Wedding planning can be overwhelming and might take you by surprise. It’s not something most people are used to as for many people they’re a once in a lifetime event. Everyone is likely to make a mistake somewhere along the way. Hopefully these will be small and caught early-on while they’re easily managed. Here are five of the most common mistakes you might make while planning your wedding and ways to avoid them.

1) Making Big Choices Before Your Guest List or Budget

Two factors are going to dictate almost all of your other wedding choices and need to come first. It’s easier to go all out for your guests when you have less guests to pay for — meaning that if you have a large guest list, you might not be able to afford elaborate wedding favors or may have to have less appetizer options. Your budget is probably the least-fun part of wedding planning, but it helps to make a realistic budget first.

Also, remember to actually make your guest list instead of a rough head count. You might plan to invite about fifty people and then realize there are nearly a hundred people that you can’t imagine not being there. In addition to being a determining factor for food and favors, these calculations will also help you figure out your venue needs. If you know your price range and that you need a venue that holds seventy people, it can help you narrow down the search.

2) Not Determining Who Is In Charge Of What

When you’re thinking about wedding planning, you might assume that everything needs to be a joint decision. While parts of your wedding definitely should be, you’ll also find that some tasks works better for one partner or the other. One of you may not care about flowers, and you’ll just frustrate each other if you wait for them to have a meaningful contribution to bouquet talk. However, maybe they’re more interested in the food or the music for the ceremony. Split up tasks based on interests and give one another veto power and you’re going to get more work done with no one wanting to pull their hair out!

3) Try An Unhealthy Diet

A lot of wedding media will encourage brides to lose weight or get in shape for their wedding. You can buy t-shirts with slogans like “sweating for the wedding” on them. While improving your diet is and getting more active is always healthy advice, it should be done under a doctor’s supervision. You should have realistic expectations. Crash diets aimed at making you two or more dress sizes smaller fast often come at the cost of your health and the weight can bounce right back when you return to your normal habits.

In addition to strain on your health, crash diets can also cause trouble when it comes to making sure that your dress fits you perfectly. You shouldn’t buy a dress that is sizes too small as a “motivator.” If you don’t meet that perhaps unrealistic goal you’ll feel awful and still not have a dress. On the flipside, if you lose a lot of weight you may have to go in for expensive last minute alterations that can change the look of the dress you fell in love with. Instead focus on smaller goals like toning up and eating healthier so you have more energy to make it through your wedding.

4) Being Afraid To Ask For Help

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming. It’s a big event — much bigger than the dinner or birthday parties that are normally the extent of most people’s planning experience. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, you might find friends and family who are happy to help you out. A professional wedding planner can also be a big help, and might save you money in the long run in addition to helping you manage your stress. Your bridesmaids will probably cheerfully pitch in when it’s time to address your invitations, and your Mom may be an asset when it’s time to make your seating chart.

This might also come in when you’re trying to stretch your budget. Your aunt might offer to help with your flowers as a wedding gift and a baker friend may offer to make your cake. Keep in mind that some things just go better with a professional. If your friend isn’t normally used to cooking a large meal, they probably shouldn’t try and cater your wedding for you as a gift. However if someone has skills you can use, don’t be afraid to take on their offers of help.

5) Forgetting To Budget For Accessories

For a lot of brides, their attire is a big part of the wedding budget. When you’re trying on dresses you may find yourself being tempted to push your budget. Pro tip: don’t try on that dress you can’t afford for a bit of fun. You’ll end up either blowing your budget or heartbroken. Instead figure out what you love about it and see if your stylist can help you find a dress in your budget that checks the same boxes. However, even if your dress is perfectly in budget…don’t forget to budget for your accessories. Bridal veils and tiaras may cost more than you expect and you’ll also likely want new shoes and jewelry. These can lead to unexpected costs. Factor these in when you’re determining your attire budget.

Have you found yourself stumbling during wedding planning or learned mistakes to avoid the hard way? Share some of your tips with us in the comments!

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