What I Would Do Differently Looking Back…
My husband & I recently celebrated 7 years of marriage and every year we reminisce our wedding day: the moment I walked down the aisle, our vows, our crazy families, the fact it was a DRY wedding (classic early 20’s Christians), how the dance floor was LIT the entire time (pays to have a young, lively wedding) AND what we would do differently looking back now.
Obviously hindsight is always 20/20. As well as, we were newly graduated college students, early 20’s with low paying jobs. We also were the first in our families to get married, Pinterest wasn’t really a thing yet and we were pretty much the first out of our friend groups to get married— simply put, we had NO idea how to plan or throw a wedding. My biggest priority for our wedding, a great photographer! Even before becoming a wedding photographer, I’ve always known the value of have a great wedding photographer— and you better believe I worked 3 jobs to make sure I could get the one I wanted, plus everything else I wanted without going into debt. Somehow, we pulled it off with A LOT of help from friends, family, church family and avoided going into debt to pay for it. But looking back… what would we do differently, if we could have?
The TOP 3 Things we wish we would of spent more money on:
1) DJ/MC- Mario was beside himself when I spent $500 on a DJ, who also happen to bartend at the restaurant I worked at. He did a great job, given his weekend DJing experience at local bars and the fact I only paid him $500. BUT, looking back, Mario says this is the BIGGEST thing he wishes we would have spent money on. DJ/MC’s can make or break your wedding— they kill or create the vibe and pretty much run the show on the front end. Mario ALWAYS goes up and compliments DJ’s now at weddings when they do a great job and can read their audience, music wise— because it makes a difference! If money wasn’t an option, we would have LOVED a live band!
I still remember being mortified when not only was the long, extensive list of songs I wanted played, wasn’t, but very explicit versions of Ying Yang Twins and other various artists was blaring as our grandparents and sober guests looked around at each other with their jaws on the ground. I’m down to have a party, but I also like my guests to feel comfortable and have a good time too.
2) VENUE- If we could go back, as well as had the funds- we would have our ceremony & reception at the SAME place. Looking back, it probably wasn’t the best idea to have a 5:00pm ceremony on a Friday and then have our guests fight rush hour traffic to get to our reception venue that was 20 minutes away. For the convenience of our guests, as well as to be less stressed ourselves, having everything at one venue would have been ideal. Granted, we had 250 guests! Looking back, if we would have cut 100 people (because let’s be honest, a HUGE chunk of those people we haven’t seen SINCE our wedding), we probably could have had everything at ONE place.
3) VIDEOGRAPHER- Man oh Man, I wish I could go back and hear us recite our vows to one another, as well as see all of our friends and family dancing & having a good time. We realized that since our wedding, we’ve had 5 loved ones pass, who were at our wedding. It would be so cool to go back and see them in a video at our wedding. We didn’t have the funds for it at the time, but I honestly wish I would have done more to try to make it a possibility, without lowering my standards for what I wanted from our photography.
Top 3 Things
People Wish They Spent MORE Money on For Their Wedding…
When I did a recent poll on Instagram to ask my followers what they WISH they would have spent more money on, I received a TON of responses, but there were 3 things that seemed to be a common trend.
1) VIDEOGRAPHER- Sooooo many responses from people said they WISH they would have spent money on getting a videographer. Honestly, I think I got 10 or so people saying this. It’s the biggest thing people seem to regret not getting for their wedding.
2) A BETTER PHOTOGRAPHER- This one breaks my heart, for obvious reasons. I received so many messages of people saying how much they wish they would have spent more money on a better photographer and not skimp on it thinking it won’t matter. Messages telling me that they hide their wedding photos, because they can’t stand to look at them and it makes them depressed every time they do. You usually won’t regret investing in a great photographer, but you’ll definitely regret if you don’t.
3) COORDINATOR/PLANNER | FLORIST | DJ/MC- These 3 pretty much had a 3 way tie for multiple reasons.
The people that said a coordinator/planner said they were SO tired, exhausted and worn out trying to do everything themselves- it really rob them of a lot of joy building up to their wedding and the day of. They also mentioned the importance of having things run on time and without a coordinator, this is almost impossible.
Florist was mentioned for similar reasons. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good DIY wedding, but theres something to be said about people who are professionals and do this for a living— not only the beautiful creations they make, but saving you the time & grief of trying to do everything yourself the NIGHT BEFORE or MORNING OF your wedding!
DJ/MC was brought up for pretty much the same reasons I would have spent more money on one— they carry your entire wedding! The way they guide your reception, their jokes (or lack of), the music they play and transitions, as well as knowing how to read your guests with what to play and when.
Top 3 Things
People Wish They Spent LESS Money on For Their Wedding…
On the other end of the spectrum, I asked my Instagram followers what they wish they would have spent LESS money on for their wedding, when looking back after. Some of the answers surprised me, but most of them, I agreed either from personal experience or hearing from friends of mine after their wedding was all said and done.
1) WEDDING DRESS- Don’t get it twisted, I had a couple past bride’s who wrote in saying their dress was worth EVERY PENNY, BUT the majority of people who responded to this question said they wish they would of spent less money on their wedding dress— because what the heck are you gonna do with it after?! I’m just going to say this— if you’re thinking of spending MORE money on your wedding dress than your photography, I hope your dress will be able bring back the same memories & be passed on for generations to come after you’ve passed away like your photos would. That’s my one comment & I’ll leave it at that :)
2) DECORATIONS- I love me some pretty decor, but with the pressure of Pinterest and every other wedding blog sharing the most recent trends every month for weddings, sometimes decor gets the front seat & most attention, while everything else gets lost in the background on a wedding day. Decorations were the second most popular item people wish they would have spent LESS money on for their wedding.
3) THE CAKE- All my cake making/ baker friends, don’t hate me! But the third thing people said they spent too much money on for their wedding was the cake. Yummy cake is the BEST, but unfortunately it DOES get wasted A LOT at weddings. Think about it- you cut the cake, then everyone is brought out on to the dance floor to groove, all the while it gets sliced up and set out on tables to sit & not be eaten except for Aunt Sue who doesn’t like dancing. I can honestly see & understand why couples are now starting to lean in the direction of less traditional desserts that their guests can just grab and eat: cupcake, mini desserts, donuts, etc.
I hope if you’re currently planning your wedding that you find this blog helpful! Take it from me and ALL the other people who already planned a wedding. There are things you WON’T regret spending money on for your wedding, because it’s an INVESTMENT and theres things you can probably sleep on and discover that its really not THAT important. At the end of the day, what’s most important is that you’re getting married! As I always say, KEEP THE MAIN THING, THE MAIN THING <3