If I Had My Time Again…

If I were a Bride again what would I do differently

Did any of you ever read the book ‘If I was a spider instead of a cat’ when you were younger?


Perhaps it’s been consigned to the unforgotten books broom cupboard – in fact a Google search came up blank when I attempted to source some images to accompany this post so I’m guessing it didn’t make waves in the literary world. Shame that…

Why are you asking this daft question that’s completely unrelated to the world of weddings some of you might be thinking? Aha. Well there is a link…tenous mind…but a link all the same.

You see the book (about an eight page affair) was a fantastic narrative from a cat’s point of view about what he would do if he was a spider instead of a cat. Admittedly the title does give the game away somewhat and I don’t really want to reveal the ending so I won’t go into all the details here. But essentially the book explored a different point of view, a ‘what if’ philosophy, a sort of imaginative journey so to speak and it’s this type of mental outlook that sets the theme for today’s post.

If I were a bride again, what would I do differently?

The point being folks that if some of you are wavering on some big day topics, be it your choice of dress, how extravagant you should be with your wedding decor or even how much time you’re allocating to your portrait shots then perhaps some of my ruminations might help.

Here are my top four…

I’d Mix It Up On The Sartorial Front

I loved my Balbier wedding dress.

Romantic, swishy, timeless and amazingly lightweight I couldn’t really have asked for more especially given the very tight timescales I had to work with from proposal to wedding date. Plus it was crafted from one of my favourite materials – lace – which I’d dreamt about wearing on my big day for as long as I could remember.

But there’s another side to me too, aside from my more classic, tailored sartorial personality, and it’s decidedly more ‘look at me’. It’s glitzy, it’s metallic, it’s magpie gone bad.

So whilst I wouldn’t change a thing about my bridal day look, I so wished that I’d changed into a party dress for the evening if only so I could party without having to worry about damaging my beautiful gown.

I would have sported something golden, a metallic sheath complete with glittering accessories and feathers and smokey bronzed eyes. Hell I would have shimmered across that dance floor.

Well there’s always the vow renewal eh?

Metallic Bridal Inspiration Sartorial

I’d Spend More Time On Our Couple Shots

Some of our favourite photos of the day, by which I mean mine and the boy’s, are our portrait shots.

We knew that Ann would capture our wedding day perfectly and shoot beautiful images of the two of us and she sure as hell exceeded our expectations (if that’s even possible!). In fact I count my wedding photos as one of my prized possessions.

If there’s anything I wished we’d done differently is that we slipped in another portrait session. We had planned to hold another shoot after the speeches but they overran and by the time we’d finished it was just too dark to do so (one of the downsides of a late Autumn wedding folks!).

If I was able to journey back in time, I’d pull my past self to the side and suggest that the portrait session in the woods be slotted in before the speeches instead. After all the guests wouldn’t have missed us for another ten minutes.

Given that time travel hasn’t to my knowledge been invented yet, I’ll take the opportunity to share this wisdom with you gorgeous lot instead. Honestly, please have a serious think about when your shoots will take place and dedicate enough time to them. You’ll thank me I swear.

I’d Go Hell For Leather On The Table Centrepieces

If there’s something that still rankles with me, like a scar that refuses to heal, then it relates to my table centrepieces.

I mean how daft is that?

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my table arrangements – old silver trophy cups of all shapes and sizes filled to the brim with roses, berry hued hydrangeas, Autumn berries and lots and lots of foliage…. I just wish that there had been more of them.

Perhaps it’s the stylist/ wedding planner in me but when I walked into the marquee to survey my tables the day before there was a feeling that there was something missing. And then it struck me, there just weren’t enough florals within the table set-ups.

Table Centrepieces Rustic Extravagant

Top Row Left: Image via 100 Layer Cake. Top Row Right: Image via Martha Stewart Weddings. Second Row Left: Image via Martha Stewart Weddings. Second Row Right: Image via A Cup Full Of Jo. Third Row Left: Image via JL Designs. Third Row Right: Image via Style Me Pretty. Fourth Row Left: Image via Inspired By This. Fourth Row Right: Image via Inspired By This.

If it was anyone’s fault, then it was mine. Partly for not being able to collect enough trophies and silver cups in such a short timeframe and partly for not communicating more clearly with my florist my precise requirements about the number of blooms I wanted.

If I’m being reasonable and practical about this then it’s worth mentioning that once the tables had been laden with bottles of wine and water, plates of food and the rest of the paraphernalia that comes with a wedding breakfast then there probably wasn’t much space for additional arrangements and I can’t say that the guests noticed anything amiss.

But I noticed and given my penchant for beautiful blooms it made me a little bit sad. So two things girls…’more is always more’ and ‘communication is key’.

I’d Take That Walk I Promised Myself I Would

I’ve been known to be a bit of a loner at times, in that I’m completely at ease with my own company. In fact I have been known to be a tad fractious if I don’t get some time to myself at least once a week – I know, anti-social much?!

