Your wedding is one of the biggest days of your life. Not only are you marrying your soul mate and making a commitment for all to see, but you will also be pulling off one of the biggest events you will ever plan.
Unless, of course, you are so enthused by planning your own wedding that you take a big step into the world of professional wedding planning. There are all kinds of wedding planner courses, from short 10-week courses to getting the best out of your day, to long courses that look at every detail under a magnifying glass.
And with your desire to no doubt make your wedding the perfect fit for you and your future spouse, avoiding common mistakes and pitfalls is a must. With a meddling mother and/or mother-in-law, egocentric bridesmaids and interfering siblings, you need all the help you can get.
Know the warning signs before they hit with our top 10 mistakes to avoid when planning your wedding…
#1 Choose bridesmaids carefully
The proposal has been popped and now the exciting process of planning your big day is in full swing and, in the first few flushes of wedding planning, you can make decisions that can only be described as disastrous.
You may have promised your childhood best friend, when you were four years of age, that when you get married, they will be your Maid of Honour. You may have sort-of promised the same thing to the girl you shared a room with at Uni, and so on.
Now that you are getting married, it does not mean that you have to honour all these promises drunken or otherwise, from your past.
This is real. And you need a posse of girls around you on the day that are supportive and certainly not bridesmaidzilla-like in the run up to your wedding, choosing a dress or on the day itself. The same obviously goes for the groom and his best man and ushers.
#2 The dress
When it comes to the wedding dress, it is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most important garment of the day. You need to be comfortable in it, it needs to flatter and you need to love it.
But, the wedding dress is the first decision that can be a disaster, which can be avoided by keeping in mind the following;
- Not falling for the first dress you see – shop around; try different styles and fabrics. Take your time.
- Not falling for the dress that is so over budget you will be paying for it for years – it may look stunning but if it is out of your budget, don’t even try it on. Do not. Step away.
- Do not compromise – that said, you want a great dress within your budget that YOU love. Don’t be a crowd pleaser. Just because Mum loves the cake-topper look doesn’t mean you have to.
#3 Skip eating in the run up to the wedding
Clearly, skipping food and not drinking enough in the few days up to your wedding is, for health reasons, alone not a great way to approach the big day. A combination of nerves and excitement can send your stomach into knots, leading to you not eating/eating enough.
Even worse is skipping breakfast on the morning of your wedding.
The problem is this; adrenalin doesn’t last forever and your first glass of celebratory champers on an empty stomach will send the champagne bubbles straight to your head. Before you know it, you’ll be doing the conga down the corridor and crashing out before your evening guests have arrived.
#4 Stay clear of ‘the night before beauty fixes’
Anything that involves cutting, shaping or dying should be done well before the wedding to give beauty treatments time to ‘calm down’ to their desired effect.
- Using anything you have not used before – nothing worse than swallowing antihistamine medication to alleviate an allergic reaction rash with your first bucks fizz of the day.
- Night-before tanning – nope, the orange tan will not look great on photos in years to come, even if it is a source of merriment at every family gathering since.
- Plucking/cutting/shaping – once your beauty therapist has plucked and shaped, cut and coiffured, leave everything well alone. You don’t want a photo of you missing an eyebrow.
- Hair dye the night before – any change or upgrade in hair colour should be done two weeks before to let your hair settle to a natural state. A blob of hair dye in the centre of your forehead is NOT the look you want on your photos.
#5 Meditate not medicate
Half way through our list of disasters and we are to the night before your big day.
Every nerve is jangling, no one has heard from Uncle Peter and your Mother is slowly beginning to self-combust. To top it all, you don’t think you have ordered enough button holes.
It can be tempting to pop a sleeping pill the night before so that you get your eight hours of sleep but unless you are used to sleeping pills, when you wake in the morning you may find the haze of sleep difficult to shift.
In the lead up to your big day, practice some relaxing breathing exercises, and if you can, a spot of meditating.
#6 Avoid cheap, designer gown imitations…
… and never buy off the internet. For your wedding dress, visit a reputable wedding boutique.
#7 The mother-in-law diplomacy act
People surround you on your wedding day and in the planning of it for two reasons: they care and they want to help.
Problem is, as well-intentioned as it is, it can be over-bearing, the wrong kind of help and with so many opinions coming at you, confusing too.
Your mother-in-law will not be the only person to irritate with their interference, but they can sometimes be the person who takes the butt of all the jokes at a wedding.
Hopefully, you will have come to know your mother-in-law well over your courtship with your soon-to-be-spouse and thus, you have a measure of how you think they will react to wedding planning.
Unfortunately, wedding planner courses won’t equip you with patience and virtue in handling the mother-in-law, but:
a. Don’t fall out with her – the damage can be lasting
b. Delegate a job that you are happy for her to run with as her own
c. Take a deep breath. And no snapping.
#8 No booking a professional wedding photographer
So, Uncle Desmond has a really expensive camera and cousin Pete has a drone? Great. But really – are you prepared to stake everything on them being able to stage and set your photos so that in ten years’ time when you look at them, you are going to become dewy eyed over how beautiful you look and handsome your hubby is?
You can’t do that if Uncle Desmond becomes so inebriated halfway through the reception that there are no photos beyond the ceremony.
If you spend your money on nothing else, spend it on a photographer.
#9 Shedding too much weight
Wedding planning can, if you allow it to, run on nervous exhaustion, a heady mix of adrenalin and excitement, with a dollop of anxiety mixed in.
The problem is that in this time, with 250 favours to make up for the tables and keeping up with an ever-changing seating plan, deadlines looming and decisions to be made, we can forget the most important thing: looking after ‘me’.
This means taking a walk or having a run. It means eating well, eating healthily and eating regularly.
This affects not only your mood and enjoyment of the day, but also how your dress fits. Drop too many lbs and lose too many inches, and when you get dressed in your beautiful dress, it won’t hang as well as it did.
However, there is also another side to this and that is the food we eat tends to be ‘snacks’, loaded with calories. All too many brides have gorged on crisps and chocolate in the run up to their day and just about managed the squeeze into their dress.
Moderation is key!
#10 Saying the wrong names
For those that love the American sitcom ‘Friends’, you will remember the episode ‘The One with Ross’ Wedding’. Whatever you do, say the right name…
How to avoid all these mistakes?
The answer is simple. Get yourself booked on to one of our wedding planner courses today.
With flexible payment options, you can learn new skills from the comfort of your own sofa, if that’s how you study best, or make notes for your next assignment whilst commuting to work on the bus if that’s the way you rock.
You may also find that studying wedding planning for your own wedding leads to a new career either planning other people’s wedding, or opting for another course on event planning.
Who would have thought that planning your own wedding could open so many doors?