Your wedding is supposed to be magical. (Or, at the very least, super fun.) Don’t let something silly like a lack of a rain plan or a totally avoidable makeup faux pas stop you from enjoying it. Here, ten of the most common wedding-planning mistakes — and how to avoid them.
1. Doing anything before setting a budget
Will last-minute costs spring up out of the blue? Most likely, but making a realistic budget — before doing anything else — is still paramount. If you don’t, you risk falling in love with a dress or a venue — or both — before realizing that each one costs more than you’re willing to spend for the whole shebang. Is budgeting with your betrothed the most romantic thing in the world? No, but setting guidelines from the get-go will save you tons of stress down the line.
2. Neglecting to make a rain plan
Obviously this is only relevant if you’re planning an outside affair, but you’d be surprised how many couples count on marital luck to ensure perfect weather. No matter how much you think coming up with a rain plan might jinx the forecast, do it. (And hey, if it does rain, sometimes the photos are worth it.)
3. Assuming 10 percent of your guests will RSVP ‘no’
We’ve all heard the stats: 10 percent of the people you invite won’t be able to make it — and up that to 20 percent if it’s a destination wedding. While sure, those numbers are probable, they’re not definite, and you shouldn’t count on them. When putting together your final guest list, you might feel safe hedging your bets by over-inviting, but if more people say “Yes” than can actually fit in the venue, you’re in trouble. Keep your guest list within the venue capacity. Plus, remember that people are more accustomed to traveling for nuptials these days.
4. Impulsively sending your save-the-dates
In these early stages of wedding planning, your heart’s so full, of course, you want your mailperson to hold Memorial Day 2019. But a couple months down the line you might realize you have to nix a bunch of third-tier guests. The problem? You’ve already basically invited them. Now things get complicated. Instead, wait until you’ve landed on a venue and finalized your number before sending that Paperless Post blast.
5. Buying your dress first
Your venue? A rustic barn in the mountains decorated like Joanna Gaines’s secret Pinterest board. Your dress? A ball gown that makes Cinderella’s frock look like rags. Although you can (and should) wear whatever makes you happiest, consider saying “yes” to the dress or pantsuit or tux after you say “yes” to the venue and the general vibe of the day.
6. Nixing the hair and makeup trial
This one comes straight from a PureWow editor: “I had one of my good friends do my makeup, but we live on different sides of the country so we didn’t have a chance to do a trial until the actual wedding. She had done my makeup before (many years ago) and I trusted her completely, so I wasn’t necessarily worried. I was really happy with how it turned out, but I would’ve saved myself some stress if I’d done the trial earlier. Plus, it might have been fun to try out some other looks beforehand.” Noted.
7. Saving by not hiring a videographer
It’s no big surprise that couples have some budget regrets, but what is surprising is what many say they regret not spending more on. According to Zola’s Wedding Planning Survey, one-third of recently married folks wish they shelled out more on a videographer. Learn from them.
8. Being too vague with your photographer
“Just wing it,” you instruct your photog. “I trust your judgment.” That seems super chill and nice of you… until you get your photos back and they’re all shot like stills from a Tarantino movie. Try to be as specific as possible when making a game plan with your photographer. Look through his or her website and be really honest about what you want and don’t want. In the moment you might feel bossy or needy, but trust us, it’ll be worth it 30 years from now.
9. Letting yourself get too stressed
We know, we know. You’re wedding is a pretty big deal. But being too tightly wound will drive you — and everyone around you — a little crazy. Instead of micro-managing every single aspect of the day, prioritize the things that are most important to you (whether that’s the food or the music or even the seating chart) and loosen the reins on the other stuff a little bit.
10. Being Too Chill
On the flipside, being too relaxed throughout the planning process can actually backfire. We’ve known many a bride who prides herself on being the anti-bridezilla only to freak out the week before when she realizes she really did need to care about some stuff. As with all things in life, planning a successful wedding is all about balance.