Wedding Recap and Withdrawal

post-wedding "shoulda-coulda-woulda"s

We just got married 3 weeks ago and since then I've been trying to not be overly critical of how our wedding turned out. but it's proving to be more difficult than i thought.

Let me first start out by saying I LOVE my marriage and I am so happy to finally call my best friend my husband. We've never been happier in these past 3 weeks and we are loving married life!! but when I look back on the day, the conclusion I keep coming to is that everyone had a great day except me. It sounds so silly and yet here i am. I call what i am feeling the "shoulda coulda woulda's" because looking back there are so many instances during the day that i think "i should've done this differently" or "if we could've just...." or " i wish i would've...". It doesn't feel like post-wedding blues, just more of being overly critical/unrealistic expectations/perfectionism. It was a good day it just doesn't feel like it was
'the best day". however, it was "the best moment" of my life; when i exchanged vows with my husband. now THAT was like out of a fairytale :)

so am i the only one who feels like this? I thought i'd post something here because i feel like i can't talk to anyone else about it. The people I'd talk to are hubby, my sis, my mom, my bridesmaids... but they all had the best time of their lives and when i try to talk about how i feel, i think it takes away from their experience. I don't want to shatter their memories of the day with my bummer feelings ha.

let me know if you've felt the same or similar, it would be nice to know it's not just me and it's not the worst thing!


Re: post-wedding "shoulda-coulda-woulda"s

  • IrishPirate60IrishPirate60 Clare Island member
    Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited June 2015
    You've been so deeply involved, it's hard to see the big picture. I have friends who were in theatre productions that took all their time and energy for months. Finally, the performances came. The audiences loved it, cheered, raved. And there was always someone behind the scenes who was still fretting that a scene change didn't go smoothly, that an exchange of dialog was completely ad-libbed in Act Two, that the lighting crew turned the sky green instead of sunset... "Best day ever" means you got married. Anything beyond that is just part of the story. You'll find stories here about disastrous wedding days, but people still GOT MARRIED. Be a helpful voice when people come asking questions. If you see someone asking about something you wish you'd given more thought to, say something. In the meantime, you accomplished great things. You're married, you threw a great party, and you lived to tell the tale. Congrats!
    future mrs cornelius[Deleted User]Heffalump
  • I just got married last Saturday and my only 2 regrets are 1. not spending more of the day with my husband, after the ceremony we sort of went our separate ways to check on things that needed to be done ( like the food as we had a BBQ and wanted to make sure the food was going to be ready on time and his father who is not in the best of health and it was very hot out that day) and 2. having someone get my dad  when the bridal party lined up for the processional, he forgot to walk me up to the ceremony site. The rest of the day was wonderful and I have great memories and photos of everyone having fun and enjoying themselves.
    future mrs cornelius
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Now and then I think of a few things that I would have done differently or I wish had gone differently, but overall I was very happy with the day. You just have to let those things go and focus on being happily married.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • I think the "wedding industrial complex" tries to build up expectations of "the day" to unrealistic levels.  

    If you were the sole person in charge of planning, which it sounds like you may have been, it's easy to engage in self-criticism about what you could have done differently.

    The fact that everyone else had such a wonderful time should tell you that you did an excellent job of planning and hosting!  It also sounds like you were very cognizant of the most important part of the day - exchanging vows & marrying your spouse.  You're right, that IS the most important moment and you nailed it.

    My dad always tells me there is absolutely no point in dwelling in past disappointments. Just pick up and move on.  Focus on the road ahead now.  Your rearview mirror image of the event will likely change over time.

    Congratulations, btw!
    future mrs corneliuslc07bunnyprincess2014
  • beachyone15beachyone15 TEXAS (the home of my exes) member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    There were a few small things I would have changed, but I haven't ever heard of someone who describes their wedding day as "perfect". That's too much pressure for one day out of your life. What makes me happy about our wedding day (besides marrying my best friend) is hearing how much fun our guests had and looking back at our photos which turned out beautifully!


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    future mrs cornelius
  • kvrunskvruns member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Yea is started thinking about not taking certain pictures or the fact that I spent the least amount of time with my family and closest friends (bridesmaids) despite the fact that those people are most important to me. But the reality is it all went well, people had a good time and at the end of the day we were married so no need to dwell
    future mrs cornelius
  • It is really, really hard not to dwell.  There were a couple of things that looking back I wishwishwish I had done differently.  Maybe it will get easier as time passes and I realize that I didn't do anything relationship ending (I was not a bridezilla etc.) and I'm just being too hard on myself. 

