I'm Mallory, a wedding planner based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Traveling throughout Richmond, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. With a passion for weddings and an eye for details, I help create a personalized and seamless experience for you and your guests.
There is a lot to consider when planning your wedding. It is a big undertaking, and you want to make sure everything is perfect. We’ve put together a list of 10 wedding planning mistakes you want to avoid based on our experience as wedding planners. Using this list you can do your best to avoid common oversights!
In our experience, we have found that couples tend to regret not spending enough on certain aspects of their wedding. This can be anything from not hiring a videographer to having a friend DJ at the reception. Sometimes, certain elements are best left to the professionals. If it’s an area that matters a lot to you, hire the professional!
This applies to decor and flowers too. DIY may seem like it, but it isn’t always the cheapest option. It can also take up a lot of your time and be more stressful than you think. Saving time and headaches can be just as important as saving money.
Once you are engaged, everyone will have an opinion. Others opinions and ideas can often cloud the vision you and your partner have for your wedding day. You will never be able to please everyone! Stay focused on making you and your partner happy.
If you find yourself on the receiving end of unwanted ideas, it’s okay to politely decline. Your wedding isn’t meant to make every single guest the happiest person in the room.
This goes for breaking traditions, too. Make your own rules, start new traditions.
There is a lot of pressure to do what is popular or trending. While trends are a great source of inspiration, much like any industry, trends come and go. Some couples feel regret in being so fixated on particular trends that were really big at the time of their wedding, but aren’t now. Stay authentic!
As your planner, our main objective is to keep your wedding day running smoothly. When building out your day-of timeline, we are adamant about adding in buffers! You never know when a bridesmaid might need a hairstyle redo or when transitions between one activity to the other might take more time than originally thought. When getting married in the DC area, traffic can play a huge role in getting from one place to the next. Since there are so many moving parts to your day, little hiccups are bound to happen, so it’s best to be prepared.
You may love to be in control of things (we know the feeling!), but it’s really important that you step back and trust your wedding vendors. Part of allowing yourself to trust your vendors is booking talented professionals from the beginning. You want people who understand your vision and know what is important to you as a couple. If you are still anxious, never be afraid to ask questions. We are there to alleviate any stress and concerns (and prevent you from making any of these wedding planning mistakes!).
The most important thing you can do when you start planning is establish your budget. We see many couples focus on the big items and often forget (or don’t even realize) all of the other things that will add up. These other things can include wedding insurance, taxes and service charge, tips, postage, vendor meals, alterations, and more. It’s safe to assume you’ll encounter surprise costs while planning. In order to stay on top of this, build an unexpected costs buffer of at least 5% into your overall wedding budget or consult a wedding planner.
At All The Dainty Details, the first thing we do when planning out your timeline is looking at the sunset time in order to plan accordingly. If you are having an outdoor wedding, this is especially important. You want to be able to plan your space and your exact time of events to avoid unflattering lighting. The angle of the sun can make a serious impact on photos. This can determine how much time your photographer will need and dictate when to start the ceremony.
This is so simple, but we’ve seen it happen many times! There is so much fun and excitement that the day starts to get away from you. If you’re celebrating with champagne, this adds another level to your well being.
The easy fix is to designate times to eat, starting with having something when you are getting ready. As a planner, we always have some snacks on us! We also recommend taking a few minutes post ceremony to enjoy a few appetizers and water as newlyweds. This way, you won’t find yourself greeting guests with a completely empty stomach.
Unassigned seating is super casual, but it can easily go wrong. Families can be separated, single people might get stuck with a group of couples, and sometimes people can struggle to find an open seat at all. In our experience, it takes more time for guests to get seated when they don’t have assigned seats. Assigned seats are also easier on the caterers. If you don’t want to go as far as assigned seats, we recommend that you assign people to tables and then let them pick the seat they want from there.
A contingency plan in place is an absolute wedding essential! This is one of the most important wedding planning mistakes to avoid. It isn’t fun to think about, but you have to be prepared for certain things to potentially not go to plan. If you are having an outdoor wedding, inclement weather needs to be discussed from the beginning. Before you book your venue, make sure you love the backup plans they have in place. That way, you will still love your day regardless of your plan B. Build this kind of thing and wedding insurance into your budget. Back up plans can be costly, but you want to be prepared!
Every wedding is different, but we think these 10 wedding planning mistakes are pretty universal. Now that you’re ready to dive into your wedding planning like a pro, reach out! We’d love to help you plan a magical day that runs smoothly (even if contingency plans are needed)!