Wedding experts can be full of advice, but who better to offer advice for brides than brides who have been there? I interviewed more than 100 couples for Intimate Weddings: Planning a Small Wedding that Fits Your Budget and Style. None of them regretted having a small wedding. However, some brides confessed that they would have done a few things differently if they had the chance to do it all over again.
Here’s what these brides had to say about planning their weddings:
1. I would have hired someone like a coordinator for that day to help keep things on schedule. Everything went really well, I just worried too much. I guess I thought it would be simple with a small gathering. I didn’t anticipate all the distractions that you have as a bride. In the end it was hard to stay on top of things. My advice for brides is to hire a wedding coordinator to keep things running smoothly on the day of the wedding.
2. I would have hired a wedding coordinator. I am not a “planner” by nature so I found the whole process very difficult for me. I didn’t enjoy the planning one bit, which made me very resentful towards my fiancé.
3. The only thing I would change is that I would have had my then-fiancé help me more with the planning. He has this wacky idea that I was like all those girls who have had their weddings planned forever. It’s really hard to plan something when you don’t care about colors, favors, cake, food, flowers, etc. I might have had a wedding planner if we had more money.
4. I would (have planned) it small from the beginning. When we started scouting out reception sites, we found some really one-of-a-kind places that we couldn’t even consider because our numbers were well above what they could accommodate. By the time we really launched into the smaller wedding concept we were under contract with our original reception venue.
5. I would have lost more weight before the wedding, and I wouldn’t have stressed out so much. I also would have taken more time off of work before the wedding instead of just the day before. My intimate weddings advice is to take a few days off before the wedding so that you won’t be frazzled trying to put it all together.
6. I would have been more careful with the guest list. There were people that didn’t show up and it wasn’t really a surprise. I should have followed my intuition and invited other people that I know would have loved to go. My advice for brides is to invite only the people you really want to invite.
7. I would have printed up a schedule for the day for everyone involved … Just a minor detail, but there was some very small last minute confusion. (A schedule) would have put my mind at ease.
8. The only thing I would change would be my dress. I had a big ballgown, but felt it was too much for such a small group so I went with a much simpler, understated gown. In the end, the simpler gown made more sense but I still missed the big ballgown. My intimate weddings advice is to choose the dress you really want.
Photo: Ralph Heinze Photography