Nuptial Nightmares: 35+ Tips From Couples Who Left Their Weddings With A Few Regrets

By Jhoana C

Finding your one true love and exchanging vows with each other in front of family and friends is one of life’s greatest celebrations. Whether you want modest nuptials or an extravagant destination wedding, a lot of things happen behind the scenes, and a smooth wedding requires careful preparations. While you can hire wedding planners to help you deal with the nitty-gritty, you still have to be aware of what’s happening. This could mean anything from setting goals to setting limits with over-eager family members.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of common mistakes couples often make when planning their wedding. From hiring professionals without references to serving too much liquor, here are the things you should avoid for a wonderful start to a blissful life together.

Hiring friends as wedding suppliers or vendors

John D. Rockefeller once said that “A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship.” This is something that couples planning their weddings need to keep in mind. As much as you want to give your friends some business, it’s best to steer clear of them for your wedding.

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Things can get really awkward fast, especially if they don’t deliver on their promise, and sometimes your friendship could end if problems happen. It is best to hire people with whom you have no connections. You’ll thank us later for this.

Inviting people you don’t even like

Weddings are expensive and emotional occasions, and what you definitely don’t want during your special day is to welcome people you don’t even get along with in the first place. You can’t invite everyone you like, so why invite someone you don’t like?

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If you need an excuse for the non-invite, blame it on the cost. No matter how lavish a wedding, there’s always a budget. This is one of the few times when a tight budget can work for you instead of against you.

Throwing a wedding for everyone else but not for you

A wedding is a day for the bride and groom to celebrate their love and commitment to one another. Although there are numerous things to consider when planning a wedding, first and foremost on the list should be what you as a couple want.

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Don’t throw a wedding that other people will be happy about; throw a wedding that the two of you will be happy about. After all, you’ll be footing the bill. And even if others are contributing to the event, it’s your special day, not theirs.

Forgetting to relax

Ask any woman who’s ever planned a wedding, and she will tell you just how much of a challenge it was. We’re not saying that grooms don’t help with the planning, but usually, women take on the bulk of the planning. This bit of advice from a bride:

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A word of advice to women or couples planning their wedding, don’t take things too seriously. Learn to let go and relax, and if you can delegate tasks to others, that’ll help a lot, too. Weddings are supposed to be fun; don’t forget that.

Hurrying to your honeymoon

Other than the wedding itself, couples excitedly look forward to their honeymoon. After months of intense planning and thousands of dollars of expenses, they can finally relax and swim with their beloved on a beautiful tropical island. However, you shouldn’t hurry things too much.

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It’d be a mistake to book your flight right after your wedding reception. Make sure you have enough time to rest before you travel to your honeymoon destination so that you’re not too exhausted to enjoy your alone time with your partner.

Letting others decide how to style your hair

Sometimes, in an effort to please others, we forget that we should put ourselves first. This remains true for weddings. Of course, this is easier said than done, especially if the person telling you to do things you don’t really want is your mother.

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Regret is expensive during the most important day of your life, so if you want to style another way, don’t let anyone, not even your mother, talk you into changing how you envision yourself that day. You’ll be happier if you do what you want.

Serving bottomless booze and hard liquors

If you think that serving bottomless booze and hard liquor during weddings is an excellent idea, you’re in for a rude awakening. You can expect and hope guests will have control over themselves, but some people just can’t handle free booze.

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Most end up drinking more than they should and saying things they shouldn’t, as well as doing things they shouldn’t. The last thing you want during your wedding is someone exotic-dancing and telling everyone about the one-night stand they had with one of the groomsmen.

Letting traditions dictate what you should do

As modern as most people are today, there are still a few who want to incorporate traditions into their weddings, the most common of which is “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” However, certain traditions should just be forgotten.

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If you feel like you need to see your groom for support the day or the night before the wedding, then by all means, see him and be with him. We don’t see anything wrong with seeing your groom before the wedding.

Not hiring professionals

There’s a reason why professionals charge fees for their services—they have studied their craft, accumulated years of experience, and dedicated their lives to it. Even though everyone has cameras on their phones, there’s no true replacement for a pro cameraman.

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Yes, you can save money by getting your hobbyist friend to take photographs or videos of your wedding, but you can’t guarantee quality. We’re not saying that people you know can’t do a good job, but for such an occasion, it’s best to get professionals.

