From breeches of etiquette to grossly exceeding your budget to not planning for common mishaps there are a lot of mistakes a couple can make on their wedding day and in the planning. Guests easily make mistakes as well. You may think it is your day so your rules, and for the most part, it is. You are the host and hostess, however, and your guests and general etiquette is your responsibility. Here are some common faux pas and how to avoid them.
Throwing the Budget to the Wind
Maybe you set up a budget before you did any research on what you wanted for your special day. Or maybe the dress you just had to have doubled your spending on apparel. Even the best laid plans get led astray. The last thing you want to do is throw the budget you set to the wind and start your marriage in thousands of dollars of debt. The budget you first agreed to has its purpose. The end number is probably one you feel comfortable spending at this point in your life. You really want to try to stick as close to it as you possibly can. Shop around. Make a few concessions. If you over spend in one category cut back in another. You can have a beautiful wedding without blowing the savings you have accumulated for your first house. Do your research on how to cut costs without cutting quality.
Marriage License Mistakes
Some states have a few days waiting period on the marriage license. Others have other restrictions. You want to make sure you know the policies in your area well before the wedding date. Always file with plenty of time to allow for mistakes. Also, if one member of the happy couple has been divorced you may be required to bring documentation of the finalized divorce in order to file. Planning for these things ahead of time helps make sure there are no hitches on your wedding day.
Inviting Too Many Guests
Not everyone you invite will attend. However you cannot invite 300 people assuming only 200 will come. You want to make sure your venue has the room to accommodate everyone you invite and your budget will allow for it. You want to assume at least 80% of the people you invite will attend. Also even after the final guest count you want to leave yourself a cushion of 5-10 people. Most caterers can adjust for a handful of guests but with many more you may be forced to turn people away at the door.
Last Minute Beauty Treatments
Every bride wants to look their best on their big day. Make sure to leave things like tanning and facials for at least a week before the wedding. Adverse reactions are often unexpected results of such things. Now is not the time to try something new. If it is something you really want done make sure to try a test run well in advance. Also leave yourself a week buffer before the wedding. Reactions are much easier to hide if there has been some time passed since the onset.
Following, and Telling Your Guests About, the Rules of Your Venue
Many places of worship have rules. Some require head coverings. Others forbid flash photography or bare shoulders. You want to make sure you and your guests are in compliance with these. You chose your venue for a reason so you want to respect it and not place your officiant in an awkward position. Printing the rules of the house in the program can be an easy fix and this is also a great place to explain any rituals of your ceremony some guests may not understand. Don’t leave your guests in the dark and counting the minutes until the reception.
Saving the Toasts for Late in the Reception
There are countless stories of toasts gone wrong at wedding receptions. One of the best ways to avoid this is to have the toasts given early in the evening before anyone has had too much to drink. Do you really want the best man telling stories of all the escapades he and the groom participated in as bachelors?
Being (not so) Fashionably Late
Your wedding is not like a dinner party. Under no circumstances do you want to arrive late. In fact get there early if possible. You are the focus of the day. Being late will leave people talking but not in a good way. This also applies for the reception. Plan to take as many of your pictures as you can before the ceremony or have a time lapse between your ceremony ending and the beginning of your reception. The party tends to wait on you and this includes the food line so you don’t want to be late. A cocktail hour can curb some of this but still only allows for a few minutes leave way. If you are not there to receive your guests make sure to thank them all individually throughout the night. They came to your special day and in many cases brought you a present. Make sure to greet and thank them all.