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To be honest, there's plenty I regret about my wedding

I’m Gabbi Byrd. I’m a lifestyle blogger at linenandsalt.com and a teacher. I call Charlotte, NC home. I love Jesus, my husband, my family, southern values, decorating, crafting, cooking, weddings (and any other parties that I can design)...

My wedding wasn't perfect and I'm just gonna admit that

While I was planning our wedding, I read hundreds of articles regarding pretty much everything associated with the process. One of my favorite types of articles was the ones where brides were real enough to list their mistakes and regrets. I’m not gonna do the cliché thing right now and say I have no wedding regrets because everything happens for a reason. There are some things that just could have and should have been avoided.

So here is my personal advice article for future brides on things I would have done differently. Add these tips to the other good advice you’ll hear along the way!

1. Try to avoid accepting anything from people with hidden agendas

What I learned was that during weddings, people will offer you things — money, services, time, etc. Some of these things you will ask for while others will be given to you.

Some people give freely. Most of the people around you will fall into this category. They will always be there to give advice, to help you no matter what and to go out of their way to make your overall wedding experience amazing out of genuine love for you. These people won’t ask for anything in return. They just love you. These people are typically happy, fulfilled people themselves and just know how to treat others.

But there are others who will act like they love you but they don’t. It’s usually not because they try to be bad people, but it’s just that they don’t know how to love purely. You’ll feel it in your gut before accepting anything from them, and you shouldn’t do it unless you’re prepared to kiss the part of them where the sun don’t shine for the duration of your life. Let me go ahead and tell you that they will expect things to be catered to them and will find a way to throw anything they did for you, be it large or very small, in your face at the first chance they get. If you do end up in this situation, just don’t let them ruin any part of your wedding with any drama they may try to cause. Marriage is an amazing thing ordained by God. The devil will try to fight it whichever way he can. Don’t let him steal your joy.

More: 4 ways to keep your bridesmaids from hating your guts before the wedding

2. Don’t forgo bridal portraits

One of my bridesmaids warned me that I would regret the decision to not do bridals. She was right. While I think that vanity is enough of a reason to get them done, I’m regretting not doing them because I needed a run-through. The day of the wedding, my dress was laced a little tighter than the people had tied it in the salon (my choice) and it caused my bra to show. If you’ve been a bride, you know that any slight alteration to how you were during your fitting can cause dramatic differences in the way your dress appears.

So do the bridal pics if not for any other reason than to have a dry run for your big day. This will save so much time as well as the hassle of photoshopping out avoidable mistakes later on.

3. Just say no: You’re not ready until you say you're ready

My wedding wasn't perfect and I'm just gonna admit that
Image: Blue Arden Photography

Number 2 leads into this. I knew that my bra was showing and I really wanted to fix it. However, I let the fact that we were short on time as well as a few little white lies from everyone around me convince me to go out like that. End result: I look like a damn fool in all my pics. OK, I may not really look that bad, but it’s just the fact that I know it’s not right and that I really like my dress the way I bought it. So now I’m extra critical of every pic of myself. I love my dress! If I could do it again, I would hold the wedding up that extra 20 minutes just to not have to deal with looking at myself with shame for a lifetime. In the end, it was my fault. Don’t be like me.

The pic above shows what I’m talking about. Look at the boob area of my dress, which is supposed to be a true V-neck if not for my bra showing. Compare it with the dress by itself hanging up in the pic below. I was not aiming for the whole modesty panel look. It was just a mistake. At least the overall prettiness of the pics somewhat make up for it.

My wedding wasn't perfect and I'm just gonna admit that
Image: Blue Arden Photography

4. Don’t let your photo time get cut

If you’re like me and photos are really important, don’t compromise on this for anything. It’s called “cocktail HOUR” for a reason! If you have a planner, she may be a little obsessed with staying on schedule, which means that she is doing her job. BUT, at the end of the day, it’s your wedding. If you have to shave off time elsewhere, do that. Make an announcement if you have to, but don’t let the picture time get cut. In the end, the pics and video are the only things left. Luckily our photographer was awesome and we still ended up with really good pics. I just wish I would have known what was going on behind the scenes so I could have told the planner that the picture time overruled all else.

More: 20 women share what they regret about their weddings

5. Get it on video

I included this not because I didn’t have a videographer but because if I had not have gotten one (which I was leaning toward), I would probably be feeling like my entire wedding was a waste right now because I don’t remember much. People told me it would go by fast. It goes by much faster than what you think people mean. If I didn’t have our wedding documented on video to look at, I may be asking what it all was for right about now. I made it official with the love of my life. But that could have been done at the courthouse for thousands less for all I remember. Invest in the video!

6. Make time to pamper yourself a bit

In my dreams, the day before my wedding consisted of my bridesmaids and me in matching robes at some spa. There was laughing, champagne and lots of pink. My day before was nothing like that. There was a lot to come up that week that was not avoidable, but I still wish I would have made time to enjoy being a bride and be pampered. Don’t make my mistake. Treat yo' self!

More: Married at First Sight and Love at First Kiss are banking on instant chemistry to find love

7. Dance more

I’ll wrap up with this. I didn’t dance enough. I ripped my crinoline and my bustle was already ruined thanks to my brand-new hubby and I didn’t want to ruin my dress anymore. I haven’t looked at my dress since my wedding day. But I did miss some prime Beyoncé dance-partying.

Well folks, that’s it for my wedding regrets and the “wish I could do-over(s)”… mostly! I mean, Boyz II Men did not show up to serenade me while I walked down the aisle. But that’s a let-down best left to discuss with my future therapist, lol.

This post was originally published at Linen and Salt.

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