The Edition: No. 121

Aug 13, 2019

Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others. — Amelia Earhart

Erred. Was glamorizing mistakes, a mistake?

Packed. These travel cubes are completely life changing.

Bedtime. Having trouble sleeping? Put down the wine (earlier).

Sold. Friends and Family at Gap. Buying this dress and this $10 striped tee.

Punctual. This Ask a Boss about arriving “on time” flooded my group chat.

Covered. This striped caftan and cotton tunic ($30!) are the perfect swim cover-ups.

Spendy. Being frugal is not the same thing as being cheap.

Adorned. My wedding earrings are simple, pretty, and won’t smash the bank.

Questioned.  “So tell me about yourself…”

Lightened. A serum that works for dark marks and scars.

Helped. How to find the right therapist for you.

20 days. That is how long I have to finish all of the things on the list for the wedding.  So this week, I took some time off and am planning to be done by Saturday night.

As I’m finishing up the last of everything — escort cards, menus, signage — I wanted to ask one last wedding question:  What was the one thing at your wedding that you didn’t do that you wish you’d done?  I’m skipping a lot of the traditional/popular things — bouquet toss, first look, writing our own vows — and I’m wondering if I might be missing something important.  Can’t wait to read your answers.

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  1. Morgan says:

    I bought the Ordinary serum and haven’t noticed an improvement with my dark marks. How long did you have to use it before you started to see a difference?

  2. Julia Navawongse says:

    Eat! I had two weddings (parents in two countries) with what I’m told was amazing food. In both cases I was too distracted to enjoy it. At least for the second one, the caterer packed a really nice ‘to go’ basket for us. I highly recommend you ask for that. Congratulations!

  3. Emily says:

    A ‘thank you for coming’ speech during the reception.

    My husband and I just… forgot to. Literally as we were walking out of the venue we thought, ‘Man, we wish we could have just taken a minute to say, ‘Thank you all so much for coming’ today.

  4. megan says:

    Make sure to get a great picture with your mom. Everything is about the bride and the dad, and then the bride and groom. I don’t have a single picture of me and my mom by ourselves looking at the camera. I do have some of us dancing and her putting on my garter which I love, but it still breaks my heart. I have several friends that this has happened to as well! You will be a gorgeous bride!

    • Amy says:

      Agree! And pictures with anyone else that may be important to you. Similarly to Megan, I didn’t get one on one pictures with each of my bridesmaids and several family members that I really wish I had now. Those would have been special for thank yous/birthdays/just because.

      On another note, please tell me more about the travel cubes and how they’ve changed your life! At a glance, they seem unnecessary [to me], so please tell me more!

      • Anna says:

        I have a pair of compression packing cubes that are pretty awesome. Eagle Creek seems to make the best ones, but I got an off brand from Amazon: They don’t suck air out or anything like those plastic space saver bags; they just smush everything down, so it’s more compact. I mostly travel with a wheeled duffel style bag and it makes it so much easier to keep things organized and pack more into the bag. Plus, it’s so much easier to find things when everything has it’s place as opposed to a whole jumble of stuff (even if I pack things in an organized way, once I start pulling stuff out or looking for things, it all becomes a jumble). It’s also nice when I get to my destination to just take out the cubes and lay them out instead of living out of the suitcase (I don’t unpack if I’m only going to be somewhere for two or three days).

        • Jill says:

          Completely agree that the cubes make it easier to find things short of unpacking. I’m not rooting throughly whole suitcase, looking for a pair of socks.

  5. Alexis says:

    We couldn’t afford a videographer. In hindsight, I really wish we’d had someone just record the actual ceremony. Even if it was only on their iphone. We wrote our own vows, so maybe that’s part of it. But I’d love to be able to go back and watch the actual moment. And I regret that we don’t have it.

  6. JTM says:

    What I wish we’d found the money for was a videographer -we hired great photographers and figured as long as we had great photos from our wedding, we’d be happy. Now almost 5 years later, I so wish I could go back and see our ceremony, or rewatch the heartfelt toast from my husband’s best man that led to everyone crying including my husband. The day just goes by so fast, and while I didn’t expect to want to relive/rewatch my wedding, I wish I’d given myself the opportunity to do so.

