Planning a wedding is a lot harder than it looks. Not only is it time-consuming and expensive, but there’s a lot of emotions and family dynamics that come into play. It can make what should be an enjoyable experience pretty stressful.

When planning your wedding, learn from everyone else’s mistakes. Here are the top five things I wish I knew when planning my wedding.


Don’t Alter Your Body for a Dress

There’s a lot of societal pressure to change your body to look great on your wedding day. Honestly, you’ll be a lot happier if you can learn to see yourself the way your partner does. You’re going to look and feel amazing in your dress whether you lose weight or not.

Even if you feel like you need to change your body in some way, buy a dress that fits you as you are now. Do not buy a dress in a smaller size and vow to make yourself fit into it. Doing so is a recipe for disaster. 

I ended up choosing one of the stunning wedding dresses from Azazie in my size and had it altered slightly to fit the changes in my body– which weren’t anywhere near the goals I had set–, and I couldn’t have felt any more beautiful.

Don’t Hire a Friend to Save Money

Unless your friend is Deadmau5, they shouldn’t be your DJ. And unless your Annie Leibovitz, ask her to leave her camera at home. While hiring an amateur friend can save you a lot of money, it can also cost you a lot of heartache. 

Even if your friend is very talented, you want someone working for you who is dedicated to the job because it puts food on their table. Someone who knows how to handle finicky lighting situations, PA systems at venues, and other curveballs that the amateurs don’t know how to handle. Furthermore, it’s nice to let your friends relax and enjoy themselves on your special day.

Appoint a Boss for the Day

If you can hire a wedding planner, make it happen. Even if it’s just a day-of coordinator to ensure everything runs smoothly and stays in communication with the vendors.

I didn’t have a day-of coordinator, but I had a cousin. She kept my phone and answered the texts from people asking me questions about the wedding (yes, that happens). She told everyone where they needed to be and when. She nipped family drama in the bud and kept all of the things going wrong from me so I could live in blissful ignorance. Trust me: it’s well worth it.

Things Will Go Wrong

Speaking of blissful ignorance, things will go wrong on the big day. Things will go wrong, and nobody will care, least of all you. The flower arrangements that once seemed so important? You won’t even notice them. Missing your fancy guest book pen? Nobody cares.

While most brides have their hill to die on (mine was the boutonnieres for some reason), changes to the schedule, centerpieces in the wrong place, all of these things cease to exist when you’re marrying the one you love.

Leave Room in Your Budget

Trust me: you need a budget. Not only do you need a budget, but you need to stick to the budget. You also need to leave room in the budget for last-minute expenses that you hadn’t considered.

Don’t be surprised if you spend hundreds of dollars on your wedding day on ridiculous things. I needed last-minute fashion tape to hold things in place, extra hairspray, food for my bridesmaids, Sharpies, twine, and more. You don’t know what you don’t know, you know?

Even knowing these things, nothing can really prepare you for what you’ll experience on your wedding day. Be sure to carve out some alone time with your partner and pause to appreciate the details. It goes by so fast.