When it comes to the wedding day, most couples dream of perfection. After all, this is an event you've been thinking about for months—if not years—and it's a big investment. But there's an unfortunate and simultaneously beautiful realization that most couples come to on and immediately after their big day, and it's that, no matter how meticulously you plan, no matter how incredible your ideas are, and no matter what team of vendors you hire, the day will never "perfect." While it may be the perfect celebration for you in the end, it's important to accept the fact that not everything will go as planned.
The good news: What you didn't expect to happen is often what makes the day so special. To prove our point, we asked newlyweds to share the things they wished they knew ahead of their wedding days, and you'll find that the idea of the big day not being perfect is one that comes up again and again.
Planning a wedding didn't sound like a huge challenge when Tirusha D. got engaged, but she quickly got a taste for just how much time, energy, and money would go into making their wedding dreams come true—not to mention the fact that both the bride and groom had busy full-time jobs that already consumed their days. "Working in fashion editorial myself, and my husband being a photographer, we see how easy it is for others when we're working alongside them to manage their event, so I think we thought the same would be easy for ourselves, but it wasn't," she says. "If we stopped and considered hiring a planner or a team to simply help execute certain parts of the wedding it would have been less stressful." If anything, she wishes she knew that trying to coordinate her own wedding wouldn't be something she could do with her eyes closed. "Thankfully there were no issues, but if we had a coordinator we would have focused more on enjoying the moment rather than worrying about what needed to happen next."
Shanelle A. wishes she knew how insignificant the small details would be in the grand scheme of the wedding day. "My husband and I were married in sunny Trinidad and Tobago and looking back I realized the things I stressed and obsessed about for many weeks, like the tropical carpet in the reception hall, didn't even cross my mind or my guests' minds on the wedding day," she says. "I was strongly considering going with another venue or paying an extra several thousand dollars just to cover the entire carpet with hardwood, but close friends and family convinced me to reconsider and I'm truly happy they did. You're showered with so much love and joy on your wedding day there's no time at all to even think about minor details." For this reason, she says she wishes someone had told her not to sweat the small stuff. It seems like simple advice, but it would have saved the bride a great deal of stress.
Another thing Shanelle wished she knew (or did) before her wedding is surprisingly simple: She never sat down during her wedding dress fittings. "Sitting down during your fitting is very important because, once the big day comes, you have no idea how tight or uncomfortable your dress will be!" she says. "I only realized this when my photographer asked me to take a seat for a photo and I immediately worried that my dress would split or a button was going to pop off, so this is one thing I wish I did and advise all brides to be to do before the big day!"
Amber F. says a few things come to mind when thinks back on what she wishes she had known before her own wedding day. For starters, she had no idea that changing her last name would be such a huge deal. "I got so caught up in the moment of being married, that I didn't really stop to think about the fact that my last name was about to change forever—and it didn't really hit me until the day we went to the social security office," she says. "My last name was something I had cherished my entire life and it wasn't only a sense of identity, but it represented where I came from. Especially since my father passed away when I was a child, my last name has always been one of the most important things I had left of him." The day she received her new social security card in the mail brought forth the realization that her last name was something she would never have back.
The newlywed also wishes she would understood how much people would pressure her to have kids immediately after the wedding was over. "Not that we don't want children—we are both huge kiddo lovers and want our own one day—but right now we are still newlyweds and want to take this special time for ourselves before we think about adding little ones into our everyday lives," Amber says. "We want to enjoy being married, travel, and save for the future to have a couple of kids."
Sarah W. also received her fair share of unsolicited questions after she said "I do." "Almost everyone I talked to asked me how I felt about being married or how married life was going. Well, I wish I knew that nothing would feel different. If you've been in a relationship and living with someone for years, you know their best side, worse side, and weird quirks. You know their financial situation and they know yours. There is a bit of a comedown after a wedding, but life moves on and falls back into the same routine, just with nicer kitchen gadgets and new bed linens. You're wearing new rings which can physically feel a bit different, but your every day will feel the same. This is feeling is an amazing one because you're living and spending each (uneventful) day with the love of your life!" she explains.