8 Mistakes to Avoid at Your Wedding
— By Lorna Urwin
19 December 2016
Sometimes things don’t turn out quite as you hope, but naturally no bride wants their wedding day to contain too many missteps! And it’s much better to avoid them altogether by putting the right plans in place. We’ve gathered some common mistakes and suggestions for how to preempt them, to ensure a smooth, error-free wedding day!
1/ BEING UNPREPARED FOR THE WEATHER
Image by Kelsey Combe Photography
If any part of your big day is outdoors or open to the elements, the weather will play a vital role. Unfortunately, weather has a habit of being unreliable! Put careful plans in place for all eventualities. This will not only maximise guest comfort and ensure minimal disruptions should ‘Plan B’ be necessary, but it will give you peace of mind and confidence to face the day in the knowledge that you’re prepared for anything!
Don’t forget to plan for good weather as much as bad – dehydration, sunburn or sunstroke can be just as disastrous as getting cold and wet in the rain. Be sure to book early, too. Often you can’t afford to wait until the week of the wedding to start making deposits on a tent or renting umbrellas.
2/ Having lacklustre music
Image by Andrew & Jade Photography
Every party needs an appropriate soundtrack to carry it along, but there are a few points where music can go awry. The band or DJ may not meet your expectations or ignore your preferences and requests altogether. The volume may be up way too loud. This is one area where hiring a professional rather than a well-intentioned friend can make a big difference, but even with professionals it’s crucial that you hear the performer(s) ahead of time to be sure that they’re a good fit and understand your requirements. As for the volume, it pays to do a sound check in the venue before the guests arrive to ensure you’ll have the noise level just right. (Ideally guests should be able to talk to one another as well as having the option to dance.)
3/ Too much or too little time
Image by Brumley & Wells
Timing can be a double-edged sword. While you certainly don’t want guests standing around during transitions, you equally don’t want to create a sense that anyone is being rushed from pillar to post. To strike the best possible balance between the two, consult with your vendors as early as you can to get a clear picture of key timings (how long will it take to do hair for the whole bridal party? How long does it take to get 100 people sat down once dinner is announced?) You can then take their estimates and advice for contingency and plan around them.
For any inevitable lulls, it doesn’t hurt to plan to keep guests or the bridal party as happy as possible by offering entertainment (perhaps games, some live music, a photo booth, or a guest book activity), or keep people busy with drinks and snack food.
4/ Not catering for different dietary requirements
Image by Elias Kordelakos
Enjoying delicious food is something that everyone should be able to partake in at a wedding, no matter his or her dietary requirements. At a minimum it’s a great idea to have a vegetarian option available, but it’s best to ask for guests to give you more specific details themselves (including allergies or coeliac needs) before planning the menu with the caterer. Requesting this as part of the RSVP card is an excellent option.
5/ Forgetting to plan for a speech
Image by Lori Paladino Photography
If there’s a chance you might speak, make sure you’re prepared! A thank you speech may seem like something you could deliver on the spur of the moment, but unless you’re a seasoned toastmaster, speeches tend to be much more successful with at least a little forward planning. This guards against common errors like rambling too long or running out of things to say, and increases your chances of communicating your feelings in a sincere and eloquent way.
6/ Neglecting your guests
Image by Emily Steffen Photography
With the above advice your thank you speech is sure to powerfully convey your gratitude, but don’t forget that often actions speak louder than words. Take the opportunity to show how much each guest’s presence means to you by carving out time to circulate around the room and catch up with your loved ones. Hand-delivering your wedding favours can be a great way to do this – it gives you a reason to approach each person in a systematic way, and will help ensure no one is left out.
7/ Not looking out for yourself
Image by Sawyer Baird
Guests’ happiness is an admirable priority, but never focus on everyone else’s needs at the expense of your own! After all, this day is yours and your spouse’s, ideally you should be spending it relaxing and having fun, not worrying about unimportant details.
Plan to keep happy, comfortable and energized. Keep a positive outlook and take time together with your spouse to soak up the happiness each step of the way – the moments will go by so quickly, it’s important not to miss all the magic! Bring a change of shoes (and dress, if needed!) to ensure you feel comfortable throughout the whole day and don’t forget to eat plenty and keep hydrated too. Make sure your bridesmaids have an eye on you!
8/ Sending thank you notes late
Image by Ether & Smith
Once the wedding is over, you might feel like the days of wedding-related deadlines are behind you. Almost, but not quite! Make sure you keep up the good work right to the end and send all your thank you notes within three months of the wedding date, per etiquette guidelines. Check out our top tips for your thank you notes here!