1.Not Setting a Budget
One of the most common wedding planning problems is failing to establish a budget from the beginning, and then finding yourselves at a loss on how to make ends meet.Determine what funds you do have from the get go, and then decide on how it’s going to be used. Set a budget first, draft a guest list second, and then think about everything else after.
Decide what is affordable before you start booking things. We know how exciting it is at the start, but don’t start ordering everything you see on Pinterest. Make a realistic budget (with a month-by-month saving and payment plan), find your venue, decide what elements are non-negotiable to you, and work backwards to budget everything else. Don’t bankrupt yourself. Most couples overspend when they don’t need to.
2.Letting Other People Decide the Guest List
It’s your big day and it should be the people you love watching you walk down the aisle. Family are hard to say no to, but you’ll save yourself a lot of expenses and stress if you learn how to set boundaries with regards to them interfering with your guest list.
First, make a list of the people you and your partner absolutely couldn’t imagine your wedding without. If they financially contributed then it’s only right to give each set of parents a limit of, say, 10 invites, but no more; and any more than this perhaps suggest they need to stump up the extra cost per head themselves.
3. Assuming DIY Will Be Cheaper
Factor in the cost of craft products and your labour and sometimes it’s better to leave it to the experts. Plus you’ll save yourself some sleepless nights when your DIY Invites definitely don’t look like the Pinterest tutorial.
4. Ordering Your Wedding Dress Too Late
I recommend starting your wedding dress search at least nine months before your wedding. You’ll need to go shopping, find ‘The One’, order it into store and get it altered – all of which will take longer than you expect.
5. Not Having A Videographer
Quite often the biggest regret I hear from couples is that they didn’t get a video of their wedding day. Photos are beautiful, but some moments – the speeches, the vows, the first dance, the bouquet toss – are most magical when captured on film. Is there somewhere you could find the money from in your budget? When the day goes by in a flash, you’ll be wishing you could relive it on tape.
6. Not Filming The Speeches
If you decided against having a videographer at your wedding, don’t forget to ask a reliable friend to film all the speeches on their phone. You’ll want to look back on them after the wedding!
7. Making Everything Last That Bit Too Long
You never want the day to end, but it’s not the same for your guests. Time dragging between your ceremony and reception can get boring; an hour and a half of speeches is tough for anyone to sit through; being expected to dance until 2am is hell in heels.
Guest comfort should be a main priority. Make sure you have some entertainment during the cocktail hour and plenty of seats for tired feet. Set a time limit for speeches so you can move onto dessert. If you’re organising transport back to hotels for your guests, don’t make them stay until the early hours – have a couple of shuttle runs, including for those who want an 11pm bedtime.
8. Not Budgeting For Hidden Costs
Your suppliers need feeding on the day. The postage on your invites might be higher than expected. The venue could have extra security, cloakroom staff or cleaning charges.
Hidden costs can sneak up everywhere so the best thing to do is set aside 10% of your total budget for these surprise expenses and don’t touch it unless absolutely necessary. Make sure you’re getting all your contracts with your suppliers in writing to avoid these issues in the first place.
9. Blowing Your Dress Budget
Remember you will also need to pay for alterations, a veil/tiara/flower crown, shoes, bag, jewellery, lingerie and other accessories. Be firm with yourself at the bridal boutique if a dress is right at the upper limit of the price you had in your head. Think About whether you want a reception dress too?
10. Inviting Too Many People
Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could invite everyone you’re friends with to your big day? Unless you’ve got the bank balance of Harry and Meghan, that’s a pipe dream.
You can only expect around 10-20% of your guests to RSVP “no” to your wedding if you send your invites out the traditional 6-8 weeks in advance; if you’ve sent save the dates much further ahead of that (6 months+ for example), that “no” number can drop quite considerably. This means if you send out invites betting on a good fifth not being about to make it, you’re going to have too many guests on your hands.
Before you get carried away and promise an invite to everyone you meet slow down and take time to work out a budget first.
11. Trying to Please Everyone
When it comes to your wedding everyone will have an opinion! You will never make everyone happy so only focus on making you and your partner have the day you want. The trick is to be kind but fair: say you appreciate their advice or opinion, but you prefer this and, as it’s your day, you hope they understand. You want to think about making your guests feel comfortable but at the same time don’t compromise on how you want your big day to be. At the end of the day as long as everyone is fed, watered and comfortable the other details should be up to you and your partner.
12. Not Having an Engagement Shoot
Getting comfortable in front of your photographer’s camera is essential for those perfect wedding photos. Most good photographers will include an engagement shoot option in your package or offer it as an extra. You’ll learn how to follow your photographer’s direction, find poses you both feel relaxed in, and get to spend time with your photographer before they spend 10 hours with you. Tip: get your hair and make-up trial done that day and you can see how they’ll look on camera – which leads us onto…
13 Not Having Hair and Make Up Trials
Firstly, don’t do anything drastic like going from dark brunette to icy blonde just before the wedding. Secondly, don’t leave something as important as how your face and hair will look in every photo to chance. You’ll be looking at these pictures forever. Book a trial in for about three months ahead of the big day, which gives you time for a final trim and your hair to grow back to the practise length before the wedding.
14. Hiring Amateurs
It can be tempting to try and save money here and there for example trusting a mate to take the photos. True, you may be saving quite a bit by entrusting services to friends and amateurs who’d do it for a fraction of the cost charged by professionals, but would you really want to take that risk for what should be the best day of your life. Can you imagine how awful if would be to have no beautiful photos to remember your day.
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