“Karyn, now that you’re married and are several years down the road, what would you change about your own wedding?”
I get this question with nearly every new couple I talk to and it’s a good one! I’m fortunate to have a unique position of both being a former bride AND a wedding professional. I’ve seen a hundred weddings in my lifetime, so I have seen pretty much everything when it comes to culturally American weddings.
I could give paragraphs and paragraphs of advice because like I said… I have seen so much… good and bad, haha! But from my own personal experience, if I had my wedding again this weekend, so much would be different. My style is so different now… colors and flowers and dresses and themes… they’d all be different. But aside from aesthetics, here are my top 5 things I’d change from our wedding.
Just like with everything, weddings have trends. Back in 2012, the trend was to have a seasonally themed wedding and because we were married in November, I felt I had to go with an over-the-top fall theme. Back in 2012 (just like now), I loved light purples, teals, mints, grays, and wanted those to be our colors. But because we were getting married in November, I felt we weren’t “allowed” to and it was so irrational to think that! So go with your gut and don’t follow the trends because you feel like you have to.
I didn’t spend much time looking at flower options because everyone told me they were expensive! So I went with a silk flower bouquet. And while my faux sunflower bouquet was lovely (and I still have it in our living room), I personally love fresh flowers. What I didn’t realize at the time was that there are cost effective ways to do fresh flowers! For starters, I didn’t have to get bouquets for all of my bridesmaids. I could have just gotten one for me! And secondly, to cut costs more, I could have picked up fresh flowers at a local grocery store and DIYed a bouquet myself. There is 100% value in hiring a florist, but we were just on a super tight budget. Could I have swung over $100 on flowers? No. But could I have saved $50 for a DIYed bouquet? Yes. I just didn’t know!
With our budget, I just didn’t even consider a videographer. We had a sweet woman from our church offer to video the ceremony and parts of the reception, but I told her to just do the ceremony and not worry about anything else. Oh if only I had known. Now, I would have LOVED to have certain portions of our reception (cake cutting, shoe game) on video. If I knew then what I know now, I would have asked around for a videographer who was just starting out who could just capture footage without fancy equipment, angles, or editing just to have some of those moments captured on video. There is absolutely value in investing in a quality, experience videographer, there was just no way that would have fit into our budget.
Matt and I had a 6 month engagement and 3 of those 6 months for me was spent working and living at a summer camp with not only limited Internet access but limited time as I was on the clock from 7-9 every day. So after we picked our date, we had about 5 months to plan and I had about 2 weeks to find/order a dress before I started work. So I did what I thought was normal. I went to David’s Bridal and had the sales lady help me pick something out. Did I like my dress? Yes. Was it budget friendly? Yes. But would I pick it again? No. I had an idea of what kind of dress I wanted, but David’s Bridal just didn’t have anything similar to my vision. I wish I had looked at consignment stores and on Esty and just given myself more time.
I’m generally an indecisive and non-confrontational person, so when it came to wedding planning I just went with the flow. I had only been to a handful of weddings and wasn’t a part of the wedding industry yet. I just didn’t know what I didn’t know, haha. So if I could do it again, I’d make my opinions known and it would have not only made a difference but probably made things go more smoothly with someone actually making decisions.
That’s just a little advice from this gal to you. Make your wedding a day that you want to remember and don’t worry about what tradition says or what you think should happen. This is a celebration of your marriage and should reflect you as a couple and your families.
Happy Wedding Planning!