The INSIDER Summary:
- Planning a wedding can put a huge amount of pressure on engaged couples.
- INSIDER spoke to several wedding planners about the biggest mistakes couples make before they get married.
- Culprits include not setting a budget first, not considering guests enough, and not knowing how much certain things should really be costing you.
There’s so much to consider when it comes to planning a wedding that it’s easy to mess up at least one thing on your checklist.
To take the pressure off, INSIDER spoke to a number of wedding planners with years of experience to find out the most common mistakes couples make as they plan their big day — and their best advice for how to avoid making them.
Here’s everything you’re probably doing wrong, and what you should be doing instead.
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You’re not thinking about the guest list before choosing a venue.
Many couples are so excited to choose their venue that they forget the most important factor when making that decision: their guests.
Amy Shey Jacobs of Chandelier Events told INSIDER that it’s crucial to “think of your guest list before you go looking for a venue,” and make the effort to “get everyone’s name on a guest list.” That way, you and your partner know roughly how many people you have to accommodate.
Overestimating how many invited guests will RSVP “no” is another more common mistake wedding planner Amy Katz, of Amy Katz Events, has seen. Make sure you only invite the number of people you can comfortably afford to budget for, or you might end up regretting it later.
You didn’t set a budget first.
Many couples make the mistake of “not having a budget in the first place, and trying to figure that out as [they] go,” according to Jacobs, who said this only causes “chaos” in the lead-up to the wedding.
“Don’t leave the money discussion ’til the end,” she said. “You want to understand how much you have before you go shopping… Once you have that structure it allows you to figure out your priorities.”
Katz says that it’s important not to underestimate the cost of a wedding at this stage, either. Be realistic — think about how much you can spend, and not how much you think you can stretch.
You’re letting your budget hold you back.
Jacobs said that many couples feel as though their “budget is holding [them] back from having the wedding that [they] truly want.”
But it doesn’t have to be this way. “You can have a beautiful wedding on a budget,” Jacobs said, “if you prioritize [spending your money on the most important aspects of your wedding] or you think of creative ways to make it happen.”
Celebrity wedding planner Andrea Freeman, of Andrea Freeman Events, suggests that couples on a budget with a big guest list should consider having their wedding on a farm. “You could have a wedding during the day on a farm,” she said. “You can fit so many people in the space and the food might cost less.”