I Do... Over

40 recent brides share what went right and what they’d do differently

What was one of your favorite memories from your wedding day?

• We almost broke the fellowship hall floor because we had so many people dancing!

• Watching my mom enjoy life without any worries. She was diagnosed with stage 3 terminal cancer and passed shortly after our wedding. She was very ill at the wedding, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell.

• We had our wedding in a public park. The crowd that surrounded and supported us when we were taking our vows was so touching.

• The fire sky lanterns. My husband and I lit the first one into the dark winter sky and our guests followed with more lanterns.

• The reaction I got from my husband when he saw me in my dress.

• During our ceremony, I gave lockets to my husband’s daughters as a symbol of accepting them as mine. Afterwards, my 6 year old said, “I almost cried when you gave me this. Now you are our real mom.”

• Jumping in the lake with my bridesmaids.

La Boum Events
What do you wish you had done differently
before your wedding day?

• Stopped trying to please everyone.

• Started the decor for the wedding much earlier.

• Saved more money.

• Planned fun activities with family who traveled up for the wedding.

• Sat back and really enjoyed being engaged.

• Asked for more help.

• Started looking for my wedding dress earlier. My “perfect dress” wasn’t available because it would take too long to order.

• Sent out invitations earlier.

What memories make you cringe?

• My wedding cake was awful. I let a someone buy it as a gift and they didn’t go to a professional. Gifts are great, but when it comes to your wedding, you need to call the shots.

• Our color theme was black, white and purple. Looking through pictures, the red Solo cups were an eyesore. Something so simple that you don’t think about until afterwards.

• I should’ve had it at a hall. I had my wedding at my very small home; it was intimate but most of my guests had to eat standing up and were very crowded.

• My shoes. I planned on wearing flip flops later in the night but my feet hurt just walking down the aisle. In a lot of my pictures my dress is folding towards the bottom because my flip flops didn’t give the height I needed.

• I looked unhappy in the pictures going down the aisle even though I wasn’t! I just kind of forgot about the camera.

• My mom almost missed it! She was supposed to walk me down the aisle but didn’t show up until 15 minutes before the ceremony.

Chugach Peaks Photography
What do you wish you had spent more / less money on?

• The photographers, so we could have them for a few more hours.

• Videography. Don’t rely on a friend or family member to take an amateur video.

• The flowers.

• The reception venue.


• Wedding decorations.

• Food and alcohol. We had so much left over.

• Separate desserts from our wedding cake. Hardly anyone touched them.

• Keepsake items I gave to guests.

What do you wish you had paid more / less attention to?

• Taking photos with family. My grandparents came but I don’t have a picture with them.

• Organizing the setup. We got married on a mountain and didn’t plan the entrance of guests and the wedding party very well.

• Giving the photographer a list of shots that I wanted.

• Spending more time with my guests. My husband and I danced the night away instead of socializing.


• Making sure the bridal party was where they needed to be when they needed to be.

• What did not go right.

• Trying to make everyone happy.

• Trying to make everything perfect.

• All the small details and wedding decorations.

• The schedule. I spent so much time trying to get people to follow my schedule that I didn’t get to enjoy it as much.

Chugach Peaks
What do you regret not doing on your wedding day?

• Not getting more candid pictures.

• I wish I had danced more.

• Not eating our food.

• Not having a reception dress. It was really tasking to walk around in my heavy wedding dress all evening.

• Not going around to each of the tables and greeting/thanking our guests.

• I wish I had a picture with my mother while I was getting ready.

• Not writing a letter to my future husband.

• Not keeping me and my dress a secret until I walked down the aisle.

Bridezilla moments

• Right before the ceremony I confronted my maids on their inappropriate behavior towards me. They thought it was a free-for-all party and I was not having it. I yelled at them, scared my photographer and the reverend had to break us up.

• I yelled at the groomsmen when trying to get them all together for pictures.

• I was told there was no video camera right before I started to walk down the aisle. My friend who forgot the camera tried to blame it on me right then of all times! I freaked out a bit to say the least.

Best advice for a-bride-to-be

• If the wedding and reception are in different locations plan for travel time and photos.

• Request a tasting from your caterer before hiring them.

• Budget for dress alterations!

• Don’t save it all until the last minute. People who offered to help earlier may not be available when you get around to it.

• Stick to your budget! Starting a marriage with a lot of debt for one day isn’t worth it.

• Stay calm and remember: When things don’t go as planned (on your wedding day), most people won’t even know anything went wrong!

• Take the time to take a walk with your new husband away from everyone. The peace you will experience is priceless.

• Choose your ladies carefully. Irresponsible bridesmaids can cause a lot of problems.

• Make a list of everything you need to order and by when so it arrives in time to allow for a stress-free last couple weeks.

* Based on a 2013 survey of 40 Alaska brides married within the last 2 years.