The five biggest wedding planning mistakes- and how to avoid them

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Unfortunately, I've never heard a single person say that planning a wedding is easy. There’s a whole lot that goes on during a wedding day- a lot more than you may expect!

To make sure your day is as close as possible to your vision, you and your partner will need to spend a lot of time researching and coordinating many different aspects of the day together. But with so much on your plate, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and make a mistake. The good news is that there are plenty of couples who have gotten married before you (hundreds of thousands!) who have made some mistakes—so there’s a lot you can learn from all of them to make sure you don’t do the same!

Here are five of the most common mistakes couples make when planning their wedding that you should make every effort to avoid:

1. Budget

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It's hard to believe, but did you know that many couples do not create a budget when it comes to wedding preparation and end up spending waaaaay more than anticipated- or even than they have in the bank? Weddings are notorious for sending couples into unexpected debt!

The very first thing you should do to avoid disastrous (and bankrupting) wedding mistakes is create an itemized budget with your wedding “requirements”, such as venue(s) for both the ceremony and reception, food and drinks, flowers, decor, party favors, etc.

If anything is left over, you can decide to then use this money for your honeymoon or spend it on something a little more frivolous, like a double-decker bus or a photo booth.

If you’re going through your budget and you're still coming up short on funds, there are hundreds of ways to cut costs for your wedding day- including having fewer guests, choosing an off-season date and/ or venue, selecting in-season flowers, or even having friends and family get involved by offering their hand in DIY florals or decor/ set-up help. If you decide to have family and friends get involved, just make sure they are not missing out on enjoying the wedding alongside everyone else!

2. Group Photography

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Almost every couple will want some formal photos with their families. It's not often everyone is all dressed up and in one place, so documenting your family is important! However, how many different combinations of groups do you really need?

The most common mistake is making up a large list of groups to take photos with. Guests are rarely in one place, and it takes a long time to round the right people up. Guests will often go back to their hotel rooms to change, go to the bathroom, grab a drink, end up at the wrong location, go home to feed their pet, and some must leave immediately after the ceremony. Trying to coordinate group photos at weddings reminds me of herding cats – basically impossible and frustrating!

My advice is to keep it to the minimum you need to keep family harmony. Most will- of course- want a photo with their parents and not forgetting your kids if you have them. The rest often will depend on your own family circumstances. Any extras can be done as the day goes on, which means you can spend the extra time mingling and talking to your closest friends rather than standing in a line smiling for the camera or waiting to find that one uncle that disappears for hours at a time. Remember: a photographer can't capture 'natural moments' if you're stood in an endless line of formal photos.

3. Guest List

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Wedding guest lists can grow faster than you think, costing you more money and space with every person added!

Sit down and make up a draft guest list before you book a venue, so you can be sure to book a space that meets your needs. Make sure you check with your venue to see how many people they can accommodate comfortably. After all, there's no way to fit 200 guests in a small 50-max capacity room!

Think hard about who you and your partner really want to share your special day with. Don’t invite people you hardly talk to or who you don’t really want there out of obligation, even if they’re relatives. If your parents tell you to invite your twice-removed third cousin, you can definitely say no! At the end of the day, this is your wedding.

4. Hire Professionals

Photo by Chasse Sauvage on Unsplash

Unless you happen to have a friend who owns their own professional photography, catering, or entertainment business, there’s no reason you should be hiring a friend for any of your wedding wedding services. You may be trying to be nice if they offered to help you out or maybe you're tempted to save a bit of money. But, it’s always better to leave your special day in the hands of experienced professionals. This ensures your wedding day will run smoothly as planned, as well as keeps your guests free to celebrate the day with you.

Many brides swear by their wedding planners- it’s true that they take care of almost everything involved in your wedding preparation and planning. Wedding planners know all the ins and outs of great wedding preparation and planning and can help the couple find reliable caterers, bridalwear, suppliers, transportation, and even DJs at lower prices. 

While incredibly helpful, wedding planners can also be pricey, unfortunate for couples who are trying to cut costs. If a wedding planner is out of your budget, find a family member or friend, someone you trust, to help you make wedding preparation arrangements and appointments with each wedding supplier and/or vendor. You can even scale back the event and have a simplistic wedding that you plan or DIY completely to save money.

5. Plan for the worst

Photo by Jeremy Wong Weddings

So, you and your partner planned a beautiful garden wedding with thousands of dollars put into the floral design… and it starts to rains on your wedding day. To top off the situation, you picked a venue that has only outdoor space for both your ceremony and reception.

Make sure when picking your dream wedding venue, find out if they have some sort of plan in place if the weather turns out to be less than ideal on your big day. Even if you’re having your wedding in the middle of summer, downpours can still very much happen so you should always have a backup plan in cases of inclement weather. A rained-out wedding is one of the most common wedding mistakes couples have neglected to think about. Another part of the wedding venue preparation to consider should also include requesting the venue’s landscaper to spray for bugs or add bug-repellent candles so your guests aren’t being bitten by mosquitoes and gnats, especially if you're going to be outdoors for the entire day.

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Have you started planning your wedding? Have you ran into these mistakes before? Let us know!






March 23, 2022 by Emily Rees

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