Top 5 Wedding Planning Mistakes

With a combined 20 years of event planning , we’ve seen many brides bumble their wedding preparation. Here are our top 5 mistakes to beware of …

1. Not creating the guest list as your first “to do.” – Create your guest list first. This will help you determine your budget and the atmosphere you want to create. Do you want an intimate wedding with close friends and family-only affair, or do you want to throw the event of the season for 300-plus people? This will also help you determine what you’re willing to financially invest in your wedding. If you want 300 guests AND a plated meal does your budget allow for that? Are you willing to compromise on your food choice or the guest list?


2. Blowing Your Budget - You came up with a number. You did some research. You revised the number. You started planning ... and now that number's not going to cut it. Budgeting for a wedding can be the stuff of nuptial nightmares -- but that doesn't mean you should elope. If you find you've underestimated some expenses, don't panic. Instead, sit down with your fiance and try to reach a compromise. Maybe you can give up an item or trade one for another (for example, dahlias over Black Magic roses saves about $4 per stem). If you're coming up short overall, you may have to take on some debt. But, the most important thing is coming to an agreement … what’s your bottom line? Stick to it!


3. Trying to Drop Two Sizes Before Your Final Fitting – Maybe you used to be a size 10 but you’ve put on a size or two. So you think … I’ll get back to my “perfect” weight before my wedding day. So you order the dress two sizes too small, and then do whatever it takes to make it fit. You make a commitment to eat right and exercise. Not only will your plan cause you undue stress, it may end in disaster -- and a gown that doesn't fit. Instead, find a gown you love and order it in your current size. If you want to work on your body during your engagement, that's great -- go ahead, but be sure to make your goals are manageable. You're more likely to stick with a routine that doesn't require superhuman willpower.


4. Doing it All Yourself -  We love nothing better than seeing the clever projects that couples come up with to make their weddings unique. But even we have to draw the line somewhere. There's doing it yourself, and then there's overdoing it yourself. After all, there are plenty of benefits to DIY.  But don’t take on too many projects. Pick the one (or two) that you're really in love with and put your resources (both mental and monetary) into working on those. For the others, do a little research and try to find a ready-made version that makes you happy. With so many great prefab goodies out there, chances are you'll find one that fits your style -- and saves you a whole lot of time!

5. Overloading Your Mom's Big Day To-do List- You’ve  got to have someone you trust to help you with the details –Who’s going to check with the caterer to make sure everything is in order and special dietary needs are handled? Who’s going to find the flowers that the florist stored in the walk-in cooler? Who’s going to steam your veil? Who’s going to make sure the limo company has directions? Most brides turn to good ol' Mom (or their sister or their maid of honor) to make sure things go as planned on the big day. Although these people are usually happy to help in any way they can … is it fair to ask them to “work” during your wedding? Before you hand your mom or MOH a mega-task list, consider splitting jobs among a larger group of people -- friends, cousins, aunts. They'll be glad to lend a hand (and likely flattered that you asked), and it's a great way to include more people in your celebration. If you're worried about losing track, simply take the to-do list you already have and note who's who next to each task. Better yet, hire a wedding day-of coordinator! They take care of every little detail! They're experts at making sure those last-minute items get done, and having the extra hands around will help you (and mom) decide what you really want to be in charge of and what you can happily hand off. It's more affordable than you might think -- and really, can you put a price tag on alleviating that kind of stress?