If you are a bride taking on the responsibility of planning your wedding, stop first and honestly evaluate yourself to see if you have what it takes. If you are convinced this challenge is one you can conquer, make sure you avoid these 5 “rookie” wedding planning mistakes as you begin this amazing adventure.
- Concentrating only on the majors. First, you must absolutely get organized. The bare minimum requirements are a planning binder which captures all your notes & research, contacts, vendor information, etc along with wedding planning checklists, to-do lists, and the internet at your fingertips. But while these things are necessities for hitting the major planning points, most “free” wedding to- do lists and things you see on-line do not delve far enough into the minor planning points. In other words, having a guide to tell you when to pick certain vendors or purchase invitations is one thing. But these tools generally won’t alert you, before you spend hours making your handmade escort cards, that they won’t work at your outdoor wedding because the wind will blow them over. This is where even one consultation with a wedding planner at the beginning stages could prove very beneficial.
- Trying to do too much in too little time. This is the Pinterest-victim syndrome I commonly refer to. There are many DIY projects a bride can do to save money or add personal touches, but most underestimate the time required to complete these projects. If you are going to do your DIY projects, make sure you plan to complete them EARLY in the planning process if possible. You don’t want to still have time consuming projects on your plate when you get down to two months or sooner before your wedding. Instead of trying to do too much, begin by choosing one or two “high impact” areas that you want to personalize. If you find yourself sitting around on a Saturday with nothing to do, you could always consider adding to your list.
- Not starting at the beginning. When starting out on a wedding planning adventure, a bride may have already fallen in love with a certain vendor or color or look and may immediately lock in a choice that will affect all other choices. This may work out ok, but the smarter thing to do is to start at the beginning. Lock down the big 3 first: budget, estimated guest list, and theme. Then immediately proceed to the biggest chunks of your wedding budget: venue, food, photographer and possibly decor/equipment. It will be easier then to determine how much you can afford for centerpieces or your floral arrangements once these are decided on.
- Letting details overwhelm you. It’s true that planning a wedding is a task composed of numerous details. But instead of being driven crazy by all the thoughts that swarm in your head, sometimes it’s best to seek a little professional advice. Having an expert put you on the right track can alleviate a lot of anxiety. If you know you will utilize the services of a wedding coordinator a month or two before the wedding, you can rest a little easier knowing a professional will be helping you pull together all the logistics at the end, while you focus on main tasks at hand.
- Impulse decision-making. It’s really important to stick to your budget and theme once you determine them. You will always fall in love with something pricey. When you go to try on wedding gowns or look at rings, someone will try to convince you to buy something out of the price range you determined. It’s best to be prepared and be armed with level-headedness when heading out to such vendor meetings or on wedding shopping excursions. If you can make room in your budget for the pricier item by cutting back on something else, great. If not, take at least a day or two to think it over, enough time for you become less emotional in your decision making.
Avoiding these pitfalls should help you to start planning your wedding with confidence and success. If you have any other tips, please feel free to comment and share.