Wedding Planning Mistakes You Can Avoid Up Front
Wedding planning is not easy. There are so many details involved that you can basically guarantee that something will go not according to plan. At Mike Staff Productions, we’ve been in this business long enough to hear all sorts of wedding horror stories—and we’ve figured out how to avoid them all. Every single one of them. Don’t make these wedding planning mistakes.
Don’t Ignore Your Budget
Money may not be the most exciting topic to discuss right after your engagement, but it is so important. Money plays a huge part in wedding planning. Often, couples start booking vendors and making decisions shortly after getting engaged before creating their wedding budget. Then they add up what they’ve already spent, and they are shocked that they’ve spent too much already. Ignoring the budget is one of the biggest wedding planning mistakes that couples make.
Our tip: After getting engaged, take some time to enjoy it and celebrate! Then (when you’re ready) make a budget prior to any wedding planning. Decide what categories are most important to you, and budget accordingly. When wedding planning, refer to your budget and try not to stray too far.
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Don’t Get Attached To Certain Details
We know you’ve spent hours scrolling Pinterest, dreaming about your wedding – but try not to get attached to any specific detail you see. When actually planning your wedding, some of those things likely won’t be available or in your budget. We see this most often with floral arrangements. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment if you are attached to a specific flower. You will typically book your florist 6 to 12 months prior to the wedding. A florist will have a good idea of what flowers will be available, but they cannot guarantee anything.
Our tip: When booking your florist, communicate your vision in terms of shapes and colors. This gives the florist more freedom in what types of flowers they use to create your floral arrangements. Also, choose your top flower choice, but also include a few backups in your contract.
Don’t Send Out Save-The-Dates Too Soon (Or To Everyone)
You’ve picked your date and are obviously excited, but don’t send out your Save-The-Dates too soon! Wait until you’ve finalized the guest list. Typically, Save-The-Dates are reserved for those who will definitely be invited to the wedding. To avoid any awkward situations, wait until you’ve finalized your venue and guest list. This helps avoid hurting anyone’s feelings if they assumed they’d be invited, but aren’t.
Our tip: When you start wedding planning, try to decide on a date and venue first. When you book your venue, you’ll know how many people you can invite to the wedding. Start making some rough guest lists, and only send Save-The-Dates to those that you cannot imagine your wedding day without, and will definitely be making the final guest list.
Don’t Say “YES” To The Dress Too Late
Dresses take time. If you’re not buying right off the rack, you will need to factor in time for shipping. Almost all dresses, whether shipped or bought off the rack, will need some sort of alterations to make it perfect for you. If you are purchasing too late, you are playing a risky game.
Our tip: Start shopping for your wedding dress 16 to 9 months before the wedding. Purchase your dress at least 8 months before the wedding.
Don’t Skip The Videographer
Did you know that 93% of couples who don’t get a professional wedding video regret it? One of the biggest wedding planning mistakes you can make is skipping wedding videography. You may think that having wedding photos and a wedding video is overkill, or maybe that ‘B’ word (budget) is haunting you again, but trust us—you’ll want to hire a wedding videographer. For one, the day literally flies by and there are things you’ll miss that your videographer will capture beautifully! Nothing compares to being able to relive the moment you said “I do.”
Our tip: Bundle your services whenever possible. Bundling your services means that you usually get some discount. Bundling also gives you the advantage of having various vendors that know each other and have worked together before, giving you the team approach on your wedding day.
Don’t Try To Please Everyone
Your future mother-in-law is upset that you are not inviting her cousins from out of state? Your mom is upset you don’t want to wear her dress (hello 1980s shoulder pads)? Your besties pushing for an open bar instead of a few signature cocktails? Do not try to please everyone. If you start trying to make others happy, you are quickly going to lose control of your wedding day. Make decisions that make you happy. Plan the wedding of your dreams, not anyone else’s.
Our tip: If it doesn’t bring you joy, then don’t do it. This is your wedding day. Be selfish, make it about you. In the end, it is about you and your soon-to-be-spouse and celebrating your love.
Don’t Hire Friends Instead of Pros
Sure, your uncle is a blast at holidays and family reunions, but do you really want him in charge of your wedding DJ playlist? Same for your friend from college with an amazing Instagram profile, but don’t you want someone who knows their way around professional equipment and editing software? Professional wedding vendors should be at the top of your budget. Investing in professional vendors means you can rely on them. They do this every weekend, they have experience, and your purchase is usually backed by a contract. Let your friends and family attend as guests, not as your official wedding photographer.
Our tip: Book professionals. They have experience, and you want quality photos, videos, and memories.
Not Asking Enough Questions
There are a lot of vendors out there, which is why it is important to get all the information you need. Ask any questions you need to make a decision between vendors. It is totally acceptable to want to know exactly what you’re getting for your money. You shouldn’t feel awkward asking vendors questions. They do this everyday, while this is new to you. It is your wedding day, so you deserve to know exactly what you are signing up for.
Our tip: Ask your vendors anything! If they seem hesitant to answer some of your questions, take this as a sign to continue chatting with other vendors. You should feel comfortable and happy with your decision of photographer, videographer, DJ, venue, florist, the list goes on.
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Don’t Forget What Is Important
Wedding planning is stressful. There will be tension, arguments, and drama because of the many difficult decisions you will make. When you start to get overwhelmed, take a step back from wedding planning. Spend some quality time together that doesn’t involve wedding planning. In the end, it is all about you and your future spouse. Remember why you said yes in the first place. You love each other, and this is just the beginning of your life together.