Marquee garden wedding at home

Wedding regrets – confessions of a wedding photographer

We’re not really ones to celebrate our relationship. We don’t do valentines day or anniversaries, or presents just because. We don’t do romance or soppy stuff, or surprises or outward displays of affection. Insults are shared often, as are practical jokes and pranks. All with love and all in good fun. We’re also not typically ones for having regrets. But there are some things we regret about our wedding and the wedding planning process.

Recently we’ve been thinking ahead to our upcoming 5th wedding anniversary and how we plan to celebrate. Not celebrating our relationship often means that when we do, we like to celebrate well. Planning an anniversary celebration has got us reminiscing about our wedding. All the things we loved and enjoyed, the funny moments. But also things that perhaps we’d change or do differently if we could do it all again. Our “wedding regrets” if you like.

It’s been almost 4 years since our wedding now and whilst there are no overwhelmingly stand out “regrets” that ruined our day, there are definitely some niggles. Things we’ve learned from, that we would change given half the chance. Here are our wedding regrets.

Planning the wedding too far in advance

Given the nature of our work we had little choice but to book our wedding so far in advance. The mistake we made was beginning planning straight away though when we had all that time.

Being wedding photographers, our weekends tend to get booked up around 2 years ahead of time so we booked our 2015 wedding in 2012. This left us with just under 3 years to plan. In retrospect, we should have booked in the date and just left the actual planning until nearer the time.

Whilst it was nice to have plenty of time to save up, having so much time between booking and the wedding ended up being a hindrance. Things change so much over the course of a couple of years that our original plans ended up being nothing like what we had originally planned for.

Things change a lot in 3 years

For example, when we booked the wedding we’d both not long left full time jobs, so we were still in regular contact with old work colleagues. 3 years later by the time the wedding came around, we weren’t in contact with anyone we used to work with. In 3 years we’d made new friends, drifted apart from others. Siblings had split with girlfriends/boyfriends, people had passed away. Various family members had fallen out with one another, made up, fallen out again. Our original plans included a guest list of up to 125. We ended up deciding to have an intimate 12 person wedding instead.

And it wasn’t just guest numbers. Too much time meant almost everything else changed too. Weights fluctuate, health issues arise, fashions change, trends change. I changed my dress. Our “theme” changed. We changed venue….twice to accommodate a change in plans and guest numbers. Just about everything we originally had in mind changed somewhere along the way.

Supplier regrets

Because of our job we appreciate that good suppliers book up fast. So we didn’t hang around. The problem with this was that as our plans changed, as the years rolled by, styles changed, trends changed, our tastes changed and we ended up with some suppliers who’s work/products we didn’t really like so much anymore. We ended up cancelling some things and losing some deposits. 3 years is definitely too far out to be booking most things.

On the flip side of this, when we decided to change our original plans, we found ourselves looking for a celebrant with only 6 month to go before the wedding. Everyone we liked was already booked. We ended up booking the only person we could find who was relatively local who was still available and it’s one of my biggest regrets. I really, really did not like our celebrant. She just didn’t get us at all. I’m not sure if it was an age thing as she was much older than us, but no matter what we tried to convey to her she just didn’t get the vibe we were going for. There was no connection, no relationship, no understanding of what we wanted.

Book suppliers you connect with

I felt like we gave her everything we could and in return got an impersonal, templatey script that was so far from what we wanted that when we received it I cried. In the end I had to write something and basically ask her to just read it. That wasn’t what we wanted, and to this day it still frustrates me.

At the time it didn’t seem like an option to bring in someone from further afield, so we didn’t fully investigate the availability of celebrants who may have been based far away but may have been a better fit.  Book suppliers you connect with and who get you. Book people who understand your vision. If that means getting people in from further afield and paying a little more to cover their travel, please do it if it is within your means to do so. I wish we had.

Not booking a honeymoon – Not taking time out just for us

Like a lot of couples, we didn’t go on honeymoon right after the wedding. We enjoyed a couple of days in Cornwall and always planned to book a honeymoon, but never quite got around to it. Life goes back to normal remarkably quick after a wedding and life got in the way. Soon it was a month after the wedding, then 6 months, then 18 month. Now we’re 4 years down the line and we still haven’t ever had that honeymoon we theoretically planned to book. Whilst we don’t have children, house moves and all the normal ups and downs of life always seem to prevent us from getting around to it.

There is always something else that will crop up. So if you don’t book it whilst you can, you may find yourselves like us and find that you never will. If we could do it all again we’d have booked that honeymoon. Maybe not to leave right after the wedding, but we’d have made sure it was booked and that we had something to look forward to.

Be excellent to each other