A wedding, if you choose to have one, is meant to be one of the best days of your life.
But it's far too easy for it to go from picture perfect in your mind, to mishap after mishap when the big day comes around.
"With a lot of moving parts and often a significant investment of time and money that goes into a wedding day, it is so important that the day goes exactly how a couple envisions," says Lauren Goodman, wedding planner and founder of Bluebird Creative.
While we can't control everything, the good news is there are some common mistakes to avoid to prevent any problems arising. As per Goodman's expertise, here's what not to do during your wedding prep.
Wedding mistakes to avoid
1. Not being realistic about your budget
It's all about deciding your priorities when it comes to money.
"This is not the most exciting part of the planning journey but probably the one which helps avoid lots of mistakes later down the line!" says Goodman. "Being aware of the budget and WHERE to allocate it is absolutely imperative when planning your wedding."
2. Not having a timeline/plan for the day
If your service is at 5pm, make sure you aren't slipping into your dress or tux at the last minute.
"Not having an idea of the overall running of the day can really throw off timelines, which in turn can then delay other parts of the wedding," Goodman emphasises. "For couples that need to travel to their ceremony or venue, for example, 10 minutes here or there can really push back some of the most important parts of the day so be sure to have an idea of this ahead of time."
3. Going wild on beauty treatments too close to the wedding
"I always recommend not to have any drastic beauty treatments done within two weeks of the wedding – both to the bride and groom!," says Goodman. "Keep to your normal routine and if couples would like to try something different, they should do this within the months leading up to the wedding – not the week before!"
This way you won't turn up to your wedding with an allergic reaction.
4. Not choosing the right suppliers
Depending on your budget and time available, choosing this is more key to a successful big day than you might realise.
"From trusting a planner to arrange everything to picking caterers who can offer your ideal menu for your guests, being selective can stop couples feeling overwhelmed," says Goodman.
"A huge part of picking the right supplier is making sure your personalities gel – yes, their art and services may be amazing but if there is a clash, it will only cause disappointment and stress so pick carefully!"
5. Forgetting to plan for hidden costs
You may think you've budgeted well, but always allow for wiggle room.
"Do research into the hidden costs which are associated with weddings – this stops couples from being stung by any last-minute surprises, including feeding your suppliers, travel and accommodation, alongside gifts and favours!"
6. Not understanding the photograph styles before booking
No one wants to hate their wedding photos.
"Your choice of photographer and/or videographer will be CRUCIAL as they help to really create some of the special moments in the day! Each and every photographer is so different and will often market themselves on a specific style of photography, so be sure to do your research," advises Goodman.
"Photographers work on these sorts of occasions regularly so you should be in capable hands, but couples can definitely look at supplying them with a list of their favourite shots from the portfolio alongside a desired shot list."
7. Too many cooks…
To avoid being overwhelmed and having lots of opposing opinions, Goodman suggests being honest with your friends and family about their involvement in planning.
"I always recommend that couples choose an inner circle of people to support them who will be helpful both in the planning and run-up to the wedding – this stops anyone from overstepping the mark when it comes to offering advice or opinions," she says.
"For example, you don't need to take 15 people to wedding dress appointments, just take those who really will offer support and productive opinions."
8. Skimping on time to attend wedding trials
It's always wise to have a taster of your big day in advance.
"Always take the opportunity to meet and attend wedding trials with suppliers – these can range from beauty and hair and makeup to food and entertainment," says Goodman.
"Be sure to prepare questions ahead of these meetings to really maximise your time spent together! This sort of organisation can help couples feel more in control of how their day will pan out and help avoid any surprises. Be prepared that these are often mid-week so remember to allocate them in any annual leave you are taking for the wedding."
9. Not getting a coordinator
While you want to prevent anything going wrong in the first place, if it does, having someone in charge will make it their problem, not yours.
"From a completely logistical point of view, the venue and a wedding planner/coordinator will help ensure that the day itself runs smoothly – the day is for the couple to actually enjoy and experience themselves," says Goodman.
"I have a lot of brides book me as an on-the-day coordinator to look after everything so their family can just relax and enjoy it with them. It’s usually noted as the best decision a couple has made after the wedding day!!"
10. Not taking time to REALLY take it all in
Remind yourself of this before your the date finally arrives.
"The saddest mistake couples make on their day is not taking time out to appreciate their wedding as it happens. I always recommend my couples pick a few occasions in the day to go off on their own and spend some quality time together so they can really treasure their special day!"
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