The Top Wedding Day Regrets from Surveyed Brides
Regrets: We all have them. Even about our wedding day – though as long as your regret isn't about the man you married, I think you're good. Nearly 1,000 brides recently responded to a survey conducted by jeweler Vashi Dominguez dishing on their biggest wedding day regrets. Thankfully, if the groom was a regret, these ladies kept that tidbit to themselves. What did top the list of wedding day regrets, however, will surprise new brides but it won't come as a shock to veteran brides (Married 9 years earlier this year, I consider myself a veteran bride): The Dress.
That's right ladies; your wedding dress is probably going to be your biggest regret from your wedding day, but not for a few years. If you're recently married, you probably still love your dress and wish you could wear it over and over again. If you're like me, married almost a decade, however, you might have some bridal regrets.
More Than 80% of Women Surveyed had Wedding Day Regrets
According to this survey, more than 80 percent of women have regrets about their wedding day in general (an open bar and your husband's already questionably behaved uncle? Yes, I see that.) and nearly a third of those women would exchange their dress for a different one. Approximately 30 percent of brides cringe when looking at their wedding photos thanks to "THE" dress, and 52 percent would change that best man's speech in about a second (well, yes, we've all heard a few of those cringe-worthy best man speeches – another one of those open bar issues).
To further break down women's regrets, almost 40 percent of former brides would redo their hair and makeup, 34 percent would have spent a different amount because they're almost sure they'll never get married again (here's to optimism!) 30 percent would hire a better photographer and 21 percent would have redone their wedding party – ouch.
As a self-proclaimed veteran bride, I'm going to go out on a limb here and agree to disagree with a few of these as well as stand up and raise my glass to a few others. As far as the dress is concerned; what?! Of course you're going to regret your dress. Did the 80s and 90s teach women nothing? Did you think that you wouldn't regret your wedding dress choice a few decades down the road after reminiscing about those shoulder pads, sequins and 3-foot hair from your 1994 prom? While some dresses are timeless and classic, most women opt for trendy and of-the-moment wedding dresses. What does this mean for your future? Regret, embarrassment and horrified expressions on the face of your future daughters at the mere mention of how you had your wedding gown cleaned and preserved for her to one day wear.
What really surprises me about this survey is the fact that 30 percent of couples are unhappy with their photographer. I was unhappy with my own and regret deeply that I don't have better quality wedding photos. Unfortunately, I was a 21-year-old bride marrying my high school sweetheart and letting my parents make all my final decisions because we chose to spend our money building our first house so that we could eventually have a few cute kids and realize it was entirely too small and have to go through the process of building a new, massive and ridiculous house because the, "We just have to try one more time for a boy," ended with surprise twins for a grand total of four kids! But I digress...
Choose Classic Styling Rather Than Jumping on a Trend
Like most women, I have wedding day regrets, but none of them are centered around my dress. It was actually a classic style, not trendy, and it's still pretty a decade later. Of course, I often think I wish I'd known about mermaid silhouettes at the time and wish I could make an appearance on, "Say Yes to the Dress," but overall my dress was fine. My hair and makeup, yes, I'd change that today, but it was on target, in style and gorgeous at the time. My photographer is someone I'd change in a second. I'd hire someone more professional and expensive and able to create memories that my not-so-professional photographer failed to do.
Fortunately for me, my husband's best friend at the time was a childhood friend and a class act. His speech was poignant, moving and just funny enough to keep us all laughing in a tasteful manner. My bridesmaids? Yeah, I still see and speak to most of them, but only a few times a year. Since our wedding, my husband and I's circle of friends changed drastically and includes a group of couples married for a long time, with kids the same ages as ours and who have the same interests as we do – and we've been close for many, many years now. We both wish we'd known them when we wed so we could share those memories.
Finally, as for spending a different amount, I'm good there. Sure, a big, fancy, elaborate million dollar wedding would have been beautiful, but I loved my wedding on a budget. It was still elegant, chic and lovely. And the most important part was that our friends and family hit the dance floor with us all night long. I don't remember what we ate (did we eat? I have a vague recollection of pulling myself out of the limo at our hotel and immediately announcing to room service that I needed a burger, stat) or what our centerpieces looked like or who sat where or what we received as gifts or what anyone wore.
It's All About the Memories You'll Make, Not What You'll Regret
I remember dancing with my husband and our loved ones. I remember laughing and hugging and crying and smiling – a lot. I also remember that when I came home from my honeymoon, we closed on the house that we built together at the ages of 21 and 22. Today, that house has seen the arrival of four beautiful babies, and almost a decade of wonderful memories. So no, I wouldn't change what was spent because we chose to budget it at the wedding and spend our money on our future home – aside from the man I married, it was the best decision we ever made.
Regrets happen to all of us, and while they're expected, they're kind of a waste of time. They insinuate that you're not happy with your life and that tells you that it's time to make some positive changes. Would I change anything about my wedding day (yes, my photographer)? No. But I do have some advice for current and future brides: Do what makes YOU happy. You will hate your dress in 20 years. You will always see something you wish you'd done differently as the years, trends and creative ideas change. You might change your friends over time. You might change your style over time. Change happens; it's good.
Let Go of Your Worry and get Lost in the Moment
When it comes to planning your wedding, don't worry about whether or not you're going to love your dress in 10 years. Worry about whether or not you love it now. As long as you feel beautiful on your wedding day, your future dress feelings are unimportant. Focus on what's important when it comes to wedding planning; the marriage. Hire a great photographer and a great DJ. Don't worry about food or centerpieces. Worry about nothing except how many kids you're going to have and where you're going to live. Worry about enjoying yourselves. Do not worry about pleasing other people, how you will feel about your hair in 30 years or what people will think of your wedding.
It's your day to celebrate and have fun and begin your lives together. Nothing else matters. Besides, you can take all your past wedding regrets and change them every 10 years by renewing your vows as a sign of your continued love for one another (read: An excuse to throw the wedding you currently wish you would have thrown a decade ago).