Booking your venue before creating a wedding guest list

Couples are often so excited about their wedding that the first thing they do is book a venue; understandable, since wedding venues book out so fast these days. But before you even think about doing this, spend some time compiling a guest list.

You don’t want to end up booking a venue that isn’t large enough for your brood, and you don’t want to end up with too much empty and unused space either. If you compile a guest list in advance, this will also help you find the right venue for your desired seating plans.

Being bound by tradition

It’s 2016 – there are no rules. Don’t want to get married in a church? Fine. Don’t want a bridal party? Sure. Don’t feel like wearing a big white dress? It’s all good. Want a man of honour rather than a maid of honour? That’s totally okay. You don’t even have to invite 20 of your parent’s friends if you don’t want to! Always remember that your wedding day is a celebration of your unique love and story, so every choice, from your style of dress down to your wedding guest list should reflect that.

Not picking who you really want in your bridal party

Choosing a bridal party can be a pretty awkward experience, simply because there are so many people to consider. Your best friends, your partner’s siblings, your family… It can be really tough. The most important thing to remember is that it’s your day, and you shouldn’t feel obliged to include people in the bridal party if you don’t want to.

Inviting non-wedding guests to your engagement party

Seriously, this is a huge no-no. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end, you’ll know how it feels, and if you know someone who has, I’m sure they’ve told you all about it. Inviting people to your engagement party or bridal shower and then not inviting them to your wedding is not only extremely tacky, it can look like you’re just trying to get more gifts.

Not getting a variety of quotes for flowers

Most florists these days will book in consultations to discuss wedding flower options with you, so there’s no harm in getting a variety of quotes. You’d be surprised how much quotations can vary; variances can range from hundreds to even thousands of dollars. Every florist is different, so it pays to have a chat – not only for monetary reasons, but also for advice and how they express their creativity.

Not budgeting for ‘surprise’ expenses

When you start budgeting for your big day, don’t forget to factor in other expenses that are likely to emerge as the date gets closer. From dress alterations and postage stamps through to the cost of setting up and cleaning up afterwards, there are a number of wedding supplies and associated costs that you probably haven’t thought of.

Without careful consideration and putting aside an ‘other’ fund, you could rack up hundreds or even thousands in unexpected expenses. So make a thorough wedding checklist, and check it thrice.

Not reading the fine print

When planning your wedding, you’re probably going to come across a few contracts. Don’t skim over anything and always read the fine print. In fact, you should read everything. If you don’t, you could be taken advantage of or may come across something in the contract when it’s too late. Fresh eyes can also be a good idea, so get a trusted friend or family member to take a good look as well.

Hiring friends of friends over actual professionals

Guys, be wary, because if you’re not careful, you could end up with a weird wedding band, an incompetent wedding photographer and wedding transport that you’re not quite comfortable with. You’re always going to have that one friend or family member who knows ‘this great guy’ who will ‘do you a good deal’ – don’t go for it unless you’re 200% comfortable.

Music, photography, transport and food are best left to actual professionals so don’t ever feel worried about hurting someone’s feelings – because hey, it’s your wedding.

Getting wedding dresses too small

You’d be surprised by how many brides will buy a dress that is a bit snug, hoping to drop a size before the big day. This isn’t a great idea. When you purchase a dress or even suits, make sure that the size you pick is in no way constricting. You don’t want to be scrambling around at your final fitting trying to find a way to make your dress fit. Remember that it’s always easier to take clothing in, rather than trying to make it bigger.

Trying to plan everything on your own

If you’ve been offered help by close friends and family, then please take it. Too many couples try and plan everything on their own – and let’s be honest, it’s a mammoth task. If you have people who have put their hands up to help you, then find something for them to do and delegate some tasks. Always remember that these guys are volunteers and aren’t paid, so never take them for granted.