Essentially though time alone gives me the space to reflect, to ponder, to process the week’s happenings, to think about what lies ahead and to really be in the moment. If you’re anything like me then you’ll know that life runs away with you and before you’ve had a chance to breathe you’re suddenly in the middle of April and it seems like it was only 5 minutes since it was Christmas.

Do any of you feel like this?

I knew that the run-up to my wedding day would be a bit like this… a manic whirlwind of activity, of ‘to do’ lists, plans, dress fittings and beauty appointments so I promised myself that I’d take myself off for a decent walk on the morning of my wedding so I could take a moment to be on my own and reflect on the day ahead.


Top Row Left: Image via Ann-Kathrin Koch. Top Row Right: Image via Kollabora. Second Row Left: Image via Abrahum Japan. Second Row Right: Image via Bella Faye Garden.

As it happened there simply wasn’t time. The walk went out the window in the face of last minute table rearrangements and coaxing pesky bridesmaids out of bed. I did however manage to snatch five minutes at about 6.30am when I was the only person awake to watch the sun come up.

This time to myself was incredibly precious, for more reasons than I can describe here, and I only wished it could have been longer. So the least I can do is to pass this experience onto you lovely lot, to stress the importance of taking some time out for you if you feel that you need it because you’ll only regret it if you don’t.

So do any of you married ladies have any wedding day regrets?

What would you have done differently if anything at all?

Perhaps those of you marrying this year or next are fretting over something? Can we be of help?

Why not share it with this lovely lot and get it off your chest?

And honestly now folks do any of you remember ‘If I was a spider instead of a cat’? If so I’d love to reminisce.

All my love Lolly xxx

Author: Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
Lolly is a self-professed frustrated florist and styling maven with an endless passion for all things pretty.

36 thoughts on “If I Had My Time Again…

  1. ps. On the dress front, I have done the opposite and will be channelling gold, magpie attracting, metallics for the day! I do wonder if I might regret never having worn the wedding dress of my childhood daydreams. On the other hand, I am not likely to win an Oscar, so when else will I be able to ‘go loud, or go home’?

  2. Lolly I do love it when you talk frankly about your wedding. This and the one you did about your maids are two of my favourite ever posts on RMW. I will bear all of your words in mind over the next 2.85 weeks. It’s all about time really isn’t it. ALL of it. Do they do time-stretching devices on Amazon? I could get one delivered by Prime, it could be here by tomorrow……

  3. You know Lolly, this is the beauty of Rock My Wedding. We can all learn so much from other brides and other weddings, so (some of the time) we can pre-empt our regrets and fix them before they happen. (my last minute I NEED A VIDEO, thing being one of them)

    So much invaluable advice telling us to make more time for couples shots, so we’re ducking away for as long as we can while our guests enjoy our secret entertainment for the afternoon (we’ve done away with the awkward small talk hour with people they sort of know, while the guests are trapped in a room waiting for the food!)

    I know there are things we’ll decide we should have done differently, but I feel totally armed and fabulous when it comes to avoiding those pit-falls beforehand.

    Great post and very thought provoking for my final 6 week countdown!!


    p.s. I would totally be a cat. cats are boss.

  4. I’m so grateful for this post – I was starting to worry that I was the only person ever with regrets about her wedding! Not that I regret marrying the lorry driver – not one bit – in fact I’m really enjoying being Mrs Lorry Driver – but there were a few things about the wedding that still niggle at me more than 2 months on.

    First of all, the lorry driver had offered to take the week before the wedding off work to help with last-minute stuff (he goes out to work on Monday and doesn’t come home till Thursday or Friday)…me being me told him not to be daft, everything would be sorted and he’d be sitting round doing nothing. Then like a fool, I was struck down with crippling cystitis the weekend before the wedding and spent 3 days stuck in the house unable to sort all the last-minute bits that, surprise surprise, needed to be done. I didn’t trust our mums or any of my bridesmaids to do them properly so ended up in a mad rush on the Thursday and Friday doing them myself, big plans for a manicure/massage/long relaxing baths went by the by, and by 24 hours to go I was a trembling husk of a girl. So I suppose the lesson is, ACCEPT ALL HELP OFFERED, BECAUSE THERE IS BOUND TO BE LAST-MINUTE STUFF TO DO!

    Like Lolly, I also had the idea to change up my outfit for the evening reception, to the extent that I’d packed the relevant accessories – huge sparkly necklace, different headdress and a big studded belt to rock out my romantic tiered frock. But I forgot about them. They were all there, just upstairs in our room, but I completely forgot until we got back to the room at 1.30am. I actually ended up in my Topshop wedge trainers halfway through the evening because my high heels were hurting – one of my bridesmaids kindly popped up to fetch them, and I know that if I’d gone and fetched them myself I would have remembered to change my accessories too. Lesson? If something’s meant to happen, make sure you’re not the only one who knows about it. Because you’ll be busier and more distracted than you would have thought possible.

