When it comes to planning a wedding, there are a few things to remember. One, your guests have no idea how your wedding is “supposed” to go. If something goes wrong, they likely won’t know any different. Two, no wedding is perfect. No matter what happens, you’ll always be able to look back on your wedding with a few good stories. Three, at the end of the day, you’re going to be married to the love of your life. Whether it rains, the food is cold, or your cake falls over (God forbid), you are walking away married. That being said, here are 7 wedding planning mistakes you should avoid to help make your day as smooth as possible.
WEDDING PLANNING MISTAKES #1: Not Setting a Budget
As wedding coordinators, we don’t expect all brides to come with an exact number of how much they can spend. Some do, but most are at this for the first time and truly have no idea how much things cost (see the next mistake for this info). One of the biggest wedding planning mistakes we see is brides saying, “We don’t have a budget.”
This is scary for several reasons. Not knowing your budget means likely spending more than you’re comfortable with. Not having a budget means numbers climbing higher and faster than you’d prefer. Unless you truly have a sky’s-the-limit budget (if so, bless you), than we recommend sitting down with your fiance, family, and whomever else has so graciously decided to contribute to your wedding fund, to come up with a solid number. We can work within most budgets or find you a planner who can, but in order to do so, you need to know that number.
WEDDING PLANNING MISTAKES #2: Underestimating the Average Cost of Vendors
Again, we never expect our couples to have a solid understand of how much florals cost or how much it costs to feed 150 people. The numbers can be scary, especially for a budget-conscious couple. You can avoid wedding planning mistakes by setting limits ahead of time. Knowing from the get-go how much to allocate to each vendor will be immensely helpful in reducing your stress and staying within your budget. Keep in mind, if flowers are super important to you, but you’re not in need of transportation, you could allocate more money to your design and less to the logistics of a shuttle bus, for example.
|SERVICE||PERCENTAGE||SAMPLE BUDGET: $50,000|
|Venue & Food||48-50%||$24,000|
|Attire & Rings||8-10%||$4,000|
*Adapted from theknot.com
WEDDING PLANNING MISTAKES #3: Having Too Large of a Bridal Party
While some of us in our studio had reasonably sized bridal parties, others (ahem, Courtney) can’t seem to figure out how to cut their list of bridesmaids and groomsmen. While we love to tease Court about her tribe (literally) that will eventually make up her bridal party, what we’re trying to say is we totally get it. Sometimes it’s really difficult to pare down who should and shouldn’t stand next to you on your big day; however, having a huge bridal party may be one of your biggest wedding planning mistakes.
There is no magic number, but remember this: how special will the 20th bridesmaid feel if she’s 1 of 20? Similarly, if you chose not to include your best friend from college, will her hurt feelings make you feel like you made a mistake? Bigger bridal parties not only mean more people to corral the day of, but they also mean more gifts, which mean more expenses. Bigger bridal parties also mean that you’ll need more than one hair stylist and make up artist present during prep time. Keep these things in mind as you make your final list. You can ask people who didn’t make the cut to be a part of your wedding in a different way (think: reading during the ceremony, passing out programs, etc.).
WEDDING PLANNING MISTAKES #4: Not Feeding Your Vendors
Ooh, this is a big no-no. We’re speaking not only for us, but for all of your hard working team. It can be really difficult to understand why, after paying for their services, you must then pay for your vendors to have a hot meal on your big day. After the thousands of dollars you’ve already spent, it can feel like a gut-punch; however, not doing so is one of the biggest wedding planning mistakes.
Think of it this way: without your wedding vendors, you wouldn’t have a wedding. Without your photographer, who would be there to capture those epic shots? Without your DJ, who would be spinning the phat beats that keep your guests on the dance floor all night? And without your wedding planner, who would be coordinating every detail of your day?
You should feed the people! 10+ hours, on their feet no less, is super deserving of a meal. A good caterer will tell you this up front so there are no unexpected charges come wedding day. Factor it in to your budget and know that a few vendor meals will not break the bank. Your vendors will so appreciate it – trust us.
