My Wedding Day: What I’d Do Differently

So much time, effort and dedication goes into planning a wedding, but that doesn’t guarantee it will go off without a glitch. Plus, times and trends move on, which can leave some brides lamenting the choices they made many moons ago. From the dress to the cake, beauty woes to guest list errors, we asked eight ex-brides to reveal what they would change if they could do it all again…
ROB LOW

SheerLuxe Founder & Editor Georgie Coleridge Cole Says…

“I'll start by saying that I had a lovely wedding and I enjoyed every minute, but I'd do it very differently today. I'd probably marry the same man (!) but I'd swap out the country marquee, stiff white invitations and most of the other formalities, for a big engagement party with drinks and dancing, followed by a London church and a family lunch. I’d wear the mini version of this Christie Nicole dress on the day itself. 

“If I had an limitless budget, I'd fly every man and his dog somewhere exotic and have a week's worth of rosé-fuelled lunches and celebrations under the stars. There's nothing quite like a destination wedding, but if you do it, you've got to go all out.”

Laura Black, Managing Editor At SheerLuxe Says…

“You know, there's still very little I'd change. I feel so lucky to have had the day we had – this year has been a real reminder on that. Sure, I might switch my dress for something a bit more fun. I'd also have worn a cool headpiece like this one from Jane Taylor rather than a traditional veil, and I wish I'd bitten the bullet and invested in a pair of Manolos. At the time, it was a case of balancing the budget, and at that price, they weren't a priority. 

“Could we have streamlined our guest list? Absolutely. I got too bogged down with who we should invite, and I love the idea of something a bit more intimate. Investing a little more in the people you really want there feels so much more special. As someone once said to me, 'invite for the future and not for the past...”

Charlotte Collins, Senior Editor At SheerLuxe Says…

“There's not a lot I'd do differently, but I really wish I'd kept my hairdresser and make-up artist on hand all night. I sent them home as I didn’t think I’d want to be dragged away from my party – but humidity and dancing don't mix, and my hair is dreadful in all the pictures after the reception. 

“I also would have been more thorough with our invites – I got the registry URL wrong in the first batch, which was an expensive mistake! Finally, I wish I'd tried on more dresses and been more imaginative with where I browsed. My dress was one of the first I'd tried on and, although I felt good in it, I should have put in a little more effort in to find something even more special.”

India Sellers, Co-Founder Of Maids To Measure Says…

“Working in the wedding industry, I’ve learnt a lot from my clients and have taken those things on board. It means I can honestly say there is not much I'd change about my own wedding as a result. However, one thing I would skip would be the brunch we held for all the guests the following morning. We thought it would be a lovely idea to invite everyone back to the marquee and reminisce about the night over a bacon butty. But truth be known, it was a huge extra expense and when my husband and I woke up with huge hangovers, the last thing we wanted to do was be talkative and see everyone again! We just wanted to enjoy the very expensive hotel we had the luxury of staying in and nurse our heads together. 

“I’m also quite a punctual person and made sure I was at the church dead on time. But because I was so conscious about keeping people waiting, I hurried all the bridesmaids along and then proceeded to walk down the aisle a bit flustered with my veil not attached properly (which led to it falling out half-way through the ceremony). I wish I'd taken five minutes to check myself in the mirror one last time, compose myself, and fix my veil. In hindsight, no one would have minded waiting that extra little bit of time.”

JOANNA BONGARD

Shelia Adetiba, Founder Of @Unlikebride Says…

“I would tell brides to try on their entire bridal look before the big day. Every detail counts – jewellery, make-up, and most importantly – underwear. This will save you changing your mind on the day… and perhaps also some embarrassment. My underwear was slightly visible… although it was nothing Photoshop couldn’t handle. I also wish I hadn’t had to deal with a drunk friend on the night – who’s now no longer a friend!”

EDDIE OSEI

SL Beauty Contributor & Make-Up Artist Zoe Taylor Says…

“My wedding was one of the most glorious days of my life. It was so special to have all the people I love in the same room. But I would definitely have done a few things differently, had I known better. First, I had promised my little girl a slice of wedding cake, but forgot to tell the venue and it all got eaten! She has never forgotten it, or forgiven me. I still feel bad to this day. 

“I would also have a bigger bar area. It was so rammed with people throwing back shots and dancing on tables – it was impossible to get a drink.

“Looking back, I do wish I had used a wedding planner or coordinator, too. It would have been great to have someone tell me what to do when, and perhaps they might have helped me put the car seat with a sleeping baby in the car half-way through dinner…”

ROB LOW

Make-Up Artist Ruby Hammer Says…

“I loved my wedding – and other people’s recollection of it, too. We were given advice beforehand to make sure we spent some time on the day with each other, so we consciously stayed together from the vows onwards. Seeing everyone all together sharing stories was wonderful. It is far too easy to try to see everyone separately and end up not getting to spend any time together.

“The only thing I didn’t pay attention to was when the cake was cut. My daughter Reena didn’t get a slice and we also didn’t save a tier for the future… (traditionally the top tier of a wedding cake is kept for the christening of your first child).”

Fashion stylist Anna Bromilow says…

“I have some incredibly vivid memories of my wedding. Someone I worked with had said to me to try and slow everything down, take a mental picture of each scene and drink everything in. Having followed their advice, I now have clear flashbacks rather than having to rely too heavily on our wedding video to remember the day. 

“Our venue was beyond beautiful – at The Wallace Collection – and as a result, we didn’t really need to do much decorating. But if I was doing it again I would go to flower-crazy, and use my friend Javier at By Appointment Only Design.”

Michelle Royle, Weddings Editor at SheerLuxe says…

“I got married before I worked in the wedding industry (more than ten years’ ago now), and although I absolutely loved it, there are a few things I would do differently now. We decided not to have a long, drawn-out engagement – and got married within three months, so I didn’t have long to find a dress. I loved the one I wore, and it fitted like a glove, but knowing all the incredible bridal brands I know now, I would make a different choice. 

I’d also give the hotel proper instructions about the cake. They didn’t set it up correctly and the whole top tier fell to the ground when we cut into it! If I’d been told this story I’d be horrified, but on the night it was actually really funny and there are some great pictures of our shocked faces!”

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