If you're in the eye of the wedding planning storm, you might want to take a breath and see what sorts of mistakes your forebears made. We don't have to reinvent the wedding wheel every time. Lots of people have done it before, and lots of people have made the exact same errors over and over. Take advantage of their wisdom. Though it will likely be remembered as the most beautiful day of your life, and many of the problems that arise will fade away in your memory, why not avoid the classic wedding gaffes you could side-step, which are all listed in this very helpful post from AskReddit started by u/lifeisstateofmind.
For example, you will probably never use that fancy china you put in your registry.
Redditer supertinypenguin wrote, "Registering for gd china. I didn't want it. Knew we would never use it. Received every thing. Never have used it in 25 years." Commenting in agreement, billismcwillis wrote, "At this point, try just using it for mundane purposes. It's surprisingly fun to eat boring mundane things off of very expensive china. It's just sitting gathering dust, so use it for fun!"
Why do people keep ending up with china sets? It's a hard sell. Don't let the person walking you through your registry talk you into it.
That's what almost happened to G8kpr, who shared this story as a warning:
Haha... I remember doing our registry and the lady was helping us at first. She immediately takes us to the fine china area and is like "These are some of our best sets that couples LOOOOOOOOOVE to get on their wedding day." She's explaining how great it is, how some guests just need to get a few pieces, and everyone can pitch in for a whole set, so it's not that expensive.
Each plate was some crazy amount of money, and my wife I and I nearly laughed in her face. We said, "we don't need or even want a china set."
The lady says "Oh, I know, I know.. but down the line, many years from now, you'll be hosting dinners and parties and you'll want a really nice china set."
We said "No... we won't, we have no interest in a china set, we'll never ever use it."
Pure disappointment on this lady's face, and she gave up the battle. 15 years later, never have I said "I wish I had fine china!"
Just getting the wrong stuff is annoying. However, there are far worse mistakes, like losing out on the big moments the way DarwinsLoveChild did. Their advice? Let people take pictures!
"My number one regret is telling people not to take pictures. I know it sounds dumb but it is much worse than that. In our agreement with our photographer, she told us that other cameras were not allowed as the flash from another camera could ruin our pictures. So we politely told people to refrain from taking pictures and explained the situation.
"We had a great wedding and the photographer even sent an extra photographer to work the wedding (2 instead of 1). A few weeks after we tried contacting her for the photos. We got ghosted. We tried for about a year to track her down. We were still willing to pay for the photos, even unedited. We just wanted the photos.
"Fortunately some people didn’t get the message so we have a few (10-20) photos from our wedding. The worst part was that someone had contacted my wife through FB two weeks before the wedding warning us about her, but we decided to take the risk because there probably was no way to get another photographer in that kind of time. When she showed for the date we were relieved and thought we dodged a bullet."
The chances of your photographer being a total freak show who steals your special day for no reason are low, but a friend might capture the perfect moment. If there are parts of your ceremony you don't want interrupted, tell the guests to hold their cameras in their laps. But otherwise, why not let them snap away?
A fairly controversial suggestion from ElbisCochuelo had a lot of detractors, but that's probably because it addressed a taboo subject: money.
Initially, their advice was pretty simple. "Letting other people help pay," they wrote was their greatest regret. "As soon as that happens, they take over the wedding. Guest list, decor, cake, everything."
But the response was so ferocious, they edited to add their personal horror stories:
"Uncle offered to pay for the limo. Great. But it turned out to be this busted 1980s limo with a spiderwebbed window and no hubcaps. What looked like a homeless driver. He literally went on Craigslist and got the cheapest one with no research. We called an Uber.
"In-laws offered to pay for half of the catering. Which is how our guest list was 70 people but 200+ showed up. Would have been fine if they would have told us so we could adjust catering, but no. We had to have the caterers adjust on the fly and drag some tables out of storage. And then we had to order pizza for the rest. People we actually wanted there were eating f----ng pizza on dusty tables.
"Other uncle offered to pay for airfare for the honeymoon. Which is how a eighteen-day trip turned into twelve days because that was the cheapest ticket.
Brother-in-law paid for the wine, which actually turned out fine. But we didn't have enough because of all the completely unexpected guests.
"All we wanted was a smallish celebration with 75 people, and to have an awesome wedding. But we wound up with a big celebration that was kind of mediocre. And really stressful.
In-laws actually told us we could not say hi to our actual friends because then we'd have to go to each table and say hi to everyone to be fair. Which would have taken two hours. Which caused an argument.
Maybe your families aren't that type. But I wish we had just did our own thing and not accepted any help.
Consider who your family is and if they will be cool with giving you money without any strings attached — and no cheapskates.
Like the china patterns of yore, there are a lot of old traditions that die hard. But let them go! Redditor shirleysparrow writes that they wish they'd gotten with the 21st Century and gone paperless for their wedding.
"Paper invitations and RSVPs. Set up a wedding site and have people RSVP there. The amount of stress I put myself through trying to get paper mailed back to me in an era when no one uses mail anymore was so unnecessary. At one point we’d gotten very few RSVPs back and I had a total crying meltdown about how no one was going to come. Of course they were going to come, it’s just no one uses mail anymore. Save yourself the headache and the money. It’s my biggest wedding regret."
The other big one is to make sure you eat. Not just your wonderful catering, but the morning of the actual event. You need the energy no matter how nervous you're feeling.
Downvotesdarksouls writes that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even if it's your Big Day.
"We got married early in the day on a beach and all I could think about was how much I wanted a breakfast sandwich with eggs, cheese, and bacon on a toasted english muffin with just a touch of hot sauce," they wrote.
Don't invite people you don't care about, no matter how much pressure you're getting. There was a mix of experiences, in which surprise guests showed up and were terrors who ruined everything, and wedding costs that ballooned astronomically as parents got involved. But there was a great suggestion from lionorderhead about what to do when your folks are being too free with your guest list:
"I started charging my parents for invites. You want to invite your friend from high school you havent talked to in 20 years, OK fine. It's $125 a plate so if you want them there, you pay for him, his wife and 2 adult children. They reigned it in after that." Perfect!
This last tip is extremely specific from Skyload, but really, don't do this:
"I (the groom) accidentally wore Christmas socks with a clearly visible Santa face peeking out as I moved."