The average spend on weddings in America is $28,000. That’s a lot of money for one day, so understandably, you want it to be perfect.
Below are eight of the most common wedding planning errors, the problems they cause, and how to avoid them. Keep reading below to avoid these mistakes and have the big day you’ve always imagined!
1. Forgetting or Skipping the Videographer and Photographer
One of the most common wedding planning errors is getting frugal or foolish when it comes to booking a photographer. A photographer should be number one on your priority list in terms of booking and budget.
Once the day is over, all you’ll be left with are the wedding photos. If you forget to have a photographer there will be no memories to savor of your wedding day. If you skip them, chances are you’ll find yourself scrambling the day before the wedding to find one once you realize that was a really bad decision.
Many people choose to skip professional photographers because they are expensive. But they’re expensive for a reason. The equipment, lighting, years of training, and post-production editing of your photos require a lot of effort.
It’s worth it because you’ll have the most beautiful wedding album to reflect on and hopefully one day share with family and your kids. Don’t just hire that college friend who took a photography class, or rely on guests’ best smartphone efforts.
Knowing someone is there, outside of the guest list, to capture all of the moments will make it easy for you to relax and enjoy yourself.
2. Not Setting a Theme
A wedding theme creates consistency in all of the wedding planning decisions. A theme will make all decisions easier to make. On the actual wedding day, a theme will also photograph better and make the event more enjoyable for you and your guests.
Without a theme planning becomes disorganized, decisions are harder to make, and the wedding day itself will look sloppy.
An example of a wedding theme could be the colors blue and white. If this were your theme you could buy blue and white hydrangeas, tie blue ribbons around white chairs for the reception, have a blue cake, have bridesmaids wear blue and groomsmen wear blue bow ties. It’s all coming together.
Without a theme, you’d most likely just tell people to wear what they want, have no idea what color your cake should be, and be left feeling stressed and disorganized.
Mexican wedding traditions exemplify what a great theme can include. Your theme can be whatever you want, colors, decades, western, or anything- just make sure you have one.
3. Ignoring Wiggle Room In Your Budget
If the most you want to spend on your wedding is $10,000 then make sure all your expenses only require about 80% of that. You need to leave about 20% of your budget as a safety net for surprise expenses.
There have been many weddings since the start of time, and almost all of them incurred surprise problems. It’s naive to think that yours will be any different. Examples of wedding day problems include:
- Last-minute expedited tux and dress alterations
- Catering cancellations
- Photographers getting sick, so scrambling to hire someone else
- Changes in weather requiring rental of a tent
The problems of your wedding are as unique as your dream day.
4. Not Keeping Notes
Did a venue say they are unavailable on your chosen date? Did another venue tell you the budget they require? How long will the cake take to make?
Answers to all of these questions need to be documented. Create a wedding planning checklist. Keep a journal or Excel spreadsheet of all of the wedding venue options, vendors, caterers, ideal guests, photographers, and more.
Include links to their websites, their email, and phone number, and record notes as you contact people. Include detailed notes about the date and budget whenever possible.
5. Telling People About the Wedding Prematurely
Do not tell people about your wedding until you know the venue, date, location, and guest list.
There is nothing more awkward than sharing the news with that second cousin and then realizing your venue won’t be large enough to invite them. Wait until you have all of your details set and create your ideal guest list.
Include a few backup invitees of people you’d want to come but maybe can’t afford to invite. Once you have a headcount of who can make it proceed to create wedding invitations, and if you have a registry or charity registry, send them to your guests.
6. Agreeing to Things Without Sampling
The fun of wedding planning is traveling to new venues, trying on cool outfits, and eating lots and lots of food!
This does require time, so schedule your wedding out far enough to give yourself the time to peruse until you’ve found exactly what you’re looking for!
7. Picking the Guest List Before Setting the Wedding Size
If you choose who you want to invite before knowing your max cutoff, you’ll find yourself inviting a bunch of lukewarm acquaintances.
Set a party size, say 50 people, and then prioritize who needs to be there. If you have room left you can invite more people. If not, you can cut your costs of catering and other expenses by having fewer people.
8. Not Having a Plan B- Especially for Those Outdoor Venues
As mentioned, things will go wrong. Maybe your heel breaks or maybe it’s something worse like your beach wedding is rained out.
Plan for the best but expect the worse, and you’re guaranteed to have a great day!
Avoid These Eight Common Wedding Planning Errors by Giving Yourself Enough Time and Allocating Budget Strategically
Start planning your wedding about one year out to avoid these eight common wedding planning errors. If you have the budget, it’s helpful to hire a wedding planner.
Some wedding planners also offer a-la-carte services so you can handle what you love, and leave the rest to the planner.
Check out our blog for more wedding planning tips!