With so much advice out there about what you should be doing when planning your wedding, it's important that you also know what NOT to do. Here are 10 mistakes you want to avoid making.
DON'T leave everything until the eleventh hour. This isn't the same as when you left your essays until the last minute at Uni and crammed it all in the night before with a few tins of energy drink. Planning a wedding involves A LOT of organisation. Sourcing each supplier can individually cost you hours of time and you want them to actually be available when you finally find them. Start early, map out your timeline, and avoid the last minute panic.
Don't book anything until you have created your budget. You may at the start have eyes bigger than your bank account, but you will regret this when you later come to realise you have blown the majority of your money on the catering and venue, but have hardly anything left to dress it.
Don't take out a mortgage for this day. There are always options to help keep costs down. Ensure you are honest with your suppliers from the start about your budget, and see what they can do to keep you within this and fulfill your desires. You might even want to consider a mid week wedding, which can save you half the price!
Avoid making decisions until you have found and secured your venue. This will effect all of your future choices, as you not only need a date confirmed, but it may impact on the style and theme of the decor, the type of suppliers you will be hiring and the capacity of the venue may alter the amount of guests you had planned to invite.
The "Receiving Line" - an old tradition where the couple and parents greet every guest on their way in to the wedding breakfast - in my opinion, is a huge waste of time. This can often take half an hour, while the first guests in wait at their tables, and the last guests stand around queuing. Instead, you can usually get round most guests table by table in intervals between food while everyone is happily settled.
Don't make the dance floor too big! People often think the bigger the floor, the bigger the party, but as an ex professional party band singer, I know all too well how making the dance floor too large for the amount of guests can make the space feel empty and result in people feeling less inclined to get up and join in the fun. You will rarely have more than 50% of guests up dancing at one given time, so make sure the boogie space will feel fuller for the party animals.
7. Try not to allow your wedding day to be the first day you test out all of your attire, hair and make up. Ladies, if you can afford it, I would highly recommend a trial run with your Hair & MUA. Both men and women should try to wear in their shoes a little before the day, and practice getting that dress on without the help of the dress shop owner. You can even take a video of him/her doing it up for your bridesmaids to refer back to on the day.
8. Don't let the drinks reception drag on for too long. Guests start to get restless and tired of socialising on an empty stomach and sore feet! 1 hour and a half tends to be the perfect amount of time to allow everyone a drink or two, while the venue gets the wedding breakfast room ready.
9. Ideally, you want to have a bar in the same room as the dance floor, otherwise, you'll find that guests congregate in the bar area and you lose the buzz of the party. We want Uncle Duncan to hear his favourite 80's banger from the bar and shimmy his way back onto the floor.
10. Don't put so much pressure on yourself that you don't even enjoy the journey. There are so many wonderful moments to savour that you don't want to pass you by in a flash. Look forward to the cake tastings, the dress fittings and all of those special little details you get to choose with your friends and family. It should be a pleasure, not a chore.