25 Nashville Brides Reveal What They Would Have Done Differently
We all wish we could see into the future to avoid making mistakes, but take it from these married gals, and don't make the same ones!
"My personal advice is to only focus on these three things; love, personalization and emotion. Whatever gives you these three things, then focus on those and leave everything else in the dust. Spend your money where it matters most, starting with your memory bank."
Keatyn Swift Wright, 02/24/2017
Photo By: John Meyers Photography
"My husband and I were together for 6 years before we got engaged. I really thought “ I got this!” I set out over a year and a half trying to perfect every little detail on my own! I decided against a wedding coordinator because I trusted myself enough to do it all. After it was all said it done I had a wedding that I alone had created and was proud of but..... if I could’ve changed anything I believe a wedding coordinator is a NECESSITY! Simple sometimes is better and details can truly be a statement within floral instead of materialistic decor. Although I live with no regrets I truly wished I would’ve done a small intimate ceremony on an island somewhere with just immediate family and close friends!"
Sarah Hibbs Williams, 9/27/2014
Photo by: Shots by Cheyenne
"One thing I can think of is I would not have over indulged at the rehearsal! (Lol) I didn’t feel great the morning of the wedding and my eyes were puffy so I was very nervous that I was going to look awful.
The only other thing I can think of is I would have made sure to have at least one dance with my now husband. It was such a whirlwind and everyone is wanting to talk/take pictures so before we knew it, it was time to have the sparkler exit. I didn’t even see the food table or sweetheart table because it was so wild! But it was still the best night of my life!"
Natalee Haynes Estrin, 11/11/17
Photo By: Sarah Swain Photography
"I loved my wedding day but there are a few things I wish I'd done differently. The first thing would be to hire a PROFESSIONAL photographer. I was on an extremely tight budget and cheaped out on the photographer and really wish I hadn't. Having amazing pictures to look back on and hang in my home should have been a huge priority but it wasn't and now I regret it. Also, just having a wedding planner period. I literally planned everything on my own. It was so stressful. On my wedding day I was so stressed out worrying if everything was going right, staying on time, etc. A wedding planner is a definite must have!"
Brittany Finn Roberts, 09/03/2016
Photo by: Samantha Suddarth Felts
"So my wedding was a beyond perfect day!
With the exception of a few things...firstly the pastor I used was a family friend and he is so amazing but he got so nervous being that my wedding was the largest he had done he lost his place several times which led to some awkward silences and me laughing too loudly to keep from it being awkward lol. Also two days before my wedding I was told that I could no longer have a sparkler send off, which I had dreamed about those pictures for as long as I can remember, because of a fire hazard...so I was going to have to hire a pyro technician and also apply for a license that was $150 AFTER I had already paid over $100 in sparklers. Needless to say we didn’t do sparklers, we had to improvise and one of my close friends got several balloons with lights blown up. Thirdly, I almost made a sign saying basically “don’t pick a side of the side or groom, sit where you see a seat on either side” but one of my bridesmaids told me surely people will know not to just sit on one side or the other and I agreed...we were wrong, my entire side was full and my husbands side was almost empty which made pictures kind of awkward. Lastly, not everyone who rsvp’d showed up so we had a significant amount of extra alcohol...while on the dance floor...the girlfriend of one of the groomsmen spilled her entire glass of wine down my back and broke the glass on my train...thank the LORD it was white wine and came right out. But I literally had to take my dress off"
Katelyn Rippeteau, 9/29/17
Photo By: Shot By Cheyenne
"I was definitely a DIY bride. I thought that because I had an 18 month engagement, that meant I had plenty of time to do a lot of stuff for my wedding myself. In hindsight, I wish I would have hired more vendors to help so I could really enjoy my wedding weekend instead of making flower arrangements and coordinating with vendors. While sometimes going the DIY route is necessary to save money, I highly recommend hiring a wedding planner or coordinator to deal with the last-minute details if you can fit it into your budget!"
Kristen Dick, 9/30/2017
Photo By: Jessica Lauren Photography
To say that I was a DIY Bride would be an understatement. Me and my husband’s goal was to save the most money possible on our wedding day, so that we could invest that money into our honeymoon [...] Pay close attention to your guest & shower lists- There were a handful of people who accidentally got left off our guest list due to us not paying close attention to detail. I got mixed up in the day to day responsibilities and didn’t pay close enough attention. This resulted in me working twice as hard to do damage control. [...] My friends, family and I did everything from the invitations, wedding signs, drape, center pieces, flowers, etc. This saved us a significant amount of money but it was extremely labor intensive. If I had to cut out one of these DIY projects to cut out it would be the invitations. Although they turned out beautiful it just simply wasn’t worth the 40+ hours spent putting them together. [...] Time is simply not something a bride can get back and in my opinion it’s the most important part when planning your own wedding. [...] Honor the people in your wedding by blessing them with a thoughtful present [...] All of the DIY projects cluttered my mind which distracted me from putting the thought and effort into the presents I purchased. [...] Don’t sweat the small things and always remember to “take it all in”. Everyone told me our wedding would go by so fast and that I wouldn’t remember it; I thought they were crazy. I was wrong. It all seems like a blur. Just remember to take a moment to look around and embrace everything that’s going on around you."
