As soon as you get engaged, many couples fall head over heels into the wedding planning process, with it becoming an all-consuming affair which can last anywhere between a few months and a few years. Unfortunately, many brides and grooms – who, most of the time, are approaching this event for the very first time – are waylaid by bad advice from friends and family (who are doing their best to be helpful, but often do more harm than good!), and end up not knowing where they are and what they’re doing. You want your wedding to be an absolute success, and unforgettable for all the right reasons. Read on to find out what the 14 most common pitfalls are for couples planning their wedding – and how you can avoid them!
#1: Buying a wedding dress in the sales
The most important thing for the bride on the wedding day is that she feels completely comfortable in her wedding dress – it needs to be breathable, as you’ll be in it for several hours, and also designed so that you can move about (not to mention all the dancing!). What good, then, is a dress that you have found at a bargain price, but does not fit right, and does not match your style or personality? Make sure you get competent advice from specialists, and you will soon be trying on your dream dress!
#2: Getting into debt for the wedding
Of course it is important to have a fantastic day, and this will be an event that you remember forever. However, it is also a must that you keep a constant track of the costs of providers and products, and that you ensure they align correctly with your budget. In any case, finding yourself in debt – or even having to take out a loan with the bank – will surely spoil the wedding day.
#3: Hiring a friend to do photo/videography
Do you have a friend who has just bought a fancy camera and is an aspiring photographer? Or a friend with a tripod and a videocamera who’s just dying for their first opportunity to break through into the industry? You may feel compelled to give them a chance – but do you really want to run the risk of your photos or video being blurry, shakey, or just no good? How does one go about complaining in any case? This can really jeopardise a friendship, so make sure you put some money aside for a well-trained and established photographer, and tell it straight if anyone enquires. After all, once the wedding day is said and done, your photos and videos are the best materials you have to remember it by – make sure they’re special!
#4: Buying expensive shoes
If we’re completely honest, most of the time you do not get to see the bride’s shoes, as they are obscured under her dress. In this case, it is not worth the time or money that goes into searching for a pair of luxury heels, when instead you could head to ASOS or Joe Fresh and buy a pair that look a million pounds, but in reality cost around fifty. Similarly, don’t forget to take the time to break in your shoes before the big day – you don’t want to be slipping, sliding, or in pain from blisters at your wedding!
#5: Not testing hair and makeup before the big day
Leave both your hair and makeup up to an expert, and make sure that you have a trial run with them at least once before the big day. Nothing could be worse than a highlight in the wrong shade in your photos, or not being able to recognise yourself for the layers of makeup. You need to establish a rapport, and make sure your stylists know exactly what you want.
#6: Choose too many bridesmaids
If you’re having issues choosing between too many friends for your perfect group of bridesmaids, then you’re not in the worst situation in the world! However, when you have a large network of close friends, it can be difficult to essentially rank them in order of preference. However, even when you want to avoid offense, ensure that you don’t promise too many people a spot in your wedding – you don’t want to be waiting at the end of the aisle for half an hour whilst they all proceed up it, and it can also seem impersonal to have too many.
#7: Request no gifts for your wedding
This is how you end up with three microwaves and a pair of hedge shears. Don’t make the mistake of trying to be humble by asking for nothing, and then ending up with a lot of unwanted gifts regardless – people feel duty bound to purchase gifts for you, so you might as well take advantage of the good will. With Zankyou’s online gift list, you can mark out exactly what it is that you want, and then receive its value in money – maybe some new furniture for your shared living space, or even the luxury honeymoon that you’ve been waiting for!
#8: Not trying the menu before the reception
If you have a rehearsal dinner, you then have the opportunity to make changes to the menu (or even to the caterer, if you have it soon enough!). Here is your chance to try out the quality of the food, and whether or not the meal is cohesive – if you have a theme, you can also check that the food fits in well. The same goes for the wedding cake – which you should dedicate at least a long afternoon to choosing!
#9: Compromising too much with the guest list
If you’re having to explain to a friend who your fourth cousin, three times removed is, then you know you’ve gone too far with the invitations. This is the time to be ruthless. The people who expect to be invited, even though you really don’t like them? Don’t bother. This is your big day, and it’s absolutely down to you who gets an invite – you’re not bound by obligations, so take advantage!
#10: Offering favours that nobody wants
Be careful with favours – they can cost a sizeable amount, so you want to make sure that you’re not only being responsible with your money, but also sincerely thanking your guests for their attendance and support throughout the whole wedding process. Be creative – you can check out some of our favourites ideas, or go with the timeless classics: photobooth photos for the fridge, and edible goodies!
#11: Use your own playlist at the reception
It isn’t 1996, and you can’t just plug in your LP record player anymore. Hire a DJ, a band or some professional musicians to ensure that your reception has everyone on their feet, not sat down wishing there wasn’t so much ABBA (though we can’t see this being something to be complained about!). Invest for your big day!
#12: Getting distracted during the ceremony
The most important part of your wedding should be perfectly planned, and completely harmonious. When the time comes, you shouldn’t let your mind wander to other things, or get distracted by someone’s child, or worse, their phone. Practice some mindfulness exercises, and remain calm – this is the moment!
#13: Trying to do a DIY wedding
One of the most important aspects of planning your wedding is delegation. As much as you’ll want to control everything, you cannot physically or mentally take on the pressure of organising an event this big all by yourself. Choose your confidants to help you with personal decisions, and leave the rest to the professionals – you could even hire a professional wedding planner, if you’re really not ready to do it by yourself. The result of sharing the task out will always be the same – you’ll feel calm and collected on your wedding morning!
#14: Having a fatalistic mindset
Thinking positively makes positive things happen!! Well, that might be a bit of a stretch on our part, but it’s important to remain positive about everything related to your wedding. We can pretty much guarantee at least one thing will go wrong on the day, but if you keep cheerful and carefree, it won’t have the chance to affect your day.
We wish you all the best with your wedding planning!