Wedding planning isn’t always easy. Most people have more on their wish list than their budget will allow, and it’s difficult to make those final decisions — especially when you have months to pour over the details. And make no mistake, there are a lot of details; that’s why so many comprehensive wedding planning checklists exist online. Although everyone has a different perception of their perfect wedding, here are ten of the most common wedding planning mistakes everyone should try to avoid.
1. Poor Music Planning for the Reception
Ask yourself a simple question: “Do I want my wedding reception to be a classy affair or a throw-down party?” Once you have your answer, then you need to make sure the music you play will help create that environment. Nothing will prevent a great dance party from breaking out more than guests expecting to hear Jay-Z but instead hearing the Chicken Dance. It’s your party, so don’t be afraid to give your DJ or band a very specific list of songs to play and not play. A well-planned playlist is the key to a creating the atmosphere you want!
2. Forgetting to Consider Your Guests
Most wedding day itineraries are written with the wedding party in mind, but don’t forget that your guests will be forced to follow this schedule too. It’s okay if you set aside two hours between the ceremony and the reception to take pictures with the groomsmen and bridesmaids. However, you need to have somewhere for other guests to go and something for them to do during that time. Regardless if they’ve traveled a great distance to attend the wedding or live nearby, it’s not polite to leave your friends and distant relatives wandering around your venue while you take pictures.
3. Allowing Speeches and Toasts to Ramble
Managing this part of the reception is tricky, but it’s crucial. You need your wedding planner or someone close to you (who nobody will argue with) to keep speeches and toasts on track — in terms of time, as well as content. The line between outrageously funny and outrageously inappropriate is far thinner than most people realize. If a speaker has had too much to drink, you need someone capable of giving them the hook before they start talking about the scandalous adventures you had together on spring break during sophomore year.
4. Having No Backup Plan
A backup plan is of particular importance when you are planning a wedding where any element of the event is beyond your control (that element usually being weather). After all the planning, money, and stress leading up to the big day, you need to have a contingency plan in place for inclement weather or any unforeseen calamity. You don’t need to overdo it, but if your wedding is outside, make sure there are enough quality umbrellas available for the bridal party to at least stay dry.
If you’re set on having an outdoor wedding during a rainy time of year, make sure there’s a covered area (a pavilion or indoor section) at your venue, so you don’t all end up soaked!
5. Spending Your Money Frivolously
Can you remember the centerpieces from the last three weddings you attended? Odds are you can’t, or if there even were centerpieces. It seems simple, but these are the details people obsess over during the planning stages. If you’re planning your wedding on a budget, ditch the stuff nobody will remember and use your money on things people will actually enjoy. Put yourself in the shoes of your guests: would you rather see a fancy centerpiece as you walk in the door, or a bar stocked with top shelf liquor?
6. Ignoring Alcohol Intake
Make it clear to your bartenders they have not just the authority, but the obligation to cut someone off if they’ve had too much to drink. You’ve invested far too much time and energy into this day to let it be ruined by someone who can’t control themselves.
A good way to slow down the drinking is to stop the bar from serving shots. These may be fun at a bachelorette party, but they’re a recipe for disaster at a wedding.
7. Giving Others Too Much Influence
Suggestions and advice from family and friends should be taken with a grain of salt, no matter how well-intentioned they may be. If the bride and groom know what they want and they have it in their budget, that should be the end of the discussion. Don’t let other people talk you out of the kind of wedding you want. If your dream is to walk down the aisle as Frank Sinatra croons over the speakers, then go for it. If you’re more of a Michael Jackson fan, that’s fine too. It’s your big day after all!
Although it’s important to keep everything running on time, it’s possible to take things too far. Over-planning your wedding is a good way to make sure either something goes wrong, or everyone is so rushed and panicked that they’re all miserable. Following a wedding day-of checklist is great, but if the rehearsal brunch runs fifteen minutes long it isn’t the end of the world. The moments you will remember the most are often nowhere to be found on the agenda. Remember, fluidity will help you and others stay calm, cool, & collected.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, you can’t have people walking around with no idea as to what is happening and where they’re supposed to be. By the time your wedding day rolls around, you will know the itinerary like the back of your hand; however, don’t make the mistake of assuming everyone around you knows it too. If you need someone to be somewhere, make sure they know. You or a designated person should text them in advance to avoid mass confusion.
A group text for the wedding party is a great way to keep everyone in the loop and also break the ice for people who may not know one another.
10. Forgetting the Big Picture
Above all else, don’t forget why you’re getting married; you love your partner and want the people you care about to share in a beautiful moment in your life. You want to remember everything that goes right instead of the inevitable few details that fail to meet your expectations. Enjoy every minute of your wedding day; if you’ve done your job right, the celebration will be over all too soon. If some small detail doesn’t go according to plan, take a deep breath and ask yourself whether it matters in the grand scheme of things. Maintaining perspective and a sense of humor is the best way to enjoy your day!
Do you know some other common wedding planning mistakes? How can they be avoided? Please feel free to comment below!