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7 Wedding Regrets From a Real Bride

As I watched and re-watched my wedding video (PS - submit yours here!), I questioned whether there were moments I may have missed—or done differently.

bride and groom with water backdrop

bride and groom with water backdrop

Photo: Krista A. Jones Photography

As I watched and re-watched my wedding video (PS - submit yours here!), I questioned whether there were moments I may have missed—or done differently. Here are seven regrets I still struggle with regularly:

I didn’t give my dad a hug or kiss as he gave me away
If you were to ever meet my dad, he would be wearing a blue button-up shirt, khaki shorts, and tennis shoes. Never in my 23 years have I ever seen him wear a suit and tie. As we walked down the aisle, we made every step last until he gave me away to Brian. He got so choked up that he sat down in a hurry. I didn’t get the chance to give him a hug or kiss. Thank goodness my mom had a handkerchief waiting for him!

We didn’t exchange gifts during our first look
Brian and I went back and forth on this for weeks, maybe even months, before our big day. We ultimately decided that we weren’t going to exchange gifts, just handwritten love letters. On the morning of, my MOH handed me a set of pearl stud earrings—a gift from my groom. Of course my initial reaction was, “I didn’t get him anything. Do I already get the worst wife award?” I wish we had stuck to our word, and also read our cards aloud to each other during our first look.

I didn’t purchase a pair of comfy shoes
I purchased a pair of Badgley Mischka wedges thinking to myself, “Oh, I’ll definitely be able to dance.” Wrong. After singing to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” I told my sister-in-law to go get my Sanuk sandals. The soles are literally made of yoga mats! She saved the night, and I was able to beat those blisters. If I were to redo my shoe choice, I would opt for a more comfy option.

I should have included more family shots on my photo checklist
My photo checklist included group family photos of my parents, grandparents, and siblings, but I forgot to include individual family photos of my parents, grandparents, siblings, and both labrador retrievers. Not to mention it would have been a pretty cool candid to get 175 people together! Don’t make the same mistake I did, consult your photo checklist to make sure you have ALL the shots you want.

Our first dance felt way too long
We picked Jack Johnson’s “Better Together” for our first dance. It’s only slightly over three minutes long, but because we hadn’t practiced, it felt like it was five. After winging it for about 60 seconds, we walked off embarrassed. We should have hired an instructor to teach us how to move with the music. It would have been totally worth learning the ins and outs of the twirl.

We didn’t plan an after party
Since our reception ended before midnight, we expected guests to hop on the shuttle back to the hotel for some much needed rest. However, they weren’t tired! We hadn't planned for an after party, knowing the lobby bar would be closed at that point. Instead, guests walked out onto the pier’s pavilion, plugged their iPhones into the sound system, and continued to celebrate.

We slept in until 11 a.m. the morning after
Brian and I didn’t bother to set an alarm for brunch with our bridal party. We thought they would come banging on our suite’s door to scare us. We woke up around 11 a.m., which was the same time we had to check out. We missed out on mimosas, saying goodbye to a few family and friends, and the pre-game show for the Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns.