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Don’t Make These Wedding Mistakes

Your wedding is probably the biggest private event you will ever plan, with so many elements requiring your consideration and decisions it can be easy to fall into the common pitfalls and mistakes that many couples make in their wedding planning.

You want to have a clear foundation of the vision you and your fiancé have of your wedding and a realistic budget you are able to afford, save, or want to spend. You will then be able to choose the right vendors and creative talents, who fit with your personality and style to breath life into you vision turning it from a dream into a reality!

Even with all the planning books, guides and checklists available you can still drift off course as you fill your Pinterest Boards with ideas and inspiration, flick through wedding magazines, go to wedding open days and expos, try on wedding dresses, select invitations, have tasting sessions for menus and sample wedding cake…the list goes on and on!

Here are some of the most common mistakes Brides make - so you can learn from them and avoid them for your wedding.

You Announce Your Engagement On Social Media First

Popping the questions and saying YES is a huge deal for you both and for you families and close friends. So although you might want to shout your good news from the rooftops - hold your horses just a little and let those nearest and dearest be there first to know, preferably in person, or Zoom/Skype/Facetime so they can see you and the ring! Then feel free to change your Facebook Status and post away on all your social media platforms until your heart’s content - remember to thank all your well wishers along the way.

You Can’t Find Your Engagement Ring

Some people (me included) never take their engagement ring off. That said, precious metals and stones (even diamonds) are to a certain degree delicate and soft, so jewellery experts will usually advise you to remove your ring to avoid damage or dulling from sweat, chemicals and hard or abrasive surfaces that could cause bending, denting or scratching. So when your are exercising, showering or doing any beauty routine (cleansing, moisturising, perfume, hair products or spray) swimming, cleaning, gardening or cooking etc they recommend taking your ring off. The important thing (if you do decide to follow this advice) is that you don’t leave it on the edge of the sink where it can drop into the drain or get left behind or forgotten somewhere. You need to have a safe place, where you always put it, so it never gets misplaced and you have to wear an oven mit on your left hand for the rest of your life so your fiancé never finds out!!!!

Seriously, if you do misplace your ring - take a big deep breath, now another, and finally another, remember your love is what’s important and your upcoming marriage, not the ring that symbolises it. Now follow these logical steps:

  1. Focus Your Attention On Finding It - work out when and where you can remember having it last, and when and where you realised it was missing. This will give you a timeline and range of possible places in between to start your search and increase your chances of finding it.

  2. Retrace Your Steps -Start where you last had it or saw it and carefully retrace your steps. If you need to get extra sets of eyes to help in the search - tell your fiancé (scary but necessary), get your Mum or best friend to come over and help look. More people means more eyes and more chance of finding it.

  3. Alert The Experts - if you think it fell down the sink - call a plumber. If you think it went missing at a restaurant or hotel call the staff. If it was down on a beach call someone with a metal detector! Whatever the situation or location work out which (if any) expert help is needed. More hands and eyes on deck means a greater likelihood of finding it.

  4. Lodge an Insurance Claim.- Hopefully you have your ring insured, especially if it was very expensive. Most companies require you to report the loss within 24 hours, so even if you are still searching for it, let your insurance company know that it’s lost as soon as possible. You can always cancel the claim if you do end up finding it.

  5. Organise a Replacement - Talk to the jeweller who made it or shop where you bought it. They might have another one the same or can remake the same or similar ring for you. Some may even take pity on you and offer a discount as a repeat customer or if they are also supplying your wedding ring.

  6. A Clever Substitute - you need a temporary ring either whilst you continue searching or whilst the jeweller is organising a replacement. You could ask to borrow one, such as Mum’s or Grandma’s ring or buy a cheap fake diamond ring (Zircon, White Sapphire or Created Diamond). Most people wont realise that it’s not an actual diamond.

