5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Planning Your Wedding
I really hope this planning process is going well for you. one of the biggest challenges is overwhelm and paralysis in the beginning because of not knowing what to do. So here are some common pitfalls to avoid during your wedding planning efforts:
1. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – Keep your Head above Water
Getting too deeply involved in minute details can completely derail your wedding planning process. The bigger the wedding, the more vulnerable you are to getting overwhelmed with tiny details, wasting valuable time you should have invested in the major planning issues. During the planning process, focus on the theme and colors, not the individual decorations. Develop a general budget without creating a line item for every supply. Develop a schedule with milestones (caterer contract signed, facility rented, invitations sent, etc.). Don’t plan the timing of every activity necessary or you’ll spend all your time on your schedule! Consider bringing on someone to help you manage the process – a friend or family member. If you can’t find someone for free hire someone temporarily. Don’t feel bad if you can’t find someone becuase this is a large endeavor and there will be a large commitment for someone to help.
Remember, remember, remember that you can’t operate effectively if you are under severe stress. Having an emotional breakdown can ruin certain planning parts of your wedding. An important aspect to planning is keeping your cool and focus on not getting overwhelmed. If you get to this point realize it’s probably the perfectionism in you. So keep your priorities in order. Use others to fetch, fix, and decorate. If you are more of a perfectionist, like me, release control and have others help. At the end give yourself some time to tweak things to more of your liking. Don’t ruin your event because you are super stressed the night of because you didn’t use the people who love you early on for helping. You’re the planning guru. You’re responsible for the smooth, successful accomplishment of major decisions, not the table decorations.
2. Invest Time in Planning the Food and Bar – Keep your Guests Happy
Big weddings, unless they’re staffed by a big group of volunteers, should be catered. Catering includes both the food and the bar. When you select your caterer, be sure to have a detailed written contract that specifically identifies the menu, the bar setup, itemized costs, a clear schedule, and specific performance standards that could influence the amount you finally pay. If the caterer lets you down, you shouldn’t be obligated to pay the amount you agreed to in the contract.
Remember that the caterer will be “invisible” to your guests. If the menu isn’t delicious, the setting isn’t attractive and appetizing, and the bar doesn’t function well, it will reflect on you, not the caterer. Be sure your caterer is responsible and that you’ve checked out their recommendations before signing the contract.
3. Don’t Rely on a Handshake – Get it in Writing
Almost every portion of the planning should be documented in a contract. No matter what it is – Whether the tablecloths and napkins, the entertainment, the clean-up, the facility, or seating – make sure you have a written agreement with your provider that clearly identifies what you’re paying for, what you expect from them, and the precise time they will provide their goods or services. This documents your providers’ commitments to you and gives you a clear base from which to assess their performance.
Settling for a friendly handshake will set up you for disappointment and added expense. Without a written agreement, you may that your provider has overbooked his service or changed his price on you at the last minute. You can avoid this crisis by having written, formal contracts that cover your needs. If the worst should happen, a contract also gives you a strong argument in court proceedings over payments (or lack thereof).
4. Don’t Go Bankrupt – Successful Wedding Planning Involves a Budget
Be sure that you have a clear budget for your wedding. If you’re depending on donations or paying for the wedding out of your own pocket, you should have in mind a minimum and maximum amount that you’re able to spend. Do enough research to have a realistic idea of what different wedding planning elements will cost (caterer, entertainment, facility rent, decorations, etc.). Some of these costs will be more flexible than others. You may not be able to do much about the price of the facility, but you can make menu choices that will influence the cost of catering. And you have a lot of room to negotiate for affordable entertainment – anywhere from an orchestra to a one-man band. Decide which parts of your budget are most important and fund those first. Try to buy decorations and other supplies from a discount outlet or in bulk. Do your homework during early planning phases, and you’re more likely to get the most out of your money.
5. Don’t Get Over-stressed OR Over-Relaxed
In successful wedding planning, much work is done far in advance. This helps reduce the organizer’s stress level. It also assures that the best goods and services are available at a reasonable cost. But sometimes, when things are going great well in advance, it’s a temptation to sit back and take it easy for a while. But take care – just the time you think it’s safe to sit down, the roof falls in. Keep up on planning progress by checking in on others, offering to help resolve problems, or making a few important phone calls during those “down times” then things seem really quiet. Don’t let things slide until tomorrow, or they may become much bigger problems that demand more time or money to fix than if you had been there to cut it off at the pass.
If your planning is thorough, and your schedule and budget are well thought-out, you should have some planned times for relaxation. Use them as scheduled, not as they seem to come. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a crisis with limited resources and few options. The time to slow down and relax is usually the day of the event. Everything’s set up and in gear. You’ve done your job, and the wedding is coming off without a hitch. You can afford to relax and enjoy the event because you were on top of things in the earlier event planning stages.
So I hope this helps. Remember in everything to avoid overwhelm at all costs.