Beware—These Are the 60 Biggest Wedding Mistakes I See as a Wedding Editor

You've been warned.
Cracked lightbulb graphic on a pink background
Photo: Illustration by Tiana Crispino for The Knot
Hannah Nowack The Knot Senior Weddings Editor
by
Hannah Nowack
Hannah Nowack The Knot Senior Weddings Editor
Hannah Nowack
Senior Editor, Weddings
  • Hannah writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a focus on real wedding coverage.
  • Hannah has a passion for DE&I and plays an integral role in ensuring The Knot content highlights all voices and all love stories.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Hannah was the Social Media Editor at Martha Stewart Weddings.
Updated Jul 21, 2023

Wedding mistakes: they're like a car crash—you don't want to have one, but it's hard to look away when someone else falls victim to one. But here's the thing, I'm glad your rubbernecking landed you here because we're about to dive into 64 of the most common wedding mistakes so you don't succumb to them as well. (Yep, there really are 60 different ways that your wedding can go awry!) Consider this a lemonade-out-of-lemons situation where the downfall of others ultimately leads to your own dream wedding going off without a hitch.

Ultimately, there are some things that are beyond your control on the wedding day and when those bumps in the road come along it's best to channel your inner Taylor Swift and "Shake It Off" so you avoid wedding regrets. But some prudent pre-planning can save your wedding from getting swept away in an unexpected thunderstorm (Spoiler: we'll dive into the importance of backup plans). So consider this your warning—we're revealing the biggest wedding mistakes as they relate to everything from budget to timeline so you can avoid repeating these common wedding mistakes.

Avoid these wedding mistakes:

An Editor's Top Grievances | Attitude & Perspective | Budget | Planning | Decor | Vendors | Legal Considerations | Timeline | Destination Weddings

Biggest Wedding Mistakes: An Editor's Top Grievances

As a wedding editor, I've seen or heard of every wedding mistake in the book. But there are three missteps in particular that I view as the absolute biggest wedding planning mistakes.

1. Forgetting that Vendors Are the Backbone of Any Wedding & Not Hiring Pros

Your friend from college may make amazing workout playlists, but that doesn't mean they'll make a great wedding DJ. The same goes for your friend who's an expert Instagrammer—this doesn't make them a photographer. Even on a tight budget, we always recommend hiring professional wedding vendors with experience. Plus it's more fun if your friends can fully enjoy your wedding day with you anyway.

Wedding Editor's Tips: If you only learn one thing from this story let it be this: Hire professionals. Full stop. I know you've probably seen a million DIY ideas you want to attempt on Pinterest, but let me tell you that leaving your wedding to the pros is your best bet.

2. Not Prioritizing Guest Experience

Yes, this is your big day, but it's about more than just you and your partner. Your loved ones have traveled from far and wide to be present and attending a wedding is a significant investment. Not acknowledging guests' sacrifice and prioritizing their overall experience is a big wedding day mistake. Are you asking them to walk a long distance in nice attire? Maybe you're pulling a Miranda Priestly and demanding they only wear cerulean. Or making them wait an inordinate amount of time between the ceremony and reception. No lie, I even once heard of someone charging guests to attend their wedding like they were buying concert tickets (Yikes!). In short, planning in a vacuum without guests in mind is a wedding mistake to avoid.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Being considerate of the guest experience doesn't mean you have to spend beyond your budget or go to the ends of the earth for the sake of the experience. Prioritizing guest experience can be in the little things—like a thoughtful welcome amenity in guests' hotel rooms or a nice day-after brunch as a send-off before people leave town.

3. Not Prioritizing Personalization

Listen up: This is your day to plan your way. Do you want to look back on your wedding photos years from now and wonder why your wedding looks like every other celebration you've attended? While Pinterest and social media can be a nice place to start your wedding journey, it's a double-edged sword because it's easy to want to simply copy every idea which detracts from personalization.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Before you get too far into your planning journey, take The Knot Style Quiz to get a sense of your overall wedding style. From there take a moment to consider what you like and what is important to you. Are there certain motifs, themes or colors you could include in the wedding that harken to your relationship? The more of your love story you can infuse into the wedding, the better.

Couple popping and spraying champagne
Photo: Amelia Fletcher Photography

Biggest Wedding Mistakes: Attitude & Perspective

Not all wedding mistakes have to do with planning. Many of the biggest wedding mistakes have to do with interpersonal relationships.