You Elope On a Whim

It can be romantic to run away and get married, especially if planning your wedding is becoming too much about pleasing everyone else and not yourselves. But you still need to make sure that it’s legal so in Australia you at least need an officiant and 2 witnesses. The officiant also needs time to lodge the intent to marry documents - so it might not be as spur of the moment at you first thought. If you are planning to do it overseas be aware that many countries have different requirements (such as residency) in order to be married officially. You also need to check that your overseas marriage will be recognised by Australian law if you are planning to come back here. An unintended consequence could be you may need to face the wrath of some family members and friends when you announce your elopement, some will be very disappointed to not have been able to share your wedding day with you - so be prepared for it just in case.

If you do decide to elope, it doesn’t mean that the day isn’t special, it’s still your wedding day - so be excited and celebrate - have a wedding dress and suit if you want, flowers, bouquet and button hole, special music, special meal, a few nights in a posh hotel etc - whatever you feel is appropriate for you both and your wedding. Remember it’s your wedding your way!

Not Knowing What Kind of Wedding You Really Want

You will be getting information overload from all the different inspiration sources and ending up in confusion and in “decision paralysis” because you don’t have a clear direction or any filters for what you really want. Have an honest heart-to-heart with your fiancé and explore what you each see as important for your wedding and then look for the commonalities you share and any deal-breakers for your wedding vision. What do you like in terms of food, music, colours, themes etc Do you see it as a formal, black tie evening event, a casual beach or rustic wedding, or will it be a simple elopement? Make a list of priorities of what you have to have, what would be nice to have, and what you would be prepared to cut back on or do without if needed. This kind of pre-planning will make both selecting a venue/vendors and setting a budget much easier - which the helps clarify your direction and filters many options - helping you narrow down and decide on what’s right for you and your wedding.

Not Setting Clear Parental Boundaries

Some parents will want more involvement and decision making in your wedding plans than others, especially if they are contributing financially and you might find yourself under pressure to go their way or the highway. This is where that a list of the essential must haves, nice to haves and could do without if necessary lists come in. Even if your parents are paying for the whole wedding, they don’t have the right to dismiss your essential must have decisions for your wedding. If their money only comes with them having the final say be prepared to loose that money if what you want doesn’t fit what they want. Often you can prevent any problems by including them in the planning right at the start or clearly establishing which parts, if any, they want to contribute to. Asking their option on your shortlisted things like wedding cake, invitations etc or inviting them to menu tastings, suit or dress fittings, wedding open days/expos or using any talents they have like scrapbooking, music or artistic ability can all go a long way to smoothing any ripples and keeping everyone on the same page.

Even if you are paying for all of your wedding just remember that weddings are emotional and important family events and feelings can run high. At some point most couples will encounter some conflict with their own parents or their future in-laws during the wedding planning process. By all means let off any steam first with a close and trusted family member or friend. Obviously, have a talk with your finance as well - especially if it’s due to your future in-laws - they need to be onboard and work out your shared view and support a joint position. It can be really awkward and uncomfortable but its always best to talk things though as soon as possible rather than letting things simmer and end in an explosion that’s much harder to recover from. If at all possible, arrange to speak in person, it’s more respectful and body language says a lot. I recommended what I call the “Shit Sandwich” (positive- negative-positive) approach. Start by thanking them for all the nice things they have done for you both, then an honest and open explanation of what the problem is from your joint point of view as a couple (this is very important). Do this in a polite but assertive voice (not angry or aggressive) and state your position on things. Reassure them you have heard their views and understand and have considered them, and you realise that they are only doing/saying what they think is best for you and you are thankful for their wisdom and caring, but you have both worked this through as a couple to decide to what is right for your wedding and your join position remains firm.

Only Budgeting for the "Per Head” Reception Price

The reception is usually the most expensive part of the wedding and venues will often give a per head price for the meal and drinks packages. But if you build your budget around this price without thinking about all the extras then you will be in for a shock. Flowers, Music, Photographer, Videographer, Cars, Dress, Suit, Cake, Stationary, Decor etc can quickly add up and generally are not included in most venue’s packages. It’s wiser to have a total overall budget you can afford, save or are willing to spend and then make a list of all the individual elements you’d ideally like for your wedding, then prioritise the essential things you just have to have, the things that are nice to have and the things you could do without and allocate approximate amounts (%) of the total budget. A spreadsheet is a great idea for this and be aware as quotes come in and your “guesstimate” becomes and “actual” cost you will have to reallocate the amounts - this is why you need to have priorities and things to cut back on or do without.