    Finally, if you want to do something, get on and do it. About 6 months out from our wedding, I got the idea to have little pots of spring bulbs (snowdrops, grape hyacinths etc) on the tables as centrepieces, next to the candleabras provided by the venue. I let my mum, his mum and his sister talk me out of it on two separate occasions (telling me that we should ‘keep it simple’, there was ‘no need for any more fuss’, etc etc) but the idea kept niggling at me and I finally went to the garden centre 2 days before the wedding, bought the potted bulbs in a mad rush and told the lorry driver what he was to do with them. It all would have looked a lot better and been less stressful if I’d planned it in months (or even weeks) in advance rather than letting it go then cramming it in at the last minute in a show of bridal defiance. The lesson? It’s your wedding. Your mum, and his mum, and everyone else, have either had their weddings or will have them at some point, and that’s their time to have opinions and put their feet down. This is yours.

    What an essay….sorry! xx

  5. I look at RMW every day religiously…even though I got married 2 years ago!!! I never add comments, but I just couldn’t help myself with this post – the perfect opportunity to lay my demons at rest! Don’t get me wrong I absolutely loved our wedding day but there were so many little things that I wish didn’t happen or I’d done differently.
    I wish we had sunshine not cloud so we could’ve had the yummy afternoon tea style canape/mingle time outside.
    I wish we hadn’t had so many formal photographs – why did I have a list of so and so plus so and so plus so and so, and then so many combinations of so and so – I didn’t even choose any of those as my final collection of photos. It was a waste of mingle-relax-have a drink time.
    I wish I had stolen 10 mins with my new husband, he asked me to go through his speech with him before the wedding breakfast – aghast I said no! I didn’t want to hear the speech beforehand, but now I realise he just wanted some newlywed us time.
    I wish I had RELAXED! During the evening I was still sorting out peoples taxis and other logistical issues why-oh-why did I not ask someone to do it for me and just be happy in the knowledge someone else was in control.
    I wish I had drunk all the drinks I had been bought by people, and then maybe the above wouldn’t have happened.
    And finally, I wish I’d asked the DJ to announce the late night snacks of bacon rolls, mini fish & chip cones and a huge table full of cakes so all the hardcore dancers in the disco area would have known about them, including me! Then I could’ve had a giant slab of cake and everything would have been right in the world.

  6. I’ve been asking everyone I know who is married the same question, in anticipation of my own big day in less than 6 months! The recurring themes? They wish they’d found the money for a videographer or they wish they’d worn a veil.

  7. Woah, this is timely, Lolly! My husband (that will never get old!) and I got married on Thursday 23rd April, and had the most joyous, sunshine-filled, perry-quaffing, sweet-munching, photo-boothing, VW camper van-driving, loved-filled day imaginable. For real. But, even as I woke up on Friday morning, I was still kicking myself for all the things that I hadn’t managed to get around to, all the things we forgot to do, forgot to savour, forget to say.

    We didn’t cut our cake, for instance. And although this was because we were having FAR too much of brilliant time dancing and munching on homemade Welshcakes to remember about it (and it was only a fruitcake bought from M&S as a bit of a last minute thing!) I still felt sorry for our poor forgotten cake, still forlornly sitting there on Friday morning in amongst the wilting flowers and drained glasses.

    What’s bugged me most in the three days since our wedding, though, is the fact that I only took my beautiful Anthropologie gold embroidered cardigan off just before our first dance. I had to have my shoulders covered for the ceremony and just forgot to take it off until after the dinner! My dress was a magnificent keyhole back Anne Barge number (nabbed at the last ever Filene’s Running of the Brides!), but hardly anybody saw the backless detail until the dancing began. I keep telling myself the Big Reveal on the dance floor was suitably dramatic to make up for it! Similarly, I completely forgot to touch up my make-up. Even once. I had a painstakingly curated selection of ingenious products tucked in my clutch bag, designed to keep me looking picture-perfect, and I just dropped it in a corner and promptly forgot about it!

    Actually, writing this comment has made me realize that I didn’t touch up my make-up or take my cardigan off, and we forgot to cut our cake, for a really, REALLY good reason. We were having too much fun. We were celebrating with our favorite people on earth, people who came to see us, not nibble a fruitcake, people who don’t care whether my forehead is shiny or my hair a bit mussed-up. When you’re having that good a time, none of the stuff that has taken over your entire life for the last six months (are the centrepieces big enough? is the seating plan clear enough? will people appreciate that seventy two thousand miles of bunting I have made by hand?) even occurs to you.

    So, when we get the photos back, I’ll be the one wearing a cardie with a shiny forehead and flushed cheeks And a MASSIVE smile.

    P.S. I’ve only just realized that having visited Rock my Wedding several times a day for the past thirteen months, I automatically typed the address only to realize that I AM NOW MARRIED! I HAVE NO WEDDING TO PLAN! I’m going to have to wean myself off gently, I think. No cold turkey for me….

  8. Oh, and reading Jen’s comment, I only just realized that I forgot to put my veil on! I think it’s still in the box on top of the wardrobe. Oops.

