Top Three Wedding Planning No No’s
We work with couples who are at all different stages of planning their wedding. Unless we are with them from the very beginning, we often find the exact same wedding planning mistakes are made by each. And don’t worry we are not listing one of these as not hiring a wedding planner at the beginning… even though that is great advice.
Here are the top three mistakes we see each couple making:
1. Spending Too Much at the Beginning
If we had a dollar for every time a couple or parents says to us, “I don’t have a budget…” well, you already know the metaphor. Everyone has a budget. The reality is most people figure this out after it is too late.
Couples think, “once I find the venue, I will know our budget” or our favorite “once I find the venue, the hardest and most expensive part is done.” Eh, wrong. The venue is a piece of the overall puzzle. It is a very important piece, but not one that eats up half your budget.
For example (we like examples), let’s say your all-in budget is $50,000. You fall in love with a venue that costs $10,000. This leaves you $40,000 for food, alcohol, floral, decorations, cake, music, outfits, transportation, printed products, and on and on. While that is a lot of money, it really isn’t when you are trying to entertain several hundred guests. It adds up fast. Really fast.
The other splurge item, sorry to say ladies, is your dress. Trust us, we know this is the dress. Like THE DRESS. But you don’t need to spend 10 percent of your wedding budget on said dress. No one is going to know how much it cost. We believe the reason women spend so much on their dress is because it is one of the only tangible items you get to see prior to the wedding day. Think about that for a second, you don’t really know what your centerpieces or cake will look like until the day of.
Let’s go back to our example above, say you spend $5,000 on your dress. You spent $15,000 on two things, leaving you $35,000 for the rest. This likely means you will either have to cut other areas you didn’t want to like losing those passed appetizers or open bar, or you will have to spend more money.
Take it from us, sit down and make a budget first thing. Think about what is important to you and spend your money there. If you want lots of flowers and are okay with a wine and beer bar, then great! It’s your wedding after all. Make sure to allocate the funds appropriately. This Knot article provides a great rundown of how much you should be spending in each vendor category.
2. Waiting Too Long
Couples waiting too long to make decisions touches every single aspect of the wedding planning process.
Let’s start with vendors. If you want a particular photographer, caterer or band, and they are within your budget, book them as soon as you can. Many vendors can only take one wedding a day. This includes planners, photographers, bands… anyone there is only one of. Even if they love you as a couple, they are going to book the first person that signs a contract and pays a deposit.
You can’t get mad at them for doing this… We can’t tell you how many inquiries we get that don’t work out. If we reserved dates for everyone we talked to, we would lose out on helping so many couples.
The same goes for any product vendors might have available. Let’s use transportation as an example. There are only so many party buses with seats that face each other in town. And you guessed it, those go first. If you want one of those buses, book it immediately. Don’t drag your feet because some other couple might book it before you.
You see the trend we are getting at? We realize some great ideas do come further down the planning road. By all means try to make those happen, but don’t get mad at the vendors when they are not able to make certain things happen due to lack of time and resources.
3. Trying to Keep up with Pinterest
Pinterest. We love it. We hate it. We love that it is full of ideas and inspiration. We hate that couples try so hard to have a Pinterest wedding.
If you want our full thoughts on Pinterest, read this blog post. Otherwise, here is our best advice, you do you. Create, design and host the wedding you have always wanted. Don’t look at Pinterest or different vendors’ social media profiles and think “should I be doing that?” or “am I doing enough?” Go with your gut about what is right for you.
We know it is easier to say than do, but don’t focus on having the day that others have already had. Focus on the day only you can have.