simple and can be done in advance like chalk signs, wedding favors, etc. Others (like fresh flower bouquets) have to be done immediately before the wedding, raising the potential for disaster. Several brides found that the little money they saved by DIY-ing wasn’t worth it with the time and headaches they went through.
One bride found a great deal online for fresh flowers, but when they were delivered none of them were blooming. So she found herself steaming the flowers in her shower to get them to bloom the day before her wedding! Check out our blog for more on how to avoid disaster: “Wedding Flowers: Don’t be a DIY Victim”
6. “I thought it was perfect, but ask my wedding planner!”
Although there were only a couple brides, those who hired a wedding planner expressed the most satisfaction with their special day. What may seem like a superfluous cost, it paid for itself with how much time and stress the brides said they saved.
Oftentimes wedding planners are not as “expensive” as you may think. Some are even able to secure special pricing with other vendors you need, which will save you money in the end. We recommend local wedding planner White Orchid Weddings, give them a call and see how they can help!