Your wedding day is meant to be the best day of your life. You can be excruciatingly meticulous down to the very last detail, but, most of us look back and think about how we’d do it differently.
My wedding day seems like many moons ago! I think we’re close to celebrating 10 years of marriage, and boy, things have changed and even weddings seem different nowadays.
We went down a rather traditional route, although not particularly religious. We got married in a church and that meant travelling to our reception, which is the first thing that I would change. I would have much prefered to have the ceremony and reception under one roof.
My dress wasn’t my dream dress. It wasn’t the diamond-encrusted Barbie dream dress that I had always wished for, it was in fact, the cheapest one I could find. Stupidly, I didn’t think that I deserved anything else.
Recent therapy has helped me realise that in this instance, I was allowed to be selfish. Yes Sareta, you deserved to have the Barbie wedding dress.
There was really no need to invite friends GF’s/BF’s, half of which aren’t even together now. This makes our wedding photos really dated and cringe-worthy! Especially when their new partners take a look through our wedding albums.
Spending nearly 7K irks me, I know some people spend a whole lot more on their wedding day, but that money definitely could have been invested.
If anything, it should have gone towards a deposit for a house. We were still renting at the time, and we would have been financially better off if we got our foot on the housing ladder.
However, we did things backwards, kids, wedding, then purchased a house. It’s funny how looking back makes you want to slap yourself!
It was a lovely day overall, I just wished that we could have done something a little more intimate, and for a lot less money.
Zara’s Wedding day, and what she would have changed
After 10 whole years together, 5 of those engaged; I’m patient, aren’t I?
My other half and I finally decided to tie the knot. We scraped our loose ‘Vintage themed’ day together on a budget of £3,500, and for what we had, I was happy! Our Wedding day was amazing.
I was never one for sit down meals or any type of formality, which in turn made for some beautiful photos! The whole relaxed ‘enjoy and have fun’ vibe took over. We saved loads by finding my wedding dress in a prom dress shop.
Not having a sit-down meal meant we only had to pay out for the buffet food, and we simply went the registry office and rented a hall room out for the evening! (To note, the registry office was actually quite beautiful).
If I could change anything about my wedding day, it would have been more money to play with! It meant that I would have had bridesmaids, and my husband some groomsmen. That wedding budget disappears quickly and that means certain things had to be sacrificed.
Oh! And I totally would have had some extra moments with glitter, because glitter makes everything fabulous!
But hold on, my tips…
Make a spreadsheet
Seeing things in front of you is realistic, and you can track spending (and refrain from overspending) do you really need those 150 sugared almonds that you know the family don’t like? Knock them off save some ‘dolla’.
No not what you’re thinking – I mean flowers! I saved nearly £200 just by having a faux bouquet from eBay (yep that exact one in the photo) all other flowers were fake too and have since made long-lasting, beautiful keepsakes for the family too
Don’t bow down to other people’s wants
If you don’t fancy that manor in the countryside that Aunt Sally has pictured you marrying in since you were 6, don’t get yourself into debt for it. Many places cater and can look just as beautiful. But, always, always scope it out before you dive headfirst. And while face to face it’s great to haggle too – we managed to negotiate the price of table covers in ours, while this may not seem much, it was an extra £50 saved doing it myself.
Another cruel to be kind
Don’t feel like you have to have tom, dick, Harry (and the random close family friend Peter) as your bridal gang. Dresses and suits are another Big Bang to the wallet when getting married – myself? I had none. Zero. Zilch. It saved family fights ‘whys she a bridesmaid and not me’ and me a Shed-ton of cash. Literally!
See if there’s a ‘family friend’ in photography
My photos were done by a friends work colleague who was in actual fact a professional photographer. Again, I saved a wedge spending 300 pounds on two discs with 400 images of my day on. Plus side? I wasn’t roped into any photography packages and managed to bag myself a bargain Canvas from an online company for £50! (Sorted!)
And above all. Make it YOURS! it’s your day! And your picture!
Jude’s Wedding Day, along with some things that she may have changed
I got married back in 2010, and I was one of the first of my friends to walk down the aisle (and sadly one of the first to go through a separation… but that’s another story)
I hadn’t even attended that many weddings by the time it was my turn to be a bride, so when it came to planning down to the finer details, I was a bit lost. I was also not even slightly interested in attending wedding fairs or reading bridal magazines as I didn’t think that was my style.
But, one thing I missed by not doing my research, and that I regret is not filming more of the day itself. I captured much of the actual ceremony on video, but I wish I had filmed the speeches as well, particularly the one from my dad. I know that he said some compelling, funny and meaningful words but I can’t remember all of them!
This may or may not be related to how our wedding venue was a vineyard. Even now, with the marriage just a memory, I wish I had the footage to look back on and remember the good times.
Also, I would remind everyone to remember to back up all of your images! I had a moment of panic a couple of years ago that I had lost all of mine when my trusty old laptop failed me. Luckily, they were recovered, but I would have been devastated to have lost them forever.
I want my son TJ to know the full family story when he is old enough, and images and footage will be central to that.
Hayley’s Wedding, and some tips that’ll help you avoid any regrets
Our day was fantastic. Think 18th Century Palladian Country House set in 312 acres of forest, which played host to the likes of Winston Churchill and Marlon Brando – and you start to get an image.
In no way could we have afforded it at “normal prices” but ironically our luck was in as we wanted to get married in 2013 and it seemed not many other people did. We aren’t at all superstitious, so jumped at the “Unlucky 13” offer.
We got serious bang for our buck and had the most beautiful day.
Keep your wedding decorations to a minimum.
We didn’t have anywhere near enough time to add all of the decorations we wanted pre-wedding as the venue was only open to us a couple of hours before the wedding.
If Mother Nature still insists on paying you a monthly visit, try and book your wedding around this.
It may sound ridiculous, but take it from someone who did not think of this: I came out in a massive chin spot on the day of my wedding, was cranky as shit with almost everyone and was worried I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the honeymoon action if ya know what I mean.
Feedback from our guests suggested that our little touches were appreciated! Flip-flops in the ladies loo, because, come on, no one wants to wear heels all night! We also supplied hangover kits containing a bag of crisps/bottle of water/chocolate bar and a couple of paracetamol.
They were a huge hit and very much put together on the cheap.
Don’t lose the true meaning
It’s about you and your most beloved. Make sure to make it about you and your beloved and try not to give too many f**ks about anyone else.
And last, but not least
If you’re looking for wedding day inspiration, check out my favourite bridal magazine and blog Rock N’ Roll Bride. They have so many beautiful wedding features, and every wedding is unique in some way.
Your wedding day is about you as a couple, nothing else should really matter. Do your research and plan together. Feel free to get your family members involved, but don’t let them make key decisions for you.
And remember, have fun! You only get to do it once… well, if you’re one of the lucky ones, that is.
Have any regrets or things that you wish you could change? Let us know in the comments box below.
Sareta Fontaine is the founder of Kiki Blah-Blah; a modern lifestyle blog aimed initially at mum’s but has since grown. Since 2016, Sareta has worked on the platform, both designing and creating a space for other bloggers to share their thoughts and feelings, while also sharing hers.