Donec efficitur, ligula ut lacinia
viverra, lorem lacus.

10 Most Common Wedding-Planning Mistakes Couples Make

Mistake 1: Making Plans Before Setting a Budget

Picking a dress or wedding venue prior to establishing financial parameters is a lot like shopping without glancing at price tags and then strolling up to check out with your fingers crossed. You risk falling for a gown or location that breaks your heart when you realize that to afford it, you’d have to cut your guest list in half—or cancel the honeymoon.

The three key starting points for wedding planning are budget, guest list, and venue. It’s recommended to address them in this order.

  • Budget: This sets the framework for your entire celebration. Knowing your financial limitations will guide your choices throughout the process.
  • Guest List: Once you have a budget, determine the number of guests you can realistically accommodate.
  • Venue: With your budget and guest list in mind, you can now effectively search for a venue that meets your needs and capacity.

Mistake 2: Not Having a Rain Plan

If your wedding is an outdoor event, rain on your wedding day isn’t just ironic—it’s a game-changer. People don’t want to put down deposits for tents, umbrellas, and golf carts they might not need—you pay 50 percent and lose it if you don’t use them.

But if you don’t book them early and are marrying during peak wedding season, tents might not be available when the weather starts to look iffy. Meet with the tent company six to nine months ahead and consider the deposits an investment in your peace of mind.

Mistake 3: Underestimating the Cost of Outdoor Affairs

Just because the setting may be breezy doesn’t mean the planning is going to be easy. With outdoor affairs, people often assume that they are merely putting up a tent in a field, and it will automatically be beautiful. However, they don’t realize all the logistics necessary for a tented event to go off without a hitch. Keep in mind that you’ll need to rent bathrooms, kitchen facilities, lighting, fans or heaters, and generators.

Mistake 4: Planning a Too-Long Party

Your wedding day is undoubtedly the event of a lifetime, but it shouldn’t feel like it lasted a lifetime. While it’s tempting to plan an extravagant celebration—complete with pre-vow drinks, a lengthy ceremony, another cocktail hour, a multi-course dinner, three hours of dancing, and an after-party—industry insiders advise that a five-hour reception is the sweet spot for guests to thoroughly enjoy themselves and still exit with laughter. Remember, the evening should have a natural end.

Additionally, ensure a comfortable beginning by providing chairs for attendees during the vows (because a five-minute ceremony can become a painful 20-minute wait if you run late).

Mistake 5: Packing Them in

You want your wedding to feel chic and elegant, not a “crowded elevator.” Being cramped makes meal service and dancing difficult, and it really inhibits the guest experience. Ask your venue how many attendees can comfortably fit, and then reduce that by 10 percent.

Mistake 6: Mistiming Vows

Schedule your ceremony strategically to get the best photos. Consider sunset times and discuss the ideal start time with your photographer. There is a ‘golden hour’ just before the sun sets that photographers love to take advantage of.

Mistake 7: Not Supplying Enough Information

No one likes feeling confused, and your guests won’t know the wedding place the way you do. Offer suggestions of things to do and information on getting around, “and if you’re having a destination event or weekend-long celebration, hand out itineraries telling everyone where they need to be and when. That way, the buses wouldn’t be late to the vows because no one knew when or where they needed to be picked up.

Mistake 8: Micromanaging

Providing clear guidelines and expectations is crucial when coordinating any event. Micromanaging every detail—such as bathroom breaks and a second-by-second schedule for your coordinators, waitstaff, and DJ—can hinder their creativity and expertise. Trusting seasoned professionals and allowing them creative freedom often leads to better outcomes for everyone involved.

Mistake 9: Skipping Video

Yes, the movie version of your big day will go months or even years between viewings, and videography is a tempting place to cut costs. However, nothing compares to being able to relive your wedding in real time; it goes by in a flash.

Mistake 10: Sweating the Small Stuff

Your brother may forget to bring the programs you spent last weekend hand-stamping, your mom may insist on leading a conga line at the reception, and your father-in-law may call your boss “honey” when they’re introduced. But who cares? You’re marrying the love of your life!

“Too often we see couples get so wrapped up in the details that the focus shifts from the celebration of a marriage to a fixation on the ‘stuff’ of a wedding,” says a local wedding planner in Orlando. “It’s hard to have fun and be present in this once-in-a-lifetime moment if you’re worried the peonies in the centerpieces are one Pantone shade off.”

Share the love!