Having worked in the wedding business since I was fifteen years old (OK, OK, so it’s only ten years, I’m 25) I’ve seen brides fall into trap after trap. I give my engaged friends the same advice and most of them have followed it. As Waterford’s “Social Media Coordinator”, I hereby present my list of the top five mistakes made by brides.
#5. Outdoor Ceremonies
Many brides have dreamed of an outdoor wedding their whole lives. Believe me, it’s more than it’s cracked up to be. There are just way too many variables with an outdoor wedding. I once attended a friend’s wedding on a perfect summer afternoon. It was 70 degrees and sunny. There was a light breeze, but not enough wind to disrupt anything. Perfect, right? No. We had little gnats buzzing in our ears the entire ceremony. Unless you’re getting married on a beach in Tahiti, I’d definitely reconsider if you’re thinking about an outdoor wedding. Advice: Choose a beautiful facility where you can host your ceremony and reception indoors, where the insects and the temperature are under your control!
Sometimes engaged couples think that their best option is to rent out an expensive facility that is not designed to host weddings. Because of this, they have to rent tables, chairs, linens, place settings and a dance floor, each with it’s own fees and headaches. They have to hire a caterer and service staff. Everything has to be done individually with individual contracts for each vendor. Unless you spend even more money to hire a planner who can organize all of this for you, your wedding planning experience will be filled with stress and many many expenses. Advice: Choose to hold your reception at a facility that is meant for weddings and that has in-house catering. This decision promises that your planning process will run much more smoothly.
Some brides think that they are doing their guests a favor by holding their reception at the same hotel where their guests are staying. Believe it or not, your guests do not want to spend their entire weekend in the same building. It’s a good idea to hold your reception in a separate location from where the guests are staying. Many hotels (like the Hilton Springfield, for example) offer free shuttles to and from the reception facility. Advice: Your guests will appreciate getting out of the hotel and being in a separate space for the ceremony and/or reception.
#2 All-in-One Deals
This may seem like the opposite of #4, but the lesson here is to choose a place that allows you to rent the space and pay for the food in one contract. At the same time, make sure that you still have enough freedom to choose from a menu with a lot of variety so that your personality as a couple can shine through. All-in-One deals may seem like the easiest route to take, but they often leave little to be decided by the bride and groom. Your menu, cake and room design may already be chosen for you. You do want to find a venue (like ours) that includes open bar in their pricing. There’s nothing more tacky than having a cash bar at your wedding, or having to close the var early because the alcohol that you pre-paid ran out! Advice: Find a reception facility that has food and rentals in one contract, but still leaves plenty of decisions up to you so that your event can be as unique as you are.
#1 Hidden Fees
Some facilities charge outrageously obnoxious fees. You may be charged a cake-cutting fee, per slice of cake that is cut. Keep in mind that you’ve already spent a ton of money on the actual cake. Does it really seem fair that you should have to pay a “corking” fee, on top of what you paid for the alcohol? No thanks. These fees are often in the “fine print”. Advice: You may think that the venue’s prices are amazing, but you may not be paying attention to these additional fees that add up very very quickly.
Weddings are wonderful and special occasions that should be remembered with beautiful memories. The planning process can and should be exciting and easy. Hopefully, this brief list of common pitfalls helps your planning process to go as smoothly as possible!
Best Wedding Wishes!