15 PLANNING PITFALLS (AND HOW TO AVOID THEM!)
Steer clear of these tricky situations and wedding day faux pas
Planning can be fun. It can also be frenetic, if you allow it to be. Don’t let the details get you down – here are our top tips to help you make sure it all goes off without a hitch.
Do the maths
Get at least three quotes for everything from different vendors. This will give you a better idea of prices, and save you a lot of money. Also remember to go through the quotes with a fine-tooth comb. What exactly does each include? You might find the venue that comes in at a cheaper price will end up costing you more if it doesn’t include things like tables, tablecloths, lighting and chairs, which you will then have to hire. Keep an eye out for hidden costs!
Don’t feel obliged to do something you don’t want to do
Inviting long-lost family, having a bigger wedding than you want or choosing the dress your mother likes are all things you might feel pressured to do. If your parents are paying most of the wedding expenses, you need to give them some leeway. But ultimately it is your wedding day – so don’t let yourself be steamrollered!
Don’t rule out a wedding planner
Getting a wedding planner to plan your wedding is convenient, but it’s also expensive. That said, don’t write the idea off just yet. Getting a coordinator for the day of the wedding will help make the whole process go more smoothly and take a lot of worry off your shoulders.
Put comfort first
Beauty is pain, right? Wrong! You don’t want anything to detract from your big day, and if you’re feeling uncomfortable, your pictures will probably show it. Justin and Simone from Justin Davis Photography suggest choosing a dress that is comfortable to walk, sit and dance in. Secondly, bring a pair of comfy shoes for the main shoot. ‘To get the best light or scenic shots you might have to walk or climb a bit and you don’t want to ruin your high heels in the process,’ says Simone.
Never underestimate the power of a wellplanned schedule
You might think schedules are for controlling and uptight brides, but that’s not so, say Justin and Simone. ‘A good schedule for the day is vital. Chat with your photographer, videographer and hair and makeup artist to find out how much time they’ll each need. By allowing enough time, you and your team will work stress-free.’
Take care of your vendors
Before you finalise the seating chart, spare a thought for your vendors, who have been working tirelessly all day. Give the photographers (and their second shooters or assistants), videographers and the band or DJ a decent place to sit, eat and have a drink when they’re not working. Treat them as you would your guests.
Choose the right bridesmaids
Before you ask your sulky teenage cousin and that girl you’ve been frenemies with for years to be your bridesmaids, reconsider. You need people who will support you, hold your hand and tell you when you’re in danger of becoming a bridezilla (or defend you when you’re not). Choose people you can count on and who will share in your joy, instead of detracting from it.
Compromise on the music
Bear in mind that many of your guests will be over the age of 40 and might not find it easy or enjoyable to keep a conversation going over the blaring sounds of Maroon 5’s ‘Sugar’. If possible, create a comfy seating area away from the music and ask for song requests beforehand – people love hearing ‘their song’, and you’ll treasure those pics of your grandparents twirling around the dance floor forever.
Don’t set your wedding date before you have a venue
Got your heart set on a significant date or time of year? Be aware that some venues or photographers get booked out years in advance; the ones you fall in love with might not have an opening on that date. Keep an open mind – a winter wedding can be magical, and cheaper, as some venues offer discounts in the off-season.
Take advantage of technology
There’s an app for that! No really, there’s no need to lug around a big file full of pictures and quotes. Download an application like Our Wedding Planner (available from the Google Play Store) or WeddingHappy (available from the iTunes store) to help you plan, keep track of your spending and update your to-do list.
Don’t get caught up in the trends
‘I find that most brides get so tied up in all the wedding frenzy, they forget about traditions,’ says Aleit Swanepoel from the Aleit Group. Traditions help simplify the whole day and are a means of bringing loved ones together.
Down to the final days? This is not the time to experiment. A new diet, a new hair colour, a new teeth whitener or even a new self-tan – just don’t do it. If you want to try something new or different, do it three to four months before the wedding, not the week before. Then, if anything goes wrong, there’s still time to recover or fix it.
Keep an open mind
You can go ahead and blame this one on Pinterest. Yes, those opulent peony arrangements are beautiful, but guess what – they are only in season for about one month every year in South
Be sure to budget for surprise charges such as tipping delivery men, paying for last-minute dry cleaning and so on.
Africa. Importing them out of season could blow your whole budget. Florist Fennec Deuchar from Fox & Co recommends first finding a colour scheme you like, then asking your florist to recommend flowers that will be available at the time of your wedding, before setting your heart on a specific variety. Still pining for those peonies? Get a few for your bouquet.
At some point, stop pinning!
This is a big one, says Fennec. ‘Pinterest is extremely useful, but I have many brides who end up trying to mix a number of different themes and styles because they keep finding images they like that they want to incorporate.’ Fennec’s advice? Once you’ve found something you like, stop looking! That will give you time to pin pictures of that dream honeymoon instead.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Good food, good wine and good music – that’s what your guests are going to remember. Not the expensive party favours, not the monogrammed napkins, and definitely not the cleverly coordinated underplates. Getting caught up in the details can be fun, but if you’re losing sleep over the fact that the napkins aren’t the exact same shade of pink as the candles, it’s time to take a step back and remember what it’s all about. ✤
Some things really do have to be left until the last minute. But try to keep these to a minimum so that the final four weeks in the run-up to your wedding are as stress-free as possible.
Rose ballgown with nude-look Chantilly lace bodice, box-pleated dupoin silk skirt, silk sash and secret pockets (R16 800) Elbeth Gillis