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Brides Reveal: Things I Wish I Never Did on My Big Day

"I wish I never bought this dress."

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Lucy Elliott, Oxfordshire, UK

"The wedding dress designer talked me into buying a gown that I didn't love," Lucy says. "I was oohing and awing and before I knew it, the wedding dress was in a bag waiting to be paid for. I'm a terribly polite British girl and I was too embarrassed to drop out at that point! I spent about $400 on alterations to turn it into the wedding dress I wanted. That incidence prompted me to start my blog The Chief Bridesmaid, a site which champions the right of the bride in what can be a total ripoff market."

"I wish I never let them play a wedding game show."

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Beth Castle, Calgary, Alberta
"Without permission, my brother and his wife decided to put on a game show questionnaire about my husband and I. The game show made me very upset since it took up 45 minutes and cut into our first dance. On top of all that, I missed out on saying goodbye to my guests that left during this goofy show. I had imagined all the fun I would have dancing and the night was over before it started."

"I wish I never lengthened my ceremony for my mom."

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Alison Risso, Washington, DC
"For my ceremony, I planned on exchanging simple vows and then heading straight to the reception," says Alison. "My mom insisted that guests would feel cheated if the service wasn't longer, so I had my band sing a wedding song that went on forever. I don't even remember what song it was—only feeling like it would never end!"

"I wish I never agreed to that wedding cake."

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Marie Porter, New Hope, Minn.

"Our reception venue told us we had to use their suggested bakery or pay an exorbitant cake-cutting fee. When the wedding cake arrived, it was a weird color and the piping made it look like it had fat tapeworms all over! That embarrassment was eclipsed by the fact that the cake was freezer burnt and as a result, almost inedible. Looking back, I would have paid the extra money and served the wedding cake that tasted good and was what we wanted visually. A few years later, I opened a cake company myself. I felt that no bride should ever have to go through having a horrible wedding cake!"

"I wish I never had a New Year's wedding."

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Christina L., Houston, TX
"I always wanted a summer wedding, but my mother-in- law talked me into getting married on New Year's Eve—she preferred winter weddings. It sounds romantic but it turns out that everything (facilities, DJs, caterers) costs twice as much for a New Year's Eve wedding. In addition to double expenses, all the guests were in party mode because it was New Year's eve and we ran out of beer and wine and had to switch to hard liquor. By the time my groom and I were ready to leave, all the guests were so drunk that they didn't even realize it was time for them to wish us farewell."

"I wish I never agreed to a wedding officiant I didn't want."

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Danae Castellaw, Boise, Idaho
"I was talked into having a judge for my wedding officiant, rather than a pastor, by my mother-in-law," says Danae. "Growing up in a predominantly Christian household, it was important to me to have that traditional Christian presence at my wedding, especially because my husband didn't care either way. However, my mother-in-law arranged the meeting with the wedding officiant, who changed his vacation plans to accommodate our wedding, and then it was too late."

"I wish I never asked my cousin to be a bridesmaid."

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Karon White Gibson, Chicago, Ill.
"My grandmother and mother made me ask my teenage cousin, who I barely saw, to be a bridesmaid," says Karon. "She required a special long bridesmaid dress because of her height, which took the company longer to make; so my dress delivery was late. On top of that, she did not eat before the wedding like we had told her to and she passed out during the ceremony (find out what she should have eaten for all-day energy). The ushers carried her out and bumped her head on the exit door!"

"I wish I never followed my maid of honor's wedding traditions."

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Susan White, St. Louis, MO.
"My husband and I planned to stay together in a hotel room the night before our wedding but my maid of honor said we should sleep in separate rooms, because it is a wedding tradition. At that point, everyone had other sleeping arrangements so I slept alone. I was extremely nervous being by myeslf... my maid of honor didn't even offer to stay with me. She also arranged for a surprise bridal shower the day before—a wedding tradition in her family.  I had other plans for the day and although I appreciated the sentiment, I would have much preferred to know what was planned!"