4. Complaining Too Much and Forgetting What's Important

We've all done it—complaining under the guise of venting. Your friends and wedding party members are there to support you, but don't let them become the people you air grievances to or your de facto therapist. Some tension, whether it's between you as a couple or with loved ones, is inevitable due to the heavy decisions that accompany weddings. But how you deal with it is the key.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Yes, planning a wedding can be stressful. There may be times you and your partner and/or your parents don't see eye to eye. But complaining just to complain isn't the answer. Instead, consider how you can be solution-oriented and turn your complaints around into productive action. Keep in mind you're getting married and starting a life together. Be good to each other (and those helping you plan the celebration). Remember why you decided to take this leap in the first place.

5. Making Assumptions

We all know what they say about assumptions: It makes an a** out of you and me. Assumptions can rear their ugly head throughout the planning. Did you assume your parents would contribute a certain amount of money to the budget? Did you assume all your friends would be able to afford a destination bach party?

Wedding Editor's Tips: If at any point during planning you find yourself saying "well of course X," then you need to immediately pause. People very well may be willing to do whatever you want them to do, but the key is to talk things through as opposed to making assumptions that cause issues down the road.

6. Being Indecisive and Fixating on Minutiae

Ecru and ivory are different colors, but deciding which one to use for your wedding invitations shouldn't be a decision that takes weeks to settle. Similarly, no one, except you, is going to notice if the wedding favors are tied with silk ribbon as opposed to grosgrain ribbon.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Not every wedding decision should carry the same weight. Selecting a wedding venue is far more important than selecting a nail color for the celebration. If you're getting hung up on something small remember that there are bigger fish to fry and sometimes you just need to commit and move on.

7. Giving Into Envy and Comparison

"My Tulum bach has to be 10 times better than Jane from my sorority's Cabo celebration was." "My coworker's wedding had a six-figure budget, I need to take out a loan in order to match that." In case it wasn't obvious, those examples are wedding mistakes to avoid.

Wedding Editor's Tips: No one's wedding is going to be the exact same as yours, as that's a good thing. While it is nice to appreciate others' ideas, don't let things go too far into the realm of jealousy. You don't know what went on behind closed doors to make their event a reality. Try instead to be happy for others and focus in on your own wedding. And if that's feeling easier said than done it could be worth doing a digital detox to minimize how much comparison you expose yourself to.

8. Overcomplicating Things

This mistake includes but is not limited to, asking every wedding toast to be exactly two-and-a-half minutes long, wanting your photographer to take mid-day portraits at 10 different locations, or even telling your floral designer that you are ok with white flowers but absolutely won't allow off-white flowers.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Remember the water processional at Araminta's wedding from Crazy Rich Asians? Sure, it looked cool in the film, but it is also the definition of complicated. Your wedding isn't a film set, it's a real-life event and simpler is often better.

9. Not Being Thoughtful With Invitations to Prewedding Events

Are you thinking about inviting your coworker to your wedding shower so you don't have to invite them to the wedding? That's a major misstep. Conversely, are you expecting your childhood bestie to attend every single prewedding event, even though they live far away and just started a new job? Another no-go.

Wedding Editor's Tips: It's paramount that you're thoughtful and respectful with you invite to wedding events. I was recently invited to a shower for a dear friend who lives very far away. They knew I might feel left out by not being invited, but they also didn't want me to feel pressured to attend. In the invitation, there was also a handwritten note explaining that they were grateful for my support from a distance and simply wanted me feel included. I was blown away by the thoughtfulness because when I RSVPed with my regrets I didn't feel awkward at all.

10. Not Setting Boundaries

Does anyone like unsolicited advice? Nope. And while some is unavoidable, you're going to be hit with an avalanche of it if you fall victim to the common wedding planning mistake of not setting boundaries.

Wedding Editor's Tips: You might not be able to stop Aunt Sue from telling you how she thinks your wedding venue is a mistake, but you can take a few steps to establish helpful boundaries. If there are friends or family members that have a penchant for offering unsolicited advice try not to talk about the wedding around them. Additionally, there's no rule about who can and can't attend appointments like your dress shopping or even caterer visits. You could even go alone if the presence of family members is going to cause more stress than is helpful.

11. Think You Need to "Shred Before You Wed"

Thinking about testing the latest crash diet before the wedding? Maybe Ozempic is calling your name. Taking extreme health measures ahead of the wedding is a major mistake.

Wedding Editor's Tips: The truth is that you're already wedding-ready. It's easy to be convinced otherwise, but your body as it is now is perfect for your wedding day and beyond. If exercising is a way for you to relieve wedding stress or even a fun way to spend time with your partner that's great. But if you're spending time in front of the mirror thinking you need to look a certain way for the wedding then let me set the record straight—you're beautiful.

