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Wedding Recap and Withdrawal

Wedding Do-Over...

If YOU had your wedding to do over, what would you do differently??? What would you add/take away?? (or if you're not married, what have you heard people say....) I'm trying to plan my wedding on a very serious budget, and I love to hear what brides say that they wish they had/hadn't done at their wedding!
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Re: Wedding Do-Over...

  • Less of a break between wedding/reception. We took group pics all together but DH didn't want to see me before the ceremony. I wouldn't have stressed out so much on the planning. I'm glad we didn't waste money on a limo. I'm glad we did a full meal (chicken fettuicine alfredo and salad buffet). I loved my $5 cake topper. I kind of wish I just had my sister as a bridesmaid (I had 4). I am really glad we had a dance. Our DJ was the cheapest in town but great! I'm glad we had programs and puzzles for people to do while waiting at the reception. I'm glad we had a cash bar and didn't do cider to toast. People just toasted with the drinks they had. This is a random list! GL!
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  • I thought of something else! I wouldn't have wasted the money on special toasting glasses and a cake cutting set. No one notices!
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  • I would invite less people.Possibly shop around a little harder for a more affordable reception.
  • I would have done a lot over... 1. Had my wedding at a place that does everything for me. My venue was a DIY building and we had to worry about bringing the chairs back to the place we got them from, and putting the furniture back in the right place. 2. Not had a buffett. I felt kind of sorry for my guests who had to wait to go get their food. I also would have skipped the appetizers-I don't think they were good. 3. Tell the caterer I have 130 guests instead of 150. So many people didn't show up and it was a waste of food. 4. Eliminate my DJ. He didn't do 1/2 of what he promised, cost me $400 and he sucked so bad nobody danced. I'm still pissed about that.5. Not have a DOC or picked a family member to do it. My DOC sucked and was a waste of money. You do need someone to do that stuff however.
  • I would not have used hydrangeas....they wilted in the heat....wish the florist had warned us about that! Also, i would have allowed more time for the photos before hand....ended up not getting too many of me and the bridesmaids, which i think i would have truly enjoyed!
  • There's not many things I would change... But I would take a sleeping pill the night before.  No one warned me how hard it would be to get a good nights sleep!  I was asleep by midnight, but then wide awake and super excited at 3:30am! I, like a PP, would invite fewer guests.  We had a small wedding to begin with, but it could have been smaller.  I would only invite my closest friends and my family - people that I cared about and who cared about being there. Good luck and enjoy the rest of your planning!
  • I'm a 100% pleased with how everything turned out at our wedding, from the size of the guestlist to the buffet, so I can't really think of anything I would have done differently.  Upgrading the table linens to satin was probably a bad idea because they cost more money and didn't look any better than the basic polyester tablecloths.  Some things I'm glad we did: - Only had 50 guests so it felt more intimate and also eliminated a lot of stress (the fewer people you have, the less you have to worry about lol).- Took 90% of our pictures together before the ceremony- Didn't waste money on toasting flutes, cake toppers, or limos.- Our guests' comfort was very important to us, and we kept in mind that the reception was a way of showing them our appreciation for coming; however, we didn't beat ourselves up for having a buffet or having to skimp on other things (our budget didn't allow a sit-down dinner, but no one cared... they all raved about how good the food was and that's all that matters).- We didn't go into debt! - Hired the best photographer we could afford. - Chose a venue that allowed us to bring in our own vendors which saved us a ton of money (especially on alcohol!). 
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  • Do-Over: 1. Have a friend of mine do my hair. My hair lady was super dramatic and made my day stressful...I will never go back to her as a result. The hair she did was pretty, but so not worth the stress she caused. 2. Keep my makeup lady for the face, blush, and eye shadow...but do my own eyeliner, mascara and lips...those things are just too personal and you will want to do them yourself! 3. Would have added a removable halter strap to my strapless dress to add after the ceremony so I could dance without worries at the reception. Things I would keep: 1. The music!!! I had a live pianist for the ceremony who was fantastic! Such beautiful music in such a wonderful style. Our DJ was AMAZING and super cheap:) He had everyone on the dance floor!!! 2. The food!!! A family friend did the food, it was fantastic. We had heavy appetizers and they were the perfect summer evening food. So many people commented on it and loved it! 3. Flowers! They looked like they came out of a magazine! Rich colors of orange, purple, and pink:) LOVED them! They were the perfect touch to the day. Hope this helps!!! Have a WONDERFUL day:)
  • I haven't had mine yet but my cousin was married 2 years ago and she really regrets putting it together so quickly.  She was in such a hurry to be married that she didn't get anything she really wanted and she wasn't able to invite most of the people she wanted to.
  • For ours - nothing it was wonderful (well a small detail for me would have been better lipstick, I was kissing so much it came off a lot!! :-)But stick to what you can do, it's only one day don't go into debt over it.People don't care and won't notice, if you have toasting glasses a nice cake server, what color your napkins are, bathroom baskets or little things...save there. Put your money towards food, dancing and pictures.They will remember you two that day and how you were nothing else will matter!
