20 Common Wedding Mistakes and How to Avoid Making Them

Jo Nunney,
11 October 2021

Are you worried about making mistakes with your wedding planning? If you’re harbouring a hefty fear of missing something out, forgetting something important or monumentally messing something up, then this blog will help settle your mind a tad.

It’s okay to feel a little anxious about planning something so important, and it’s also completely natural! Bridezilla has her reasons: weddings can be stressful! There’s nothing wrong with learning from the mistakes of others. In fact, we absolutely insist that you do. We’ve shortlisted the twenty most common wedding whoopsies so you can be sure you don’t fall foul of these pesky planning pitfalls. Now’s the time to put an end to that niggly ‘what have I forgotten’ feeling.

Clumsy groom drops wedding cake

1. Blowing Your Budget


We know it seems an obvious one, but overspending has earned its spot as the number one wedding booboo.

It can be a struggle to stay on budget despite your best efforts. Depending on your general financial situation the repercussions of a ruptured wedding budget can be more than just a shoulder shrug and a ‘never mind’.

The pressure of going over budget can put a lot of pressure on your relationship. Your wedding is the most important day ever – we agree – so refusing to compromise seems reasonable at first. However, starting your marriage with debt and money worries will not make for the perfect wedding day!

Take time to really discuss and decide on your budget. Talk to family, do your sums on what you can afford now and decide how long you need to any additional money. Focus on finding a mutually acceptable budget and then agree to stick to it. If you need a little longer to save up, then you can still set a date, but maybe give yourself an extra year – it will fly by anyway! If you have a lucky windfall in the meantime – excellent – that can go towards luxuries that might not have been in the original plan.


2. Being Bullied Into Decisions


Learn to say no. Sometimes we are outright bullied into decisions, but more than often we are not-so-subtly manipulated into them. Pressures could come from friends, family, the wedding party, future in-laws or vendors. If you don’t learn to stand up for what you want then your plans and budget can start to slip out of your control.

If confrontation isn’t your thing then learn to postpone conversations! You needn’t always say yes or no on the spot. Ask for time to think about your options and then ask your partner for support if you do need to challenge others.

Agreeing to things just to please other people will leave you feeling bitter and resentful, and will probably come to the surface again at a later date. You might think you can ‘let this one thing go’ and then everyone will be happy. It’s a nice thought, but there will only be something else. Start as you mean – and deserve – to go on and make sure your decisions are actually yours.


3. Trying Too Hard To Please


Arguments with loved ones seem to sneak into every wedding known to man. Why does this happen when we set out so determined to please everyone? You have your answer right there. You cannot possibly please everyone. There are just too many of them!

There are bound to be decisions that divide opinion such as whether you invite children to your wedding day, whether you have a traditional ceremony or not, or if you ask your wedding guests to travel or fork out for accommodation at a pricey choice of wedding venue. If you aim to please everyone you will probably struggle.

Take the time to explain your decisions to your nearest and dearest upfront, but unapologetically. Explain how hard it is to please everyone and that you’re having to ask guests to understand that.

A compromise can sometimes help soften the blow of an unpopular decision. If you are not prepared to be the fourth generation to wear your great grandmother’s wedding veil, then explain the reasons for your decision, but also that you would like to use a piece of the fabric in your headdress.


4. Scrimping On Key Vendors


Scrimping on key wedding suppliers to make a financial saving may seem sensible at first but you may well regret not paying the extra to secure the ones you really wanted.

When comparing supplier quotes, some can seem pretty daunting at first glance. Higher prices might make you reluctant to commit to your favourite wedding photographer or the best band you have ever set ears on. Make sure you do your research and consider what’s included in each quote: qualification, service provision, reviews and contract terms. Suppliers will differ in price for a reason.

It’s amazing how we sacrifice our favourite wedding suppliers for cheaper alternatives, but then spend all that money we saved on impulsive little bits and pieces here and there without even realising. Your guests won’t necessarily notice if you decide against some rustic ribbon chair bows or upgrade their wedding favours, but you honestly would notice less than awesome wedding photos. Prioritise your budget on your key suppliers.


5. Letting Stress Ruin Your Day


Wedding planning can be stressful. Very stressful. Most couples report they felt the pressure a little during the run-up to their wedding day and if they say that they didn’t they’re probably fibbing.

Make a conscious effort to nurture each other and pay attention to your mental health. Look out for each other, schedule in couple-time that’s all about your relationship and not just about the wedding day. Why not read our tips on beating that Jonathan David Photography


6. Losing Sight Of The Important Things


Don’t forget what your wedding is actually all about; the two of you getting married! Nurture your relationship throughout your wedding planning stages and prioritise each other’s opinions over those of other wedding guests. You’ll need to master a key marriage skill: compromising. You are about to embark on a lifetime of joint decisions and your perfect day should be reflective of you as a couple.

What do we mean? Surely there’s no such thing as too relaxed? We literally just told you not to stress! We know. Let us explain:

Are you worrying that you’re possibly, maybe becoming a bit Bridezillaish? Did you catch a little glimpse of this new, touchy you when you told your sister the exact tone of blusher she needed to wear to your wedding? Queue the panic, followed by the apathy act. “I’m the most chilled out, blasé bride you will ever meet. I do not care.”

It’s not rude to be clear about your expectations – it’s essential. Trying too hard to appear chilled and relaxed can backfire. If you tell your wedding cake maker you trust her and she should do whatever she thinks best, then you can’t freak out if your cake is topped with a fondant Peppa Pig in a veil.


