7 Wedding Myths and Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Big Day
For years, couples and their families have planned wedding ceremonies. There’s an almost endless list of to-do items before the “I do” day arrives. But, somehow, it usually seems to work out, no matter how chaotic and turbulent the planning process becomes leading up to the big event.
You’d think with dozens of centuries of practice, human beings would have figured out a foolproof way to plan an ordinary wedding, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. People continue to make many of the mistakes they’ve been making since formal marriage rituals have been in existence. Through the years, the kinds of snafus have changed with the times.
In Europe in the 1800s, it was the bride’s family’s responsibility to provide horse carriages for everyone in the final ceremonial procession, which was often a logistical nightmare in small towns where fancy carriages were in short supply. In ancient Japan, grooms were required to walk several miles through town to greet well-wishers the morning of the feast, which posed a problem if heavy rains fell at the wrong time.
In the modern era, wedding planning still presents a challenge for couples of all ages. The following are some of the most frequent myths and mistakes that can throw a wrench into the works of an otherwise perfect celebration.
1. Not Paying Major Expenses in Advance
Caterers and florists, just to name two service providers, might not show up at the appointed time and place for your grand affair if they’ve not been paid in advance. Want to kill the positive energy of a reception in a split second? Forget to pay all the event’s service providers at least two weeks before the appointed date.
Some couples and families face cash flow problems that are easily avoided by taking out a personal loan a month or so in advance. Even in the Middle Ages, families borrowed funds to finance what was usually the most significant day in their children’s lives.
The solution is that in the 2020s, it’s simple to apply for a personal loan online and find out how much you can borrow. A more subtle benefit of borrowing is that you can take advantage of vendor discounts for early payment on expenses like flowers, transportation, outdoor decorations, entertainment, and more.
2. Invitees Won’t Show Up or Will Decline the Invitation
Be careful about over-booking. Too many couples and their families expect only 90 percent of invited guests to respond affirmatively to a formal invitation. If your list has 250 names on it, that means you’d expect only 225 to accept the RSVP.
The fact is if you invite 100 people, expect at least 98 of them to respond “yes” to the invitation. Of those 98, maybe one or two will be no-shows. The old ten-percent rule, which stated that 10 percent of invitees wouldn’t respond to the invite or will answer in the negative, is outdated. In modern times, people nearly always want to attend social events where there will be free food and entertainment, even if they have to buy a gift as their price of entry.
3. Not Being Specific with Caterers
Catering complaints are common among newly married couples. Some of the biggest snafus are food-related but are rarely the fault of those who prepare and deliver the meals and beverages.
The resolution is to be super-specific when you deal with caterers. Most of the better vendors have their own forms that include all the necessary details. If they don’t, then be absolutely certain that you provide a written list of foods, portion sizes, arrival time, presentation method, plate sizes, etc. It’s worth paying a bit more for the services of an experienced caterer.
4. You’ll Regret Saying No to Video
It’s understandable that people want to cut costs when they plan a budget ceremony. Usually, one of the first things they decide to eliminate is a professional videographer.
Typically, they decide to rely on someone who’s good with camera equipment or entrust the task to a friend who says they can save you a bundle on video expenses. The solution is to compromise by hiring a pro but not necessarily a high-priced one.
Look for local independent videographers who offer standard event packages, have a few years of special event experience, and can use a positive review from a new client.
Here’s a great clip discussing some key reasons why you might regret not hiring a professional videographer:
5. Plans Before Budget
The prospect of getting married is an exciting and emotional one. However, that also means that it’s easy to get caught up in making detailed plans about venues, catering, the number of guests, and honeymoons before setting a specific budget. As with most other major life events, it’s only logical to know what you can afford before making financial commitments.
The right way is to make an honest assessment of what you can afford. That might mean getting other family members involved, deciding who will be paying for what, and arriving at realistic estimates for the grand total. As long as you do the wedding budgeting before making specific plans, you’ll be on the right financial track.
6. Rainy Day for Your Outdoor Venue
Something like one-fourth of modern wedding ceremonies are outdoor affairs. If you live in a place where it never rains or gets excessively windy, there’s not much to worry about. But outside nuptials are ironically susceptible to rainfall, even when the forecast calls for a clear day.
Maybe it’s Murphy’s Law, but the lesson is that every non-indoor gala needs a backup plan. Some couples have tents set up nearby just in case or hold their big ceremony in a garden near a church that serves as Plan B for sudden rainfall.
Here are some more tips on how to save your wedding on a rainy day:
7. Not Delegating
Some brides and grooms want to run the whole show themselves, micromanaging every detail. Unless it’s a small, private service, you should plan to delegate many tasks to others.
Don’t give in to the temptation of chasing every detail, or you’ll likely end up missing a few significant pieces of the puzzle. The solution is to have an early meeting with family members and develop a digital spreadsheet that includes all the jobs and the names of the people who are responsible for each task.