12. Forgetting to Live Life Amid Wedding Planning

On average, couples spend 15 months planning their wedding. Imagine that you think about nothing but your wedding for 15 months. How are you going to feel once the celebration is over and you realize you have neglected all your hobbies, interests and friends for more than a year?

Wedding Editor's Tips: While planning your wedding is understandably a priority, don't make it your entire personality. Scheduling regular date nights with your partner where all wedding talk is off-limits is a great way to maintain balance.

13. Setting Unrealistic Expectations

Have you been expecting your S.O. to read your mind and align with all your wedding plans? Do you want your parents to shell out thousands of dollars and bend over backward just because they're your parents? Do you expect your wedding planner to answer your calls at any hour of the day, even at midnight? Setting unrealistic expectations can occur in any part of your planning, but will inevitably lead to tension and hurt.

Wedding Editor's Tips: This might be a hot take, but your wedding isn't the most important thing, your relationship with your partner is. Err on the side of overcommunication so you can ensure you're on the same page as all wedding stakeholders. Then, if you're still feeling like your expectations aren't being met, take a step back and pause. Often a little distance, or even a good night of sleep, can give you a fresh perspective.

14. Not Dealing With Stress

Is your temper shorter than normal? Do you notice your heart rate quickening when wedding questions arise? You're probably dealing with one of the most common wedding planning mistakes: not properly addressing stress.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Some stress is inevitable, letting it get the best of you doesn't have to be. If you're feeling overwhelmed by planning, put your phone on airplane mode, close your laptop and take some time away. You could even call up one of your wedding party members to go for a walk or have a spa day.

15. Refusing to Compromise

"There's an old saying that marriage should be 50/50, but I believe it's not entirely true," says expert TJ Girard. Girard is the genius behind Taste:Work:Shop and is a sought-after food designer and creative consultant with more than 15 years of culinary experience, celebrated for interactive food and beverage experiences. The pro goes on to note that "you definitely don't want the scale to be consistently one-sided, finding balance is important, but aiming for a perfect 50/50 split all the time can lead to disappointment. Marriage is more about ebb and flow; sometimes, you may need to carry more, and hopefully, you've found a partner who can do the same. Great partnerships involve leveraging strengths and weaknesses, showing up and supporting one another, not keeping score."

Wedding Editor's Tips: I couldn't have said it better. I wholeheartedly agree with Girard's sentiments and believe that compromise will serve couples well in the wedding planning process and beyond as they navigate marriage.

Couple holding hands
Photo: Lauren Mihae Photography

Biggest Wedding Mistakes: Budget

Wedding budget mistakes can have costly consequences, literally. Save your pennies by reading up on the worst wedding budget mistakes so you can avoid these pitfalls.

16. Skipping a Budget Altogether

Thinking about "winging it" with your wedding budget? Excuse me while I pick my jaw up from the floor. Skipping a budget is the single biggest wedding budget mistake you could ever make.

Wedding Editor's Tips: You need a structured wedding budget, that's non-negotiable. It's understandable that you might not know how to divvy up your funds, but there's no need to fret. The Knot Wedding Budget Planner & Calculator Tool is a great resource to help you iron out a reasonable wedding budget.

17. Making Plans Before Setting a Wedding Budget

You've seen all the beautiful wedding inspo out there and you're itching to hit the ground running. While it's easy to want to jump right into planning your wedding, there's a certain order that to-do list items should take place. How are you going to know if you can afford a venue or photographer if you don't have a budget? That's a trick question, you can't.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Set your budget early on. A wedding planner will be an invaluable resource here and can help you understand how much you should expect to pay. In the long run a wedding planner may actually save you money since they can help you spend more strategically than if you went into the process blind.

18. Blowing Off Your Wedding Budget

Money may not be the most fun topic to discuss in light of your engagement, but it's so important. And going over budget in one area can become a slippery slope to going over budget across the board.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Many times, excited to-be-weds start booking vendors and making purchases without having a budget in mind—and then are shocked to discover they've already spent most of their money and don't have all of the things they need. Planning a wedding is serious business, so it's important to make a budget and keep track of your expenditures so you have all of your ducks in a row and can actually relax on your wedding day.

19. Blowing Your Fashion Budget on Just the Dress

If you have $1,800 set aside for your bridal look, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to buy a gown with a $1,800 price tag. Tack on tax and, if you're not buying off the rack, shipping. You'll likely need alterations too. Don't forget to factor in your undergarments, shoes, veil, hair accessories and jewelry when budgeting for your overall look.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Start by talking to the bridal salon or any other attire vendor you're working with about your total budget. They'll be able to guide you through how to realistically spend it while staying within your budget.

