Planning a wedding can be a logistical nightmare for first-time brides, and can even prove challenging for someone walking down the aisle again. My team at Just Events! Group's wedding division, Just Marry!, sees the same patterns and tendencies among most brides taking their first steps toward planning their events. And we're not alone. I recently read an interesting survey from Wedding Paper Divas that showed that 40 percent of couples wait between 12 and 18 months between engagement and wedding day. All that time can certainly lead to a lot of thinking, dreaming and planning. My observations have allowed me to identify three mistakes most brides make when planning their weddings. Our job as planners is to stop them when they start heading in the wrong direction and give them the tools they need to avoid the following pitfalls.
1) Taking on too much planning at once. It's easy for brides to get overwhelmed when thinking about all of the tasks that need to be done when planning a wedding. It's better to plan things out step by step. Determine priorities, set the budget, and then shop for one item or vendor at a time.
2) Not knowing the budget for each item and/or not sharing that information when shopping. Wedding shopping is emotional. It's easy to overspend based on falling in love with something or a particular vendor. Also, if you don't share with merchants how much you are able to spend, you may be shown options that are out of your price range. That can lead to disappointment and frustration when you realize you can't afford something or someone who you adore.
3) Getting too many opinions. Sharing the experience of planning a wedding with friends and family can be fun, but oftentimes, brides get overwhelmed with all of the input. You should take time to narrow down options to what both you and your future spouse like, then bring in the others to help make final decisions.
One of the ways I chose to help my clients was to write what I consider to be the ultimate organizer so they're better prepared to avoid these three mistakes and be set up for a very smooth planning process from the time they say "yes!" to the wedding day.
I called it the Perfect Wedding Guide's Perfect Wedding Workbook: A Practical Guide for Brides. It's essential to get clients to focus on priorities and budget as the core values of their planning, rather than having them consider average percentages like they read about in articles and advice columns. I teach couples how to create a meaningful, realistic budget, interview vendors and review contracts, and develop consistent habits to lead them to the big day. So good luck planning and remember, it's supposed to be productive, fun and to provide memories for a lifetime!
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