    • Lauren says:

      My husband feels the same way. Abra- if you didn’t plan for a videographer( which is fine!) at least have a friend video all the toasts and the first dances with an iPhone. At least you’ll have them to watch.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    A friend sent a thank you email with links to pics from the wedding weekend when she arrived home from her honeymoon. It was so gracious and things get so crazy the day of that you forget to thank your friends/family that have helped you.

    I also worked with a student photographer to get a cheaper rate – our pics were gorgeous and we got to keep all of our proofs, but I wish that I had “splurged” to make the wedding album. I did one myself and it’s wonderful, but the professionally done ones are a step above what you can do with kodak galery.

    Have so much fun.

  8. Jessica says:

    Literally the only thing I regret is not having a videographer, like others have mentioned. We paid for a great photographer and thought that would be sufficient but, and looking back at the pictures are priceless, but I wish we would have found it in the budget, or even added to it, to pay for a videographer.

  9. Samara Gerson says:

    If possible, have the caterer pull aside 2 to-go servings of the main course of food for you and your husband, so you can savor the taste the next day.

  10. Ginny says:

    We planned our wedding in 2 months, so we didn’t do a lot of the traditional things (no bouquet toss, no bridesmaids or groomsmen, no first dance, etc). We had a very tiny ceremony in my parents’ garden and then a larger party the next day at a local venue. One thing I really wished we had done was have a guest book that asked our guests to write down their address. We told everyone “no gifts”, and some gave something and some didn’t, but we want to send everyone a note of thanks for coming regardless, and now we are faced with having to write to everyone by email and ask for their mailing address…arg

  11. Jenna says:

    Thought about taking communion but decided it wasn’t worth trying to coordinate. Kinda wish I had trying to make it work.

    I second the picture comment as well. Even though I had a shot list given to the photographers before , they arrived late and there are very few pictures of my husband’s family. I should have sent a bridesmaid or family member to make sure they were on the ball.

    I had our vows printed on card stock that we read from (instead of repeating them). I wish I had someone from Etsy write them in fancy calligraphy so that I could have framed and used in our home.

  12. Carly says:

    On theme with some of the other comments, I wish I would have thought to ask a friend or family member to record my man-of-honor’s speech, even just on an iPhone. My husband’s best man’s wife recorded his speech, and it was wonderful to be able to hear it again. Everything goes by so quickly during your wedding, and it’s easy to miss some of the loveliest sentiments your friends and family share during their speeches.

  13. Jenna says:

    Also videographer. I paid for some “DIY wedding video” where you rent cameras and people can upload videos from their phones. Was a complete waste of money and the video turned out terrible. But I didn’t want people to be videoing from their phones the entire night so I didn’t really publicize it.

  14. karen says:

    Instead of a guest book, we had a large picture frame mat we had everyone sign. People left lovely comments and well wishes that I walk past every day. Instead of a photo of us, we put a drawing that was used on the invitation in it.

  15. Katie says:

    A few thoughts:
    1. We didn’t want to pay for a videographer but had a relative film the ceremony with his nicer camera and tripod. It was worth the effort.
    2. I spent a little more to upgrade size of my bouquet and bridesmaids’ bouquets. It was worth it. (Though I didn’t pay for floral centerpieces.)

  16. Kelsey says:

    Similar to what others have said, I really wish we had spent the extra money to hire a videographer. Our photos are lovely, but I wish I could rewatch our ceremony, speeches and dancing. The day flies by and I wish I could relive those moments.

  17. Jules says:

    I skipped ALL THE TOASTS AND SPEECHES and it was the BEST THING EVER. Instead- if anyone wanted to say something, they told us in person, privately, which was wayyy more nice.
    I LOATHE wedding speeches. Not one single person missed it. OK that wasn’t the question… what did I miss…? hmmm….

    I wish I’d gotten my dress dry cleaned the day after so that I could potentially resell it. I waited too long and the stains totally settled. My friend had the same ‘mistake’ so she did a trash the dress photoshoot and threw it away.

    • Aine says:

      YES! YES! YES! We skipped the speeches bit too- my husband just did a very brief thanks for coming and then we were on our way…. I hate when speeches drag on and on and everyone is starving/bored ! Plus the pressure on people having to give speeches!

    • Anna says:

      I have a friend who did all the speeches the night before at the rehearsal dinner. I’ve heard some good, entertaining father of the bride speeches, but a lot of people just aren’t good at giving speeches even if they aren’t shy or uncomfortable about it. No need to make them get up there just because it’s tradition.

