8 Mistakes that Brides Make Planning a Wedding
Avoiding common mistakes that brides make before the big day
As magical as your wedding day is, it’s also a big job. Unless you’re a professional wedding planner, it’s unlikely you’ve thrown an event of this size before. There’s lots of resources out there for brides-to-be, but are you prepared to avoid these common pitfalls? Here are eight mistakes brides make when planning a wedding—and how you can avoid them.
Mistake 1: Buying before Budgeting
It’s great you found your perfect venue, but will you have enough money left for your favorite band? You’ve been dreaming about this day for a long time, but now that it’s finally here you may have to trim your Pinterest board a bit. Set a budget before booking or buying anything.
Handling wedding finances can put a lot of stress on an engaged couple. Instead of treating your budget (or partner) like a dream-killer, sit down and focus on what brings you the most joy when you imagine your wedding day. Is it having a huge crowd, driving away in a vintage car, or wearing the perfect gown? Prioritize what makes you happy and cut the rest.
Mistake 2: Choosing a dress before choosing a venue
You bought the ballgown of your dreams. Nothing could be a better match—except your fiancée of course. Then you realize you want to say your vows on the beach by your reception venue. Suddenly you realize your watered silk train will be dragging in wet sand.
Before setting an appointment at a bridal salon, make some key decisions about your big day. Do you want to dance the night away in a beautifully decorated barn, or a formal ballroom? Your choice of venue can have a big impact on the kind of wedding gown you want to wear.
Mistake 3: The wedding diet
Sure, your wedding is a big day. You’re spending a fortune on professional photography, and you want to look amazing. But, beware. Too many brides plan to lose unrealistic amounts of weight before their wedding, which can be unhealthy and dangerous.
Even if you are committed to shedding some pounds before the wedding, don’t buy your wedding gown in your ‘goal’ size. Wedding gowns can usually be taken in if you do lose weight, but a gown that’s too small may not be alterable. So give yourself some breathing room when you order. A size up is always better than a size down.
Mistake 4: Not sending thank you notes
Really, nobody needs Miss Manners to tell them that this one is a mistake. The surprising thing is how often brides forget to send thank you notes anyway. The whirlwind of parties and showers preceding the wedding bring so many gifts. It’s easy to forget to send letters of thanks to all your guests.
Establish some sort of system, so that you can remember what came from who, and when. You don’t want to thank your aunt for the salad servers that came from your grandma. Ideally, someone will take notes as you open your presents at your showers. Then consolidate the information in a planner for easy reference.
Mistake 5: Cutting costs by hiring a budget tailor
Your wedding gown is a huge investment—emotionally and financially. Make sure that whoever you hire to alter it knows what they are doing. Otherwise you may be left brokenhearted by a botched job that can’t be fixed.
If your bridal salon doesn’t handle alterations in-house, do a little research before taking your dress anywhere for alterations. You can check popular sites like the Knot, ask fellow brides, and look at online reviews. Whoever you end up picking should have years of experience altering formal gowns. They should also be able to help you select the right bustle for your dress.
Mistake 6: Registering too quickly
When you’re combining two households it’s easy to accumulate a lot of doubles. Before you register, take some time to evaluate what you have. You might be surprised to learn that your fiancée already owns a perfectly serviceable blender or set of highball glasses.
Once you’ve got a clear idea of what the two of you need for your new home, take your time building a registry together. Ideally you will fill your list with quality items that will last for years. The first big showers won’t happen until shortly before the wedding, so there’s no need to rush.
Mistake 7: Letting your relatives run the show
Yes, your family may be contributing the wedding financially, and they certainly are excited. That doesn’t mean they get to tell the two of you what to do on your big day. The wedding is a great time for you and your fiancée to establish yourselves as an adult couple.
Be sensitive to your families’ needs, but put each other first. If you know your significant other is going to hate something, don’t let your family pressure you into it. Patterns of behavior that you develop now will stay with you for years, and it’s time to set some healthy boundaries. You might benefit from seeing a qualified couple’s counselor, who can help you navigate these emotionally turbulent waters.
Mistake 8: Getting hung up on the details
Repeat this to yourself now: something will go wrong. It doesn’t matter how much you pay or how much you plan; wedding days usually contain a few unwanted surprises. Still, even if your brother is partying a little too hard, or you get a drop of red wine on your gown, remember that this is still the day that you’re marrying the love of your life.
Whatever goes wrong, your wedding day marks a huge step forward for you and your partner. It’s not the details that make the day so magical. It’s the look in your love’s eyes as you walk down that aisle. Don’t get hung up on the details and distracted from what’s really important.