I was so young. I had no idea.
I got married when I was 21. Lots of people told me I was too young.
Well, I wasn’t too young to choose a life partner, because we’re still together, 23 years later. But I was too young to plan a wedding.
I’m sure a lot of 21 year olds would do a great job of it, but I stuffed it up, in so many ways.
At least, I think I did. You see, I can’t watch it back to check, because…
Mistake number 1: I banned cameras and video cameras from the ceremony.
I’d been to a cousin’s wedding and seen a gum-chewing cameraman clomp around the altar, distracting everyone, so I decided I didn’t want anything like that happening on my big day.
What was I thinking? I have no record of the actual wedding ceremony. I’ve been regretting it for the last 22 years and 11 months.
Mistake number 2: I got married in a church.
It was a nice church, but I’m an atheist, so that’s just a bit weird. I did it to make my parents happy, because that’s the kind of thing I did when I was 21.
If I’d been a few years older, I would’ve got married somewhere that suited my personality more, like on the rooftop of a pub, or the swings in a children’s playground.
Mistake number 3: Puffy sleeves.
Okay, it was South Australia, in the early 1990s, so puffy sleeves were probably on trend. But I look at the dress and it’s just not me. It’s what I thought a wedding dress was supposed to look like.
I really wish I’d worn something slinky in black or purple or red, something that was more individual and maybe not quite so… puffy.
Mistake number 4: I made my younger sister wear a salmon pink bridesmaid's dress.
With puffy sleeves. I am so, so sorry.
Mistake number 5: I only had one bridesmaid because I thought anything more would be over-the-top.
Slap around the head to my 21-year-old self! Weddings are supposed to be over-the-top! My husband's little cousin asked if she could be the flower girl and I said no. Sorry. You would have been adorable.
I briefly considered having our dog as the ring bearer but didn't. Big, big regret.
Mistake number 6: The celebrant had never performed a wedding before, so he was extremely nervous.
He was my brother, and he'd just been ordained, and I thought it would be really cool to have my brother marry me, but it was a lot of pressure to put him under.
Mistake number 7: I didn't want staged wedding photos, so I didn't hire a wedding photographer.
I asked a friend to snap some photos of us in a nearby park. Why didn't I want staged wedding photos?
If you don't have staged photos taken at your wedding, when are you going to have them taken? Never!
Mistake number 8: There were a lot of complete strangers at the wedding.
There were tables and tables packed with my husband's aunts and uncles, who I'd never seen before and haven't seen since, and only one table of our friends. We did score a heap of casserole dishes, though.
Mistake number 9: I asked my older sister to give a speech even though it wasn't really her thing.
She was so uncomfortable that when her speech was interrupted by a guest yelling out, "Look! Someone's breaking into that car!" and everyone rushing outside, she was massively relieved.
Here's a video of weddings where things have gone really wrong. Post continues after the video.
Since my own wedding, I've been to the weddings of lots of my friends, most of them in their thirties.
I went to one out in the desert where the bride and groom unveiled their new tattoos instead of exchanging wedding rings.
I went to another one in Las Vegas where a guest sang a Kylie Minogue song instead of making a speech.
Just recently, I went to a ceremony where the bride wore red, the groom wore a panda suit, and everyone blew gigantic bubbles instead of throwing confetti.
And each time I felt a tiny pang of regret that my wedding wasn't a reflection of my husband and me.
I wish I could tell my 21-year-old self this: make the wedding individual, make it fun, and go all out.
You're probably only going to get one shot at a wedding. Don't waste it.
Do you have any regrets about your wedding?
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