Do yourself a favor: bookmark this post so you do not repeat these wedding planning mistakes! Trust us, you’ll thank us later. If you have never planned a wedding before (and really…who, besides a wedding planner, has?), you may not know where to start, what to expect, what to do, or more importantly, what not to do. For those that don’t know any better, the walk down the aisle is littered with missteps. To save you from experiencing wedding regret, we’ve put together a list of 10 commonly made wedding planning mistakes. Consider yourself warned (and adjust accordingly if there is still time!).
1.) Assuming DIY is Cheaper
It isn’t always! By the time you buy the materials and tools needed, a project may end up costing you just as much – or perhaps even more – than a professional would have. Also, ask yourself what your time is worth. If you spend 30 hours DIY-ing something in order to save $50, is it really time well spent? We don’t think so.
2.) Or DIYing Too Much
We love a good DIY wedding as much as anyone. But like all good things, DIY is best in moderation Doing it yourself can be stressful, expensive (see above), and it doesn’t always turn out as planned. Pick and choose your DIY projects carefully so as to not totally stress yourself out. Then, leave the rest to the pros.
3.) Not Hiring a Day-of Coordinator
A day-of wedding coordinator is worth every.single.penny. You don’t want to spend the morning of your big day putting the proverbial icing on your wedding cake. You want to be relaxing with your bridal party, getting pampered, and soaking in every moment…not decorating tables, worrying about whether the DJ has shown up yet, or Googling “How to pin on a boutonniere”. Hiring a coordinator actually lets you be a guest at your own wedding! A full scale planner can even help you with the design process, mapping out the day’s timeline, and perhaps even save you some money! Find our recommendations for the best Pittsburgh wedding coordinators in our Vendor Guide!
4.) Not Allotting Enough Time for Getting Ready, Receiving Line, Family Photos, etc.
These things take waaaaaay longer than you think. Putting on your dress, shoes, jewelry, garter, and other pieces can easily take 30 minutes – even longer if you have a corset or button back. A receiving line for 150 people is another 30 – 45 minutes (literally everyone will want to hug you!). And family photos really can’t be accomplished in 5 minutes unless your photographer is a wizard. Running over on one aspect pushes the entire day back or will force you to shorten others. Ask your vendors how much time to allot for the big moments and then keep a watch handy (sounds like a good job for the day-of coordinator; see above!)!
5.) Allowing Your Day to Become Someone Else’s Day (i.e. not setting boundaries).
A wedding day never belongs to just the engaged couple. It’s also a special day for the parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. It’s really fantastic when those other folks want to be heavily involved in the planning process, but you have to know where to draw the line. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into making decisions that don’t reflect you and your fiance. At times, you might need to stand your ground and be firm, but it’s better than feeling like your wedding is no longer under your control.
6.) Not Being Flexible with Dates, Vendor Selection, etc.
If you have your heart set on a certain date, venue, or photographer, act fast. Otherwise, you could be disappointed when your favorites are already booked. With that being said, try to also be flexible. Is there another date you could choose? There are so many talented Pittsburgh wedding vendors that you’re bound to find another that you love just as much. Be flexible and go with the flow.
7.) Expecting Perfection
We hate to break it to you but it’s not going to happen. Something will go wrong. Maybe it will be something small or maybe it will be kind of a big deal (hello, COVID). But it’s how you react to it that matters. In the end, you’ll still be married to the love of your life! NOTHING will change that…not even mismatched napkins, no-show guests, a little rain, or a down-sized guest list. Take this minute to accept the fact that there will be some hiccups. Now move on!
8.) Not Creating Cohesion
Your wedding should have common threads woven through all aspects of it. This is usually what people mean when they refer to your wedding theme or style. Haphazardly pieced-together elements can leave your guests wondering what look you were going for. Settle on a style that best matches your personality and your venue and stick with it. Don’t overload your guests (and your photos) with too many different looks no matter what becomes popular on Pinterest!
9.) Not Doing Your Research
Do your homework, people. Those of you who have never planned a wedding will likely be floored at what some things cost. Products and services aren’t unnecessarily overpriced but that’s just the reality of the industry. Knowing the average cost of a caterer, florist, DJ, photographer, etc. will help you determine an appropriate budget and save you from experiencing sticker shock later.
10.) Not Being Nice
The number one, worst mistake you can make is not being a kind, gracious, glowing soon-to-be newlywed. No one wants to deal with an unkind client or friend. Revisit our tips on how to be the best soonly-wed you can be!
Former Burgh Brides, what are some of the mistakes you made? What lessons did you learn while planning your wedding? Anything you wish you would have known ahead of time or done differently? Comment below and let us know so we can save a future Burgh Bride from a repeat!