      • jules says:

        yup! Plus, after years of going to weddings…. honestl,y ALL of the speeches are basically carbon copies of each other, plus or minus a few jokes. I can’t remember a single one that sticks out.

        Oh and the slideshows. There is something about slideshows I abhor. It brings me a deep weird rage.

  18. Alex says:

    So this actually isn’t the one thing I wish I had done at my wedding, but the one thing my dad wishes he had been a part of. I wanted to skip a bunch of the traditional/popular stuff too, like bouquet toss, toasts and cake cutting. My to be mother in law was very sad that we weren’t going to have a cake cutting, so we did it on the side during dinner and didn’t announce it. I wanted to maximize dancing time! Turns out, my dad was super sad he wasn’t a part of it… So my suggestion is ask the few people that really mean the world to you what they want to be a part of. You choose which people you ask and whether it makes sense to have at your wedding, but to this day I wish I had asked both my parents what they wanted out of the day.

  19. Jaimee says:

    We did not have a videographer and it was a huge mistake. We never ever look at our wedding pictures. If we had a video I think we would probably look at it al least once a year. I am so sad my kids will never know what our wedding was like. I would give anything to be able to relive it on tape. Especially to see all the loved ones that are not here anymore-both my mom and DHs are passed and how sweet it would be to see them at our wedding.

  20. Betty says:

    I wish we videotaped the ceremony. I was a nervous wreck and don’t remember the sermon, etc. it would have been nice, in addition to the photos, to look back on what was said.

  21. rebecca says:

    +1 for packing cubes.

    Mine are a different brand, but they are life-changing. My husband, son, and I recently returned from a 1-week vacation, and I credit packing cubes with being able to fit all of our stuff into two small suitcases. I suggest getting a couple of sets in different colors: it helps distinguish dirty laundry from clean items, or you can assign each person a different color.

  22. MM says:

    Wanted to chime in with a different take on the wedding album/videographer issue. We decided not to hire a videographer and I have never regretted it. It’s hard for me to imagine going back to rewatch something like that over and over. A friend recorded the reception speeches on her phone and I’m glad we have them, although almost three years later I have only watched them once. It would have been great to have someone record our vows, though.

    We did, however, hire a fantastic photographer and got a metric ton of great photos. But I knew I didn’t want the drag-and-drop style wedding album that came with his package, so we dropped that in exchange for a second shooter. Then I used Blurb to make a large lay-flat album that featured exactly the photos I wanted to include in the particular sizes that felt right to me (I’m picky about design/aesthetics). We keep it out on the bottom shelf of our coffee table and I love thumbing through it every few months. Friends will often look through it when they’re over, too.

    One of my only regrets was not getting a shot of just me with my closest girlfriends from college. We have a big group shot of all of us with our husbands/boyfriends, but not one of just the girls. I had such a detailed list for all of our family photos (two pairs of divorced parents made that essential) but somehow missed that one essential shot.

    • HW says:

      Same — awesome photos, no regrets as to no video (wouldn’t watch it anyway).

    • Alexis says:

      Same here — we invested in our photographer instead of splitting our budget across a photog and videographer, and I have never regretted it. We created a beautiful coffee table book with our favorite photos from the day (it was part of our photographer’s package), so our favorites are close at hand and not gathering dust in a closet somewhere.

      We are also not the type of people who would rewatch something like that (I HATE watching myself/generally being the center of attention, as does my husband) so I suppose it’s a matter of preference but wanted to add on to the no-video camp.

    • Cara says:

      Same — I am glad we didn’t hire a videographer, the way I remember the day is exactly how I want to think of it. My brother recorded speeches and first dances on a DSLR.

    • Amanda says:

      No regrets, but getting some awesome photos with close friends who weren’t in the wedding party with the professional photographer would have been great. We have iPhone photos from the very end of the night that could’ve benefited from a real camera and lighting. But honestly, we skipped most of the wedding stuff and it was all great.

      I needed a better plan to not go stir crazy in the in between time between getting ready and the ceremony. I walked some laps in the church, but a deck of cards or a video game or something for that hour of waiting in the bride’s room at the church would’ve been all right.

      I also wish a bit that I would’ve gone out with our friends who were in town the night before. Getting a ton of people who you love in one place is pretty neat, and I really wanted to make sure I was well rested for a long day (I was glad I was, but gosh it went fast).