    And of course, I'm probably the only person who noticed these things.  
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    future mrs cornelius
  • Thanks ladies!!!! This really helps. You are totally right there is no such thing as "perfect" and I just need to let it go. let's hope its just as easy to do it as it is to say it! haha. And as you said, my view will probably change over time. I think you're right. I am just too hard on myself for things like this and I did plan the whole thing so it was easy to notice things that went wrong...

    did anyone's husbands feel like this too? the only part of the day my husband is bummed about is that he didn't get to talk to everyone- but we had about 300 people there!
  • Thanks ladies!!!! This really helps. You are totally right there is no such thing as "perfect" and I just need to let it go. let's hope its just as easy to do it as it is to say it! haha. And as you said, my view will probably change over time. I think you're right. I am just too hard on myself for things like this and I did plan the whole thing so it was easy to notice things that went wrong...

    did anyone's husbands feel like this too? the only part of the day my husband is bummed about is that he didn't get to talk to everyone- but we had about 300 people there!
    Nope, he's so damn glad the wedding's over and he get's his happy, no-stress wife back ;)
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    future mrs cornelius
  • I had this too but I was so happy on our wedding day and the last 3 weeks before were such a stressful time I really didn't care about the things that went wrong. My only regret and H's too, is that we didn't get the chance to dance a lot, nor spend lots of time at the reception together


  • I've experienced a lot of hindsight regrets of things I could have done better on my wedding. I get a sinking feeling when I look at some of the photos and wish that we'd had the ceremony later in the day when the light wasn't so bright and casting shadows on everything. I'd always envisioned a wedding at dusk, but was talked into having the ceremony much earlier than I wanted.

    Everyone who attended says they had a great time and that it was a beautiful ceremony and reception. I wish I could see it through their eyes, but I guess whenever you have such a personal connection to something that you've planned out, it is really hard not to look at it through a critical eye. The other issue is seeing pictures from other weddings and feeling envy that I didn't have THAT particular detail, or I didn't get THAT particular shot from the photographer. Whenever I start to feel bummed out that things didn't turn out exactly the way I'd envisioned, I just have to remember that 1) I am married to my best friend, and that was always the end goal, and 2) everyone, including my husband who didn't even want a wedding, had a great time. 






  • You're definitely not along here. There are things I definitely would have done differently; mainly paying for it ourselves. We were fortunate that my parents offered to pay for everything, but they also had very specific ideas about how things were to go. Both me and H wish we would have said, "thanks, but no thanks" and done things our way.

    Everyone had a great time, and we did too, but some of the hurt feelings that came with planning (my Mom turned into a Bridezilla, my MOH flipped out right before the wedding) have made me wish we had done things different. I thinking (hoping) it passes soon.
  • For future brides, I think it's important to say this over and over in your mind: The mark of a successful wedding is when the couple ends up married...People build up this "perfect day" way too much in their minds.

    This. Some of my favorite moments were things that didn't go as planned. We had a knot tying ceremony where he tied a fisherman's knot and I pulled the ends to slide the knots together, symbolizing the joining of our lives. He practiced a thousand times, always getting it right, and then on the day, no matter how I pulled the ropes, the knots would slide apart. He had to retie them. Naturally the next line of the ceremony was "this is one of the simplest knots to tie." It made for hilarious pictures and made me laugh just when I was about to really cry.

    When I look back, there are things I might have changed, but ultimately I have no regrets. It helps that we had amazing support and no interpersonal drama.

