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How to Prevent Post-Wedding Regret (Part 2: Wedding Planners)

Posted By on February 8, 2015

Being a wedding planner for 16 years, I’ve heard a lot of stuff! A LOT! But what never ceases to amaze me is the regret list I hear from brides about their weddings. And the list hasn’t changed in all these years. That’s 16 years of brides experiencing the same post-wedding blues. Why is it still happening??

I’m not talking about regrets over their fiancé (HA), but regrets over wedding planning decisions that were made that they got stuck with and were unable to change. What breaks my heart the most is knowing that their regrets could have been prevented if they had only sought out the advice of a wedding consultant. That’s why I am here. That’s why I started my own company – to be that person that couples and families could go to when they are unsure about the “what-to-do” and “what-ifs” of wedding planning.

A recent BRIDES article highlighted 7 real brides and their biggest post-wedding regrets. You can read the whole article here. They asked brides to reveal their biggest wedding planning regrets. I’m going to feature them here in a series of posts with my comments and suggestions on how the situation could have been prevented so you can keep from having these similar regrets over your wedding. Plus, you will also find out what MY biggest regret was for my wedding!


Regret #2: Doing without a wedding planner

“My biggest regret is not listening to my instincts to hire a wedding planner. Don’t get me wrong, my wedding was beautiful, but being a perfectionist, there were minor details that were missing. For example, the music I walked down the aisle to wasn’t cued on time. I would encourage brides to a least get a day-of planner who can make sure last minute things are handled properly.” —Whitney, 32

First, this bride didn’t listen to her instincts. That makes me sad! Not because I’m a wedding planner but because I am a woman and our instincts are strong! Our gut feelings about something are usually right on. And when we ignore them, we usually end up regretting it later on. Oh – we will still make it or get through it, but had we listened to our gut…well…you know! 😉 Like this bride said, her wedding was beautiful. It still happened and she made it. However, those minor details…those little details…can be downright embarrassing if they get overlooked. Can I get an Amen?

Second, I agree with her encouragement of brides to get a “day-of planner who can make sure last minute things are handled properly.” AMEN! What peace of mind you will have knowing that your plans are falling into place and happening as they have visioned. I would like to add for clarification that a “day-of” planner should not – and cannot – be hired at the last minute. The term “day-of” is misleading to brides. I believe it makes them think they can hire this service just a couple of months or even a month before their wedding. Problem here is that you will not find one available for your wedding day if you wait until a month out. And if you do….well…they may not be what you expect. I’ll leave it at that. Listen to your gut and hire a planner as soon as you get engaged to help plan and coordinate your wedding day. Why? Our TaylorMade Bride, Danielle (August 2012), explains the benefits of hiring a wedding planner in the beginning:

During those beginning stages, I feel, a wedding coordinator is invaluable.  I felt completely overwhelmed, looking online for ideas and seeing website after website.  There is so much out there!  It was so comforting to be able to discuss all the plans in my head with someone that has so much experience.  It was also very nice to know that I could email, text, or call Darlene with any questions or ideas.  It kept me sane and once I started putting the theme and style into place I could feel my anxiety lessening.  Now with only four months to go, I know with the rapport Darlene, Thomas and I have I will be able to get through the rest of the planning and will not have to worry about my vision and style as she has been there from the beginning.  I can’t imagine someone just coming in the last minute and trying to catch them up to speed right before the wedding.   With Darlene’s attention to detail and personal touch I know on my wedding day that I will be able to enjoy the time with my loved ones and savor the sweetness and not have to worry about what’s happening outside and in the background.  It’s such a good feeling to know that my family will also be able to enjoy the day.  I feel completely secure, I’m so happy that we started our planning off right!
BUT – on the flip side – there’s this regret from one bride in the BRIDES article. Regret #3: Letting the wedding planner do it all.
“I hired a wedding planner, who was wonderful, but I just let her do most of it and didn’t keep track and it ended up that certain things weren’t the way I wanted them. I think it’s crucial to hire a planner if you have time constraints. However, if the event side of your wedding matters to you, you also have to make sure that the lines of communication are open and that your hands are in that pie. If you don’t get involved and check in on things that are important to you, you could end up disappointed.” —Laura, 26
This is very disappointing to hear as a wedding planner. I could think of a ton of questions to ask as to why this happened. Was the planner a controlling type and never try to include the bride? I mean, to me, how could someone make a decision for someone else and NOT ask them about it? Was the bride a type that really did not care about things until she saw what she got on her wedding day and found out she really did have an opinion? Obviously there is a lot that I don’t know in this situation and the bride’s regret brings up very good point: Communication! I focus on developing a team attitude between me and the couple. Kind of like I’m the coach of an ice dancing duo. The coach trains the team and guides them, keeps them on schedule, etc. In the end, who’s on the ice? The couple is. It’s their show! Not the trainer’s. I wrote an open letter to brides, “Dear Bride, I Don’t Like it When…,” where I discuss how important it is to have an opinion about what happens in your wedding. It’s not MY wedding. It’s not your mother’s wedding or your friends’ wedding. In the end, it’s YOUR wedding and I want you to LOVE your wedding.
How to avoid post-wedding regret? Hire a planner! Hire one as soon as you get engaged. Talk to them throughout the months of your planning..  Have your hand in that pie as this bride said in her regret post. Share with your planner your dreams and your opinions and your fears. You should feel a good connection when you meet with them as you will be working closely together. You can never ask too many questions or give us too much information. The more we have the more we know about you and it really DOES help in the overall outcome of your wedding. We planners really want to help you and for you to have a glorious wedding day!!

About The Author

Darlene is a homeschool mother to her 3 children, a music/voice teacher, coffee fanatic and owner/founder of TaylorMade Weddings. She has earned the title of Best Wedding Planner for Winchester, VA in 2013 from Virginia Wedding & Event Network. Her passion, commitment to excellence and attention to detail has allowed her to work alongside some of the most talented vendors in the event business all over the state of Virginia. Her clients are one of a kind and her service is tailored to meet their individual needs. Darlene is also on the panel of experts at "Pop the Question" where she mentors couples planning their own celebrations.


3 Responses to “How to Prevent Post-Wedding Regret (Part 2: Wedding Planners)”

  1. Nancy says:

    Amen! SOLID ADVICE! Sensible Brides hire a planner or at the very least a day of coordinator! And I am not talking about using your venue coordinator as a day of coordinator, because he or she’s interest is with the venue only! I truly enjoyed this post because it highlighted actual bride’s responses and not planners, to provide the general audience honest, genuine feedback from the bride’s perspective!

  2. Darlene says:

    Nancy, you are right about venue coordinators – I wrote a blog post about that as well. There is a difference between venue coordinators and wedding coordinators. Many don’t understand that. Glad you stopped by! Thanks for your comments.

  3. Loved that you shared great perspectives from both sides. Many brides are afraid to hire a planner because they think we come in and just take over. Communication is key. We take over as much or as little as the bride needs us to handle and you communicated that beautifully.

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