Planning a wedding can be a bit overwhelming, but it's important to get it right. Whether you decide to hire a wedding planner or do it yourself, there are some common mistakes you should try to avoid. If you're a DIY bride, you definitely don't want any potential mishaps ruining your special day. So, to make sure everything goes smoothly, here are some tips to help you plan your dream wedding like a pro.
Not reading your vendor contracts thoroughly
This is an easy way to fast-track your Wedding Day into a total disaster. When looking through different contracts, each vendor should provide a detailed list of services and/or products included in your package via a proposal. If something significant is missing from the contract, that's an excellent indicator that you need to confirm!
You may have hired a DJ only to find out later that the really neat lighting they have all over their website you wanted is not included in YOUR package; it's an extra 1,600 dollars for those. Or maybe the photographer you hired said "all day," but the contract says it's six hours of coverage, and you needed twelve!
These things can be easily misconstrued or misunderstood. It's essential to look over each contract thoroughly and ask questions if there are any misunderstandings.
Ultimately, the vendor is solely liable for what they offer in writing with your signed agreement, so check, double-check, and triple-check those contracts!
Basing your wedding theme around what's currently “trending."
When we check in with couples a while after their Wedding Day, we like to ask if there is anything they would have done differently now that a bit of time has passed. The most common answer by a landslide? "Not trying to be trendy."
Now, some "trends" are (in our humble opinion) more timeless than others. Here is an example: You go to a Wedding, and the theme is "Black and White Classic," as that is the year's popular palette. After that, you head to a wedding where the trending theme is "Barbie" because the new Barbie Movie just hit theaters and is also trending big time. Which wedding do you think will be more "timeless?"
This is a totally different story if you are a huge Barbie fanatic. Common Barbie, let's go party! If Barbie was never really your thing, but you thought the trend was cute when you saw it on Pinterest…. It's probably not something you'll adore forever, sis. Be true to yourself on your wedding day and go with what makes the most sense for YOU.
Inviting toxic family and/or friends out of “obligation.”
You are about to enter a new chapter of your life with the person you love most in this world. Don't allow someone who will cause you mental harm into this chapter; this event wasn't meant for them!
Here's the thing about inviting someone solely because you feel obligated or pressured to by friends or family: IT COSTS YOU. It will mentally fatigue you the day of, costing you your energy. It will financially cost you food, rentals, beverages, and space. And it will cost you your joy if you allow it to!
Your guest list is just that, YOURS. Don't be afraid to put your foot down to save yourself the anxiety and drama on your Big Day. A wedding is a joining of people who love and support you and make you feel most at home! Don't let anyone dull that sparkle.
Not looking at the photographer's portfolio before booking.
Photographers are Artists, and as such, each has a unique photo and editing style! While it may seem tempting to go with the best-priced photographer, it's important to weigh the style of their work as heavily as the overall cost.
These vendors are not usually cheap, and it's for good reason! A good photographer will spend time creating a shot list for you, getting angles you like, posing you during the day, and most importantly, will spend HOURS of their time editing those photos to perfection before sending them your way.
Checking out photographers' portfolios, whether it's their website, social media platforms, or both, is a crucial planning step you want to consider. You will only have this day once, and these photos will be the only evidence left of the day after the fact to show to loved ones; you will want to love them!
Booking too late.
If you've been eyeing a particular wedding service for a while and can't imagine your day without it but have yet to book it, stop reading this and GO BOOK IT NOW. Waiting is a dangerous game in this industry, as weddings book up QUICK.
Sometimes, we have weddings scheduled two years in advance. We've had one booked four years in advance! There is never too soon a time to check in with vendors you adore, even if they tell you what day their books open; that's valuable information to have!
Not looking into a DJ’s usual genre or reviews.
We will scream this one from the rooftops: LOOK INTO DJ'S REVIEWS!!!
If you listen to anything we must say, listen to this tip. Wedding DJs vary in experience, music styles, and inclusions. Some offer uplighting, smoke machines, microphones, MCing, Photobooths, strobe lights, and fun add-ons. Others will solely press play on your playlist.
No, we aren't kidding. The range is that drastic! If you want the DJ to provide the microphone and make announcements throughout the night, check their contract and what's included, and then head over to their reviews.
Reviews are telling! If you like what you're reading and the style fits, great! If not, remember that the review was put there for a reason, and tread cautiously.
Not considering insurance and permits.
We know, we know, the last thing you want to think about while wedding planning is paperwork and an added (not so fun) expense, but it is not only necessary not to miss this step in your planning process; it's also illegal.
To serve alcohol in your state, you must follow their rules. In Washington State, you are required to obtain a Banquet Permit from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board before serving any booze at the event. Fortunately, this doesn't cost much, and the liability coverage is worth the ten dollars.
In addition to a Banquet Permit, every event must have Event Insurance at the amount required by the venue. Depending on the property, this expense is more drastic, usually landing between one hundred to six hundred dollars. Suppose Uncle Larry or Uncle Bob lights a fire with a cigarette, Aunt Stacy clogs the toilet, or the ring bearer breaks a window. In that case, insurance will be your saving grace! Take your time with it.
Not having a “meltdown” plan if you have children in the Ceremony.
We've seen it, you've seen it, we've all seen it. The kid who screams down the aisle or turns around and bolts before making their way down. Classic, but also avoidable.
Having a "helper" to assist the little one is NEVER a bad idea. There are a lot of eyes on you when you walk down the aisle; that's nerve-wracking! It's nice for them to have a hand to hold or be held by while making that big debut.
And a bonus tip: If they decide they don't want to walk… Don't make them. Give them a ring pop, turn around, and call it a day! Nobody came to watch a kiddo walk down the aisle; they came to watch YOU! It's alright if not EVERYTHING goes precisely according to plan; what's not alright is not hearing anything during your ceremony because the little one won't stop screaming.
Not having an alcohol plan.
We aren't talking about those cute alcohol budgeting calculators all over the internet. We are talking about YOUR consumption and safety.
Sticklers, aren't we?! Look, we love having a good time just like everybody else, but we've seen some gnarly stuff happen to couples from overconsumption on their wedding day. Passing out grooms, puking brides in the limo, the couple holding each other's hair while they vomit….. Yeah, romantic night, right?
Don't be this couple! Have a plan to drink water, eat enough food, and limit yourself to enjoy the night to the fullest. Ensuring you have a safe ride home afterward is equally essential; don't let the happiest night or your life turn into the worst.
Not accepting help when it's offered.
All pride aside, you are only human. It is okay to struggle in an area entirely new for you! Wedding planning is challenging and costly. If someone offers to help out, TAKE THE OFFER!
You may need help setting out Ceremony chairs in the morning, and the groomsmen asked what they could do that morning. Don't feel guilty giving them a job to do! Putting out chairs will take them only a short time, and the longer they spend doing tasks, the less time they spend bored wandering the venue or slugging beers in the groom's room!
Needing help is human nature, and accepting support is crucial to maintaining a healthy stress level leading up to the big day. Delegation is helpful, and people love to feel like they contributed.