Wedding Planner Shares Mistakes Couples Make + How to Fix Them

  • I’m a wedding planner who’s seen couples make common mistakes before their big day.
  • Set your RSVP deadline a week before you need a count to avoid a last-minute rush.
  • Don’t blow your entire budget for the venue and make sure you get your marriage license on time.

As a wedding planner who has hosted over 50 ceremonies, I know that every choice you make for your big day can feel like a mistake. Everyone has an opinion, and sometimes no one is happy.

So here are 10 real mistakes that couples often make, along with my tips for avoiding them.

If you set the RSVP date too late, you may feel extra pressure

You’ll still have to track down late RSVPs, so save yourself a last-minute rush and set the due date at least a week before you actually need the final count.

You’ll likely need to send this number to your caterer or venue about two weeks before your wedding, so that extra time gives you that much-needed buffer.

Be sure to eat on the big day

Bride in white dress helping herself to food at her wedding

You can ask someone to bring you a plate of food while you prepare.

RK Studio/Dean Sanderson/Getty Images

Caught up in the whirlwind of their wedding day, many couples forget to eat.

So charge up a VIP wedding with the goal of bringing you a meal, ideally before you’re done getting ready.

Don’t forget to thank your sellers

Whether it’s a generous tip, a kind word at the end of the party, or a glowing online review, thank your vendors.

Wedding vendors sometimes work long hours for low pay because they want to serve couples. Many of us live for your thanks.

You may regret having drunk too much the day before

Although planning a wedding can cause many people to drink, avoid excessive drinking in the days leading up to the wedding.

Your body – and your wedding photos – will thank you.

Don’t blow your budget by booking a venue first

a wedding venue banquet hall with white chairs and tables set up

It’s easy to spend the majority of your budget on the site.


Couples often rush into booking a venue only to find they’ve just spent their entire budget, so it’s crucial to know what you both want to prioritize.

Talk to your partner about why you are getting married in the first place, and use these answers to develop your wedding mission statement. Only then should you start making deposits.

Obtain your marriage license in advance

Even though starting a legal marriage is technically the reason everyone is together, many couples forget to apply for a license.

Mark this date on your calendar early and keep an eye out for any waiting periods before marriage required by the place where you are getting married.

No need to blame yourself for asking for things that matter to you

Especially during the pandemic, many couples feel guilty or ashamed of setting boundaries that matter to them, such as requiring all guests and in-person vendors to be vaccinated.

Setting boundaries can be emotionally complicated, but I encourage you and your partner to remember that you are the hosts of this event, so you can set the rules.

Couples often rush through the ceremony

couple getting married in a venue with orange wood finishes

Think about how you can make your ceremony special.

Kelvin Murray/Getty Images

Many couples tell me they only want a 10 minute ceremony, which is such a shame because it’s what makes your wedding more than just an overpriced party.

Instead of skirting around it, focus on how you want to feel at the start of your marriage and how you can accommodate that in your ceremony. You will be surprised how little time it adds to the whole day.

The people who support your marriage financially will probably want to have a say.

Think about who is on the “board of directors” – the people who contribute financially to the event – of your wedding.

There’s no shame in accepting money as long as you and your partner acknowledge that person gets a vote. If that mindset isn’t right for you, revisit your mission statement and figure out how you can achieve that goal with less money.

Don’t start your marriage on autopilot

Planning a wedding can quickly become overwhelming and many people will shut their doors.

If you feel this happening, take a break. The last thing you want is to be a zombie at the start of your marriage.

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