Five Mistakes People Make When Planning A Wedding

by BrookeVanBeek

Yes, it's your wedding, your special day. Make sure you and your guests enjoy the day by avoiding these simple wedding mistakes.

You've thought about it since you were a little girl. You used to wear your mother's white and silver scarf with a wreath of white, fake plastic roses on your head. You gazed at your bridal-esque reflection in the mirror and dreamed about your turn, when you get to be princess for the day.
Now it's finally here--you've found the right guy, he's found the right ring, the date is set and at last you can indulge your inner wedding planner and bring your fantasy day to life.

It's YOUR Big Day, Not Theirs

You will spend months, even years, planning your wedding, but your guests only want to enjoy it for one day.

Although you will be consumed with the minutiae of planning your big day, no one else wants to be.  Maybe your mother, but that's it.  Other people have jobs, families and lives to live--their world doesn't stop for your wedding.  They will be happy to attend an engagement party, they will buy you a lovely, expensive gift, but the majority of your carefully chosen guests only need to deal with your special day on the special day.  That's it.

Mistake One: A Gigantic Bridal Party

All you really need is a maid of honour and best man. After that, keep it small and close.

Being part of a wedding is a big deal--an expensive, time consuming, all encompassing deal.  The people you choose to be closest to you during your wedding ought to be close to you now.  Think siblings and that one best friend, the one you already talk to daily.  Putting people in your wedding party because you think you "should" won't do anyone any favours--they will resent the time and effort they are expected to contribute and you will be frustrated by their inability to read your mind. 

Mistake Two: Showers, Showers and More Showers

One is enough! Two tops!

Now that you have finely tuned your bridal party to your absolute best friend and a sibling or two, please don't expect them to attend every bridal event.  Some brides-to-be end up having numerous bridal showers--the bride's friends, the bride's mother's friends, the groom's family, co-workers, stag and doe mixers, and maybe an engagement party thrown in for good measure.  It is a big ask to expect your bridesmaids to attend each event, and an even bigger one to ask for a gift at each, yet it happens.  If possible, combine guests to make just one shower, and keep a day open for a mixer. 

Why?  So many showers and events are time consuming and expensive--travel, accommodation, food, drink, clothes.  Your bridal party will thank you and will want to help you more.  And they will have more money to buy you that very cool hot air balloon ride as a wedding gift.

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Mistake Three: Overspending

Have the wedding you can afford, not the one you saw on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

To quote the lovely Julia Roberts, having a financial blowout of a wedding is a, "big mistake.  Big.  Huge."  Why drop tons of cash stocking a bar with expensive booze to watch your second cousin three times removed lose his steak dinner in the bushes?  Make a budget and stick to it.  Decide where you really need to spend money (like your dress) and where you can happily cut back (like ditching the wedding favours--no one keeps the wedding favours).  You will likely regret starting your married life with a kazillion dollar debt spend on one day.  Because it is just one day.  It's in vogue at the moment to renew vows anyway, so perhaps for a ten year anniversary you can hire out that exclusive resort in Fiji and fly your entire family out for the week.  But only if you can afford it.

Mistake Four: Too Many Venues with Too Much Down Time

Plan smart. No one wants to be driving all over the city or country from one venue to another and sit around for hours while you are having your portrait taken in seventy-five different poses.

Nothing destroys a guest's wedding experience more than having to navigate their way from the church, to the restaurant and then the hotel, especially if they are unfamiliar with the city.  And what are guests meant to do between venues while you are off freshening up and taken a million photos? Look for venues that can accommodate both the ceremony and reception and have food and drink available to your guests at all times.  Keep the photography session short--at the end of the day, it's rude to leave people waiting for hours on end, wedding or not.

Mistake Five: Inviting Too Many People

Your guest list should reflect your closest friends and family. That's it.

Believe it or not, everyone you have ever met does not actually want to come to your wedding.  They don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on gifts, outfits and hotels.  Your closest friends and family?  They do.  They will be up for a great party to celebrate your nuptials.  And if you invite fewer people, you have more money to throw a fantastic, amazing, memorable party.  If you haven't seen your cousin Jerome since you roasted marshmallows at summer camp when you were seven, leave him off the list.  Think ahead ten years--will you still be best friend's with Becky the twenty year old party girl from work when you are hitched and towing two littlies around?  Probably not, so leave her out.  If people have a problem with it, just say, "We have chosen to keep things intimate and affordable, thanks for asking." 

Of Course, The Decision is Yours

Ultimately, it is your wedding, so do what you want.

Although these mistakes are good things to think about when planning your wedding, every couple is different and it is up to you and the groom to decide on your day.  You may have to move your venues for cost or religious reasons, or you may have ten sisters to include in your bridal party.  Just think about what you're asking from people and avoid doing things because you "have" to--it's not 1950 anymore and you can have your wedding, your way.

But if you end up with a room full of grumpy guests and overworked bridesmaids, you can't say I didn't warn you.

Updated: 05/11/2013, BrookeVanBeek
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BrookeVanBeek on 02/23/2013

Excellent point! It actually astonishes me how some parents truly believe they have a say, which should be followed to the letter, in their kids' weddings--I seriously do not get that. But we paid for own wedding and I lived on the other side of the world from my parentals, so I escaped much of the "bossy Mother" thing. And I intend to remember my own advice when/if my daughter's get married!

Ben on 02/23/2013

Oh, if only I thought of all that when I was getting married. But then again my mother was awfully bossy about MY wedding! Forgot to add - Only let parents give input not control it even if they are paying for most of it! : )

georgettejohn on 02/04/2013

Very Good and well said!

katiem2 on 02/03/2013

What a great plan to avoid stressful mistakes when planning a wedding. Thanks for the helpful wedding planning tips. :)K

BrookeVanBeek on 02/01/2013

Good point about the "impress" factor Dustytoes. I think that happens often--yet how often do guests complain about weddings after people put so much effort into them! I too prefer small events--we had fifteen people total at my wedding, and I didn't need half of them! :)

dustytoes on 02/01/2013

I so agree that a wedding should be small and simple. Otherwise it's just an attempt to impress everyone. More fun is had at a smaller event.

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