Jazmin Grimm, 11/03/2017
Photo by: Kayla Kelley Photography
"My wedding day was an absolute dream, but along with many other brides, I look back and wish I would’ve done just a couple things differently. My first mistake was I don’t feel like I got enough pictures, especially of me and the groom. You can never have enough pictures of the best day of your life! Secondly I wish I would’ve have just soaked it all in a little better. So much is happening and you feel like you are in a dream but try your best to be in the moment! The memories of that special day will last a lifetime!"
Megan Kramm Jones, 06/18/2016
Photo By: Sabrina Cannup Photography
"I cherished every second of my wedding day! Seriously! I loved it all. The only thing I would change about the day was starting the ceremony earlier. We started it later in the evening, and because of that, the reception and photos felt rushed. I wish I would have had more time to visit with my guests!"
Aly Thayer, 6/18/16
Photo By: Erica Christine
"I would say making sure you have 4+ hours over of what you think you need time to get ready before the ceremony and start as early as you can to relax before it and be able to during but that might just be me! And make sure you have at least 4 good hours after the ceremony for the after party !! You never wanna feel like your special day was rushed ! I also liked saving a ton of money doing my own flowers if you feel creative because you get EXACTLY what you want and don’t pay for what you don’t ! Lol"
Hennessey Seitz, 9/2/17
Photo By: KChris Photography
Our wedding was at the Cannery here in Nashville, and there isn’t too much I would have changed because the venue itself was so great to work with! We tried to keep everything simple and had our friends help out with decorations and music. One thing that went wrong, though, was that we spent a good amount of money on a backdrop to shield some of the sunlight during the ceremony. When we showed up the morning of the wedding, it wasn’t there! Luckily they were able to scramble and get a company to come out and build a backdrop for us last minute, and my family did an amazing job hiding it from me! I don’t even know if there was anything we could have done to avoid that, so if you are a bride-to-be, just know that there might be things that you just can’t control! The main thing I always tell new brides is to keep things simple! My husband and I had a motto that if anything became stressful, we just wouldn’t do it. Remember the reason you are getting married in the first place— to make your vows before God, your friends and your family— and to have a celebration for the love you’ve found! All of the traditions or expectations that can come with weddings can end up being super stressful, so just make the day reflect who you are as a couple and don’t try to impress anyone.
Carmen Justice Hadley, 08/14/2015
Photo By: SE Creative
"Something I would have done differently would be having my maid of honor come with us after our first look with my phone and be able to show my wedding photographer the exact poses I wanted for my pictures. That way neither the photographer nor myself had to remember the poses I wanted and they would be with my maid of honor on my phone"
Ashley Walker, 11/04/2017
Photo By: Chelsea Rochelle
"So mistakes- All of the boys suits (except my husband's) were all wrong the day of the wedding. So to be on the safe side, I would advise a groom to buy his suit or tux so that he’s better safe than sorry! That really put us all in panic to say the least. My photographer cancelled on me 3 weeks before.. granted Kenzie (who we ended up using) was meant to be my photographer. My cute little ring bearer didn’t walk down the aisle which made me a little sassy lol honestly, I didn’t really get TOO stressed.
But.. I did realize though that I wish I would of been more selfish about some things. The bride must know that it’s all about her and her man!"
Lexi Ward, 11/11/2017
Photo By: Honey & Bee Photography
There are many things I would have done differently, and they all lead back to needing an event coordinator! My mother and I are both DIYer’s so we thought we had this all figured out.. boy were we wrong! Being the first of my friends and family to get married and have a big wedding, there were so many small things I didn’t realize I needed or wanted! Although it was pulled off and the best day of my life, I know there would have been less stress had we had a coordinator to help with all the last minute details and make planning even more fun!
Lauren Wheeler Allison, 05/07/2016
Photo by: Orange Rose Photography
"If there was anything that I would do differently about my wedding, it would be to make sure you have enough time during your reception to be able to enjoy it! I felt like I sat down, ate dinner, danced for about 5 minutes, ate cake and left! I didn’t even want to leave my reception. It all just flies by so fast!"
Hailey Peeters, 09/30/2017
Photo By: Honey & Bee Photography
"Two days before our wedding we met with our DJ to talk about our reception music. At the end of the conversation he told us that he didn’t think he was doing our ceremony music, and that he had never done ceremonies. The day of our rehearsal we had to hire a random dj who was way too expensive to press play on 3 songs. It could have been a disaster, but I’m thankful someone was able to fill in last minute!"
