Your wedding day is something you've probably been looking forward to for years. But even after months of careful planning, it'll feel like it's over in a flash. No matter how many people you have helping you bring your big-day vision to life, no wedding goes off without a hitch, and certain things you choose may sound great in the moment but don't pan out quite as you expected. Here, five brides share their biggest reception regrets in hopes that other couples can learn from their experiences.
Having a sit-down meal.
"At the time, the idea of a fancy, sit-down meal sounded like exactly what we should have at our wedding, but looking back, it was just not us," says recent bride Francine. "We love hosting parties, specifically cocktail parties with tons of food being passed around. I wish we had way more food options that catered to different people's palettes rather than one sit-down dinner with a single meal of our choosing." So, if you're on the fence about offering a multi-course or setting up food stations, go with your gut. In the end, what feels right to you is what matters most.
Not eating the wedding food.
Recent bride Jen says she and her now-husband experienced one of the most common pitfalls: They didn't have time to enjoy the meal they so carefully selected. "We spent hours combing through what would be a perfect versatile menu for our guests, from the appetizers to the entées, and even found room in our budget for late-night snacks," she says. "But we were so consumed with picture taking and greeting and thanking our guests, that we actually forget to eat. If I had to do things differently, I would have sat down with my new husband and enjoyed our full meal together or asked our venue to put a special plate of appetizers aside for us."
Not dancing more with my girlfriends
"You wait for this special day pretty much your entire life and by the time it arrives, it flies by faster than you could ever have imagined," says bride Kelsey. "I wish, more than anything, that I had better memories of dancing with my close friends. I had even requested certain songs for my DJ to play that I had every intention of getting down on the dance floor to with my girls. I hardly even remember hearing these songs at all!"
Drinking too much.
"I can't count on both hands the number of people who told me to watch how much I drank on my wedding day. Needless to say, this number totally got away from me," recent bride Melissa says. "It started with mimosas in the morning with my bridesmaids and quickly escalated to sips from my groom's flask before picture taking. I was so nervous, it was the only thing that helped. While I'm thankful that I didn't get sick, I would have loved to feel better the next morning." Instead of indulging in beverages all evening long, she wishes had given herself a cap to stay under.
Asking too many people to speak.
Having people offer toasts on your behalf always sounds so sweet, and while their sentiments are undoubtedly special, they can take up a great deal of time. "I went overboard with speeches. I have two siblings, so I wanted to make sure both of them spoke, but also asked my maid of honor to give a toast," recent bride Maya says. "I didn't even factor in that my parents would also get up and say something. This was all just my side! Then my groom's side had to speak. We ended up wasting over an hour of fun time on the dance floor on people speaking. It's great to have those videos, but I would rather have had the memories on the dance floor."