Real brides anonymously share their wedding day regrets

Shot of a newlywed couple standing close together after the wedding
Real brides share their wedding regrets (Getty)

Your wedding day is thought of by many as the happiest day of your life. The day is not only an expression of love between yourself and your partner but an opportunity to celebrate that love with your nearest and dearest.

Some would say that after an intimate ceremony, your wedding reception is the greatest party of your life. Being able to hand-pick the venue, guest list, and musical accompaniment to an evening yourself has to be a recipe for success.

Cropped shot of a happy newlywed couple dancing together after their outdoor wedding
Many brides wish they could change certain elements of their big day (Getty)

But with the pressure and expectation of the big day, there can be hiccups along the way or things that brides wish they had done differently after the event. Bridal trends change and that can get you rethinking your special day, no matter how timeless your endeavours.

couple celebrating their marriage in front of their friends.
There are many things these brides would change about their big day (Getty)

We spoke to a host of real brides to hear about their wedding day regrets. If you are planning your own do, listen up, these tips could save you from wincing over your wedding video when you recall the happy day.

You may also like

I regret my rustic venue

"I regret going for a very rustic, more DIY venue," says one bride. "While it looked charming and I can't imagine having got married anywhere else, I should have known it wasn't the slickest of operations from their style of comms and website."

Rustic wedding ceremony venue
This brides wedding was maybe a tad too rustic in its approach (Getty)

This bride tells us that the more casual approach of her venue caused unnecessary stress on her big day. "The worst example was driving around the countryside 24 hours before the wedding, trying to find a cable long enough for the guitarist to be heard on the top lawn (after being promised it wouldn't be an issue)," she recalls.

rural wedding reception in the forest
This bride regrets her rustic wedding venue (Getty)

I regret that my bridal suite was not hairstylist-friendly

A bride getting ready before her wedding ceremony
You want your hair styling time to be relaxing (Getty)

A bride tells us that she regrets "having a bridal cottage with no hairdryers or toiletries." There is nothing worse than getting to the room you are getting ready in and realising you don't have the access to styling tools that you had anticipated - being in a flap over your or your bridesmaids' hair is a sure way to ruin a calm pre-ceremony atmosphere.

I regret the music that was played

Wide shot of smiling bride and groom dancing and celebrating with friends on rooftop deck at sunset after wedding at tropical resort
Make sure your venue has the technological capacity for your chosen music (Getty)

Crucial to a great party atmosphere in the evening of your wedding is a playlist of songs that represent you throughout the day but that also get everyone on the dance floor. One bride tells HELLO! that she regrets "the playlist we had spent hours curating not being audible during the meal", saying, "I wish they had been more upfront about the limitations of their tech and the venue."

I regret my communication style with the venue hosts

So many women fear speaking out about what they want on their big day for fear of being dubbed 'bridezilla'. But it is a day for you and your partner so you want to be happy with every detail that you plan, not to mention those that you spend lots of money on.

women on laptop talking on phone
Be direct with your wedding planner (Getty)

A bride reflects on how she dealt with her venue: "I wish I had pushed harder to get answers to my questions in the run-up to the big day." You are investing time, money, and expectation into your wedding venue so don't feel bad for clarifying that everything is prepped and ready for you when you walk down the aisle.

I regret the dress I chose

Arguably the part of the wedding that women pain over the most is picking a dress they feel confident in and will want to remember. "Probably not the case for most brides, but I would 100%  change my dress if I could go back in time," says one bride.

Designer making adjustment to bridal gown
Allow enough time to find a dress that you love (Getty)

"I must have tried on about 30 but didn't really like any, so the one I went for I very much just settled on and saw it as the best of a bad bunch. I think there's so much pressure to look perfect on your day and if I were choosing now, I would definitely go for a different style, because personal style and trends do change over the years."

