1. SPENDING WHOLE BUDGET ON VENUE
The one thing I see happen a lot is couples finding a dream venue that will cost say $30,000 for the venue, food and alcohol and thinking "well that is perfect for our budget of $35,000'' not realizing that there are a whole host of other areas of a wedding that need to be included. They will book the venue and scramble to fit photographer, music, decor and cake into that last $5,000. Make sure you sit down with a planner and take a look at the wedding in a whole. Can't afford a full planner? Book a two hour Planning Starter Meeting with me via in person or skype and make sure you get started on the right foot! You can do that here.
2. HIRING UNPROFESSIONAL VENDORS
Trying to cut corners by having friends or family members offer to do something for you is not the way to go. It will truly cost you more stress and time than it is worth in the savings. I have seen uncles who have a camera want to be the photographer only to leave you with very unprofessional looking photos of your most special day. I have had aunts bake wedding cakes only to see them leaning far to the side and having to cut the cake early to avoid a disaster. I have seen family make food only for it to run out half way through. Family members do flowers only for them to wilt before walking down the aisle. Friends trying to be a DJ only to leave guests sitting at their tables and not dancing. The list goes on and on. My advice, hire a coordinator FIRST and they will help you find good ways to hire professional vendors while fitting it in your budget. I have done $10,000 weddings for clients all while using professional vendors, it can be done!
3. NOT HIRING A DAY OF COORDINATOR
This I would say is the biggest mistake of those trying to do a DIY wedding. If you work so hard planning and painfully making all the DIY favors, centerpieces, table numbers, etc. only for you to be running around setting up day of the wedding it is not worth the savings. Your hard work in planning should be put into the hands of a professional the day of to make sure your investment is taken care of.
4. USING AN IPOD FOR MUSIC
An Ipod is NOT, I repeat NOT the same thing as having a professional wedding DJ. With that said not all DJs are created equal either. A club DJ maybe less expensive but they wont know how to run a wedding. Make sure you hire a qualified wedding DJ to run the day and make sure it goes smoothly. They not only make sure the music is flawless, they announce key events and keep your guests engaged and dancing. When guests look back at a wedding I believe the three things that are most important are good food, open bar and good music!
5. NOT HAVING AN OPEN BAR
I personally believe allowing your guests to dine and drink on your dime at your wedding is important. Even if that means only beer and wine. Guests want to relax and feel spoiled a little bit. Try figuring out your budget and including this in there. Save on less important aspects of the wedding.
6. DOING YOUR OWN FLOWERS
Flowers are much harder and more complicated then it seems. I know flowers can be expensive and wedding flowers are not always a reasonable splurge but be realistic in what you have time for and the possible outcomes. I have seen flowers just not show up the day of because the wholesale florist they ordered from didn't pull through-leaving NO flowers at all. I have seen wilted flowers and most of all seen VERY stressed out brides the day before the wedding trying to do their flowers. My advice is at the very least hire a professional to do your bouquets and boutonnieres and do non flower centerpieces such as lanterns or candles.
7. TRYING TO OVER COMPLICATE THINGS
Pinterest is not your friend when it come to DIY weddings. It may seem fun the first 20 things you pinned to painstakingly make for your wedding day but I promise you need to stop looking! A wedding should be a simple joyful occasion for you and your guests. Guests dont care as much about your DIY touches as you do and they are more interested in you and the one you love getting married, good food and a good time. Focus your energy on making your guests feel loved and not so much on pinterest ideas.
Feeling overwhelmed by the thought of planning a wedding, but can not budget for a planner? I have a Wedding Planning Starter meeting that can be done in person or via skype for a personalized hour-two hour long meeting that will get you started, help you budget, give you realistic boundaries and ideas, help you with design and help save you money! Sign up here!