Updated: Feb 6
Any bride who has spent even just one afternoon wedding planning knows it takes an enormous amount of organization. With dozens of decisions on your horizon, creating a fine-tuned budget and laying out a well-planned timeline is key. And since this is likely your first time organizing such a large-scale event, it's easier than you'd think to fall prey to the pitfalls of wedding planning. I'm here to help!
So where should you begin so your wedding planning starts on solid footing? Once your budget is established, you can make smart decisions on hiring the right team of vendors who work best with your personalities and will execute your vision for the day. By having these discussions early, it will set the tone for the overall planning and result in less stress as you go through the process.
Still, even the most vigilant bride can be steered off course, and you don't want to make the same mistakes other brides have. As you pore over Pinterest, try on gowns, choose invitation suites, sample cake selections, and book your honeymoon, refer to this list of these major mistakes brides make while planning their wedding.
You Rule Out a Wedding Planner Altogether...
The most stressful planning period? The week before the big day. That's when handfuls of unforeseen details arise, leaving some brides sorting out spreadsheets instead of connecting with friends and family. Avoid this by hiring a week of or even day of planner. They will handle last-minute vendor meetings and put out fires so you don't have to. If budget is a concern, some planners even offer hourly services.
You Don't Put Yourself First
Before tapping into Pinterest, buying magazines, or bookmarking blogs, take time to think about the type of celebration you want. Do you envision a black-tie evening affair or a more casual daytime party? List your priorities. What is most important to you? Are you a foodie, or is music your thing? This kind of pre-planning will make both selecting a venue and setting a budget much easier.
You Don't Consider Your Guests
Your friends and family will likely travel, and at considerable expense, to attend your wedding, so make sure they are comfortable. Provide transportation to and from the ceremony and reception, and stock their hotel rooms with basics like drinks and snacks.
If your wedding is a weekend-long destination affair, arrange group activities both the night before the wedding and the morning of, time permitting.
You Buy Your Wedding Dress Before Choosing the Venue
Before booking your bridal salon appointments, make sure you know the type of wedding you're planning and where. Yes, you can wear whatever you want, but if you purchase a low-key gown and you end up booking the Plaza, you may wish you went bigger and bolder, with the venue in mind.
You Announce Your Engagement Too Soon
Remember to share the big news with your inner circle before updating your status on social media. Tell your family and closest friends first, preferably in person, or by phone or Skype (so they see the ring!) if they're long-distance. Then change your Facebook status. And after the outpouring of congratulations, be sure to post a quick thank you to the well-wishers.
You Include Your Registry Info on Your Invites
It may sound old-fashioned, but word of mouth is still the best way to loop everyone in on your registry. Make sure those closest to you (your parents, your partner's parents, the wedding party) have your registry details handy because they will likely receive phone calls and emails from inquiring guests. Another way to easily share registry details is via a wedding website with a distinct URL.
You're Too Strict With Social Media
Chances are your guests will understand if you ask them to avoid taking pictures during your ceremony or posting anything until after it's over. However they likely won't be on board with your limiting their sharing the festivities on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook in the days preceding and following your wedding. So don't be afraid to ease up on the restrictions a bit.
You Fall Victim to Crash Dieting
No bride should feel as if they have to change themselves ahead of their wedding. But if you do wish to adopt healthier habits, instead of drastically reducing calories or abstaining from whole food groups a month before your wedding date, ease into it. Try adopting a healthier eating plan or fitness regimen six months before the big day. Focus on gaining confidence, stress-relieving practices, and healthy habits that will follow you way past your walk down the aisle.
There's a Large Time Gap Between the Ceremony & Reception
If your ceremony and reception are at different venues, do your best to minimize the in-between time, which may leave guests with nothing to do. If a large time gap is inevitable, make sure they have the option of being entertained by planning an outing or setting up a hospitality lounge, with drinks and snacks, at the hotel where they will be staying.
You Feel Obligated to Rock an Up-do
Never worn an up-do a day in your life? You don't have to start on your wedding day. Wear your hair in whatever style makes you feel the prettiest, whether it be an updo, an intricate fishtail braid you found on Pinterest, or simple waves.