Editorial Category: 
Date: 
Friday, August 1, 2014

5 Biggest Wedding Planning Mistakes

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Biggest Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid

Yes, there are more than five potential wedding planning mistakes to avoid, however these are, in my opinion, the five biggest mistakes I find to be most commonly made by couples. Let me save you some stress and tears with these really quick and very practical wedding planning tips!

Not Creating a Budget

As soon as you begin planning your wedding, you will very quickly realize how many options there are for EVERYTHING! Having a budget will effect every decision you make from how many guests to invite to what types of flowers are in your bouquet. With as many options that will be thrown your way, let your budget be your guide. Whether it’s a very large budget or a very small one, it will become more of your friend than your enemy when it comes to making decisions and keeping the stress of planning to a minimum.

Not Hiring a Day-of Coordinator

After being a bride, a wedding guest, and a bridesmaid, I cannot express the importance of a day-of wedding coordinator! Whether your day-of-coordinator is a family member, friend, or a professional, every wedding needs a director. Otherwise, everyone is going to look to the bride for answers for everything. How miserable and stressful it would be on your wedding day to have to think about any of the following….

1. Who pays the vendors at the end of the wedding?

2. When do I throw my bouquet?

3. Where does the D.J. set up?

4. Who is supposed to clean up after the reception?

5. What time is it? Is it time for cutting the cake? Who is cutting the cake?

I just got stressed writing out those 5 questions! Seriously, let someone else worry about those things. I highly recommend hiring a wedding professional as your day-of coordinator if at all possible. They are trained to think about the tiniest of details that will make your wedding day go flawlessly.

Choosing to DIY Too Many Things

Like many brides, I love the idea of DIY projects, but the execution of the project is not always as fun as the thought of them. I see so many DIY projects I love on Style Me Pretty, WedLoft, and other wedding blogs I follow. However, many of them look way easier than they actually are. Although a DIY wedding can be perfect and flawless for some brides, it has the potential of being a stressful disaster for others. Keep the number of DIY projects to a manageable amount and give yourself plenty of time to work on them before your wedding day. Otherwise, you will end up stressing out yourself and anyone else that has committed to helping you with your DIY wedding projects.

Not Hiring an Experienced Wedding Photographer

Digital cameras have transformed the wedding photography industry making it as easy as buying a nice camera to become a photographer. With that said, I beg brides all of the time to realize these three things before they hire their wedding photographer.

1. A nice camera and lots of expensive equipment does not make a person a good photographer.

Before hiring a person based off the kind of camera they use and the type of equipment they have, definitely do your research. Make sure you are hiring a photographer who has experience shooting weddings specifically, not a person with a lot of knowledge and know-how about cameras and equipment. Although the equipment can be purchased in a day, understanding lighting and posing is something that takes years of experience to perfect.

2. A good photographer does not make a person a good WEDDING photographer. 

Not only can a person empress you with nice equipment, they may even show you great photos they have taken! Before you get too excited, realize that although their photos may be beautiful, do they show that they are equipped to apply their knowledge of photography to the situation of a wedding day. A wedding day is fast pace and requires an experienced photographer who can capture emotional moments that come and go very quickly. A few things a great wedding photographer will know how to do is…

1. Have a detailed list of what photos need to be photographed (family, wedding party, detailed shots, first dance, etc.)

2. They will know how long it will take to photograph the above list and make sure there is enough time scheduled in your wedding day to capture them all.

3. They will know how to capture raw emotion with little direction (you want to feel like they aren’t even there.) Too much direction from a photographer on your wedding day of how to look and how to smile is stressful and exhausting.

4. You should feel comfortable with this photographer and their personality, because they will be with you most of the wedding day.

5. They should be able to edit your photos within a reasonable time period.

6. They will be able to determine if they will need a second or third shooter to capture all the elements of your wedding day.

3. Price very often, but not always, reflects quality when it comes to hiring a photographer.

Simply put, cheap photography is usually cheap for a reason. Not always, but very often this is true . A very low price for wedding photography may mean a few things.

1. The photographer is brand new and needs experience (be careful of this for the reasons stated above.)

2. The photographer is not a full-time photographer and shoots very few weddings (may mean they have little experience.)

3. The photographer is a great wedding photographer and you really are getting a good deal (I’ve never experienced this, but I’m not saying it couldn’t happen!) It’s possible their sole income does not come from photography and they are just doing it for fun, but like I said, this is very very rare!

Not Hiring a Professional DJ

I didn’t realize this until after my own wedding (I had a great DJ,) but DJs are so important in making a wedding reception run smoothly! They make announcements such as when to cut the cake, when the bouquet will be tossed, and all the other important events of a wedding reception. They usually work side-by-side with the day-of-coordinator in order to create a seamless event. With that said, it can be stressful on a bride if she decides not to have DJ (I call this an iPod wedding,) or she hires an inexperienced DJ.

An iPod Wedding

The risk you run if you decide to have an “iPod wedding” is not being able to find someone to properly manage the iPod or make important announcements over the microphone. For example,

1. Who is going to make sure the right song is playing when you walk down the aisle?

2. Will someone be able to find a song that get’s people on the dance floor when the party dies down?

3. What is a good song to play for the bouquet toss or the last dance?

Experienced DJs have all of these bases covered so you don’t have to worry about a thing and can just enjoy your reception!

Hiring an Inexperienced DJ

The risk you run with hiring an inexperienced DJ is not being able to trust he/she will know how to properly and seamlessly “run the show.” Experienced DJs will do the following…

1. Read the crowd and play the appropriate songs.

2. Have a detailed list of what songs you want played at what time during the ceremony and reception.

3. Have a detailed itinerary of when and where events will occur such as the first dance and bouquet toss.

4. Arrive early enough to be fully set-up on time.

5. Speak through the microphone in a professional manner that makes you and your guests feel comfortable. An experienced DJ will behave in a manner that represents what you want for your wedding. If you want a loud party that gets people dancing, he will make that happen. If you want a low-key party that is elegant and low-key, he will also know how to make that happen. A professional DJ can adapt to any party’s atmosphere so that the guests feel comfortable and have a great time. To be blunt, he knows whether to be loud and involved or subtle and in the background.

I hope these do’s and dont’s of wedding planning will help ease the stress of your big day!

photos by JoPhoto