17 common mistakes brides (and grooms) make

Planning a wedding isn’t easy and, no matter how organised you think you are, there will always be something that goes wrong. It helps to accept this and move on, because it happens to the best of us! If you’re ready you’ll find that, no matter what happens, it will only be a minor hiccup and not a major disaster.

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Often these hiccups come about because of mistakes made by the couple, so we have put together our list of some of the most common mistakes that every bride (and groom) makes, with the hope that you can use it to avoid them!

Forgetting to eat

Your wedding day is going to be busy and likely very stressful! Many wedding days start early and finish late with couples clocking up 18-20 hours straight. So, many brides (and grooms) end up not eating before the ceremony, either because they forget or because they feel a little ill from the inevitable nerves, joy, and adrenaline! The last thing you want is to pass out half way down the aisle due to low blood sugar!

You needn’t eat a heavy meal, but do keep snacks on hand and, if you think you will forget, ask a trusted friend or family member to arrange snacks for the bridal party on your big day.

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Forgetting about your dress when choosing a bouquet

Lots of brides and grooms choose their wedding flowers based on the colours and the look of flowers alone.

That’s fine, after all, we need to be in love with our bouquet. However, do not forget about your dress as the bouquet needs to complement it well. You do not want to hide the detail in your wedding gown behind a giant bouquet, so show the florist a picture of your wedding dress so that they can help design a bouquet that does it justice.


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Failing to set boundaries

When it comes to weddings everyone (and we do mean EVERYONE) has an opinion! Parents usually have quite strong opinions about your plans, especially if they are paying for the wedding. So, be sure to set boundaries early on in the planning and be clear about which areas you want input into and which are not up for negotiation.

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Setting unrealistic budgets

One of the most common and the most potentially disastrous mistakes couples make is being unrealistic with their budgets. Do not simply calculate a ‘per head’ rate, as this does not include many of the extras such as flowers, the celebrant, the decor or your accessories etc.

Be realistic about your budget and don’t forget to use our Planning Tools, which will help keep you on track. If you’re paying for the wedding yourself – here’s how to do it!

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Not accounting for unexpected costs

This point follows on from the previous ones. Many brides and grooms forget that, no matter how thorough your checklist, unexpected costs will arise. For example, last-minute dress alterations for a bridesmaid’s dress can be costly, so spend some time thinking of all possible expenses in the final week before your wedding and add that into the budget.

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Not making a back-up weather plan

There is one thing you cannot control on your wedding day, and that is the weather. Many couples neglect to make alternative arrangements in case of bad weather, and this can be a problem. If you are having a beach ceremony or and outdoor cocktail hour on the lawn, be sure to check that if there is an unexpected downpour or freak storm, you have an alternative to use.

Alternatively, click here to find out how to embrace a wet weather wedding.

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Not considering guests

One big mistake couples make is neglecting the guests’ needs. If you are spending two hours on a photo-shoot between the ceremony and the reception, you need to entertain your guests somehow even if it’s just a cocktail hour with some canapés.

Remember – many may have travelled long way to attend. They need to be looked after!

Oh, and don’t forget to read our list of Top 10 wedding guest complaints.

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Forgetting what your big day is really about

So many brides and grooms get way too invested in all the little details of their wedding day, so much so, they lose sight of the fact that it is about marrying the person you wish to grow old with.

The average engagement lasts 20.4 months, which means you’re going to be planning your wedding for a long time!  Ensure that you don’t forget your partner during that time, especially on your wedding day.

Make time to stop, breathe, and soak in the surrounds and excitement of planning one of the happiest days of your life!

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Attempting too much DIY

There are lots of things that you can DIY in a wedding. DIY is agreat way to personalise your big day! However if you’re not particularly crafty, know when to stop because, aside from needing the creative skills, you definitely don’t want to be stressed on your wedding day.

For example, if you’re thinking about DIYing your bouquet, remember that you’ll have to get up earlier than usual to purchase and arrange your flowers on the day of your wedding. Do you really want to be doing that? There are plenty of florists who will be able to produce wedding flowers to suit your budget. So, if you’re going to go DIY nuts, do everything ahead of time and, whatever you can’t do ahead, leave to the pros.

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Bad spray tans

If you’re intending to have a spray tan before your big day, ensure that you don’t try it for the first time days before your wedding day! You may have a bad reaction, or you could just turn a terrible colour. Get your tan done well in advance to allow the colour to settle, and if you are a newbie, practice in the months leading up to your wedding day.

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Changing their look

Lots of brides and grooms end up looking nothing like themselves on their wedding days because they radically change the way they look with hair and make-up.

Unless you’re after something completely different, the best option is to opt for a more polished version of your daily look.

Don’t go for an up-do if you always wear your hair loose; instead have it styled into soft waves or something that you like and are comfortable with.

The same goes for make up, keep it light and neutral and, in years to come, you won’t find a stranger looking back at you when you look at your wedding photos.

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Crash dieting

Most of us end up going on a wee diet before our big day, but try to avoid crash diets in the weeks leading up to the wedding as it will play havoc with your body and the fit of the dress!

Instead, eat healthily over the long term and choose a wedding dress that flatters your shape. Read related: Why NOT to lose weight for your wedding.

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Allowing unplanned toasts

Many people do not understand the difference between a speech and a toast (especially once the alcohol starts to flow), so try not to allow unplanned toasts as these can run on – and on – and on.

If you have a Master of Ceremonies or Wedding DJ, ask them to control access to the microphone if things start to run on.

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The singles table

There is nothing as uncomfortable for single people (especially at a wedding which is as far from being single as one can get) as being sat at a table full of other singletons! Don’t doom your single guests to this fate as it’s a way to guarantee they have no fun.

Instead place them at tables with couples and families who will have common interests or people they know!

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Neglect your dress before the big day

Whether your wedding dress is new or pre-loved, be sure to try it on in the weeks leading up to your big day. Things change during wedding planning. Your body may be different, the material may irritate your skin, or the dress may have become damaged between when you received it and your wedding day.


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Try it on at least a week before your big day so that if there are any problems, you have time to have the dress fixed or cleaned or, in the worst case, replaced! You don’t want to be finding out there’s a problem with your dress on the morning of your wedding!

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Uncomfortable underwear

Your wedding day is a long day! You are likely going to be in your dress and the matching undergarments for a good 12 to 16 hours depending on your plans. We all want to look our best on our wedding day, and sometimes that may mean whipping out some fabulous shaping underwear that has the strength of chain mail! The problem is that it is, usually, terribly uncomfortable. Rather than be uncomfortable for so long (no matter how fabulous you may look) you’re better off opting for a well-fitting underwear set which you can wear happily all day.

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Not being able to let small things go

As that famous book title goes, don’t sweat the small stuff. The most important thing on your wedding day is the actual wedding ceremony. It really doesn’t matter that the napkins were a shade too light or that dessert was served in a different shaped plate than you expected.

Getting wound up over these small details is going to ruin your day, so just ignore them and enjoy it!

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Be inspired by other couples’ Real Weddings here!

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