      Find your mantra. Mine was from A Practical Wedding – all you need is a person to marry, a person to marry you, and an outfit you like – but pick what works for you and enjoy the heck out of your day. You’ve got this, and it’s going to be great.

  23. HW says:

    Mine is more something I wish I’d done more of: picture lists and patience. My photographer was amazing and suggested that I do some of the more traditional photos just in case, and in every case she was right: the photos with the veil do look special and “bridal” in a way I wasn’t anticipating; it was nice to have pictures with family; etc. We did photos in between the ceremony and reception, and our day was already a little stressful with in law issues, so I was anxious to get to just the pictures with my husband that I wish I’d had a little more patience with the family part. My dad passed away a few months later, and while there were some amazing photos of him we used at the memorial, my mom and dad are both awkward when getting their picture taken, and I think we could have gotten some better shots if it hadn’t been so rushed.

  24. Heather says:

    Ditto to the comment on a “thank you for coming, everyone!” speech from us. And also, actually building time into the schedule for my husband and I to get away from it all for a few minutes before the reception started to look at each other and say, “Ahhh! We’re married!” We had a few minutes where it was just us and the photographer, and we snuck away at one point for a break, but it wasn’t the same as having a built-in breather to just be together.

    • L says:

      This is a built-in concept at Jewish weddings. Immediately after the ceremony, couples to do Yichud, which literally means seclusion. In a nutshell, it’s at least 8 minutes the couple spends alone together. Jewish or not, definitely something to work into the schedule!

  25. Nicki says:

    Wrote down a list of specific pictures I wanted and had it with me to check off. I spoke to my photographer and thought we were 100 percent on the same page but she didn’t get a lot of the shots I requested. And you think you will remember/be aware during the wedding but your attention is pulled in a million ford ions. I had a videographer and it was my best decision. I have many friends who regret not having a video – even if it’s just a iPhone video- of the ceremony and speeches.

  26. irmck says:

    My new husband and I had planned to do some photos by the beach after the ceremony, but it was raining. So rather than do other pictures elsewhere, we just skipped it. We didn’t realize that meant we would have only 2 posed photos of just us together on our wedding day.

    I also wish I had asked my college girlfriends to come get photos with me before the ceremony when it was daylight. We have one at night, but it’s just not as nice. I thought about it at the time, but I didn’t want to be too demanding.

    Being worried about being too demanding/ being a bridezilla and not speaking up about what I wanted is actually is my biggest regret over all. Speak up!

  27. Rachel says:

    I regret having a cake. Sure it was technically included with the food and delicious but the cake cutting fee almost made me have a stroke. Lots of people don’t eat it. In retrospect, I would’ve had some beautiful cupcakes or maybe tartlets.

  28. Mercedes says:

    I wish I would have had someone record the ceremony. At the time, I thought having a videographer was too invasive, but now I really wish I had it on video.

  29. Stephanie says:

    I was so lucky to have my beloved grandparents at my wedding. I wish I had more pictures with them. Carve out the time to have pictures taken with your closest family and friends – a few extra pictures with those in your life who are most important to you will be something you treasure forever. Also, this sounds so cheesy, but enjoy yourself. Recognize that this is one of the only times in your life when the people you love the most are all together. Let go of everything the day of and enjoy every moment.

  30. Chelsea says:

    I’m getting married in two months, and these comments are great. Thank you all!

  31. Jenn S. says:

    I’m in the anti-videography camp. I personally would find no joy in rewatching that; I don’t enjoy being the center of attention and find it creepy to watch and hear myself. Big nope.

    As for regrets? Frankly, I wish we’d have eloped. For the same reason I wouldn’t have spent money on videography. I didn’t *dislike* our wedding, but I didn’t find enough joy in it to justify not eloping, after the fact, I guess.

  32. LP says:

    To provide a slightly different take on videography: for me, I don’t necessarily like re-watching myself, and honestly we usually just fast-forward through our ceremony. But I love the footage of the reception and being able to see family members and friends on that day. As the bride and groom, you miss so much of what is going on because your attention is elsewhere, so I loved seeing my drunk friends on the dance floor, or my husband dancing with his 90-year-old grandma. Also loved re-watching the best man’s speech (heartfelt but slightly cringeworthy) and my sister’s maid of honor speech (which brought the house down).

