We're very excited to roll out a new series on the MyDeejay blog: Pop the Question! In this series, we'll be featuring input each week from some of the best wedding professionals in D.C., Maryland and Virginia on all kinds of wedding- and music-related topics. This week, we asked: "What would you go back and change about your own wedding?" We noticed some common themes in their responses (choosing better vendors was a big one, so anyone still planning should be sure to check out our fantastic backlog of vendor interviews for advice!) and some things we hadn't thought of, but wish we did. Here we go!
MK McKenna, Mary Kate McKenna Photography: "I was having my wedding dress made and about eight weeks out from the wedding, I realized that it wasn't going to look like anything I wanted. But I was too shy to say something. Then a month before the wedding, my mom came to visit and when she saw me in the dress, she said I had to get another dress. I knew she was right. But, with only a month before the big day, I only had one option- finding something off the rack. So I ended up wearing a dress that was very pretty, but not me at all. When I look at our beautiful photos, I see how happy we were, but I can't help and look at the dress I'm wearing and be a little sad. So, if I could do it all over, I'd go back in time and put on my big girl pants and have said something while there was still time to either 1) fix the dress I had or 2) ordered one that was more my style and personality."
Amie Decker, Amie Decker Beauty: "My biggest regret from my wedding was that we didn’t hire a talented photographer. Looking back, I wish I would have cared more about the quality of photography than if it fit in the budget. I sadly do not have a single photo from my wedding day that I like and it would have been worth it to me to have spent 10x as much as we spent to have beautiful photos from a day that we can never recreate. The day goes by so quickly and I wish I would have prioritized the only thing we can have forever."
Lindsay Hite, Readyluck Photographers: "Two years ago, our wedding day went incredibly smoothly! The sun was shining, the air was the perfect temperature and a little cottontail rabbit even hopped right in front of my father and me as we prepared ourselves for the emotional trip of walking down the aisle. The one thing I would do differently would be to have a 'first look' with my husband. This comes up again and again when I meet with couples, and I bring up the idea of seeing each other beforehand. They inevitably ask, 'Did you do this on your wedding day?' and despite tradition, I wish I did. Taking the time for a first look, is a gift to each other. It's a moment together to become fully present amidst the craziness of the day. I was so incredibly nervous and excited to see all of our guests, on top of seeing my almost-husband for the first time, that when I walked down the aisle it was a blur -- my stomach literally felt like I was on the final drop of the roller coaster. The experience of seeing your fiancé alone on your wedding day before you get married is a completely unique and separate experience from when you walk down the aisle. Plus, you have another opportunity for genuine emotion captured in photographs, and that's always wonderful!"
Lisa Boggs, Lisa Boggs Photography: "If I could change one aspect of my wedding day, it would be choosing a better wedding photographer. I didn't understand the importance of having amazing wedding photos at the time, and because I was still in college, I just went with someone who was an acquaintance and inexpensive. I've come to realize since that photos/videos are all you have left after the big day, so I should've gone above and beyond to find a true professional that I knew would deliver incredible, high-quality work!"
Allison Manning, Hotel Monaco Alexandria: "I would have switched to a venue that served more upscale and mouthwatering food. Being the 'foodie' that I have become, when I think back to the entrees I served for my wedding and how it tasted, I am somewhat disappointed. I learned from my own mistake and today with the help from an amazing chef I make sure Hotel Monaco serves up some unforgettable entrees."
Alison Harper, Alison Harper & Company: "I just got married in February, if I could do something differently I would have really researched and invested in an experienced photographer and I would have considered hiring a videographer. People are not kidding when they say that the only thing you have after your wedding is the photos."
Molly Spence, Spence Photographics: "Dave and I had a beautiful wedding, 10 years ago this coming October. We chose to have a very traditional wedding. The ceremony was at the church where I grew up, and where two of my sisters married. The reception was at a nearby country club. Though it was a lovely day, if I had it to do over again, I would have tried to make the locations and details speak more about "us" and our personalities. So many couples who are marrying now include such amazing personal details that reflect them as a couple. Guests appreciate it, and it makes the photos so much more special and unique. And speaking of photos, I'd definitely want a photo booth at our reception! So much fun for guests, and so many great memories to capture."
Teri Pozniak, tPoz Photography: "Even though it can sometimes be easier for me to not have a videographer at a wedding that I'm working, I would have hired a videographer for my wedding if I could do it over! I would have liked to have seen me walk down the aisle (not just still photos), and I have no idea what the best man & maid of honor said in their speeches!"
Nicole Zhang, MODWedding: "We really had a blast at our wedding. If there is anything we would have done differently at our wedding, that would be to think through the timing of events more carefully and had our "cake cutting" earlier. Also, the wedding day goes by so fast, the best tip from us would be to 'focus on the meaning of the day, realizing that you are marring the love of your life.' Don't let little things get under your skin. Just relax, look beautiful, eat, dance, drink and really enjoy That Very Special Moment."
Eric Hertsch, John Farr Lighting: "I wish I had taken dance lessons prior to the wedding!"
Thanks for sharing your experience, wedding industry friends! Readers, be sure to check back next Friday for another "Pop the Question!"