  9. That should have been the 18th April, obviously. The 23rd is tomorrow. A Freudian slip to do with imagining having the whole day again, evidently!

  10. Lolly,

    I feel like you’ve read my mind with this post I really do.
    Just last night the boy was talking to me about where we were going to have our photos done, which location on the way to our reception, is there time for more than one, and what we’re going to do, and how much time to spend…
    It was only Saturday that at a second hand stall in a garden centre (of all places) I was debating buying a huge selection of old relic-like and vintage bottles for flowers for our centre pieces (I didn’t in the end, becuase I didnt know if it would look too much with the candles and jars we already have so I took a photo to get the boy’s opinion) but you’ve convinced me – I want more blooms!!
    And I too, dare I admit it, get a little, erm…. out of sorts if I don’t get just a bit of time to myself in a week. It’s something not many other people have really ‘got’ if I try and explain it, but it’s defineitely something I hadn’t thought to make more time for!
    I agree with Philippa aswell, your maids post was one of my favourites. (they sure can be troublesome sometimes )
    If I’m honest at the moment the whole W-day planing has left me a little breathless – although I’d never admit to the boy, so thank you for giving a post to help me make up my dithering mind!!

  11. Thanks for all the tips! I think everyone has regrets of some sort don’t they, no matter the occasion, but always useful to have those things passed on. I am definitely one for needing alone time, I hadn’t even considered time for a walk in the morning but a brilliant idea! I will be in Central London on my wedding day, but no reason why I can’t have a quick stroll across the river and back. I had wondered how I could bar my bridesmaids from my room for a time in the morning, not out of unkindness or lack of want but purely for some alone time, so the walk idea will solve that dilemma, thank you! I will also be questioning our photographer on how much time we have for portrait shots, I know when they are happening but in all honesty have not figured out how much time that is and whether it is enough. We aren’t having an engagement shoot so the portrait shots will be our only shots of us together, so looking forward to seeing them already!

    Also afraid I haven’t heard of your book, but sounds like a good one! x

  12. I loved every teeny tiny weeny part of our day (despite having zero amount of sleep due to nerves and excitement, and being unable to swallow a morsal of breakfast in the morn). However, if i had the chance to do it again i would insist that we had a videographer. As Becky so eloquently discussed in a previous post, it was a huge mistake and one which plays on my mind. A LOT! xxx

  13. This post has brought me out of anonymous reader-dom too! (Wait, is that a word?) Beautifully written Lolly, and something that people don’t really seem to talk about, but I’m sure EVERY bride-to-be thinks about.

    We’re getting married in July and my big worry is that my statement headpiece (complete with draping pearls across the forehead which have come from a necklace my Grandad gave to my Grandma on their wedding day) is too much… too tacky, too big and I’ll regret it later down the line! Change my mind about it approximately 15 times a minute!

    I’m also one of those ‘should I wear a veil?, wish I could afford a videographer’ brides 😉

  14. Naomi, some photographers (like ours – not sure if I’m aloud to mention names?) do a ‘fusion’ package where you get a film that blends audio and video from the day with traditional images. We so wanted a video (ideally a Super 8 one!), but couldn’t justify the cost. We were delighted with our ‘fusion’ beloved shoot, though, and can’t wait to see the wedding video/slideshow. Definitely worth looking for a photographer that offers this! And your headpiece sounds amazing!

  15. Lolly I had the whole series of those books! Spider, crab, parrot… There were more! I hope they are still in my mum’s house somewhere.

    I love your post, I’m not getting married until September but I already think that there are things I wish I’d done differently but contracts have been signed and moneys have been paid, I think the problem is that we expose ourselves to so many beautiful weddings that it is so easy to have your head turned by another venue, different style of dress, different centrepieces etc. As my fiancé keeps telling me, once I’ve made a decision that is the time to stop looking. Hard though isn’t it?!

  16. We loved our wedding day but there is one thing that makes me very very sad – when my husband talks about the day he always says he started to relax and enjoy only when he arrived at his pre-wedding lunch and was greeted with hugs from his whole groom party (or whatever the correct technical term is!)….the problem was that we just didn’t come up with a proper morning plan for him – I had our hotel room to get ready with my bridesmaids and he tootled off to make last minute checks on the venue, but when he returned it turned out we had never thought about where he would go! I guess I thought it was best man territory – but if the best man doesn’t think the same then you have a problem! Fortunately family came to the resuce but I wish that he had had the perfect morning that he deserved!

    If we did it again I would have a whole surprise plan for him – a proper room (sounds obvious now ;), a well informed best man, some personalied beer mugs, a little card, maybe even some colour coordinated bunting ;)…. at least wedding day surprises are not limited exclusively to wedding days – I think I might have to make those personalised beer mugs for the next big football game at home 🙂

  17. Fab post as always Lolly!
    I am already having some minor regrets & I’ve not even graced the aisle yet!!! The main one being – Why on earth didn’t I start the DIY sooner?!!! Seriously girls, any of you planning on making anything start making it NOW!! It doesn’t matter how far away your wedding is, just get it started!
    I didn’t and now I have a list as long as my arm, no as long as my body!!! I know I’ll get there in the end, but feeling rushed is not the way I planned to spend the last 60-odd days before the wedding!!!

