Wedding planning is overwhelming! Not only does it take months (or even a year!) to plan, you have countless vendors to select, and endless design details to figure out. Today, we are sharing 20 wedding planning mistakes, and how to avoid them! Make sure to avoid these all too common missteps on the path to saying I Do!
1. Spending 200% More Than They Should on the Wedding Dress
Wedding dresses are the most expensive item in the closet. Ironically that item is worn once. This isn't the most logical move, especially during a financially unstable time for so many. The cost-conscious bride (aren't we all!) could look for other alternatives like preowned.
There's a reason a high-end product is a perfect fit for resale. Think cars, homes, jewelry. These costs go well into the $1,000s!
Wedding dresses average about $2,000 and run up to $20,000 or more! Since they are only worn for a few hours, they retain their value. After the wedding day, they sit in a closet, taking up space and deteriorating. Eventually, they end up in a landfill.
Wouldn't you rather save money on your gown and put the rest towards a downpayment on a home? You will feel good starting your new and forever chapter on a good foot while supporting positive living and mindful choices.
Shopping for your gown? See our complete inventory!
2. Shopping for a Dress before Choosing the Venue and "Theme"
Before booking your bridal salon appointments, make sure you know the type of wedding you're planning and where. Of course, you can wear whatever you want. But if you purchase a bohemian style gown, but end up booking your wedding in a ballroom, your gown might not fit the final theme! Or, if you select a sparkly ballgown but end up with an outdoor garden wedding, there will be a disconnect.
3. Buying Site Unseen From a Fast Fashion Knock-Off Site
Ooooh, the stories I've heard! Buying from cheap wedding dress sites for the dress you've been dreaming of for $150 seems too good to be true. And it is!
Brides will search online for "discounted wedding dress" or "Wedding Dress on a Budget", or "Preowned Wedding Dress". They will come across many ads for wedding dresses for $100 or $200 that claim to be top quality designers but arrive weeks later nothing like presented online. And there is no way to return the gown!
Often, brides are disappointed with a dress that arrives looking nothing like it did online. Most fast-fashion cheap-knockoffs come from factories with less than optimal working conditions and standards that often do not pay a living wage.
From an esthetic standpoint, brides are left very disappointed. Buying a high-value dress from a recognized designer for half the price is a better bet all around. All of our gowns are pre-screened to ensure they are authentic and exactly like the pictures!
4. Shopping for a Wedding Dress through a Classified Ad-Marketplace
Marketplaces are a great way to shop for preowned items. But there are a few risks. And there are even more risks when it comes to shopping for your wedding dress!
Shopping for your wedding dress in a marketplace or classified ad from an unknown seller leaves quality and the dress condition up to chance. Secondly, it helps if you can meet up with a marketplace seller to try on the dress. Where do you meet? In their home? It's awkward to get undressed in a stranger's home, also maybe not the safest. I've heard of brides meeting in local places, like a Walmart bathroom, or even on the side of the road. Have you ever tried on a ballgown with a 5-foot train on the side of the road or Walmart bathroom?
Share the Lovely provides an alternative! We provide qualified pre-owned and new samples that are verified for quality and condition. We also give you the option to try before you buy at a boutique near you at one of our participating bridal boutiques.
This might make more sense, too, if you want to bring your family or bridesmaids along for advice. I personally tried marketplace shopping, and coordinating a mutually agreeable location to try on a wedding dress took many hours in chats coordinating schedules. One seller showed me her dress through the cellophane plastic of her preservation box and would not open it for me to try it on, but assured me it was my size and that I would love it! I'm a relatively large size with a unique shape so trying on my wedding dress is very important to me!
5. Not Setting a Realistic Budget
The average wedding costs $35,000 in America. With the pandemic came additional financial hardship. With global challenges, values have changed. Was it ever ok to spend a fortune for a party, albeit an important celebration? I've been to many weddings and have been moved by less over-the-top weddings that were more intimate, personal, and elegant. More is not always more!
There are so many ways to save money and reduce waste! There are also options now to pay over time without interest. Spreading out payments can be easier to swallow. Share the Lovely offers a pay over time through Affirm, so spending less for more overtime is a big hit for couples trying to make it all work.
6. You're Too Strict With Social Media
Chances are your guests will understand if you ask them to avoid taking pictures during your ceremony or posting anything until after it's over. They likely won't be on board with your limiting their sharing on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook in the days preceding and following your wedding.
7. You Rule Out a Wedding Planner Or A Dedicated Friend to Help
The most stressful planning period? Even the smallest of weddings is like a modest film production! Especially the week before the big day. That's when handfuls of unforeseen details arise, leaving some brides sorting out spreadsheets instead of connecting with friends and family. Avoid this by hiring a planner or dedicated helper for a few weeks or months before handling loose ends and critical deadlines. Last-minute vendor meetings and fires will leave you feeling stressed out without help. If budget is a concern, some planners even offer hourly services.
8. Visual and Digital Planning
Technology has evolved wedding experiences through the years, and in 2021, this will be even more important! The rise of virtual invitations, Zoom weddings, and the use of updated communications via wedding websites (pssst: you can build yours and send out invitations all in one place on The Knot) is resulting in new technology for visual planning experiences.
Event firm Daughter of Design says it will include, "Everything from trying on dresses virtually to AR (Augmented Reality) wedding invitations that give tours, and even glimpses into the wedding location!"
