- Any bride who has spent even just one afternoon wedding planning likely regrets skipping Excel classes. With dozens of decisions, both big and small, on your horizon, creating a fine-tuned budget, well-planned timeline, and paying extreme attention to detail are key. And since this is likely your first time organizing such a large scale event, it’s easier than you’d think to fall prey to the pitfalls of wedding planning.
- So where should you begin so that your planning starts on solid footing? “Once your budget is established, you can make smart decisions on hiring the right team of vendors that work best with your personalities and will execute your vision for the day,” says Sarah True, owner and creative director of Madison, CT-based True Event. “By having these discussions early, it will set the tone for the overall planning and result in less stress as you go through the process.”
- Still, even the most vigilant bride can be steered off-course. As you pore over Pinterest, try on gowns, sniff flowers, choose invitation suites, sample cake selections, scout venues and book your honeymoon, refer to this list of the 50 major mistakes brides seem to make while planning their wedding courtesy of expert planners and vendors.
- From mistreating your wedding jewelry to overdoing it on beauty products or failing to approximate the right budget, read on to find out the most common wedding planning errors brides-to-be make.
You Buy Your Gown Before Choosing the Venue
Before booking your bridal salon appointments, make sure you know the type of wedding you’re planning and where. “Yes, you can wear whatever you want,” says Ashley Douglass, owner and creative director, Ashley Douglass Events, “but if you purchase a low-key gown and you end up booking The Plaza, you may wish you went bigger and bolder with the venue in mind.”
You Rule Out a Wedding Planner Altogether
The most stressful planning period? The week before the big day. That’s when handfuls of unforeseen details arise, leaving some brides sorting out spreadsheets instead of connecting with friends and family. Avoid this by hiring a “week of” or even “day of” planner. He or she will handle last-minute vendor meetings and put out fires so you don’t have to. If budget is a concern, some planners even offer hourly services.
You Announce Your Engagement Too Soon
Remember to share the big news with your inner circle before updating your status on social media. Tell your family and closest friends first, preferably in person, or if they’re long-distance, by phone or Skype (so they see the ring!). Then change your Facebook status. And after the outpouring of congrats, be sure to post a quick thank-you to the well-wishers.
There’s a Large Time Gap Between the Ceremony and Reception
If your ceremony and reception are at different venues, do your best to minimize the in-between time, which may leave guests with nothing to do. If a large time gap is inevitable, make sure they are entertained or have the option of being entertained by planning an outing or setting up a hospitality lounge, with drinks and snacks, at the hotel where they will be staying.
You Misplace Your Engagement Ring
When in a public restroom, resist the temptation to remove your engagement ring while you’re washing your hands. The possibility that you might leave it on the ledge of the sink, or, worse, drop it down the drain, is too great a risk to take.
You Don’t Feed Your Vendors
The last thing you want on your wedding day is a low-energy DJ or an exhausted photographer. So plan on feeding any hired hands who will be working during the reception. This includes your wedding planner, photographer, videographer, and DJ or band, plus their assistants (but not your florist or the ceremony musicians). Work their meals into your budget and consider it part of their fee. (Many vendors stipulated in the contract that the couple is to provide a meal.)
You Don’t Say “Hello” to Everyone
These days, most couples forgo the formal post-ceremony receiving line. Instead, make it a point to circulate among the reception tables after dinner. If you’ve got a large guest list, schedule the table greetings into the day-of timeline and make an effort to find something sincere and personal to say to each guest. Another idea is to hand-deliver your wedding favors as you make your table rounds — it’s the perfect way to catch everyone. Just make sure to keep moving and don’t get held up at one table for too long.
You Put Your Bridal Bling in Harms Way
“Remove your ring when cleaning or touching harsh chemicals,” says LA-based jeweler Susan Foster of Susan Foster Jewelry. “Bleach and other cleaning agents can dull the finish of a ring and actually harm porous colored gemstones like emeralds.”
Then You Downplay Your Elopement…
Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean that the day isn’t special — it’s still your wedding and there is reason to be excited and celebrate. “Don’t forget to indulge in the bridal aspects of your day,” says Nickel. “Get a special dress and a bouquet and perhaps even set up a table, complete with your dream centerpiece and a bottle of champagne for dinner for two.” When you return home, announce your elopement to family and close friends.
You Forget the Power of Paper
We’ve conceded many great things to the digital realm, but physical invitations and thoughtful, hand-written thank you notes will never go out of style. Enjoy the process of designing them with a talented stationer, or editing them yourself with premade styles. But either way, make them special!