Do you want to know a secret?
No-one really knows what they’re doing when they start planning a wedding!
Don’t feel bad if the whole thing starts to overwhelm you. It’s a bloody big task, with jargon you’ve never heard of before. Pressure? Just a bit.
But another truth is that is can be a whole lot of fun. With a good plan and solid budget to follow, I promise you do not have to go down the Bridezilla track!
To give you a heads up, I’ve listed the most common mistakes wedding couples make and that you can avoid…
1. You Don’t Have an Engagement Shoot
Getting comfortable in front of your photographer’s camera is essential for those perfect wedding photos. You’ll learn how to follow their direction and get to spend time with your photographer before they spend 10 hours with you! Most importantly you will be surprised at how great you look in your engagement shots which alleviates any concerns about feeling awkward on the day. Tip: get your hair and make-up trial done that day and you can see how they’ll look on camera – which leads us onto…
2. You Don’t Have a Hair and Make Up Trial & You Get A Fake Tan
Firstly, don’t do anything drastic like going from dark brunette to icy blonde just before the wedding. Secondly, don’t leave something as important as how your face and hair will look in every photo to chance. You’ll be looking at these pictures forever. Book a trial in for about three months ahead of the big day, which gives you time for a final trim and your hair to grow back to the practise length before the wedding.
And please don’t get a fake tan!! You have your skin for a reason…it suits you!! And I guarantee that even a ‘slight sheen’ will turn out orange in your photos.
3. You Blow Your Budget Too Early
Blowing the budget in general isn’t ideal, but finding yourself with a maxed-out credit card and suppliers still to pay six months before the wedding is panic-inducing. Money is a tricky topic but you need to have honest conversations with your partner, parents and own bank statements about what is affordable before you start booking things.
We know how exciting it is at the start, but don’t start ordering everything you see on Pinterest. Make a realistic budget (with a month-by-month saving and payment plan), find your venue, decide your theme and what flowers/décor/entertainment are non-negotiable, and work backwards to budget everything else.
4. You Let Other People Decide the Guest List
It’s your big day and it should be the people you love watching you walk down the aisle – not randomers your parents know. Family are hard to say no to, but you’ll save yourself a lot of expenses and stress if you learn how to set boundaries and stop them interfering with your guest list. I know this is a delicate conversation to have but if you don’t it can lead to resentment which is not what getting married is about!.
5. You Include Traditions for the Sake of It
Here are some things you don’t have to do at your wedding: wear white, toss your bouquet, not see your partner before you get to the altar, be given away, cut a cake, have a best man or maid of honour.
2021 is all about mixing and matching traditions that actually have a meaning for you with modern, fun and empowering ideas that speak to you as a couple, you can ditch any tradition that doesn’t appeal to you.
6. You Order Your Wedding Dress Too Late
Your wedding dress will be a major investment and almost certainly the most expensive article of clothing you will ever purchase! Start your dress search at least nine months before your wedding. You’ll need to go shopping, find ‘The One’, order it into store and get it altered – all of which will take longer than you expect.
7. You Skip the Videographer
Photos are a must for most couples, but some moments – the speeches, the vows, the first dance, the bouquet toss – are most magical when captured on film. Is there somewhere you could find the money from in your budget? When the day goes by in a flash, you’ll be wishing you could relive it on tape.
8. You Don't Have an 'Unplugged' Ceremony
You get to decide what photos make it onto social rather than discovering Auntie Joan’s 100 unflattering pictures when you get the tag notifications. You can share your favourite professional photographer’s photos and show off the day as you experienced it and intended for it to be experienced.
Get the message out early on that your Ceremony will be social media free by putting a note on your invites. Explain to your guests that you want to enjoy a phone-free ceremony and ask that they not share anything until your professional photographer has.
A strategically placed sign at the entrance to your ceremony area is an exceptionally efficient way to get your guests off their phones. They can go nuts later on when the party starts!
9. You have an unrealistic time-line
One of the biggest mistakes a couple can make is not planning their wedding day schedule which can result in flustered brides and grooms, relatives and suppliers. Things like estimating how long it will take to get ready, and making time allowances in case there is traffic or delays, are imperative when it comes to pulling off a smooth wedding day. Planning for any possible delays and mapping out what time your suppliers bump in or deliver things, will allow everyone the appropriate time to prepare and avoid the feeling of being rushed and overwhelmed.
10. You Hire a Friend Instead of a Pro
Your friend from uni may make amazing workout playlists, but that doesn’t mean he’ll make a great wedding DJ. The same goes for your friend who’s an expert Instagrammer—this doesn’t make her a photographer. Even on a tight budget, I strongly recommend hiring professional wedding vendors with experience. You do your wedding day once and I promise you will never regret the decision to hire professionals. Plus it’s more fun if your friends can fully enjoy your wedding day with you anyway.
11. You Don’t Delegate
Your wedding planning is full on! Let your wedding party, family and friends help you. Assign them to do small tasks for you like fixing you and your groom a plate of food at the reception, collecting gifts at the end of the night or organizing family members during photos. Simple tasks that could stress you out can easily be handed off to someone else and it also allows others to contribute to you.
12. You are not having fun!
It’s easy to become consumed by lists upon lists, but wedding planning isn’t all about organization. Don’t become so wed to the details and the checklist that you lose sight of the inspiration! Allow yourself to have fun and be present to the fact that at the end of the day, it is about much more than a wedding — it’s about a marriage.
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