WEDDING PLANNING GUIDE: 5 WEDDING FAILS TO AVOID
It may seem ridiculously late but, as I haven’t had the chance to say it to you yet this year, here it is:
I hope the year has been treating you fantastically so far and, if you’re a 2015 bride or groom, you haven’t gotten too caught up in the whole shock of now having to say ‘I’m getting married THIS year’ as opposed to next year. Fear not, were all here to help you along the way if all things wedmin are starting to be a smidgen overwhelming.
What better way to start off your wedding planning year than to focus on some of the most common mistakes that I have seen trip up brides and grooms over the past five years.
If I had a pound for every couple I have talked to who haven’t prioritised setting a budget for their wedding, I would be writing this in Maui. Failing to write a budget, and then failing to stick to it, is one of the biggest mistakes couples can, and do, make. I can think of nothing worse than waking up the morning after your glorious wedding day and immediately worrying about how you’re going to pay for everything. Talk about a Delia-worthy recipe for post-wedding misery.
A budget, with a contingency built in for unexpected expenses (somewhere between 10 to 15% is usually quite apt), is a must. And if you end up coming in under budget or don’t need to use the contingency, you can put it to something your heart has always desired. An aubergine coloured KitchenAid for your home? An upgrade to a villa on stilts on your honeymoon?
One of the best bits of advice I can give you is to make lists. And then more lists. This may sound like I’m telling you how to teach your grandmother to suck eggs but I promise you, you’ll thank me for the gentle nudge later.
Even those with the best memory tend to get a little distracted when planning a wedding. Being organised and having lists to hand for everything is the key to success. Armed with a budget list, a list of priorities and a comprehensive to-do list, you will be hard-pushed to go wrong and shouldn’t encounter the dreaded frazzled nerves, worrying you’ll have forgotten something in the last weeks before your wedding day.
A tip to save you time: before you meet with/speak to any supplier, compile a list of a few questions to ask each of them. It will give you confidence in your ability to book the best suppliers and save you and them endless toing/froing and clarifying questions.
Inviting too many guests to your wedding is one easy way to give yourself all sorts of headaches. In one fell swoop, the catering budget goes through the roof, the church is too small and the thought of an open bar is just a pipe dream. Be firm when it comes to your guest list. If you need to invite people on behalf of your respective families, I’d suggest you set a limit on numbers (especially if you’re paying) and only add to those lists if it is absolutely necessary.
When you are looking at a ‘per head’ cost it can make it surprisingly easy to decide who is worthy of an invite and who isn’t! Do you really want to spend upwards of £100 to entertain someone you’ve only fleetingly met? Or in some cases, have never met at all? Thought so.
I had a bride recently whose stipulation for inviting guests was that they had to have been to dinner parties at each other’s houses and be on each other’s Christmas card lists – what a genius way to make the yay or nay decision easier!
It is true that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. But you can please yourself and those closest to you by ensuring you keep the right people updated, only listen to the advice of those people whose opinions you value and, most importantly, keep talking to each other throughout the planning process. This may seem a little harsh but think about the people you have chosen, or are thinking of choosing, to be bridesmaids and ushers. These people should be picked as much for their organisational skills, ‘grace under fire’ attitude and willingness to pitch in as for their ‘best friend’ status. And again, I could bore your socks off with the number of times I’ve been told that the Best Man is really quite useless (the couples’ words!)…
Things will go much smoother when the right people are involved in the planning process and when they know what’s expected of them. It’s a two-way street though, so reward them with lashings of praise and an occasional dinner out. Or some Anges de Sucre Muffles!
There’s nothing quite like the lack of a thank you to sully the memories of an otherwise perfect day.
Life is busy these days, I get it, and after the joy of a wedding day the task of writing thank you notes can seem so daunting, you’ll only want to hide from it. The longer you put it off the harder it will be to do so go on, pull your head out of that bucket and get it done. Just think of the warm and fuzzy feelings you can smugly glow in when you thank your guests promptly for their gifts, reward good suppliers with a glowing testimonial and recognise friends and family, who were amazingly supportive throughout the planning process, with a thoughtful gift.
And with that, feeling a little like a stern teacher today, I shall relinquish you back into your wedmin thoughts. As always, you know where to find me if you need anything or have any questions.
See you in February!
— Mrs b&g
- Featured image: Nicole & Ben's Elegant Neutral wedding by Carolein & Ben
- Image 1: Holly & Dirk's Urban Organic Wedding by Anouschka Rokebrand
- Image 2: Chane & Johan's Sophisticated South African Wedding by Louise Vorster
- Image 3: Danielle & Christiaan's Contemporary Romantic Wedding
- Image 4: Georgia & James Elegant Algarve Wedding by BrancoPrata
- Image 5: Louisa & Ben's Sex and the City Wedding by Cat Hepple