From losing your engagement ring to overdoing it on decor or failing to keep guests protected from mosquitoes, read on to find out the most common wedding planning errors brides-to-be make.
Get your ring insured
Even if you are the most careful person in the world, accidents that are beyond your control could happen, God forbid. Never take your ring off in public places. Avoid cleaning products with bleach or ammonia that will damage the ring. Don’t clean your ring over an open drain. You can’t stop things from happening but you can get your precious insured, now!
Put Yourself First
Take time to think about the type of celebration you want. Discuss with your groom and find out what you two as a couple truly represent and what your uttermost desires are – before hitting pinterest and gorging over bridal magazines. That way you will create the wedding that is the closest to your heart and most important to you, as opposed to the off-the-shelf wedding ideas as prescribed by others who you never met.
Don’t be mislead by others advise
As well as my previous point, only absorb as much advise from others that feels relevant for you and your groom. Everybody who got married will often be quick to give suggestions for you, but these are most likely based on what THEY think they should have done differently. Everyone has different priorities and interests don’t they? So while their advise is well intended, it might not apply to the wedding day you are hoping to create.
I have been suggested twice from one friend that I must have “koeksisters” (A south African sweet) on my wedding dessert table – even though I have never even tasted them. She even suggested I put them on the wedding cake! Is this my wedding or is it what she wished she had done?
Do consider your far-away guests needs
Many guest will probably travel from far and wide to attend your wedding. Do write to everybody from out of town to express gratitude for their attendance, as it will be to their considerable expense. They will really appreciate if you surprise them with a “welcome bag” with local goodies as a treat. On your wedding website, include a list of recommended accommodation and popular activities in your area, or simply send out a group email specifically for out-of-towners. Even suggest that guests coordinate to stay at the same hotel or at least near each other (and you). A nice way for everybody to get to know each other is to arrange list of activities, sightseeing and meals together in the week leading up to the wedding. (You and your groom do not have to attend all of them)
Also consider their comfort on the wedding
Provide necessary items for your wedding guests comfort at your outdoors wedding
Such as bug spray, blankets, umbrellas, heaters and/ or a midnight snack. I have seen at a couple of weddings that the bridal couple provide flip flops for guests to dance in or to have a welcomed relief from formal shoes – and then keep as a favour. Quite a cool idea.
Provide entertainment and enough snacks during waiting time
If there is a long waiting time between the ceremony and the reception, when you are off taking photographs for example, make sure that there is enough things for guests to keep themselves entertained while they wait. Lawn games, mad libs, colouring books for the children, and help-your-self finger foods. Make sure there is water and lemonade or similar for the guests to keep hydrated, especially if it is a hot day. Happy guests that have something to do and are having fun, will create the best atmosphere for your wedding day.
Feed your vendors
You don’t need to feed your florist and her assistant, or the officiant, but for the vendors that are spending the day at your wedding should be getting a meal as part of their deal. You don’t want your photographer to have an empty stomach when capturing the most significant moments of the day. Or the DJ to suffer from fatigue when building up the energy on the dance floor. Ensure they always have a water bottle handy, and fruit/ energy bars would also be a considerate way to keep them going.
Create your decor and tables with you and your grooms own style in mind
There are too many wedding that look like every other. Be creative and individual in your wedding design and remember that each table doesn’t have to look exactly the same either. Let the decorations be as unique as you are. It will be all the more interesting for guests to look at, and make your wedding even more memorable.
Consider the venue when planning the decor
Do have the venue in mind when planning the decor. Rustic boho might not blend well in to a chateau wedding, and vice versa. Even if you are going for a gypsy festival theme, remember to keep it tasteful – you don’t want to over-decorate or block guests views across the tables. Less is often more.
At your engagement party, bachelorette and bridal shower, make sure that each guest is also going to be invited to the wedding
Needless to say, always be considerate and fair, so keep the wedding party consistent leading up to the wedding so no one gets left out. (If they can’t attend the wedding for own reasons you can of course include them, if they want)
Be flower wise
Make sure the flowers you are choosing for the table are not too overpowering in fragrance. It might disturb the experience of the meal, and some might be allergic too. Discuss with your florist carefully your colour scheme and theme of the wedding so she can create the best visual impact. Your favorite flower might have to be imported or out of season – you can keep flower costs down by choosing seasonal and locally grown flowers. A florist will help you with the best alternatives.
Also bring along a picture of your dress to the florist so that she can match the size and shape of the bouquet to the design of your dress.
Try not do DIY everything
Cake, dessert, invites, place cards, centrepieces, garter, photo booth props, even your wedding dress.. some brides can and will do it all, with or without help from friends and family. But to avoid decor anxiety, try to limit your projects to just a few things, those that feel most relevant, realistic and not too time consuming. Many pinterest ideas look so wonderful and fabulous online, but chances are they won’t look so amazing in real life. Be DIY savvy and don’t try to overachieve. It can get stressful, and worst scenario would be if they don’t ready in time/ break/ don’t end up looking like you want.
Remember to eat!
You might be so busy that you forget to eat your own wedding food, and excited that you don’t feel the hunger. But it is important to have something in your stomach for energy, and especially when you start on the cocktails. Have your caterer prepare a take away box in the kitchen that you can take with you to the hotel, in case you are ravenous!
Plan the toasts as well as the speeches
As nice it can be to be saluted, chances are that the wedding guest with the microphone will barge ahead and sneak in a few minutes speech into their toasts. Coordinate beforehand who is making speeches and who is toasting and make sure that everybody knows to keep to a certain time limit so you don’t bore the other guests or cut into the rest of the party time.
Allow for surprise costs in the budget
Extra facials, tip to a vendor that was forgotten about, last minute dress adjustments, extra hours for the photographer or an unexpected taxi ride – it is a very good idea to have an contingency plan, as much as 10% of the total budget, for unforeseen expenses.
Let the little things go
As much as you can, plan the wedding thoroughly. But you can’t and won’t be able to control every single detail on the wedding day. When the day comes, just disengage from planning and coordination mode and just enjoy the day with your groom, family and friends. No one but you is going to notice those minor things that might occur. Don’t be a bridezilla and try not to worry so much – the day will be perfect for what it is. The best way to overcome mistakes is to keep calm and happy, and smile, because these memories will last a lifetime – so just enjoy everything!