How To Have 20/20 Wedding Hindsight Now

I was going through some of my old stuff from high school the other day and came across a whole bunch of notes. Before phones and the internet (yes, I’m that old), we used to pass notes.

And I had a TON of them. So many notes!

I opened a few just to see what we wrote about and it was ridiculous (and hilarious).

They were totally lame. Some had absolutely no substance where we’re literally talking about nothing. And others were so dramatic whether it was about love or friends.

But they were so important back then. Important enough to write. And important enough to keep.

But now, completely unimportant.

It’s interesting the difference between what you care about at the time you’re in it and how you feel after the fact.

And how what was once so important, doesn’t matter AT ALL now.

And this of course immediately reminded me of weddings.

Because when you’re in it, either neck deep in planning or right at the beginning, it feels like every decision is so crucial.

It feels like every decision is a major decision. Maybe not life or death, but there is a lot of pressure.

Pressure to make the right decision.

And it’s because it’s a once in a lifetime event (hopefully). A big once in a lifetime event.

Those are high stakes. And with a big investment on the line, even more so.

And let’s not forget social pressures, family pressures and pressures you put on yourself.

All of that is very real. And very intense.

So, of course every decision matters. Or at least it feels that way…

But here’s the question – Does every decision really matter?

Wedding Hindsight is Always 20/20

Bride and groom walking on the beach holding hands and looking back at their Oahu wedding in Hawaii by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: What a Day! Photography)

If you ask anyone who has been married, they will tell you that it’s different on the other side.

Once you have the wedding and cross over from engaged to married, it’s different.

Not your relationship, but how you view your wedding. And how you view everything you chose for your wedding.

You can’t help but think back on the day and all the months it took to plan it.

And you can’t help but think about what you would have changed (or what you wouldn’t have).

Hindsight is always 20/20 and wedding hindsight, even more so.

Because the interesting thing is that it doesn’t take a year or 5, 10, or 20 years to feel differently about it.

It only takes a few days.

It only takes a few days to gain some distance and see everything in 20/20.

Because when you’re in it, seeing clearly can be really hard to come by.

And what changes is that you realize that thing you thought mattered SO much, really didn’t at all.

Or something you spent so much time thinking about, wasn’t worth the effort and stress.

Because now that the pressure is off, that urgency and emotion is gone.

Now of course there are also things you’re glad you stressed over. But usually what you end up thinking about are the things you spent way too much time obsessing over.

Big reveal of the wedding reception at an industrial art gallery wedding venue Terra gallery in San Francisco by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Bustle and Twine)

So before we go down the rabbit hole of regret, let’s take a step back for a moment and answer the previous question, do your decisions really matter? Or perhaps more importantly, how much do they matter?

Because of course your wedding decisions matter. It’s your wedding!

And I’m not saying this because I’m a wedding planner. It’s an important day where you make promises and a commitment to each other.

No matter how simple or how extravagant you go with your wedding, it’s still an important day. And so those decisions matter.

But the key is understanding how much they matter.

In some cases, a lot. In others, very little.

So, how do you tell the difference?

It’s all about knowing what a big decision is and what a little decision is.

Because little decisions don’t really matter. They make a difference, but that difference is small.

Big decisions on the other hand affect how the day will go, your memory of it and how happy or unhappy your guests are.

So an example of a big decision is choosing your vendors like your caterer or DJ because they directly affect both how smoothly the day goes and how happy your guests are.

Another big decision is the song you choose to walk down the aisle because it’s a moment you’ll remember.

A little decision is what type of fork you choose, the pens you use for your guest book, the color ribbon for your favor, or what you wear when getting ready.

These are small decisions because they won’t really affect anyone or anything in any real way.

In short, the details.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking, but don’t the details matter?

Wedding details get talked about A LOT in wedding media. There’s this big stress on the details. And yes, they do help make your wedding special.

But when it comes to wedding hindsight, those are the things you can let go.

Those are the things you’ll realize don’t matter in the end.

Those are the things that are not worth spending hours on or stressing over.

How To Have Zero Wedding Regrets

Bride and groom in sunglasses at their Hawaii beach wedding by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Christie Pham Photography)

So, if we get down to brass tacks, wedding hindsight is really just about regrets.

It’s the things you wish you did and the things you wish you didn’t.

Having 20/20 wedding hindsight now is about preventing wedding regrets. It’s about being happy with the decisions you made.

So, in order to do that you have to make the right decisions for you now. And spend time on the ones that matter, and less on the ones that don’t.

Now sorting through the big and small decisions for the most part isn’t too difficult.

For example, you’ll know that your choosing your venue is a big decision as is choosing your wedding date. You’ll know that the exact socks your groomsmen wear or if your flower girls get their hair done doesn’t really matter.

Where you get into trouble is with the decisions that seem like big decisions but are actually small ones.

Or the flip of that, where the decisions seems small, but are actually big.

The first is more common, but the second can happen as well.

With the first, you stress way more than you need to over decisions. And with the second, you don’t give it enough thought and end up paying for it in the end.

Bride and groom at their wedding reception in the redwoods at a forest wedding in Santa Cruz by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Kirsten Noelle)

So let’s talk through a very common scenario…

You’re debating about whether to go with the more expensive centerpiece with more flowers or the less expensive one with more greenery. You think this is a big decision because it affects the look of your wedding and so you’re stressing about it.

And while it does affect the look, this is really a small decision because your guests will never know the difference.

You’ve already made the big decision on choosing your florist who gets your style. This is just about the options.

Your guests will never know what could have been, so it’s not worth stressing over.

This is when you need to make a decision and move on.

Here’s another common scenario…

So you’ve picked a venue where you can bring your own alcohol and now you’re looking at your options. You could go to Costco and just buy everything you need, but you’d have to transport it. Or you could have the bartenders bring the alcohol for you, but that will cost you more.

You think this is a small decision because of course you’re going to choose the cheaper option, going to Costco is no big deal.

But what you don’t realize is how much extra work that is on you (or someone you lay it on) during a timeframe when you don’t want to be doing it.

It sounds easy and simple, but it’s not as easy as you think when you’re dealing with guests and all kinds of other wedding related things at the same time.

This decision requires more thought and is a big decision.

Because extra stress on your wedding day or in the days prior is not what you want.

So, how do you have zero wedding regrets? How do you have 20/20 wedding hindsight now?

Think about your decisions from 30,000 feet.

Take a step back and assess if it is a big decision or a little one.

If it’s important to you and is something you care a lot about, it’s a big decision. If it’s going to affect how comfortable or happy your guests are, it’s a big decision.

But, if it’s not something you ever remember from a wedding, it’s a little decision. If it’s something that no one will know the difference, it’s a little decision.

So if you’re in a situation where it’s not apparent to you if a decision is big or little, take that step back.

From that distance you should be able to see clearer what you need to focus on and what you don’t.

Because you don’t want to waste time, money and energy on the things that don’t matter.

It’s exactly like life, right?

Focus your time, money and energy on the things that do matter. That’s where your resources are best spent.

Because no one wants to look back on their wedding day and have regrets.

And if you need help sifting through the big and little decisions, a wedding planner can really come in handy! We’ll keep you focused on what matters. Contact us today to learn more.

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