  33. KLO says:

    Remember to assign someone to take care of (distribute) the buttionaires and any special flowers for close relatives. Everyone who is wearing them is super busy getting prepped, so if you can, make it a task for someone who doesn’t have bigger responsibilities.

  34. FAN from boston says:

    I didn’t spend enough time with our precious flower girls and some other very close kid cousins who attended. As far as I knew on the day (and haven’t heard otherwise in the intervening years) they were gloriously good and had lots of fun. Bless their parents for making that happen! I regret to say I was more focused on the air of adorableness they lent to the proceedings and didn’t put much thought or effort into what would make it actually fun and special for them. Our flower girls are now in college, along with the aforementioned cousins, and they’ve turned into such delightful young adults who I’m so glad to have in my life. Loving them now as dearly as I do, I wish I’d been a better bride to them then. And I know I’d have had an even more fun and meaningful day myself if I’d made that effort.

  35. tricia says:

    My daughter and her new husband skipped the bouquet toss, too. Instead they went to a nursing home and gave her bouquet and other flowers that were at the church to the residents at the nursing home. All the residents were so excited to see a bride and groom. My daughter also wanted a very large wedding cake and they had it sliced and packaged in individual packages and it was taken to the nursing home after the reception by her bridesmaids and passed out to the residents. After the wedding she donated her dress to a The Angel Program that makes gowns for infants who do not get to go home.

  36. Carolyn says:

    I wish I’d done a walkthrough of the pictures I wanted – like I gave the photographer a list, but I wish I’d either gone to my venue and spent a half hour walking through the photos on timeline or visualizing it at home. My photographer missed two key shots – one I had requested – my groom by himself (like seriously??) and one I didn’t request but thought was obvious – a picture of us in front of our chapel with the full height of the tall, beautiful, gothic-style spire. So that’s probably my only regret. There were some oops things here and there, but it was a great day!

  37. Kathleen Lisson says:

    I would have taken more photos with guests. I would have mandated that electronics be OFF during the ceremony. I turned to look at my guests and saw 15 phones and pads recording me instead of my loved one’s smiling faces.

  38. MLKSAH says:

    Make a list of everyone who should appear in formal photos, and ask your photographer or his/her assistant to keep track. We somehow took a family photo with everyone present except my sister-in-law.

  39. Suzanne says:

    If something doesn’t go as planned (and likely, something will) don’t let it distract you from your special day. Our dessert vendor didn’t show up. We had a local donut shop cater, and somehow they forgot our order. It was a bummer, but everyone had a great time regardless. Since I didn’t have a planner we didn’t figure it out until the reception had started, when we couldn’t do anything about it. I wish I had just accepted it and moved on instead of spending any of my time calling them and stewing about it.

    P.S. We got a full refund and free donuts for life as an apology. I still would have rather they showed up in the first place, but I appreciate them trying to make it right!

  40. Cara says:

    I wish I had asked the caterers to pack doggy bags for my husband and I. We did get to eat a little at dinner, but we were starved by the time we got back to our hotel post-reception.Our food was SO good, and I wish we had been able to savor it. Forgo welcome bags, or just keep them simple. I don’t think anyone noticed all of our items were “locally sourced” and placed “just so” in the box. I should have just bought each guest a bottle of wine haha.

  41. Sasha says:

    Surprisingly successful wedding thing: we asked the photography team to spend less time on us (you know, make sure that you get the shot, but then move on). I knew that I would be overwhelmed in a good way, so we asked them to look for the stories we might miss on the day of. The photos we have of people we love are 1) the best photos that were taken of at least 30% of them ever, the funeral/book jacket cover/award photo classic and 2) tell way more about what happened that day than the basics (spoiler alert, we got married and were thrilled). Our anniversary was yesterday and looking at the smiling faces of our friends and family reminds us how real and special it was without rose-tinted glasses of “your special day.” We have evidence.

  42. Tara says:

    I wish I had had the social boldness to leave conversations with guests I knew too loosely (friends of parents-in-law). I remember a few conversations just dragging on too long, and I was too “polite” (or honestly didn’t know how) to leave, and hearing some of our favorite songs in the background and mourning those moments that I could have been dancing with my husband and closer friends/family.