There can be lots of hidden costs that you wont think about such as dress alteration charges, spray tan, nails, waxing, brows, lash extensions etc, and they can quickly add up. There will always be some kind of unforeseen costs so maybe quarantine a bit of your budget for those “unforeseen” in the week before your wedding - so you don’t have to stress about them.

You Say YES to the Dress FIRST

I get it, you have probably dreamed of the “Princess for A Day” dress since you were a little girl and you are excited to rush out and try them all on to find the “One”! But having a huge ballgown princess style dress with a cathedral train for a beach wedding can be an absolute physical disaster! Or choosing a boho gown and ending up with a formal church wedding and reception at the Ritz Carlton might look very out of place and have you feeling like a shrinking violet. So before you rush off and try on every dress in the bridal shop you need to know what style of wedding you want and where you will be getting married and celebrating afterwards - it’s critical!

When you do around get to finally choosing your dress (after your venue, officiant and wedding photographer) Remember to have some ideas but not limit yourself in the style of dress when you go shopping. Not every dress will flatter every figure and some can be very unforgiving such as clingy fabrics (satin, silk, chiffon) in body skimming sheath cuts and gowns where the bodice fabric is totally different from the skirt fabric cutting the body in very unflattering ways. It’s ALWAYS a good idea to try the gown on first because it may look totally different on the body and with your height, body shape and skin tone. Take a trusted friend or family member who you know will be objective and honest. Even if you end up ordering your dress online, make sure you have tried on a similar cut, style and fabric beforehand.

You Dismiss Needing A Wedding Planner or Coordinator

You might want to plan all the nitty gritty of your wedding yourself or with the help for family and friends and think there’s no need for a wedding planner. This could be absolutely true, but the hardest and most stressful time for you will be the few weeks before the wedding, and especially that week - when unforeseen details or challenges surface and life becomes very stressful. This can have you in a total spin and can prevent you from catching up with family (especially people who have travelled to be there) and enjoying this special time. So you might need someone - who’s impartial and not involved in the wedding - to put out any fires, deal with any last-minute vendors and ensure deliveries and set up on the day happens! So consider their services even if it’s only a few weeks/days before or just on the day.

You Get Married at the Wrong Time of Day

One of the early major decisions that ties in with who will marry you and where, is the actual time of the ceremony. At first you might think this is simple and everything will work around it, but often couples suddenly find that other things important to them are influenced by this, and sometimes might not even be possible because of this. One of the biggies is your wedding photographs - they are are all that will remain as lasting keepsakes of your amazing wedding that you spend months, even years planning at great expense and effort. The harsh Aussie sun can be very unflattering and also very uncomfortable for the guests at your ceremony. I suggest finding out when sunset is and working backwards from there to include time for your wedding portrait photography, some time for congratulation and the time for your ceremony . Most ceremonies end up being around 4.30 - 5.00pm but there I a lot to think about check out this helpful blog Top 10 Considerations In Choosing The Time For Your Wedding Ceremony.

You Think You Don’t Need a Professional Wedding Photographer/Videographer

As you begin to realise the expense of a wedding, and try to cut back on some things to save your budget, you may be asking yourself “Why not use pictures taken by friends or relatives on their smart phones or point n shoot cameras?” “Is it really worth the expense of hiring a professional wedding photographer or will a cheaper moonlighting, shoot and burn, amateur be able to do the job just as well for a lot less money?”

