They said it would be the best day of our lives, and they weren’t far wrong on. Unsurprising really given that we spent it with the people we love most in this world, on a tropical island, and ended up finishing the night in a hot tub with 14 people and 2 bottles of wine.
But was it perfect? Of course it wasn’t! But it came pretty close.
On reflection I only really have 8 really big regrets about the day.
Not getting a hairdresser
When you have a wedding on a tropical island logistics inevitably become a little more complicated – and expensive. So I binned the idea of professional hair and makeup. I can do liquid eyeliner standing up on the tube so doing my own makeup was a no brainer. As for hair, Mikey’s grooms-chick (and my best friend too) Lucy is a total hair wizard and said she’d be more than happy to help.
Wow, you’re probably thinking, what a cow! Your friend did your hair and now you’re saying you regret it?
Yes I do – but not for the reason you might think!
I hadn’t even considered the pressure of doing a Bride’s hair on the day until I saw poor Lucy’s hands shaking as she started her work. No matter how many times I insisted I’d be happy with whatever she did, the panic never quite left her eyes. So yes, I wish I’d paid crazy money for a hairdresser – but only to save poor Lucy the pain!
Not filming the day
Naturally we talked about having a video. Our amazing photographer also offers a video package but we’d already spent 25% of our budget on the photos! In the run-up to the big day we’d chatted about getting a video camera in to film the day and edit it afterwards. But that’s all we did – talk!
You’re told the day will fly by and it bloody well does. So much of it seems a blur. I wish we had recordings of the ceremony and speeches more than anything, even if we’d used a cheap camera.
Not pre-writing my speech
With about a bajillion things on my to-do list I’d bumped writing a speech to the bottom. I’ve got the gift of the gab and am pretty good at winging things – surely this would be no different.
I mean, I did okay. But it was 9pm and I’d had wine, so it was basically a champagne fuzzed train of thought monologue where every thought and feeling that came to mind tumbled out of my mouth.
The worst bit? I’d only come up with one damn thing I wanted to say and I forgot to say it! So – here you go:
“Sorry there’s no open bar, we couldn’t afford it. But isn’t my dress just fabulous”
Not re-straightening my fringe
Okay this is a silly one. It was a hot, humid day (thanks stupid freak winter weather) and therefore my bangs started to curl up from the sweat on my forehead. Yummmm. I kept wanting to re-do it but just not getting around to it and now it’s all I can see in our photos.
Not putting my foot down
I’m a pretty chilled out person, but the organisation on the island caused me to have a fucking meltdown. Thankfully my Mum and our friends came to the rescue, but it meant that we spent a lot of what was supposed to be downtime getting stuff ready. If I’d been a bit more Bridezilla then maybe that would have been averted, and my Mum wouldn’t have had to get ready in 45 minutes because she was too busy dressing the room. I mean she still looked absolutely incredible (crossing my fingers I look that good in 25 years) but it would have been nice for her to have time to relax.
Not taking time out beforehand
You know what seemed a great idea? Working 17 straight days and finishing up my final shift 8 hours before my Dad and Step-Mum touched down into Cairns. Although having so many people visit was probably the best thing about the whole wedding experience it was also the most exhausting. Going straight from work to hosting, while trying to finalise a wedding drained me more than I ever thought possible.
Not asking for help
I get a real bee in my bonnet when people assume that having a wedding gives them carte blanche to boss around their friends and force them to hand tie ribbons on 110 individual favours. You can pretend it’s fun as much as you want, but no one would ever choose to spend a Sunday crafting ridiculous decorations when they could be in the pub having a gin.
So I was pretty adamant that I was going to do everything myself. Can you guess how that turned out? Yep – a total meltdown 4 days out. Thankfully I realised that while, yes, no one is ever going to choose to scrub labels off 96 wine bottles to make centrepieces, they will do it because they love you. And also maybe because the crazy look in your eyes is starting to scare them.
Not writing a shot list
So we were told by our amazing photographer Steph to compile a shot list. Basically every combination of people you want for the photos – Bride and Groom, Bride and Groom with parents, Bridal party…you get the idea. We figured that with just 25 people at the wedding it would be pretty easy to just play it by ear, removing another thing from our massive to-do list.
If you are planning your wedding please learn from our mistakes. When you’re fresh from the ceremony and just utterly high on excitement, with people milling around and pouring champagne you are not going to remember everything. We forgot to get quite a few combinations of photos – my sister and her long-term partner for instance, or one of me with all my best girlfriends from Cairns. Those photos would have been worth a few mind-numbingly boring hours of working out exactly what we wanted.
I don’t think we did too badly on this. I mean, two of these are about my hair! At least ‘choice of husband’ didn’t make the list.
That would have been awkward.
Did you have any wedding regrets – or are there things you’re worried about while planning your big day? Let me know in the comments. I might not be able to help, but there is the possibility of sending you gin.