Wedding planning is fun. It really is! But no wedding planning journey is without its bumps and detours. Sometimes things will go wrong along the way to “I do.” Keeping a sense of perspective (and humor!) will really help you navigate any pitfalls. Of course, it also helps to know the most common mistakes engaged couples make. Here are five wedding planning mistakes that I’ve seen more times than I can count – and how to avoid them from the start!
Not setting a budget first. Before you do anything else, set a budget. So many couples dive in and commit to a venue or a dress before working out their budget and that can be difficult when you have to sacrifice something you really want later on. Work out an overall number and then discuss your priorities. It’s important to agree which elements matter most to the both of you before you book anything. Once you have your budget in place, make a guest list and only then book a venue.
Over-inviting or inviting too quickly. Of COURSE you’re excited, but before you start sending out those save the dates, make sure you’ve finalized your guest list. There’s really no good way to take back an invitation, so don’t rush. Focus first on finalizing your guest number based on budget and then drafting your list. You might have heard that at least 10% of your invitees won’t be able to make it to your wedding. While that’s true in general, it isn’t an exact science, so don’t count on it. If it’s a destination wedding, that number can be higher, around 30%. Only ever invite the number of guests your venue (and budget) can accommodate!
Not having a Plan B for rain. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding (or ceremony), don’t make the mistake of just crossing your fingers and hoping that bad weather doesn’t happen to you. Speak to your venue about contingency plans, like an alternate ceremony venue or a tented reception. You may need to put down additional deposits on umbrellas or tents, especially in peak season, but it’s oh so worth it for your peace of mind! And if rain does happen, embrace it – your photographs will be wonderful, and the dance floor will be packed all night.
Nixing the videographer. Video is a place that many couples decide to cut costs but so many of them later regret it. Your wedding day flies by and there are moments like the speeches, vows and dance floor shenanigans that photographs can’t capture they way video can. In ten years time, it will mean a lot to go back and hear your voices and relive your big day.
Sweating the small stuff. Of course your wedding is a big deal. Of course you want everything to go perfectly. But don’t get so fixated on the details that the planning process becomes a nightmare or that you forget the reason you’re getting married in the first place. So if the napkins are ‘bold’ instead of ‘bashful,’ let it go. Your guests will never notice.
When wedding planning challenges come your way, remember that every problem has a solution. Take a deep breath, and enjoy this special time. Sometimes the biggest mishaps make the best stories later!
Image by Yvette Roman