By Christiana Halvorson of Xie Creative
NOT HIRING A DAY-OF COORDINATOR
Planning a wedding is stressful, so when your wedding day finally comes around, do you really want to be barraged with questions about last minute details? Hiring a day-of coordinator allows you to relax and enjoy your big day without having to remember to tip the bartenders or put your suitcase in the getaway car before the end of the reception. Hiring a day-of coordinator also allows your family members and bridal party to actually enjoy the day at a fraction of the cost that a full wedding planner costs.
NOT PLANNING AN UNPLUGGED CEREMONY
Unplugged ceremonies are a hot topic in the wedding industry right now, but I can tell you from experience both as a photographer and a coordinator, you can't go wrong with it. You're spending a lot of money on a professional who will capture beautiful photos during your ceremony -- let them do what you're paying them to do, and ask if you can share those photos with your guests in lieu of having camera phones. Many photographers have perfect examples of a beautiful shot being ruined by Uncle Jim’s cell phone blocking the view.
NOT EATING DURING THE RECEPTION
Your wedding day will speed by, and by the time the reception comes around, a lot of brides forget to schedule time to sit down and concentrate on eating that delicious meal they spent months planning. Talk to your coordinator or caterer ahead of time to see if they can set aside a plate for you and your hubby to eat later if you don't get a chance to sit down. If they can’t, then designate your maid of honor as the person in charge of making up a plate just for you and forcing you to sit and eat.
NOT BRINGING A CHANGE OF CLOTHES FOR THE PRE-HONEYMOON HOTEL
If you're not hopping right on a plane for the honeymoon, then most likely you'll spend the night at a local hotel. Don't forget to pack an overnight bag for the pre-honeymoon so that you're not stuck with your wedding dress as your pajamas! It’s a good idea to pack a small bag with the essentials (like shampoo) so that you can let down your hair and relax on your first married night!
NOT SCHEDULING A TRIAL MAKEUP/HAIR/FITTING SESSION
Many brides who are on a budget avoid spending any extra money on "unnecessaries". Any makeup artist, hair dresser or seamstress will advise you to schedule a trial run to make sure everything is exactly how you like it. Make sure you also specify any colors or styles you DON'T like during this time, too. It will help your stylist perfect your look and make you a happy bride on your wedding day. Stress can also do weird things to our bodies, so make sure you have your dress re-fitted about two weeks before the big day to make sure you can wear it all night without it falling off!
Photo by Laci Frazier
NOT CLARIFYING YOUR PREFERRED PHOTO LIST AHEAD OF TIME
Unless you specify certain shots with your photographer before your wedding, most photographers will either use a standard photo list or feel it out. It's very important, though, to let your photographer know of any important group photos that are important to you or of any "surprise" elements that are unique to your wedding. A good photographer will be able to pick up on most of these elements without much warning, but if a certain photo is really important to you -- forewarn them!
Photo by Laci Frazier
NOT SNACKING IN YOUR DOWN TIME
Wedding days are full. of. waiting. Especially for bridal parties. While you and your groom are off taking photos, your bridesmaids and groomsmen are probably sitting in a back room. Often brides will remember to schedule breakfast while they're getting ready, but if your ceremony isn't until 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon, that bagel won't carry you very far! Make sure to have some munchies ready to go for your down time as well as plenty of water!
NOT TAKING TEMPERATURE INTO ACCOUNT FOR AN OUTDOOR WEDDING
If you have to pass out fans or blankets to your guests before the ceremony, you're doing something wrong. Outdoor weddings are beautiful... but only when the temperature calls for it. A July wedding in the South is not the time to ask your guests to sit outside in the sun for an hour and a half waiting for you. Take into account your guests' health conditions and ages and spare them the sweat and shivers! Indoor weddings can be beautiful too, and you can always schedule your photos for outdoors and spare your guests the uncomfortable temperatures.
NOT INCLUDING MORE FRIENDS IN YOUR BRIDAL PARTY
Think about it this way -- is it worth losing or damaging a friendship to have one more friend stand up with you (for free) on your wedding day wearing a dress that you didn't pay for? Many brides think that having a large wedding party is a pain, but is it really better to hurt someone's feelings or make them feel left out just for the sake of having a small bridal party? The top regret I've heard from brides post-wedding is that they didn't include enough people and let them know how special they are. Being asked to be a bridesmaid is an honor, and since it doesn't cost the bride any additional money, isn't it better to be blessed with all of your friendships front and center? Be smart about the people you choose to include in your bridal party, but also realize that if you have enough friends to have a large bridal party, celebrate it and feel blessed!
Photo by Laci Frazier
NOT HIRING A VIDEOGRAPHER
Your wedding day will go very, very fast. It's much better to have too much documentation of your wedding than none at all. Wedding videos don't have to be a boring documentary; many videographers explore a photojournalistic, creative style and can create a gorgeous cinema-like movie of your day! There are many details, expressions and moments that you won't personally be able to experience on that day, but your videographer can capture in action for you to discover after the fact! And let’s face it, who doesn’t want a movie made about their special day?
Christiana moved to Charleston in 2012 to start XIE Creative, a bridal broker business that she dreamed up as a teenager. When she’s not busy making dreams happen, she enjoys paddleboarding, traveling and drinking red wine. Her ultimate bucket list wish is to visit all 7 continents before she’s 35.
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