Do you want to know a secret?
No-one really knows what they’re doing when they start planning a wedding!
Planning a wedding is a big undertaking, with the insider jargon you’ve never heard of before, the pressure from friends and relatives to follow their advice, to selecting the right vendors, to choosing the flowers, the food, and the other million things to do can make you feel overwhelmed and hate the process.
But another truth is that the wedding planning process can be – and should be! fun and hiccup-free.
What you need to do is make sure you’re aware of all the pitfalls that can befall you and avoid them. It’s pretty handy then that we’ve listed the 12 mistakes most wedding couples will make and how to avoid them, right?
1. You Blow Your Budget Too Early
Blowing the budget, in general, isn’t ideal, but finding yourself with a maxed-out credit card and suppliers still to pay six months before the wedding is panic-inducing. Money is a tricky topic but you need to have honest conversations with your partner, parents, and own bank statements about what is affordable before you start booking things.
We know how exciting it is at the start, but don’t start ordering everything you see on Pinterest. Make a realistic budget (with a month-by-month saving and payment plan), find your venue, decide your theme and what flowers/décor/entertainment are non-negotiable, and work backward to budget everything else.
2. You Let Other People Decide the Guest List
It’s your big day and it should be the people you love watching you walk down the aisle – not randomers your parents know. Family is hard to say no to, but you’ll save yourself a lot of expenses and stress if you learn how to set boundaries and stop them interfering with your guest list.
First, make a list of the people you and your partner absolutely couldn’t imagine your wedding without. After that, there are three main solutions:
1) if they financially contributed, give each set of parents a limit of, say, 10 invites, but no more;
2) tell them they need to stump up the extra cost per head themselves, or
3) suck it up and wave to your old dentist as he eats your beef wellington.
3. You Assume DIY Will Be Cheaper
Factor in the cost of craft products and your labor and sometimes it’s better to leave it to the experts. Plus you’ll save yourself some sleepless nights when your DIY invites definitely don’t look like the Pinterest tutorial.
4. You Order Your Wedding Dress Too Late
Start your dress search at least nine months before your wedding. You’ll need to go shopping, find ‘The One’, order it into the store, and get it altered – all of which will take longer than you expect.
5. You Don’t Have a Wet Weather Plan
Mother nature is very unpredictable! You’re just tempting fate by not having an alternative plan if it rains.
If you’re getting married in the garden of a venue, speak to the coordinator to see if there’s another room that they could quickly dress and put chairs in if the weather turns.
If you’re having a fully outdoor wedding, it’s in your best interest to put down a deposit about six months ahead with a marquee company and see what the weather looks like much closer to the day. You might lose a deposit but that peace of mind will be priceless. Damp guests and a muddy aisle aren’t the look.
Your vendors need to be feed. The postage on your invites might be higher than expected. The venue could have extra security, coatroom staff, or cleaning charges.
Hidden costs can sneak up everywhere so the best thing to do is set aside 10% of your total budget for these surprise expenses and don’t touch it unless absolutely necessary. Make sure you’re getting all your contracts with your suppliers in writing to avoid these issues in the first place.
8. You Bankrupt Your Dress Budget
Remember alterations, the veil, shoes, bag, jewelry, lingerie, and other accessories come into this budget too. Be firm with yourself at the bridal boutique if a dress is right at the upper limit of the price you had in your head. What if you later decide you want a reception dress too?
9. You’re Too Strict About Social Media
Unplugged weddings are brilliant: no iPhones blocking the photographer’s shots, nobody sharing an unflattering picture of you on social media, everyone living in the moment rather than for the ‘gram.
Your guests will completely understand if you want phones away for the ceremony but don’t limit all their social activity. No doubt, they’ve dressed up, are feeling good, and are enjoying the day – think carefully about how ‘unplugged’ a wedding you’re willing to enforce.
10. You Don’t Eat
In the whirlwind of getting ready, it’s easy for the bride and bridal party to skip a hearty breakfast and lighter lunch. The trouble is it could leave you all faint when standing up at the altar. Likewise, for grooms, you might want a beer or two to calm the nerves, but make sure you’ve lined your stomach too or you could find starting early hits you when it comes time for speeches.
You’ll likely miss the canapes and may not get to eat your whole meal if you’re greeting guests so ask the caterer to set you aside from a few nibbles and have something waiting in your honeymoon suite for the evening too.
11. your try to please everyone
Everyone has an opinion – and boy, will they tell you it! You will never make everyone happy so only focus on making you and your partner have the day you want. The trick is to be kind but fair: say you appreciate their advice or opinion, but you prefer this and, as it’s your day, you hope they understand. A little “thanks but no thanks” goes a long way.
12. SELECT THE PHOTOGRAPHER BASED JUST ON PRICE
I might be a bit biased here, but quite often the biggest regret we hear from couples after their wedding is that they didn’t get the wedding photos they were expecting. And that is sad.
I know there are countless wedding photographers available in today’s world, so I wanted to say thank you for reading this considering me to be your wedding photographer.
Simply put, I love what I do, and I would be absolutely honored to be your photographer. I want to be there along your side through it all. It’s going to be an absolutely gorgeous wedding day, and I want to be there to document it the way it deserves to be. The way that you’ve always envisioned it.
As you move forward with the wedding planning process, remember to take time to enjoy the small moments. The cake tasting. The search for the venue. The road trips and the people you meet along the way. The entire experience is unique and it’s a lot of fun.
I truly hope you have found this helpful! And as always, send over your questions if you have any. I would love to answer your questions for you.
And most importantly, if you are engaged and you’re in need of an awesome wedding photographer, please get in touch right now! Just use the contact form on my website, fill out all the form fields, and send it over!
I’m super excited to hear from you soon. Thanks so much!