20. Underpaying Invitation Postage

You'd be surprised how many to-be-weds underestimate the postage stamp process with some dropping an entire batch into a mailbox without paying the correct amount. Most wedding invitations require additional postage, and the post office will return them back to you.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Weigh an invitation at the post office before purchasing your stamps and be aware of any price increases too. (Note: Square invitations require additional postage not only because of the weight but the shape too.)

21. Skipping Insurance

If the pandemic taught us anything it's that event insurance is a necessity. What happens if a hurricane destroys your wedding venue? What happens if there's a family emergency that causes you to postpone your wedding? These issues will be much harder to manage without insurance.

Wedding Editor's Tips: If your photographer gets sick at the last minute, how will they cover your wedding day? In addition to taking out your own event insurance policy, it's a good idea to talk with your vendors about what kind of insurance and save guards they have in place.

22. Assuming Your Vendors Will Give You a Discount

"I'm really special, I have a big social media presence and would like a discount for booking you," says the imaginary to-be-wed that assumes they're going to get a discount from a wedding vendor. This, friends, is a major wedding mistake.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Guess what, vendors can't pay the bills with social media exposure. Your wedding is special to you, but that's how everyone feels. If vendors gave discounts to every couple they wouldn't earn any money. So do some research about the average cost of weddings and be prepared to foot the bill.

23. Forgetting About Taxes, Fees and Tipping

Say it with me, "The subtotal is not the final amount due." On your catering contract, you will likely see a subtotal in the form of [number] ++. The "plus, plus" means plus tax, plus service charges. The total, inclusive of service and tax, can easily be 20%-30% more than the initial subtotal.

Wedding Editor's Tips: The best way to avoid this wedding budget mistake is to ask questions, lots of them. Ask vendors to provide information about travel fees, set-up fees, service charges, taxes and gratuity before you sign on the dotted line.

Bride and Her Florist Planning Wedding Flowers at NYC Restaurant
Photo: Samm Blake Photographer

Biggest Wedding Mistakes: Planning

The majority of common wedding mistakes fall under the realm of planning. From wedding invitation mistakes to wedding cake mistakes, there are a handful of errors to avoid as your navigate the planning journey.

24. Skipping a Wedding Website

Some information can be included on your wedding invitations, but it's best to supplement the invites with a thorough wedding website. How will Uncle Jim know which hotel to book? Do you want to stop your 15 cousins from nagging you for the link to your wedding registry? A wedding website might take a little time to set up, but it'll be worth it in the long run.

Wedding Editor's Tips: How did people plan weddings before the internet? That's a question I'll always wonder as a millennial who grew up with the genius invention. You use websites for every other part of your life, from banking to food delivery and checking the weather, so why then would you skip these tools for such an important event?

25. Neglecting the Shortcuts

Wedding planning is complicated enough as is, why not make it easier when possible? In addition to using websites to help with planning, there are a myriad of apps that can save you time with planning.

Wedding Editor's Tips: The Knot App allows you to make key wedding decisions on the go—from booking your florist to adding gifts to your registry to updating your wedding website with the latest travel info and more. Trust us, this is one shortcut you're going to want to take.

26. Forgetting to Check Sunset Time

A 5:00 pm ceremony in October is going to look a lot different from a vow exchange at the same time in May. Maybe your wedding venue has a stunning view, but at certain hours of the day it gets a lot of direct sunlight that would make it hard for guests to watch the ceremony. Knowing where in the sky the sun will be during the wedding is critical to smooth planning.

Wedding Editor's Tips: This wedding mistake couldn't be easier to address. Simply type in "sunset time on [your wedding date]" into a search engine and voila. Knowing when the sun sets is especially important if you want to do any portraits with your photographer during golden hour.

27. Plan Too Much Before Selecting a Venue

So many wedding details are contingent on knowing exactly when and where you're saying "I do." How can you decide on a layout or rent tables before you know where they will go and how many will fit? How can you draft wedding invitations without knowing what address to place on the design? You can't.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Pump the breaks—it's as easy as that. Focus on selecting a venue and trust that there will be time for all the other decisions once you've booked the perfect spot.

28. Pick a Wedding Date Without Doing Thorough Research

Checking with VIPs isn't enough—is there a convention in town on the weekend you want to host your wedding that'll affect traffic and hotel availability? Does daylight savings time change on your proposed wedding date? While neither of these are dealbreakers, knowledge is power and being as informed as possible about the happenings on your wedding date will serve you well.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Thorough research is key here. Spend ample time looking into events, weather patterns and historical relevance of the days you're considering for the wedding.

29. Not Having an Unplugged Ceremony

We've all seen the pictures—a couple kissing as the recess from the ceremony but half of the aisle is blocked by Aunt Jeanie trying to get a picture with her iPhone. Instead of looking at the couple, the viewer's eye is immediately pulled to the cell phone eyesore, effectively ruining the image.

