Wedding planning is an exciting, decision-filled time as you embrace a new chapter in life — moving from fiance to being MARRIED! But it is easy to make some major mistakes that cause added stress. Before you even pick a wedding date or start buying up all of the bridal magazines… here are a few tips on mistakes to avoid in your wedding planning process to ensure a stress-free, fun wedding experience!
Mistake #1 - Not setting a plan based on YOUR priorities!
Fix: Determine what you priorities are (especially for budget purposes) before you start signing contracts!
This might seem a little obvious, but when it comes to wedding planning, start with what is really important to you and what your wedding vision includes. Set a game plan together. If your priority is an intimate destination wedding at a French Chateau, then the venue is like your biggest priority (and biggest expense). If having great wedding photos is important to you, prioritize that in your list of “must haves” when you start to discuss budget. Likewise, it may be helpful to discuss what is NOT important to you as well. If a designer gown is not important to you, you can adjust your budget accordingly.
NOTE: When we were planning our wedding, we didn’t really set a budget up front. We set out to find the perfect venue that fit our needs, and then moved on to Photographer — being wedding photographers ourselves, it was important to hire someone we knew would be GREAT and we wouldn’t have to micromanage… and we invested first in the things we really cared about, and then shaped the rest of our spending around those priorities.
Mistake #2 - Starting your planning without discussing budget + who will pay
Fix: Figure out who will pay for what and set a realistic, flexible budget
Money is a hot topic when it comes to wedding planning — for good reason. Your first priority should be to discuss who will be involved with paying for your wedding, as that can dramatically impact budget. Will you (as a couple) be self-funding your wedding? Do you have parents, grandparents or other parties who will be paying for part or all of the wedding day? Who gets a say in what? It is easy to get carried away with spending money without a reasonable budget in mind. The easiest way to plan out your budget is to first determine who will pay for what (and if there are any limitations to budget), then set what your PRIORITIES are, and budget from there.
Mistake #3 - Trying to do it all yourself
Fix: delegate where you can and accept help; hire a planner or a day-of coordinator dedicated to you (not a venue coordinator!)
Most couples begin their wedding planning process by hitting up Pinterest and wedding planning websites like The Knot. Inspiration is everywhere, and it is easy to get carried away with ideas. But when it comes down to planning and especially execution of your wedding plans… don’t try to do it all yourself. Accept offers of help when possible and delegate! It is also a great idea to inquire with a wedding planner to help execute your vision (and stay on budget!). Alternatively, a dedicated day-of coordinator is also invaluable on the wedding day, keeping everything running smoothly, setting up, tearing down, coordinating with vendors and being the Go-To person (aka: Less or no stress on YOU and your families!)
Mistake #4 - Waiting until the last minute to secure vendors
Fix: Contact your favorite vendors early - many vendors are booked 12+ months in advance
Many wedding venues and vendors book up over 1 year in advance. If you want your pick of the best vendors, you’ll want to set a date typically 1-2 years in advance. This may mean a longer engagement if having the DREAM TEAM of wedding vendors is important to you! If you try to plan a wedding with a shorter engagement, you may not get the best vendors that you want. If you really have your heart set on a specific wedding venue or a photographer or wedding planner or other vendor, reach out ASAP to ensure maximum availability.
Mistake #5 - Getting stressed out about wedding planning
Fix: Remember that your marriage is more important than the wedding day
No matter what plans you make, which shoes you pick out, or what flavor the cake is… it is vitally important to remember that your MARRIAGE is far more important than the wedding day. It is easy to get caught up in the pomp and circumstance of the celebration, but at the end of the day, you’ll be married to your favorite person and creating a beautiful life together. So don’t panic over choosing the exact right shade of dusty mauve pink, or worrying that peonies will be out of season for your wedding. Your wedding day will ultimately be a beautiful celebration of your love and that is what really matters!