10 Mistakes to Avoid During the Wedding Planning Process
You just got engaged, you set your wedding date, now what?! There are certain mistakes on the wedding day that are unavoidable, like a four-year-old ring bearer throwing a temper tantrum and swallowing your wedding ring or an unexpected lightning storm that knocks a tree over near the ceremony site. But other potential issues, such as over budgeting or allowing the correct amount of time for hair and make-up, can be avoided. Come find out the top mistakes I've found being made over and over again during the wedding planning process, and how to correct them!
Mistake #1: Plan to budget or plan to fail.
Let's say you are absolutely in love with a venue that costs $20,000 to rent it out and you have no idea what your budget is, but you just go ahead and book that venue because you love it. Later, you find out that your entire wedding budget is $25,000. Now, you are in a sticky situation where one of two things will happen. You either book low budget vendors expecting high quality product/service or you book one or two more quality vendors and the rest are left out... Either way, this is a recipe for disaster. You may as well have just gotten eloped at a courthouse and saved your money.
Solution: Budget! Budget! Budget! Do NOT make a decision on any vendor until you have a rough idea of costs.
Mistake #2: The NO Rain, Man plan!
We all love a little Dustin Hoffman, especially when he plays an autistic savant in the 1988 classic Rain Man, but rain on the wedding day definitely dampens(pun intended) the mood. If you are planning on having an outdoor venue or just a ceremony outdoors, definitely have a contingency plan if it rains. Too many times couples just rely on nothing bad happening with the weather, but statistically speaking not every single wedding can avoid unexpected rainfall. And a wedding without a backup rain plan will leave you and your guests in a crabby mood.
Solution: Most venues that are outdoors usually have a back-up location ready. Definitely have a contingency plan in case of emergencies!
Mistake #3: Rushing your engagement in hopes of reaching touchdown!
While there is no correct length of time that a couple needs to be engaged, I've found that 12-18 months is the perfect amount. This isn't too long that couples are tired of being engaged and isn't too short that they are left scrambling for vendors at the 1 yard line.
Solution: Plan for a 12-18 month engagement period.
Mistake #4: Buying a dress two sizes too small
Buy your wedding dress in your size! If you lose weight and need alterations, great! That's an easy solution. The alternative is buying a dress too small in hopes of losing weight to fit into it, only to stress about it the whole time if you don't make that ideal weight, and needing alterations anyways at that point. It's also foolish to purchase a wedding dress without knowing what venue you book since the wedding since the dress may not look good with the venue you have chosen.
Solution: Buy a dress in your size and don't buy a dress before finding out your venue!
Mistake #5: Not getting video footage
I personally think that any wedding that has the budget for photography, should make a budget for cinematography. While I understand that this can get costly, video will be capturing moments that you will be able to re-live over and over again in ways that photography can't offer.
Solution: Hire a cinematographer if the budget allows for it.
Mistake #6: Oversharing/Telling everyone about your wedding.
While I know it may be difficult to not talk about your wedding all the time, you should definitely try to limit it. The more you share, the more opinions you will get on which vendors/decor you should use, regardless of if you asked for it or not. Also, you want your guests to be surprised by your wedding events/decisions rather than have them expect everything. The last downside to oversharing is the friends that aren't invited to the wedding will feel hurt and left out, which is most likely what you are intending to do... unless it is. Haha!
Solution: Limit the amount of people you ask/share wedding planning posts with!
Mistake #7: Starting your hair and make-up late on the wedding day.
Absolutely make sure you leave ample time for not only you, but also your bridesmaids to get their hair and make-up done in time. The best way to do this is see how long a trial makeup look takes and multiply that number with the number of bridesmaids you have getting their hair and make-up done plus add another hour or two for padding. A small pro tip would be to let your bridesmaids get ready first, and the bride last in order to have the freshest hair and make-up for the rest of the day.
Solution: Add an extra 60-120 mins for padding during hair and make-up. Also, let your bridesmaids go first.
Mistake #8: Hiring a friend vs a professional.
While the guy who threw amazing high school parties knows how to create solid playlists, this does NOT make him an good wedding DJ. The same goes for that friend who is now Instagram famous, but does NOT know how to use a camera. These are BIG red flags! While some these people maaay know certain things about the task at hand, most will have no idea of the intricacies that go into making a wedding run smoothly. Here is a scenario: Let's say you have your wedding outdoors and it starts to rain. You don't care about the rain and still want photos taken throughout the day. Now lets say you hired your friend, who knows how to use a camera, vs a professional wedding photographer. What do you imagine happening when you tell both individuals you wish to take photos in the rain? The friend will pretty much have no idea of managing a situation like that vs the wedding photographer will have rain bags to place around his camera, ready to use at a moments notice, even before the first drop of rain hits.
Solution: Hire a professional. Period.
Mistake #9: Blinded by Tradition
The eternal struggle between modern vs conventional, first look vs no look, breaking traditions vs following rules. What makes each wedding unique and special are the people celebrating it and the decisions they make on how to celebrate it. Knowing that, feel free to get your hands dirty. Have some fun!
Solution: Keep the traditional elements you love and add a twist! There are no fast and loose rules on how to celebrate your big day with your loved ones.
Mistake #10: Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.
Finally, the day has arrived and all your planning is complete. Don't stress about anything you didn't get accomplished in time or dad getting a little too tipsy before the ceremony. Just relax and enjoy your day!
Solution: Live more. Love more. Laugh more. Drink more.
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