Planning a wedding can be a minefield for a bride. From little to large, there are a ton of wedding mistakes and pitfalls every bride falls prey to. It’s not surprising when this may very well be the first wedding you have ever planned. There are flowers, guests, outfits, jewelry, and millions of other things to consider, all within a set time. Here are the top 50 every bride makes, so be careful and watch your step!
How you announce it
Strictly no social media posts until you have definitely notified all of your friends and family of your engagement. Can you imagine being a member of the family and finding out that way? Keep it old-fashioned: word of mouth, a phone call, or even a card in the post!
Photo credit: The Branding Table
Bachelorette too soon before wedding
Bachelor and bachelorette parties the night before the wedding are drifting out of modern day customs – thankfully – but it’s still worth saying it. You never know what could happen after a few drinks, so plan your party well in advance of the wedding. It is a good idea to plan a whole day off from wedding planning the day after as well.
If you’ve got a chunky piece of jewelry on your finger, you want to make sure you’re covered if anything happens to it. Before the rest of your wedding planning, make sure this is taken care of. Many brides experience added stress when they lose or damage their engagement rings. Not a good way to begin the planning process.
Save the dates too soon
So you’ve seen the cutest save-the-date stationery and you just want to send it off to everyone right now. But, wait! Do you even have a definitive guest list yet? If the answer’s no, hold off on those cute cards. A rookie, but common wedding mistake.
Photo credit: Borrowed and Blue
Registry details on invitations
This comes as a surprise to most brides-to-be, but you shouldn’t include these details on your invitations. Traditionally, you should pass the information onto both your parents, who inform other guests by word of mouth.
Thank you notes sent too late
If you are organized enough, it’s a good idea to get these started before your wedding. As a rule of thumb, your thank you notes should go out within a month after you are married at the latest. Aim for 2 weeks after though – make your wedding gifts seem appreciated.
You feel pressured into being traditional
This comes at no surprise at all to wedding planners – if all you’ve attended are traditional weddings, and this is your first wedding, then you might feel pressured into certain details and customs that you don’t particularly want. Your wedding is completely upto you and your partner. Make sure it reflects who you are and don’t worry about traditions. A lot of modern brides leave out throwing the bouquet, going on honeymoon immediately, and even being given away.
Photo credit: Sirmione Wedding
Your music is too niche
Whether you have a live band or a DJ, you want to make sure your music is eclectic. Sweep over a few generations and genres, making sure there is something for everyone. Far too often, the music is modern, niche, and ultimately alienating. You want people to dance, don’t you?
Trying to be too quirky
In casting off tradition, many brides make the mistake of being too quirky and different. You still want people to be able to grasp onto some kind of rhythm of a wedding, otherwise everyone will simply feel confused and unimpressed. If your theme is a little different, that’s fine, but it’s best not to turn the wedding upside down. If so, you might want to give out instructions!
Overdoing the spray tan
A tragic wedding mistake many brides fall prey to. You’re going for a sun-kissed glow, not tango tinge. Don’t do it yourself, don’t go too dark, and always do a practice run through!
Photo credit: Cincinnati Spray Tan
Travel between ceremony and reception
If your ceremony and reception are at different places, you might forget to factor in time and travel for your guests. Sit down and figure out the best way to transport everyone from A to B and make sure it is convenient for everyone. This might mean a few different options. Outline any directions on your schedule of events. Be generous with time allowances between venues, and be sure to have drinks waiting for people!
Not taking care of the rings
You will no doubt be frantically running about in the months leading up to your big day, and by now you of course have ring insurance (see above), but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your rings. Be sure not to leave them lying around, don’t get harsh cleaning chemicals near them, and get them cleaned if they suffer any damage.
You cut too many corners
Of course it is natural to want to keep costs down as much as possible, but some things are worth paying for. When the two of you sit down and plot out your budget, prioritize the things you want to spend money on. Be reasonable – cutting corners on things like catering and photography will show.
Too much DIY
In the day and age of Pinterest, there are DIY tips and tricks every way you turn. It’s fun, frugal, and can be very pretty. Be careful not to go overboard and think about your theme and style. Unless it’s a DIY, home-grown kind of theme, it might not work. It’s time to put down those scissors!
