When planning a wedding even the most well organised couples get things wrong. It helps to know the pitfalls and avoid the most common wedding planning mistakes. Here’s how to miss those landmines.
A bland wedding
The biggest error is planning a wedding that is devoid of the couple’s personalities. It is an important day and it should reflect your life. Those little touches go a long way.
Going over budget
You are dealing with the wedding industry and it’s tempting to waste money. Be careful you are not spending money where you don’t need to. Stick to the budget.
Forgetting what a wedding really is.
The ceremony is the main event and the reception is a celebration of it. Put enough thought into the music, readings and vows that will make your ceremony memorable for years to come.
No Plan B for outdoor weddings.
Make sure you have a contingency plan in case of rain.
I know it’s your wedding day but you both need to consider others. Think about what you are asking your guests. Are you clear about your expectations and their level of commitment? Will the guests be forced to stand around for an hour while the pictures are being taken? Will they be comfortable in the weather? I don’t know how many times I’ve heard stories about cold guests in marquees because there weren’t adequate heaters.
Not involving your partner
It’s the 21st century. Wedding planning should involve both of you and not left mainly to the bride. Set time aside on a weekly basis to talk about new ideas, research you’ve done and forthcoming goals and deadlines.
Keep your eye on what is really important and try not to get bogged down in many small details. If something goes wrong, think about the big picture and, most importantly, keep your sense of humour.
The wedding date
Pick a day that will work best for your family, your budget and the location of the wedding.
A common mistake is couples choosing a venue that is too big or too small for their anticipated guest numbers. Selecting the right venue is crucial. Also design the interior with the venue in mind. Morphing a farmhouse into a sleek, contemporary space won’t work with the best will in the world.
Not reading contracts
Hidden costs can be an unwelcome surprise. Read your contracts thoroughly and be aware of potential additional costs for overtime, breakdown charges and fees for lost or damaged items. Get everything in writing.
The guest list. Some couples over-invite which leads to budget sacrifices. Do you really need to invite guests who are practically strangers? One of the biggest mistakes is giving blind plus-ones especially to single guests. If they already know other people at the wedding it’s not necessary.
Test your DIY idea in advance. It’s no good beginning a project a couple of weeks ahead of the wedding to find that it’s not going to work. You’ll be left trying to resolve it with time running out.
Photography and the pitfalls of Instagram
All too often couples fall in love with a photographer’s photos on Instagram or on their website. Sometimes there’s disappointment when they receive their own wedding photos. This is because Instagram and websites are marketing tools where photographers carefully select the photos that work best on these platforms. Before booking always ask a photographer to send a gallery link to a recent wedding. It gives a more accurate picture of what you can expect.
It’s not considerate or appropriate to ask your guests to pay for their own alcohol while celebrating at your wedding. If your budget can’t stretch to a full bar consider serving a signature cocktail with beer and wine only.
Not greeting guests. Build time into the day to meet each guest. It’s important to at least say hello.
Decor faux pas
Under-or-over decorating is a tragedy. If you are unable to decorate as much as possible, place one main stunning floral arrangement or d??cor feature as a focal point. Highlight it, dim the rest of the room and rely on candles for evening receptions.
Don’t spread the tables too far apart if you want the room to feel intimate. Rectangular tables are more intimate than round ones. Try to seat older guests near to the dance floor. Younger guests will always make their way to the dance floor no matter where they are seated. Unassigned seating sounds great but can go wrong. If you assign people to tables let them pick their own seats.
Every moment of a reception should seamlessly flow into the next. The key special moments should be spread throughout the day or evening.
Trying to cover every single food group in one elegant three-course meal is overkill. Serve what your caterer does best, offer options and present a delicious seasonal meal.