Common Wedding Mistakes
Your wedding day is one of the most amazing days of your life and we would like to help you avoid some of the common pitfalls couples face to make your day just that much more special. Preparing yourself prior to planning your wedding can help make the big day go off with out a hitch. Here is our top 10 list of things you should pay attention to before you say I do.
Not Setting a Budget
Throwing a wedding costs a lot of money, not creating a budget ahead of time can cause you to go way over budget and possibly keep you from doing some of the more special things you want to do. Since for most of your vendors you will only have to put down a deposit, you do not want to put yourself in a situation where you can't pay the final amount in the days before the wedding. The caterer is not going to show up if you haven't paid them in full, and trust us, this does happen. The first step in your wedding planning process should be to create a budget. Your budget should not just be a total amount, but a basic idea of what you are going to spend on the different aspects of your wedding. This could include the dress, tuxedos, flowers, the banquet hall, the caterer, the DJ or band, etc. Other than locations, it is best to do your research before committing to anything. This way if you need to make adjustments you are not already locked in with a particular vendor.
I'll Do It Myself
Next to the budget, one of the most common pitfalls that brides fall into is not accepting or asking for help. If your friends or family offer to help you in planning your wedding by all means, accept their help. We like to recommend that you try not to overwhelm on person but to delegate small tasks to several people. Be sure to provide them with all of the information they need to perform their task. You should also let them know any specific information you need back from them. This could include a receipt, a price, what dates are available, etc. Be sure to show your appreciation for their help too. Thank each person for their help when they offer and after they have completed their task. Should one person happen to go above and beyond the call of duty, thank them as you speak at your reception.
The Wedding Dress
If you are set on a particular style or designer for your dress be sure to give yourself plenty of time to order it. We recommend you order a custom dress at least 6 months prior to your wedding. Even if you plan to buy off the rack or you are waiting for that big sale, you need to keep in mind that your dress will most certainly need alterations, so allow the appropriate amount of time for this. Also be sure to leave enough time for delivery if you are having your dress shipped to you. This rule of thumb also applies to the bridesmaid dresses. Remember you will not only have to work with your schedule but their schedule as well. Getting everyone together at the same time can be very challenging.
The Guest List
One of the most common pitfalls couples fall into when planning a wedding is creating a guest list that is too large. Once you have selected a location make sure that it can accommodate the number of people you currently have on your list. You should also consider if you are willing to give up something else so that your neighbor's friend's kids can come to the wedding. You can typically assume that 80% - 85% of the people you invite will show up, but you need to accommodate everyone. Some couples don't want to leave anyone out, but remember the more people you invite will be that much less time you will be able to spend with each person as well.
Now that you have the guest list set and you are ready to send out the invitations make sure that you know what postage is required for each wedding invitation. You would probably be surprised to know how many couples use only a regular stamp. In some cases this is ok, but at times larger wedding invitations with RSVP cards, directions, and wedding gift registry information can require additional postage. To avoid getting your invitations returned to you, take at least one down to the Post Office and have it weighed before purchasing your postage. It is very common for square invitations to require additional postage, not because of the weight but because of the dimensions of the envelope.
The Marriage License
There are several rules and regulations when it comes to getting a marriage license, and these rules vary from county to county and state to state. So even if you know the rules in Dallas they could be very different in Atlanta. In most areas there is a time restriction on how long you have before you license expires. So if you are in an area that has a 60 day life span and you go to get married on day 61, you will not be getting married. Some counties also have a waiting period before you can obtain a marriage license. If you go to get your license two days before the wedding and the county has a three day waiting period you'll be stuck with a wedding with no license. Don't let this common mistake ruin your wedding day!
Waiting until the last minute to block off hotel rooms for out of town guests is a common mistake of many brides when planning a wedding. If your wedding happens to wind up on the same day as the big convention down the street you might find yourself with no hotel rooms for your friends and family and we promise, they are not all going to fit in your house. We like to recommend that you reserve a block of hotel rooms prior to ordering your invitations so that you can include this information when you send the wedding invitations out. Another thing to keep in mind is if you block off rooms with a good notice it is very likely you as the bride will be provided with a room at no charge. This way you have a place to yourself for getting ready for the wedding. One misconception about blocking off rooms is that when you do this you are actually paying for them. This is not the case, your guests will pay for them when they book their rooms.
Religious Requirements and Restrictions
As you begin to prepare your wedding be sure to keep informed with any religious requirements or restrictions. If you are going to get married in your church, make sure it is available the time and day you want to get married before you start booking other vendors. If you are getting married in a location other than your church, make sure that the person you want to marry you can perform at that location. With some religions you may be required to attend marriage preparation seminars as a couple or take compatibility tests. Be sure to sit down with your clergyman and discuss these requirements as well as any questions you may have such as: Can you write your own vows, can you bring in a string quartet to play music, are there any kind of dress code for the guests or even the wedding party.
Last Minute Beauty Treatments
Another mistake brides often make is scheduling beauty treatments or go on diets at the last minute. If you are thinking of going to the tanning salon the day before your wedding you might want to give it a second thought. You might wind up red skin or even blisters instead of a nice tan. Getting a facial or some other treatment at the spa could cause you to break out or discolor your skin for a couple of days. Going with the last minute crash diet could also cause you to break out, or your dress might not fit anymore. Stick to your regular routine in the last couple of weeks and you will be able enjoy your very special day.
The Important Things
Be sure to remember that you are planning this wedding to symbolize the start of a life long marriage and partnership. Don't lose site of this and let your wedding plans get out of control. You will most certainly face challenges while planning a wedding, from agreeing on what flavor of cake to who you are inviting. Never lose focus on why you started this process to begin with... your love for each other!