Wedding Wednesday: 10 Things I Would Have Done Differently

It may sound cliche, but my wedding day was the best day of my life. There were so many things that went right [check out my post about that here], but of course, hindsight is 20/20, and I'm rethinking some of my choices. I have very few regrets about my wedding, but I do have a few things that I wish I had done a little differently. If I had it to do again, I would...

1. Plan a first look with Dad. The wedding day got so crazy so fast that I totally forgot to put some time aside for my Pa. My sister, Lindsey, did not do a first look with her husband -- they were not de rigueur in 2009 -- but she did hold off on Dad seeing her until moments before she walked down the aisle with him. The reward was getting to see our father's face when he laid eyes on his daughter, the bride. I wish I had that moment as a bride to enjoy being his baby girl for one last second. Side note: I also wish I had a first look with my brother-in-law, Scott. His totally unexpected reaction as I came down the stairs right before seeing Alex for the first time was way bigger than Alex's ever was. I would have loved to have it captured on camera. Having him scream in my face, "Oh my god! You look gorgeous!" right before seeing my betrothed really gave me a boost of confidence!

College gal pals, Daizy, Karisa, and Jessica. This might be the best one of us from that night.
2. Take more pictures with friends.  The weird thing about most weddings is that you don't really get to see or talk to any of your guests until after the ceremony. I had many friends and relatives travel from far and wide to be there and I have hardly any evidence to prove it. I was so swept away in dancing with my new husband, that I kind of ignored some of my friends. I feel bad about that. It was a great sensation first being married, but I wish I had snapped a couple photos with my pals and really hugged them tight.

Actual text between my sister, Maija, and I recapping the wedding.
3. Prepare money envelopes. We kept reading on pinterest about how you should put all your unpaid invoices into envelopes the week before the wedding so that everyone gets paid on time. Totally did not do that and it wasn't good. I had to get a check to the rabbi the day of, pay the parking guy in cash, and paypal outstanding balances the day after. It was distracting and stressful and I should have just dealt with it before the actual day of my wedding. DUH.


4. Give my bridesmaids gifts the night before. I made these really cute bridesmaids gift bags filled with their wedding jewelry, lotion, tissues and nail polishes. I thought it'd be a good photo op to give the bags to them on the wedding day. Not so. I got this picture, which is great and all, but it made it so my maids couldn't use their gifts until after the wedding day. That was stupid. If I had given the gifts at the rehearsal dinner, they might have enjoyed them a bit more.

Our photographer, Heidi did a wonderful job framing out all this junk in the photos she took. But this candid iPhone photo shows just some of the ungodly mess.
5. Keep getting ready area clean. When my bridesmaids, mom, and mother-in-law arrived at the wedding venue, we only had our hair done and we made a holy mess tearing into our makeup bags and changing into our dresses. It looked like a wreck. Our lovely wedding photographer and videographer probably had to carefully frame out the diaper bag, pile of discarded clothing, and spilling over cosmetics. There were some chances for some awesome photos, but we kind of blew it by being so dang messy!

Try not to look too close, but yeah, major bandaid-age going on over here.
 6. Break in my shoes. A few days before my wedding, my sisters threw me and awesome bachelorette party and I decided to wear a pair of heels I'd just bought. Huge mistake. They shredded my feet. I'll be honest and say that I actually cried when I saw what I had done to my feet. It was just days before I was set to walk down the aisle in yet another pair of new shoes. You can see my bandaged feet in all those close up pics of my wedding shoes. Boo... This bit of advice also goes for trying out pretty much anything new right before your wedding. Don't switch face washes or lotions, don't get a Brazilian bikini wax for the first time, don't dye your hair a new color within a week of your wedding. It could end badly, and you'll regret it.

Thanks, Thomas!!
7. Hire a wedding video editor. Alex and I hired one of our friends to shoot our wedding, and he did an amazing job. The footage perfectly captures all the precious moments of the day and its so nice to revisit our vows or the moment my parents cried while giving me away. My regret however, is not having it edited by a professional. We figured that we would get to it ourselves, and a year later... Still not video. Don't take on more than you can handle. Professionals are there for exactly that purpose.

This search result yielded over a million hits. WUT.
8. Look at pinterest less. Every bride is different, and so every wedding should be. Pinterest is like a black hole of wedding inspiration; it can suck you in and once your on the other side it all starts to look the same. Give yourself a break from looking a vintage, rustic, country, glam, mint, glitter, spring weddings and imagine your own. Once you have the framework in your head, hit up the internet for inspiring details, rather than relying on it for your whole wedding scheme.

9. Do a hair trial run. I had my hair styled at drybar the day of my wedding. I didn't even go in once to try it out or see what the experience would be like before booking appointments for myself, three bridesmaids, my mom and mother in law. Whoops. While the experience was awesome -- champagne! -- my hair totally fell flat before the ceremony and I also forgot to ask for a braided detail which I had my heart set on. If I could do it again, I would work with a trusted stylist or at least give myself a test run through the salon before the day of.

10. Leave before the last minute // have a grand exit. The moment our wedding was over, the lights flicked on and it seemed like the emotion was sucked out of the room. I had been hell-bent on staying until the last second to enjoy every single moment of the day, but I wish I had left before the final guest did. It would have been a wonderful feeling to leave the party with a grand farewell, love in our hearts, and stars in our eyes, rather than feeling pushed out because it was time to clean up.

Some may notice that the night's biggest blunder -- hiring a transport company that literally did not show up -- is conspicuously left off of this list. My reason for that is this: there was basically nothing more I could have done to prevent this from happening. We hired the only bus that was in our budget, we confirmed multiple times, everything was squared away, and they still didn't come. The only other thing I could have done if I time-traveled back would be to hire another company, but we absolutely could not afford it. So I'm gonna have to let this one slide. My advice to brides that have something go wrong on the day-of? Shuffle off the responsibility of fixing the problem to someone else, and go with the flow. Let nothing ruin your day!!

All photos by Heidi Ryder Photography unless otherwise noted.