Photo credit: How Web Stuff Works
No wiggle room in budget
A classic wedding mistake is planning the budget a little too well. Don’t make it a tight fit; remember there are hidden costs that can pop up at any time, and you might under- or overestimate the time and cost of things.
Planning and scheduling
Every wedding should have a theme, and this should be one of your first decisions in the planning process. Brides often jump at a dress or venue before they’ve even considered how everything else should look. Booking a manor house then deciding on a laid-back, vintage theme doesn’t exactly work.
Photo credit: Mod Wedding
Prioritizing the dress
After your theme should come your venue. For brides, the dress might seem like the be all and end all, but booking the venue first is important to get an idea of the wedding theme in place. Similarly, don’t blow your budget on the dress.
Time and scheduling
You have a lot to pack into your day, but you’d be surprised how many delays you may encounter. Time is a major wedding mistake, so always make sure you have more than you need. You don’t want to be a rushed, stressed bride.
Toasts before meal
Hungry and bored, your guests just want the toasts to be over with so they can eat. Always, always, always do toasts after the meal. Everyone should be well-fed, in good spirits, and ready to listen and laugh with a drink.
Photo credit: Huffington Post
Make sure there’s enough food
Don’t plan head for head. Have food left over so people aren’t scraping empty bowls. Don’t forget to feed your vendors as well.
You’re not open-minded
For wedding planners, one of the number one wedding mistakes and irritations is the bride not being open-minded. Having rigid ideas about your dress, venue, price range, etc doesn’t work in your favor. It then becomes very tricky to tick all your boxes. Plus, you might be surprised what you’ll like if you think outside the box.
Not trusting vendors
If you have picked a vendor, you have to instill trust in them. They are professionals and know what they’re doing. Relax and don’t be overbearing.
Not booking practice run-throughs
Now that you’ve had a practice spray tan, you understand the importance of beauty run-throughs. The same applies to your hair and make-up. Book a practice a week before the big day so both you and the professionals know what you are going for.
Photo credit: The Bride to Be
Don’t make the mistake of snap decisions. People trying to sell you things – venues, dresses, flowers – might make it sound like you only have one chance, but remember that’s their job. Take all the information, discuss it with your other half, and make a solid decision before you call back. If it doesn’t work out, you have plenty of other options.
Not enough time for photos
Your wedding photographer will be flitting around all day, taking lots of natural and atmospheric shots of your day. You will also need to schedule in time for posed photographs, and there are a lot to get through. Allow around 30 minutes before the ceremony and an hour between the ceremony and reception. Of course, this depends on what you want. You should discuss your needs with the photographer for a more exact time frame.
Starting to plan without a budget
Don’t jump right in with your dream venue and dress before you have thought through your budget. This stage will involve a lot of compromise, but will give you a clearer picture of your theme and allowances.
Not considering a wedding planner
Yes, it’s an expense, but it can be a worthwhile one. Don’t rule out a wedding planner right off the bat. Talk to a few to see exactly what they offer. Find people you know who had one. If you’re prone to stress, wedding planners can do you a world of good and worth their weight in gold.
Not planning for weather
There is absolutely no guarantee your big day will be all sunshine and rainbows. Weather wedding mistakes are some of the worst, and can result in bad photography, bad hair, and a ruined dress. For an outside ceremony, make sure you have a back-up inside ceremony for unexpected weather.
Photo credit: Weather for my Wedding
Every venue will provide different amenities, so make sure you have this on your checklist. From bathroom amenities, to provided decor and table arrangements, get a detailed list of facilities from your venue. It’s okay if you need to provide some extra stuff; it’s not okay if you find out days before your wedding.
Extra dress fittings
You might have a change of heart, you might notice something, you might lose weight, you might gain weight, you might need to alter for the veil…whatever your dress looks like, there is usually a last-minute alteration needed. Give yourself plenty of fittings and a little extra budget for the dress.
Not everything goes to plan
Even if you have a wedding planner, that doesn’t mean everything will fall into place, and you shouldn’t expect it to. Of course, you should have back-ups in place for weather changes, ring troubles, or seating arrangements, but some things you can’t plan for. Learn to take it with a pinch of salt and enjoy everything that went right.