    On a more practical planning note, I echo all of these comments to have a videographer, even if it’s last-minute amateur hire. I hired a close friend who had videoed a few weddings for $200 at 10 days out. Also we had no music planned 20 days out for our ceremony and within one week made calls and quickly/cheaply hired 3 musician friends and boom we had music! I say that to hopefully encourage you that it may seem like the calendar is flying sooo fast, but don’t feel bad or “behind” by booking last things/add-ons in these final weeks.

    Excited for you!

  43. Kate says:

    I wish I would have carved out a bit of time for just me the night before the wedding and/or the morning of my wedding. I got so caught up in having all of my favorite people together, that I never gave myself an hour or so to just collect my thoughts and make sure everything was in order ahead of the frenzy that is getting ready.

  44. Lauren says:

    I can’t think of any regrets, but here are two easy things I’m so glad we did do: 1) eat, and all the better if you can take 10-15 minutes away and eat privately so you can enjoy a moment alone together AT your actual wedding. Otherwise guests like to come chat with the bride and groom while they are eating and can’t get away. (And appoint someone to make sure your parents get to eat, too!) 2) Try and look around at your venue(s) before guests arrive. The whole thing will go by so quickly and you’ll forget to notice how it all came together. Best wishes!!!

  45. Tina says:

    Videographer! I wish i had video.

  46. J says:

    Here are my two cents on videos. My dad died somewhat unexpectedly two months after my sister’s wedding (he had been ill, but he declined unexpectedly rapidly). I can’t explain what a gift it’s been to have video, to here his voice, to see his joy. It’s what I watch when I miss him. It’s what I’ll show my future children when I tell them about him. I have random voicemails and little videos, but nothing compares.This is obviously not a common situation, but no one’s loved ones will be here forever. Get the video.

    • Kate says:

      I’m recently engaged and just started wedding planning. Honestly, a videographer was no where on the list until this comment.Thank you for sharing and I’m so glad you have the videos of your father in addition to all of the memories.

    • SW says:

      To add to all of the videography comments, if you do have a videographer, consider having them “interview” your close family members as part of your video. We had our videographer do this, and we love it. We wanted less of the dramatic shots of “almost-husband buttoning suit jacket” and more of the people who were there to celebrate. Being able to capture family member voices, laughs, wishes, etc. is really lovely. I also recommend asking the photographer to get a lot of guest shots – some of our parents’ friends who weren’t on the dance floor aren’t in any of the photos.

    • Becky says:

      A friend of mine mentioned to me about a year after her wedding that several guests of honor had passed away since their wedding, and she was glad she had video for that reason. That pushed me toward doing it, and I’m so glad I did for that reason some day. In the time between our engagement and our wedding, three family members passed away and that confirmed to me that video was a good choice.

  47. Erin Seto says:

    I wish I practiced for the “you may kiss the bride” photo. No joke. My family is not big on PDA(think none) so I got really self conscious kissing my husband in front of them for the first time. And it showed in the photo too! I wish that I could get a do over of that shot as my husband still teases me about it to this day. 🙁

  48. Sharon says:

    I would have done individual photos with each bridesmaid, my mom, my dad, my siblings, my ushers. I didn’t even get a group photo with my ushers (just the flower girls). I liked that my husband and I got a few minutes with just each other in the bride’s room before walking into the reception. Best of luck!

  49. Cee Cee says:

    One thing I want to add among the suggestions of videographers…last minute, we hired a somewhat budget videographer (paid $1200 I think). He did a decent job, but his equipment malfunctioned for whatever reason during our first dances. We have a great highlight reel, the entire ceremony, my dad’s toast, etc but I don’t have my first dance with my husband or dad, which we all three took dance lessons and had custom music made for. I am still seriously bummed about this two years later. I so wish I’d asked someone to take back-up video of those big moments. (the plus is you can also watch them right away)

  50. Cassie says:

    I wanted to do a bouquet toss, but I hated the traditional meaning behind it! So I did an exploding bouquet toss, where it looked like one big bouquet, tied up into little mini ones. On each mini bouquet, I attached a fortune. All the ladies, regardless of age and relationship status were called to the dance floor to catch a piece of it! It was a way to spread joy and love without isolating anyone.

