When I think about our wedding day I am beyond happy with the way it turned out. I loved every minute of it, and have no regrets when it comes to how we planned it!
But, considering the fact that I pretty much live and breathe weddings as the editor of this site, there are certain things I’ve noticed in the almost 5 years since we said ‘I Do’ that make me a bit wistful when I see real weddings day in and day out. And, since some of the best advice comes from people who’ve been through it AND can look back objectively at what they might have changed in hindsight, I thought I’d make a list! Hopefully these insights will help you with your wedding planning now.
1. I would have a band instead of a DJ
I tend to flip-flop between which one I would have gone with in the end, but I can say this: A good band can get more people (especially older people) on the dance floor than a DJ. This is in no way a slam against DJs (I love you!), but if you have just as many people under 40 as you do over 40 than I think a band can do a better job of mixing it up so all generations get into it. Not to say a great DJ can’t get people dancing, but there is something about having a band that puts more energy into the room and keeps people dancing all night. I would still use a DJ for the ceremony, however, since I wanted to use several different (original songs), like “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone and “Sea of Love” by Cat Power. Speaking of which…
2. I would have spent less time picking out every.single.song for the reception
Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I are super picky when it comes to our music, and I’m so glad we took the time to choose our wedding songs for the ceremony, first dance (obvs), and our favorite dance songs for later in the night. But I kid you not when I say that we picked out pretty much EVERY song for the entire reception. We had a playlist of over 100 songs and basically asked the DJ to play them in a specific order. That is kind of insane. He added songs here and there, but I think that while we tried to pick songs that people with different musical taste would like, we should have loosened the reins a bit when it came to our wedding music. I say pick the songs that people will pay the most attention to (ceremony, first dance, even cocktail hour), and while you can tell the DJ or band what you love, let them do the rest.
3. I would have hired a videographer
We decided against a videographer for two reasons: One, I hate being at weddings or events where a video camera (and light) is all up in your face. We were getting married in a smaller venue and I didn’t want it to feel more cramped. Two (and this is my own weird thing), there’s something kind of sad to me about watching old videos. Is it better to relive the moment in your head or have it available to watch at a moment’s notice? While I still have the entire night engrained in my memory, there are moments from our wedding that I would honestly like to see again. My overall feeling now is that it would be pretty cool to relive it whenever we wanted.
4. I would have brought a pair of comfortable shoes to change into
I seriously cannot describe just how much my wedding shoes hurt me by the time we got back to the hotel room. I felt like my feet were BROKEN. Literally. I was in so much pain that in hindsight I now realize that having a pair of cozy flats to change into at the reception would have made all the difference.
5. I would have made a ‘Thank You’ speech with my husband
In the rush of wedding planning and also talking to the best man, maid of honor, and my dad about their wedding speeches, we completely forgot to plan a quick ‘Thank You,’ ourselves! It would have been nice to tell our family and friends how much we appreciated having them at our wedding and in our lives. That was definitely a missed opportunity!
At the end of the day I really wouldn’t have changed a thing, but hopefully some of these thoughts are helpful to you if you’re debating between one or the other. Except for the shoes! That’s a no-brainer. 🙂