As a bride you might feel pressured to make your wedding day absolutely perfect. There are a few steps you can make to take some of the weight off your shoulders. First of all, let the professionals take over so you can focus on enjoying this special time! But before we can help you, let's look at these common mistakes that we can all learn from.
Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine recently asked some of the top wedding planners what some of the biggest wedding mistakes were. Here are the ones we felt were most important but you can read them all here.
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 initial hurdles are budget, guest list, and venue, and they should be tackled in that order," says planner Lynn Easton of Easton Events in South Carolina and Virginia. "Your budget defines your options and drives your decisions." While drawing one up, "include charges for overtime, gratuities, and car services from the start," advises New York City planner Marcy Blum. "By doing so, you avoid throwing money at things you weren’t prepared for."
UNDERESTIMATING THE COST OF OUTDOOR AFFAIRS
Just because the setting may be breezy doesn't mean the planning is going to be easy. "With alfresco affairs, people think we're just putting a tent in a field, and it’s going to be beautiful," says Hamilton. "They don't realize all the logistics necessary for a tented event to go off without a hitch." Bear in mind you'll need to rent bathrooms, kitchen facilities, lighting, fans or heaters, and generators.
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," says Easton. "Our clients always call us to gush over the details the next day, and it's hard to hear when their only regret is not having hired a videographer."
TRYING TO PLEASE EVERYONE
Of course you want your family and friends to have fun, but ultimately it's your wedding. Worrying too much about what other think of your decisions will take the joy out of the wedding-planning process and the focus away from what everyone is really celebrating, says Baab. As long as there's enough food, proper temperature control, and plenty of seats, you know your guests are well taken care of. Anything beyond that—colors, dresses, décor, venue—is all about you!
THINKING THAT AT LEAST 10 PERCENT OF GUESTS WILL RSVP "NO"
It's a commonly shared stat that you can expect at least 10 percent of your guest list to RSVP "no." While that may be the rule-of-thumb, it's not an exact science. And this can mean big problems for your budget or space if you've booked a venue that holds 200 but invited 240 with the expectation that 40 people will skip the festivities. "No one can guarantee how many guests will RSVP and how many won't until invites go out," says Baab. "The only way to truly keep your guest count and budget manageable is to limit your number of invitees."
BEING BLINDED BY TRADITION
It's great to stick to some wedding traditions if you like them, but don't feel obligated. If you just follow along and do what you think you're supposed to do, you'll end up with a wedding that says nothing about who you are. "What makes each wedding special is the bride and the groom that are being celebrated," says Cameron. "If tradition is important to you, infuse it with your personal style and attitude." With this simple tip in mind you'll create a wedding that shows off your family traditions while also reflecting your personality.