If I said to you rate the kind of wedding you want from 1 - 10. One being the worst wedding you have ever been to and 10 being the most awesome talked about wedding for the rest of your lives together - would you aim for a 5 - an average wedding? I’m taking a punt that’s NOT what you want for your precious wedding day. So if you want an above average wedding be aware you will probably have to pay above average prices on things - at least the things you decide are the most important- essential - non negotiable aspects of your wedding. Just remember that long after the music has finished, the cake has been eaten, the flowers have wilted and the dress has been stored - ALL that is left of your magical day will be your wedding photo album and film! How much is immortality worth - if we are truthful, it’s actually priceless.

Not all photographers and videographers are trained to shoot weddings and not all people claiming to be “professional wedding photographers and videographers” really are - so be careful who you choose. Do some research and make a short list of people’s work you love and check out their websites etc. Then contact them and arrange to meet. It’s really important that you connect with them as you will be spend most of your wedding day with them.

Wedding photography and videography is a specialist genre and you need to know a lot more than how to point a camera and press the button - your memories deserve the best and that is NOT “Uncle Fred” with his new DSLR on Auto - don’t risk it! Whilst your “Cousin Kim” might boast thousands of Instagram followers due to her iPhone selfies, it’s highly unlikely she will be able to position you to look your absolute best, in the right light, from the right angle with a mix of directed and candid photojournalistic shots and anticipate the wedding day flow the way a professional photographer and videographer would. Your above average wedding deserves above average photographs and video - hire true professionals! This should be one of your essential, non-negotiable wedding vendors! Why Choosing Your Photographer Is Like Choosing Your Wedding Dress

You Don’t Go Unplugged

If you truly value you wedding day photographs and video that will become your everlasting wedding day memories you need to make sure the professional wedding photographer and videographer you have chosen, have the best chance of capturing them for you. This means that people are not stepping in the way taking photos on their phones or their point and shoot cameras for any of the important or formal parts of the wedding (Ceremony, Portraits, Reception Formalities). So you need to let your guests know that you want your wedding to be “unplugged” with phones and other recording devices switched off, so they can just relax, enjoy and be present in the moment as your guest - your professional media team has it covered! They will have plenty of time to get those “snaps” afterwards when the partying is happening and you will get the amazing wedding day images and memories you are paying your professional’s for.

There’s Nothing to Do for Guests in the “Gap” Before the Reception

Guests understand that most couples will have a gap between the ceremony and reception to have their wedding portraits taken - even if the ceremony and reception are at the same venue. If they are at different venues, or if the portraits will be at several other locations (which can take up to 2 hours or more) then you need to factor something for your guests to do in-between. You might set up some specific activities for them, or at least have a place for them to go to for drinks or snacks - don’t leave your guests just “hanging” wondering what to do next - especially if they have travelled and are unfamiliar with the area. It can be tempting to try to limit the “gap” so you are not away from your guests for too long, but do remember that your wedding portraits are more than likely the ones you will choose the most of for your wedding album or any wall art, so you do want to give them the time they require to get what you want. If you really want to minimise the time away then having everything at the one venue will save lots of travel time and get you to your reception much sooner.

You Don’t Use Physical Stationary

Even in our digital world some things will just never go out of style - there is still class and elegance in receiving a physical save the date, invitation or thank you card. There are so many options - templates from online print stores or Etsy that let you design your own, or made by someone else through stationary stores, custom designers and handmade scrapbooking artists. There is something to suit all tastes and budgets. Find the design and style that suits your wedding and set the tone.

Don’t overcomplicate your invitations with information (hotels, maps, directions, what to see and do etc) for interstate or overseas guests who have to travel. You can include all this on a dedicated wedding website, a separate email to those involved so they have it all readily on their phones, or inside the “Welcome Bag” you leave in their hotel room.

Inviting Non-Wedding Guests to Your Pre-Wedding Parties

Any pre wedding celebrations or events were traditionally intended for the couple’s closest family and friends (Bridal Shower, Kitchen Tea, Hens Night, Bucks Night etc). This means that anyone invited to these events should also be on the wedding guest list too - otherwise it’s considered bad form. Some people during Covid 19 (where wedding numbers are limited) have broken this etiquette tabu to invite and include people they would have invited to the wedding if they could - so although this means people might attend these pre wedding events who wont be attending the actual wedding, it’s only due to Covid 19 limiting guest numbers at venues, not because they weren’t on the original wedding guest list.

