Confessions of a Wedding Planner – What I would Change About My Own Wedding

I'm Sandra! Wedding Planner, Designer, Boutique Shop Owner, and Mom to two beautiful girls.

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“Your wedding must have been amazing….”

A phrase I hear often. From couples in Edmonton planning their own wedding to fellow wedding vendors and of course, strangers who have just found out what I do for a living. 

And you know what? My wedding WAS amazing! It is hands down one of the days that I remember the most fondly when I think back to my life, a day that was so filled with fun and family, dancing, friends, beauty and most importantly love. 

However, what most people don’t know, is that I wasn’t actually a wedding planner when I got married. In fact, like many wedding planners, it was the event that was the catalyst to my journey into this crazy industry. I was hooked. 

So while our wedding was an incredible day, I’ll also let you in on the dirt of what I would change if I could do it all over again. The last one will shock you!


If you’ve ever sat with me and talked design, you will always hear me quietly scream “NO CHAIR COVERS!” so yes it seems hypocritical to know that I had them at my own wedding. To be clear, I fought (with my husband) pretty darn hard to have other chairs brought in, but like many (usually) grooms, he had pretty bad sticker shock. I had my eye on gold chiavaries, they were the rage back then, and still pretty new to the Edmonton market. Unfortunately, that also means they came at double to triple the price of what they cost now. So I accepted the chair covers, but put my poor Mama to work and she handmade 130 chair knot wraps to hide my least favourite part of a wrap chair cover.  


Unless you’re at a venue where the catering is done in house, don’t order crepes as dessert – they don’t travel well or stay fresh for long. 

The Guestlist

We definitely had too many people that were courtesy invites and didn’t add any joy to our wedding, nor do we really still keep in touch with them now. If I could do it again, I would be even more ruthless with the cuts. I could have ordered more flowers instead, ha! 

The Flowers

The fact that we are not redoing our wedding is probably a blessing in disguise, because if I was to design the wedding now, we’d likely end up remortgaging our house for flower bills! I would increase the quantity of flowers everywhere, with a much more organic design, more greenery and bigger variety of flowers. I would absolutely not use the faux flower balls we had for the ceremony, although in 2014 they were still a thing. The head table would get a MAJOR floral makeover and I would certainly pay more attention to the design of the bouquets and boutonnieres. That being said, I’d still keep it neutral with colour tones – still my favourite!

Tim’s Suit

We rented Tim’s and the groomsmen’s suits and they all definitely looked great. However, a few years later , I gifted him a custom suit tailored specifically to his body with personalized embroidery, and the difference in fit and overall look was striking. A crisp, custom suit not only looks incredible but the groom also deserves to feel just as special on his wedding day. Plus, it’s a great excuse to get a new suit that can be worn over and over again. 

My Mindset

By nature, I am fairly type A and like to have control over things in my life, although having kids has definitely humbled this part of me and I am grateful for it. When I can, I plan out my weeks / days and sometimes even hours…my wedding took my planning to another level. The day before our wedding, a terrible storm hit. It took the plans we had for the day and turned them on their head! Some out of town guests couldn’t land due to severe conditions and others just straight up cancelled last minute for one reason or another. Instead of letting it slide like I would now, I crumbled and spent a good part of the day before the wedding crying and feeling angry. Upset about things that were out of my control and quite frankly, not that important. On the wedding day, I let it all go and had an absolute blast but If I could go back, I would keep the real reason and meaning behind the wedding in mind for the entirety of the planning process and smile through the bumps along the way. 

I’d Hire Help…

Here is my dirty little secret…. We did NOT have a wedding day coordinator and what’s even worse – we asked our wedding party and family to clean up at the end of the night! Like so many others, we thought a venue coordinator was enough and while ours was absolutely amazing and one of the kindest people we’ve ever met, she did work for the venue and not for us.  At the end of the night, our drunk and / or tired friends and family ran around frantically boxing things up to the best of their ability – the last thing they felt like or should have been doing then. Some things were broken, others mixed up with rental items and overall it wasn’t something I would ever do to guests again. 

To see more of our day, watch our highlight video by A Love Story or check out our feature on the Blush Magazine blog.

All photos are credited to the amazing Nicole Ashley.

Until next time,

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