A professional wedding planner has revealed the seven biggest regrets couples often experience during their wedding which include budgeting and over-filled guest lists.
Elisabeth Kramer, from Portland, Oregon, began her career as a journalist but in 2016 a few friends asked her to help coordinate their wedding and completely introduced to a new career path.
Elisabeth has been professionally wedding planning for many years and is the author of the best-selling book ‘Modern Etiquette Wedding Planner’ which she describes as the ‘essential organizer to make your day special.’
She has planned over 50 weddings and has revealed how to avoid the seven most common regrets she’s heard throughout her career.
Elisabeth Kramer, a professional wedding planner has revealed the seven biggest regrets she’s heard from newlyweds during their wedding (stock)
Elisabeth has planned over 50 weddings and shares her wedding tips on her website
Budgeting: How to ditch the credit-card debt
Planning a wedding can be a costly event, especially if a couples big day requires over 10 different vendors, which Elisabeth says only works if ‘you have tens of thousands of dollars to spend.’
The best way to ‘avoid credit-card debt’ is for partners to sit down with each other prior to beginning planning their wedding and be ‘brutally honest’ about what they can or can’t afford to splurge on.
By prioritizing what is most important to each partner, couples can save hundred or thousands of dollars.
Elisabeth also includes many budget friendly tips on her website such as hiring a friend to provide a service for you on your big day who will act as your ‘friendor,’ and contacting your ‘VIPs’ who are your inner circle of family and friends who ‘may want to financially contribute to your wedding.’
Unused wedding favors: How to be mindful of what you buy
The Portland wedding planner shared that she has often sent newlywed couples home with ‘a box of forgotten favors.’
She added: ‘It’s not that the favors were bad or the guests were ungrateful, but people were often traveling and drunk or simply didn’t want another monogrammed koozie.’
Although guests may often forget simple wedding favors, they won’t forget the experience of your wedding, which is why Elisabeth recommends couples ‘be mindful with what you buy, so it doesn’t end up in landfill.’
Instead of spending money on wedding favors, wedding planners recommend couples invest in a photo booth instead, which will give guests the perfect item to take home to remember your wedding and will be a fun experience for all.
The biggest regrets newlyweds have and how to avoid them
- Over-spending: Prioritize what’s important to you and your partner in a ‘brutally honest’ talk to ‘avoid credit-card debt.’
- Unused wedding favors: Be mindful of what you buy and avoid common gifts that guests often forget and opt for a memorable experience instead such as a photo booth.
- Burn out: Try to avoid filling your plate with too many pre or post-wedding activities to ensure you won’t overwhelm yourself.
- Don’t overfill your guest list: Consider only inviting the people you have stayed in contact with within the last year and consider the costs of inviting more people.
- Alone Time: Take a moment or two after the ceremony for you and your partner to relish in the fact that you just said ‘I do’ without feeling like you have to rush back to your guests.
- Don’t jump back into reality: After your wedding day take a day to settle into being married and embrace one another.
- Don’t let stress be the driving force: It’s easy to become overwhelmed while planning a wedding, but try to keep in mind that you’ve ‘already won’ by finding someone you love enough to marry.
Pre and post-wedding day burn out: How to avoid filling your plate
Elisabeth said that one of the biggest regrets newlyweds have is ‘filling your days’ with pre or post ‘wedding-related activities.’
While its ‘tempting’ to overbook yourself days before or after you wedding, its not always advised.
Elisabeth said: ‘If you get energy from multiple social engagements, then do it. Otherwise, it’s OK to pace yourself. You don’t have to attend every event.’
She also noted that brides are often referred to ‘bridezillas’ not because they are crazy but because they are ‘overworked,’ so avoid the stress and don’t feel guilty for ditching every pre or post-wedding event.
Don’t invite people you haven’t spoken to recently: How to avoid over-filling your wedding guest list
There’s always a few people at a wedding that the couple just felt like they had to invite and would rather them not be there.
But the Oregon wedding planner said that couples should ‘pause to consider your guest list if you’re inviting five, 10, or even 15 people you haven’t talked to in over a year.’
Elisabeth said to ask yourself these questions before adding that someone to your guest list: ‘Are they people that someone on your wedding board (financial contributors to your big day) wants to be there? Can you celebrate with them in a different capacity, like getting a meal together or planning a long phone call?’
While it can be difficult to leave people off of your guest list, one way to look at it is by cost, consider that ‘every wedding guest costs an average of $70 to feed – and that’s before alcohol.’
Alone time: How to focus on your partner and not the wedding
Couples often avoid slipping away from the crowd because they feel an obligation to be there at every moment and to make sure their guests are having a good time.
But Elisabeth said that the truth is guests ‘don’t mind’ if couples take a moment or two to sneak away.
She added that their guests will have fun regardless as they have ‘free food and available booze.’
Taking ‘five or 10 minutes’ moment to focus on your partner and ‘hang out’ after the ceremony can be extremely beneficial and will allow couples to ‘luxuriate in those newlywed feelings.’
Elisabeth added: ‘Your guests will understand.’
Don’t jump back into reality: How to give yourself time to relish in your new life
While it’s not always doable due to work schedules, or other commitments, Elisabeth said it’s ‘nice to take at least one day off between the wedding-related fun and real life.
Whether couples plan a honeymoon or opt for a staycation and settle into their new lives at home, they should give themselves ‘time and space’ to embrace their ‘new identity’ they created when they said ‘I do.’
Couples who gave themselves even a day to slowly relish in what it means to be married seemed to have less regrets than those who jumped right back into reality.
Don’t let the stress of the wedding take away from what matters: How to find the peace in your partner
Wedding planning can be an extremely stressful ordeal, especially when you are trying to budget, make sure your guests are enjoying their time, organize your décor and focus on your partner all at one time.
It’s easy to become so overwhelmed in the planning process that couples forget ‘what really matters.’
Elisabeth said: ‘Try to focus on the reason you’re doing it in the first place.’
She added: ‘If you’ve found someone you love enough to marry, you’ve already won at wedding planning.’