Not Thinking about Your Guests

Weddings bring people together from intrastate, interstate and overseas. Travel means lots of expense and time away from work or their normal lives - it’s an extra big effort they are making to be with you to share you day. So you need to consider their comfort and making them feel appreciated and welcome. This can be a little thing like placing a “Welcome Bag” in their hotel ready for when they arrive through to providing transportation to the ceremony and reception and home again, or organising a block booking of accommodation at your venue. If it’s going to be a destination wedding or weekend stay at your venue you might also organise get togethers or activities the night before the wedding and on the day following the wedding. You want to make the most of their time with you since you wont see them very often.

You’re Late in Thanking People for Gifts

Whether it’s your engagement gifts or wedding gifts, you need to send handwritten thank you cards or notes within a few weeks (a month at the max) from the time you received the gift - regardless if it was before, on the day or after the event. It’s only polite.

You Don’t Give Your Wedding Party Gifts

Some couples ask their attendants to pay for their dresses, shoes, jewellery, suits etc whilst others have the budget to cover this for their attendants as part of their wedding planning. Regardless, it’s important to show them how much you appreciate them with a tangible gift of some kind, especially if they have also had to pay travel expenses to attend. Talk with your fiancé and consider how much you have asked financially of your wedding party. Your gift wont match dollar-for-dollar but should show your gratitude of how much time, effort and money they have had to put towards your wedding. Generally, most couples budget around $75 - $150 and it can either be given when you first ask them to be in your wedding party (provided you know they will say yes!), on the morning of the wedding day or the day after the wedding. It can also be something towards the wedding but can be used again afterwards, eg robes, jewellery, watch, ties, make-up bag, perfume, aftershave, crystal glassware etc. Some couples go for customised gifts with their names, wedding date or attendants names on - whilst this is really cute, the reality is that the gift probably wont ever get used again - so keep that in mind when choosing.

You Don't Understand Florals

Thinking it can’t be too hard to do your fresh flowers yourself? Think again - unless you like the look of wilting, droopy, dying flowers it will have you buying and arranging (not to mention wiring) them the morning of your wedding, then delivering them to your venue etc instead of relaxing and easing into getting ready!

Your florist needs to be in sync with your ideas and overall wedding design. Check out Instagram or Pinterest for work you love the look of and make a short list of florists to check out in person. You need someone who can not all bring your vision to life within your budget, but also give you advice on some of the pitfalls you might not have considered or know about. Research the kinds of flowers you are thinking of to find out what’s in season for your wedding (costs for out-of-season flowers can be hefty), how fragile, resilient and fragrant are they? Delicate flowers may not go the distance and can wilt - especially on hot summer days. Heavily perfumed flowers like Lillies can be a bit overpowering on tables and can stain your dress with their stamens and pollen if in your bouquet. So do ask for advice on your choices from the professional.

Also, it’s a great idea to bring a photo of your dress with you to make sure your florist can design the shape and size of bouquet to match your style of dress and wedding. You don’t want something so heavy and awkward to carry that it can’t look elegant and graceful as you walk or for it to cover so much of your gorgeous wedding dress it can’t be seen properly.

You Think You Don’t Need Professional Caterer/Cake Maker

When people are looking for ways to cut back this is often one of the things they think they can do themselves. Unless you have a family member (NOT YOU - you wont have the time) who is highly skilled in cake making and decorating I suggest you think twice. The wedding cake is often an essential element with the whole cutting of the cake tradition - so it is very much front and centre and needs to look the part. As for self -catering the meal, using your Mum, family and other friends will save you money but it will totally stress them all out just before the wedding and potentially can end up in disaster. Unless your wedding is a very low key, maybe just tea and scones after the ceremony at the church and everyone brings a plate kind of thing, then the menu is really best left to a professional caterer (if not the venue) who will properly work out how much food to order and how to prepare and serve a meal on that scale as well as catering to any guests with special dietary requirements.

