In the good old days, the mother of the bride had the reigns firmly in hand when planning her daughter’s wedding. Budgets were consulted, extravagance was curtailed when the funds were not there, and Bridezilla meltdowns were few.
Since brides are now firmly in the driver’s seat when planning the nuptials, there are plenty of pitfalls the now younger crop of soon-to-be newlyweds must navigate. Learning how to avoid the top mistakes modern brides make can save you money, help you keep your sanity intact and keep you on speaking terms with most of your family and friends.
1. Turning into a Micromanager
From the color of the flower petals to the measurements of the arches, brides-to-be seem to forget that their wedding is about the celebration of marriage, not the perfect egg shell color hue for the napkins. Group Travel experts notice this problem when dealing with brides who are planning destination weddings. Rather than enjoying the time with their fiancés, they are stressing out over the details.
Tip: Delegate the details to a wedding planner and leave the professional to handle the nitty-gritty. It may take some willpower to give up control over napkins and tulle colors, but it is worth it.
2. Inviting Everyone Who Oohs and Aahs Over the Ring
Showing off your engagement ring is fun. Since your fiancé saved up his money and bought you a nice bauble, you should be proud of it! Unfortunately, many a bride will invite anyone and everyone who remarks on the ring. Before long, she has a list that is a mile long and filled with casual acquaintances and friends of friends. This is murder on any budget!
Tip: Learn to say “thank you” to folks who admire your ring and then practice closing your mouth. The guest list should be a collaborative effort between you and the groom-to-be. Since it is here that you may have to do some trimming to save money, it would be inconsiderate to come to the table with a list of guests to whom you have already promised an invitation.
3. Promising to Pay Expenses for Bridal Party Members
Progressive Catholics warn that this is a very common mistake that brides and grooms make. In the euphoria of a recent engagement, they want certain friends to be in the wedding party. When these friends hesitate to agree, the bride (or groom) may promise to pay for a variety of expenses ranging from haircuts to travel and lodging expenses. This can wreak havoc on a wedding budget.
Tip: Accept that some of your friends simply cannot afford to attend your destination wedding in Spain, your wedding cruise or the expense of the high-end bridesmaid dresses you have picked out. In the alternative, you and your fiancé may choose to hold the nuptials closer to home and make the needed gear a bit more affordable for those in your immediate circle of friends. This is one case where you cannot have your cake and eat it, too.
4. Forgetting to Make Religious Arrangements
There is more to getting married in the cathedral of your choice than just showing up with a calendar and squaring the dates with the church’s appointment book. Plenty of houses of worship are operated by faith communities that have fairly strict rules about being married in their locations. Some involve the eligibility to wed after a divorce; others require a lengthy participation in premarital counseling. Still others, such as the Latter-day Saints, will not allow you to just march into a temple and ask for be married, Brigham Young University warns.
Tip: If you want there to be a spiritual component to your wedding, know ahead of time what the requirements of the faith community are. In fact, you might want to consider joining them before asking one of their ministers to marry you.