  • Our DJ was abysmal and spent the night smoking on the deck of the winery. We are trying to get our money back but his boss is telling us "he doesn't even smoke!" That's hilarious. I don't have 150 reception guests as witnesses or anything...but that was about the worst part. My husband was a bit lit on alcohol but I know that's because he doesn't do well in front of a lot of people so I ignored a few of his indiscretions. It was his night as well. I did hear about drama the next day but I was glad I wasn't aware of it while it was doing on. My one serious regret is we forgot to take the microphone from the DJ and thank everyone. 
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  • Completely get those feelings, OP. We're about 2 months out, and I'm still going back and wishing that things could go differently. Our transportation completely screwed up - leaving guests at the hotel, my brother and mother were dealing with the bus driver all night because he was rude and late for his scheduled pickups and they missed a lot of the reception. We were so excited to enjoy the hospitality suite with our friends but my MOH got super drunk and weepy in the hospitality suite and my mom insisted that I would be the one to take care of her (My friends were already in there, taking care of her, she was medically OK). Did I mention it poured and the outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour had to be scrapped? And did I mention that every single weekend after this summer it's been perfect? ;)

    I cried the morning after to my mom - she thought because I was dissapointed it was all over, I was convinced since I was focused on the last 3 hours with the bus and the MOH that no one had a great time. Then we had brunch and people's stories made me feel better that they were happy and taken care of ("Who cares the bus was late? Your venue reopened the bar! It was fantastic!") We went on our honeymoon, which went beyond our wildest expectations (even with the crazy heat and European air conditioning!). Then our picture preview came through, and I finally was able to take a step back and realize how great the day was. I'm not going to lie and say I still don't struggle with it, especially because I did the majority of the planning. I am completely happy to be married (the ceremony was awesome!), but I still put a lot of pressure on myself. I know as we get further from it, the good details will shine through and the bad ones will become a story to laugh at :)
  • There were a few small things I would have changed, but I haven't ever heard of someone who describes their wedding day as "perfect". That's too much pressure for one day out of your life. What makes me happy about our wedding day (besides marrying my best friend) is hearing how much fun our guests had and looking back at our photos which turned out beautifully!
    Ditto!
  • GeekyBride87GeekyBride87 member
    25 Love Its 10 Comments First Anniversary
    edited September 2015
    Oh my god, I just got married on Saturday and we had so many "hindsight is 20/20" moments but our guests thought everything was perfect and absolutely wonderful. I had to remember that that's what's important.

    My mom took some new allergy medication right before the wedding and was shaking too bad to hook my train up (my bridesmaids and the girlfriends of our groomsmen helped). But she was so upset that SHE couldn't do it that she freaked out. I almost thought I was going to have to smack her to calm her down. Haha! I kept saying, "Breathe, Mom. It's fine..." My aunts were following lists and tasks while she just ran around screaming at people and losing her mind.

    We had a backyard wedding and did pictures before the ceremony, so while we were waiting for the ceremony to begin, guests kept just coming in the house instead of going to sit down and my mom and one of my bridesmaids had to hide me upstairs so that people would go sit down. They all wanted to come in the house to see me and it was a couple minutes to showtime! We weren't expecting that.

    I didn't think that I needed to tell everyone not to bring their animals to my wedding... Well, one of my guests brought her dogs and had them on leashes during the ceremony. My mom came running up to me before the ceremony and told me and I just said, "Well, it's too late to do anything about it now. Just make sure she keeps them on a leash." Blah... She put them back in her car (with the windows down) after the ceremony and kept apologizing to me about it. She left right after dinner anyway.

    There was a mix up with the music so I came down the aisle to absolute silence - and tears. It played for the ring bearer, bridesmaids, and flower girl but stopped when everyone stood up for me. I didn't realize there was no music playing until I was halfway down the aisle because I was so focused on not tripping and pulling my Papa down with me. My husband noticed that my smile went from a genuine nervous one to my fake smile when I noticed there was no music playing, but he said I hid it well. I was so nervous that when I got to the alter with him, I mouthed, "What the fuck?" on accident - but no one but him saw. I was so mortified to have everyone looking at me that he had to keep rubbing my hands to keep me calm. But the guests all thought it was supposed to happen because the music ended so perfectly right before I came down that everyone kept coming up to us saying how beautiful and serene it was as I came down the aisle. They kept saying, "I've never seen anyone do that and it just made the moment so perfect." We just kept saying, "Yeah... wasn't that wonderful?" But I was freaking out on the inside. Thankfully by the time it came for us to say the vows that we had written, I had composed myself and got to really enjoy that moment with my husband. It seemed like it was just the two of us there then and I'll never forget the way he teared up as I was reading my vows or the way he looked at me while he read his.