    Oh & I have now decided I need actual real flowers on the tables (yes this may be linked to my above comment!!! haha) and tonight’s job is to get all the candlesticks, vases, champagne sauces out & work out how many more bits we need for the tables.
    Dave thinks we should have plenty by now, but sadly I am in your camp @Lolly & am almost certain there won’t be anywhere near enough! So thanks for reminding me that sometimes more is definitely better!

    Now to decide…..florist or wholesale flowers?!!!!!!!!!!!! Eeek!

    ps. @Jo – I hadn’t really thought about Dave’s morning at all so will definitely make sure we have a plan for him! 🙂

  18. This piece is also forcing me out of anonymous readership! Thank you Lolly, this is unbelievably helpful.

    I’m getting married ‘up North’ in December so by the time our service is done it will be dark outside so no outside shots of me and my boy. I’m gutted about this but there’s nothing I can do about it so am trying to dwell. We’re getting married in a gorgeous old house so inside there will be plenty of gorgeous backdrops for photos but I think because it’s not outside and not what I imagined I’ve now started down the the line of thought ‘oh we’ll just have a couple of us done then it’s going to look odd with all these ‘busy’ stately home backdrops’ but maybe I need to snap out of my downer on this and think again.

    I’m also reeeeeally sure I’m going to regret not just splashing out and having a video. My mum is saying over and over that its a huge cost and I wont regret it, put that money towards the honeymoon, but I just cant shake the video thing – already, I cant shake it already and it’s only April and my wedding is in 8 months – that must mean something, right?! Maybe I should just go for it? I cant regret having it, can i?


  19. Wonderful post Lolly!

    I wish I had sat down in my dress when I was having it fitted. That way I would have known to wear a corset underneath – my la las were a bit ‘out there’. At one point this threatened to ruin my day but I took a deep breath, and decided that as I couldn’t change anything I would laugh instead of cry.

    I wish I had practiced the veil lift with my Dad – it ended up bunched up on the top of my head!

    And that’s about it really! We had a power cut, little pickled onions in the peas (?!), it rained a bit, the coach driver had to ask the guests where they were going, I never got to eat any wedding cake, my Dad didn’t do the signs right – but none of that matters a jot because it was the most wonderful day where I married the most wonderful man in front of our wonderful family and friends 🙂

  20. @Rebecca – I had a florist for bouquets and buttonholes and went to the wholesalers for the table/ceiling/swag flowers!

  21. Hi Lolly
    I am a religious reader of Rock My Wedding but your post today inspired me to write a comment for the first time. I think you write so beautifully and you actually made me sad by what you wrote. When I saw your wedding on Anne’s website last year, I was literally dumbstruck with awe. It was so amazingly beautiful that I decided to change our wedding plans so I could emulate yours!

    From having such a rustic wedding theme, I completed flipped and went into ‘gorgeous understated elegance’. I so wanted to emulate your day, I was searching around trying to find out where everything came from. Stalker stakes I know! But luckily, my fiancé made me see sense. He explained that your wedding day was yours, and ours will be ours… and there’s just no point in trying to copy someone else’s style when it hasn’t come naturally to you.

    No matter what our day ends up being like, I know that I have spent hours and hours thinking the day over in my head to make sure it’s perfect. I am now at a time, where I just don’t want to think anymore, I just want to enjoy…So I always think that for any bride, you have to just follow your heart with a style that you enjoy (yes take external influences from blogs and magazines) but you have to feel natural in your surroundings and have no regrets whatsoever. Because you know that you tried your best and you chose everything for a reason. I think you just get to a point where you can’t think anymore and you just have to ‘do’.

    We get married next Saturday and my stomach is full of butterflies. I can’t wait for the day! But I’m actually quite smug with one of my wedding plans…for which I’m so excited about. On the Wednesday before our wedding, my fiancé and I are going to a hotel for 24 hours of romance, peace and quiet. It’ll be a time for us both to have a little reflection, some time to think and get excited together for our big day, without the stresses and noise of people around us. I think I would suggest this for any bride as sometimes the poor fiancé’s can get forgotten about in the whole whirlwind of planning!

    Instead of regretting some aspects of your wedding, you should just use that energy and focus it on helping others style their wedding days. You are obviously so talented and after all, we need as much help as we can get! x

  22. I’d just like to reiterate some of Lolly’s points … (just cause they’re good ones!)

    1. My husband and I went off for some couple pics straight after the wedding, we got married in a church in the sand dunes and pottered off down the beach with Jem (photographer/best friend). We didn’t mean to spend so much time down there and have since been told people thought we had run away, but it was a gorgeous sunny day and our cousins had dune races and we started off our brand new marriage with a glorious 40minutes of each other. DEFINITELY do couple shots. Yes the day goes too quickly anyway and you don’t always get to speak to enough people but that time together is so incredible and the resulting photos are too.

