Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid

There is an endless list of things that go into planning the perfect wedding. So, it’s easy to forget things and let other things slip through the cracks. We teamed up with some of our favorite wedding industry experts to put together a list of the top wedding planning mistakes they see couples make, and you should stay away from!

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Event Design by Fete Nashville, Photo by Evin photography

On the guest list…

“Don’t feel like you have to invite everyone you know!” says Sara Fried of Fete Nashville. “There is nothing worse than being introduced to new people on your wedding day. Of course there will be friends and family on your fiancé’s side whom you haven’t met before. But this is not the night to be meeting your new husband’s work or racquetball buddies.”

“A big mistake I see couples make is assuming that not everyone they invite is going to come,” adds Chef Matt Antoun of Modern Art Catering. “A wedding is different than your everyday party – The worst thing you can do is invite 120 people but only budget for 80. You’ll run into last-minute expenses and add-ons when those unaccounted-for guests RSVP!”

Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid - Inspired by This
Catering by Modern Art Catering, Photo by Brian Leahy Photography

On budget…

According to Fried, nothing affects budget more than guest list. She says “If you have a limited budget or need to cut back on expenses, start with your headcount. This affects invites, calligraphy, tables, linens, centerpieces, catering, bar, tableware, desserts, etc.”

“Decide in advance what is really worth the money for you – photography, dress, etc. – and what you can probably skimp on!” says bridesmaid dress designer Joanna August. “Little things you’re not prepared for can add up. So make decisions beforehand and stick to the budget you decided on!”

Antoun agrees – “Not creating a budget (and then sticking to it!) can jeopardize the success of your wedding day. Even if you don’t think you need an item-by-item budget – Do it anyway! You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches in the long run.”

Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid - Inspired by This
Bridesmaid Dresses by Joanna August, Photo by Joielala, Flowers by Plenty of Petals

On your vendors…

The bridal experts at Mon Amie Bridal Salon say “Micromanaging your wedding vendors isn’t worth it! You hired them for a reason – Because you loved their work. Don’t stress yourself out and try to manage each and every little thing.”

“Hire a photographer that has experience photographing weddings,” chimes in August. “This can be one of the most important vendors you will hire because the images they capture will form your memories for the years to come. Shooting a wedding in particular is a special skill that has a different set of challenges than other types of photography. Don’t hire a portraitist you love or someone who does great fashion photography. And definitely don’t hire someone who will also be attending the wedding as a guest! You need a designated professional who will not be drinking or taking dancing breaks.”

According to Fried, “The number one mistake you can make is not hiring a wedding planner. You will be so grateful to have someone give you realistic expectations, troubleshoot hiccups along the way, and take the stress and pressure off of you on your wedding day. A seasoned planner can also help you budget for behind the scenes necessities and give you endless tips on how to maximize your budget.”

When it comes to catering, Antoun suggests asking lots of questions at your tastings. “Too often I see couples get enthralled by a tasting and forget to ask questions about budget, different options, and how service is going to work on the day of their wedding. Ask all of the details up front so you’ll have a better idea of which caterer is going to be the best fit for your entire wedding day!”

Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid - Inspired by This
Dress by Mon Amie Bridal Salon, Photo by Sposto Photography

Other tips…

Fried urges brides to “not stress over an ‘even’ number of bridesmaids and groomsmen! You should absolutely ask your nearest and dearest friends and family to be a part of your wedding party, but there’s no reason to ask someone you don’t feel close with, just so the sides are symmetrical. There are so many creative ways to have your wedding party stand around your altar that are unique and fun and don’t require an even number! These days, we even see lots of male best friends standing up for the bride, and vice versa.”

One of the biggest mistakes Mon Amie sees brides make is “getting overwhelmed with Pinterest! Pinterest is an amazing tool when you first start planning your wedding, but it can also start to make you doubt your choices. August agrees – “Be mindful that most of the beautiful wedding photos you see on Pinterest are styled shoots or high-budget weddings that might cost way more than you’re prepared to spend. As soon as you actually start planning your wedding and spending your hard-earned dollars, be realistic about what you’re pinning!”

Don’t give out wedding favors just because you think you should,” adds Fried. We have come up with some amazingly thoughtful and appropriate favors to give out at the end of the wedding, but we don’t encourage giving out trinkets that you don’t think will be appreciated just to have a favor.”

Mon Amie also stresses giving yourself enough time to get ready! “Brides often don’t budget enough time to get themselves ready on the day of their wedding! Always err on the side of caution and give yourself extra time to feel and look your best!”

Finally, “Once you make a decision, don’t look back!” says August. “Planning a wedding is a stressful time, and it can feel like there are a million decisions. I recommend making a list of key decisions, set a deadline for making each one, and stick to it.”

If you have questions about planning your wedding and want more tips, let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to look here for more inspiration!

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