One thing nobody tells you is that planning your wedding will take over your life to the point that you will go to sleep thinking about it, wake up thinking about it and spend the time in-between googling ways to make it amazing. There is so much advice out there that sometimes it can become a bit overwhelming. Everybody has an idea of what the perfect wedding should look like and they don’t mind telling you what you should be doing and how to do it.
Some of the best advice to receive though, is what you should NOT be doing. As the saying goes ‘hindsight is a wonderful thing’, after all avoiding the pitfalls can save you a lot of time, money and heartache. Use our list of what not to do when planning your wedding to give you the benefit of hindsight before you even start the planning process.
Don’t try to do everything yourself.
You have a vision, you’re focused and you’re energetic but you are still only one woman. Planning a wedding is a massive undertaking and if you decline offers of help and try to do everything yourself you will eventually burn out and end up close to the big day with imploding stress levels and a massive to do list. Avoid this nightmare scenario entirely by calling in your trusty sidekicks who are probably dying to get involved. Also what better way to bond with your friends and family than to all get stuck in together and get stuffing those envelopes over a glass of wine and a share the excitement.
Don’t let your parents dictate the invite list.
Back in the days when parents footed the bill and the bride and groom were barely out of school the guest lists were centered around the parent’s circle of friends. Times have changed however and with the norm now being that couples are getting married later and save and pay for their own wedding why would you want to spend your hard earned cash paying for your dads best mate from the golf club who you’ve met once at the expense of your own friends attendance. Brush up on your negotiating skills and start early. Once you have your budget in mind you can guestimate the number of guests you’d like to invite, ask both sets of parents for invite lists in order of preference and stay in charge. Make it clear spaces are limited and trim that list from the bottom up if necessary. After all, this is your day and you want to spend it with the people who you are closest to and whose presence will make the day even more special for you.
Don’t make plans before setting a budget.
You would never go shopping without knowing how much money you had to spend, why would you do it with your wedding. Although it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and want to get things booked as soon as possible, if you go ahead and shop in haste you risk falling for a dress or venue that breaks your heart when you realise to afford it, you’d have to cut your guest list in half or forego your honeymoon. Your three initial hurdles are budget, guest list and venue and should be considered in that order. Your budget defines your options and dictates the decisions you make and setting it should be your very first wedding planning task.
Don’t book your venue without considering your guest list.
It can’t be stressed enough….. budget guest list, venue in that order! Although booking a venue is one of the first priorities when planning a wedding as places fill up fast, you need to have an idea of how many guests will be attending. You definitely don’t want to end up with a venue that is too small and you don’t want to end up paying for lots of empty, unused space.
Which leads us on to….
Don’t pack your guests in.
You want your wedding to feel chic and elegant not crowded and uncomfortable. Being cramped makes serving meals and dancing difficult and makes for a negative guest experience. Ask your venue how many attendees can comfortably fit and then reduce that by 10 percent.
Don’t rush to pick your wedding party.
Your bridesmaids should be the people that you trust and want standing beside you on your wedding day. Whether that means two people or ten, it can include, friends, sisters, cousins, aunts or even your mother. If you want a close male friend in your bridal party, go for it.Its 2017 and it’s your wedding, so do whatever you want! You shouldn’t feel an obligation to anyone, all of your friends don’t have to be in your bridal party and picking people because its expected or a family member demands it is a decision you’ll likely regret. Also be mindful that picking new friends may be risky as you don’t know them well enough yet to be sure they’ll support you in the inevitable tough situations that every bride finds themselves in.
Don’t get overwhelmed by Pinterest
We love Pinterest, its constant stream of ideas and inspiration at your fingertips is one of the best things ever, up there with dogs in clothes and chocolate rice crispie cakes. Whilst all these fantastic ideas can be great to get you started, if you are not careful they can also cause confusion and indecision. Pinterest can also be unrealistic, some of the ideas just don’t work and others take huge budgets to carry off. Once you have made your mind up on something, stick to it, too many options can be stressful and a girl can only handle so many DIY projects.
Don’t forget Last Minute Expenses.
When working out your budget remember to include all the costs that will inevitably crop up as your wedding approaches. From last minute dress alterations, delivery charges or emergency make up purchases, most brides find themselves with substantial last minute expenses on the weeks before their big day. A little pre-wedding planning goes a long way towards easing the stress.
Don’t blow your budget on just the dress.
If you have £2,000 set aside for your look that doesn’t mean you can buy a £2,000 dress. You need to consider delivery charges, alterations and don’t forget your shoes, accessories, jewellery and underwear when budgeting too.
Don’t try to please everybody.
Of course you want to wow your guests and make sure they enjoy the day but worrying too much about what other people think about your decisions will take the joy out of your wedding planning.As long as there is enough food and a comfortable environment you know your guests are well taken care of.Anything beyond that –colour schemes, dresses, decor and venue – is all about you!
Don’t be blinded by tradition.
Wedding traditions are lovely if that’s what you like but don’t feel obligated to do something a certain way just because your mum and your granny did. Your wedding is all about you and should reflect you both as a couple. If tradition is important to you, infuse it with your personal style and attitude.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Your band might not play a particular song you wanted, your fairy lights might not work and your false eyelash might fall off but who actually cares? You’re marrying the love of your life! Too often couples get caught up in the details that nobody else even notices and it’s hard to have fun and be present in the moment if you’re fixated on the flowers in your centerpiece being not quite what you wanted. Relax, take a breath and enjoy the best day of your life…….