Wedding Editor's Tips: I'm all for guests snapping pictures at the reception, but I think the focus of the ceremony should be on the couple and nothing else. The to-be-weds have hired a photographer they trust, so guests need to follow suit and trust that the professional is going to capture all the memories so they can focus on being present. In addition to unplugged signs, I also like the idea of including a note from the couple about the decision in the wedding program so guests understand the reasoning for the decision.

30. Not Having a Weather Backup Plan

Picture this: You've commissioned a beautiful flower arch for the ceremony and selected cozy lounge seating for cocktail hour. But the week of the wedding Mother Nature lets you know that thunderstorms will be rolling in on the wedding day. If you have an indoor backup plan or a tent on retainer then you can quickly pivot as needed. But without a backup plan, your wedding is set to wash away.

Wedding Editor's Tips: A solid Plan B, that you like just as much as Plan A, is critical. You certainly are hoping for the best, but in case you do need to change plans you're going to want options you're happy with. And figuring things out on a whim at the 11th hour isn't a recipe for success, thinking ahead is.

31. Falling Victim to Too Many Trends

Do you want to look back at your wedding 20 years from now and cringe at how dated it feels? Even worse, do you want to look back at your wedding wondering why you included details just because it was the "cool" thing to do?

Wedding Editor's Tips: There are so many wedding trends that I love. And don't hear what I'm not saying—I'm not suggesting you totally disregard trends and cool ideas. Instead, just be thoughtful about which trends you include. You should include trends because you like them, not because "everyone else is doing it."

32. Not Eating All Day

Your wedding will go by in a flash, but you can't forget to eat and hydrate amid the hustle and bustle. It sounds funny, but scheduling eating into your wedding timeline is a smart thing to do.

Wedding Editor's Tips: I love the idea of a private moment for the couple between cocktail hour and the reception. While your wedding planner dispatches one of their team members to wrangle the wedding party for introductions, you can sneak away for 10 minutes to spend some uninterrupted time with your new spouse. This is a great time to bustle a wedding dress as needed. But even more so, it's a wonderful time for the couple to sit and eat something. Ahead of time, you can ask your caterer to make a plate of all the passed hors d'oeuvres being served during cocktail hour. Between photos and chatting there's a good chance you won't get to eat during cocktail hour, but no one wants to miss out on the food they so painstakingly selected. This is also a good time to drink a big glass of water.

33. Planning Without Seasonality and Locality in Mind

This wedding mistake isn't the same as not thinking about the weather. This has to do with planning a wedding that makes sense in the setting you've chosen. For example, a tropical wedding with a bright color palette might look a bit odd at a December wedding in Minneapolis.

Wedding Editor's Tips: I'm not saying you can't have a tropical theme for a winter wedding, it's all about how you approach it. Lean into jewel tones like emerald and ruby instead of soft greens and beiges.

34. Allowing a Cash Bar

Your guests have sacrificed a lot to attend your wedding, the least you can do is give them a celebration free of charge.

Wedding Editor's Tips: I understand why some people feel tempted to have a cash bar, but I'm here to tell you there are alternatives you can consider. If your food and beverage budget is tight then you certainly don't need to offer a full-service bar. Instead, consider having just a beer and wine bar. Or you could only offer your signature cocktail. Guests will be much more grateful for limited offerings instead of having to pay for any offering at all.

35. Including Traditions "Because You're Supposed To"

According to Girard, "one common mistake I often see is the cake-cutting moment for photos. Nowadays, people don't necessarily want a large piece of cake at the end of their meal; they want to dance and keep the party going. Not to mention, so much of the cake gets wasted. Instead, I recommend having dynamic passed sweets or late-night snacks near the dance floor. People who want a sweet bite are satiated, the pics are fun, and it ensures the celebration continues."

Wedding Editor's Tips: Whether it's a cake cutting or a first dance or any other tradition you've seen at weddings in the past, you don't need to include a formality just because you think that's what's expected.

Woman sketching wedding cake design
Photo: DarinImages

Biggest Wedding Mistakes: Decor

"But wedding decor is all so beautiful, how is it possible to get it wrong?" Not only is wedding decor beautiful, but it's also a big investment so it's a part of the wedding you want to get right. Take note of the missteps below to avoid decor-related wedding ceremony and reception mistakes.

36. Getting Attached to a Specific Flower Type

When you book your florist a year before your wedding day, they can only guess which blooms will be in your price range and available for your wedding. If your heart is set on orchids, you could be disappointed the day of.

