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Confessions of a Bride

5 Things I Wish I Could ‘Do Over’

I married my amazing husband a little more than 2 years ago. We had a wedding budget of about $20K, yet I was trying to have a $50K wedding. Yes it’s true…I was trying to have a million dollar wedding on a shoe string budget. Imagine that?! When I look back on my wedding day, there are quite a few things I would do differently. I will spare you the gory details, and just provide my top 5:

#5. Invitation calligraphy. The design of the wedding invitation is pretty important to most brides. The invitation provides the wedding guests’ a first look into the ‘big day’. Once my invitations were done, I then had to think about the time and cost of addressing the envelopes. I knew I wanted to go the traditional route with hand-written calligraphy, as opposed to labels, but I didn’t know anyone that could do calligraphy. I discussed my dilemma with a friend, and she mentioned that her mom was a calligrapher. Since I was coming up on my 6-8 week deadline to send out invitations, I asked my friend’s mom and she agreed to address all of my envelopes for FREE; however, sometimes ‘free’ comes with a cost. When I got the invitations back, my first thought was that a grade-schooler addressed the envelopes. Although I was grateful at the time that I didn’t have to fork out more cash for an experienced calligrapher, the final output was not to my liking. In hindsight, I probably would have visited a couple of the stationary shops in my area and asked for experienced calligrapher recommendations.

#4. Smaller treat bags. My hubby and I decided to do a candy bar for our guests in lieu of a wedding favor. In order to get a nice variety of candy (i.e., rock candy, jelly beans, taffy, bubble gum, etc), we discovered that we were much better off placing a bulk order online. When you factor in the cost of the bulk candy, plus tax and shipping, and the actual candy jars to display the candy, this ‘simple’ candy bar ended up costing much more than I budgeted for.  I ordered the smallest treat bag I could find online, and thought I was good to go. When I entered the reception after the ceremony, I happened to glance over at our candy bar, and noticed that the candy had vanished! I was really confused because the reception had just started, so where was the candy? I found out later that the treat bags I ordered were a little too big and, unfortunately, my guests filled their bags up to the brim. Some of my guests didn’t even get any candy. My lesson here is that I should have kept searching for smaller bags. Rule of thumb is the length and height of the treat bag should be no bigger than a human hand. After all, it was meant to be a favor, not a month’s supply of sweets.

#3. Wedding color palette = Venue color palette. The colors I chose for my wedding were rose pink, magenta and gray. I chose these colors before I locked in my venue. The venue was filled with beautiful dark browns, rich golds/bronzes, and ivory, which totally clashed with my wedding color palette. In hind sight, I would have completely changed my wedding color palette to achieve a better flow with the venue.

#2. Wedding photo consultation before the Big Day. We really liked our wedding photographer, and believe we received a good package with plenty of quality photos at a great price; however, there was absolutely no order when it came to the wedding day photos. Our photographer emailed me a week before the wedding and asked me about my wedding day photo preferences. At that point, I was so overwhelmed so I simply emailed him a wedding day photo checklist I found online and didn’t think twice about it. My hubby and his groomsmen got all of their pictures in before the ceremony, but me and my bridesmaids did not, so all of our pictures had to be taken after the ceremony. Plus, we were calling in family at the last minute to come in and take group pictures. When it was all over, I realized that my guests had been waiting on us for over an hour. If I had to do it over again, I would set up a final meeting with my photographer to go through a photography timeline and plan, along with a checklist for him to follow. This way, the picture taking process is quick and simple, and our guests are not left to entertain themselves for over an hour.

#1. Invest in a wedding planner/coordinator. This is the single most key thing I would change about my wedding process. The devil is definitely in the details and unless you’ve been married before, there is no way you would know just how many minute details go into planning a wedding; however, experienced wedding planners/coordinators know what to expect. The upfront cost (s) of a wedding planner might be a lot to digest, but it is worth the investment. The previous 4 points would likely not have been an issue if I had a planner. AND I would have been able to just truly relax and enjoy my wedding day knowing that someone else was being paid to ensure the details were being taken care of. Don’t shortchange yourself here. You’ll thank me later.

The Bride:  Angela Webb
Find her on Pinterest.

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