10/28/2013 12:22 pm ET Updated Dec 28, 2013

How to Avoid Becoming A Wedding Horror Story

This Halloween season, nothing is scarier to engaged couples than seeing all their wedding planning efforts go awry. Thankfully, our panel of experts from Smart Wedding Week came up with the tips below to help you avoid becoming a wedding horror story.

Talk to your speech-givers.
People seem to think reception speeches are a great avenue to do a roast of the non-meat variety. If you don't want a certain history or a sensitive topic brought up during the ceremony, clearly communicate this with the people giving speeches. The last thing you want is for your wedding to end up on this list of "The Five Worst Wedding Toasts."

Research or hire an expert.
Knowledge is power. Be thorough with your research, and consider hiring experts like a wedding planner or travel consultant. For destination weddings, know the local laws of where you are getting married. Certain places require you to stay a number of days before you can get married. Your guests might have to leave before the wedding can actually take place.

Give allowance when developing your wedding day timeline.
Make-up can take longer than expected; photography and videography can take awhile to set up, so make sure you allocate time for setup and unexpected changes. You don't want to keep guests waiting for an hour because your make-up isn't ready, or because your stylized shoot requires lighting changes.

Remember that your wedding is not a Halloween party.
As more and more couples try to make their wedding unique, they are looking to themed weddings to make it different. Unless you are going for a campy themed affair, you should consider the different ways your guest can interpret and execute the theme that you have in mind. Beware of the vague "African" theme memo that might have guests wearing "black face" like this girl's party.

Stay positive and set the tone of your wedding.
While we can plan well, there are things beyond our control. It's only a disaster if you think it's a disaster. If you laugh about it and carry on, everyone else will follow your lead and consider your wedding a success.

Stay tuned for more tips from the Penny and Mary hosted Smart Wedding Week.