Wedding Editor's Tips: To prevent this, choose backups to your main blooms and add them to your contract. Try to think in terms of colors and shapes instead of specific flowers.

37. Not Prioritizing High-Impact Decor

Which one are guests going to remember more: Linen hemstitch napkins that you painstakingly custom-embroidered for months leading up to the wedding or a dramatic flower wall at cocktail hour that doubles as a photo op? In a perfect world, they'd appreciate both. But in the real world, they'll definitely notice the statement wall and the jury's still out on the napkins.

Wedding Editor's Tips: I love great linens so it's hard for me to even admit this, but prioritization is key (and sometimes that means sacrificing smaller details for fewer details with the greatest impact).

Wedding guests laughing and enjoying ceremony
Photo: Eilish Burt Photography

Biggest Wedding Mistakes: Friends & Family

Interpersonal relationships are tricky to navigate on a normal day, add in a wedding and things can easily get out of hand unless you prep ahead of time to preempt issues.

38. Letting Other People Pick Your Wedding Party

Maybe your college roommate had you as a wedding party member and they've been dropping hints about being in your wedding. Except, the truth is, you've grown apart in recent years and want to limit your attendants to family. Or perhaps your grandmother keeps talking about how excited she is for all of her grandchildren to be in the wedding, even though you have no intention of having a wedding party at all. In either case, letting someone else dictate terms or making decisions to please others can result in a sticky situation.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Your wedding party is yours, which means you're the one narrowing it down to your closest friends and family members, regardless of gender, familial ties and many other factors.. After all, it's your wedding day.

39. Inviting Too Many Guests

Your guest list and the maximum capacity of people at the reception site should match up. You can't invite 400 people assuming only 250 will accept. If you end up with 300 acceptances, you may have to turn 50 guests away at the door. As much as vendors would like to accommodate you, most wedding venues are prohibited from adding 10 more tables, especially since fire laws limit the maximum number of people allowed in any room at one time.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Analyze your guest list from the get-go, assume 80 percent will respond "yes" and limit that amount accordingly.

40. Trying to Do It Alone

If you're a to-be-wed lucky enough to have been offered help by friends or family members, by all means, take it. Too many people try to do it all, which can get overwhelming.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Delegate and use all the resources that are available to you. When people offer to assist, like your mom, future mother-in-law or best friend, find something for them to do, like researching a vendor or addressing invitations. But it's important to keep in mind that these volunteers don't work for you, so accept their contributions graciously. If you need more help, hire a professional wedding planner so someone can take on those difficult tasks throughout the whole process.

41. Not Properly Thanking Loved Ones

You know the help we were just talking about? Gratitude needs to be expressed.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Everyone likes to be appreciated. Make sure to show appreciation, via cards or gifts, to all the financial contributors to your wedding, everyone participating in the wedding (readers, bridesmaids, etc.) and other close VIPs.

42. Oversharing With Friends and Online

Keep this one in mind even before you get engaged. When you're ready to share the news online, doing so before you've told your close loved ones directly would be a mistake. And then during the planning process, be mindful of how much you're sharing online. Chances are that not every one of your followers is invited to the wedding and inciting FOMO and jealousy isn't a great look.

Wedding Editor's Tips: You know your audience best so there's no specific rule of what's too much. Simply put, be thoughtful and considerate before posting online. And if you need a gut check, ask your partner or a trusted wedding party member for their advice.

43. Mistreating Single Friends

Sitting all the single guests together at a table in the corner. It's such a commonplace trope that Hollywood even made a movie about it, Table 19, in 2017 starring Anna Kendrick. But your single friends aren't lesser than your couple friends and the way you treat them should reflect that.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Don't assume your single friends can pitch in to cover random tasks that you wouldn't ask your married friends to help with. Additionally, when you're making your seating arrangements, place single friends with people they'll be comfortable with.

Bride hugging wedding guest at reception
Photo: Madeleine Collins Photography

Biggest Wedding Mistakes: Vendors

Listen up: Wedding vendors are the backbone of weddings. In order to have the most successful relationship possible with your team of pros, take a gander at these wedding day mistakes so you know what to avoid.

44. Micromanaging Your Vendors

I know it's tempting to control every detail, but after your initial meetings, it's best to step back and trust the pros to get it right (and keep on good terms with them). After all, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Wedding Editor's Tips: You're booking talented pros who understand your vision, so it's important to let them do their jobs. As much as you want to send one more follow-up email or shoot off a late-night text, stop and think before you do. Is it really necessary? Can this question wait for a prescheduled meeting you already have on the books?

