You’ve only got one night to pull off the most epic party of your life. No pressure, right? Keeping up with the Joneses is all too real when it comes to wedding planning. (We’re looking at you, Pinterest!) So take some advice from the newlyweds who’ve already been there and done that. Wedding company Zola surveyed more than 750 newly engaged and newly married couples about spending regrets and what made their big day extraordinary. Scroll down to see what they’d change if they had the chance to do it all over again.
1. Videographer: Over a third (35 percent!) of couples wished they’d hired one, and 25 percent wish they’d spent MORE money than they did on their videographer. It’s no surprise: Video is starting to rule the internet and it’s a memorable way to look back on all your special moments. Jennifer Spector, Zola’s newlywed-at-large, says, “Your wedding day can go by so quickly; the best way to savor everything is to hire a videographer. Your photographer might already have a videographer on their team, or recommend someone they like working with to help capture the big day without getting in the way. That way you can focus on the celebration and relive the details for years to come!”
2. Venue: Both engaged and newlywed couples placed the highest importance on their venue, and it makes total sense. Where you tie the knot sets the stage for the entire feel of the event. But wherever you decide to get married, make it yours. “The biggest trend to expect in 2018 is personalization,” Spector says. “Couples are spending more on elements that feel unique to them and their friends and family. We’ll see more unusual decor like hanging floral displays, customized foodservice like Shake Shack on the dance floor, and ’90s-themed afterparties. Nothing is off the table. These are the experiences that modern couples truly deem unforgettable.”
3. Afterparty: You’ve said your vows, cut the cake, and had your first dance. Now what? Zola found that nine percent of couples said they would’ve spent more money on the afterparty if they could do it all over again. (And out of all those surveyed, only one single person said they felt they spent too much). Most couples even agreed that the afterparty was more memorable than their rehearsal dinner. So take it from them: It’s *totally* valid to keep the party going!
4. Wedding Planner: Throughout the wedding planning process, the majority of couples found that the wedding officiant and wedding planner ultimately made their big day go off without a hitch. In hindsight, they would’ve placed way more importance on these supporting roles while they were planning.
5. Photographer: Your snaps have a life way beyond the day you say “I do.” Of interviewed couples, 22 percent wish they’d spent more money on the person behind the camera, and both engaged couples and newlyweds ranked their wedding photography at the top of the list (only venue was higher!) of what was most important to them.
6. Music: According to the Zola survey, couples prioritized their day-of wedding attire over the band or DJ prior to the big day. But once the rice had been thrown, they admitted that the music made more of an impact than what they were wearing.
7. Flowers and Decor: There’s no doubt that this is one area where couples get carried away. “It’s easy for blooms to go over budget, fast,” says Spector. “Keep things simple and remember there are other ways to bring in decorative elements that are less costly. We used a lot of greenery plus balloons for our New Year’s Eve wedding, and our guests loved it!”
8. Wedding Cake: Let them eat cake! Couples rated their own wedding cake as one of the least important elements when it came to planning, but afterwards, survey respondents said the wedding cake ended up being one of the most important elements of their reception.
9. Invitations: According to Zola, engaged couples put invitations in their top 10 list, but newlyweds didn’t even list them. Are they necessary to let your guests know the details of your wedding day? Sure. But don’t stress too much; once the wedding gets underway, no one is going to be thinking back to how you asked them to get there.
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(Photos via Lauren Fair Photography)