1. Planning too many things into one day.
You might be the kind of person who likes sticking to a schedule to the smallest details and absolutely by the minute, I don't know. But believe me when I say your guests probably won't be, especially if it's a summer wedding and they're just looking to chill and enjoy themselves, and as the wedding day goes on trying to keep to a timetable while not impossible does become more and more challenging, and although I may not know you dear reader, one thing I can pretty much guarantee is regardless of your wedding timetable, "stress" will not be scheduled in at any point that day.
People take longer than normal to do anything on a wedding day, because like I said they want to relax as well as celebrate your wedding day. There doesn't need to be a rotation in activities or planned events every hour, relax and enjoy!
2. Cocktail hour doesn’t have to be 1 hour.
This is carrying on a bit from my first point, but actually an hour can go quite fast if you have couples photos, group photos, congratulatory hugs, canapés and fizz drinking, trying to get round as many of your guests as you can, and potentially using a lawn game that you hired with your guests so they have something to do in that time.
Giving yourself an extra half an hour though can work wonders and alleviate the stress of trying to fit lots of things in. Plus if you have nibbles no one is going to be starving, and can wait a bit longer for dinner (and that's saying something coming from me as a big food lover!).
If you're having micro wedding, it might just be nicer to have half an hour or so of congratulatory hugs and fizz drinking, a few group photos and then go straight into dinner, so the time doesn't drag, totes up to you!
3. Wedding cake – plans for actually eating it!
I've been to quite a few weddings now where the wedding cake is actually the dessert at dinner, genius!
Think about it, most people won't have wondered off between mains and desserts, so it's a great time to cut your cake (make sure you do mention this before you start dinner and in your wedding schedule for the day though so people know), plus you make sure that most of the cake does actually get eaten too, and everyone would have got a slice.
You don't have to do this of course, but please don't neglect that gorgeous wedding cake and make sure you have plans for displaying it beautifully, cutting it and getting it eaten by as many of your guests as possible.
4. Not planning enough time to get your dress on.
Make sure EVERYONE else getting ready with you is dressed first, and about 30 minutes before you have to leave get your dress on.
Some people advise earlier than this but in my opinion there's more chance you'll get something spilt on the dress, and your nerves might reach dizzying heights if it's a longer time than that, or you'll just get impatient and want to go because you're ready so early.
Trust me though, it might not take half an hour to get in your dress, but it's better to have too much time than not enough.
5. Planning too many group photos.
Yep. The dreaded groups. The rumours are true, they can be a bloody nightmare. Everyone likes having them after, but doing them is a whole different issue.
Doing group photos will probably take longer than you think they will. I learned this really early on in my career. Mainly because most people don't like doing group photos and no one wants to be bossed around on a wedding day so guests take longer than normal to do anything on time. They want to have fun, they want to chat with family and friends, they want to go and get a drink and be able to go to the bathroom whenever they like!
Don't do more than 10 different groups, and if it takes less than 45 minutes, result! You can just chill and spend quality time with your guests before the next section of the day.
6. Trying to be too cool with the playlist in the evening.
Cheesy classics, even the cheesy modern classics, go A LONG WAY on a wedding day.
Please don't make the mistake of banning too many artists or certain songs at your wedding, because people on mass just won't dance to songs they don't know, and you probably have a wide range of people as your guests.
A Robbie Williams hit, Mr Brightside, ABBA, Bruno Mars, Spice Girls, 90's club classics or even some bangers from the 70's and 80's, if you wanna get people dancing bring out the cheese and have fun!
7. No plans for bad weather.
Let's be real, if you're in the UK the weather can be incredibly unpredictable, and I'm a big believer in having something and not needing it than the other way round!
If you're not in a venue with a roof or even just the ceremony outdoors, at least have one back up plan, because you really might need it, and trying to devise a plan the morning of is stress that no one needs.
Plus something that people don't always think of is it might not be raining that day, but it might have humped it down before the day, and if you're having a ceremony outside chairs might sink into the ground, and people too unfortunately, so just be careful.
8. Don’t think about buying a second pair of wedding shoes, just do it!
Alright I borrowed that a bit from Nike's advertising campaigns at the end there, but hey, if you want to buy a comfortable pair of Nike trainers (I like many am partial to a snazzy pair of Air Force 1's), or a cool pair of Converse like I did on our wedding day, please just buy them.
I am not bad mouthing heels at all, and some people are more used to wearing them than others, but even the most heel savvy people will struggle in them for an entire day, and if you can't treat yourself to two pairs of shoes on your own wedding day when can you?!
As soon as we were out of the registry office as a newly married couple, pretty much the first thing I did was change out of my lovely but not so comfy Irregular Choice heels and whacked my Converse All Stars on, and I am so glad I had that choice.
9. Getting peer pressured into a wedding you don’t want.
Even though this is a piece of advice that is in nearly every article about wedding planning, I still see stories online and listen to people talk about making compromises for family and friends, even though it makes them miserable and potentially costs them money they didn’t want to spend.
Everyone has their own opinions and has their own tastes and ideas as to what "the perfect wedding day" consists of. Always listen to other peoples advice especially if they've got married and have had to plan a wedding, but if you really don't think something is right for you, be brave and do what will make you both happy.
Have a small wedding if you want one, have a huge one if you want that instead, buy the wedding dress you love but your grandma will hate, it's your bloody day!
10. BUTTON HOLES
A recent study conducted by Holly Cade Photography, concluded that 98% of people don't know how to put a button hole on, including me! They are fiddly and tricky to get on making it look good and not ruining the flowers or the pin.
So my advice would be to ask your florist for tips and watch videos online to help with that. Oh and traditionally mens button holes go on their left and woman's go on their right (so the other way round when looking at them, mens on your right, woman's on your left). Many people ask me that so that bit I can help you with.
Also fellas try and work out how you're going to do your tie etc before the day, although if you are looking up how-to videos on youtube or getting your mates to do it they do make funny photos so not all is lost!