Common wedding planning mistakes

Common wedding planning mistakes

Having attended quite a few weddings as a wedding photographer, and also having had gone through the process of planning my own wedding within 5 months last year, I’ve put together a little list of common wedding planning mistakes that I see happen all the time.  It’s not an easy task planning a wedding, and it certainly isn’t a cheap one either. Combining these two aspects causes a lot of stress and quite a few of these common wedding planning mistakes!

Planning a wedding is made up of dozens of little jobs that range from big things like choosing and booking a venue on a date you like, down to the simple things such as choosing the groom’s socks. All put together makes a monumental task. Just remember however that with so many things happening, something is bound to not go to plan so try not to make it impact your day too much.

Common wedding planning mistakes

Budgeting mistakes

Perhaps the most common mistake that people stress over on their wedding day is how much everything adds up to. I myself was guilty of this, spending around 30% more than our budget allowed. But planning a wedding is expensive. Try to factor in what you can afford along with what your family are willing to pitch in, then prioritise what is the most important for you. For me personally the most important parts of our day was photography, and the reception venue. For others it may be the bridal dress, perhaps a videographer? The point is, dont go cheap with the most important parts of your day, then you can go a bit cheaper with the parts that don’t matter as much. There’s always going to be some unexpected costs too, so when working out your budget – add a little to it so there are no surprises.

Letting others organise your guest list

Your parents probably have a bit of a dream in their heads about what their perfect wedding for you looks like. Hell, they’ve probably been planning it in their head since you were born! So cut them some slack when they insist of inviting your second cousin three times removed just because they shared a carrot when they were growing up. But on the other hand make sure they are clear on your budget restraints and that the day is your day, not theirs. A wedding day is supposed to celebrate your own personal love for one another with your closest friends and family. Just make sure everyone knows your intent in regards to your guest list upfront and you’ll avoid one of the most stress-inducing common wedding planning mistakes.

No plan ‘B’ for weather

Now living in Adelaide, we tend to be very lucky when it comes to the weather during our wedding season. Adelaide is the driest city in the driest state on the driest continent in the world. It doesnt rain much here, and when it does it doesnt stay long. But it does happen, and if you have no backup plan for your wedding ceremony or your reception, it can be devastating. The best venues I’ve found actually have a plan B set up for just an occasion, but other locations it just may not be possible. Marquee hire is a common backup plan for locations where there isn’t a convenient building to use. The only good thing about having a wedding in the rain is that it’s supposed to be good luck, and you get some great unique photos out of it! 😀

Look after your guests

The common timeline for a wedding day usually calls for a 1-2 hours photoshoot in between the end of your wedding ceremony and the start of your reception. This means that your guests are left to entertain themselves for that period of time. If your venue is out of the way, this may cause some distress with your guests. Try to entertain them with something, give them something to do! Be it lawn games at your venue, or makes a game of it like a scavenger hunt, with a prize given out at your reception? At the very least suggest a local attraction or a nice pub for them to visit while they wait for you.

Spray tanning, or changing your look too much

Please, please don’t suddenly decide to go get a spray tan for the first time a week out for your wedding! If you’ve had a spray tan before, and you were happy with the result, then go for it, but only if you go back to the same place. Nothing worse than being an oompaloompa in a white dress. Same goes for dying your hair, or drastically changing your makeup. Always trial it all several months before your wedding to make sure you’d be ok looking like that on your wedding day.


Crash dieting in the weeks leading up to your wedding day can cause sickness and just isn’t a great idea in general. The idea is to be as happy and healthy you can be on your big day, so try not to do anything to jeopardise this. Same goes for eating on the day. Often nerves get to brides and grooms on their wedding day, which causes a loss of appetite, but eating and keeping your fluids up (not alcohol) is very important!

Seating arrangements

Perhaps one of the hardest part of planning a wedding is sorting out where everyone is sitting at your reception. It’s one of those common wedding planning mistakes that can really cause people to get upset if they are sitting next to someone they despise, or something. One big problem people overlook is placing all the single guests on a ‘singles table’. Having everyone single at a table together is rather uncomfortable for them, so try to mix them about on other tables, hopefully with guests who share a common interest.

Sort out your clothes in the days prior

Another one I’m guilty of. To all the men and grooms to be out there, get out your shirts and wear/iron them at least once in the days leading up to your wedding! Shirts come with an ugly crease through them brad new and need to be ironed! Brides out there, pick out some comfy undies, preferably white so that they can’t be seen through your dress! I can’t count how many times I’ve had to awkwardly point out that your black panties can be seen in your photos. It;s one of those small common wedding planning mistakes you don’t often think about. If you’ve sorted out what you’re wearing you hang it up and not think about it until the day right? Ladies put on your dress as often as possible too, make sure it’s comfortable. If you’re wearing high heels and planning on having photos done at the beach or in a forest, perhaps pack a change of shoes too.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Perhaps the most important of all, don’t let small issues dominate your thoughts. Remember what the point of the day is – to get married. Things are bound to go wrong, that’s life, but don’t let it phase you. Just be thankful you don’t have to contend with a cyclone, or fires on your wedding day. Enjoy yourself!

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