  • I loved my photographer and am so glad we spent as much money as we did on him. My pictures are great, and I could not ask for more. The only thing I would have done differently to save money is used a beer/wine only bar. Everything else we did was streamlined anyway, so it fit within our budget. I loved our DJ, our flowers, everything!! I guess I could have not done as many programs. My advice for you is spend the money where it matters: dress, food, photography and then budget more on other things. Those are the things that matter most.
  • I would have absolutely hired a videographer. That is my biggest regret. I know they are expensive and my photos were amazing but I wish I had a video of the night. Besides that I wouldn't have changed a thing I had a blast at my wedding.
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  • This is a great question, and love hearing others' replies. Our wedding is 49 days away still but the one thing that has made it very easy for me is that our reception will be at a winery. EVERYTHING is included in our price per person: wine, beer, buffet, linens, servers, cake cutting; gratuity is extra, but I just planned it into my budget. Kids 7-13 are less than 1/2 price and under 6 are free. Saves me from the details of dealing with a bunch of different line items. Plus we chose a Friday, so we got a discount and a lower minimum guest count.
  • I would have taken a sleeping pill the night before. I only slept for about an hour. Loved our photographer for wedding, bridal, and engagement pics but I would have put a date pics would be received in my contract because it took months longer than she said. I wish I had not taken my veil off before dinner...it looks so beautiful in all the other pics. I would have scheduled my hair for later...she did mine before the bridesmaids/mom so it needed to last 11 hours until end of reception, and curls were definitely not as cute at end. I would have taken more pics of me and the girls getting ready and made my husband suffer through just a few more pictures...he was ready to get back to the party...even though it was only like 20 minutes of pics. (we had done bridal party and family pics before wedding)
  • i wouldnt change anything.we kept 100% control of our wedding both financially and planning wise.  Therefore we called all the shots and did it our way.  Our wedding had a big family dinner feel to it, versus a party feel.  Most of our guests knew each other, and we knew 100% of our guests, and in probably 90% of the cases, our guests knew both of us versus just one of us.We didnt have a limo, and dont regret it one bit.  i'll never understand paying money for a ride that gets you there, but then leaves you stranded in need of a ride home.We didnt do a cake cutting or any of the photo ops like garter toss and bouquet toss.  No one missed it.We also didnt have dancing.  Many, many people commented on how nice it was to be able to visit with everyone, including us, and not have to shout over a DJ. We did our entire wedding, the rings and the honeymoon for about 6500 and we're in metro Boston, which is known to be pricey.  cut all the frills and extras - no one will miss them, and you'll save a ton.  planning will be much easier too. 
  • I would have invited less people.  The attendance is what's making the wedding seem big.  I would also make it to where only children 13 years and older could attend.  I would either chose a venue that did everything (including decorations) or that allowed me to bring in everything, b/c the place I have you have to use their caterer (which is the most expensive thing in my wedding).  The more people the more the food cost.
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  • Havent had mine yet, but I can tell your right now If I could even go back about 2 months I would Change where the wedding is taking place.   Simply put I honestly would have had it at our house with close friends and family and had a local restraunt cater everything.As it is, its a tad late to change the reservations with our venue. I dont think I would deal with the stress of having 100+ people over at my house, or the clean up that would follow. Besides, My side of the famil gets a bit to roudy at parties to safely have it at our house...So Thats the only thing I would even consider doing diffrently. Just paying for convience and less stress with what we're doing now.
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  • Don't send "save the dates" to EVERYONE. Only send them to out of town family that you know will not be taken off the list. In the 8 short months we were engaged, we made new friends, and lost old ones. Once we got close to the wedding, there were people we wanted to take off our list but couldn't because we had already sent them a save the date....therefore, they knew they were invited...
  • Everyting I did came in at budget. The things I'd tweek are just the way a few things went. Our DJ kind of screwed up the introduction of the bridal party, not all of our guests knew we lined up for a receiving line after the ceremony out side of the church, people that were given centerpieces didn't take them, the wait staff didn't ask if the guests wanted cake from the vanilla layer or the carrot layer, we lost track of our centerpiece and digital camera...we got the camera back after the honeymoon. Just little things.What did go over famously though was our couples dance. We played "I Got You Babe" by Sonny & Cher and asked all the couples to join us on the dance floor. I think we ran out of floor! Our money dance music was also a hit...we played lots of Rat Pack stuff.
  • I haven't had my wedding yet, but if I could do things over...1. I wish I wouldn't have chosen to have a large bridal party (we're having a destination wedding) I feel so guilty asking them to travel, pay for dress/tux, etc. 2. The other thing is I wish I didn't spend so much on my dress. And I wish it wasn't strapless...it looks beautiful, but I can't hold it up! So I'm ending up putting straps on it. It just isn't practical for the type of wedding we're having, but it was the first thing I did. Other than that, no other regrets.