    2. I had always planned to go for a run on the morning of my wedding. I wanted that ‘me time’ that Lolly was talking about. As it was the morning was one of those incredible sunny clear autumn mornings and my dad came with me. That time spent just with him but also doing my ‘me time thing’ was the best and I’m pretty sure it de-stressed both of us.

    Finally, as LOU says accept all help. Seriously.
    ELLE we also forgot to cut our cake (but then stuck it in the freezer and took it on our belated honeymoon 3 months later)
    NAOMI wear the veil! I was one of those ‘I hate them’ types before my mother in law lent me her family veil .. of everything on that morning, putting that veil on made me feel like a bride and wearing it made me feel just that bit more special 🙂

  23. For all the right reasons, we had a small-ish family wedding, mostly because my dad was devastated when we broached the subject of us possibly getting married abroad and my parents not being there (this was a 2nd wedding for both of us, so we didn’t think it would be a big deal but it was to my dad so we changed our plans to accommodate him). I’m not sad at the wedding we did have, although it WAS a lot of stress and I was totally run down and exhausted by the time the big day arrived. However, I wish that what we’d actually done was take ourselves and our 5 best couple friends to a posh hotel, had a quiet registry office wedding and spent the afternoon around a table in an amazing restaurant eating food and drinking wine with our best mates. For what we spent on our wedding, we could have put our closest friends up in the hotel overnight as well. THIS would have been *us* and while our family wedding was lovely and everyone had a great time, I’m a teeny bit sad that we didn’t stick to what was totally right for us in our efforts to make my parents (especially my dad) happy.

    I wish that Rog had stayed at home the night before the wedding and we’d woken up together rather than him and the boys going off to a hotel because ‘it was the traditional thing to do’.

    I wish we’d not had an evening do even though I did change into the most amazing (last minute) playsuit and felt way more comfortable than I did in my dress. I should have worn that all day really.

    I wish that I’d been less involved – eg flowers … yes anything in cream and orange and peach will be fine instead of getting anal about it. Same with menu’s – any canapes / starters / mains would have been fine to be honest. I hardly ate anything because I was so wound up and exhausted. I could have offloaded SOO much stress if I’d been a bit less perfectionist about it all.

    I wish I’d chosen different shoes. I was crippled for about 3 days afterwards and couldn’t even get ballet pumps on my feet on the Sunday morning because my feet were so swollen.

    I wish I’d chosen a nice evening dress from the high street rather than a traditional wedding dress. It would have been cheaper and a less obvious choice and probably more ‘me’ as well.

    But on the flip side, it was a lovely day – I got to walk the dog at 6am in the peace and quiet; we built in loads of time for our portrait shots and we got 45 mins in the pub together as well before going back to the evening party; it didn’t rain (probably the only day last April that wasn’t wet!); we incorporated some of the most amazing surprises ever into our ceremony and the looks on our guests faces and the comments we STILL get now were perhaps the best part of the whole day; the fact that some of our friends and family travelled literally around the world to see us get married ….. these bits are the bits that make me say ‘actually it was a good day and just as good as my “I wish” day’

  24. WOW!

    I’m just sitting down to read all your wonderful comments, your frustrations, your anxieties and your bittersweet what ifs. We’ve been shooting the next Rock My Boutique campaign today so I’ve been ‘out of office’ so to speak but I couldn’t go to bed without responding and thanking you all from the bottom of my heart.

    Clearly I’ve touched on something here that resonates strongly with all of you – both the newlyweds, the oldlyweds and the soon to be weds too. I’m glad because if it means you get the chance to air a few thoughts or vent then that’s healthy and totally what we’re here for.

    I’d love to be able to respond to all of you but there just isn’t enough time and my brain is slightly mushy from the frenetic activity today so I might not make much sense by the time I post this.

    @Lisa pleasure sweetheart. Plus I NEED to see photos of your metallic vision x

    @Philippa 2.85 weeks!! OMG are you beyond excited whilst feeling a tinsy bit sick at the same time about the amount of stuff you still have left to do. And thank you for your sweet sweet compliments – it really is so very lovely to hear.

    @Karen cats ARE boss! I am a cat owner and I would never be a spider instead of a cat and you’ve made me a very happy girl knowing that you are scheduling PLENTY of time for said couples shoot.

    @Lou ‘if you want to do something, get on and do it’ YES woman just YES. Respect!

  25. @Sarah oh sweet pea I just don’t know what to say. A whole heap of regrets there – maybe you could rectify them at your vow renewal and really really truly do things the way that you want to.

    @Elle you know that you don’t really have to wean yourself off RMW don’t you…;) But I am VERY pleased to hear that you had the most amazing amount of fun at your wedding. And the Freudian date thing is very interesting….

    @Naomi hot foot it back to that vintage stall asap! If you want more blooms then blinking have them – you can always take some flowers away if it looks too much – it’s so much harder to add them. Let me know how you get on.

