5 Things I Did Really Right At My Wedding — And 3 Things I Did Really Wrong

Learn from my mistakes before you plan your big day.

Woman in wedding dress Vasil Dochinets/ Shutterstock

I got married back in 2007 and the marriage is still going (yay!).

When I look back on that special day, I’m mainly filled with love and nostalgia for the fact that our friends and family came together to celebrate our becoming a married couple and to witness the vows we took.

This being the first (and only) wedding I’ve ever planned, there were a lot of things I did right and a few things I would change if I had it to do all over again.


If you’re planning a wedding or hoping to have one someday, learn from my insights about the Big Day. 

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Here are 5 things I did right at my wedding:

1. Letting the bridesmaids choose their own dresses

Unless all your girlfriends are exactly the same size and shape, there’s a good chance that what looks good on one of them won’t look so flattering on another.


I told my bridesmaids to choose their own black cocktail dresses.

Not only was everyone comfortable and stunning, they then had a versatile dress they could conceivably wear again (unlike that floor-length magenta gown shoved in the back of your closet).

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2. Actually eating at my own reception

I’d heard so many stories of brides being "so busy" that they didn’t get a chance to even taste the food at their own weddings, so I was determined to actually enjoy the food and drink at mine.

It would have been a bummer to have never tried all the stuff I picked out, so grab a plate and steal away from all the greetings long enough to shovel some in!


3. Having kids in attendance

The little kids at our wedding were an adorable part of the ceremony, and now as a mom of two, I understand just how helpful and joyous it is to have kids be part of the celebration.

They were the opposite of disruptive and their presence only added to the cheerful atmosphere.

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4. Letting it be quirky

My husband and I are definitely more artistic than traditional and that spirit was reflected in our wedding.

Instead of a fancy-tiered cake, we had colorful cupcakes, and instead of an elaborate floral chuppah, our siblings held a tallis (prayer shawl) over us which was fastened to wooden poles I found at Home Depot.


It felt very "us" and not like someone else’s vision of a beautiful wedding.

5. Being true to my own style

At every bridal store we visited, I was shown the requisite strapless white gown. But standing on that pedestal outside the changing room I knew that didn’t feel like me.

Instead, I wore a sleeveless gown with a light blue sash. Forgoing a veil, I blew out my own hair with a diffuser the morning of the wedding and wore it curly and wild!

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Here are 3 things I did really wrong:

1. Not rehearsing the ceremony

At the time, I was so obsessed with our wedding not being too traditional or "stuffy" that I decided we didn’t need to rehearse the processional.


On the day of the wedding, our party didn’t really know what to do and everyone sort of shuffled in at their own pace.

A little more planning would have gone a long way and it definitely would not have compromised the chill vibe I was going for.

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2. Not checking the calendar

I loved the fact that our November wedding was different from the usual spring or summer nuptials, but I have to admit I was caught a little off guard by the fact that it was the same weekend as the NYC Marathon, making travel a bit of a nightmare the morning after.


I also didn’t realize that windy weather would be a possibility — the result was a few windblown pics and the photographer scrambling to find a spot inside to take group shots.

3. Not doing it sooner

My husband and I dated for 10 years before actually tying the knot.

Looking back, we said that it didn’t matter if we were legally married because we knew we were together. But now I can see the deeper meaning and value of standing up before your community and taking vows.

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Ronnie Koenig is a writer with 20+ years of experience covering parenting, travel, food and relationships.