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Brides share their wedding-day regrets

SHARE Brides share their wedding-day regrets

You've planned a party within your budget, picked the perfect dress, hired a great photographer, tasted the cake, made a song list . . . and now you wonder what could possibly go wrong?

For most brides, a wedding comes and goes, and what they're left with is a mountain of memorable moments and a molehill of some rather-be-forgotten ones. To show you why it's worth it to think things through twice . . . or 20 times . . . here are some recent brides with big regrets:

Planning Woes

—"I regret not hiring a wedding coordinator to take care of things I did not want to worry about that day. Everyone convinced me the extra money would not be worth it and that they would help me instead. That was a big mistake. I had to worry about things like flowers getting transported, guests signing in and getting their pictures taken and rounding up the bridal party. I would recommend anyone with the money to do it to hire a consultant for the wedding day." — Christina, 29, consultant

— "I wish I had a larger wedding party. I had four bridesmaids, which included my sister, two friends from high school and my brother's longtime girlfriend. If I were to start the planning process fresh, I would have seven bridesmaids and include a childhood friend who lives out of state and two girlfriends from school. As it turned out, I barely got to spend any time with my friend who flew from Ohio to Virginia just for my wedding day, and I didn't even see my friends from school." — Kelly, 23, graduate student

— "I chose two women I have been friendly with since nursery school to be my bridesmaids out of obligation, which was a big mistake. The first one got engaged a month later and told me she didn't want me in her wedding and the second one didn't smile for even one wedding photo (not even walking down the aisle). It turned out they would have preferred just to be guests." — Karen, 27, special education coordinator

Attire Regrets

— "I wish I had added about 25 more bobby pins and half a can of hair spray to my up-do. Granted, the condition of my hair by the end of the night was a sure sign that I had a fabulous time, but I hate to see in many of the pictures how badly my hair was falling out." — Jackie, 23, actress

— "I wish I had paid more attention to my choice of veils. I chose a cathedral-length veil with a blusher. The blusher was in my face the whole time while my cathedral-length veil dragged down the aisle in a little rattail because I had no one to fan it out. It looked great in the formal shots, but the pictures from behind of me walking in and out of the church were not the stunning pictures I had imagined." —Anne Marie, 24, administrative assistant

— "I had an outdoor wedding and an open-air reception on a beautiful, 80-degree day. I wish I had thought to cut down on the number of layers I was wearing to reduce the heat. I could have removed my crinoline, nylons and bustier and gotten away with it in the candlelight!" — Jennifer, 25, senior account executive

— "Ugh! I wish I had known better: I made the mistake of wearing heels on my wedding day, which might have been fine, but I was married outside and high heels in the grass are like golf tees!" — Susan, 29, sales

Ceremony Hitches

— "I wish we had written our own wedding vows. We talked about it, but then we sort of chickened out. Looking back, I think we were just overwhelmed with everything else . . . " — Karen, 27, sales representative

— "I really wish that I had both my mom and dad walk me down the aisle. I didn't even know this was an option at the time, but since my wedding I have seen a couple of brides do it. My mother is just as much a part of my life as my dad. It would have been nice to have her with me as I walked to meet my husband." — Miranda, 26, public relations

Photos And Videos

— "We didn't hire a professional to videotape our wedding. We thought it would be intrusive and it seemed like an easy way to cut the budget. But since then, I have seen a few of my friends' videos, and I really, really wish that we had one." — Lisa, 33, accountant

— "Instead of partying during most of my reception, my new husband and I were outside getting our pictures taken. The venue only allowed us to stay until 10 p.m., so we didn't really have enough time to enjoy our own party. A part of me wished we had taken some pictures before the ceremony to save time." — Sarah, 25, personal chef

— "I wish I had made a checklist of all the special and important photos that I wanted to be certain were taken during my reception. I would have given a copy to my photographer and asked a bridesmaid to keep tabs on it for me as well. The day became such a whirlwind. I was so emotionally overwhelmed that I pretty much just went with the flow, and by the time I was on my honeymoon I realized I did not get one picture taken with my grandmothers or with some of my dearest friends." — Susan, 31, sales coordinator

— "We didn't label the video taken of our wedding, and many months later my husband accidentally taped an episode of 'Seinfeld' over it!" —Amy, 31, designer

Reception Flops

— "If I could go back, I would arrange the seating differently, with photos in mind. We left two big holes in what would have been a ring of tables around the dance floor, and in half of the pictures it looks like no one came to our wedding!" — Jennifer, 31, copy editor

— "We planned a weekend wedding with three main events: the rehearsal dinner, the ceremony and reception, and a picnic the following day. My groom and I should have planned who to see at which events so we could stick together more. We each circulated on our own a lot and didn't really look or act like a couple, let alone newlyweds, in front of our friends and family." — Abby, 24, research associate

— "My flowers were one of my favorite things of the entire day. They were beautiful. I wish that I had preserved them in some way to keep as a memory instead of just throwing them away!" — Karen, 24, biomedical engineer

— "After our first dance, the band launched into the song I had selected for the dance with my dad. Problem was, my dad was nowhere to be found (he had slipped out to use the restroom). I stood there alone in the middle of the dance floor snapping my fingers while 150 people sat there smiling at me. Meanwhile, the band kept playing. After what seemed like a hundred years, my new mother-in-law rescued me and joined me on the dance floor. Instead of being shell-shocked, I should have turned around to the band and said, 'Stop the music, you idiots!' " — Adrienne, 34, advertising executive

Food And Drink

— "I thought I was getting a good deal on my cake. I showed the baker a detailed, close-up picture of what I wanted. The real thing came out looking like a 5-year-old baked it and put it together! When the facility's catering people went to cut it, the entire second layer fell apart. Even worse, the wooden dowels used to hold the layers together still had the bar code stickers on the ends of them. The too-good-to-be-true price should have tipped me off." — Rachel, 26, training coordinator

— "We didn't ask people ahead of time to prepare toasts for us — we have such articulate friends and family, we figured that at least some of them would have something to say. Alas, none of our family members spoke up, and only one of our friends did. We've since put everyone on notice that we're expecting full-fledged speeches for our 50th anniversary party!" — Rebecca, 31, jewelry designer

— Newlywed brides can share their regrets and offer tips to other couples at www.theknot.com/chat.