#1 – Sending out Save-the-Dates too soon: This is an exciting time and we are all in a hurry to let everyone know when our special day will be. However, it is very important that you do not send out the Save-the-Dates until the guest list is finalized. Save-the-Dates are sent out anywhere from 6-10 months prior to your wedding date. But you want to make sure that you are only sending them to guests that you’re are positive will be invited so that there aren’t any hurt feelings along the way. And we all know that we have to send your Save-the-Dates out before your cousin Becky who is trying to plan her wedding on the same day as you…
#2 – Ordering your wedding dress too late: If the dress you are purchasing will need any type of customization or be ordered, it should be done by at least six-months out. In many cases, the dress is being custom made for you and possibly being shipped from overseas. Be sure to add in additional time for alterations and fittings. If you are able to find an off-the-rack dress, you will still more than likely need to include time for fittings and alterations. Similar considerations will also be needed for bridesmaid dresses, but usually do not require as long of a runway. We’ve all watched those crazy people on a certain tv show that come into the dress shop 2 weeks before their wedding. Give yourself the time and save yourself the headache and possible heartache.
#3 – Too many guests: Many of us have dreamed of grand weddings with everyone we’ve ever known in attendance. However, all venues will have a maximum number of guests that will be allowed, and you typically will have to get in your final numbers to the caterer weeks before the wedding. It could be a nightmare if your venue holds 300, you invite 400 and 350 RSVP. A good rule-of-thumb is to expect 80% of the people that you invite will come. But it is always good to leave a little bit of a buffer just in case. When Chad and I were married, we invited 300 people, 225 RSVP’d but 250 showed up to the wedding. We were so lucky that we had still purchased 250 meals and that our venue could have held 400.
#4 – Micromanaging your vendors: You’ve done your research and you’ve hired professionals to help you on your special day. It is important to let them do the job you hired them to do. We know that you’ve stressed and agonized over all of the details for the past months or year and you want to make sure that everything is perfect. However, on your wedding day, take off your planner hat and be in the moment. Chad and I know from personal experience that the day is over in a minute. If you can, take a step back throughout the day and just remember everything about it. You will be so glad that you did. There is usually something wrong that happens, the caterer started taking away our cake to be cut for the guest before we had even cut the cake ourselves (family to the rescue on that one). But the moral of the story, we look back on that and laugh to this day. The goal is to get married and the people you have hired will help you with that goal.
#5 – Questions, Questions, Questions: It is so important to ask questions of your vendors so that you will be able to make an informed decision on who will be with you on your special day. It is always a good rule-of-thumb to make sure that you are being respectful of the vendors, but don’t be afraid to ask them questions so that you understand what you are purchasing. If your florist has “white flowers” on your order and provides you with daisies because the calla lilies you wanted were out of season, you would have wished you had asked about any substitutions at that time. Most vendors want you to ask questions and understand what they are offering. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions that will give you the understanding that you need.
#6 – Hiring a friend or relative instead of a professional: Your aunt Becky just got a fancy new camera, or your best friend may make great playlists, but that doesn’t mean that either of them knows what it takes to photograph a wedding or be a DJ. Even if your budget is small, it is always best to hire a professional. We recommend figuring out what is most important to you as a couple and spending your money there. The couples we work with value photography above most other things in their wedding. They want to have the photographs to remember the most important day of their lives forever. Your photographer is the one vendor that is with you for the entire day and it is so important to find one that fits your style and personality. Let your friends and family enjoy the day and leave the work to the professionals.