How to avoid common wedding mistakes


Planning a wedding can be a big, complicated project, and it's easy to make mistakes. Here are some tips on how to avoid the common pitfalls from Marcy Blum, wedding and event planner, and author of Wedding Planning for Dummies.

How to avoid common wedding mistakes

With all the details that go into planning a wedding, it’s easy to lose sight of the most important part of making your day a success—keeping your guests happy. Some tips to make the planning and the day itself run as smooth as possible:

  • Don’t forget you’re going to have a life after your wedding. Treat your future family well to avoid hard feelings.
  • People will remember not being included in the wedding, so handle any exclusions with care.
  • Be mindful of the things that make your guests comfortable. If your wedding guests aren’t happy then you won’t be happy.
  • Remember the little things for your wedding guests, such as parking (be specific), having a sufficient number people handling coat check, etc.
  • If a wedding is cancelled, deposits are non-refundable after a specified period of time. Each service provider will be up front with how much of a deposit is refundable. If you do have to cancel, do it as soon as possible to get the most money back.
Transcript LISA:  Hi I’m Lisa Birnbach for and with me is Marcy Blum the event planner and author of Weddings for Dummies. And I want to find out all about making mistakes, the terrible mistakes the brides make.

MARCY:  The obvious is forgetting that you’re going to have a life after the wedding. Which may sound a little new age, but the truth is if you are having fierce arguments with your future mother and law or you have decided not to have your cousin in the wedding party because she had gained twenty pounds. You don’t like the way she looks in the dress and you have a vision of how everyone is going to look up there, they are going to remember that you did that. Far longer then you are going to remember because you are in this bizarre state of about to be getting married.

LISA:  I wonder whether couples get along beautifully before the engagement, and the decisions that have to be made over the ceremony, over the wedding, over what kind of party to have, over who makes the toast are the issues are the actions that can actually create friction between families.

MARCY:  Absolutely, between families and between the bride and groom, and we say it all the time in my business, if you can survive planning a wedding together then you deserve to be married.

LISA:  What are some last minute things that brides and grooms forget about, and really need to take care of?

MARCY:  Things that are going to make the guests happy. And, the truth is if the guests aren’t happy you’re not going to be happy either, cause its sort of communal situation. Things like transportation. If three hundred people walk out of a church in one shot in New York and it’s raining, you can forget it. Is there parking around there? Have you been very specific, either in an insert in the invitation or an e-mail or whatever? Where people should park, nobody reads anything. People are, I’m always amazed by how guests are like, “I don’t understand if it’s on twenty-sixth street, where is the nearest parking lot.” So a lot of information, coat check. Are there enough people in the coat check? If you had been driving around for two hours looking for a parking space, and you walk in dying for a drink, and there’s a line at the coat check. You are already in such a miserable mood when the ho-rah happens you won’t feel like participating.

LISA:  What happens if god forbid the wedding gets cancelled at the last minute? How do you handle it?

MARCY:  What people often ask me is what do you do about getting the deposits back? The idea is if you have a sense that maybe you don’t want to go through with this. No matter how horrible it is the sooner you act out for all sorts of reasons, financially as well, the better it is going to be.

LISA:  What is the cut off, financially, for getting your deposit back?

MARCY:  God forbid someone’s father died, or something horrific happened, I’m most likely going to give back everything and say, “I’m so sorry.”  If from the beginning, and this has happened to me, people have said, “I want to understand specifically what clauses are, do I have to sign because let’s say were going to postpone or whatever.” Then I’m one hundred percent not going to give anything back. Because it’s my time, they’re time, it’s not a joke.

LISA:  Well and that’s a red flag-

MARCY:  Absolutely

LISA:  That these people are indecisive.

MARCY:  And if they ask it more then three times, is there a reason you keep asking this question?

LISA:  Thanks so much Marcy, great talking to you.

MARCY:  Thanks.

LISA:  For I’m Lisa Birnbach.  
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  • Marcy Blum

    Marcy Blum Wedding and Events Planner Marcy Blum is a world-renowned event planner and wedding expert. She has written many articles on food and entertaining. more about this expert »