9. New Wedding Traditions Replacing the Old
Speak to the modern couple and their guests. Welcome Boxes are the experiential alternative to the welcome bag. (Everyone loves unboxing a gift!) The concept behind these boxes is to safely house all event necessities in one place, including personalized hand sanitizers, masks, programs and details, and even take-home favors, allowing guests to experience the warmth of being welcomed into the wedding weekend—a gift for all involved.
10. Meaningful and Wedding Favors in Lieu of Chocolates and Trinkets
Some ideas include seedlings, a donation in your name, or plant a tree in your name! We have a lot of ideas in this blog post, with thoughtful ways to have sustainable gifts!
Your guests will be moved, and a real part of this meaningful celebration with a meaningful forever-impacting gift.
11. Outdoor Activities and Fresh-air Environments
Cocktail hour and receptions, and even welcome events, are all being held outdoors through the weekend to help guests take advantage of nature's splendor.
The micro-wedding trend also lends itself to ceremonies in unique places that traditionally could not host a larger crowd or event.
Paired with the micro-wedding is more agile, lends itself to ceremonies in unique places that traditionally could not host a larger crowd or event. Take advantage of the smaller guest list and consider scenic and beautiful locations out of the question for 100 guests, but they are now perfect for your party of 30!
12. Vendor Selection
Across the board, diversity has never been so sexy! Couples are being much more mindful of who they hire. In fact, they're seeking out diverse vendors, including BIPOC, female, and LGBTQ+ business owners.
It is not just about a vendor's product but equally about what they stand for. Couples are seeking out vendors who stand up for social justice and provide beautiful work. Ethics and standards are at the front of the decision process. In fact, The Knot Marketplace has created "Support Diversity" filters to help couples further refine their search, specifically for vendors who identify within an underrepresented group.
13. You "Mistreat" Your Single Friends
Sure, weddings are a great place to meet people, but don't throw all your single friends haphazardly at one table! Instead, seat people based on their shared interests, not marital status. Go through your guest list and draw parallels. Connect guests with similar hobbies, jobs, or interests, and try to make everyone feel comfortable by offering a mix of familiar and new faces at each table.
14. You Don't Say Hello to All of your Guests
These days, most couples forgo the formal post-ceremony receiving line. Instead, make it a point to circulate among the reception tables after dinner. If you have an extensive guest list, schedule the table greetings into the day-of timeline and make an effort to find something sincere and personal to say to each guest.
Another idea is to hand-deliver your wedding favors as you make your table rounds since it's the perfect way to catch everyone. Remember to recognize the friends and relatives that made the trip even though they may not be in your close inner circle. They probably traveled a distance, so show them you appreciate them for helping you celebrate your special day.
15. You Limit Yourself When It Comes to Dresses
When trying on gowns, remember that not every style dress flatters every figure. Piecemeal gowns, for example, or those in which "the bodice is one style and then the hip or skirt is a completely different fabric or texture... don't transition smoothly and can visually cut the body in unflattering ways," explains Terry Hall, Kleinfeld Bridal's fashion director.
Likewise, thin fabrics such as silk charmeuse or chiffon skim the body and tend to magnify every little detail. The Knot has a wedding dress decision quiz that is supposed to help you make wedding dress decisions.
At Share The Lovely, we have a huge selection of gowns to shop from. From ballgowns, to mermaids, we have it all!
16. You Don't Feed Your Vendors
Plan on feeding any hired vendors who will be working during the reception. This includes your wedding planner, photographer, videographer, and DJ or band, plus their assistants. Work their meals into your budget and consider it part of their fee. Many vendors stipulate in the contract that the couple is to provide a meal.
17. You Send Thank you Notes Too Late
The old saying used to be that you have a year to mail your thank you cards. However, that is no longer the case! As stated in Brides.Com, “For gifts received for the engagement party or shower, send a thank you within two to three weeks of the festivities. For gifts sent before the wedding date, send a card as soon as possible but definitely before the wedding. For gifts given on the wedding day itself, mail a thank you note within three months. And for gifts received after your wedding, send one within two to three weeks.”
18. You Announce Your Engagement Too Soon
Before making your official announcement on social media, make sure to share it with your family and close friends! In-person is preferred, but if they are long-distance, you can hop on Facetime or Skype so they can see the ring!
19. You Can't Let Go of the Little Things, Leaving Little Time For You To Enjoy
Things don't always go as planned on your wedding day. "Once the venue is determined, the vendors have been selected, and the guest list is finalized, it is important to remember that ultimately you are a host to a massive celebration," according to an article in Brides.com. "If you can ask yourselves, 'Did our guests have a great time?' and the answer is yes, then chances are you had a great wedding."
20. You Forget to Eat
Don't forget to eat! While you are getting ready, make sure to eat, and feed your bridal party as well. Pre-order food, so you don't forget! You don't want to get too dizzy or faint during the ceremony.
Planning The Perfect Wedding
With these wedding planning tips, you will avoid common mistakes! As you start to find your dream gown, make sure to check out our inventory at Share The Lovely. We make buying a pre-owned and overstock wedding gown a breeze. All of our dresses can be tried on, whether it is at your home or at one of our local participating bridal boutiques. You can have the gown shipped to a local boutique and try it on in the comfort of a gorgeous boutique. We make pre-owned wedding dress shopping a breeze!