10 Major Wedding Planning Mistakes—and How to Avoid Them

Planning a wedding is a major undertaking. It's like the Super Bowl of events—a multi-day schedule, a dozen vendors, hundreds of guests

Here are the major missteps you don't want to make you're wedding planning—and how to sidestep each one.

All you need is love. And an annotated budget.

1. Ignoring your budget.
Too many brides spend money before they've created a wedding budget "A bride who doesn't budget might blow all her money on a dress that's more than she can afford, or by booking a venue that takes up too much of what the couple has to spend". Before you buy a single item or book even one vendor, "you should sit down with your partner and your families and determine your budget."

2. Rushing into decisions.
Wedding planning is a whirlwind of exciting choices, "but that excitement can often lead to impulsive decisions you may regret later". So pump the brakes before you choose any pros, taking the time to weigh what's really right for you. "Emotional and financial stress can be the unfortunate consequence of rushing into a decision hastily". "To avoid heartache, do your research and look at these decisions from a clear and level-headed perspective."

3. Hiring the wrong photographer.
You could be tempted to contract a photographer whose packages more in line with your budget than your aesthetic. Or perhaps you've fallen head-over-heals for a professional's portfolio of outdoor, natural-light photos, and haven't stopped to consider you're hosting an evening in a dimly lit ballroom. l warns hiring the wrong photographer—even one with the best intentions—can lead to disappointing photos. So instead of picking a photographer based on price or portfolio alone, "talk to your planner and ensure that you're choosing a photographer that will deliver the types of images you're expecting for what can afford," l suggests.

4. Overthinking decisions.
You can rush or slowly saunter into a bad big-day decision. "It's very easy to over-think things and be paralyzed by fear". "But if you've done your due diligence and checked out references, then trust your gut and go for it." To expedite your decision-making, l suggests limiting yourself to choosing between three vendors for each wedding category. "There's always going to be more than one good fit, but don't let the search go on for an eternity" ."The consequences can really kill your spirit, and take the joy out of the planning process."

5. Not leaving enough time for photos.
You may be ready to strike a pose, but if you don't work a photo session into your wedding-day timeline, you may not have time left to snap portraits. So before you figure out how you'll spend every wedding-day moment, "ask your photographer how much time he or she wants for family portraits, wedding party portraits, and a first look, if you're doing one,".  "Keep in mind, the cocktail hour should be no more than one hour, so if your photographer wants one and a half hours for photos, you'll need to do some before the ceremony."

6. Allocating too much money toward your venue.
To all brides with big dreams on where they'll host their big days, a warning: If you spend too much on your venue, you may spend the rest of your engagement penny . "Spending more than your venue budget allows might mean that you will need to look for vendors and suppliers that charge less,". "And as a result you might be getting an inferior product or service." Stick to this particular budget line item, and you'll have mostly smooth sailing.

7. Hiring a friend instead of a professional.
Your BFF has a good camera, so she can totally step in as your wedding photographer—right? Wrong. "A wedding is not the time for a friend to launch her new cake business or the time for your cousin to launch his photography career," . " your wedding day is not a day to take chances." It's best for you—and your friendship—if you politely decline your friend's offer to pose as a pro. "Hire professionals to avoid disappointment and ensure a smooth day".

8. Getting professional planning advice after something's gone wrong.
Let me say, "It's not easy to recover from wedding planning mistakes after they have been made." Once contracts have been signed and deposits have been placed,  "it will be challenging for a planner to come in and save the day." Don't put yourself in a place where you need a hero. If you hire a planner from the get-go, "they are likely able to save you both time and money".

9. Getting too attached to something.
If you've got your heart set on a specific flower or have picked your color palette before your venue, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. that color could clash with your venue's overall natural look and feel." Steer clear of being so specific, l advise, and "try to keep an open mind until you've at least locked the basics."

10. Not anticipating how much time wedding planning takes.
Wedding planning is intense. "It can often take on a life of its own and impact your health, your relationships, and your job, not to mention your mood" . You could lose work hours to vendor phone calls and social schedules to wedding-related meetings, "especially if you were already very busy before the planning process began". So be sure to schedule untouchable time for date nights, lunch breaks, and even a bubble bath—whatever will keep you calm and moving on.
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