Picking bridal party too soon
This is an understandable wedding mistake to make, as you will be excited to ask your friends for the honor of being your bridesmaid. Leave this decision a little later, about 6-8 months before the wedding. You need to consider budget, theme, outfits, and the fact that you might grow apart from people in that time.
Photo credit: Easy Weddings
Not considering guests
At least some of your guests will have traveled a long way and spent lots of time and money attending your wedding. Make sure they are comfortable and having a good time at your wedding. There should be plenty of food, drinks, time, transportation, and activities to make their day a memorable one.
Telling everyone everything
You might have thought of the perfect details, but don’t go shouting it out to everyone. While you can divulge information about venue and food, you should keep some things a surprise for the day.
Trying to please everyone
There will be people with all kinds of tastes at your wedding, and there are bound to be certain elements they don’t like. Who cares? It’s your wedding.
Not including the in-laws
Your parents might be chipping in for a portion of the wedding costs, so it’s only right they get a say in what it gets spent on. Even if they aren’t contributing, they are your parents, and cutting them out of the planning process could hurt their feelings.
Photo credit: Focus on the Family
Not setting boundaries
That being said, set limits for what they make decisions on. Some parts of your wedding are completely personal and down to the two of you.
Not taking advice
You will likely know people who have been married recently and know the score. Take advice from them, even if you don’t use it all. It’s good to have another perspective from someone who’s been there and done that.
Not asking other opinions
Take along some friends for your dress fitting, as your mom to help pick out flowers. The opinions of those closest to you is important, and ignoring them can be a mistake.
You and your partner
You forget what it’s all for
It’s natural to let everything become bigger than it should be. Make little notes in your calendar, or send little photos to each other to bring it back to what it’s about: the two of you.
Photo credit: Web Neel
You don’t look after yourself
Stress is a major contributor to ill-health, so be careful of this wedding mistake. Drink plenty of water, take a day off from wedding planning, take a relaxing bath, schedule in date night, and make sure you eat well. Bad health is not a reasonable exchange for a perfect wedding.
You crash diet
It’s a month before your wedding and you have another 12 pounds to lose. You panic and jump at the first celebrity crash diet you can find online. Firstly, this won’t work, you’ll feel more tired in the most crucial point of your planning process, and it will make you miserable. Healthy diet and exercise from day one is always your best bet.
You plan all on your own
Don’t take all the stress upon your shoulders. Wedding planning is a shared responsibility. If things become too much, talk to your partner. Seek advice from others. There are always people who can help share the load.
Your skin is the star of the day when it comes to beauty. Don’t overload it with product, but don’t neglect it either. Drink plenty of water (all the time, not just the week before), cleanse, tone, and moisturize. You know the drill.
Photo credit: ENT Wellbeing
The Big Day
You don’t see everyone
Your wedding day goes by in a flash. Preparation, photographs, I do, photographs, food, dancing, and more photographs, and it’s done. Make a real effort to get round to everybody during the day, even if just for a few minutes. You will both be glad you did.
Not having tissues on hand
Take a small pouch with tissues inside and give it to your bridesmaid or maid of honor. When you motion to them, they can be there in seconds to help you mop up the tears. An easy but useful tip.
Photo credit: Happily’s Events
Your stomach might be doing flips, but make sure you have something to hold you over. It’s a long day, and it might be hours before you eat.
Not enjoying your day
Your planning is done, so try your best to just let everything happen. Enjoy it – it’s the best day of your life. Take little mental snapshots of incredible moments, a la Jim and Pam from The Office.
Photo credit: Grey Likes Weddings
Have your vendors finished their job? You should follow up with vendors to make sure everything is tied up. Keep in contact with your photographer for wedding photography and album updates. Pass this information onto friends and family so they can get their orders in, too.
You’ve arranged your marriage license and wedding certificate, but what about passports? Are you changing your name? Are you going abroad immediately after? You can in fact change your name before you get married with the right paperwork. Just make sure the name on the tickets matches what you have in your travel documents…
Photo credit: White and Glam
Banner photo: Huffington Post