Mistakes to AVOID when planning a wedding

Having planned and executed over 400 weddings I have learnt a thing or two about what to do but more importantly what NOT to do when it comes to wedding planning and styling.

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Let’s face it, planning a wedding can be overwhelming. Having planned and executed over 400 weddings I have learnt a thing or two about what to do but more importantly what NOT to do when it comes to wedding planning and styling.To ensure you don’t make the same mistakes, I have pulled together my biggest mistakes to avoid when planning a wedding.

  1. Running late – I hate to say it, but guests are notorious for running late to wedding ceremonies. So many guests that have snuck into the church just before the bride walks down the aisle, or better still, have missed the grand entrance all together. To avoid this, set the ceremony start time 15 – 30 minutes earlier than it actually is to make sure everyone arrives on time.
  1. Budget blowouts – No one likes surprises especially the financial kind. This can happen so easily once you factor in suppliers and all the other elements of a wedding. My top tip is to create a working budget and follow it religiously. Populate your spreadsheet with estimates on prices then add the final figures and confirm. Makes it so easy to see where funds are being allocated, and if you overspend anywhere you can pull back in another area.
  1. The wind– You can never completely avoid the wind, but you can take it into consideration when designing for outdoor spaces. The wind can affect different venues to varying degrees, especially if your ceremony and reception are both outdoor. You need to make sure your décor and floral arrangements are secure and safe. I have seen ceremony arrangements fall to the ground right before the bride walks down the aisle so it is essential you communicate with your florist and make sure nothing is too heavy. Consider building arrangements from the group up so they are not top heavy, pots are sturdy and stylish but not as risky so incorporating these can be a great solution.
  1. Time off – I always suggest to brides that if they can, they should take off a week before their wedding. This allows time for personal pampering and spa treatments, perhaps catching up with interstate guests, hosting rehearsal dinners, and doing last minute wedding errands. Grooms – You need to take some time off too. I have seen too many grooms working up until the day before the wedding. They are often tired, stressed and still wound up from work. We all need a few days to completely unwind from the busyness of our lives.
  1. Favours – Do not leave favours or wedding chores (such as labelling water bottles) to the last minute. I repeat! Do not leave favours and wedding chores to the last minute. These DIY craft activities seem like a great idea at the time, however throw in wedding mania and they become a nightmare. Staying up to the wee hours in the morning packaging and labelling sweet treats is not a good way to relax during the lead up. We all underestimate (including me) how long a task takes to do. My suggestion is double the time you think it will take and then add a bit more on.
  1. Another budget one – We recommend putting around 5% of your overall budget away for all the incidentals and unexpected expenses. This way you won’t get caught out with last minute purchases like a marquee or unforeseen costs such as late bump out costs from suppliers.
  1. Tardy RSVPs – It is common practise for guests RSVP late or not at all. This can be frustrating for the couple and the planner. I would suggest setting your RSVP date a month before the event, this gives you plenty of time to chase up tardy guests and finalise your seating arrangements.
  1. Cake – Make sure you confirm storage directions with your cake artist before the day. Most butter cream cakes will need to be refrigerated until two hours before they are cut. It is important the venue has capacity to accommodate this. If not, you may want to organise a late delivery or have cooler boxes/bags on stand-by.
  1. Lighting rehearsal – If you are having an indoor wedding or outdoor wedding in the evening, I would always recommend a lighting rehearsal two to three days before. This allows you to identify any areas that may require additional lighting. Also make sure you have a backup generator onsite. Those dam hair straighteners are always tripping the power.
  1. Have a plan – In this current time of uncertainty, is its essential for you to keep up to date with current restrictions and regulations put in place by the government. Making sure you have plenty of social distancing, hand sanitiser and hygiene practices in place will ensure your wedding runs smoothly and with regulations. If you want to know more about the current situation surrounding COVID-19 and weddings jump over to The Wedding School YouTube.

If you have just started on your wedding planning journey, we invite you to join Danielle for an exclusive LIVE WORKSHOP (it’s absolutely free) to learn more insightful tips and tricks to planning and styling your own wedding and avoiding the overwhelm. See you at workshop!