One of the hardest things about planning a wedding is simply the fact that you’ve probably never done anything like it before! Stepping into the unknown territory of wedding planning can be overwhelming for any bride-to-be, without having any previous experience to refer back to.
Something you might hear often from just-married couples when they reflect back on their wedding is “I wish I had known this” or “I wish I had done this differently”. It can be difficult when your expectations of the wedding planning process might be worlds apart from the reality. Which is why it’s so helpful to forecast those potential mistakes and take practical steps to avoid them!
Luckily, there are some super simple solutions to the most common wedding mistakes that brides experience both before and during the big day. From budget woes, miscommunication and your mindset on the day, read on for 8 wedding planning mistakes to avoid, and what you should be doing instead!
Leaving Tasks Too Late
If you’re a natural procrastinator, this is a trait that you might want to be wary of when it comes to planning your wedding! Whether it’s booking your venue, choosing suppliers, ordering invitations or tailoring your dress, leaving things until the last minute can cause a whole lot of unwanted stress and in some cases, impact your entire wedding.
Due to the nature of the industry, you’ll find many wedding suppliers are only able to take on a limited number of bookings each week. Procrastinating on your wedding planning might lead to missing out on your dream venue, packages not arriving in time, or furniture and decor rentals not being available.
Instead: once you have chosen your wedding date, take some time to set a plan of action! Create a monthly planning timeline that prioritises all of your tasks, with deadlines for each one. You can even opt for an online platform like WEDSITES to organise your tasks, streamline your processes and hold you accountable!
Not Having a Wet-Weather Plan
Wet-weather is every bride’s worst nightmare, especially without a back-up plan in place! Neglecting to organise a Plan B for a rainy day is one of the most stress-inducing mistakes for brides planning an outdoor wedding.
No matter how optimistic you might be about the weather, rain is totally unpredictable and can throw off your entire day without a carefully considered back-up plan. Frantically trying to organise a marquee on the morning of your wedding is not an ideal scenario!
Instead: if you have decided to host an outdoor wedding, place a marquee on hold in advance, or choose an all-weather venue that has an undercover option to take advantage of in the event of rain. Make sure you communicate your back-up plan to all of your wedding suppliers and guests prior to the day, ensuring everything will run smoothly while you relax and get ready!
Worrying About Pleasing Others
Your wedding day is an opportunity to gather all of your friends and family together in the one place for a night of celebrations. You’ll find that your guests might have their own advice, opinions and expectations on how the day should run. But don’t forget what your wedding is really about – you and your hubby-to-be and the commitment you are making to each other!
Worrying too much about other people’s opinions is a common mistake that many couples make during the wedding planning process. Whether it’s opinions on your styling for the day, your wedding dress, your guest list or your menu, it’s easy to get caught up in these outside expectations by trying to please everyone. But this can often mean making unwanted compromises on your own vision for the day.
Instead: take advice from friends and family with a grain of salt, and instead focus on the things that are truly important to you and your partner. Take some time to sit down with each other to define your wedding style and vision, and refer back to this whenever you start to feel pressured or overwhelmed by outside opinions!
Taking on Too Much
It might seem like planning a DIY wedding is an easy way to cut costs and save some money. But taking on too much can lead to stress and anxiety closer to the day, as you find yourself running out of time with so much on your to-do list!
Attempting to do everything on your own can be simply unrealistic. Think about how you want to feel in the lead up to your day. Relaxed and excited? Or stressed out and racing against the clock?
Instead: be strategic with the elements that you choose to DIY, and only take on tasks that you know you can complete well in advance, quickly and painlessly. If there are any tasks that you know might be too last-minute or out of your comfort zone, consider delegating these to a professional or asking for help from family and friends. A wedding planner can also be a worthwhile investment to take a huge weight off your shoulders!
Miscommunication with Guests
Miscommunication never ends well, particularly when it comes to a wedding! It’s so important to make sure that the details of your wedding day are clearly communicated to your guests, to avoid any last-minute hiccups like unexpected plus ones, late arrivals or dress code faux pas.
Guest communication is especially important for those planning an interstate or overseas wedding. Lack of clarity regarding location, accommodation options and travel information can lead to hundreds of back and forth phone calls as guests try to organise their trip.
Instead: create a detailed wedding website for guests to refer to, that clearly outlines all of the logistical information for your day. This ensures that everybody is receiving the same information, and you can feel confident that your day will run seamlessly!
Making Assumptions on Guest Numbers
While it’s true that you probably won’t have a 100% success rate with your RSVPs, making assumptions on your final guest numbers is a critical error during the wedding planning process! For example, if you’ve booked your venue based on your assumed guest numbers and they have strict rules on capacity, you might find yourself in a sticky situation when more guests RSVP ‘yes’ than you expected.
Instead: make sure you create your wedding guest list carefully. Don’t invite any guests that you’re secretly hoping will decline, because you just never know! It’s always best to be safe than sorry, so once you’ve created your wedding guest list you should only be looking for options that can accommodate this number. You’d hate to be in an awkward position of changing venues last-minute or having to uninvite guests!
Not Researching Suppliers
From your wedding photographer to your wedding celebrant, your suppliers will essentially become your dream team for the day. They’ll be the ones helping to bring your wedding to life through their experience and expertise. So it goes without saying that not researching your suppliers carefully before booking can be a costly mistake!
Each wedding is unique, and you’ll find that different suppliers are best suited to different styles and budgets. Not taking the time to research your options could lead to you being unhappy with the end result, or having a negative experience. For example, if you’re hoping for natural, candid shots to capture the day, but choose a photographer that actually specialises in staged, airbrushed portraits, you’re going to be disappointed!
Instead: do as much online research as you can to make an informed decision when it comes to booking your wedding suppliers. Make sure you check out examples of their previous work to ensure it aligns with your vision, and read their testimonials and reviews from past brides. Online wedding blogs and directories are a great place to start, as you can check out image galleries, search by location, and contact suppliers directly to make the process easier.
Planning a wedding can definitely be hard work, and with so much to think about it becomes all too easy to feel stressed out over the tiniest details. Whether it’s your dream supplier not being available, last minute guest cancellations, napkins arriving in the wrong shades – there will always be minor hiccups to deal with along the way. But the important thing here is your attitude and mindset!
Placing too much importance on trivial details can lead to stress, tears and frustration when things don’t pan out exactly as you’d hoped. But are those the kind of memories you want to look back on after the day?
Instead: don’t sweat the small stuff, and have faith that everything will all come together on the day. It’s so important to keep revisiting the real focus of your wedding – the incredible love you have for this amazing person standing by your side! So take a breath, keep a cool head, and don’t put so much pressure on yourself. It’s all going to work out okay – we promise!
Trust in the Process
The key to wedding planning is to be prepared and to prioritise. While you might not be able to anticipate exactly how things are going to turn out, you can at least prepare yourself as best as possible by avoiding these common wedding planning mistakes.
From outside expectations to an overwhelming to-do list, there’s a simple solution for nearly any scenario. So keep the above tips in mind before you delve into your wedding planning journey and you can save yourself a whole lot of time and stress.
And at the end of the day, no matter how many last-minute hiccups you might face or mistakes you might make: you’ll be walking away from the whole experience with a lifelong commitment to your very best friend. So simply trust in the process and try to have some fun along the way!