Let’s be honest: no matter the size of your wedding, wedding planning is a really, really big job. And in the midst of coordinating all the details, it’s REALLY easy to make mistakes without even realizing it; it’s only after the wedding day that the bride or groom starts compiling a list of regrets. You know the “I wish I’d done that…” or “Looking back…” How do you avoid those potential regrets while in the midst of the wedding planning process? We’ve compiled a list of suggestions so you don’t slip into these common wedding planning mistakes.
Not setting a budget
Your budget is a key detail in every step of your wedding planning process, and a question you’ll find every vendor asks about. Sit down with your fiancé and any family members or friends who have expressed interest in giving you financial gifts for your special day. Making sure everyone is on the same page financially can minimize wedding planning stress, and drama, as you progress through the process. Don’t start wedding planning without a budget (unless you don’t need a budget); you’ll find that wedding expenses add up fast. If you want a sure-fire way to stay on budget, choose a wedding venue (like 1451 Renaissance Place) where you get a list of final costs at your final wedding planning meeting so you can make tweaks to the reception to fit your budget.
Blowing too much of your budget in one area
A wedding budget is like a marathon; you don’t want to put out too much energy at the end and not have enough left to cross the finish line. To make sure you stay on track, make a lined budget plan with amounts in each column. Remember, you don’t want to spend all your money on a dress and not have enough for the photographer.
Taking on too much
There is no shame or blame in asking for help. Wedding planning is a process, and can be an intimidating process for anyone. If you’re overwhelmed, consider choosing a wedding venue with an event planner to coordinate and finalize all the details that come with your wedding.
To borrow an old saying, “the early bird gets the worm.” The prompt couple also gets the caterer of their choice, the best bands, DJs and entertainers, and the in-demand venue. Don’t wait until the last minute. Coordinate and confirm as many details in advance. Don’t think you’ll have time to talk to your band about your favorite dance songs, or you can call your caterer with last minute changes that morning. Follow up with your vendors well before your wedding date to confirm, and discuss in depth any preferences you have.
Not keeping everyone in the loop
Once you’ve conferred with all your vendors, coordinators and family, put the schedule for your wedding day (and day before and after) into a schedule and share it. Whether you have two or 20 attendants, give your bridesmaids, ushers, groomsmen, deejay and other participants of your big day a detailed schedule of where and what times you need them—in person, if possible. Don’t rely on random texts or other people. In the same way, consider doing the same for your guests; we’ve seen beautiful websites created especially for a couple’s big day with all the day details carefully outlined, and all their questions answered (saves you time on the phone too!). Another option is to create a social media page with details; remember this only works if your guests are on social media. If you want a more traditional schedule, compile all the details and include them in your invite.
Not leaning on experience
If you need assistance while wedding planning, turn to people with experience. Don’t be afraid to ask your venue coordinators or vendors for recommendations for other vendors; your wedding venue staff know what florists that do a beautiful job, and caterers can recommend local wedding décor vendors. Or, if you want to consolidate and simplify the process, choose a venue with an on-site event planner or hire a wedding planner. Together, you and your entourage can produce a beautiful wedding day that speaks to who you are as a couple.
Treating every detail like a stand-alone part of your wedding day
Your guests are going to walk and view your wedding as a whole, so make sure you coordinate your details accordingly. Try not to get stuck on a detail that you have to have; instead focus on your wedding day as a whole, and choose details that fit with your overall vision. For example, don’t get stuck on using lilies if planning a fall wedding—and don’t think that you have to plan a rust colored fall wedding either.
Expect excellent service
We’re not advocating turning into a bridezilla (or a husand-zilla), but set your expectations high, such as when researching wedding venues. We’ve compiled a list of five must-haves that you should expect from your wedding venue, and questions to ask to find out everything you need to know—everything you need to know to select the best wedding venue and vendors that offer the excellent service you need to plan your big day. Don’t settle for anything less.
Listen to yourself
Remember, this is your big day. At the end of the day, everyone’s going to have an opinion and advice but this is YOUR day. Decide what style fits you as a couple, and plan accordingly (or find a wedding venue with a planner-see our tip above). The result is a beautiful reflection of you are, and many months of wedding planning for your special day.