10 common mistakes when planning a wedding

Everybody makes mistakes, just don't make these ones!

These couples have walked down the aisle and survived, but not without a few stumbles along the way. Here they pass on their wisdom.

1. Be the lone ranger that accumulates too many jam jars

Rosie and Chris Miller tied the knot in February 2016 in front of 200 guests. After decorating what felt like a billion jam jars with ribbon in an attempt to fill their vast venue, they knew they needed help and hired a wedding planner. “She made initial contact with the DJ, organised the menu and chef, and even decorated the venue to our exacting standard. She had the experience to make the day what we really wanted.”

2. Sabotage your wedding zen with too many choices

Kirsty Kelly hardly shopped around for her venue. “Rich and I only went to one venue, and booked it! We were so relaxed, but everyone thought we were crazy. On reflection, we’ve been to lots of beautiful weddings since and never felt like we should have looked around more.” Why make it more complicated if you know what you want?

3. Pay peanuts and get monkeys

Thrifty and competitive suppliers are a gift, but paying pittance can mean scrimping on the quality. Paul and Charleen Wheatly paid £500 for their photographer and hardly received any photos. Before committing to the special deals or vouchers, ask to see previous examples of work and discover the real value behind the rock-bottom prices.

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4. Fly with the flaming green absinthe fairy the night before your wedding

Huw Jones had a late-in-the-day stag do and regretted it: “The boys were disorganised with the stag, so they took me for a whisky the night before the wedding instead. Needless to say, it all got a bit out of hand. One toast turned into an all-night bender. I had the hangover to end all hangovers!”

5. Let your 18-year-old cousin live vlog throughout the ceremony

Music tutor, Lowri Attridge, attended four weddings in 2015, and only one of the couples asked their guests to put phones away during the ceremony. “It’s a bit of a shocker! The professional’s pictures are crystal clear, you can see exactly what the congregation are looking at instead of the couple, and it’s Tinder of all things!”

6. Hire matching suits for the fellas (and decide that one size really doesn’t fit all)

Architect Ewan Gregory married in August 2015. He had eight groomsmen by his side on the big day. “Finding the same suit to fit my dad, uncles and the lads was next to impossible, surprisingly stressful and expensive. I decided to give everyone matching ties, pins and pocket squares instead. It’s a break from tradition, but it went down a treat!”

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7. Comment on the ‘rustic charm’ of the cake and quietly cry yourself to sleep that night

Pilates instructor Polly Hill quickly discovered her dreams of a perfect day could be compromised: “I had a rather awkward encounter when my mum decided to make our wedding cake. She’s a TERRIBLE baker!!!” Be assertive with your wishes, but also channel your families helpful energy into something you really need (such as sewing those meters of bunting you’ve been putting off!)

8. Obsess over Pantone colour palettes until your flower girls look like actual elves

Developers Sam Thomas wed in December 2015, so of course they had a Christmas-themed wedding: “We quickly created a grotto-inspired nightmare, consisting largely of red, green and glitter. So we scrapped it. We liked too many things and personally, I don’t think that everyone’s wedding should always be completely coordinated. In the end, our invites were in a completely different style to the table plan, and I wouldn’t pick a colour scheme again if you paid me!’”

9. Adopt the grimacing emoji as your ‘Bridesmaids Shopping Day’ face

Illustrator Janey Buckingham says you must be firm when buying bridesmaids dresses: “I have five bridesmaids (the wedding’s in August) and I found myself at a stalemate in a bridal shop. The dresses they wanted cost in excess of £2,000! I felt so guilty saying ‘no’, but I’m so glad I shopped around. The gowns I picked were a third of the cost.”

10. Dress like a loo-roll cover to please your mum

For Grace Fields, the biggest purchase of all was the wedding dress. “I’m so glad I thought outside the box when it came to wedding dress shopping. I did the usual try on in bridal shops. Of course, mum loved everything I hated! Fortunately, I convinced her that armed with ideas we could go to vintage shops, makers and seamstresses on Etsy to make ‘the one’ I wanted.”

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