Okay, here’s the story — you met the person of your dreams, you fell in love, and now you’re engaged. Sounds like a fairytale, no? That’s because no one really talks about what happens after the whole get-on-one knee-fancy-diamond-ring part…the actual wedding planning!
Any former bride will tell you that planning a wedding is a beast of a task. Not only does this event seemingly need to be perfect, it can also feel like you’ve got all eyes on you when it comes to coordinating the big day. With an enormous amount of decisions on your plate, a timeline to commit to, and a specific budget, it’s safe to say there are a lot of moving parts. You know what comes with a lot of moving parts? A lot of opportunity to mess things up!
As creative wedding planners, we’ve seen it time and time again. Maybe this was the tale as old as time that Mrs. Potts was singing about in Beauty and the Beast? In other words, this is super common because it’s likely that the bride and groom aren’t professional event planners during the day, so why would they know how to execute any scale wedding flawlessly? Totally fair!
Luckily, we’ve gone through it enough times that we’re able to spot those crucial wedding planning errors before they even happen, and because we’re lowkey your creative wedding planning fairy godmothers, we’ve put together a little list for you to refer to before the planning begins. When you know better, you’ll do better, as they say.
So, let’s get our learn on, shall we?
1. Forgetting to set a budget before making plans
Stop right there! No budget? You’re just asking for a financial disaster, and trust me, honey, that’s not how you want to start your first year of marriage. The fact of the matter is, wedding planning is expensive. When you attend a wedding, looking around at all the beautiful florals, cool tablescapes, fun food concepts, etc. it may not register how quickly these things add up. Without a budget or range, it’s very common to overspend on the pretty things that we so desperately want at our weddings. Having a budget allows you to prioritize, allocate funds before committing to vendors, and save yourself the financial grief down the line.
2. Choosing a wedding planner too quickly
Picking the perfect wedding planner takes time! All of us have different specialties, capabilities, and experience, so it’s important to ask all of the big questions before signing a contract. Ask to see previous weddings and inquire about what their specialties are. Is catering the most important thing to you? Find a wedding planner who specializes in incredible culinary experiences. Are you looking for an out-of-the-box, cool, creative wedding? Well then, call us!
3. Sending invites before finalizing a date and venue
I get it — you’re engaged and excited to share it with your loved ones, but for the love of all that is holy matrimony, please secure a date and venue before sharing the news. These are the most important cornerstones of the wedding, so sending out invites without them just means you’re going to have to do it again in a few weeks, which is costly and quite frankly, annoying for your guests.
4. Allowing too many people to have an opinion
You know how we feel about this. Your wedding is YOUR wedding, do not lose sleep over what everyone else has to say or wants to do for it. Even if it’s just in your head, try and assign whose input you will listen to (best friend, mom, etc.) and whose input you can take with a grain of salt.
Planner: Stregga Flora
Photographer: Karen Obrist
5. Taking risks with hair and makeup
Once again, I get it — this is your big day, so you want to look the best you’ve ever looked! But, babe, stay true to YOU! Makeup and hair trends come and go, so it’s best to go with your go-to look but with an elevated twist, in our opinion. If you barely wear makeup, go for a more neutral makeup look instead of loading up on poppy colors. Alternatively, if you’re known for a signature bold eye and winged liner, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Now is not the time to be someone different — it’s time to be you!
Planner: Neon River
6. Forgetting about the details! (Tablescapes, specialty drinks, etc.)
On the flip side, sometimes brides plan big and then think they’re done. You got food, music, drinks, a venue, and a dress — that’s it right? Wrong. It’s all in the details, and while they can be costly, if you stick to your budget (see point #1) you can definitely create surprise + delight moments that your guests will love.
Planner: Neon River
Photographer: Scott Clark
7. Assuming your guest list will be as big as you planned for
I don’t know who came up with this urban legend, but the whole “10% will not RSVP” is not true. Always, always, always assume that your entire invite list will say yes. If you’re doing this right, you’re planning nearly a year in advance and inviting people that love you, so it’s highly unlikely that they have something better going on, especially if it means missing your wedding!
On the flip side, things do happen where people can’t make it. If there last few years has taught us anything, it’s the plans can change at the drop of a hat! If this is the case, make sure to have a 2nd tier guestlist in case you need to fill some spots!
Photographer: Scott Clark
8. Getting attached to a certain theme early on (be open minded!)
Be open minded! Sometimes, the theme you dreamt of as a little girl doesn’t translate into a theme that is current, cool, or even possible. If you have a wedding planner, chances are they are up to date on wedding trends and will guide you in a great direction. Trust us, it’s what we do!
Planner: 23 Layers!
Photographer: Filip Wolak
9. Buying a dress that’s too small as inspo to lose weight
It’s much easier to have a wedding dress taken in if you lose weight than it is to add fabric if you haven’t somehow managed to get to your goal by your wedding. You’ve got so many more important things to worry about, being on a diet shouldn’t be a top priority.
10. Leaving vendors until the last minute
Even the thought of this gives me sweaty palms. I can’t stress this enough: vendors are busy! They book up months (if not years) in advance, so leaving a major vendor to the last minute is asking for disappointment and next thing you know, you’re buying flowers from the supermarket for your tables!
Of course, these are just a few of the mistakes brides make at weddings, but if you avoid these you should have smooth sailing for the most part. However, if you really want to have your wedding go off without a hitch, you should rely and trust the experts. You know, people who have been doing this for 15+ years and have experienced every mistake in the book so that you don’t have to? Not naming names or anything, but yeah…okay fine, you should call us!
xo Neon’s got you, boo.