1. Browsing wedding magazines and getting starry-eyed before landing on a budget
What percentage of your budget should you spend on each element?
Reception (Venue, food, cake, rentals) 50%
Attire, hair & makeup 9%
Flowers & decorations 8%
Entertainment & DJ 7%
Wedding Rings 3%
Gifts & favors 2%
2. Not prioritizing the guest list
If you think about it, nearly every element of your wedding revolves around your guest list. Choosing the right size venue and deciding on entrees and the food budget are the most exciting elements of wedding planning, but can only happen after you have decided on a guest list.
3. Sending out destination wedding invitations too late
Although this day is about you and your partner, it is the guests who will be attending the wedding that you must always keep top of mind! If you are having your wedding away from family and friends, it is imperative to send out save-the-date invitations about 18 months in advance, formal invitations 1 year in advance, and a request to RSVP 10 months before your big day. If you are planning a destination wedding, your timeline may be longer than a local wedding because there are several more elements to consider.
4. Waiting too long to book hotel rooms
Book a block of hotel rooms as soon as you know your venue location!
5. Hiring vendors before hiring a wedding planner
If you plan on hiring a wedding planner, have that be one of your first steps before searching for any vendors!
6. Purchasing your dress before booking a venue
Yes, buying your wedding dress is one of the first "to-do's" that newly engaged brides have on their list! However, dress is typically dependent on venue. Rustic, grand, backyard, garden, beach, etc. You may have a venue in mind, yet it does not work out. Therefore, always choose your dress after securing your venue.
7. Not scheduling enough time between your ceremony and reception for photos and transportation!
It's a great idea to schedule a "first look," a time before the ceremony to take all of the photos with your bridal party and partner.
8. Not creating a day-of timeline
Know that everything will take longer than you think, so once you have created a timeline, re-write it to include more time for each activity than you anticipated! Make sure everyone in the wedding is aware of the timeline, however don't overdo it. Allow for your wedding day to be a day of happiness and relaxation!