November 22, 2023
Sure, it’s exciting and inspiring to check out all the details, dresses, jewelry, exotic locations and honeymoon destinations. But there’s also a lot to do, and everyone and their mother (and your mother) seems to have an opinion about your day.
If you don’t watch out for these common mistakes, you could end up with a wedding day nightmare. On the other hand, being aware of these mistakes means you can avoid them, and having an unforgettable wedding day is guaranteed.
In life – but ESPECIALLY when it comes to planning a wedding – everything takes longer than you think. Even if you have your ceremony and reception are at the same location…Or if you leave only exactly enough time for the 8-minute drive between the church and the reception hall; You will be stressed and miserable on a day you’ll never get a do-over on. So do yourself a favor and allow MORE time than you think you will need between the ceremony and reception. A good rule of thumb? Whatever amount of time you think you need, DOUBLE IT. Your guests are creative enough to find something to do with themselves. Use your wedding professionals as the expert resources that they are. Ask them how long they recommend for getting ready, first looks, ceremonies, taking photos, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of including your guests in your wedding day. By all means, have Aunt Sally sing “Ave Maria” for your ceremony or ask your brother to perform a song he wrote on guitar.
But don’t expect amateurs and hobbyists to deliver a professional performance at your wedding. There will be awkward gaps. They will miss some of those important moments. An amateur won’t know what to do when something goes wrong, which usually means that things will get worse. If you like your friends and family…and you’d like to keep it that way…don’t hire them for your wedding day.
*WARNING: If you decide to hire an amateur or a talented friend to provide a service for your wedding day, make sure you adjust your expectations. If less a than perfect performance is going to make you unhappy, don’t do it.
Maybe it sounds crazy, but this one is more common than you’d think.
We’ve seen our share of couples who found the perfect reception location and threw down a big nonrefundable deposit before they lost out on it, and THEN got in touch with their ceremony location – only to find out it wasn’t available on their date.
If you’re planning a ceremony in a location separate from your reception, make sure that you can find an available, acceptable church or space BEFORE you book your venue. If you have your heart set on a particular church or minister, make sure they are open before you put down your deposit. Otherwise, you can find yourself facing some tough decisions.
If you don’t carefully consider the effect of the weather for your specific location at that specific time of year, then you can end up with a wedding day disaster. You might imagine getting married in a beautiful outdoor location with stunning views, a gorgeous mansion, amazing gardens, all taking place on a perfect afternoon…and instead, end up with a rain, wind, or other weather elements.
What happens if you don’t plan for this and there are no sides for the tent at your reception? Your guests get soaked, your DJ will move onto the tiny dance floor to protect the equipment, (so no room for dancing), and your family and friends will have to face slogging through the mud for several miserable hours.
I’m not trying to freak you out – I’m just trying to make sure that, before you choose your location, consider the worst case scenario.
What if it rains? What if it’s blistering hot? What if it snows?
Make sure that you are comfortable with your ceremony and reception location in EVERY possible situation.
Everything takes more time than you think. Even some of my punctual couples, the ones who are always on time for everything, end up rushed and panicked on their wedding day because they didn’t allow for extra time. (See Mistake #1.)
If you fall behind schedule on your wedding day, there is no catching up. You can’t get those minutes back. Your party ends at the contracted time whether you’re ready or not. There is nothing more painful than watching a couple that can’t relax and enjoy their day.
Get realistic estimates for the time it takes to do something, then add on some extra time for good measure. (Hiring a good wedding planner or day-of coordinator really helps here too!)
When you’re planning a wedding, your to-do list seems to grow by the minute. It’s natural that certain things get bumped to the bottom of the list.
Don’t plan anything, and I mean anything AT ALL, to do that last week.
Leaving something undone at the last minute guarantees that you will either
a) have something critical forgotten or unfinished or b) drive yourself so crazy trying to get everything done at the last minute that you don’t enjoy your wedding day.
Make sure your due date on all tasks is at least two weeks prior to the wedding. Believe me, you’ll have plenty to do the week before!
Every wedding planning resource seems to know the “right way” to plan a wedding. And you probably have family and friends who are more than happy to tell you what THEY think you should do.
But trying to make everyone happy is exhausting…and it’s an effort that’s doomed to fail. Choose your battles. If something is really important to you, stick to your guns. You won’t be able to make everyone happy anyway. Make sure you make yourself happy.
If you’ve already made some of these mistakes, don’t stress! Now that you know, you can fix them – and being prepared is the best way to avoid a wedding day disaster.
And if you haven’t made any of these mistakes, CONGRATULATIONS! Learn from the couples who have gone before you. Have fun planning your wedding and decide to make it your best day ever, no matter what.
You’re marrying the one you love. In the end, how can that ever be a disaster?
Amazing Vendors of these wedding photos:
Planner/coordinator: Lyzza Lou
Photography: Me! Tiffany Singh Photography
Floral: Hillside Blooms Floristry
Hair & Makeup: Lea Buehler
DJ: Steve Buzzard
Officiant: Erin Summ
Reception Dress: Olvi’s Lace
Wedding dress: L’Amour
Rentals: Olgas Rustic Rental
Cocktail bar: Little Boozy Events
Caterer: Regina Pizza Catering
Portable Restroom: capitalrentalswc