The wedding planning process unfortunately has a bad rap for being stressful and turning the calmest brides into Bridezillas. However, with the proper planning it can actually be one of the most enjoyable moments of your time spent together as a couple. By avoiding these 14 most common wedding planning mistakes, you and your fiancé(e) will be able to focus on continuing to build your love and relationship rather than worrying about the little details.
1. You haven’t prioritized the planning process.
While planning a wedding, certain things need to be decided before you can move onto the next decision. For example, you’ll need to have decided on your budget and have an idea of how large or small your guest list will be before you can choose a venue or even a style for your wedding. Make sure things are done in a chronological order that makes sense to avoid headaches or hiccups down the road.
2. You don’t have a set budget.
First and foremost, you need to sit down with each other (and anyone else who may be chipping in for your wedding expenses), and come to an agreement on your budget. You should allot a certain percentage of your budget to each part of your wedding based on your priorities (i.e. ceremony, wedding, flowers, etc.) so that, throughout the planning process, you know how much you can spend on each aspect. This allows you to have a maximum number in mind while making every decision, and if you’re able to spend less than you budgeted for, you can apply the difference to another aspect or put some extra cash back in your pocket! When planning your budget, make sure you don’t forget about these common overlooked wedding costs.
3. You’re doing it all on your own.
We all need help at one point or another, and the wedding planning process is one time when everyone could use a little help. Consider hiring a wedding planner to help the whole way or simply coordinate on the big day. Professional planners are knowledgable and trained to stay on budget, deal with emergency situations, and much more that can really help to relieve stress and stay on track. Aside from a wedding planner, consider delegating tasks to your bridal party. They can help you stay in touch with vendors, coordinate with guests, put together favors, and so on.
4. You don’t have a backup plan.
Let’s face it…it’s rare for things to go perfectly as planned. Therefore, it’s crucial that you have a backup plan if necessary. The biggest need for a backup plan is if you’re having an outdoor wedding; what will you do if it rains on the day? Carefully think about your wedding and consider what might go wrong. For each of those scenarios, devise a “plan B” so your day can still be flawless.
5. You’re trying to please everyone.
Everyone has their own opinions and likes and dislikes, but you have to remember that this is your special day. You won’t be able to please everyone, so don’t worry if someone doesn’t like the music or one guest isn’t a fan of the cake flavor. With the wedding industry evolving, there are a few certain aspects that can be tailored to individuals so everyone can be happy. For example, with the trend of mix and match bridesmaid dresses, all of your girls can feel comfortable and look their best. Do what you can to keep everyone smiling, but most importantly, think about yourself and what will make you happy.
6. You didn’t hire a videographer.
When all is said and done, you’ll be forever grateful if you make the decision to hire a professional videographer to document your special day. Having a fantastic photographer and even better photographs of your wedding is one thing, but actually being able to see and relive your day is incredibly meaningful to many couples. In fact, this is one of real couples’ biggest regrets in the planning process- not hiring a videographer. You can’t redo your wedding, so really take the time to consider if you’d be ok in 5, 10, or 50 years with not having a video of when you said your I Dos.
7. You’re procrastinating.
To prevent feeling stressed out, try to allot plenty of time to properly plan your wedding. Follow our Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist to stay on track to avoid any huge mistakes. It’s crucial to get things done in an orderly fashion and on time, otherwise it’s inevitable that you’ll have a pile of tasks left with one month to go; and that’s bound to leave you feeling overwhelmed. Remember to relax and enjoy yourselves, get plenty of rest, and do what you can in your spare time to even get ahead of the list and you’ll likely have great memories from this process.
8. You haven’t set boundaries with your parents.
It’s no secret that some parents can be a little overbearing at this time in your life. Once you’re engaged, take some time to sit down with your parents and have a discussion about expectations and boundaries. Even if your parents are being gracious enough to foot all or part of the bill for your wedding, you shouldn’t feel obligated to listen to every request and demand they have. This is your day and your memory, so let them know what your thoughts and plans are and hash out any concerns early on to prevent any big upsets deep into the process.
9. You haven’t been thorough in selecting your vendors.
Your team of vendors can make or break your big day. It’s likely you’ve read or heard horror stories of vendors never showing up, providing the wrong product, and so on. Therefore, you need to make sure you ask the right questions and are thorough in interviewing each and every vendor. If you have any doubts about a company, it’s best to move on and find someone you really feel comfortable with. Once you’ve found your perfect vendors, another important step is to very carefully review each contract and make sure everything that’s been discussed verbally is in writing. It’s always better to have too much in a contract than not enough, so without worrying about offending anyone, ask for anything missing to be added in before you sign on the dotted line to make sure you’re covered.
10. You’ve invited too many people.
A general rule with weddings is that 10% of the people you invite won’t be able to attend. However, that’s not a guarantee. Don’t invite 120 people if you only have a budget and space for 100 people because all 120 guests may end up saying yes. Make sure you’re capable of affording and accommodating the total number of guests you initially invite before sending anything out officially.
11. You haven’t thought about out-of-town guests.
First and foremost, make sure you send out your save the dates early if you’re planning on inviting out-of-towners; they’ll appreciate the heads up and this will allow them to make travel arrangements early on. When you have out-of-town guests at your wedding, it’s traditional nowadays to leave welcome baskets in their hotel room with necessities (such as water, advil, snacks, etc.) and important information. Provide them with an itinerary for the weekend, and also give them a list of your favorite things to do around town so they can enjoy themselves in their down time. Most importantly, arrange to have transportation chauffeur your out-of-town-guests to your wedding and all of your wedding-related events.
12. You haven’t made plans to feed your vendors.
You hired your vendors for a reason, and in order for anyone to perform their best work, they need to be fueled. For all of the vendors who will be around on the big day for a lengthy amount of time, plan to feed and hydrate them. When you tell your caterer your head count, also tell them how many vendor plates you’ll need. Some couples choose to give vendors the same meal as guests while others opt for a less expensive option. Either way, make sure that your vendors have a decent meal and plenty of water so they can do their job to the best of their ability.
13. You’re rushed on the big day.
A big regret couples have after their wedding is the fact that they were unable to say hello to everyone. It’s likely you haven’t seen all of your guests recently, and many likely traveled a good distance to attend your wedding. Make sure you allot plenty of time to each part of the wedding day so you’re not rushed and don’t miss out on important moments (like visiting each table at the reception). On the other hand, you also don’t want to allot too much time to any part of your wedding or guests will become restless. This is where a wedding planner can come in handy; an experienced planner will be able to help you plan out your day perfectly.
14. You’ve forgotten to enjoy yourselves!
Last but certainly not least, remember to enjoy yourselves! Your wedding shouldn’t feel like a chore; it’s a celebration of your new marriage and should be full of laughter, smiles, and meaningful moments. Remember- if you feel overwhelmed or swamped on the day, ask for help so you can catch your breath. Focus on spending time with your new spouse and your closest friends and family, and just have fun!