So you’re engaged! Congratulations and…now what? Perhaps you’re an event planning expert with years of experience. Or maybe you’ve never planned so much as an evening out to dinner. Either way, I want to give you a basic idea on what to expect and avoid some of the most common pitfalls in wedding planning.
Mistake 1: Not communicating with your fiancé about the budget.
I know, it’s so much fun to blissfully run through the wedding aisles of local stores, and swipe that card over and over and over. But your budget, and likely your fiancé, may think differently. After all, you have a life to pay for after the wedding, too! Sit down together to discuss who is paying for what, what you are willing to spend in each category, and when to make purchases. As you buy items, keep your fiancé informed of any high cost items you gather. That way no one is surprised by expenses, and consequently, there will be less arguing over cash.
Mistake 2: Not communicating with parents about the budget.
This may seem repetitive, but it’s actually a whole other ball of wax. If your parents will be involved at all with the expenses of the event, make it a point to talk about it. Sit down with your family and future in-laws, separately or together, to discuss responsibilities. It may seem awkward, but it will save all of you much frustration later on.
Mistake 3: Not communicating with the wedding party.
Again, conversation is key! Let your bridesmaids and groomsmen know exactly what is expected of them, from rehearsal dinners, to speeches and paying for attire. Tell them early on so they have time to save money, book flights, or anything else that’s necessary. They are doing this because they love you, so make it easy on them!
Mistake 4: Not having a rainy day plan.
Many a good celebration has been held up due to rain or extreme heat/cold. Don’t let that be the case on your big day! If any part of your party will take place outdoors you need – I repeat – need – a back- up plan. Ask your venue where you can move the wedding to if the weather turns sour. Or rent a tent in case. Check the weather forecast leading up to the big day, so you can be sure to purchase umbrellas, fans, or warn guests if necessary. On my wedding day, it was cold and rainy, but because we had an alternate plan, it didn’t spoil the event in the slightest. So know your options, and remember, rain is good luck!
Mistake 5: Letting anyone and everyone give a toast.
This is really only a mistake if you do it at the actual wedding. On the day of the celebration, with all your guests present, you likely don’t want your cousin going on for 20 minutes because that story from five years ago is just so funny. Pick a few people, such as parents, a sibling, or the maid of honor to give a speech at the reception. If you would like for others to be able to share something, do it at the rehearsal dinner, which is usually more low key.
Mistake 6: Forgetting to eat anything.
The day will be hectic, but you don’t want to lose steam halfway through because all you’ve eaten all day is half a bagel and a couple grapes. Plan accordingly and pack high energy snacks for the morning. Bring fruit, crackers, yogurt, and lots of water. That way you can enjoy your ceremony and reception.
Mistake 7: Not having a clean- up plan.
This does not need to fall on you, as you will hopefully be off to your honeymoon by this point. But designate a responsible someone to ensure that when the party ends, the site is left tidy. Most venues charge if it isn’t! In addition to having a point person, gather a few others to be put on clean up duty. They can be family members, bridesmaids, or friends. Just leave your venue in good hands when you take off!
Mistake 8: Not utilizing the wedding party.
When you asked your friends to be part of the wedding, that means they said yes to everything. The organizing, cleaning – whatever it takes to be there for you. However, to minimize confusion, assign everyone specific areas to help with. Decorations, set up, cleaning, food, whatever needs to be done. Generally, they are happy to help and glad to be responsible for something.
Mistake 9: Forgetting to pay or tip vendors.
Some vendors get paid the day of, but make sure you don’t forget about them! Again, this should be someone else’s responsibility on the wedding day, but you need to write those checks and get them in the correct hands to be passed along.
Mistake 10: Not sending thank-you notes.
This is a big no-no. All your guests took the time to come to your celebration, and likely brought gifts! Write down what you got from who, know who came to the wedding, and write cards accordingly. This should be done after you return from your honeymoon.
So now you know! The best way to keep your wedding stress free is to not make these common errors. Your guests and family will thank you!