You Go On A Crash Diet

Your fiancé fell in love with you and is marrying you just as you are - not some stick figure model with no curves or a body builder. If you want to change some of your current food habits for healthier ones then ease into it with a well balanced eating plan and exercise routine long before the wedding day, not starving yourself the month before. Brides have fainted on their wedding day from not eating enough - yep it’s true! Don’t let that be you! If you want to loose some weight it’s more important to work on longer term good eating habits, relaxing and improving your self-confidence and self esteem rather than hoping for a specific number on the scales.

BTW - On the wedding day itself - DON’T forget to eat - and feed your bridal party as you get ready. Arrange ahead for grazing plates and nibbles - so no one ends up light headed, grumpy or faints!

You Have to Have Your Hair Up

All the pictures you see in wedding magazines and advertising have their hair up - right? But if you never wear your hair up why would you start doing it on your wedding day? It’s your wedding your way - you can wear your hair anyway you want that makes you feel glamorous or attractive, it might be all up, half up half down, a braid, waves or a free flowing windswept and interesting look! Make sure you have at least one trial before the big day to be sure you like it, and consider your veil or headpiece when deciding on your hair style.

Whilst on the subject of hair, another mistake is to overdo it on the hair products. The allure for lotions, serums, masks and sprays in order to look your best can end up with your hair looking very drab, oily and limp - so be careful. Limit products to just a few drops and go easy on the roots - you want a natural lift with the body’s natural oils - not a slicked down look. Talk with the hairdresser who will be doing your hair on the day for advice at your trial - they usually recommend washing a few days before and conditioning only the ends.

You Don't Realise the Time it Takes for Hair and Makeup

Getting ready is exciting and should be relaxed and fun but if you find yourself running short of time it can become chaotic, stressful and end in tears! Trust me on this!!!! Work with your vendors to make sure there is enough time before your photographer and videographer arrive. I strongly recommend to my brides that they are FIRST for Hair and NEXT for make-up - no matter what anyone else tells them (sorry hairdressers and make-up artists if this is you). This means they are ready and luxuriously relaxing in their robes (often with a glass of champagne) when I arrive. Their hair and make-up artists will still be there working on the other wedding party members if anything needs a “quick fix” after their lingerie or boudoir shoots or their getting into their dress photos. If time does get away, it’s not the bride who suffers on her wedding day!

Oompa Loompa Spray Tans & Body Bronzers

For brides wanting the sun kissed look of a spray tan - please, please, please try it out at least a couple of times several months before!!!! That way you can work out and adjust the right formula/product and know how long it will last for your skin type and exfoliation rate. You also need to keep your make-up artist in the loop as this will ensure the correct foundation is chosen to match the tan colour.

You Ignore Your Eye Brows

Generally, your make-up artist will ensure that your brows, which frame your face, are included in your wedding make-up planning and at your make-up trial. If you don’t usually have them shaped, waxed, threaded or tinted make sure you have a few test runs, allowing for regrowth time, in the months beforehand. Schedule your final appointment a week before the wedding day to allow for any redness or irritation to go away.

You Go Overboard on Decorating & Décor

Sometimes less is more! Tasteful, simple decorations without any overwhelm or clutter exude class, elegance and style instead of overkill in mismatched, disorganised clutter. One of the worst mistakes I have seen is having high centrepieces on your tables, these make it uncomfortable for you guests to talk with each other, obscures their view of formalities and can make it very difficult for your photographer and videographer.

Consider your venue reception space when choosing your tables, room layout, florals and other decorations and décor. Chances are the venue is already gorgeous enough in the way they set things out, or some venues include certain decorations and décor in their packages or as add on packages - check what’s included and what you can get onsite before ordering other items or vendors - it can save you lots of money.

