Whether you waited for him to finish popping the question or speechless from the unexpected surprise, you’ve said “yes” and now the excitement, stress, and nervousness overwhelm you…
Here are a few common pitfalls to avoid before you start picking colors and vendors.
1. Budget: Let’s face it, with the reality of the economy in the last year or so, budgeting has become the household subject for everyone. You want to make sure that you have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of, but you don’t want to have to take out a loan to do it. Best thing to do is to discuss with everyone who will be chipping in, what the most important things are to have for the wedding and what areas may be unnecessary. For example, instead of spending money on return postage, set up a website where friends and families can RSVP, or include an e-mail address for guests to reply.
2. Doing too much yourself: With the budget in mind, you want to keep it in check by working on some “do-it-yourself” projects. Being the creative person that my wife and me are, we had our fair share of do-it-yourself projects. We decided that the things that wouldn’t be around after our wedding (i.e. flowers, centerpieces, and candy station) were the things that we would focus on putting together. Sometimes it felt as if it were a little too much to handle, even for the two of us. Luckily we had family, friends, and even some vendors to help pull it all off. So if you’ve got some people who are willing to volunteer to help you out, take them up on it.
3. Organization: Planning a wedding is a full time gig, and for some a wedding is a year away. That means, that not only on top of your personal schedule, and work schedule, you’ll have a wedding schedule. Making sure that every little detail is taken care of can be one of the greatest juggling acts ever witnessed. The best thing is to use technology to your advantage. Most of us have some sort of PDA nowadays with a calendar that has an alarm on it. Use it. Update it every night and keep a folder or notebook with all your notes together in one place.
4. Vendors: Get everything in writing. Plain and simple. Not only are you helping yourself out, but you’d be helping out that vendor. Every vendor is there to help you and the contract that has everything spelled out is a great reference for both of you. As a photographer, I’m very passionate about not skimping where it counts. You may be able to find a friend, relative, or local college student that can capture your most special day, however, the abilities and experience (not to mention protection) that a professional can deliver will far outweigh the cost savings you may incur.
5. Exhaustion: Overextending yourself with too many things to do before your wedding day can lead to an unpleasant one. Refer back to number three. As long as you keep to your schedule, everything should be taken care of logistically. On the other hand, there are those that stay up really late the night before celebrating the coming nuptials and end up in the situation as one of my good friends from college. We still have some great laughs at his expense, as well as his father in-law’s, but his bride was not as entertained as the rest of us were. Luck for him, YouTube hadn’t taken off quite yet!
6. Insurance: With the amount of deposits and the total cost of a wedding, it would be ridiculous not to have some sort of wedding insurance coverage. Some may think that this could refer to one or the other being left at the altar. Not the case at all. Some have coverages to protect you from the catastrophic events such as the venue catching fire, acts of mother nature, and even medical emergencies. With premiums for this sort of insurance policies costing as much as a deposit to a vendor, it only makes sense to protect yourself.
7. Meaning: Don’t forget the meaning of your wedding day. The wedding day is a celebration of two people and two separate families coming together as one. Just realize that afterwards it’s a new beginning for the both of you and the commitment that you’ve made to each other for the rest of your lives. The erroneous details, like him forgetting dress socks and having to wear athletic ones, will be great memories for the two of you to share for years to come.
8. Honeymoon: Some brides become so focused on the day of, they forget about the day after. If you’re planning a romantic getaway to another country, DO NOT forget the passports. Even if you’re planning a Honeymoon within the continental US, it’s always best to plan ahead to make the most of your trip. If you’re planning on skiing, where are the best slopes? What kind of rental vehicle will you need? Side story: When my wife and I went to Hawaii for our honeymoon, we thought that we could use the public transportation system on Oahu. I soon remembered why I wasn’t a fan of public transportation. The sacrifice of our time and comfort was a terrible mistake to us.
9. Break in case of Emergency: Having the basic wedding day emergency kit is a necessity. Safety pins, needle, thread, band-aids, lip gloss are just a few of the basic needs for your emergency stash. Check for more wedding day emergency items here:
10. Have Fun: Enjoy the time and preparation that you’ve put into making this a wonderful day. Catch up with family members and friends you haven’t seen in a long time. Some may have travelled a long way to celebrate this day with you. Keep a positive mental attitude and things will happen naturally.
Good luck on your wedding day!