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St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | 20 Things to Never Do When Planning Your Wedding
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20 Things to Never Do When Planning Your Wedding


Planning your wedding can be fun, exhausting, exhilarating, stressful, exciting and frustrating. Here are 20 tips that you should never do whilst planning the party of the year.


1.)  Never book any venue without seeing it.  My only exception to this is if you have a wedding planner working your behalf and doing the scouting for you. 

2.)  Never  work with any  vendor without a contract.   Ever.  This includes Aunt Jan and Uncle Marty.  Contracts put everyone’s expectations and obligations on paper. 

3.)  Never start planning or interviewing vendors without a budget.  You will waste your time and the time  of the vendors you meet. Whenever a potential client says “There is no budget” or something similar, they are not impressed. The red flags go up.

4.) Never start your wedding planning in the “middle”.  In other words, start at the beginning and work your way down with tasks and duties.  Find a planning timeline to help you figure out where you should be in your planning process.  Don’t start designing your floor plan when you haven’t chosen a venue. 

5.)  Never be afraid to speak up with your vendors. If you have questions or concerns, ask while changes can still be made as opposed to being stuck with something you will regret on your wedding day.

6.) Never take your family and friends for granted. Using the “But it’s my wedding” carte blanche will get very old, very fast.  Your bridesmaids and groomsmen will spend a small fortune to participate in your day.  Please treat them nicely. 

7.)  Never believe anything you see on the wedding shows.  Ever.

8.)  Never choose a dress under the condition you will lose weight to fit in it later. Stress eating is a huge monster during wedding planning. It is easier to take a dress in than it is to let it out.

9.)  Never forget what you are planning for—your wedding, which is the birth of your marriage. I encourage you to plaster pictures all over your planning binder of you and your honey. That is your motivation.

10.)  Never pick a vendor that has poor communication skills or makes you feel silly, “cheap”, "spoiled, or otherwise about your choices. Period.

11.)  Never put your registry information on or with your invitation.  Times may have changed and “some” etiquette rules can be bent. I don’t feel this is one of them. You do not want people to feel like there is a cover charge for your wedding.  This information needs to be sent word of mouth, on your wedding website/newsletter or with your bridal/couple shower invite.

12.) Never choose a photographer with your budget solely in mind.  This is the only thing that will preserve your memories for your special day.   Please choose someone with style, talent and charisma so that you can remember your day fifty years from now as if it were yesterday.

13.)  Never go to your  catering tasting starving.   Everything will taste good.  You need to be discerning with mingling flavors and scents…and be able to appreciate them.

14.) Never go to your florist without a concept. There are several breeds of roses, lilies, and orchids.  Your floral designer will be more than happy to provide you with inspiration, guidance and ideas, but you need to know where the destination is before you get in the car. 

15.) Never assume a vendor’s “retainer” is the same as a deposit.  A deposit is refundable.  A retainer is not.

16.)  Never think you will be able to make everyone happy with your decisions.  Don’t try to make them all angry either.  Ask for ideas, and find ways to incorporate everyone into the wedding. Nothing will make your FMIL beam brighter than to point at something and say "I picked that!”

17.)  Never try to micromanage your day while wearing the gown.  The day will be a blur anyway,  it will go by so much faster (and harder) if you are playing the starring role and the director.  Enjoy your day.  Save your sanity.  Please get a wedding coordinator.  If you do, let her/him do her/his job.

18.) Never withhold the final payment from a vendor with the belief that this will pressure them to show up.  If you have chosen to hire professionals for your wedding, this will never be an issue. The wedding industry thrives on reputation, and several vendors have reputations that precede them.  Many have the philosophy if you do not pay them on the due date, they will not be there, and you will be without the vendor anyway.

19.)  Never lose sight of the fact that you will have several hundred people at your wedding with different tastes and likes.  While you cannot make them all happy, as a host, it is your job to make it enjoyable and comfortable.  Remember this when it comes to design, location and food.

20.)  Never  forget to read this blog. (ok, I was really running low. Shameless plug over).

:: Photo Michal Zacharzewski

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  • Constance Thomas


    I really enjoyed this…Esp.12. I tell people, you want something that will be timely and priceless. Something your going to look at continuously. People see a price tag and freak out, look at the work and then think I am paying good money. Which means my product will be awesome.

    June 15, 2009 at 2:27 pm
  • #3 + #11 are my personal pet peeves. And I couldn’t agree more with #12. A good photographer is worth every penny and then some.

    June 15, 2009 at 2:31 pm
  • EXCELLENT tips, Terrica! I completely agree on registry info in invites—times have changed but this is a NO NO NO! It’s not worth offending someone to make sure you get the right towel color on the first try, when you’ll be able to exchange/return it all, anyways!

    June 15, 2009 at 2:50 pm
  • I love love love #7!!!! There isn’t a meeting I have that goes by without a Wedding TV show coming up in conversation.

    June 15, 2009 at 4:27 pm
  • Points 9, 10, 12 are strong ones for me! I always remind my clients to not lose sight of the marriage which is most important! Also there is nothing like a great photographer!

    Great list as always!

    June 15, 2009 at 5:06 pm
  • Terrica,

    Thanks for letting me post a link to it! Its such a fabulous list that I couldn’t miss the opportunity to share your wisdom to all the brides out there!

    All the best,

    Lisa Green’s recent blog post..Fantastic Tips from Cocktails & Details

    June 15, 2009 at 6:57 pm
  • I got that from another blog.. Very cute, hope you dont mind!!

    June 15, 2009 at 8:38 pm
  • Thank you so much for this! I will be passing it on to some of our brides. As photographers we are always trying to explain to brides-to-be how they shouldn’t pick a photographer based solely on their budget. Photos are the only thing that will remain after the day is over and they need a photographer who they love and trust to capture it. 🙂

    Becka @Studio222 Photography’s recent blog post..Katie & Michael: Destination Wedding at the Disney Boardwalk Sneak Peak

    June 16, 2009 at 11:09 am
  • Amen on #12. Within 24 hours almost all of the physical “wedding stuff” is in the trash or returned to the rental place. Beyond that, so many other things get lost in boxes or put away never to be seen again. How is a bride to remember it all? … The photographs. In addition, book venues with photography in mind. If a bride is going on size alone for her 300 guests then she may get a big, ugly, and not-well-lit venue that looks, well, big and ugly and dark in the pictures. Been there. The pictures were definitely affected by the venue.

    Chris Moncus’s recent blog post..Charity & Dustin’s Downtown Wedding

    June 16, 2009 at 8:01 pm
  • Thanks for this great post!! I hope you don’t mind if I link to it on my blog.

    christina @ chillweddings’s recent blog post..After two years, we still have regrets…

    June 17, 2009 at 11:22 am
  • Awesome advice! (especially #20)

    Randi @ Always Fabulous Events’s recent blog post..On the same page with Philly Mag

    June 17, 2009 at 10:15 pm
  • Great tips – I learned a couple things after reading them!

    June 22, 2009 at 9:44 am
  • 20 Things Never to do when planning a wedding – attention brides!

    June 22, 2009 at 3:18 pm
  • number 8, 13, and 15 are my favorites. I just love this post and would love to feature it on my blog at

    Mothers everywhere are either planning on getting married or looking for excellent information and advice like this.

    love it!

    June 22, 2009 at 6:01 pm
  • I love, Love, LOVE this post! Great list!!

    June 30, 2009 at 1:14 pm
  • Absolute brilliant tips! I hope you don’t mind I link to my blog:)

    September 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm
  • Absolute brilliant tips!

    September 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm

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