10. Try to do everything yourself
Maybe you don’t want to ask others for help, or you want to take pride at doing everything, but this is too much of a weight to take on. I’m sure you’d do an amazing job making your own signs, slipper basket, menus, place cards, bathroom baskets, welcome bags, guest book, gift box, cake topper, etc. but as the wedding draws nearer and nearer these collective tasks will seem incredibly daunting. Ask for help.
9. Try to do some things yourself
The last minute. “Yep, mom and I will be making our centerpieces ourselves. We’ll just get them to the hall the morning of the wedding.” Whoa. Red flag. I love couples who want to show their creativity through DIY projects, but the morning of the wedding, and even the night beforehand, time is going to FLY by in some kind of warped time portal. Things that you think will take ten minutes, will take thirty. Trust me. You won’t want to add last minute tasks on top of what you’ll be already be doing (waking up, showering, getting ready with friends and family, having that morning mimosa, you know- the important stuff).
8. Hire family
If I had a dollar for every couple who in retrospect said hiring family was not the best idea I’d be driving an Alfa Romeo right now. Though at first this may seem like a great way to save money, it can also prove to be a source of stress and tension. You can always say, “Thank you Uncle Joe for offering to photograph our wedding, but I really would prefer you to enjoy your time and help us celebrate as our guest.” Then hire a professional.
Even if you pride yourself on being a saver, it can become easy to want to “keep up with the Joneses”. “Oh but cousin Mary had a cigar roller, so we should have a hookah bar…. and our friend Tina had that Frank Sinatra singer, so we should raise Bobby Darin from the dead for our cocktail hour.” Don’t get caught up. Take a step back. Is it really important to you? Will this really add to your, or your guests experience?
6. Wait too long to hire vendors
I know, it sounds crazy to start looking for your DJ a year in advance, but in truth, that’s not a bad timeline. I’ve got wedding bookings for 2014! If there is a particular venue, or florist, or makeup artist (or ahem, wedding planner) you’d really like to work with do not wait to book them. If coming up with a deposit is challenging for you, speak to the vendor and see if they can work with you. Plus, the more you get done earlier the more you’ll be able to enjoy your engagement leading up to the big day.
Please, please, please get everything in writing. Even if it is an email. If you speak to someone on the phone, and they agree to something, get their name and title, and ask them to email you the information as a confirmation. My heart always jumps when I sit across from a couple and hear, “Well the banquet manager told us he’d just throw in the ceremony decorations and chocolate fountain” but when I review the contract it’s nowhere to be found. I got really excited about that chocolate fountain. =)
4. Google everything
The Internet can be a wonderful source of information. It’s also a source of a lot of garbage. There are many sites featuring “advice from the professionals” but when you get right down to it there’s no screening to determine what makes someone a professional. If you’re going to use the Internet for research – mind your sources. Even then, take what you read with a grain of salt. Realize that the rave review someone just gave a vendor might be coming from someone with different priorities, values, and vision for their wedding than you have for yours. When you want answers, a good place to start is your wedding planner or coordinator.
3. Micromanage things
I know that this is a HUGE day for you. You may have even been dreaming about it for years. But you can’t get lost in the details. Please remember why you are here. Go with the flow. At the end of the day, it won’t matter if there are 23 roses in your centerpieces when you wanted 24, or if the music started six seconds after where you cued it up. What will matter is that you will be married to the person you love and adore. Love is all that matters.
2. Try to make EVERYONE happy
Sometimes I feel like I’m planning a wedding for everyone but the couple. “I know when you showed me this favor I LOVED it, but my Mom really doesn’t like it at all. What else can we do?” or “I know my fiancée really adored the brown suits we selected, and he looked great in them, but his parents just think it is a faux pas to wear a suit.” Oh my goodness people. This wedding is for YOU. I agree that you should be considerate, and act like good hosts for your guests, but you need to create an event that is reflective of you as a couple. It should match your style and vibe. Make the decision based on what you LOVE, what feels right to you, and then STICK TO IT. Friends and family will give you their opinions, whether you ask for them or not, but it’s your wedding. Not theirs. Be happy.
And, mistake # 1 couples make when planning their wedding. They…
1. Don’t hire a wedding consultant
I’m sure you saw this one coming. I sat across from a bride at a complimentary consult the other day who actually said, “I had no idea there was such a thing as a Day of Event Manager. I only thought there were wedding planners that you know, cost tens of thousands of dollars.” Where did this idea come from? Most people think of J-Lo when they think of a wedding planner (damn that movie) and I don’t remember the part in that movie where they said she made $50K. Here’s my motto – it doesn’t hurt to ask. Do some research and meet some planners. We don’t bite. And working with us will HELP save you money on your budget, believe me. For what you may be spending on your live band that will play for 5 hours, you may be able to have someone by your side for a year or more helping pull your vision together into the wedding of your dreams. And that’s as far from a mistake as you can get!
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