Wedding planning will have its ups and downs as this is such an important day! Here I've given you some tips on how to stay on the up, and avoid making the most common wedding planning mistakes.
1. Not setting a budget at the start
The first three things you and your partner should discuss are: the budget, the guest list, and the wedding location. It’s very easy to dive straight into which style dress you want, which flowers and which cake flavours, but you can’t work on your wedding plans until you know your wedding budget. Otherwise you risk dreaming away far more money than you can afford! It’s not always an easy discussion, but take some time with your partner to go through your finances and set a budget – then stick to it as much as possible. The budget will evolve slightly over time but you need to know where your limit is.
I also recommend leaving yourself a portion of the money for contingency plans, around 5-10% if you can – if you need last minute dress alterations or have to book emergency transport for someone, then it’s good to know you can afford it. Plus, if you don’t end up using your contingency, you can use it as extra honeymoon cash!
2. Trying to do too much yourselves
Doing all the planning yourselves can be overwhelming when there’s so much to do and you have limited time. If you’re lucky enough to have friends and family offering their help, then take them up on it! Delegate smaller tasks to those you trust to help you along.
In the weeks leading up to your wedding, consider who will provide extra support on-the-day, ideally someone not in your wedding party or immediate family. Someone should be in charge of keeping the wedding to time and being a point of contact for everyone so that you aren’t disturbed on your special day! If no one comes to mind for this task, then of course you can always hire a professional – click here for more information.
3. Trying to please everyone
At the end of the day, it’s your wedding so do it your way. It’s your love story that your friends and family are celebrating. When you start wedding planning, you will quickly find that many of the people around you have an opinion on how your day should go. Listen to their ideas, in case they inspire you, but make sure you spend time thinking what you want as a couple for your big day, and don’t be afraid to say no. Don’t include things on your wedding day that aren’t authentically you. You will never please everyone 100%, but as long as your guests are fed, watered, and have somewhere to sit they’ll have a good time!
Speaking of your guests, don’t fall into the trap of inviting too many! Once you’ve drafted a guest list, look at your ideal venues and their capacities. It’s correct to assume that not all of your invitees will attend the wedding, but you have to work from the thought that they might do. You cannot invite 200 people to a wedding at a venue that allows a maximum of 150 guests – even if you have 151 guests RSVP yes, that’s too many! When you start receiving replies, and you know how many people to expect, you can always send out a second round of invitations to top up the numbers if you need to. It’s also good to bear in mind that having a cramped wedding is not fun… If you want a comfortable attendee size then reducing your wedding venue’s max capacity by 10% is a good rule of thumb to give everyone enough space to move around.
4. Endless speeches
We all enjoy hearing funny stories about the newlyweds and listening to those heartfelt words from loved ones, but once you’ve been sat for over an hour listening to someone talk – it starts to get a bit tired. It’s very common for speeches to overrun *cough* fathers of the bride *cough*, so it’s a good idea to limit the number of speakers and give them a rough time limit to work towards. You can also consider staggering speeches throughout the wedding breakfast so your guests don’t get bored.
On a similar note, you may want your wedding day to last forever, but you don’t want anyone to feel like it went on too long; you want the evening to have a natural close. Plus, you’ll be surprised how tired you’ll feel after such a big day! Industry insiders suggest that around five hours of partying is the maximum amount of time guests can dance for and still leave on a high! Of course, as has been said, it’s your day so you do you – this is just something to bear in mind.
5. Forgetting to see the bigger picture
Don’t forget why you’re getting married in the first place. You want to start a life with your partner, so start off on the right foot. Wedding planning can cause tension and stress on relationships with each other, family, and friends, so be kind to each other. Keep in mind why you’re doing this in the first place. And little things may go awry on your big day, but that’s okay! You’re still marrying the love of your life, and you should be full present in this magical moment – not sweating the small stuff.
I know you are going to have an absolutely incredible wedding day, and I hope that these tips help ease your mind and assist your wedding planning journey! If you want to have a chat about your wedding plans, get a second opinion, or hire help for your day, then get in touch here or check out my services here.