To have the big day you want, you know that you need to plan ahead. So like any bride, you’ve probably written a long list of wedding planning tasks which you are ticking off one by one.

However, sometimes the secret of planning something perfectly is knowing what to leave out as well as what to add to your list. Knowing what is unnecessary and superfluous. Knowing what you can do without.

So here’s our definitive list of what NOT to do when you’re planning your wedding day. There’s plenty of advice on what you should do but here’s what you should be avoiding.

wedding dress

beaded bodice

1. Going wedding dress shopping with a fixed idea of what you want

Making appointments with bridal shops and going in to try on your dream bridal dress is one of the nicest tasks awaiting you. But don’t walk into the shop saying: “I want an ivory, full length, strapless gown with a crystal beaded bodice.” Why? Because in a good shop, the assistant will be able to assess your figure and know what will suit you best. Obviously, you can keep your dream dress in mind but also try on whatever is suggested to you, you may have an amazing surprise and fall in love with a dress you never thought of, that makes you look really beautiful.

rustic chair backs

Don’t overestimate the time you have available for a hand crafted wedding. It’s a big time commitment!

2. Trying to DIY everything yourself

Now, we love a DIY wedding as much as the next bride. It’s a wonderful way to make your big day completely personal to you. However, don’t take on too much. You really can’t make your cake, your invitations, arrange your flowers and decorate the marquee yourself. Far better to DIY just one or two things and do them really well. Your save the date cards for example or baskets for flower girls to hold confetti. Both of these can be organised well in advance of the wedding. What you really don’t want to be doing is burning the midnight oil night after night calligraphing complicated table plans and invitations yourself. You’ll get stressed out and exhausted.

winter bride

Be prepared whatever the weather!

3. Forgetting to make contingencies for the weather

Obviously you don’t want to have rain of monsoon proportions falling on your big day. But on the other hand, a heatwave can bring its own problems. Let’s talk rain. If it looks like it’s going to rain on your wedding day the best thing to do is to source some umbrellas for the guests and put them outside the church or ceremony. Ask the best man and the ushers to show people where they are. What about snow? If you’re marrying in mid-winter, then you might like to think about your venue, is it going to be accessible if there’s a sudden snow storm? If you and your guests have to drive down narrow country lanes to reach it then there might be a problem.

And as the bride, you might also like to think about your shoes. If it’s raining or snowing then you might like to invest in some wedding wellies so you can walk around outside without ruining your delicate bridal shoes.

And what about heatwaves? Well, you can put parasols outside your venue and make sure that your reception room is adequately ventilated. If you’re having a marquee then that’s relatively simple as you can just have the sides taken down. But if you’re marrying in the conservatory of a venue, then it’s worth checking that it’s air conditioned or that the windows and doors can be opened fully.


Expect perfection

The other thing to remember is that no day ever goes exactly to plan. You may think you have every moment sorted out right down to the last second. But the reality is that something always goes a little awry somewhere. Maybe one of the young flower girls wakes up with chicken pox on the day of the wedding. Maybe there’s a hurricane heading towards your honeymoon destination.

So the thing NOT to do when you’re wedding planning is to expect perfection. It’s much more realistic to accept that there will be one or two unexpected hitches. And the way to deal with them? Take a deep breath, smile and accept that some things will always be beyond your control. And get on with enjoying your wedding day.