    @ajk it’s the best book and I’m so pleased that I’m not the only one that finds time on their own essential. And I’m thrilled to know that I’ve solved your dilemma with the whole bridesmaids/needing space to breathe situation. A walk across London sounds fantastic – I ended up locking myself in the bathroom for ten minutes. Not so cool.

    @Charlie aha!!! I remember the parrot one too…and the Cat always turns back into a cat again which frankly is quite the commonsensical thing to do given that cats are the aceness – see @Karen’s point for clarification…

    @Jo you know I’d never even thought about the groom’s situation – I’ve always left the boys to sort themselves out and this also was the case on the big day. I do love how you’d go back and change it for him – that my dear is adorable.

  26. @Lisa if you’re toying with the idea of having a videographer and it’s niggling at you despite what others say then I’m guessing that it’s important to you. Take my advice…get one as you’ll only regret it if you don’t. If you read Becky’s post on the matter then you’ll know she regrets a million times over not having one. You still have time…go for it!

    @Jo thank you so much sweetheart, I’m truly flattered and I really didn’t mean to make you sad. Don’t misinterpret me – my big day was magical and I loved every single second of it, there’s just a few things that I’d have liked to have been different. Blame it on the perfectionist in me. Your wedding day will be just as beautiful because it will be about you and your boy after all so congratulations and I’ll be thinking about you on your big day xx

  27. Great post Lolly,

    This hits such a note with me. I married in May 2011, and loved my day and the memories I have from it, but there are things that niggle me to this day:

    Our wedding was on Bank Holiday Monday. A great choice for convenience (half term for children and friends and family who teach, day off for lots of people etc). Immediate disadvantage was people (e.g. Work colleagues) not enjoying a drink because of work the next day, and leaving early. The dance floor was really quiet all night, and that made me very sad.

    I wish I had chilled out about the journey to the venue. I assumed that the journey in the vintage Rolls Royce would take longer than normal, the reality was that I arrived 20 minutes early, and had to stop on the side of the road while my own guests drove past me to get to the ceremony before me!

    I wish I had waited for Mum’s best friend and her husband to park up the vintage car and take their seats before I made my entrance. I didn’t realise they were still outside, and they had to sneak in after the ceremony started.

    I had planned my entrance music quite precisely, and trusted the staff at the venue to start it at the correct point midway through the song. It was started correctly, but before the registrar had asked everyone to stand. instead of pausing it the music, they turned it down. Needless to say, when they turned it back up, the bridesmaids had missed their entry point, and all of us ended up rushing down the aisle like crazy women! I wish I had asked them to restart the music so I could have taken my time and soaked it up.

    I lost my Daddy in 2009, so my Uncle walked me me down the aisle. I REALLY wished I had remembered to give him a kiss when he handed me over to Mr S, I cringe when I watch the video of this moment, I think I was so caught up in the moment.

    We didn’t have photos with the aforementioned Rolls Royce. Still can’t believe we forgot to do this!

    We also missed out on planned photos, partly due to excessively long speeches (despite pre-arranged time limits). It was also raining by the time the speeches actually finished. I still get a little pang of jealousy when I see other people’s in the hazy late afternoon sunshine.

    Finally, I wish I had delegated more. I took on far too much, resulting in muchos stress (and weight loss) in the 3 days before the wedding. I wish I had factored in time for all the added extras that I originally wanted e.g. Photobooth and props, board games etc.

  28. Hi, I just wanted to say that I’m really grateful for your post, I’m some ways it’s even calmed me down (I get married in five weeks!) and made me realise that you can only try your best to have a perfect day, and everyone will regret something! Like you I have a lace Balbier gown (tabitha), I adore it, but I wonder if I’d feel better in a more ‘bride-y’ gown! My mum didn’t cry when we bought the dress, it’s just not that type of princess gown to create that moment.

    As I work in the wedding industry as a writer and own an events hire company, the pressure for my own wedding sometimes feels overwhelming and because we are on a budget sometimes I feel like I am constantly compromising on what I really want! And then theres mothers input or industry friends wanting me to go for the latest trends.

    I would say to brides is either have a very short engagement so there is no time to ponder too much and get obsessed with blogs and get all muddled up about what you want because there are so many options (guilty as charged) or have a two year engagement to work out exactly what you really want, find the perfect suppliers and save the money to never feel like price is holding you back! We have been engaged a year and it has gone in the blink of an eye. I just hope this niggling feeling of panics starts to dissolve as the wedding gets closer, I know if I try my best for the day then hopefully I won’t have any regrets!