You Forget to Feed Your Vendors

This wont be needed for most of your vendors, so it’s easy to forget about the few who will need to be fed. Just as you need to eat on your wedding day so will they… the photographer and videographer will be with you all day and into the night, so they will usually need lunch and dinner (breakfast if it’s a destination wedding). The DJ and MC or Band will be there over dinner at the reception - so will also need feeding. If your wedding planner is staying over the lunch or dinner times they will very likely need to be fed. Venues will often provide “Vendor Meals” at a reduced cost, so discuss this with them and plan accordingly in your budget. Many vendors, ourselves included, stipulate in the contract that the couple will provide meals as its not like they can just dash out somewhere else to eat.

Only Having a Cash Bar

The bar tab will be one of the most expensive parts (unless it's part of your venue package already and you know ahead what costs you are up for). Whilst guests wont expect an open bar, or even a limited bar all night long, they will expect drinks to be provide to some extent. You can save money by doing things like having a Drinks Menu - limiting the bar to certain types/brands of beverages eg Beer, Wine, Soft Drink and guests pay for spirits or upmarket brands. Some venues will let you BYO and charge you corkage (for the use of glassware and serving) and in some cases you can even sell back unused items to some suppliers. Providing your own is always the less expensive option. If your budget means you must have a cash bar only, make sure that guests are aware ahead of time (sometimes people don’t bring money or cards with them to a wedding) and maybe offset it by asking that they don’t bring a wedding gift.

Your Single Friends Feel Like Loosers

Working out a wedding reception seating plan can be a tactical and logistical nightmare. A common mistake is to put all your single guests on the same table in the hope they will enjoy meeting each other, but this can backfire badly. Try putting people together who share similar hobbies, interests or occupations rather than marital status and help everyone feel comfortable by having a balanced mix of people who know each other and people who don’t on every table.

You Don’t Limit the Speeches and Toasts

Some guests love the sound of their own voice and being in the spotlight - they can go on and on forever - especially if they have had a little to much to drink - which surprise, surprise happens at weddings! This can not only throw out your well planned timeline and schedule but can end up with cold food, and very bored guests! The way to stay on track and not loose out on valuable party time is to limit the number of people speaking and give them a 3-5 time limit well ahead of time, so they can plan accordingly. Even suggest a word limit if you have big concerns for some people. Have someone responsible in control of the microphone (maybe the people wrangler your photographer asked for the family portraits or your MC) who intervenes in some polite but assertive way to wide them up and move on if they stray from their time limit.

You Forget About the Audience and Volume

While you're strutting your stuff on the dance floor, be aware that those guests still sitting down at tables trying to socialise might not be able to hear each other speak. A good idea to avoid this is to get your DJ/MC to do a sound check to make sure those opting not to dance can still have a conversation easily. Most weddings will have a range of generations and age groups attending so make sure your range of music selection offers something for everyone at some point in the evening.

You Don't Greet All Your Guests

Traditionally this happened as part of a formal receiving line so all guests were greeted. Most couples now opt for a more chaotic “congratulations” straight after the ceremony and then later socialise table by table at the reception after the formalities are over. If you have a small wedding it is easier for you greet all of your guests, but if its a larger affair this can be a bit difficult to ensure you don’t miss anyone. An option is to hand-deliver your bomboniere or wedding favours for each guest - especially if they have name tags attached - you will soon see if you have missed anyone!

You Expect Everything Will Go Perfectly to Plan

No matter the military precision of your schedule, timeline, run sheet and wedding plans there WILL be at least one thing (probably more) that will not go according to plan. Don’t sweat the small stuff - ultimately the important part is your marriage and having a celebration with those you love - everything else is just detail! If you can honestly say you, your new spouse and your guests had a great time - then you had a great wedding!

Getting caught up in all the preparations and trying to control everything on the day can end up with you forgetting about the whole reason you are doing this - so keep things in perspective! It's ALL about starting your new life together. Remember, it's just one day, a very special day, but still just one day in the rest of your journey together. Don’t forget to enjoy your wedding and have fun!


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