8 Mistakes Not to Make When Planning Your Wedding


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Lead wedding planner, owner of Madden Made Events, ultimate hype girl, and your fiercest advocate.

Hi, I'm kayla

You’re engaged and ready to start planning your wedding – it’s an exciting time, but it can also be low-key terrifying. While it seems like diving right into planning is the only way to go, couples who do typically end up with some stressful and expensive regrets down the line. Save yourself the headache and dollars by reading this list of 8 commonly made mistakes not to make when planning. You’ll be glad you did!

Photo by Gabby Riggieri

1. Booking your venue before breaking down your entire budget

You’re excited to start wedding planning and it feels like the first big step is to choose your venue – pump the breaks. Booking a venue is a huge financial decision and making this decision before breaking down your entire budget is a massive mistake, one I see couples make way too often. It’s so important to understand upfront how much of your total budget is allotted for your venue vs the rest of your wedding expenses. You don’t want to find yourself stretching your budget too thin later in the planning process, trust me. There is nothing worse than having to compromise on vendors or design elements you care about because you blindly booked a venue that ate up too much of your budget.

2. Planning your timeline without factoring in sunset

You picked a wedding date – now go Google what time sunset will be. The sunset needs to be included when setting your ceremony start time, deciding between a first look and no first look, and choosing a location for your photos to be taken. Have the sunset conversation early on with your photographer so your timeline can be planned accordingly. Without considering this you may find yourself planned for outdoor photos after the sun has set.

3. Not budgeting for a wedding planner or coordinator

Budget for a wedding planner or a wedding coordinator. I can’t tell you how many times couples reach out to me 6 to 9 months before their wedding saying “We didn’t initially budget for you but we need you.” Avoid adding an additional expense later on and save yourself the stress – include it in your budget off the bat. Working with a planner or coordinator is invaluable. You invest so much time, money and energy into your wedding day; so why not invest in the ability to fully enjoy the process and be one hundred percent present on your wedding day.

4. Not hiring a professional

Do not trust your amateur photographer second cousin with your priceless memories or your Spotify playlist to keep your guests dancing – hire a professional. On top of high quality service you’ll get expert opinions, insurance that protects you and your deliverables, and an overall no-stress enjoyable experience.

5. Trying to do (DIY) everything yourself

Doing everything yourself may sound fun or seem like a great way to save money – but don’t be fooled. Not only can DIY become more costly than you think but it takes up a lot of time, energy and resources – ultimately causing major stress leading up to your wedding day. Everything you make yourself needs to be made, stored, transported, set up, packed up, transported back, and then discarded (somewhere.) On top of the pain-points, couples often overcompensate when DIY’ing and lose sight of their overall vision; in this case – less is more. Renting items is convenient, accessible and better for the environment (and your sanity.)

6. Not having a rain plan

You don’t want to spend the week leading up to your wedding glued to your weather app wondering what the hell you’re going to do if it rains . Save yourself the stress and have a rain plan from the start. When touring venues be sure to ask them what their rain plan options are and make sure you’re comfortable with the rain plan before making any decisions. When planning and designing – always keep your rain plan top of mind and include details that will elevate it so it feels like “Plan A” instead of “Plan B.”

7. Not setting priorities

What are your top three priorities for your wedding day? Now, invest your time and energy there. When couples don’t set clear priorities they can’t allocate their budget and resources efficiently, leading them to being stretched too thin across the board. When you keep your priorities top of mind you’re able to pull back and compromise in other areas to focus on what’s most important to you. Keep your vision and budget on track by making your priorities the catalyst for your wedding plans.

8. Assuming 10% of your guests will RSVP “No”

“We are inviting 100 guests but are planning on 90 of them attending.” Wrong. Your wedding budget, decisions and plans need to be made with the assumption that 100% of your guests will attend. The last thing you want to happen is going over budget or not having enough space for all of your guests because you assumed 10% of them wouldn’t come. Play it safe here, trust me.

So now that you know what mistakes not to make when planning you can really dive in. Head over to our site to see how we can be a part of your team for your epic wedding day!