• Ted Johnson Marriage Celebrant Brisbane

The Top 25 Wedding Mistakes Brides Never Want to Make!

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

The Road to "I do" is Littered With Missteps

Any bride who has spent even just one afternoon wedding planning knows it takes an enormous amount of organisation. With dozens of decisions on your horizon, creating a fine-tuned budget and laying out a well-planned timeline is key. And since this is likely to be your first time planning such a multifaceted event, it's easier than you'd think to miss tiny details and fall prey to the pitfalls of wedding planning.

So... where should you begin, to ensure your wedding planning starts on solid footing?

"Once your budget is established, you can make smart decisions on hiring the right team of vendors who work best with your personalities and will execute your vision for the day," says Sarah True, owner and creative director of True Event. "By having these discussions early, it will set the tone for the overall planning and result in less stress as you go through the process."

Even the most vigilant bride can be steered off course, and you don't want to make the same mistakes other brides have. As you pore over Pinterest, try on gowns, choose invitation suites, sample cake selections, and book your honeymoon, refer to this list of the top 25 major mistakes so many brides make when planning their wedding.

1. You Don't Put Yourself First


Before tapping into Pinterest, buying magazines, or bookmarking blogs, take time to think about the type of celebration you want. Do you envision a black-tie evening affair or a more casual daytime party? "List your priorities," says Mary Thornton, owner and event planner at Party Party. "What is most important to you? Are you a foodie, or is music your thing?" This kind of pre-planning will help make both selecting a venue and setting a budget much easier.

2. You Overlook That Personal Touch With Your Guests


Your friends and family will likely travel, and at considerable expense, to attend your wedding, so make sure they feel appreciated and welcome. Provide transportation to and from the ceremony and reception, and stock their hotel rooms with basics like drinks and snacks.

If your wedding is a weekend-long destination affair, you could arrange group activities both the night before the wedding and the morning of, time permitting.

3. You Buy Your Wedding Dress Before Choosing the Venue


Before booking your bridal salon appointments, make sure you know the type of wedding you're planning and where. "Yes, you can wear whatever you want, but if you purchase a low-key gown and you end up booking the Plaza, you may wish you went bigger and bolder, with the venue in mind," says Ashley Douglass, owner and creative director of Ashley Douglass Events.

4. You Announce Your Engagement Too Soon


Remember to share the big news with your inner circle before updating your status on social media. Tell your family and closest friends first, preferably in person, or by phone or Skype (so they can see the ring!) if they're long-distance. Then change your Facebook status.

And after the outpouring of congratulations, be sure to post a quick 'thank you' to your well-wishers.

5. You're Too Strict With Social Media


Chances are your guests will understand if you ask them to avoid taking pictures during your ceremony or posting anything until after it's over. I would always seek permission from couples to make a point with their guests to leave their phones alone and just relax and enjoy the ceremony.

I always make that point before the ceremony, and reinforce this message by introducing the professional photographers by name, who are there to capture every moment of your special day.

Your guests probably won't be on board with you limiting their sharing the festivities on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook in the days preceding and following your wedding.

6. You Fall Victim to Crash Dieting


No bride should feel as if they have to change themselves ahead of their wedding. But if you do wish to adopt healthier habits, instead of drastically reducing calories or abstaining from whole food groups a month before your wedding date, ease into it.

Try adopting a healthier eating plan or fitness regimen six to twelve months before the big day. Focus on gaining confidence, stress-relieving practices, and healthy habits that will follow you way past your walk down the aisle.

7. There's a Large Time Gap Between the Ceremony & Reception


If your ceremony and reception are at different venues, do your best to minimise the in-between time, which may leave guests with nothing to do. If a large time gap is inevitable, make sure they have the option of being entertained by planning an outing or setting up a hospitality lounge, with drinks and snacks, at the hotel where they will be staying.

8. You Skimp on Bridal Party Gifts


It's important to thank your bridesmaids and groomsmen with a keepsake to show your appreciation. Sit down with your fiancé and consider what you've been asking financially of your wedding party. Many spend upward of $1,000 on flights, attire, and hotels. You're certainly not required to match what they've spent, but the amount should convey a sincere gratitude for how much time, effort, and money they have put into your wedding.

As a rule of thumb, something between $50 and $100 should suffice.

9. You Don't Feed Your Vendors


The last thing you want on your wedding day is a low-energy DJ or an exhausted photographer.

So plan on feeding any hired hands who will be working during the reception. This includes your wedding planner, MC, photographer, videographer, and DJ or band, plus their assistants. This doesn't usually extend to the ceremony musicians or your florist, but it's a conversation you should have with everybody attending your reception or expecting to join with the other guests to enjoy some finger food and drinks you've put on after your wedding ceremony.

Work their meals into your budget and consider it part of their fee. Many vendors stipulate in their contract that the couple is to provide a meal.

10. You Send Thank You Notes Late


Let's set the record straight: You do not have a year to mail your thank you cards.

Instead, for gifts received at your engagement party or shower, send a thank you within two to three weeks of the festivities. For gifts sent before the wedding date, send a card as soon as possible but definitely before the wedding. For gifts given on the wedding day itself, mail a thank you note within three months, and for gifts received after your wedding, send one within two to three weeks.

11. You Don't Say Hello to Everyone


These days, most couples forgo the formal post-ceremony receiving line. Instead, make it a point to circulate among the reception tables after dinner. If you have a large guest list, schedule the table greetings into the day-of timeline and make an effort to find something sincere and personal to say to each guest. Another idea is to hand-deliver your wedding keepsake gifts as you make your table rounds, since it's the perfect way to catch everyone.

