Proper wedding etiquette begins the moment you start planning your wedding. From the guest list to the cheese-board, to the actual nitty-gritty details of wedding planning! However, one of the best ways to plan a wedding as smoothly as possible is to know exactly what to avoid when planning your wedding.
Whether you’ve been waiting to plan your wedding since you were a child or you have no idea where to begin, these 43 wedding planning mistakes to avoid will be your saving grace.
No bride or groomzillas here, just bride and groom-chillas. And with Bridebook.co.uk’s free and easy-to-use wedding planning tools (from your wedding checklist to your budget), you’ll be planning pro in no time.
In this video, Bridebook founder (and qualified wedding planner!) Hamish Shephard rounds up the most common wedding mistakes he sees couples make during their wedding planning and shares his expert advice on what to do instead. Whether you’re a bride- or groom-to-be, noting down these wedding tips and tricks on your wedding to-do list will set you well on the way to your dream day.
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1. Don’t leave everything to the last minute. Winter is the ideal time to get organised with Bridebook as your planning companion.
2. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your wedding. You are going to be surrounded by your best friends for the party of your life with the love of life.
3. Don’t forget to download the Bridebook App (iOS and Android) if you haven’t already. Netflix and sofa time is the perfect time for some smart wedding planning.
4. Don’t wait to buy your alcohol. Buy it now at the Christmas supermarket sales and save around £2000! Sorry, Tesco.
5. Don’t race through all your planning and make the most of each step instead, like having a boozy family Sunday lunch to pick your wedding wines.
6. Don’t bankrupt yourself. Most couples overspend when they don’t need to. There are loads of ways to save – see our top tips – and use your Bridebook’s budget tool to look at what you should be spending on each item.
7. Don’t do anything until you have found your venue. This will set the date, style, location and capacity of your wedding.
8. Don’t lick 100 envelopes. Do yourself a favour and buy a gluestick!
9. Don’t book your venue until you have your budget breakdown (Our budget tool with do this for you). Renting a jaw-dropping castle is awesome, not being able to afford any food because of its cost isn’t!
10. Don’t wish the planning stage away too much. Whether it is getting a hotel bartender to design you personalised cocktails for the big day, or spending time making your wedding playlist, enjoy those moments and savour the thoughts behind them – your actual wedding day will go by in a flash on the day!
11. Don’t fall into the usual trap of trying to do everything at once. You have plenty of time. So set up your personalised checklist here, and we will guide you through everything in the most stress-free way and make sure you don’t miss a thing!
12. Don’t have the bar too far from the dance floor… when Spice Girls comes on, all the men will leg it to the nearest pint. And when Mr Brightside comes on, they’ll all sheepishly make their return.
13. Don’t use spreadsheets! You are getting married, not doing your accounts! Our guestlist tool is much more fun and easy. Purposefully built to save you time and to spare you from those unwanted guest list arguments!
14. Don’t decide to have your stag do too close to the big day. We all know broken bones take time to mend and eyebrows need time to regrow.
15. Don’t rush up and down the aisle. Take it slowly. All your guests want to see the happy couple. Especially Grandma!
16. Don’t have a receiving line (this is when you and your parents greet every guest – as you come into the meal) at your wedding. If you do want one, do it as you go into the venue but keep it far back from the bar area so guests can move through and start on the champagne quickly.
17. Don’t have any seating too near the dancing area. People-watchers and non-dancers will frighten off the self-conscious.
18. Don’t sit your badly-behaved friends near your younger family members. Uncle Bob won’t approve!
19. Grooms – don’t forget to pack a spare white shirt! Accidents happen, no one’s judging.
20. Don’t split the party up by having a ‘guys’ room’. A whiskey room sounds like a great idea but only in theory. Save it for the stag do instead.
21. Don’t make the bar too big as guests will use it as the perfect place to congregate.
22. Don’t forget the all-important baby wipes. You’ll be amazed as to what they can get out of a wedding dress.
23. Don’t forget to ask someone to film the bride’s final dress fitting. This will make the MOB’s and chief bridesmaid’s life much easier when strapping them in on their wedding day!
24. Don’t forget to have a boogie with your parents. It will be one of their favourite memories of the day.
25. We advise you don’t put the cheese board anywhere near the dance floor. Cheesy music is great. Cheesy smell… less so.
26. Try not to make pre-dinner drinks go on for too long. Your guests will start moaning about sore feet which can be a dangerous mood killer!
27. Don’t let your wedding day be the first time both families meet. Arrange a pub lunch weeks or months beforehand. It may save some heated drunken disagreement on the day!
28. Don’t have your wedding speeches written on a scrappy piece of paper that’s easy to lose. Have the final version on a neat piece of paper, or on an iPad that you can ask one of your bridal party to look after until you need it slipping under your chair in preparation.
Need some wedding speech writing pointers? Here are our top tips for brides writing their wedding speeches!
29. If you decided against having a videographer at your wedding, don’t forget to ask a reliable friend to film all the speeches on their phone. You’ll want to look back on them after the wedding!
30. Don’t rely on a guest to be your only photographer. They won’t fully enjoy the day and may not produce the results you were quite after. Get our best wedding photography saving tips here!
31. Don’t show everything off at once. Reveal the photo booth or the magician later on in the day as this will create more of a buzz. There’s nothing quite like tipsy twenty-eight-year-olds when they realise there’s a candy floss machine around.
32. But at the same time, don’t spring any unwanted surprises on your wedding guests. Compulsory dance competition? Maybe not.
33. Don’t serve seriously garlicky dishes on the day of your wedding – you don’t want to be reminded of it all night on the dance floor.
34. Don’t spend a small fortune! If you have your eye on a venue that is out of your budget, decide to have a midweek wedding instead and save yourself 50%.
35. Don’t forget to make copies of all the paperwork for the big day and keep them safe in a ‘wedmin’ file.
36. Don’t let guests spend ages queuing up for a drink at the bar while you’re off having your photos taken as a newly married couple. Ask the venue or catering company to ensure some drinks are pre-poured ready for guests to grab and go.
37. Don’t forget to gently sandpaper the bottom of your new shoes! You don’t want them hindering your dance moves or be slipping around the dance floor!
38. Don’t forget that you will need to feed your suppliers at some point. Pre-ordering a nice takeaway is likely to be the cheapest option, or you can ask your caterer to prepare a large dish of something easily shareable like lasagna or shepherd’s pie.
39. Hallucinating on your wedding day? Don’t try new sleeping remedies the night before. Test it out a few weeks before instead.
Read our top tips for battling wedding anxiety here.
40. Know your dress’ limits. Your wedding day is not the time to practice your cartwheels if you’re in a close-cut slinky fishtail number.
41. Don’t be shy about telling your suppliers your budget up front. Get a quote from them. If it’s too pricey, tell them what your budget is and see if they can work around it.
42. Don’t wear your heels for the first time on the day. Instead, do a test run in them to the supermarket, so you have the trolley to help you!
43. And one more to finish with… don’t forget to enjoy every moment of it! It will most likely be the best day of your life!!!
Be sure to download the FREE Bridebook wedding planning app and familiarise yourself with all of our incredible tools for a stress-free engagement!