WEDDING PLANNING MISTAKES #5: Not Hiring a Wedding Planner
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, not hiring a wedding planner is a huge mistake. Coming from us, it may sound biased. However, we’d say the same thing about a wedding photographer, a professional entertainer, and a caterer. There are some vendors you just have to have on your wedding day. A wedding planner is one of them. In fact, a great planner can help you avoid a lot of the other wedding planning mistakes we mention in this blog. Don’t let us influence your opinion, though.
Just read what one of our brides said:
“You have found the best of the best and should stop looking, because you cannot go wrong with Moore & Co. Event Stylists. Kayte, Courtney and their entire staff are knowledgable, respectful, organized, kind, efficient, and everything else you would want your event planner to be.
My now husband and I were out of town Bride & Groom for our wedding. We chose to have our Wedding in MD, but we were living in Pittsburgh when we began the planning process. Then about a year from our actual wedding day, we decided to move to Boston. This is when I began my search for coordinators. Since I was well in to the planning process, Courtney was honest and told me I only needed to book them for their Day of Coordination package, because I had all my vendors and contracts completed.
Then when it came time for our face-to-face meeting to review all our vendors and their contracts, Courtney informed us that we had over booked/overspent with some of our vendors. Then Kayte asked every question possible to know every detail about our day from our ceremony to how we wanted our napkins folded. When people ask “Is there anything you would go back and change?” or “What advice do you have for those just starting the planning process?” I respond “If your venue doesn’t offer every detail and a coordinator then hire Moore & Co. Event Stylist. I wish I would of hired them for their entire planning process. It’s my one mistake I made.”
I had no clue we would have to decide how we wanted our napkins folded or the cake should be delivered during cocktail hour. I was amazed how out of all my vendors, Courtney and this company were the only ones interested in saving us money and making sure every detail was perfect. Not many brides and grooms can say “Our wedding day was flawless.”, but my husband and I looked at each other on the bus at the end of night and said at the same time “that was flawless and perfect.” -Laura M.
Here’s what one of our vendors said:
“After working with and realizing just how much goes into the job of planning a great, well-run wedding, we can’t recommend hiring a professional planner enough!! Deciding whether to work with a planner should never be an afterthought…and never should a bride be concerned on her wedding day with whether or not her details are in place for her reception, what to do if a problem arises or if her guests need something.
Let’s face it, even with the best laid plans things come up during wedding days that require creative problem solving and work! Knowing this comes from the experience of working so many weddings. One thing we hear frequently from brides when asked if they have a planner is that they don’t need one because their venue has a coordinator. Here is the secret, there is an enormous difference in job responsibility between a venue coordinator and a professional planner & event designer. We suggest making the time to meet with a few planners, they will be able to describe all they will do to serve you well before and on wedding day!” – Alysia & Jayson Photography
WEDDING PLANNING MISTAKES #6: Letting Other People Influence Your Decisions
This is one of the most common wedding planning mistakes. It’s one thing to take your best friend dress shopping and have your mom attend your floral meeting. It’s another to let them (or anyone else besides your partner) influence your big decisions. We hear it often – “My parents are paying for X so they get to make the decision.” We totally respect that, but it’s YOUR day! Part of the fun of wedding planning is getting to make the decisions. Take everything everyone says with a grain of salt. Remember, at the end of the day, it’s your wedding day. Your decisions and opinions matter the most.
WEDDING PLANNING MISTAKES #7: Stressing Over the Little Details
Don’t get us wrong – the little details are often what makes your wedding stand out. They are also the things your guests rave about. For example, having pashmina scarves for the ladies for a chilly evening wedding is a wonderful gesture. Similarly, have monogrammed cookies during dessert is a sweet little touch that just brings everything together.
Don’t stress over those little details! It’s one of the biggest wedding planning mistakes you can avoid. Your guests won’t know the difference if certain subtleties are not there. They will certainly notice them if you have them, but it’s not worth crying over if something small didn’t go exactly as planned. Go with the flow and let the day happen. With a great wedding planner and team of vendors, you won’t have to think about a thing. You will spend the entire day enjoying yourself, as you should!