You can read every article in every bridal magazine, every Q&A or checklist on wedding websites, and pick your married friends’ brains for months and still be unprepared for some of the “OMG” (both wonderful and cringe-worthy) moments you’re bound to encounter while wedding planning and finally walking down the aisle. That’s why just about anyone who has ever been a bride has coulda/shoulda/woulda thoughts well after they’re someone’s Mrs.
While it’s not healthy to dwell on those thoughts, it doesn’t hurt to dish on what you only wish you had known! Hey, it could be the heads-up that saves another bride’s day. Here, seven things brides often wish they’d been warned about before their Big Day.
- Fights: With potential for emotions to run high, money matters to set people off and family drama galore, you could very well end up having the biggest fight of your entire relationship with your fiance in the lead-up to the wedding. Hell, maybe even on your wedding day! Wedding stress can make even the most even-tempered person act occasionally crazy and out of character. I wish more of us would admit this is perfectly normal and does not mean you need to tear off like a runaway bride. As long as you’re able to cool off and talk it over at some point, it’s all good.
- Budget: For various reasons — season, location, timing, procrastination, etc. — certain vendors/services/other wedding details can end up costing a lot more than you expected. And while you can do your best to negotiate and trim the fat or DIY as much as possible, sometimes you have no choice but to grin and bear shelling out a few hundred more for that chuppah or extra hour of open bar or summer Saturday night.
- Emotional Moments: You might get super-emotional about something you didn’t expect to … like the dance with your dad or a speech that comes out of the blue. Just consider it a reason to ask the Maid of Honor to tote some tissues and touch-up mascara in her clutch!
- RSVP Drama: Guests you thought were shoo-ins find out they have to work or are going to be eight months pregnant or have some other reason they can’t attend. Guests you thought in a million years wouldn’t show say they’re coming and bringing all of their +1s. And worst of all, you may get an RSVP for people who decide not to show at the last minute — which is why it’s always best to tell your venue that you have fewer people, because it’s always cheaper to add than subtract at the eleventh hour!
- Promises: What everyone keeps telling you is supposed to be the happiest time of your life can quickly go south if promises regarding finances aren’t kept. Many brides wish they had been warned to get everything in writing when discussing with their parents and their partner who would pay for what.
- It’s Not Over Til It’s Over: Last-minute requests for things you never even thought about — a toiletry basket in the restrooms or a Kosher/vegan/nut-free dinner or dessert or cocktail hour option, particular shots taken by photographers, etc. — can have a way of popping up no matter how much you prepare ahead of time. And be prepared for this to continue even well after your wedding day, whether people expect thank you cards by a particular deadline they deem appropriate or they’re hounding you for photos/video, etc.
- Wardrobe Malfunctions: Whether it’s uncomfortable shoes or too-tight Spanx or earrings that aren’t hypoallergenic, any sort of wardrobe malfunction that can happen will. Or at least can. Good to have a plan B — like flip flops waiting in the wings to replace those 4-inch heels wreaking havoc on your tootsies!