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Real women dish on their biggest wedding planning oops!

Elizabeth Mitchell is a freelance fashion and beauty writer living in Los Angeles. A graduate of New York University, she regularly contributes to The Fashion Spot, The Luxury Spot and authors the Star Style column for StyleBakery Teen. ...

If only they would have known...

After the initial excitement of an engagement wears off and reality sets in, many brides find themselves completely and utterly overwhelmed by the whole planning process, and yes, all those teeny, tiny wedding details. Looking back, here's what six married women wish they would have done differently.

Lisa wedding photo

Going over my budget

"I didn't really have a grand first wedding, so when I got remarried recently, my biggest mistake was probably purchasing a dress that was too expensive. I sure loved it and the dress was beautiful, but the price of it just wasn't practical in the long run. I also didn't realize until afterwards how expensive makeup was going to be for all of my bridesmaids!" — Lisa S.

Jane wedding photo

Trying to do it all myself

"My only regret during the planning process was not letting my friends and family help me more with certain aspects of the big day. I'm a control freak, and I really didn't want to be a bother to them. I figured they had better things to do than help me with my wedding. I was sooo wrong. They all wanted to, and I totally wasn't open to it. My advice to other brides is to enjoy the time you have with your family and friends. In the end, they're there for you and truly want to help you celebrate your special day." — Jane F.

Heidi wedding photo

Not eloping

"Our biggest wedding planning mistake was not eloping! The whole process itself was stressful, particularly on our relationship. It would have been nice to put all of that craziness aside and focus more on our future together, as opposed to things like the guest list from hell, unnecessary mama drama and spending a ton of Daddy's money. Everything would have been so much easier for all parties involved." — Heidi T.

Photo credit: John Stanley Photography

Vanessa wedding photo

Inviting too many people

"If I had to pick my biggest planning oops, it would be inviting too many guests initially. After we sent out our save the dates we realized that there were a lot of people we should have invited instead. Also, so many asked if they could bring a plus one, which we didn't account for at all. The most stressful part was trying to figure out how to accommodate everyone after we had planned everything around a smaller amount of guests." — Vanessa S.

Therese C

Choosing the wrong day

"The biggest wedding planning mistake we made was not recognizing a huge summer event was taking place on the same day as our wedding. We'd chosen the lighthouse on Point Loma in San Diego. Unfortunately, it was also the weekend that Mission Beach hosted its Over the Line tournament. The most direct route was the freeway, and the exit was backed up about two miles. We crawled off the freeway and still had to drive all the way out to the Point. It was in July and our guests were forced to stand without benefit of any shade in the hot sun waiting. As you can imagine, there were lots of sunburns and disgruntled guests! My advice is to check for major events, plan alternate routes if necessary and provide seating and shade especially if you plan a summer wedding." — Theresa C.

Denise G

Not hiring a professional photographer

"As a wedding planner, I knew the importance of not being thrifty on everything. It's true that breaking the bank is not the purpose of getting married, but there are certain things that you just cannot cheap out on! If I had hired a professional photographer who was reputable, I would have great photos. Unfortunately, my photographer (who was fantastic and I had used him for clients in the past) had a full-time job and didn't feel my wedding was a priority to that. He got transferred out of the country two weeks before the big day and sent his assistant (who was an amateur) to shoot the wedding instead. It was a disaster. Our pictures came out faded and blurry, there were no real couples shots and the angles were awful. It was just all around bad! If I had hired my own wedding planner, then the above would have been salvaged." — Denise G.

More wedding planning advice

The wedding day beauty timeline
20 Ways to escape wedding planning stress
6 Wedding checklists and other printables to help you plan

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