8. Forgetting About The Everyday Stuff


Have I got the house keys? Did I feed the cat? It’s completely understandable that mundane stuff goes out of the window on the day of your wedding. It’s fairly common for a wedding guest to have to shoot back to the hotel room because someone left their straighteners plugged in (yes you, Nicola).

Delegate all of the day to day stuff like caring for pets, locking up, parking cars and handling cash to a member of your wedding party so you can clear your mind of the daily clutter.


9. Forgetting To Eat


“I’m too nervous/excited/border-line manic to eat Mum”. EAT YOUR BREAKFAST. You may not feel like it at the time, but married couples will vouch how they barely touched their beautifully selected wedding food on the day as they just had too much going on. You need some fuel in your belly, or else be prepared to risk a faint! Foolish move. Just eat.


10. Drinking Too Much


You can see it happening, can’t you? At least one of you is at risk of drinking too much alcohol on your wedding day. Despite that nervous tummy that refused to eat breakfast you’ll sip away at the bubbly stuff all day long. As the day goes on, your alcohol saturation might do too. Getting tipsy at your wedding is fine, but not blotto. No. It’s not the time or the place to embarrass yourself or to have to hit the deck before your wedding guests leave.


11. Labels On Shoes


Take the labels off the bottom of your new shoes. Think about those kneeling at the alter shots. A bit of nail polish remover will do the trick for those resilient ‘we will not be moved’ gooey little blighters.


12. Skimming Over Ts & Cs


We know that terms and conditions are boring, but the unexpected can happen (thank you very much 2020). Take the time to study your wedding suppliers Ts & Cs.


13. Not Accepting Help


Never say never when it comes to accepting help. You’ve practised saying ‘no’ when you need to. Now learn to say ‘yes’. You are bound to receive kind offers of help when you announce your plans to marry. Don’t just politely say thank you and forget about them. You might feel like you can do it all alone, but there will come a day when you could use a little support. Say yes! Ask if you can take them up on their kind offer as your wedding plans progress.


14. D.I.Y. Disasters


The thought of D.I.Y. wedding projects can be very appealing. They will save you money, make the day more personal, they’ll be fun to do, and you can have exactly what you want.

Making items from scratch can become pricier than purchasing them due to the supplier’s bulk buying powers and their skills and experience which means fewer errors. If you want to take on a D.I.Y. project but you’re short on time or experience, then stick to few select projects. Aim to have your wedding crafts completed well in advance of your wedding day so that any bloopers can be resolved.


15. Rainy Day Fails


Hoping for the best, or just refusing to accept the possibility of bad weather on the day, is a head-in-the-sand error that you can easily avoid making.

Having a wet-weather plan might mean a little extra spend, but careful planning here can mean that no extra spend is ever a waste if it turns out to be a glorious day. If you book a gazebo, then fill it with games and seating so it will be a great addition to your day whatever the weather.

Don’t waste worry space over rain on your wedding day. Check out our rainy wedding tips and Prepare for puddles and put your mind at ease.


16. Messing Up Your Guest List


Getting your wedding guest numbers wrong can cause big problems. Take your time when putting together your perfect wedding guest list. There’s no rush and it’s important you get your numbers right.

Common boo-boos when planning guest lists include impromptu, polite invites that can’t really be catered for and inviting too many people on the assumption that some guests won’t be able to make it, and then they all show up! Be careful to be clear on your wedding invitations about who exactly is invited. Inviting ‘The Woods’ could be interpreted as including their kids, their cats and their great aunt.


17. Bored Guests


Whilst formal elements of your wedding day will have to be scheduled, there will be times when guests are left to their own devices. Keep your guests happy and occupied with wedding entertainment like magicians, musicians, or outdoor games.

Remember that a long ceremony or several consecutive wedding speeches can take their toll on your guest’s concentration levels. Try to keep formalities concise and fun as a priority.


18. Hungry Guests


Fulfilling the belly-needs of your guests will keep them engaged, enjoying themselves, and not sneaking off to find some sustenance elsewhere.

Weddings have a knack of starting around lunchtime, so by the time the service is over guests are often nursing growling tummies. Your guests will have been busy getting dolled up and travelling and may well have skipped their breakfast or lunch.

Make wedding catering timings clear on your wedding website or signage so your guests can grab a sandwich on their way if they need to. Think about providing nibbles or canapes to fill the gap between your wedding service and the wedding breakfast.

Your evening guests will need feeding too. It’s best to time your evening food so that day guests aren’t eating both of their meals too close together.


19. Failing To Circulate


Make sure you take time to circulate as a couple and thank everyone for joining you. If it’s a big event with lots of guests, then it’s easy to gravitate towards your favourite friends when you do have a spare moment. Remember that every guest has made an effort to be there, just for you. They won’t expect a lot of your time, but a ‘hello’ isn’t too much to ask.


20. Not Stopping To Smell The Roses


If we can give you one ‘fail’ to avoid, let it be this one. You have worked super-hard making this day happen. You’ve done amazing. Sit back for a moment and enjoy your wedding.

Look around at your wonderful family and friends and take a moment to appreciate how much support you have. Admire the room, enjoy the taste of the champagne, and watch everyone celebrating. Soak it all up.


Excellent work! That’s 20 mistakes you are NOT going to make. If you love a bit of planning and prep then why stop now. Check out more great wedding tips and advice on the Wedding Well blog!