I regret how quickly I chose my dress

Dress fittings, as much as they are portrayed in rom-coms as a lovely happy-tear-jerking occasion, can be stressful if you can't quite find a style you love. "I felt pressured to choose something quickly as I left myself six months to order one, which apparently isn't very long in bridal terms!," recalls a bride. "It didn't stop me from having the best day though. My priorities when planning had always been the venue, food, booze, and entertainment for the guests, and those bits definitely ticked the boxes."

mother and daughter wedding dress shopping
Don't feel pressured to choose the best of a bad bunch (Getty)

I regret my hair and makeup

Second to the dress in importance when it comes to the bridal look is the right hair and makeup that makes you feel like you, but maybe a more dressed up version of yourself.  I would have changed my hair and makeup because my style has also since changed," remembers one bride. "I definitely felt like I was wearing too much makeup but that was recommended for the photos."

bride looks down while make up artist puts the lipstick on her
Wear the makeup look that makes you feel confident (Getty)

I regret my choice of second shoe

Partying the night away calls for one thing and one thing only – comfortable shoes. Though we tend to think of wedding shoes with a style over comfort mentality, one bride says she wishes she had put more thought into her second shoe choice.

The maid of honor helps the bride to put on her shoes before the wedding ceremony
Invest in shoes that are comfortable and stylish (Getty)

"I figured I'd be taking off my heels at some point and just shoved some normal brown sandals in my bag to wear instead of the flip flops I'd gotten for guests," she explains. "I changed into them SO early and there's a glimpse of them in so many pics! If I could do it again, I definitely would have bought some white Converse or cute white flats!".

I regret my photographer

On the subject of photos, it is so important to find a photographer that captures the essence of your day and helps this part of the occasion to run smoothly. Another bride tells us: "If I were planning my wedding again, I would have picked a different photographer. I initially did like her style of photos on her website, but actually felt like my photos were over-edited in the end, to the point that the bridesmaid dresses didn't look like the original colour."

Bride and groom working with camera operator at outdoor wedding
Ensure your photographer captures your day as you want them to (Getty)

She adds: "There was also a bit of a language barrier and a personality clash on the day between the photographer and the venue owner, so in hindsight, I definitely would have gone with someone more amenable. I did, however, absolutely adore my wedding video so had no regrets that I also paid for a videographer. I appreciated it even more after having seen my photos."

newlywed couple standing with their parents and guests and posing in front of a camera
Many people feel time taking photos takes away from the flow of the day (Getty)

I regret not having a first-look moment with my husband

For many, wedding photos can feel like a chore when all you want to do is spend time with your guests. "My only regret is not having chosen to do a first look photography session with my husband before the ceremony," says a bride. "I don't like having my photo taken and I prefer candid moments, and also I would have preferred to have spent that time with the guests during the cocktail hour instead of wasting the time having pictures taken. (They did turn out great, but I was a bit miserable!)."

back view of bride and groom kissing. wedding ceremony outdoor
Spare a moment with just your partner (Getty)

She also points out that a first look makes the moment more private and thus even more special.

I regret not taking more time to speak to my guests

With the wedding day being such a busy occasion with all your nearest and dearest around you it can feel like a whirlwind. "My wedding day regret probably would be not creating more time on the day to go around and speak to everyone," a bride explains. "I feel like once you’re ready, had 100 photos taken, sat down for speeches, food, first dance, cake, then everyone is dancing, drinking and before you know it, the day is almost done!

Newlywed  couple being congratulated by wedding guest.
Allow time for chatting to guests (Getty)

DISCOVER: Exclusive: Sophie Habboo's 'emotional' Spanish wedding provides summer brides with endless inspiration 

"With hindsight, I’d have probably tried to find a window of time whether that be before the food, or straight after we got married to go around and actually speak with everyone more. I feel like there were some people I didn’t even get to properly say hello to which is sad as guests make so much effort to be there. I think most brides and grooms feel the same as the day does tends to just run away with itself."