Kassie Hansen, 07/08/2017
Photo By: Morgan Worley Photography
"I was super lucky as 3 of my friends had basically vetted all vendors before it got to be my big day. I had the dream team of vendors. I wish I had involved my day of planner sooner in the process and had a meeting with her and all my vendors so that she could have had a better grasp on my vision of the wedding and photography and video output."
Rachel Hislop, 10/07/2017
Photo By: Eden Luquire Ingle
"I felt pressured to be a long haired bride and wear extensions. I wish I would have just stayed true to myself and just wore it the length that it was at the time. Because I loved it the length that it was!"
Gracie Blankenship, 06/28/2014
Photo By: Kyle Gregory Photography
"Jon and I got married almost three months ago in our hometown of Gallatin, TN. We got married at my grandparents church and had our reception at Depot Square which is a very old and rustic train station here in Gallatin. I don't have a long list of things that I would change, but here are a few:
1. Be unapologetic. I spent far too much time worrying about what others would think about our wedding and even did a few things differently in hopes of pleasing others. Don't do that. Discuss your special day with your better half and that's it. It's YOUR DAY, no one else's.
2. All of the decisions you will be making are all very big decisions. We originally chose a venue that was out of town because we loved the way it looked. We had no significant ties to the place, and neither of us really considered how inconvenient having our wedding an hour away would be for us, as well as our families. Thankfully, we got all of that changed and went with our church wedding which was a great decision for us.
3. Seating chart. Is it for every bride? No. However, decide early on if that's a project you want to tackle and go for it. I so wanted a seating chart for our guests, but let time slip away and ended up not doing one.
4. Wear dark lipstick, or darker than you're used to. I wore my every day nude lipstick out of habit and so regret that. Wear a bold lip. You won't regret it.
Lastly, GET A COORDINATOR. Our wedding coordinator saved our lives. We would not have been able to enjoy our day to the extent that we did had we not had her by our side".
Caitlin Suddarth, 10/21/2017
Photo By: Honey & Bee Photography
"Biggest thing I would have done differently was hire professionals. Instead of DIY. I had a lot of family help with their talents but looking back I wish I would have had someone who knew what they were doing, also I would have gone with more of a classic look instead of trendy."
Kyra Phelps, 10/27/1012
Photo By: Daniel Henke
"Not starting thank you notes before hand for sure!! We had an engagement party and a wedding shower and adding on gifts from the wedding, two months later, and still haven’t finished thank you notes 😁😁
Planning out every single detail of the day like I was going to remember to do any of it? The only part of that day that I fully remember was saying I do, the rest was a complete blur. I wish I would’ve spent less time stressing!!
I wish I would have had a videographer. Going back to the not remembering thing... I have lots of pretty pictures to remember stuff by not the silly moments or emotional moments that could have been captured in a video. At the time I really didn’t think that I needed to get a videographer if I can just remember it by pictures but I definitely wish I had!! Even if it wasn’t for other people to see, I wish I had those memories recorded.
I wish I would’ve sent out engagement announcements sooner. We had a short engagement (only six months) but still we could have made them more of a priority instead of waiting so long so possibly more of my family could have came"
Hannah DeWilde, 10/14/2017
Photo by: Trent Millspaugh
"MAKE SURE you do a trial run with whoever is doing your hair! My hairdresser didn’t have time to do a trial before the wedding and I wasn’t very happy with how my hair turned out. I just wanted a simple half-up/wavy look and she gave me a huge Snookie bump and tight curls. She had to redo my hair three times before I was slightly satisfied and out of time. It just didn’t turn out how I was “imagining” and that was a big disappointment to me."
Chelsea Bobbitt, 08/04/2013
Photo by: Myrick Studios
"There isn’t anything major I would change about our wedding except one thing. I used fake flowers with other things like lace, ribbon, etc. to make my bouquet and the bridesmaids bouquets to save on money. They looked gorgeous and last forever, but I was surprised after seeing other brides photos that real flowers/greenery do look better. So, going back I would’ve redone the bouquets."
Andrea Silvia Goodrum, 06/07/2014
Photo by: Kayla Kelley Photography
"If anything I just wish I had more of a voice when people, out of the kindness of their hearts, tried to incorporate their own ideas and opinions into my wedding"
Britni Cutler, 09/02/2017
Photo by: Haydin Olivia Photography
"[...] We didn’t get any family pictures bc it was so crazy so I guess I would just slow down and tried to take it all in more."
Whitney Johnson, 11/12/2016
Photo By: Orange Rose Photography
CLICK HERE to read "Where To Save Money, And Where NOT To Save Money On Your Wedding"