regrets

It’s a rare bride who doesn’t have a regret or two about her wedding, from a missed photo op, to a silly splurge, to Uncle Jerry’s unfortunate third drink. Brides, experts and online wedding forums highlight a broad range of potential pitfalls, from clumsy amateur wedding photos to overpriced venues to being so stressed out about getting the details right that you forget to savor a once-in-a-lifetime experience as it actually unfolds.

Some brides regret spending too much time greeting guests, others say they wish they’d spent more time.

Still, if there are no right answers, there are some general guidelines.

“What I say to brides is, become clear on the three to five things that you must have correct, that must be done a specific way, and make sure that happens, and let go of the rest,” says Allison Moir-Smith, author of “Emotionally Engaged: A Bride’s Guide to Surviving the ‘Happiest’ Time of Her Life” (Hudson Street Press).

One of the most common regrets is scrimping on photography, with blog editors saying that professionals offer real advantages over well-meaning relatives, even for budget-conscious brides. Vdeography can, similarly, be a source of regret.

Wedding coordinators, who handle logistics on the Big Day, are also a hot topic at Offbeatbride.com, with some brides saying they wish they had made that investment. A coordinator functions as your go-to-person, doing set-up, herding friends and relatives, and making sure the ceremony and reception run smoothly.

Bridal party choices are also a recurring theme. Weddings bring out strong emotions, which, in turn, can lead to tensions and rifts.

Choose only your closest friends of all time to be your bridesmaids, not your close pals of the moment; resist being swayed too strongly by the opinions of well-meaning relatives, and offer your bridesmaids the chance to opt out without guilt. If a friend is, say, living far away or financially strapped, your sincere understanding will head off stress and frustration on both sides.

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