Drinking so much

As much as booze makes things interesting and can create some memorable moments, you should still control your drinking when at a wedding, regardless if it’s yours or somebody else’s. Alcohol lowers inhibitions, and when you’ve had too much to drink, you tend to do things you wouldn’t dream of doing when sober.

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If you’re the bride or part of the wedding entourage, the last thing you want to do is get drunk and spend most of the day hovering over the toilet or smelling like alcohol. Drink a little but don’t drink to the point that you don’t know half of what’s happening anymore.

Not taking the weather into account

The weather matters, especially if you’re going to have an outdoor wedding. If it’s very windy, you won’t want your hair flying all over your face, and looking like a drowned rat in your wedding photos is not… nice, to say the least.

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Check what the weather will be during your wedding day, and tell your hairstylist to style your hair accordingly. Yes, styling your hair according to your face shape is nice, but in the end, the weather has the last say in how you’ll look.

Making decisions based on promises

Promises made during childhood are sweet but shouldn’t be considered as binding, especially if you and the person you made the promise with are no longer as close as you used to be. Let’s face it, people grow and people change.

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We’re not saying that you should completely ignore the people from your childhood, but if you have grown apart and you haven’t been involved in each other’s life for so long, there’s no point in including them in your wedding entourage.

Not planning your speech

There are some times you shouldn’t just “wing it,” and that includes wedding speeches. Why? Well, you could get so caught up in the moment or get so nervous that you just might forget to mention people who have made a difference in your life.

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Your wedding speech is an excellent opportunity to thank the people who have helped you become who you are, and for most people, that includes their parents. You’ll regret it later on if you forget to at least mention them.

Worrying too much

Instead of worrying about how every little thing can turn into a disaster, let the professionals handle the details and enjoy the special day with your spouse, family, and friends. Worrying won’t help, and as a matter of fact, it will only put you on edge.

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This is also one of the reasons why it’s better to spend your money on professionals. As pricey as some of them may be, their expertise and experience will help put you at ease because you can be sure that they will do a damn good job.

Not enjoying your wedding celebrations

Once you hire a professional to take care of all aspects of the wedding, you should be hands-off and let them do their jobs. What’s the point of spending money on their services when you’re just going to fuss over everything anyway?

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You need to let go and partake in the celebration. If you’re lucky, it will be the first and last time you’ll do it, so you should enjoy it. Eat your meals, greet guests, and catch up with old friends who flew in just for your big day!

Not taking a breather

We always ask ourselves why people hurry to get to their honeymoon. You are already married, and you have your whole lives to spend with each other, so why not take a day’s rest between your wedding and your honeymoon?

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Planning a wedding, even with the help of professionals, is a big task, but don’t let it make you feel pressured. Give yourselves enough time to rest before you head off to your honeymoon. You don’t want to spend the entire time in bed sleeping—not how most people imagine it.

Spending your entire time doing things you don’t want

Organization and preparation are important in weddings; that’s why wedding planners exist! These professionals can help you with both big and little things. If there’s anything that concerns you, no matter how seemingly insignificant, write them down so you can talk them over with the wedding planner.

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With planning, every aspect of the wedding will go off without a hitch, and you don’t have to be stuck doing things you don’t even want in the first place. If you’re concerned with spending a lot of time greeting guests at your reception, take this couple’s advice and have a receiving line.

Forgetting to include natural light in your plans

Most people have their weddings in the morning or early afternoon because a lot of photography is involved during weddings, and photographers want to make use of as much natural light as possible. Even with modern cameras and professional lighting, there’s no substitute for sunlight.

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Natural light can make a huge difference in photos, and we would like to think that most photographers will tell their clients about the need for natural light when planning their wedding. Avoid weddings during the late afternoon because you’ll have limited time to take great photos.

Making good use of your time

Truth be told, many things happen during weddings. People who haven’t seen each other for a long time catch up with one another, countless pictures are being taken, food and drink are waiting to be consumed, and the dance floor is open for people to enjoy.

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If you’re the bride or groom, you have to plan your time wisely so that you can do the things you want to do and enjoy your wedding. You don’t want to spend the entire night only taking pictures or talking to guests and missing out on all the other fun stuff.

