What Wedding Experts Would Have Done Differently For Their Own Big Days

by Jillian Kramer, BRIDES

Photo: Harry Hartman/Courtesy of CNP Montrose

Every bride worries she’ll regret some wedding decisions — and it turns out, even the pros look back on their big days with some regrets. So we asked four wedding planners to share what they’d change about their weddings so that you won’t make the same mistakes!

“I wish we’d splurged on a really kick-ass photographer.”
Janice Carnevale, owner of Bellwether Events, tied the knot on April 1 and embraced the quirky date with her own inventive touches — red and lime-colored linens, argyle-patterned invitations, and a cake iced in chocolate frosting. And while she doesn’t regret her eclectic choices, she does wish she’d spent more on a photographer “and paid for an album up front,” she advises.

“I wish that I had not been chewing gum for the reception.”
Michele Velazquez, co-owner of pop-up wedding planning company The Wedding Bomb, wed in a chic off-white and purple affair in Los Angeles, where a highlight was “these amazing artichoke appetizers filled with garlic,” she says, “so I put gum in my mouth to have fresh breath. But in our wedding video, you can see me chomping away — and I shriek every time I see it!” Velazquez now warns brides to find ways other than chewing gum to freshen breath.

“We didn’t hire a videographer, and I still regret it to this day.”
Courtney Wolf, wedding planner and marketing director of Invision Events, says her blush-hued, formal wedding “was the absolute most amazing day of my life.” But because she and her then-fiancĂ© bore the brunt of the bill for their big day, they made cuts when they questioned whether something was “worth it” — including a videographer. “While our photographer blew us away with the effortless and perfect capture of our day, there is nothing that can compare to hearing our vows or me giggle while I’m getting ready or my husband’s emotion as the church doors open and he sees me as his bride, all in real time,” she says. “I do wish I had that piece of the puzzle, even three years later.”

“I would not have had sparklers!”
Victoria Canada, owner of Victoria Canada Weddings and Events, held a festive affair that featured a Mariachi band and margaritas. The party was so much fun, she recalls, she didn’t want to leave. “I would have kept the bar open and kept dancing,” she says, “but we had sparklers — and our guests had them lit and we pretty much had to run! Now, I actually discourage brides from them.” One thing she doesn’t regret? Saying “no” to an open bar. “Our goal was to have a great honeymoon, and that meant having to make some concessions,” she explains. “So, we did not have an open bar — we had beer, wine and margaritas. I think an extra week on the Mediterranean was worth my friends not having a vodka tonic!”

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