    We had lavender in paper cones for people to throw at us as we walked back up the aisle. The photographer said that it made for amazing pictures so I'm glad we did that and the whole yard smelled amazing. But while everyone else was throwing it up so that it rained down on us, his aunt (who acts like a child), stepped in front of us at the end of the aisle and threw her lavender DIRECTLY in my face. 

    Our caterers got lost and so we had an unintentional 20 minute gap between the ceremony and dinner. But it gave people a chance to all come talk to us, visit among themselves, take pictures, take smoke breaks, etc. People were so busy coming up to chat with us that no one but us noticed. We just walked from table to table talking to everyone to cover for it.

    They tried to get the drinks out right after the ceremony and it would have been fine if the caterers would have been on time for the drinks to come out as the food was being set up, but because they got a little lost, my aunts were scrambling to get the alcohol out there for people to drink while they waited but the cork screws for the wine got lost...? Thankfully they found them so the drinks came out about 10 minutes before the food. I think the 10 minute wait on drinks wasn't that bad. Again, no one seemed concerned or noticed. I was the only one going, "Where the hell is the wine?"

    The knives that we rented got lost. Haha! But thankfully... backyard wedding! We just used our own and had more than enough.

    We were supposed to start our first dance and get the party music going but my husband's family decided at THAT moment that they NEEDED more pictures with the two of us. So my dinner music playlist had to be played AGAIN while we did that and I was so pissed. But my photographer just hurried through it because she knew that I was fed up with pictures and wanted to dance with my new husband! 

    My one and only regret was that I wanted to spend more time with people. I got to chat with, hug, and take pictures with all our guests, but it never feels like enough time. Thankfully my husband and I got to spend almost the entire day together and I didn't feel like I didn't get enough time with him. We were pretty much holding hands or kissing the entire day!

    Everyone says that that day goes by so fast that you don't get to enjoy it. However, I have to say that it seemed like one of the longest days of my life. I loved most of it, but it was exhausting!

    It's never going to be perfect, but it was beautiful and everyone had a great time. You just have to remember that (especially when there are so many other people involved) there are always going to be little snags - but it'll be wonderful and makes for great stories later on!

    Edited to say: Some regrets are totally fixable even afterwards though! My husband and I loved our photographer so much! I spent most of the day with my bridesmaids, my husband, and photographer... so having someone I was comfortable around was great. She's a friend of mine and was so excited that she helped keep me calm. We took so many pictures of family and the bridal party that there just wasn't time for ALL the photos we wanted of me and my husband. My photographer was bummed and we were a little bummed. But I just looked at my husband the day after and said, "You know, we still have the clothes." So we booked her for another session and we're going to be taking more pictures at sunset in town. She's super excited and I'm thrilled to get more use out of this expensive dress!
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    snip

    We had a backyard wedding and did pictures before the ceremony, so while we were waiting for the ceremony to begin, guests kept just coming in the house instead of going to sit down and my mom and one of my bridesmaids had to hide me upstairs so that people would go sit down. They all wanted to come in the house to see me and it was a couple minutes to showtime! We weren't expecting that.

    snip
    Fellow backyard bride here... that is a great point! We are having our coordinator turn people away from the house starting at 3:30 when we go inside from pictures (ceremony at 4). My parents' home is all on one level, and my dad's family is insane. They are the reason I am doing extended family photos after the ceremony rather than before like the rest of the photos. I won't be able to deal with them before the ceremony.
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  • Yeah, it just wasn't something any of us thought about. Good thing your coordinator did! At every wedding I've ever been to, I drop off the gift, sign the guestbook, and go sit down. I wouldn't even think of going in the house to bother the bride right before the ceremony! To be honest though, I think my husband played a big role in that little problem. Our friends from college showed up and he was dragging them in the house to come see me about ten minutes before the ceremony. Then he was so caught up in catching up with them and hugging everyone that my aunt (who was playing coordinator, had to tell him, "You have to leave now. You're getting married in ten minutes, remember?"
  • there are a few things I would have done differently, we had an issue with the hotel shuttle also! (wish we would have saved the money on that & just ubered guests from the hotel, would have been a lot cheaper) & I haven't gotten all of my pictures back yet but I def wish I had taken more time to take a lot more pictures with my parents. it's such a blur of a day you forget certain things! everything was pretty much perfect for me minus a few minor things here & there. but I believe all brides get that "should have would have" feeling after their wedding! 

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    @KnotRiley please close this zombie!
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