Inviting people who are not part of your love story

This relates back to the other piece of advice about inviting people you don’t even like. While you may like the person, if they don’t have any significance to your love story, we see no point in spending your hard-earned money so they can come to your wedding.

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We’d want people who were witnesses to your journey, from the first date to getting down on one knee, to come to our wedding. Would you want people who don’t even know either the bride or the groom to come to celebrate the most significant day of your life with you?

Letting the booze get to your head

This is something that applies to guests just as much as it does to the couple getting married. Don’t let the booze get to your head. Drink to have fun and socialize but don’t consume more alcohol than you can handle.

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You’ll end up spending your entire honeymoon alternately puking in the bathroom and confined to the bed because of a terrible hangover. You’ll only be wasting your money if you can’t even get out of your tropical island hotel room.

Not spending the night before the wedding with your spouse

This one is purely a matter of preference as some couples may choose to follow tradition and not to spend the night before the wedding together. But if you’ve been living with each other prior to getting married, we don’t see the need for separate bedrooms before your wedding.

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If you think that your spouse’s presence will calm you, make you feel at peace, and give you the support you need, then, by all means, be with them. Don’t just blindly follow what other people say. Do what’s best for you.

Expecting everyone who’s invited to show up

This is more of a problem with guests than with the couple. Guests to any event should keep in mind that reception vendors often charge per plate, and fees have to be paid before the event takes place. Basically, canceling at the last minute is problematic.

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Billing no-show guests is still up for debate, but we should all have the basic courtesy to go to an event that we have RSVPed for. Couples, on the other hand, should check with banquet managers if they have options in case of guests not showing up or canceling.

Wanting everything to be perfect and expecting too much

As much as we want our weddings to be smooth, things just happen no matter how prepared we think we are. When that happens, the best course of action is to let go and still enjoy the wedding. The most important thing is that you and your spouse are as one.

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Perfection is a difficult thing to achieve, and if your wedding falls short, don’t be too hard on yourself or your spouse. Even if it is your supplier’s absolute fault or carelessness, don’t lose your composure. Just grin and bear it and know that there are better days ahead.

Not taking dance lessons

Some people might think taking dance lessons for weddings is fancy and above them, but if you want to look good on the dance floor, you and your spouse should take dancing lessons. No, you’re not doing it for the guests; you are both doing it for each other.

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If you’re both good dancers, you can skip this and spend the money elsewhere. But if you both dance like you have two left feet, then you should take some dance classes. Believe us, it will pay off, and you’ll be less embarrassed when all eyes are on you when your first song plays.

Not planning spaces carefully

Aside from the food and the dance floor, another staple in wedding receptions is photo booths. Most couples want guests to have photos to commemorate their union and the lovely and fun time. If you want a photo booth for your wedding, you need to think carefully about where you’ll be placing it.

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Learn from this couple’s mistake; instead of putting the photo booth outside the reception room, put it inside, or at least within view of the dancefloor. A reception room that’s empty looks sad. You want guests to enjoy everything, not just the photo booth.

Assuming things

One of the most important lessons everyone should keep in mind in weddings and life, in general, is to never assume. Just because someone has graduated from one of the top business schools doesn’t automatically mean that person will be a savvy businessman.

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The same thing applies to musicians you hire for your wedding. Just because they have been musicians for a long time doesn’t mean they have the skills. Make sure you ask them to play for you first before you hire them.

Jumping on trends

Yup, we have seen a lot of couples falling victim to trends. Just because it’s what people are talking about doesn’t mean you have to jump on the bandwagon. That’s not to say you shouldn’t, but be aware that it could also give you a life of regrets.

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The “cake smash,” aka when the bride and groom shove handfuls of cakes in each other’s faces, is something that could possibly be funny, but it could also result in hurt feelings, a lot of mess, and awful pictures. Do it if you want to but don’t do it because it’s the trend.

Wearing a dress that has little room for you to breathe

If you’ve worked out religiously so you can showcase an hourglass figure at your wedding, flaunt it! There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best during your wedding, but there is something wrong with wearing a dress that doesn’t even let you breathe or eat a donut.

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You paid thousands of dollars for the food, so you might as well eat a spoonful or two. How else are you going to survive the long celebrations if you haven’t had a morsel of food? Ladies, keep this in mind the next time you try wedding dresses on.

