Learn from brides who've been there, done that.
Photography: NBarrete Photography1 of 6
Even with the best-laid plans and prep, pulling off a wedding where every detail ends up being perfect is no easy feat. Going through the process itself is one serious learning experience and on reflection, many brides would change one thing or two—or everything. Here, five brides weigh in on what they'd want to tweak. And hey, there's always a vow renewal celebration!
Photography: Katie Lopez Photography2 of 6
"I'd hire a coordinator—or at minimum someone local who had better insight into local vendors and could get better pricing. We started to feel like we were inundated with choices and had a hard time narrowing down vendors. Since we're both not from Sonoma, where we had our destination wedding, we didn't have friends to ask. We relied on reviews online to get insight into vendors, but it was so hard to make decisions remotely. For example, the florist was a recommendation through the venue. She was great, but expensive. I made all of the appointments myself which was no big deal, but if we had someone on the ground, perhaps they could've scouted venues for us—eliminated ones that were not worth our time seeing, and who knows, maybe come up with options we didn't even know about." — Sherri Fendelman, Woodland Hills, California
Photography: Jana Williams3 of 6
"I got engaged end of May and we set our date for Oct 15. I didn't know at the time, but it takes a good six months for most dresses to be ordered. I waited for my mother to visit in July so we could have the shopping experience together. The number of dresses that could be ordered in time for my wedding by that point were much more limited. I chose a dress I liked, but it was not my dream dress, and if I had to do it all over again I would increase my dress budget as well as start my shopping/ trying-on process immediately following my engagement."— Christina Hagopian, Port Imperial NJ
Photography: Mei Tao4 of 6
Embrace the Experience
"I listened to too many people who 'expected' this or that, and I didn't really have a 'bride gene' so I just went with it. I should've been more involved with the entire process and embraced the experience rather than just go through the motions. I was more concerned with just having a good time and treated it like a party instead of a wedding." — Jaime Hendricks, Hoboken, NJ
Photography: Mademoiselle Fiona5 of 6
"We had such an amazing photographer that I didn't think I would miss a professional video. However, we had a very intimate ceremony that included our own written vows, a ring blessing done by our siblings, and readings done by close friends and nieces/nephews. The photographs are so amazing to have, but being able to actually hear these parts of our ceremony again would be even better!" — Angie Gray, Wilmington, DE
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Photography: Katie Stoops Photography6 of 6
Redo the Dress
"I would have chosen the dress that I liked rather than the dress that everyone else liked. Thirteen years later I am still looking at my wedding picture and I am still annoyed about the way the dress looked. Listen to your gut, because the photos last forever!"— Amy Gare, New Fairfield, CT