common wedding mistakes

budgeting

It takes months, sometimes years to plan the perfect wedding.

Brides-to-be are stepping into unfamiliar territory, trying to piece together the most important day of their life. Sometimes, what's obvious to some people can be overlooked by others. The main reason for this is inexperience.

Thank goodness we're not all seasoned brides or we'd have multiple marriages in our history, and we'd be flat broke. One way to ensure a smooth wedding day is to learn from other couple's mistakes without making them yourself. Below, we list several common wedding mistakes and the best way to remedy the situation.

not budgeting

Weddings are a costly event and failing to stick to a budget is probably the number-one mistake couples make. Unless you want to begin married life in massive debt, plan out a budget before you make any purchases.

Of course you'll have to give yourself some leeway for unforeseen expenses, but generally, if you keep making exceptions and spending more than anticipated, your bills will accumulate rather quickly.

guest list too large

One easy way to create multiple problems all at once is to invite too many guests to your wedding. All of the sudden, your church (or ceremony site) and reception hall will be too small. Your catering bill will go through the roof, effectively ruining your budget. The cost of an open bar will exceed your wildest expectations.

When you compile your guest list, ask that each side of the family submit complete lists and add to them only when absolutely necessary. You'll have to decide where to draw the line and stick to it. Don't make the mistake of adding to your list without realizing the extra costs.

not communicating

You can't please everyone but you need to be on the same page as your fiancé. Before you make any decisions, discuss both minor and major issues. If your parents are paying for any or all of your wedding, keep them updated and ask for their opinion.

Don't expect your attendants to read your mind. Tell them your wishes, tactfully. Things will go much smoother when they're involved in the planning process and they know what's expected of them. It's a two-way street, so reward them with praise and an occasional dinner out.

not hiring professionals

You get what you pay for, literally. If you need to cut expenses, don't do it by hiring amateurs. Professionals have the experience to appease your guests and capture your wedding with grace and know-how. Having your piece of mind is priceless and will result in less stress. Professionals can also offer valuable advice in the planning process.

paying in cash

Pay in cash sparingly. I'm not suggesting you charge everything to your credit card but major purchases should be paid in installments, on your credit card. By doing this, you're protecting yourself if anything goes awry. If you don't receive the product or services promised in a contract, you can dispute the charges. Also, rewards will add up quickly and come in handy later on.

failing to send thank-you notes

Wedding memories can go sour in the minds of your guests if you don't thank them for the gift and effort they put forth in selecting it. After you're blissfully hitched and back from your honeymoon, make it a priority to write out thank you-notes, graciously thanking them for sharing in your special day and bringing a thoughtful gift.

Be sure to acknowledge those that contributed additional time and money to assist in planning, making wedding favors and decorations, holding a bridal shower, and taking part in the celebration. This is not only your attendants, but often includes friends and family members as well. Tell them how great they were!