So you’re engaged and caught up in a whirlwind of planning for your big day. How many guests? What theme should you have? Do you really have to invite the third-cousins you haven’t seen since you were two? Why? It’s my day – my way!
But while nobody likes to be told they’re wrong, it bears saying there is something to be learnt from mistakes made by thousands of brides before them (this bride included). Here, we highlight 5 of the most common mistakes brides make in the lead-up to their big day:
1. Expecting perfection
Can we get a show of hands of how many among us have been planning our wedding day since we were five years old? As the years have passed, our fantasies may have grown only more elaborate. We may have a very clear idea of exactly how everything should be on our wedding days, and there certainly is nothing wrong with that.
But sorry to break it to you, sister – not everything will go according to plan. You may not have gotten the exact wedding venue you wanted, it may be drizzling all day, your maid of honour may have forgotten her shoes and your little flower girl may have ripped her dress (all true stories!). Hope for the best, but expect the worst, and if all else fails, laugh it off – it can’t really be that bad.
2. Not having a back-up plan
This point is directly related to the one above. We don’t mean to be pessimists, but that pesky Murphy’s Law (what can go wrong, will go wrong) has a knack of making an appearance especially on really important occasions like weddings! This makes it especially important to have a contingency plan and for you to exercise a degree of flexibility.
Have in mind a few dates and wedding venues you’d like, from the get go. Make a list of wedding photographers whose work you love, and put in your calls early to ensure you’re more likely to get what you want. If you’re having an outdoor wedding, always consider a wet-weather option. If you’ve booked in a make-up artist or hairdresser, have a friend or relative on stand-by ready to step in, in case Plan A falls through.
3. Procrastinating too much
It’s another law of the universe – as soon as you make a booking for something costly, like a honeymoon or wedding venue, something better will come along (it’s just the universe’s way of ensuring we don’t take everything too seriously!). But don’t let this put you off making a commitment to signing up a photographer, wedding planner, or wedding gown designer – the longer you put it off, the less likely you are to get what you want.
Remember, some wedding venue locations can be booked more than a year in advance, and chances are, if you love a photographer’s style and eye for detail, someone else does, too. If you could commit to wanting to be with the man you’ve chosen for the rest of your life, you can also commit to a wedding service provider – if time management isn’t one of your strong points, get a wedding planner (a book, not the person – but that helps, too).
4. Budget blow-out
Keeping in mind weddings can be quite expensive affairs, remember to set a wedding budget from as early on as you can for everything from wedding invitations to the cost of a photographer and the dinner, and the cost of the groom’s outfit and your accessories. All those odd dollars here and there can add up – for instance, for the cost of those magnificent ice sculpture centrepieces, you could have added another day to your honeymoon!
While it can be tempting to go all out and splurge, you should remember the last and most common mistakes brides make, which is…
5. Forgetting what the day is about
When you’re feeling cheated and hurt because a friend may have “stolen” your wedding colour theme, or lamenting that your gown doesn’t fit right or your poor husband-to-be simply can’t seem to get the hang of your choreographed first dance, it is easy to lose sight of what your wedding day is all about.
Remember, your wedding day is about the mutual love, respect and life goals of two different people. It’s a celebration of you finding each other in this crazy world, and about the joining of your families.
So while it would be lovely to have everything go as perfectly as you imagined it, after all the stress and planning, the harried phonecalls and tears, your wedding day is about you and him- everything else is just icing on the cake.