  29. Great post Lolly, I also loved the bridesmaids post. It’s good to hear everyone else’s dilemma’s and realise you’re not alone in this wedding madness.
    My wedding is just over 6 months away and I’ve had plenty of moments already when I wonder if we’ve gone for the right wedding for us. I had initially wanted to get married where we live (Dubai) but none of the venues out here will confirm any wedding booking until 3 months before the date! Can you believe it?! What kind of crazy is that? (it’s in case another booking comes along that wants all of the public spaces – purely about money) I am far too highly strung to cope with that kind of stress (all my guests have booked flights and hotels but I don’t have a venue) so we discounted getting married here as an option. We toyed briefly with a wedding elsewhere in the world but the Man has been married before and has already had the ‘wedding on a beach’ thing and I didn’t want it to be a re run of the first wedding so that left us with the UK really. We’ve picked a venue in Scotland near to where he grew up which is fab but I’ve had lots of pangs of regret about not having an outside wedding or at least a wedding where you can have some of it outside such as the drinks reception. I blame pinterest for some of my regrets so far, I keep seeing so many gorgeous outside weddings that I’m a little upset none of that will be possible.
    However, I’m hoping it will still be a fab day, we’re off back to the UK in two days time for some more wedding planning, super excited 🙂

  30. Wow, so eternally grateful for this post Lolly! With less than 2 weeks to go and a multitude of the niggly bits I forgot about stressing me out, the whole idea of a morning stroll per-wedding madness seems like bliss to me. So I’m going to make sure to take the time to do so! It’s so nice to know that so many brides can have regrets but still be in love with how their big day went – thank you ladies – it’s reassuring, and takes the edge of the total panic that’s set in now it’s only 12 days to go… Wish me luck!x

  31. Dear all you lovely ladies,

    This, like many of you, is my first post – I have read this website time and time again and I am so amazed by all the beautiful weddings (so beautiful that I sometimes ask myself if they are real?) but have never commented – but this post struck me so much, as have all the comments, that I just wanted to join in.

    We get married in September this year – we get married exactly a year to the date that we got engaged. I feel a bit overwhelmed with it all, along with my full time job, and all the other daily chores etc, and I am so so worried about regretting anything after the wedding, or wishing I’d had more time to do X,Y or Z. But I just wanted to thank you all for your advice, it is so helpful to all us brides to be! I feel so overwhelmed with all the websites, magazines, blogs, pinterest, twitter, facebook etc etc that I sometimes feel like I don’t know where to start. But at least after reading this I now have quite a few things stuck in my head about what I should/shouldn’t do – namely, make time for photos, remember to cut cake, and I am going to go for that sparkly amazing wow evening gown that I ordered off the Outnet and was going to send back – especially after spending so much on my wedding dress! But at the end of the day, I don’t want to regret not wearing it!!

    And for the brides out there worried about videographer, I have done what someone else on here mentioned – we have a photographer who does a mix of photos, audio and moving images – and it is the same cost of your usual photographer (perhaps slightly more as there is 2 of them) – so that is always a good option.

    I am in the process of the moment of struggling with invites – there are so many beautiful stationers out there and so many lovely designs I can’t decide! And can I just say, Lolly, I too was blown away by your wedding – I remember showing my fiance and making him watch all the videos because I just loved it – perhaps to stalker extent too! And I hope this doesn’t sound too stalker-ish but where did you get all your bells from for the ceremony? My partner’s family is Irish and I love the idea of doing that, but can’t find bells anywhere! Oh and rebecca, where did you get your champagne saucers from? I am in love with the idea of having these, but struggling to find somewhere where I can get 150!

    Thanks again to you all for your sharing of ideas, thoughts, hopes and fears xxxx

  32. I married the man of my dreams last year & it truely was the happiest, most special day of my life. But I would be fibbing if said that there isn’t anything that I would do differently if I had my time again. . . . .

    I somehow managed to completely forget about confetti, & I feel very envious of other couple’s confetti shots! We had planned to go for a drive as newlyweds in the vintage car we had hired, but things over ran & there simply wasn’t time. If only I had planned in an extra half an hour inbetween the drinks reception & the wedding breakfast. I personally don’t regret not having a videographer. I am very camera shy & was nervous enough about having my photograph taken, so I think being filmed would have made me feel quite self conscious. I do, however, so wish that we had asked someone to film the speeches. My new husband’s speech was so moving & beautiful, & i don’t even have a written copy of it to look at because the silly sausage lost it at the wedding! I also wish I had been brave enough to incorporate the potted ornamental trees I had seen at our local garden nursery, because looking back, I think it would have looked rather lovely.

    Our wedding day was so special. I didn’t stop smiling all day long because I felt so blooming happy! We were so lucky with the weather and were able to have the outdoor wedding we had dreamed of. And thanks to the wonderful staff at our venue the day ran so smoothly & we didn’t have to worry about a thing. My overwhelming feeling is that none of the little details that I forgot to incorporate/decided against including/would have organised differently in hindsight don’t really matter. What really matters is that we had a beautiful day surrounded by loved ones and that we are now husband & wife! And anyway, isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?!!

    I would like to be able to put all these little niggles to rest, because I know that in the grand scheme of things, they are not important . What is important, however, is having the knowledge that being married is awesome 🙂

    (But it certainly is a relief to know that there are others out there just like me, with similar batty thoughts going around their heads)! x x x

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