  • Thank you MLC for asking, and thank you everyone else for answering!  These insights were really helpful for me!!
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  • I would have spent more time finding a ceremony venue, or put it in the budget to pay for a better one (we are doing it in a park, which has been way more of a hassle than I ever expected, plus I don't even love the park) I love our reception venue, but I think we could have gone somewhere less expensive. We originally thought we would have more guests and their minimum would have been right on - but since we now have less guests, we could have saved money by not having to meet a minimum. I also wouldn't have stressed so much about going over budget, because in the end we are NOT over budget and I spent many hours worrying about it!
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  • I haven't had mine yet...but in order to try to save money my plans are:*No favors*Probably no programs*No cocktails, only beer and wine and limited champagne*No limo (we can walk from ceremony to reception and I don't need to waste $200 for a ride from the hotel to the park)*Getting quotes from the DJ and flat out telling him I can't book him unless he knocks of $200 bucks (because it's true)*Haven't looked into pricing yet but am thinking of doing a heavy appetizer type of meal instead of a solid dinner.*Small pretty cake for my groom and I and then sheetcakes for the 200 guests. (they wont see..it's still quality sheetcakes, not nasty cake)*Low Key relaxing rehearsal dinner and then leftover money from fiances parents will help with wedding costs.Hope something helps!  Good luck, I know it's tough to have a tight budget.
  • I forgot one...my Uncle is going to marry us.  It's much more meaningful and it saves about $200.
  • My wedding is still 2.5 months away, but I second nicholskasey - be very careful early on about whom you allow to think is invited.  Don't finalize your guest list until you know exactly how many people you can afford to invite.  I would have cut some people who live far away if I hadn't already led them to believe they'd be invited.
  • I LOVED how my wedding came out. It was BEAUTIFUL and all of the details tied together perfectly - but there is still a lot I'd change. Flowers - I'd go to the florist with a strict budget and orders on what I want. My flowers could've been way cheaper and I hated my bouquet - was not specific enough on it...... Photographer - pay attention to how long they tell you before you see photos, I thought I was ok with this - but now that I'm waiting, and waiting and waiting - I'm not! I'm getting really annoyed that in 6 weeks I havent even seen a teaser yet. Also, get specific examples of what you want - my dress had a BEAUTIFUL Cathdral train and he did nothing with it. I hate this - b/c this is what made the dress, and I can't believe he didn't capture it  :( DONT go last for hair and makeup.... My makeup lady warned me about this - but when the day came, it seemed acceptable to go last. Well - never realized how long it would take and suddenly it was time to leave and my hair was still getting done. The result was a total rush to get dressed - and therefore no photo shots of me getting dressed.... Also I would have set a tougher budget. B/c I had no real idea of what things cost - my plan of attack was to look at a few different options and then price them out against each other....I don't know if being more diligent would've saved me money - but it would have saved me from the sticker shock - and walking away from the wedding with NO money left! Hope this helps! Good luck.  
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  • My wedding was last Saturday and I honestly would not have changed a thing. If there were a way to make it less humid that day I probably would have done that, but otherwise I can't imagine adding or taking away from any aspect of it. Honestly I think as long as you have food, booze and a good crowd no one is going to notice all the little extras that you have or don't have. Don't stress and plan the wedding YOU want!
  • What we did right: *Chose a venue that let us decide on vendors.  Eliminates the $6 glasses of wine and $4 slices of cake.  Definitely helped the budget to have our say about food, beverages, cake, etc.*Invited the right number of people - 80 was perfect for us and for the venue.*Relaxed and enjoyed the day.  It will fly by, so drop the stress a few days prior and just go with it.  Some of the items on your to-do list will simply become less important as you get close - let them go.What I would change:*Be specific about asking for help.  I had friends lined up, but did not give them definite tasks or responsibilities.*Allow more time for makeup and dressing.  Definitely rushed, and didn't get all the pics before the ceremony that we wanted to.*List all the must-have pics, and follow the list.  There are family groups, etc that we missed, but didn't realize it until it was too late.*Ask specific people ahead of time to bring their cameras and shoot lots of casual candid shots to complement the pro pics.  I wish I had more of these.  You'll get them sooner than the pro pics, too.*Favors are fun to plan or create, but I spent too much effort on them and lots of guests didn't take one.*Eat something.  I think I had three bites of food all day.
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  • I wouldn't have done DIY centerpieces. My husband and I ordered bulk roses from Sam's and they ladies in my family helped me put them together. The centerpieces turned out okay, but because those were the flowers people were looking at all night, I really wish I would have worked with a florist instead.
  • Thank you MLC613 for such a great question and everyone else for really thoughtful answers.My wedding is four months away but I'm already regretting some of the earlier favor ideas. I definitely would not have ordered the personalized champange glasses. I also would have tried on a few more wedding dresses before buying it.
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