It’s always nice to have the inside scoop. You know, just to have a little guidance before you take on your next big project. And we’re not talking about a “repainting your bathroom for the third time” kind of big project. We’re talking planning your own wedding type of big project! That’s why we invited Lauren Schmitz, our day-of coordinator for The Big Fake Wedding Philadelphia and wedding planner extraordinaire, to give us all the details on things you should avoid when planning your dream wedding!
Lauren is a certified wedding planner and the owner of Table 1 Events. She is a graduate of the Wedding & Event Institute and is active in the Association of Bridal Consultants, the Rising Tide Society, and the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE). When Lauren is not planning the next great wedding, she can be found digging in her garden, taking a yoga class, or chasing after her two boys, Ryan and Ben. We think you’ll love her and her killer advice as much as we do. Take a look at what she has to say, and don’t forget to take notes.
Top 10 Mistakes Couples Make When Wedding Planning
As a wedding planner, I have seen my fair share of couples stumbling through the wedding planning process. Here is a list of the top ten mistakes I see couples make. Read up so that you can become an expert wedding planner!
- Not setting a budget or not sticking to your budget.
The first step in the planning process is to establish a budget. If you don’t do this you will end up spending a lot more money than you intended. Some money-savvy couples will open a separate savings account that is to be used for wedding purposes only. This will help you not go over your budget.
- Not asking for help.
Believe it or not, you probably have a lot of people in your inner circle that would love to help you plan your wedding. Your future mother-in-law would love to be in charge of something, however small, to feel like she played a part in your wedding day. Let her book the transportation or hotel room block. You will feel relieved once you start delegating some duties.
- Spending hours and hours planning your dream wedding on Pinterest.
What most people don’t understand is that the pictures you see on Pinterest have been perfectly curated to look aesthetically pleasing. A lot of those pictures are from styled shoots which took hours to create. Pinterest is a great place to look for inspiration, but you might be disappointed when you find out how much that 10 foot floral wall costs. Keep the pinning to a minimum.
- Comparing your wedding to your friends /sisters/co-workers wedding.
It’s easy to be green with envy when you see how much your friend can spend on florals, or hearing about how to she is flying in some high-profile DJ to do her wedding. Remember that every wedding, just like every couple, is different. Your wedding should be a unique reflection of you and your fiancé. The most important thing is who you are marrying.
- Signing a contract before reading it.
There should be no surprises when it comes to when your vendors arrive and leave on the day of your wedding. There should also be no surprises when it comes to the services they will perform. Yet sometimes couples don’t know the arrival times of their vendors, or what is included with their package. All of these details are most likely spelled out in your contract, and once you sign that contract you lose your ability to change these items. Make sure to read before you sign on the dotted line!
- Not researching your vendors.
It’s easy to want to book a photographer because you like their website, or because they are within your budget. Make sure to read online reviews, and ask around. Your other wedding vendors can give you some insight and refer professionals as well.
- Not being considerate of your guests.
At the most basic level, you should always provide enough food and drinks for your guests. Guests should also have access to restrooms and chairs. If you have guests in wheelchairs, make sure your venue is wheelchair accessible. If you are getting married outside, make sure there is a backup plan for rain and extreme heat. Also, think about getting the area sprayed for bugs. Parking and transportation should be planned out as well. It seems simple enough but these are the little things that guests will complain about.
- Not including your fiancé in the planning process.
Sometimes the guys feel left out! Make sure to include your fiancé in some of the decision making. Assign him tasks like selecting the music for the evening, or booking the Photo booth company. Even having him do a few small items will make your man feel like he contributed.
- Trying to please everyone.
Wedding planning is stressful enough, especially when you feel pressure to please everyone. Your mom wants you to get married in her church, your future in-laws want you to be married by their priest, and your fiancé just wants to get married at your reception venue. Engaged couples run into these types of issues all the time. My suggestion is to bend on a few items, but stick to your guns about the things that are important to you. Pick and choose your battles when it comes to family.
- Not spending enough time planning your ceremony.
This is, by far, the biggest mistake I see couples make. So many couples do not even think about their ceremony will run, and then panic about a week before their wedding. You should spend several hours planning out the details of your ceremony. Even if you want a quick twenty minute ceremony, you need to fill those twenty minutes with meaningful content. Think about who you want involved in your ceremony, your vows, and if you will be incorporating any religious traditions. This will help you craft a basic plan. Then pull in your officiant and wedding planner to help with the details.
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