Not hiring a wedding planner first: Since I felt that I had already planned every aspect of my wedding, I didn’t think a planner was necessary, but a wedding planner IS necessary. Especially for the ‘day of’ coordination. You’re not going to feel like handling every detail of your big day, and you won’t have time to either! Not only can wedding planners help you negotiate with vendors (aka save you money), they can recommend stellar alternatives to those who are out of your price range. If you can’t afford that $10,000 photographer, your wedding planner will probably be able to recommend someone in budget with a similar style.
Booking a venue without a budget: The day after we got engaged, I booked our venue. It was my dream venue, and
Not putting enough of the budget towards a great photographer: I wish I would have realized the importance of a good photographer before I signed anything. The photos from your wedding will last a lifetime. If you splurge on nothing else, splurge on your photographer. Do your research, and find a style you like. Then visit sites like Style Me Pretty or The Knot to find a trusted photographer. You don’t want to be the bride that says, “our day was amazing, but the photos don’t show that.”
Placing importance on unimportant things: Speaking of splurging, don’t spend time and money on things that aren’t important. People won’t notice if you don’t have flowers at the end of the
Worrying too much about the invitations: The truth is, your wedding invitation is going to get thrown away by everyone except for you and your grandmother. Don’t waste money on over-the-top invites, instead put that extra cash towards your dream photographer or better food.
Spending too much money on the dress: It’s something you’re going to wear for six hours tops, so unless your budget is in the five figures, don’t break it for the dress. It’s more than likely that the style you fell in love with is offered at a lower price point somewhere else. So, before you say yes to the dress, make sure you’ve looked at alternative brands and locations. When the sales woman asks you the highest number you’re willing to spend, tell her a white-lie. I guarantee you, you will go over budget, so if she goes into it thinking your max is much lower than it really is, you’ll end up spending what you originally intended to.
Asking opinions from everyone: Once you’ve figured out how you want your wedding to look, stop asking for advice from your bridesmaids and family members. Towards the end of my planning, I decided the only person’s
Including everyone you’ve ever met on the guest list: Listen - your first crush from kindergarten does not need to be on the guest list. The best way to salvage your budget is to cut guests. If that means you end up having a very intimate wedding with twenty-five of your closest friends and family, so be it. Your day will be much more special if you’re able to stay on budget, while also executing your vision. Your guests are there to celebrate the love you share with one another, they are the people you’d invite over for dinner on a Wednesday night, or call if you had a flat tire. Let them know how much they mean to you by treating them like kings for the night. Serve them the best wine, the best food, and enjoy their company. You will have a much more memorable night if you include only those who are deeply rooted in your lives rather than a distant cousin you’ve met once.