12. You Don't Think Beyond "Per Head"


Couples often build their budget around a per-head price, forgetting the extras—flowers, band, photographer—that aren't included in most venues' packages. These extras can often double the price per head, sending couples way over budget. Instead, think in terms of a fixed total and divvy each element by a percentage of that amount.

13. You Don't Allow Enough Time for Hair and Makeup


"The time spent getting ready should be as relaxed and fun as possible, but once you find yourself behind schedule, the pressure can build to catch up," says Bruce Plotkin, wedding photographer.

Work on a day-of plan with your hair and makeup pros, then pad the time your wedding party has with each pro to ensure you're properly photographed before you leave for the ceremony.

14. You Can't Let Go of the Little Things


Many brides can count on at least one hand the details that did not go according to plan. The key is to just let them happen and enjoy the day. Once the venue is determined, the vendors have been selected, and the guest list is finalised, it's important to remember that ultimately you are a host to a massive celebration. It will be what it will be on the day, relax and roll with it. If you can ask yourselves, 'Did our guests have a great time?' and the answer is 'Yes', then chances are, you had a great wedding.

15. You Forget to Eat


Too many brides forget to feed themselves and the bridal party on the wedding day. Or intentionally choose not to eat because they want to look as trim as possible in their wedding photos. This can be disastrous, especially if you intend to enjoy a glass or two of bubbly over hair and makeup with your bridal party.

It's important to pre-arrange more than just nibbles for your entire crew—especially if you aren't preparing in your own home.

You'll want enough sustenance so you're not feeling lightheaded or faint during the ceremony.

16. You Invite Non-Wedding Guests to Your Pre-Wedding Parties


The bridal shower is intended to be a celebration with the bride's nearest and dearest, so every shower guest must already be on the wedding guest list. The same goes for your respective hen's and buck's parties.

Don't invite anyone to these pre-wedding parties if they're not invited to the main event.

17. You Forget to Set Parental Boundaries


Most brides experience some conflict with their parents or future in-laws during the planning process. It's not an easy conversation to have, but the earlier you discuss what's bothering you, the better. Make time to talk to them in person, and open by thanking them for the nice things they have done for you. Follow with a frank explanation why their decisions or actions are causing problems.

Take a firm tone—not an angry one. Maybe even vent to a friend beforehand to let it out.

18. You Overdo the Spray Tan


If you opt to spray tan, practice a couple of times beginning a few months before your wedding.

This will allow you to find the right formula, adjust it, and gauge how long your tan will last. Also make sure your makeup artist is aware to ensure your foundation is consistent with the spray-tanned rest of you. You may even need to play with body bronzer to give you a seamless head-to-toe glow.

19. You Allow a Free-for-All With Toasts


Some guests often misinterpret a toast to be a speech, and they talk forever, cutting into a couple's well-laid schedule.

The best way to make sure you don't lose valuable dance and party time is to pre-plan the toasts with your wedding planner or MC. That will ensure the microphone is somewhat controlled and not just anybody can get up and babble.

This is also an important way to avoid "roasts" by inebriated guests who should know better.

20. You Ignore Your Parents


Chances are, your parents are contributing some funds. That means they will want a say in the planning.

Make a list of the no-compromise details you and your fiancé are unwilling to forgo on your wedding day. If your parents are paying, that doesn't give them the right to veto these decisions. But if money comes with the condition that Mum and Dad have the final say, be prepared to lose those funds if your vision doesn't fit theirs.

Be proactive and prevent bruised egos by including your parents in your planning from the get-go. Invite them to dress fittings, ask for their opinions on cake design, and take advantage of their talents—like having them design a monogram or advise on the menu.

21. You Forget About the Volume of the Music


While you're rocking out to Rihanna, your guests may be struggling to speak with one another.

"Make selections that appeal to everyone, and conduct a sound check before the guests arrive in the room," says Greg Jenkins, founder of Bravo Productions. "If those who opt not to dance can't carry on a conversation, then the music is too loud."

22. You Overschedule Your Wedding Photographer


While a detailed list of the day's itinerary and the who's who for family portraits is essential, if you micromanage your photographer, you may miss out on those unplanned candid shots that add the human side to a truly magical wedding portfolio.

Plotkin says. "Instead, once you've provided the photographer with these basics, give them leeway to capture the best shots without having to check on a list throughout the day.

23. You Don't Account for Hidden Costs


From last-minute seamstress charges to cash tips for deliveries, most wedding couples rack up hundreds in extra fees the week before the wedding.

While it's logical that some surprise charges will crop up... spend some time creating a spreadsheet of anticipated week-of fees so you have the correct funds at your disposal.

24. You Don't Do Your Floral Research


Read up on flower costs, temperament, and fragrance before you select your arrangements.

The peonies you love may be cost-prohibitive if you are getting married when they are not in season, and lilacs, gardenias, lilies of the valley, and hydrangeas may wilt in the hot summer sun. Don't put perfume-y flowers like lilies on the tables, since they can overpower the food and be off-putting to your guests.

If you must have them, carry them in your bouquet.

25. You Forget to Have Fun!


Please take time to remind yourself, the reason you're doing all of this, and keep things in perspective.

It's all about starting your new life together, so make sure you both set up the right foundation for a joyous future.

And remember, I'm here to help you make your special day unique, memorable, and magical, but most of all, seamless, painless and fun.

So, if you're looking for a marriage celebrant who meets you where you're at and helps you through the process, please call me on 0412 185 601 for an obligation free consult, or send me an email enquiry via my contact form here:




Phone: 0412 185 601

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