9 Common Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid

As a wedding planner, I see a lot of couples who feel overwhelmed by the whole wedding planning process. There’s so much to think about and so many people to coordinate with. You’ll even have a whole new set of terms to learn. But the truth is that no couple really knows what they’re doing when they start out. The important thing is to be aware of potential pitfalls that most couples encounter. Whether you’ve just started on your planning journey or are at a point of finalizing the details, knowing these nine common wedding planning mistakes will help you to avoid them.

Not working with a wedding planner. Of course, I’m a little biased, but I can honestly say that hiring a wedding planner is a decision you won’t regret. A lot of couples are afraid to take this step, but having a planner on board from day one will make the whole process easier and much less stressful. And after all, this should be a fun time in your lives together! It shouldn’t be spent worrying or burning yourselves out. A wedding planner can also help you avoid every one of the other common wedding planning mistakes mentioned here – and many more too!

Not setting a budget first. It isn’t such a fun job, but whatever you do, set a firm budget before making any other wedding planning decisions. Your budget drives all the decisions that follow. So it’s vital to have it locked down before you book any venue or vendor, or start shopping for a wedding dress. Couples who skip this step often find themselves losing control of their wedding finances early on and sometimes having to make some tough cuts to compensate.

Inviting too many guests. You may have heard the maxim that 10% of your invitees won’t be able to attend. But that doesn’t mean you should invite extra guests to compensate. The absolute maximum on your guest list should be the same as the maximum capacity of your venue or the number of guests you can afford on your budget. In a worst-case scenario, over inviting can lead to having to find a new venue or even un-inviting guests – the ultimate breach of wedding etiquette (in a normal year that is!).

Underpaying the postage for your invitations. This is such a common problem but it’s one most brides and grooms don’t think about. Most wedding invitations require additional postage. Without it, the post office will simply return them to you, which causes additional cost and inconvenience. Before you buy your stamps, have a sample invitation set weighed at the post office. Some invitations may also require additional postage because of their shape or size, so be sure to check.

Getting caught up in what others think. There’s a lot of pressure around weddings, and both friends and family members will often share their opinions of what you should and shouldn’t do or include in your big day. But remember: it’s YOUR day. Similarly, if there’s a tradition that doesn’t feel right to you, ditch it!

Having a backup plan. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that weddings always need a plan B, C, and D! This is especially true if you’re planning any portion of your wedding outdoors. While it’s tempting to cross your fingers and hope for good weather, it’s also important to plan for the worst. Book tents and umbrellas early to ensure availability in case of rain and once you make a judgment call to use them, don’t look back!

Leaving the legalities to the last minute. Whether you’re planning a destination wedding or something closer to home, it’s important to wrap up the legal aspects in good time so that you have everything ready for the big day. Research the marriage license laws in your state and keep all your paperwork in the same place so it’s easily accessible.

Not hiring a videographer. This is one regret I often hear from couples who chose to do without a wedding video. No matter how beautiful your photos are, video adds something extra to your wedding memories. A videographer is also often able to capture moments you miss in the rush of the day.

And finally…

Losing sight of the big picture. When planning a wedding, it’s so easy to get caught up in all the details. But while they’re important, the most important thing is that you’re getting married to the love of your life. Set aside wedding-free time for each other, don’t take family and friends for granted, and remember that any little problems that happen on the day don’t matter in the grand scheme of your marriage. In fact, they often make for the best stories!

Now that you know which common wedding planning mistakes to avoid, you can relax and enjoy the process!


Image by Jose Villa