1. Not doing the research - Unless you already work in the wedding industry, it is unlikely that you know the ins and outs of how to plan an event like your wedding. Research is key in knowing what suppliers exist in your area, which ones you can afford and whether they are available for your date. Research can be anything from a quick Google search, to asking friends who have recently married for recommendations - or come to The Isle of Man Wedding Show and meet local vendors face to face!
Photo credit: Jewell.
2. Not setting a budget. You don't go looking for a new house or car without having some idea of how much you can afford to spend so it shouldn't be any different for an event as important as your wedding. It is a massive help to your suppliers (and your sanity) to set a budget at the start of your wedding planning journey and try to stick to it.
Another mistake couples make is blowing their budget too early in the planning stages when they get excited about something, book it impulsively and then realise actually it wasn't essential and not being able to get their money back!
Then there is the all important contingency budget - we recommend having about 10% of your total budget set aside for last minute emergencies or changes of plan. And if you don't end up spending it, then you have extra money for your honeymoon or to splash out on the gifts that people didn't purchase from your registry!
3. Thinking a DIY wedding will save you money. Yes on paper, the cost of doing your own flowers/invites/cake/other creative item, may be slightly or even a lot less than a professional will charge, but in the long run it rarely works out that way. Remember that a professional has got to where they are today with years of experience, training and knowing exactly what works and how to produce it efficiently.
But that isn't to say that you can't call in some favours from friends in lieau of wedding gifts - for example, your aunt that is part of the church flower arranging group, the friend who is a dab hand at graphic design, or the family member with a beautiful vintage car in the garage! Just make sure you communicate with them and trust their abilities so you aren't stressing the week before the wedding about whether they can pull it off!
4. Not setting priorities. This will be an important part of how you spend your budget, so make sure you both know what the other person sees as important. So if you want those Manolo Blahnik shoes, you may have to skip the wedding favours. Or if you want to splash out on hiring your favourite band to play live at the reception, you may need to cut back on the ceremony florals. Everyone has different priorities so don't feel pressured to have something, just because you think you 'should' have it.
5. Not hiring professionals. There are some jobs which we always recommend leaving to the professionals, and the top ones are your photographer/videographer and DJ. Take this from experience - your wedding day will fly by in the quickest of flashes and you will be devastated if the photos or videos you get back from Uncle Bob aren't as magical as you hope. Likewise, a wedding DJ will know exactly how to get your guests up dancing right until the bar closes, making sure they all have a night to remember.
6. Not being in control of your guest list. Again, this is an area that will be dependant on your budget - so only invite the people who you personally want to share this special day with you. Traditionally the Bride's parents would pay for the wedding, so of course they get to invite all of their friends and long lost cousins who you have never met - but if this wedding is being paid through your own salary and savings, then you control who you have there.
7. You don't have a Plan B. So you have focused your entire wedding around dreams of getting married outside at Niarbyl or Peel Cathedral, or having photos taken at the top of Snaefell and the Manx weather has other ideas... make sure you have a Plan B so you're not stressing the day before your wedding and constantly refreshing the Met Office app in hope of a miracle.
Also we currently have to factor in a global pandemic - if your best man is flying in from Australia and travel restrictions prevent that from happening - do you have a last minute stand in for his role?
If you are prepared for all eventualities, then you will be more relaxed if something does happen to try and spoil your day.
8. You don't have any trial runs. An engagement shoot is something offered by most wedding photographers now, and while you may think it is unnecessary, it is actually just as important as the wedding photos themselves. Spending an afternoon with them allows you to get to know each other and will help put you at ease if you are the kind of person who shies away from the camera.
Your hair and make up are also something you want to try out before the big day, again, so you feel comfortable with how you are going to look and you won't be surprised with huge fake lashes and the wrong colour lips on the morning! A hair stylist can also suggest different styles to try out to match your dress.
Food samples and cake tasting are a good way to help choose your menu for the day as well as being rather enjoyable to take part in!
Photo credit: Jewell.
9. You reject the idea of a wedding planner! Once thought of as being a luxury that only celebrities can afford, a wedding planner or co-ordinator can be worth their weight in gold. They will help you focus your vision, stick to your budget and take most of the worry and stress out of planning your day. A lot of them either have a fixed price scale or work on a percentage of your budget, so it is something you can factor in from the very beginning. If you and your other half have a busy work schedule, or have children, or both... the last thing you want is to be spending every last minute of your spare time chasing suppliers and juggling spreadsheets.
10. You forget whats important. Your wedding day should be one of the happiest days of your life, so it is so important to keep in mind the reason you are doing it. Don't let arguments and debt build up - that is no way to start your married life.
Keep everything in perspective, plan date nights where you don't even mention the word wedding, delegate jobs to people you trust (see point 3!) and remember that it is the rest of your life together that is the most important things.
Other two very important points are - wear in your new shoes before the big day and make sure you eat a good nutritious breakfast on the wedding morning!