45. Not Asking Enough Questions and Not Reading Contracts in Depth

While it's important to be polite to your vendors, it's also important to make sure you get all the information you need. Don't be afraid to ask specific questions so that you understand exactly what you're signing up for.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Ask your vendors to spell it out for you. It may be uncomfortable to ask the pros so many questions, but it will help you and your partner make informed decisions throughout the process.

46. Skipping Important Pros

According to our internal research, couples hire an average of 14 different vendors for the wedding day. One of the most common wedding regrets couples experience is not hiring a professional wedding videographer.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Photos are a must for most couples, but they only take you so far—videos let you hear your and your partner's voices as you say your vows and watch your friends tear up the dance floor. By hiring a professional videographer to document your wedding, you'll relive those special moments you may have missed on the day, like interactions with grandparents, that you'll definitely want to treasure for a lifetime.

47. Not Properly Thanking Vendors

You know when you do something really wonderful for someone and it goes unnoticed or unappreciated? That feeling is the worst, right? Well, your wedding vendors are going above and beyond for you, so a show of gratitude is a kind way to acknowledge their work.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Tipping is a commonplace form of appreciation for vendors. But in addition to tipping vendors, something as simple as a handwritten thank-you note or a kind online review can go a long way.

48. Not Feeding Vendors Well

No one likes a hangry person, right? After all, everyone needs to eat, especially when they're standing on their feet and working all day.

Wedding Editor's Tips: I'm not saying you need to pay for your vendors to eat the same filet mignon your guests are dining on. But if a pro is present for most of the day then they should be fed. Most caterers have a vendor meal option so you can seamlessly add this to your catering contract.

Guests signing wedding book
Photo: Eilish Burt Photography

When all is said and done you want to be legally married. Amid the pomp and circumstance of the festivities don't let yourself fall victim to these wedding legal mistakes.

49. Messing Up the Marriage License

There are lots of rules surrounding marriage licenses that you might not be familiar with. For instance, if you get your license 61 days before your wedding in Pennsylvania, you won't be able to legally marry on your wedding day because a license is valid in the state for only 60 days. (You could still have the ceremony, though—guests wouldn't ever know you weren't legally married on that day.).

Wedding Editor's Tips: Obtain your license the day before your wedding, and it's possible you may not get it in time (some states have a three-day waiting period). A common mishap for those marrying for a second time is forgetting your official divorce papers when you get the certificate.

50. Not Researching Noise Ordinances

If you're having an outdoor reception, don't fall victim to this wedding reception mistake that can cause the party to come to a screeching halt. Many venues, especially ones in neighborhoods, have noise curfews.

Wedding Editor's Tips: If you want to keep the party going, look into silent disco headphones, moving the party indoors, or even hosting an after-party at a second location that'll allow for late-night tunes.

Bride and groom on laptop
Photo: Jeny Fu Studio

Biggest Wedding Mistakes: Timeline

From the timing of prewedding planning to the flow of the timeline on your wedding day, there are, sadly, a number of places where things can go awry without some forethought. Keep these common wedding timeline mistakes in mind so you don't succumb to them.

51. Sending Out Save-the-Dates Too Soon

It may be tempting to tell everyone about your wedding date as soon as possible but don't send those save-the-date cards until you've finalized the guest list.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Save-the-dates are typically sent out eight to ten months before your wedding date, and only to guests you're positive will be invited. So there are no hurt feelings.

52. Ordering Your Wedding Dress Too Late

If only we all had little critters to craft us a ballgown like Cinderella. Unfortunately, life isn't a movie and the perfect dress isn't going to spring from thin air at the last minute.

Wedding Editor's Tips: If you're purchasing a wedding dress that needs to be customized or ordered, do so by the six-month mark latest. Since your dress will be custom made (and possibly shipped from overseas), buffer in ample time to receive the piece and complete fittings. In addition, most off-the-rack wedding dresses will require alterations, so make certain you have enough time for that entire process. The same goes for the bridesmaid dresses.

53. Booking Hotel Rooms Too Late

This is an easy wedding planning mistake to make for newly engaged couples. To-be-weds will leave the task of securing hotel room blocks for out-of-town wedding guests until the last minute. If you're marrying during a busy time and you don't look into hotel availability in advance, you can end up with no rooms for your guests so reserve as early as possible.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Begin your research up to a year in advance, and make sure your block is booked at least by the eight-month mark—if not sooner. Include hotel information in your save-the-date cards, wedding website and invitations. (FYI, you're just setting them aside—your guests will put down their own credit cards when they call to book the rooms.)

54. Not Considering a First Look

Don't write a first look just because you don't think you want one or it doesn't feel traditional. A first look can be fun, but it's also immensely practical. It helps free up space in the timeline because many photos can be taken care of before the ceremony.

