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Confessions of a Former Bride #13

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to revive this series and have been brainstorming a little bit, so hopefully you’ll be seeing more of it over the next couple of months. I’m really sorry that I haven’t been posting as much bride centric tips and things lately! I feel like I sometimes get into a posting groove and lately all of the things I’ve been inspired to write about are mostly photography related and/or personal!

When I look back at our wedding pictures there are at least a few things I would change about our day. None are related to my choice of groom, or anything like that. But I thought it might be helpful to share them here so maybe someone else could benefit. You know what they say, hindsight is always 20/20. In this case, I believe it!

1. I would wear a different gown. 
If you’ve been following this series for a while, you probably are aware that I had wedding dress regret and changed my mind about the first gown I chose and then bought a second one. Well looking back at my pictures I don’t love the second dress either! I think if I had it to do all over again, I’d look at a few other dress shops before making my choice. My two gown purchases cost an even $1000 total, so if I was smart about it, I’d have shopped around with a larger budget and found something I actually loved.

2. I would be more careful about who I asked to be a bridesmaid.
Ooh. This one is a tough one to write, but it’s serious stuff. If there’s one thing I hope you guys take from this post, it’s that you would really heed my advice here! I asked two of my friends and my sister to be in my bridal party. My sister wasn’t able to be maid of honor because she was supposed to be gone at Army boot camp on our wedding day (long story, see here if interested), so another one of my friends stepped in to take her place. I’m still friends with the last girl I added to my bridal party as well as one of the girls I chose at the beginning of the process. Without getting into the whole back story  I’ll say this: you really learn who people are when you’re planning a wedding! I saw through this process who was there for me and who wasn’t. I noticed how one sided the friendship I had with this person was and how unhealthy it was!  At the end of the day, I think it’s better to keep people in your bridal party that you know really love and support you. Keep your real friends close, and your frenemies far away from your wedding day and all of those pictures it might be awkward to frame down the road!

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3. I would have made our wedding more US.
Our wedding had a TON of details, but a lot of them are not super reflective of our personalities. We’re silly, and we love cats and ice cream. When I was planning our wedding, I thought in order to have a nice, classy, wedding it had to be more buttoned up and elegant. This was before I was a photographer, so I didn’t really know what weddings were really like. What I know now, is that weddings can be whatever you want them to be! If I redid our wedding I would have made more fun things a part of our day, like fun colors, and things like that.

4. I would have sold my kidney to hire Josh Gooden.
Haha you think I’m kidding, but I’m half serious! I really, REALLY wanted a videographer, but I also really REALLY wanted to hire our super awesome wedding photographers. We ended up choosing the photographers and not having any videography because we couldn’t afford to hire a good videographer. I thought to myself, Oh, it’ll be okay because family members are also recording. FAIL!! My dad DELETED his video accidentally. So we don’t have any video to remember our wedding day by. I hope my descriptive skills are up to par when I try to tell my children and grandchildren how amazing it was when my cousin played In My Life on her violin as I walked down the aisle and how sweet it was when my sister cried while she read a poem at the ceremony…because that’s literally the only thing they will have to go on. I love my pictures, but I am not even lying when I say I wish I had opened a credit card to hire a videographer…I would have paid it off by now AND I would have a wedding video:(

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5. I would have ordered an album right away.
I hate to say this here, because I feel like I’m admitting to something bad since I’m a wedding photographer and I think albums are da bomb, but we’ve been married almost two years and we STILL don’t have a wedding album. I think albums are so important. They’re heirlooms that your grandkids will look through one day. That being said, we didn’t really have the money at the time to get an album, so we just thought we’d wait. Well we waited. And then other things came up as they tend to do. And now it’s been almost two years and we still have nothing to show from our wedding day photography besides a few prints and a Facebook album. THAT’S DEPRESSING! Who wants to think they spent $$$$ on hiring an amazing wedding photographer to have a FACEBOOK ALBUM???? I regret not ordering an album right away, and my wish for my brides is that they do invest in these albums sooner because the longer you wait, the less likely you are to do so!

