There are many missteps you can make when planning a wedding, especially if you do not hire a Wedding Consultant. It can be a bit overwhelming and stressful. Talk to wedding professionals. They will give you tips and suggestions that can really help as you move toward the big day. Wedding planning is a serious business and it’s important to stick to a plan, a budget and most of all, practical decisions. Watch out for “budget creep.” Sticking to the budget is never easy.
Don’t allow other people to influence your decisions. This is ‘your” wedding… not your mothers, not you maid of honors, your wedding. Listen for ideas, be nice, but you do the choosing.
Your wedding day should be FUN! If you’re stressed or stressing others out it it will put a damper on the celebration. The bride and groom set the tone for the party so if you’re enjoying yourself, dancing and mingling, so will everyone else.
Here are a few errors that I have seen or heard that brides and grooms frequently make.
13. Be attentive to yourselves. It’s great to make sure that your guests and especially your out-of-town guests are taken care of, but remember to take care of your own well being. Plan a day at the spa. Have a nice breakfast the day of. Pamper yourself. You deserve it. It’s your day… own it!
12. Plan and do everything “in advance” – not at the last minute. The day before the wedding should be a time when you can unwind and know that everything is going to be alright. When you’re planning a wedding, you try to think of everything. Unless you are a wedding consultant, that is not possible. Do not expect everything to be perfect. Stuff happens. Allot enough time for the little things. You must be okay if the 5 year old ring bearer runs all the way to the alter and throws the ring pillow at the best man (this actually happened at one of my weddings). There are numerous details that brides and grooms rarely every consider. See #1.
11. Arizona weddings need special consideration. Given the right weather conditions and location, an outdoor wedding can be as romantic as it is beautiful. Remember to apply the sunscreen before you put on your makeup (for the rehearsal and the wedding). Make sure you have accommodations available, such as a tent or indoor facility, for possible inclement weather. The Greater Phoenix area has more than 325 days of annual sunshine. Arizona winters often require heating for an evening wedding and cooling is a must if your wedding day falls in the heat of summer (June, July & August).
10. Avoid being seen as a cheapskate. Skip the “cash” bar. Offer whatever alcohol at your reception that you choose, but don’t make your guests pay for it. On a tight budget? Find a friend to host the bar. Request that bartenders not put out tip jars. If you are hosting the bar, tell your catering contact that you are happy to pay gratuity to the bartender(s) but that you do not want your guests to feel obligated to tip.
9. Brides, wear comfy shoes. Pamper your feet. You will be in your shoes for several hours and if the shoes you wear are new you will most likely be rewarded with a few blisters. Flats or sandals work well if your dress is long enough to cover them. If not switch to comfortable shoes immediately after the wedding. You may even want to consider changing to a party dress after the ceremony.
8. Don’t plan to leave on your honeymoon immediately. The wedding and reception may cause extreme exhaustion. It’s a big day. The honeymoon is very special so give yourself a couple of days (or more) to rest. Open gifts, write “thank you” notes, sleep late, rest and just be together. When you are fully rested, go for it! Don’t worry about not being able to take a big fancy honeymoon. You have the rest of your lives to make money and take big, wonderful, fabulous vacations. But you only get “one” wedding. Do it well and be happy.
7. Put your money towards what you care most about. Prioritize! Even on a tight budget, you’re much better off paying a vendor with experience to take care of the details. Always hire the best wedding vendors you can afford. Remember, the ceremony IS the wedding. It’s the the main event! Hire a full-time, professional Wedding Officiant. Uncle Fred, who has never performed a wedding ceremony and offers to do it for FREE is almost always sure to disappoint. This is probably one of the top wedding planning mistakes. There are always places where you can cut a few corners and shift around some money of your budget to hire someone that may cost a little more. Always factor in gratuity and taxes on your budget.
6. When possible, schedule your rehearsal two days before the wedding, not the night before. Consider scheduling a Wednesday rehearsal for a Friday Wedding and a Thursday rehearsal for a Saturday wedding. This allows for a day of rest from the stress of having two busy days in a row – the rehearsal and the wedding. This may not work if guests who are in the wedding party do not arrive in time, however, if only one or two out-of-town bridesmaids or groomsmen cannot be there, have the rehearsal anyway and catch them up on the details when they arrive.
5. Plan any parties waaaay ahead. Do not commit yourself to social events the day before your wedding. If you must have a bachelor or bachelorette party, plan it several weeks “before” your wedding day. The last thing you need is to have you or your wedding party show up on the big day with headaches, hangovers, puffy skin, fuzzy head, or worse, an upset stomach. Agree not to do anything that you would not feel comfortable in telling your partner. It’s called, “r-e-s-p-e-c-t!”
4. Never toast yourselves! During a toast to the Bride and Groom, the couple should NEVER stand, raise their glasses, and drink to themselves. It’s considered bad manners. They should thank the toasters or at least smile and graciously nod. They are not obliged to propose a toast in return.
3. Last minute things can get hairy! Make sure that you have a practice hair session at least a month before the ceremony, and the final cut no less than two weeks before the wedding. On the day of, be sure to schedule your hair and nails appointments in plenty of time before the wedding. Remember to bring your wedding veil so you will have a true idea of the final effect. Never make big changes such as getting a perm, coloring your hair, etc., right before your wedding.
2. Choose talented pros who understand your vision, and let them do their jobs! Don’t try to control every detail. Know your deadlines. Plan ahead. Get to know your Master of Ceremonies. Your DeeJay is probably the most micromanaged by couples. Too many song requests may actually impede the flow of your party. Limit your DeeJay request list to a few favorites and a do-not-play list of only the songs you cannot stand.
1. Hire a competent Wedding Consultant. Anyone that belongs to the Association of Bridal Consultants is a good pick. They are professionals – trust them. They know what is in style and what will look good. A consultant will ease the stress level of everyone involved… including you! Can’t afford one? A Wedding Consultant may be much more affordable than you think. You will save your own time and effort and save money because they know who to call to get the best deals. They will make sure you get all the details “in writing.” No matter how small the detail, make sure it is in your contract. As the bride, you don’t want to be running around taking care of logistics or (worst case scenario) putting out fires.
A marriage is a commitment to spend the rest of your lives together. It is an exchange of vows and a bonding of families. Something very special happens during your wedding ceremony. Once you say, “I do,” and step out into the world your life with your partner becomes very different. Marriage is a very special spiritual connection of two people united for a common purpose, bringing love and trust together into single focus. It’s difficult to put into words, but you will feel it and know what I mean as soon as you walk into your new life together.
I’m sure you can think of a few other bright ideas to pass along. You are encouraged to do so in the comments section below. Thank you.
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.
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