12 Most Common Wedding Planning Mistakes

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Even long after the wedding is over, we always hear a few ‘coulda, woulda, shouldas’ when talking to brides. With help from the fabulous team at Colin Cowie Celebrations, we put together a guide of the top 10 mistakes couples make during the planning process and easy ways to prevent those post-wedding regrets.

1. Choosing The Wrong Venue
First, make sure the location you’re booking is the appropriate size for your event and isn’t painfully far from your ceremony location. More importantly, make sure the venue can supply certain elements you’ll need, like dinnerware and table linens. You don’t want to book your event and find out you have to source every single item for your event on your own. Destination wedding venues are a completely different story.

2. Lacking Organization
Between appointments with your florist, cake tastings, dress fittings and RSVP dates it’s so easy to veer off track during the wedding planning process. Do yourself a huge favor and get savvy with social media tools and create a comprehensive timeline of important dates and deadlines from the get-go.

3. Saving The Small Stuff For Later
Leaving the little things until later is okay, but remember that those little details add up quickly. Tying bows to water bottles, ordering props, putting together welcome bags, creating place cards and making favors should not be left to the last minute. Calling your bridesmaids for an all hands on deck cram-session the night before your wedding will leave you stressed with dark circles the next day… not chic. 

4. Signing Off Too Late
As soon as you put a ring on it, start getting a feel for color schemes, venues and creative partners you’d like to book for your event. Whatever you do, start making decisions as early as possible! Just as your calendar will quickly fill up, so will your desired florist’s, baker’s and DJ’s so act fast.

5. Creating The Seating Chart Too Early
This is one element of your wedding day you actually want to leave until the last minute. It’s not unlikely that natural disasters, tear-filled breakups and illnesses will have names dropping from your guest like flies, so wait until a couple of days before your wedding to create your seating chart.

6. Ignoring The Morning-Of Schedule
There are a ton of things to do the morning of your wedding day including breakfast, hair and makeup, exchanging of bridesmaid gifts, family photos and videographer interviews. Make sure you wake up early and stay organized the morning of your wedding day. You’ll be surprised how quickly the time passes!

7. Winging It
It may be your big day, but Mother Nature is boss. Make sure you have a contingency plan for rain, raging wildfires and any other disasters that could entirely change your wedding. Unexpected events may be out of your hands, but you can still regain some control with a backup plan (or two).

8. Leaving Your Guests In The Dark
As Colin always says, a well-informed guest is a happy guest. It’s also a sign of a fabulous host. Triple-check your invitations for any cryptic language, create a wedding website, print ceremony programs and dinner menus, and sincerely thank your guests the day-of for celebrating alongside you.

9. Neglecting The Lists
Before the wedding, be sure to keep your DJ, photographer and videographer informed. Prepare a ‘shot list’ for your photographer with names accompanying each image so photos can be taken quickly and efficiently the day of. Be sure to give your DJ a full list of songs you want and don’t want to hear the day of your wedding. Lastly, give your caterer a list of foods that are off-limits and any dietary restrictions guests might have.

10. Asking Too Few Questions
It’s so important to ask potential creative partners the right questions. Failing to do so can cost you some serious cash and lead to major headaches down the road. Along those lines, but sure to thoroughly read contracts and revise them if necessary. Tap into your network of lawyer friends and ask for their help!

11. Getting Carried Away
So many brides look back on their wedding and wish they had kept it from getting 'bigger than Big’ à la Carrie Bradshaw. A little stress throughout the wedding planning process is normal, but feeling the urge to tear your hair out at 2AM is a sign to stop everything and scale back. This day is supposed to be fun and happy, so take a breather and remember what’s truly important.

12. Forgetting Your Belongings
Before the big day, designate a parent or your MOH to gather your belongings at the end of the night. Leftover cake, the sign-in book, extra wedding favors and gifts are all prime examples. There’s a good chance you will have succumbed to the champagne by midnight, so it’s important to have someone you trust in charge.

--Keely-Shea Smith

 
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