6. I would have worn fake eyelashes and something on my damn lips!
I hate to say this, but I’m really critical about how I looked in our wedding pictures and it stems from the fact that I did not have enough makeup on. As a photographer, I know now that you should wear MORE makeup than you normally do because it’s going to photograph better that way. Well, if I could time travel back to 5/21/11, I would first tell everyone there was not going to be a rapture that day (haha) and then I’d tell myself to put on some fake eyelashes and some lip balm at the very least! I mean, look at this picture of me, it looks like I don’t have make up on!

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What I WOULDN’T change about our day:

1. The groom.
Duh.

2. Our first look.
The first look was probably one of the best parts of the day! If you don’t do a first look, you don’t actually get to spend very much one on one time with your groom, so I’m thankful for the time we spent together during our first look. Those moments were so intense! We were both so excited and nervous and just happy that we were about to be husband and wife. Having that time together to soak everything in and hang out for a few minutes was probably one of the best decisions we made.

3. Hiring a day of coordinator.
Hiring a coordinator was one of the BEST decisions we made pertaining to our day. Our wedding day was an emotional day and the last thing I wanted to be doing all day was telling people where the bathrooms were or where they should put their gifts. A day of coordinator is WORTH HER WEIGHT IN GOLD. I think full service coordinators are awesome too, but if you are on a budget, a DOC is the way to go for sure, especially if you’re having a DIY heavy wedding like we did. Someone has to coordinate all of that stuff and it shouldn’t be the bride!

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I hope that this post can help you if you’re planning your wedding now:) But I did want to say that even though I’d change some things about our day, most of those things are not really all that important when you consider that the best part of the day was marrying my best friend and starting a new life with him. Even though my dress wasn’t perfect and my face looked cray cray, and we have no video to remember it by, it was an awesome day and I’m happy to be a Nesbitt! There’s no such thing as a perfect wedding day, but hopefully we can all have amazing marriages that are even BETTER than our weddings.

Photos in this post by Jodi Miller Photography!

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All good information! I have a similar dress regret, and I wish I too had spent more money on it. I have heard so many bridesmaid drama stories and it makes me grateful that we didn’t even bother with a bridal party. Even without one, I got to see who was a real friend and who wasn’t throughout the process.

A friend of mine said the other day (she’s also been married for 2 years) that she wishes she had gotten an album too, because at the time it would have been a drop in the bucket in terms of the wedding budget, but it’s a huge life expense now.

And I don’t think your face looked cray cray, silly girl. You looked beautiful!

Ahhh!! I feel your pain both about the bridesmaids and the videographer!! My mother videoed and the card was corrupted! So sad to know we’ll never get to watch that day again. 🙁 I also have 1 girl in all my pictures who was exactly like yours and now I get to stare at my bad friendship decision making skills rather than enjoying the pictures of my bridal party. Haha.

Great post! And by the way, you definitely look gorgeous. I understand you feel you needed more makeup but don’t ever look at pictures like that and think you look anything other than beautiful!! 😀

Stephanie

I can TOTALLY relate on the dress regret, but I’m making it work. 😉 I thought your wedding was divine and I totally stole some of your ideas! Imitation is the best form of flattery.

I couldn’t agree more with almost all of the what you WOULD change about the day. I definitely didn’t have it in my budget to have a videographer nor did I really think about it that much but sometimes I get melancholy thinking about having one.

I totally agree with your point about making your wedding more about you! For some odd reason, I was SO worried about what people would think of things, so I tried to please other’s or even turned down some of Ben’s ideas because I didn’t want people thinking, ‘gosh, that’s weird. I’ve never seen that before!’ Silly, silly me. 🙂 oh-well!

Um you look SO FREAKING PRETTY in that last photo. I would look like darth vader without enough makeup on for photos hahaha

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