Some couples jump at the opportunity to begin planning their wedding, while others take the slow road. Either way, they are still planning a wedding and with this new part-time job (yes, planning can really take up that much time!), come a few faux pas that we think every couple should be aware of.
Common Mistakes Couples Make While Planning
Not creating a guest list first.
Guest count is the key to the rest of planning from budgeting to venue selections to accommodations. If the estimated number is unknown, there will be significant difficulty in knowing both what can be afforded and what venue can accommodate the party.
Not doing their research.
Businesses will always want to remain competitive with one another. With that, research needs to be done to understand pricing and amenities, what is included and what is extra. Remember, apples can’t be compared to oranges so doing a bit of the legwork to understand each venue or vendor is important. (Read about how to shop for caterers here!) The research is there to discover what works within budget, what will fit the guest count, and what will match the vision.
Not making informed decisions.
Planning is tough work, and time consuming. It is the single largest event that many people plan in their lives and one of the most momentous. Consider all the options before moving forward. Review research, ask questions, and don’t operate based on assumptions or other people’s experiences.
What to Do Before Planning Starts
Enjoy the engagement!
Right after the holidays (prime engagement season) we get several calls and emails of people boasting how they just became engaged the day or week previous and want to start wedding planning. Yes, it’s a very exciting time. However, don’t jump the gun without taking a breath and sharing the news with friends and family. Take a few weeks to enjoy the engagement and then start discussing the big questions like who, what, when, where. Read 10 Things to Do Now for the Recently Engaged.
Talk to the family.
More and more couples are opting to plan and pay for their own wedding s, however it isn’t unheard of for parents to still be part of the process and contribute financially. Have a discussion with both sets of parents to determine what are the event mandatory items, how many guests they want included, and if they are able to contribute financially. If parents are going to be involved in the planning and payment of your wedding, there are answers needed up front before planning can begin.
Knowing the Big Misconceptions
There is always sticker shock when realistic numbers are given that many would never consider spending on a day-to-day basis. A majority of wedding budgets are dedicated to the wedding reception, so if feeding 200 guests a plated meal for $2000 is your plan, think again. To help combat the reality of wedding costs, couples sometimes opt for DIY-weddings, but those don’t always mean more affordable.
DIY is better than paying a vendor.
There is a special sentiment in creating things on your own for your wedding. However, don’t think that DIY means less money. It might seem like it saves money, but every time an idea goes through trial and error- money is spent from the budget. Not to mention all the time involved in both trialing different ideas, but also creating all of the items wanted. If expectations and dreams are realistic for the budget (and guest count!), hiring an experienced wedding professional is worth its weight in gold. This could mean less stress, less money, and less time taken up! Learn about the Do’s and Don’ts of a DIY Wedding.
The Three Golden Rules of Wedding Planning
Work Off a Budget
Organize a budget and stick to it. Consider must-have items and their cost to ensure there is room in the budget for them. Also, include room in the budget to play around in case items go slightly go over what is planned. (Hint: Add an extra 5% in each category for incidentals!) Don’t forget about these important commitments like taxes, service charge, and other forgotten costs.
Invite the Ones that Matter Most
Guest count matters. It’s an important day and being surrounded by loved family and most important friends is what matters. It will also help financially by inviting those that matter most. Just like must-have wedding items, make a list of the must-have guests and the maybes. From there construct who to celebrate with on this memorable occasion.
Listen to Your Wedding Vendors
The advice of friends and family will only get you so far. They may have been married once, but it is highly unlikely they are wedding professionals with the knowledge and experience of a dozen or more weddings to back their advice. Wedding professionals are professionals for reason. Ask their opinion on what works and what doesn’t, get their recommendations and make smart choices. Setting unrealistic goals that you think are doable despite what a vendor says, could create a less than favorable experience. Trust the vendors and the day will go smoothly.