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Avoid These 5 Common Wedding Ceremony Regrets (Advice For Couples & Officiants)

Published Wednesday, Apr. 12th, 2023

Este articulo en español

A groomsman drops the wedding cake in a dramatic way, the cake flies off as he trips. The bridesmaids, groomsmen, bride, and groom all watch in shock and dismay

Plan the perfect wedding ceremony with this advice on what NOT to do from newlyweds



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AMM Audio Articles · Avoid These 5 Common Wedding Ceremony Regrets (Advice For Couples & Officiants)



It’s common for newlyweds to regret one or two things about their wedding day. After all, many couples have never planned an entire wedding before and don’t really know what to expect… or what to avoid. 


En Español: Evite Estos 5 Remordimientos Comunes en las Ceremonias de Boda (Consejos para Parejas y Oficiantes)


To help you steer clear of a few wedding regrets of your own, we’ve scoured the internet to determine the 5 things that most newlyweds would change if they had a chance to do things over again, plus how to avoid making the same mistakes.  


We’ve kept our focus on the ceremony side of things, because we believe the ceremony is the most important part of any wedding day – the moment when you actually say ‘I do’ to marriage! 


You’ll find advice for couples and wedding officiants, to help ensure your wedding ceremony is free of regrets and focused on the things that matter most to you. Working closely with a trusted wedding officiant is one of the very best ways to plan at a ceremony you’ll love.  





Two grooms embrace, smile, kiss on cheek outdoors on their wedding day

Plan a fun and regret-free marriage ceremony with this advice from recent newlyweds!


5 Common Wedding Ceremony Regrets...

And How to Avoid Them


Advice For Couples & Officiants!


1. Not asking the wedding officiant to tell guests to put their phones away


(aka Not choosing an unplugged wedding ceremony)


Some couples love the idea of guests taking pictures during the ceremony, and some couples hate it. And other couples don’t know they hate it until it’s too late!


Many newlyweds express regret over allowing guests to take photos during the ceremony. Some regret the awkward photo angles, some complain about flashes or ringtones going off during the vows, and others lament wedding albums filled with photos of guests staring down at their cell phones. 


To avoid this regret, consider planning a phone-free wedding, aka an ‘unplugged wedding.’ Ask your wedding officiant to make an announcement at the start of the ceremony telling guests to silence their phones and stash them away in a pocket or purse.





Bride looks at her cellphone, scrolling, during the wedding ceremony. Behind her is a bridesmaid, holding flowers

Consider going 'unplugged' to avoid unexpected calls & camera flashes during the ceremony. Your wedding officiant can help make it happen with a simple announcement. (Photo: Pexels /Stephanie Lima)



2. Wearing uncomfortable shoes 


(aka Not bringing comfy flats to change into)


Your wedding day won’t just be a series of photos, toasts, and hugs – there will be a lot of standing, walking, kneeling, dancing, and more standing. Add in concrete floors, an outdoor wedding venue with grass or gravel, or an uneven wedding aisle, and suddenly your shoe style becomes one of the most important choices you’ll make that day.  


If you want to wear a pair of stylish leather Oxfords or satin pumps during your ceremony, consider bringing comfy flats or sneakers to wear before and after. And no matter what, be sure to break in a new pair of shoes before the big day to avoid blisters. 


This is great advice for wedding officiants too: Always wear comfortable shoes. You never know where the wedding day will take you. 



The wedding guests and bride and groom stand in a circle with their feet outstretched to show off their colorful sneakers, taken from above

Comfy & colorful wedding sneakers for everyone!



3. Spending too much money on things that didn’t really matter


(aka Not sticking to the wedding budget)


It’s easy to overspend when you’re caught up in the excitement of planning a wedding, but getting married doesn’t have to cost a fortune. And many couples regret spending as much as they did, or spending money on things that didn’t really matter instead of the things that did.


To save money on your ceremony, consider keeping things simple and sweet: Hold your ceremony at home or in a favorite park, keep the guest list small, and ask a friend or family member to serve as your wedding officiant. 





Close up photo of a woman with painted nails sticking a folded up 100 dollar bill into a jar with the label "Wedding"

Sticking to a wedding budget leaves more money for all the things you want to do as a married couple.



4. Getting stressed out or too worked up before the ceremony


(aka Not staying calm and making a scene in front of guests)


We noticed that a lot of newlyweds express regret over how stressed they felt before the ceremony, or say that they wish they hadn’t let other people see how overwhelmed they felt. 


Of course, it makes sense to feel nervous on your wedding day, and it’s ok if you don’t handle your emotions in the ‘perfect’ way. But there are definitely great ways to reduce stress so that you can enjoy the celebration! 


Three tips for staying calm during the ceremony are: Choose a wedding officiant you trust and feel comfortable with, focus on your partner and the real meaning of the day, and don’t forget to breathe. 



Funny photo shows a groomsman tripping on the grass while carrying a wedding cake, and the cake goes soaring! While the wedding party and newlyweds watch in surprise.

Things don't always go as planned on the wedding day. (It's just a fact.) Stay focused on what really matters -- you and your partner!



5. Not asking for help from friends, family members, or wedding venue staff


(aka Trying to do everything on your own)


Some couples wish their friends and family members would stop offering help, while others wish they’d asked for more of it! Overall, we found that most regrets came from newlyweds who tried to juggle too much on their own instead of delegating responsibility to trustworthy loved ones. To avoid last minute scrambling, planning burnout, and day-of disasters, it’s probably best to accept a little help. 


This might mean asking a trusted friend to pack up a unity candle or unity sand vase after the ceremony so that you don’t forget it at the venue; Hiring a wedding planner; and Choosing an experienced wedding officiant to perform the ceremony and complete the marriage license.





A woman helps the bride with her wedding veil

Don't be afraid to ask for help and delegate tasks before, during, and after your ceremony.


Take the Quiz! 

Which Type of Wedding Officiant Should You Choose? 

Minister, friend, relative, or paid professional -- Which type of wedding officiant should you choose? Take this quiz to discover what kind of wedding officiant is the best choice for your ceremony based on your personality, values, faith, venue, and more!




Young couple exchange wedding rings during their outdoor ceremony, while the officiant watches. Behind them is a colorful wedding arch decorated with flowers and balloons





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Against a red background, a Wedding officiant in a dark suit holds a head up to her forehead in a gesture that implies "OH no!"

Common mistakes that every first-time officiant should avoid making on the wedding day. Read the full article here. 

Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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