  51. Anon says:

    Re. Kate’s comment about taking time for yourself. When I visited Russian friends in Moscow, I was introduced to a tradition they have before undertaking any long journey (which for me would include a major life event!). When everyone is ready to walk out of the door, they have everyone pause and perch in the hallway for just a few seconds before they leave, to gather their thoughts and create a sense of calm before dashing out of the door. I don’t always remember to do it now, but I try, because it makes me feel so much more cool, calm and collected and ready to face whatever comes.

  52. Kim says:

    If I had it to do over again, I would have stood at the head of the line for dinner and chatted with each person as they waited their turn. As much as we tried, we weren’t able to talk to everyone who came (and many came from 800+ miles away). A month after our wedding, we attended our friends’ wedding where they stood at the line for dinner. I still tell her I wish her wedding had been first 🙂

    Also, make sure you get an individual picture with each of your parents. I don’t have a single picture of just me and my mom (despite have a fabulous photographer), even though we are incredibly close!

  53. Samantha says:

    Celebrating my 5 year anniversary on Saturday. Looking back wish we would have:
    1) Made a quick thank you speech. Complete oversight that we still feel guilty about.
    2) Skipped the “thank you for coming” gifts at the reception and instead used that money to put toward a video professional. We had friends film the ceremony, but professional quality would have been nice to look back on.
    3) Done test shots with the photographer ahead of time so that we were aligned on angles etc. that I liked/didn’t like and so that I knew how to pose in order to have the best chance of getting shots I liked. What you think looks good versus what your photographer thinks is flattering is not always aligned.

  54. Erin says:

    I was skeptical about doing a First Look when my photographer suggested it because I thought I wanted that special moment to be me walking down the aisle to my fiance. I am SO GLAD we took our photographers advice and did a First Look beforehand. It was so much more intimate and special, and the photos I have are amazing. It gave us a sense of calm to have that quiet time with each other before the ceremony as well.

  55. Leila says:

    Abra –

    The final stretch! I wanted to pass on my best wishes and wish you much luck, health, and happiness as you get ready for your wedding day. I just got married in June and I’m very excited for you.

    One small regret I have is that I didn’t schedule more staged photos. We had some group photos with family that we had made arrangements for with our photographer. The rest we wanted to be candid. We are so happy with how both of them turned out, but I regret that I didn’t add a few more staged ones – like with my college crew or with specific family friends to have in our album and for potential gifts in the future.

    Also, the HBR article you linked is a great one! I work in staffing and we referenced it on a company-wide call this morning. It’s a critical read for anyone who is interviewing or conducting interviews.

    Thanks! Leila

  56. Melanie says:

    While all the focus is on the wedding, remember that what you are celebrating is your marriage! So buck the traditions and do what reflects your union. My spouse and I treated our wedding day the way we wanted to spend our lfe together. We got married on a Sunday, so we met for coffee and read The NY Times together before getting ready. We also greeted all of our guests as they arrived -no big reveal or surprise. My one regret is I did not ask people for copies of their speeches. We would not have watched a video but would have loved to re-read my dad’s toast, my mom’s thank you and my mother-in-law’s blessing/advice on days when my marriage needs a reminder of the magic of the beginning.

  57. Julia says:

    Put all of your favors out in the open. Don’t put back-up favors under the table hidden by the tablecloth or in the back or something because NO ONE will remember to put them out. You’ll end up with a TON of left over favors and presumably guests who didn’t get one.

    I didn’t have a videographer, and I’ve never thought about it enough to even contemplate regretting it.

  58. Angie says:

    I wish I’d asked large groups of attendees to take a photo with us (i.e. college classmates, family (not just the wedding party family), childhood friends). Weddings are a reunion you don’t get very often.

  59. Jill says:

    Agree with others who said speeches can be fraught. The more personal the speech, the harder it can be to deliver. These are really hard. Occasionally the speaker resorts to inside jokes that leave guests in the cold. Someone I know told me about one he gave that was filled with references to a particular TV show. What if the other guests don’t watch the show? I guess they’re listening politely but thinking about their grocery list during that part.

  60. Nellie says:

    If you have a bouquet, hold it around your bellybutton rather than up under your boobs. Hold it facing outward (perpendicular) from your body rather than up towards the sky. It will feel unnatural but look better in pictures, at least in some.

  61. Sof says:

    Not my regret, but my brother’s: be sure to get a picture of you with your parents individually (& grandparents). Those pictures will be so special to you later on.

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