Planning a wedding is no easy task. From creating a budget to selecting vendors and keeping track of guests, it takes an enormous amount of organization. However, even the most organized couples can fall prey to making mistakes during the planning process. And if I had to guess, you probably don’t want to make the same mistakes other brides have made, right? You’d want to know what their mistakes are so you could do things differently. Read on to learn about the 10 most common mistakes brides make and how you can avoid them.
Mistake #1: Making decisions before creating a wedding budget
What to do instead: Draw up a wedding budget.
Your budget determines your options and directs your decisions. It impacts your guest list and venue, so it’s the first thing you want to figure out. Weddings are an investment and a budget helps prioritize what’s most important to you as a couple. Without a budget, you risk falling in love with a venue or dress that to afford, requires you to skip the live band you were dying to at your reception.
Mistake #2: Not having a rain plan
What to do instead: Always have a plan b.
No one likes to think about rain on their wedding day, especially when it’s an outdoor affair. It’s tempting to just tell yourself it won’t happen and forgo making a rain plan. In my experience, it’s always better safe than sorry. I know how unappealing the thought of having to purchase umbrellas or put down a deposit for a tent you may not use is, but think of these expenses as an investment in your guests’ comfort. If it does rain, your guests will be grateful and much happier that they can enjoy your wedding day while staying dry.
Mistake #3: Using friends instead of professionals
What to do instead: Allow your friends and family to enjoy your wedding.
You asked your bestie to be a bridesmaid because you wanted her by your side, not working in the cooler putting together centerpieces. Professional wedding vendors have the knowledge and expertise to know how much time and material it takes to create things on a large scale.
Mistake #4: Counting on 10% of your guest list to RSVP “No”
What to do instead: Find out the max number of people your venue can comfortably hold and then reduce it by 10%.
A common mistake couples make is inviting too many guests. Even though a venue can hold a certain number of people, you want your guests to be able to move around easily and not feel cramped. In general, you can use the rule of thumb that 10 – 15% of your guest list will RSVP “no”, but you can’t expect it to be a given. If you book a venue that holds 150 people, relying on the assumption 25 of your 175 invited guests won’t show up that can lead to big problems later on for your budget and space. The best thing to do is keep your maximum guest count under the max capacity of the venue.
Mistake #5: feeling obligated to stick to wedding traditions
What to do instead: Don’t be afraid to pick and choose which traditions you incorporate into your wedding day.
Wedding traditions that speak to who you are as a couple add meaning and personality. Following traditions because you think you have to is another mistake couples makes. It can feel impersonal and awkward. If you don’t want to have a bridal party, that’s okay. If you want to have something new, something old, something borrowed, and something blue, then do it! Think about what unique traditions you can start together. You have a one-of-a-kind love story, so be sure to infuse that story into your wedding day.
Mistake #6: not hiring a videographer
What to do instead: Add a line item in your budget for a wedding videographer.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but there’s nothing like being able to watch your grandparents’ reaction as you walk down the aisle or hear your spouse’s voice as read their vows. A wedding video allows you to relive those treasured moments year after year. So don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you might only watch the video once a year that it’s not worth the investment.
Mistake #7: making your stationery an after thought
What to do instead: Work with a professional stationer to design cohesive pieces that set the right tone for your wedding from the beginning.
It may seem like stationery isn’t important, but invitations and save-the-dates give your guests the first impression of your celebration. Consider hiring a calligrapher to put that extra special touch on this important piece of paper.
Mistake #8: Not hiring a wedding coordinator
What to do instead: Hire a wedding coordinator.
Oftentimes brides think they don’t need a wedding coordinator because their venue has a coordinator. However, these two professionals have different jobs. A venue coordinator isn’t going to be with you when you’re getting ready. They won’t be able to get your bridesmaid’s dress altered because it’s too long or track down the driver who’s running late. A wedding coordinator helps manage the logistics of everything happens before, during, and after the last of the confetti has fallen.
Mistake #9: not getting marriage license in time
What to do instead: Check the state government’s website to find out the exact timing of when and where to get your marriage license.
As with most legal documents, there are lots of rules and regulations to follow. Getting the license too early or too late could invalidate the document. Don’t make the mistake of not being able to be legally married on your wedding day.
Mistake #10: Losing sight of what’s most important
What to do instead: Schedule one date night every month to do something not related to the wedding.
With all the details that go into planning a wedding, it’s easy to get caught up in it all and lose sight of what the day is truly about – celebrating your marriage to the love of your life. When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and bogged down in all the “stuff” that goes along with a wedding, take a step back and remember this is a once-in-a-lifetime moment.