Common Wedding Planning Mistakes
1. Blowing off your budget.
It costs a lot of money to throw a wedding. Excited brides start booking vendors and making purchases without having a real budget and then are shocked to discover they’ve already spent all of their money (or parents’ money) and don’t yet have half the things they need. If you bounce checks or don’t have the money to pay your deposits or make your final payments on the wedding day, your wedding will not happen. Trust us — the band is not going to play all night if you don’t pay! Planning a wedding is serious business. We always create a budget and keep track of expenditures so you won’t be walking naked down the aisle.
2. Messing up the marriage license
There are so many rules surrounding marriage licenses that brides are always botching up this one. For instance, if you get your license 31 days before your wedding here in Tennessee, you won’t be able to legally marry on your wedding day because a license is valid there for only 30 days.
My recommendation is to obtain your license the day before or the week of your wedding. It is valid immediately, so do not be concerned about a wait time. And if this is your second marriage, be sure to bring along the official (stamped) divorce papers. A common mess-up for those marrying a second time is not bringing the papers when you go to get the certificate.
3. Ordering your wedding gown too late.
If your heart is set on a couture gown, be sure to order by the six-month mark since your dress will be custom-made and, many times, made overseas. In addition, most off-the-rack dresses will require alterations, so make certain that you have enough time to get the gown fitted properly. You want to leave plenty of time for shipping and for your fittings. The same goes for the bridesmaid dresses.
4. Booking hotel rooms too late.
Brides often leave blocking out hotel rooms for out-of-town guests until the last minute. If you are getting married during a busy time and you don’t investigate hotel availability in advance, you can end up with literally not a single room for your guests to stay. Reserve rooms as early as possible. This doesn’t mean you will have to pay for the rooms, you are just setting them aside, your guests can put down their credit cards when they call to book their rooms.
5. Inviting too many guests.
Make sure your guest list and your reception site capacity match up when it comes to numbers. You can’t invite 400 people assuming only 250 will accept, because if you end up with 300 acceptances, you may have to turn 50 guests away at the door. Most reception sites can’t just add 10 more tables. Analyze your guest list from the start and assume 80% will respond yes, and limit your guest list accordingly.