The 10 Biggest Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid

Wondering if you should send out save-the-dates a little early? Check out our guide first.
by The Knot

Some things are unavoidable on your wedding day, like an unexpected thunderstorm, or your 4-year-old flower girl throwing a tantrum right before she walks down the aisle. But other potential issues, like managing your wedding dress budget and starting your hair and makeup on time, are completely manageable. Here, our top wedding mistakes that are 100 percent avoidable.

  1. Mistake #1: Blowing Your Fashion Budget on Just the Dress

    If you have $1,500 set aside for your bridal look, that doesn't necessarily mean you can buy a $1,500 gown. Tack on tax, and if you're not buying off the rack, you could get charged for shipping. You'll likely need alterations too. Consider your undergarments, shoes, veil, hair accessories and jewelry when budgeting as well.

  2. Mistake #2: Getting Attached to Specific Flower Types

    photo by iStock

    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 you just have to have, say, orchids, you could be disappointed. Instead, choose backups to your main blooms and add them to your contract. Think in terms of colors and shapes instead of specific flowers.

  3. Mistake #3: 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. Friends could turn into mere acquaintances by the time you tie the knot. Send save-the-dates out six to eight months before your wedding date, and send them only to guests you're positive will be invited.

  4. Mistake #4: Skipping a Wedding Videographer

    photo by Janae Shields Photography

    Photos are a must, 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. With a professional videographer documenting your wedding, you'll see special moments you may have missed on the day.

  5. Mistake #5: Micromanaging Your Vendors

    photo by iStock

    You're booking talented pros who understand your vision, so it's important to let them do their jobs. We 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).

  6. Mistake #6: Picking Your Attendants Too Early

    Your wedding party should be made up of your closest friends and/or family members, but they have to be people you trust to be there when you need them most. You may not know new friends well enough yet to be sure they'll support you in tough situations (every to-be-wed encounters one at some point), and picking people because a family member demands it or so you and your partner will have an even number of attendants are decisions you'll likely regret.

  7. Mistake #7: Telling Everyone About Your Wedding

    photo by iStock

    It's so hard not to talk about your wedding, but it's good to try. The more you share, the more opinions you're going to get about your choices, whether or not you ask for them. Plus, part of wowing your guests is surprising them. If they already know you're changing into a different dress for the reception or serving made-to-order pizza at your after-party, they won't be quite as impressed on your wedding day. People who aren't invited to your wedding may also feel hurt if they see any social media updates about your planning as well. If that's not enough to deter you, talking about your plans means opening yourself up to copycats, who may actually be marrying before you do.

  8. Mistake #8: Starting Your Hair and Makeup Too Late on the Wedding Day

    photo by iStock

    Ideally you want to be the last one to get your hair and makeup done on the wedding day, so your 'do and makeup are fresh. This means you're going to have to schedule enough time for all of your bridesmaids (if they're having hair and makeup done too) as well as you. When you go for your hair trials, time how long it takes your hairstylist. Take this into account when you're figuring out timing for the day of. And pad an hour or two extra in case you need a redo. 

  9. Planning Mistake #9: Speeding Through Taking Photos

    photo by iStock

    Speaking of not having enough time, any less than an hour isn't enough for a portrait session. An hour and a half is closer to ideal because you'll look more relaxed in your pictures (and those first few never come out as well as you hope). Squeezing photos into the first half hour of your cocktail hour will make you anything but at ease. If you don't want to do a first look, take pictures separately beforehand so the only shots left to take after the ceremony include both of you.

  10. Mistake #10: "Hiring" a Friend Instead of a Pro

    Your friend from college may make amazing workout playlists, but that doesn't mean he'll make a great wedding DJ. The same goes for your friend who's an expert Instagrammer—this doesn't make her a photographer. Even on a tight budget, you're much better off paying a vendor with experience to take care of the biggies, like the music and the food. Don't you want your friends to enjoy your wedding instead of having to work it, anyway?


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