Mistakes happen – we probably all know that. And weddings are no exception. Over the years, we’ve witnessed many mistakes made by brides, some of which we have seen more than once. We’re sharing 19 common wedding mistakes couples make to help you avoid these same mishaps.
Planning Your Wedding
Maybe this isn’t too big of a shock, but it’s possibly the biggest mistake made when planning your wedding. Getting an early start saves you a lot of stress in the long run, but it can be intimidating for brides to jump into making many decisions that feel so new and important. Not booking vendors early enough, sending out invitations too late, or waiting too long to choose your ceremony songs can lead to a lot of stress. To avoid procrastination, create a planning timeline, or use a wedding planning checklist to keep yourself on track.
2. Not Thinking About the Flow of the Event
Flow isn’t something that many brides think of, but it’s something their guests notice. If your venue has various rooms or spaces, you don’t want your wedding guests to have to keep moving from space to space unnecessarily. If you have a wedding planner, ask them for tips on how to make your wedding flow smoothly.
3. Not Budgeting Well
The most crucial part of planning your wedding is your budget. You and your partner (and anyone else involved in covering the expenses) need to sit down and decide on a budget. This needs to happen before you choose a venue, put together a guest list, or do anything else. So many brides begin making decisions and then realize they can’t afford what they’ve decided on, leading to awkward conversations and hard decisions. Decide on a budget early and stick to it.
4. Hiring a Friend Versus a Pro
Chances are you might have a friend who is a photographer, who works as a wedding coordinator, or whose hobby is being a DJ. While we understand the appeal of getting a friend rather than a professional – whether for budgetary or other reasons – we still recommend going with the pros. They often have more experience and won’t get pulled away from their task as often as a friend would. Plus, it’s more fun to have your friends and family enjoy your wedding with you!
5. Not Asking for Help
Don’t feel like you need to do everything yourself. If your sister, friend, or mother-in-law ask to help, let them! Give them tasks you feel comfortable having them do, such as researching a vendor or stamping invitations.
6. No Rain Plan
Rain is one of those things you wish you didn’t have to think about. But if you are choosing an outdoor wedding venue, or even if you just want some photos outside, you’ll need to come up with a rain plan. It’s better to have a plan and not need it than to need a plan and not have one.
7. Open Mic Night
Open mics are almost never as fun as couples think they might be. Not only do they eat up precious time out of your reception, but the toasts can often end up being unwanted or embarrassing. Instead, pick a few people close to you to give toasts and let them know ahead of time that they need a speech prepared.
8. Not Discussing Details with Your Photographer
Talk with your photographer about lighting and the sunset before you put a start time on your invitations, especially if you’re getting married at an outdoor venue. We’ve had many brides put a later start time only to find out the sun sets before their ceremony even begins, leaving them in the dark. We recommend timing your event around the sun. By starting your ceremony 2 hours before the sun sets, you’ll have enough light for portrait and ceremony photos while still being able to get reception photos under the stars.
9. Not Hiring a Videographer
If there’s one thing couples actually wish they spent more money on, it’s a videographer. While wedding photos alone are great, there’s something special about being able to go back and see your wedding day in motion. If you have room in your budget, consider hiring a videographer.
10. Trying to Accommodate Everyone
While it can be helpful to get advice from others, that doesn’t mean you should try to accommodate everyone. This is your big day, not theirs. Design your wedding how you like without worrying too much about what others think.
11. Not Hiring a DJ
A DJ does more than just play music for the dance floor. They often are in control of your dinner and reception music, emcee the night, direct guests where they need to be and when, and sometimes even play your ceremony songs. By not hiring a DJ, you need to find people to be in charge of music, announcements, keeping the night on schedule, taking care of technical difficulties, and other small details that a DJ usually takes care of.
12. Changing Your Decisions Constantly
Brides sometimes won’t be confident in the decisions they make and end up changing their minds a lot. Their wedding day is something they’ve dreamed of for years, but now that it’s here, they don’t know what to do. Rather than stressing so much about everything being perfect or worrying about what others might think, be confident in your decisions. Go with what style you like and what will make you happy and stick with it.
13. Trying to Do Too Many DIYs
In an effort to save money, many brides take the DIY route. That’s fine if you’re DIYing simple favors, or if you have good penmanship and want to DIY a chalkboard sign or two, but it becomes a problem when you try to DIY everything. DIY takes more time than brides often realize, and doesn’t actually save them as much money as they thought. Instead of relaxing the week leading up to their wedding, and even the day of, brides are left scrambling to get everything done. Save yourself time and stress by not DIYing everything.
14. Not Hydrating or Eating Before
Whether it’s nerves or wanting to be able to still fit in their dress, brides (and members of the bridal party) won’t eat or drink while getting ready. This can lead to fatigue, dehydration, and even passing out at the altar. Take care of your bodies while getting ready.
15. Getting Wasted
Couples will get so excited to party and celebrate with their guests that they’ll drink too much and get sick or won’t remember their big day. Celebrate with a mimosa or a glass of wine, but limit the alcohol to a healthy amount. You spent so much time planning your big day, so don’t let it go to waste!
16. Forgetting to Put on the Garter
If you’re doing a garter toss, don’t forget to put on your garter while getting ready. There have been many nights where one of our coordinators or servers has to run inside, find the garter, and bring it to the bride quickly so they can do the garter toss. Keep it by the rest of your attire while you’re getting ready, and see if your photographer can take photos of you putting it on so you won’t forget it.
17. Not Hiring a Day-of Coordinator
A day-of coordinator makes a world of difference. Four Oaks provides a wedding coordinator for every bride because we know how important it is to have someone there to work with your vendors, guide your guests, and keep your wedding on schedule. If your venue doesn’t provide a coordinator, consider hiring one, whether it’s a full-service coordinator or just a day-of coordinator.
18. Getting Ready Too Late
Some brides don’t plan on how long hair, make-up, and getting dressed take. We’ve had weddings where we have had to delay the ceremony 30 minutes or more because the bride wasn’t finished getting ready. Not starting early enough eats up precious photography, ceremony, and reception time. It’s better to start getting ready too early than too late.
19. Not Being Present
Your wedding is a day to celebrate and enjoy! Too many brides spend their day worrying about the little details rather than enjoying the celebration of their marriage with their loved ones. Even if there are hiccups throughout the day, let go and enjoy yourself. You’re getting married!