The 5 Biggest Mistakes Couples Make When Planning Their Wedding
Your engagement is by far one of the most exciting times of your life! Between your new found love for Pinterest and enthusiastic friends and family, it is easy to jump into wedding planning feet first without taking the time to research your way through the big bad world of wedding planning. Avoid these top 5 common mistakes as your start your wedding planning journey!
Mistake #1: Not Formalizing a Guest List from the Get-Go
Time and time again, I see couples decide on a guest count before tallying up an actual guest list. More times than not, they don't realize just how many friends and family they really do want to include in their big day. Spoiler alert: It is almost always more people than they thought. It is always more difficult to remove guests than it is to add them, so we suggest creating an accurate list from the very beginning to limit any unrealistic expectations or added stress down the road. This will also help in setting a realistic budget as well as choosing a venue that can accommodate your appropriate guest size.
Mistake #2: Making Every Conversation About Wedding Planning
It is easy to get carried away in the details of your wedding and if you let it, it can dominate every conversation between you and your partner. So many decisions, vendors, emails, inspiration boards...the list goes on. Sure, it is an exciting time, but sometimes, you just need to disconnect, take a break, and recharge your batteries. Remember what you and your partner talked about before wedding planning took over? Don't forget the reasons that you love spending time with one another and why this is all happening in the first place. We recommend limiting your wedding conversations to one or two days a week. Those conversations will prove more purposeful, efficient, and less stressful.
Mistake #3: Not Setting a Realistic Budget
Setting a practical budget is one of the most important things you can do to jump start your wedding planning! It will allow the two of you to have an honest conversation about your finances, who is contributing, and how much you can afford. The biggest snag in setting a budget is that many simply don't know average wedding costs now-a-days to even set a realistic budget in the first place. Unfortunately there is no "one size fits all" budget formula and each region, down to the city, has their own industry standards and costs. In 2016, the national average cost of a wedding is $30,000 for 140 guests according to ValuePenguin. Just to compare a few numbers...Dallas is $29,000, Los Angeles is $37,000, New York City is $88,000.
Mistake #4: Being Pressured By Friends & Family Into Making Decisions
Oh, you're engaged? Welcome to everyone having an opinion about everything. Although friends and family mean well, it can be overwhelming digesting all of this new information while attempting to please everyone yet create a kick ass celebration that reflects you and your partner. Be patient and accepting of others' ideas, however, don't let anyone else's opinions of your wedding change you and your partner's vision. If you want a churro cart instead of traditional wedding cake, do it! If you want a Beatles rock band instead of a DJ, do it! (I have encouraged my clients to do both of those things by the way...) Just remember to stick to your guns instead of trying to appease others and always make decisions as a couple.
Mistake #5: Not Researching your Venues' Policies Before Visiting/Contracting
Finding the perfect venue can be a daunting and time consuming task, but in the end, oh so worth it! Aside from the numerous emails, informational packets, and scouting availability, it is important to read all venue policies fully prior to scheduling site visits and signing contracts. From my time as a venue manager, I've experienced couples skimming venue policies in sheer excitement that their date was available, only to be sorely disappointed that the venue did not offer this or that, required a specific caterer, a certain guest count, etcetera after signing their contract. Save yourself the time and energy and do your research. We recommend narrowing down your search to your top three venues that offer all of your "must-haves" before visiting.