My Wedding Regrets

regret dance only guests

You don’t have much control over the milestones in your life. Starting school is on your parents… getting engaged is all on your partner (unless you popped the q yourself – go you!). Your wedding day is different. You pick the date. You pick the venue. You direct the day. I hope!

If it isn’t 100% “the best day evaaaa!” then… it feels like it’s on you. You know what though? It’s just another day – and things WILL go wrong. If you plan your wedding knowing this – and avoid expecting perfection – then you will enjoy your day, and start your marriage with a whole lot less regret.

I organised events professionally before I had my wee boy – so my wedding day was organised to the Nth degree. But I still have a few regrets about my wedding day (like not saying no, and being 45 minutes late). Want to know my biggest regret? It’s something lots of couples debate, so I am sharing this, even though it’s not something I’m necessarily proud of.

If I could do it all again, I wouldn’t have dance only guests

I wish I’d invited everyone to the meal, instead of having 20-odd people just to the dance.  The primary reason people do this is budget. I hear you! We were under a tight one too – my father had been made redundant, we didn’t want to get into debt for the wedding – hell, I even took on a part time job in addition to my full time one, to help pay.  To add a meal for those extra 20 people would’ve cost us another $1,000. But looking back on my wedding now: we both agree we could’ve sucked it up, paid the extra, and had them join in our first meal as a married couple.

For a start, there’s around 15 people who did enjoy the meal who we don’t see anymore – old workmates mainly.  Six of those people didn’t even stay till the music started! Maybe we should’ve been harsher when compiling the guest list (and it would help if we’d used the guest list calculator).

wedding day regret

Dance only guests didn’t work into our wedding timeline too well…

What guts me is the people who were invited to just the dance section – looking at that list, most of them are our closest friends now. Oh… and the awkward part where a couple we’d marked as “dance only” turned up for the meal (having heard the MC’s announcement at the ceremony).

The cherry on top – because I was so late to the ceremony, it pushed the whole day out, and our ceremony/dance only guests ended up turning up between the main meal and dessert. UGH! Luckily my unflappable caterer just directed them to a couple of spare tables we’d set up, and they got served dessert, none-the-wiser (well, they might know now, if they’re readers!)

I’m not saying blow the budget so you don’t have regrets. Instead, figure out what matters to you and don’t get caught up in the total cost while forsaking what’s important. I wish I had realised this a bit sooner.

Are you tossing up whether to have dance only guests? It can be a good option for some people (especially if you have limited space for people to sit down and have a meal).

Comment below if you’ve had an awkward dance-only experience, or if my regrets raised any questions.

17 thoughts on “My Wedding Regrets

  1. My husband and I were dance only guests at my cousins wedding. While I completely understand why they did it and would never say anything to them, it honestly was a bit upsetting and awkward being a ‘second tier’ guest!

    1. Yes absolutely Sarah! I think some couples assume because noone said anything, that everyone was okay with it… but that’s not the case. It’s kind of weird going out for a meal in your wedding gears too (especially if money’s tight and all you feel like is Maccas) 😉 x A

  2. I should have been a bit more organised so that I wasn’t still sewing table runners 2 nights before the wedding.. we had so much fun at our wedding, there are things I definitely don’t regret such as spending so much time looking for a band and caterers.. but I do regret my choice of photographer, I would also get a different hairdresser if I was going round two because If I had seen any pics of it before the ceremony I would have worn it loose. Took me over a year before I could look at the photos without crying and I still haven’t sent out thank-you cards because I was going to use a photo and quite frankly there are none I want anyone to see!

      1. With the hairdresser.. when I think about it yes, she was very cheap and when I went to see her before hand she didn’t do a trial but she was recommended by more than one person on a brides FB page. by BMs hair was ok and so was my MILs but neither Mum or mine was up to scratch. we both have curly hair so thats the only thing I can put it down to. With the Photographer no, he was the only one I really looked at as I loved some of his pics in his look book. they really appealed. I have heard from anther bride that they were not happy either. I will say that you cant make a silk purse out of a sows ear but we ended up with under 400 pics, some were double ups and they were sorely lacking in any sort of imagination and care. far too many issues to name individually and I have already written a novel!

        1. I’ve got curly hair too and hairdressers reaaally struggle to “do” my hair too! That’s not many photos at all 🙁 🙁 :O

  3. Yeah we were the same. I look back at our invite list and have not idea where some of those people are. To be honest… we might have gone a little smaller and more intimate.

  4. I agree with you – “figure out what matters to you” is the most important I feel. I never got what I truly wanted, because we bent to what was expected of us, and what others thought what was supposed to be. End of the day, be true to you, and your partner – because it should be about celebrating your love, in your own way instead of keeping up with the ‘hype’. FYI – I didn’t have a proper service or anything, I was so unhappy with it all and yet I didn’t want to let anyone down. That is my biggest regret – not following my heart. 🙂
    Great reading, Thank you!

  5. I would change a few things too – but then again everything that happened on the day was what made the whole day memorable. We just have to remember the highlights rather than our “hmmm wish we’d done that different memories” because we can’t undo it! Great reading thanks for sharing with us

    1. Yeah Mariana I often think writing about weddings is a blessing and a curse because I relive my wedding day and second guess all the decisions I made when I didn’t really know any better – and I didn’t have the budget to do much better either!

  6. I think workmates is a the big questionable one when it comes to guest lists. People move on from jobs over time and you don’t necessarily have a lasting relationship with them. Balancing a budget with who to invite is a really tricky one!

    1. Yes workmates are a funny one because you spend a lot of time with them while you work together, so you do have a sense of loyalty to them – but when you leave it’s amazing how quickly those relationships dwindle

    1. It’s a hard one Carly! I’m sure whatever decision you make, it will be the best one for you & your partner <3

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