Caving into what people say

Pressure can get so overwhelming that sometimes even the strongest of us end up doing things we don’t really want to do because the people around us keep telling us to. This is one of the gravest mistakes you can make during your wedding.

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Your wedding is your big day, and it’s one of the few days when what you want should be followed. We’re not telling you to be a bridezilla, but we want you to feel good on your wedding day because you look and feel your best.

Hiring people without checking their work

We have nothing against people who advertise their work on Craigslist; it’s a perfectly legitimate place to find employment. What we are against is hiring people because they charge the least, and hiring people without checking their work and asking for references.

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Find out if people are as good as they say they are by asking for references from past clients and looking at their portfolios. Price is also telling; if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. A professional who spent decades honing their craft isn’t going to undersell themself.

Choosing style over comfort

A lot of women are guilty of this. In a bit to look fashionable and stylish, they choose ill-fitting shoes that give them blisters and ill-fitting dresses that leave little room for even a sandwich. Brides everywhere, we implore you—don’t do this.

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You can’t expect yourself to have fun when your feet ache from Christian Louboutin’s sky-high heels that give little to no support. Be sensible and keep in mind that the ceremony and reception are going to last hours and you want to be as comfy as you possibly can.

Going with people who are not supportive of you

We’re not saying you should invite people who flatter you to no end to the point of lying to your face, but we mean people who want the best for you, who are not afraid to tell you when you’re wrong but won’t pick fights just for the heck of it.

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There’s a big difference between someone who just wants to argue and someone who wants to discuss things like adults, and we hope you know the difference because it’s going to matter a lot when you choose your wedding entourage.

Doing everything by yourself

We understand that not all couples have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on their wedding, and others have a strict budget to stick to. There’s no problem with wanting to save money on your wedding, but there is a problem with not knowing where to cut back and where to splurge.

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It’s best to let other people take care of the cleanup it so you have time to put your feet up and take a breather. Again, determine how much you can afford to splurge and think about where you should spend that money on.

Forgetting to eat

Yup, a lot of newly married couples are guilty of doing this. They are so caught up in greeting guests, taking pictures, dancing with friends, talking to people, and a million other things that they forget to even eat anything.

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Not eating is the worst thing you can do, especially because you spent so much money on food and making sure that people rave about the meal. You wouldn’t want to be the newly married couple who went to McDonald’s because they were famished after their wedding.

Going with what tradition dictates and what people expect

Although a lot of brides and grooms choose to forego tradition, there are still quite a few couples who are pressured into doing things they don’t want because of tradition. For example, brides are expected to wear white wedding dresses.

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But if you think that white makes you look bad, or you just don’t like white at all, you have the right to choose a different color for your wedding dress. Don’t mind what others say. They are not walking down the aisle; you are!

Not having proper documentation of your special day

Weddings are one of the most important milestones in life and should have quality documentation to look back on. Aside from choosing a professional to take photographs and videos for your special day, you should also hire a second one—if you have the budget.

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Why? Because as much as most people believe that the bride should be the focus of a wedding, you can’t forget about the groom. It’s as much his day as it is the bride’s. For sure, brides would also want to know what goes on with the groom and his crew.

Not wearing a veil

Although some women choose to do away with veils during their weddings, most still want to wear them. Historically, they were used to represent purity and modesty in religious ceremonies. Nowadays, though, veils have become more of a fashion statement.

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It is now an accessory that reflects the bride’s personal style. They come in varying lengths and styles and can be made with a variety of materials. Again, wearing a veil is a matter of preference, so think things through before deciding to do away with it.

Not having engagement pictures taken

Having engagement pictures taken is a matter of preference… and sometimes of budget. Fortunately, even if you’re on a tight budget, you can still have engagement pictures taken without splurging. Some people even choose to DIY this with the help of friends and family.

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Engagement photos can be a great rehearsal for your wedding photos, especially if you or your spouse are not that comfortable in front of the camera. Some couples are naturals in front of the lens, but others need a little coaxing.

Not shopping around and settling for less

A lot of people think that this applies to finding the right future spouse, but in this instance, we are talking about wedding dresses. Some brides don’t give themselves enough time when searching for their dream wedding dress, so they end up settling for less.

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You only get married once, or at least that’s what the thought is, so you might as well look your best and you might as well that dress you’ve been dreaming about since you were a little girl. Make it a point to start looking for THE dress early.