So in case you haven’t heard yet, we are celebrating our 10th year anniversary 😉 I know, I have been mentioning it A LOT! What can I say, we are proud of how far we have come. We have had the pleasure of planning some spectacular events for some amazing clients, and along the way we have learned a lot! There have been many bumps along the road (especially in the early days) that have made us a strong, well-oiled company. But we know you don’t have ten years to make mistakes and then try again. You are planning this wedding and have one chance to get it right. So here are ten mistakes we made (or saw a client of ours make) that you can learn from and avoid.

 

  1. Make sure to sample everything. Have a complete decor sample. Bring the EXACT table that will be used by your venue (sizes of tables vary great), get a sample linen and napkins, chargers, dish ware, silverware, and flatware from your caterer, and of course the floral. This is time consuming but you will be able to iron out any mistakes right then and there. You might be expecting wine colored roses to match your wine-colored chargers, and your florists shows up with a blood red rose! Aren’t you glad you are fixing this now and not freaking out on your big day…
  2. While lining an aisle with candles looks like a great idea. It is sooooo not! We created this aisle in the photo above many times at the gardens in Vizcaya. And 100% of the time, someone bumped into one and sent the glass crashing to the ground. Never failed. After the first time, we had a broom ready to go, but do yourself a favor and don’t line the entire aisle with them. One idea is to do a cluster at the entrance and another cluster by the sides of the arch only. That keeps the flames and glass away from guests.
  3. And on that note, watch where you put candles in an outdoor ceremony. Veils and tulle fly easily in the wind. We once had a bride’s Oscar de la Renta gown float right above a cluster of candles as she walked down the aisle. We gasped and held our breath, ready to run for a fire extinguisher if need be. My rule now is if anything is within 8’ of where the bride, bridesmaids, or guests will be, it has to be LED, or placed on top of a table within a glass vase.
  4. For an outdoor wedding, unless your venue is in or near a desert, get a tent. You just spent way too much money on this day. More than you will ever spend on another party in your lifetime (except maybe your kids’ weddings). One rogue cloud can COMPLETELY ruin everything. After ten years we have learned this one the hard way. We no longer do weddings outdoors without a tent. I can never again look at a beautiful bride bursting into tears over her ruined day. I just won’t do it.
  5. Don’t do everything YOURSELF. You can not hold the reigns until the day before and then expect to pass them to someone that is not 100% informed on everything. You will not be able to give them control and let go to enjoy your day. So decide, will you be the planner on your wedding day, or the bride, because you can not be both. So get a day-of-coordinator, willing friend, or co-worker to go through everything with you one month before the event. And do not chose your mom or maid of honor for this please. This is their special day with you, not their day to fight with the limo company over how the driver is late.
  6. Prepare for the wind. I see a lot of people planning outdoor weddings preparing for the rain, but many do not think about the wind. The wind will easily knock over tall vases, sweep place cards across the floor, and ruin even the most coiffed hair style. So make sure to prepare for that too. Have gravel and double stick tape to anchor down light items. Make sure your tent company leaves you walls in case you need to cover one side. And be ready to place centerpieces directly on the table, instead of tall pedestals.
  7. Bring your own steamer. Many hotels claim they have steamers for the wedding party, and then on the day-of it is being used by house keeping or another guest. One time we had this happen, so this five-star hotel was nice enough to take all the clothes and have it pressed and delivered back to the rooms. Problem was, the groom’s shirt never made it back! So bring your own portable steamer, here is a link to my favorite one by Conair, and NEVER let anyone take the clothes.
  8. How long do you think setup will take? Now double that. Unless you have been doing this for 10 years, setup is going to take you double the time. If you are a DIYer, I HIGHLY recommend choosing a venue that will let you set up the day before. This will help you by leaps and bounds.
  9. Always prepare for more guests. We send the Save the Date, the invitations, ask for RSVP, text guests, and then call for one final reminder. And yet we STILL get some surprise guests at over 50% of the weddings we plan. We don’t sweat it anymore because we are always prepared. So make sure to rent one extra small table, linen, and 6 chairs. 50% chance you will need it.
  10. It is not worth it if you don’t enjoy yourself. Really, if you are going to stress that much or overspend that much, then just elope and save the money and drama for your marriage. Every step of the way, remind yourself to find the joy in the planning and in the anticipation of marrying the love of your life. If you don’t take time to enjoy, this is the biggest regret you will have when the party is all over. Above all, don’t make this mistake.