Wedding Editor's Tips: When I speak to couples, I often hear them share how apprehensive they were about a first look because they were worried it would ruin the processional. But guess what? I've never heard an instance where that was true. Quite the contrary. Couples are grateful for the quiet time they got alone with their partner earlier in the day (and many express a sense of relieved stress from the interaction) and the ceremony is still just as amazing, like a second rush of endorphins.

55. Not Limiting Toasts

Not everyone is a gifted orator deserving of the microphone. But if you allow for a free-for-all with your wedding toasts then you might end up subjecting guests to Uncle Jim's ten-minute monologue about love or Cousin Sam's never-ending story recounting their misadventures in love. Cringe.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Honestly, I prefer when couples limit most of the toasts to the rehearsal dinner and only allow for a short parental welcome at the reception. Most of the guests won't understand the inside jokes your maid of honor or best man shares, and speaking in front of a large crowd can be intimidating for your buddies. Instead, ask them to share a few words in a more intimate setting, like the rehearsal dinner.

59. Not Planning Ahead With Any Beauty Regimens

You know that scene in Bride Wars where Anne Hathaway's character ends up with a horrible spray tan because of Kate Hudson's character's actions? Of course, that unfortunate tan was a case of sabotage, but all the same, no one wants to look like a pumpkin on their wedding day. Similarly, it takes a few days for your skin to reach peak condition following a facial.

Wedding Editor's Tips: So if you really want to look your best on your wedding day and you're planning to have beauty treatments done, talk with an aesthetician in advance to map out a plan for your individual needs.

56. Letting the Reception Timeline Drag On

Do you really want guests' main memory from the reception to be how bored they were feeling by the never-ending event? Nope, that's not a great look.

Wedding Editor's Tips: The general rule of thumb is that the total time from the start of the ceremony to the end of the reception should be about five hours. That number may vary slightly, like if your ceremony venue is far away from the reception, but for the most part, you shouldn't let things linger too long.

57. Not Allowing Enough Getting-Ready Time

Running fashionably late might be cute for a date or a party, but it's not as fun when 200 people are waiting for you. Starting the day late will quickly cause a domino effect that will be hard to recover from.

Wedding Editor's Tips: As a rule of thumb, each service (hair or makeup) will take 30 minutes per person. So if you have three stylists and six people all getting both hair and makeup done, you should plan to allow for four hours for all hair and makeup appointments.

58. Leaving Your Vows Until the Last Minute and Not Practicing Your Vows

The iconic sticky note from Grey's Anatomy shouldn't be treated as the gold standard for writing wedding vows. Being speechless is nice when someone pays you a compliment or impresses you, but at the altar isn't the moment to be speechless.

Wedding Editor's Tips: These are the promises you're writing to your partner that'll last forever. Give them the time and forethought they deserve. Additionally, if you're worried about sharing your heartfelt thoughts in front of an audience you can plan to exchange personal vows privately during the first look and recite traditional promises during the ceremony.

Wedding guests dancing and laughing at reception
Photo: Megan Noll Photography

Biggest Wedding Mistakes: Destination Weddings

Destination weddings involve a key difference from local weddings: travel to a new locale. With that travel come different steps that you need to take for the event to run smoothly.

59. Putting Valuables in Checked Luggage

You've spent months planning a beautiful destination wedding in Greece. Except that when you arrive in Mykonos you discover that your luggage, which contains your wedding dress and all of the day-of wedding stationery, is stuck at the airport where you had a layover. It seems like every day you hear another news story about a friend losing their luggage on vacation. The thing is, you can get away with wearing a bathing suit for your entire vacation. That won't really work with the wedding.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Repeat after me: Never check your wedding dress. All valuables should be carried onto the plane with you. No ifs, ands, or buts.

60. Not Researching Laws of Your Wedding Destination

This is especially important for international destination weddings. Imagine if you were legally married in Switzerland, but not in your home country. Or, worse, you didn't realize you needed a special visa or license to enter the country and/or host an event in the country where you're paying vendors.

Wedding Editor's Tips: Can I let you in on a little secret? Most couples who have destination weddings overseas get legally married at a United States courthouse before departing for the wedding. That's the simplest way to have the destination wedding of your dreams while also guaranteeing that your nuptials are legal in the eyes of the government. (Warning: If you plan to change your name after your wedding, do not start that process until after the honeymoon!) do that before the honeymoon.)

Please note: The Knot and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, legal, financial, tax or medical advice and should not be used as such. You should always consult with your professional advisors about your specific circumstances. This information contained herein is not necessarily exhaustive, complete, accurate or up to date. In addition, we do not take responsibility for information contained in any external links, over which we have no control.

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