Advice & Ideas Articles

Top 5 Wedding Don’ts

As a wedding planner, my job is to impart wisdom on my brides and help guide them through the planning process.  Through many years of experience, I have seen brides make mistakes.  Here is a list of the top 5 wedding don’ts for brides.  I hope this list helps you avoid making these mistakes.

5. Don’t skimp on the vendors

DonnieYou may be thinking you can pay a lot less for a certain vendor or service, but keep in mind you get what you pay for.  Every level of service comes with a price.  Make sure you choose vendors that are in your budget, but also are the best quality and the best “bang for your buck”. Additionally, these are people who hold the success of your event in their hand. Make sure there is a level of trust and with a personality that fits with you. Also, prioritize your wants and needs. Don’t spend too much money on unnecessary items like favors and guest rooms and then cheap out on your DJ. A bad DJ can ruin your day. A planner can help you make these decisions more effectively.

4. Don’t wait for guests to rsvp last-minute

Invitation PackageTraditionally, the deadline set for guest RSVP is two weeks. Don’t do this. We changed the deadline years ago to four weeks. These days it is more like 4-6 weeks. Why? Because our parents and grandparents were taught etiquette. They were taught to handle these things promptly. Our generation and the younger of us have not. So, you must give them more time and be prepared with an email address to reach out to them if they have not responded on time. You will need to give a head count to your planner, your caterer and your floral designer at least four weeks prior to your wedding. You need to have the appropriate amount of food, chairs, centerpieces, lighting, etc. to cover the number of guests attending your wedding reception.

3. Don’t forget about hidden charges

Cake Knife and ServerDon’t let things slip through the cracks until the last-minute. It will cost you money. There are a multitude of fees that brides forget to budget for that can put them into debt.  This list includes: service and gratuity charges on the food & beverage package, gown alterations, what’s included in the photographer’s package, cake-cutting charge, calligraphy, postage, and wedding day accessories (cake knife and server, toasting flutes, guest book and pen).  There is also the matter of consumption vs. package bar.  Consumption bars charge per drink, where as package bar charges one up-front with no surprises later on.  You should also check for overtime fees.  If your venue package only lasts until midnight but your guests don’t leave until 1:00 am, you may be charged for that additional hour. And don’t forget about set up time and tear down. Your vendors need time to do their work on the front and back ends.

2. Don’t put all of your big moments back-to-back

Couple at ReceptionSchedule your special dances, bouquet toss, garter toss, etc. where they are spread out over the course of the evening.  You don’t want to  your guests of all those exciting moments at one time.  You want them to stay and enjoy the entire night, constantly waiting for the next exciting thing to experience.

1. Don’t pay too much up-front, AND don’t pay it all off at the end

Money JarSchedule your payments evenly.  If you pay it all in the beginning, you lose that money if anything were to happen and you have to cancel or reschedule.  However, if you wait until the end to pay it all off, the costs add up and it may become harder to pay off.

Images taken from:
Donnie Brown Weddings & Events
5by7 Designs
Edmonson Wedding Photography (Donnie Brown Weddings &; Events)
VIM! Studio Photography