According to Easy Weddings, couples in Australia budget on average $23,584 for their weddings, but what they actually spend is $36,200, 53% more than their original budget. That sticker shock is just one of the things that can go wrong on what should be the happiest day of your life if you don’t make careful plans for your wedding, and anticipate all the things which can go wrong. Here are 10 common mistakes and how to avoid them.
10 COMMON WEDDING MISTAKES AND HOW TO AVOID THEM
1 Going generic: you don’t necessarily need to plan a theme wedding, but the ceremony should reflect who you and your spouse are, and what you care about. Imagine, for example, if you both love classical music, but someone else chooses a heavy metal band. While it’s a mistake to micromanage every aspect of your wedding planning, it’s equally bad not get involved in the décor, the venue, the catering and the music. Make your wedding about you, not any couple.
2 Taking your eye off the budget: the old saw is that love and money don’t mix, but that doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind when creating your wedding budget. Above, all, don’t spend money you don’t need to. For example, if your wedding and reception are at the same location, there’s probably no need to hire a limousine. Before you finalize your budget, make a list of what’s most important to you, and what things you can do without.
3 Not keeping speeches short: you’ll probably have several speeches at your wedding: there’s the wedding toast (usually from the father of the bride), the blessing, the best man’s toast, the maid of honor’s toast, and the newlyweds’ toast. That’s a lot of speeches. If one or more of your speakers drones on and on, your guests will get bored, and that can put a real damper on the reception. Make sure you give speakers a time limit, and make sure you have a dress rehearsal to catch any overly-long speeches.
4 Running out of food: this is one of the chief complaints from guests at weddings that go off the rails. Be sure to know how many guests will be in attendance, and to give your caterer updates as those numbers change over time. To be safe, ask the caterer to bring a bit more food than you think you’ll need, because sometimes guests you didn’t plan for show up, and sometimes people eat more than you think they will.
5 Not having a contingency plan for rain: if you’re planning an outdoor ceremony, you’ve got to have an alternate location in the event of inclement weather, and a plan to communicate that indoor venue to everyone who needs to know. That means you should put someone in charge of your rain planning, and give that person a list of all vendors he or she will need to call if the skies start to cloud up.
6 Partying too much the night before the wedding: it’s understandable that you want to celebrate the night before your wedding, but if either you or your spouse (or for that matter, your best man, maid of honor or parents) get drunk on the eve of your wedding, you (or they) will wake up with a hangover, and almost certainly not look your best. If you plan a bachelor or bachelorette party, make it a week or two before the event, and keep alcohol to a minimum during your rehearsal dinner.
7 Drunken guests spoiling the ceremony: it’s reasonable to provide alcohol at your reception, but you need to have someone on the lookout for guests who drink too much and start acting out. If you have people on your guest list you know tend to drink too much, you need to pay special attention to them throughout ceremony. Even one guest who starts shouting or insulting other guests will turn the mood from joyous to sour in very short order.
8 Not involving your fiancé in the planning: this isn’t the 1950’s. Both the bride and the groom should be actively involved in planning the wedding. Chances are, you’re not going to agree on everything, but it’s better to discover those disagreements during the planning phase, and not on the day of the event.
9 Sweating the small stuff: no matter how carefully you plan, you can’t control every aspect of your wedding, and some things are bound to go wrong. It’s not worth spoiling the entire event because the caterer shows up a few minutes, for example. Tell yourself ahead of time that you’ll keep your focus on what’s really important and not get bogged down in inconsequential details.
10 Providing bad entertainment: according to Perfect Weddings, 81% of wedding guests say what they most remember about a wedding is the entertainment, and 72% of brides say they wish they had spent more time choosing their reception entertainment. Take some time to ensure your entertainment is top-notch. If you plan on having a Melbourne or Sydney wedding band, make sure they have a great reputation, and that they have experience playing at weddings.