Let’s face it — Wedding planning can be quite overwhelming, stressful and flat out crazy for brides and grooms! There are SO many mistakes that you could make during the planning process and I have compiled my top 10 biggest wedding mistakes that must be avoided!!

1. Not having a budget.

It costs a lot of money to put together a wedding. Trust me — make a budget and keep track of your expenses to keep your  financial stress to a minimum.  Need help?  Check out my WeddingBudgetWorksheet.doc to keep you on track.

2. Messing up the marriage license.

There are many rules surrounding your marriage license.  Be prepared!  Find out what you need to do to obtain your license in the county and state you are getting married in at least one month before your wedding day.

3. Ordering your wedding dress too late.

If you are ordering your dress be sure to order it at least six-months ahead for a dress to be custom-made. In addition, most off-the-rack wedding dresses will require alterations, so make sure that you have enough time to get the gown fitted properly. You’ll want to leave plenty of time for your fittings. The same goes for the bridesmaid dresses.

4. Booking hotel rooms too late.

Don’t leave blocking out hotel rooms for out-of-town wedding guests until the last minute.  Your wedding will go on — but no one will be able to attend. Reserve rooms as early as possible. Give your out-of-town guests at least two accommodation options.  Also, be sure to include hotel information in your save-the-date cards and invitations.

5. Inviting too many wedding guests.

Make sure your guest list and your reception site capacity match up. Analyze your guest list from the beginning.  Assume 80% will respond yes, and limit your guest list accordingly.

6. Partaking in last-minute beauty treatments and crash diets.

Last-minute beauty treatments can lead to breakouts, mistakes or, even worse, serious infections. Same goes for crash dieting in the weeks leading up to the wedding — after all those gown fittings, your dress may not fit! Stick to a long-term beauty regimen with lots of rest, a good diet, and safe over-the-counter beauty products..

7. Underpaying invitation postage

The postal service will not take pity on you — your invites will be returned, rubber-stamped with that ugly “insufficient postage” sign, and it will take at least three weeks (never mind the additional $$) to get those invitations back out the door. Get one invitation weighed — at the post office — before purchasing your postage.

8. Ignoring religious restrictions.

Be sure to meet with your officiant within one month of getting engaged.  Be sure to ask him or her about religious rules, such as: Do you need to complete a pre-marriage course? Can you write your own wedding vows? Do you need to cover your shoulders? Are there any music restrictions during the ceremony?

9. Trying to go it alone.

Too many couples try to do it all — and this isn’t a good idea. Delegate and use all the resources that are available to you. When people offer to assist — find something for them to do, like researching a vendor or addressing invitations.  Otherwise, call in a professional such as a wedding planner or wedding day coordinator to ensure that  all your wedding planning will come together stress-free and without worry.

10. Forgetting to focus on what’s important.

Keep in mind that you are getting married and starting a life together, not just planning a wedding. Some tension between the two of you (and among members of your family) is inevitable due to sticky topics that weddings stir up, but don’t ever let things get out of control. Remember you’re in this together and this is just pre-marriage training for your life together after the wedding.

Marsha VanArk

Marsha VanArk at Distinctly Yours Wedding & Events