11 Wedding Pitfalls Every Couple Should Know | sheerluxe.com
The question's been popped, the champagne has flowed – now it’s time to start planning the big day. We spoke to Charlotte Ricard-Quesada, founder of bespoke event-planning service La Fête to find out the dos and don’ts all couples should know…
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DO: Have An Open And Frank Discussion With Your Partner

“Will your engagement be long or short? When do you anticipate getting married? Where? How? It might seem like jumping the gun, but having this chat keeps communication channels open and allows you to understand where the other is coming from. If either of you have an especially pushy family, chat it all through before announcing your happy news – you’ll present a united front and won’t get railroaded by your well-intentioned loved ones.”

DON’T: Underestimate The Cost

“Creating a wedding budget is difficult – most couples have never dealt with something like it before. The biggest mistake is the underestimation of certain costs, particularly catering – be prepared for it to be your biggest expense. Also, be mindful not to dedicate excessive amounts of money to your venue, as this could see you scrimping on decorations, entertainment and food. Pick a venue that fits your budget but gives you enough financial headroom to splurge on external suppliers and one-of-a-kind personal touches.”

DO: Pick Members Of The Wedding Party Carefully

“Pick people you know you can rely on and who will be there for you, not just on the big day, but throughout the process. It’s likely there will be moments of tension with friends and/or family, but always be sure to approach issues calmly and factually, with as much kindness as possible. The same goes for problematic in-laws. The key thing to remember is you don’t owe anybody a privileged position in your wedding: just be kind, calm and honest, and pick your battles carefully.”

DO: Remember That Size Matters

“Each wedding is different and there is no universal guest list rule. Some couples only invite a handful of carefully selected people each, while others send out 300 invitations. Decide what size wedding you want, then pick a venue with the adequate capacity for your maximum number of guests – this will at least enforce a limit. Then, invite who you actually want to be there. Try to avoid polite invitations you know will be declined (it will save you money on printing and postage). Remember guest lists fluctuate depending on the culture you’re marrying into (or are from). If it’s an option, consider splitting traditions with separate events, such as a larger celebratory party but a smaller ceremony, so you can get the best of both worlds.”

DO: Think About The Children

“If you've chosen to have children at your wedding, make sure there's a safe, dedicated space where they can play and nap during the reception. Furnish it with games, soft toys, colouring books and portable mattresses. You could also have a projector and DVD player to entertain older children. You might even think about having a babysitter, so that parents can fully enjoy the party. It’s quite normal (expected, even) for parents to split this cost, so check your guests are happy to pay if you’re not willing to cover it. If you don’t want children at your wedding, make it clear from the start – add a polite sentence on your invitations, guest information card and wedding website, and speak about it to those guests with children directly, as they might feel entitled to bring them, regardless.”

DO: Make A Pro/Con List To Narrow Down Venues

Make sure to visit your shortlisted venues as soon as possible – you won’t know until you’re there in person whether it’s the right one. And be sure to ask plenty of questions. Go with a fully prepared list of queries and take notes and photos. You’d be amazed how quickly you can forget or mix up the details. To aid your final decision, draw up the pros and cons of each venue. Just remember not to spend three quarters of your budget on a beautiful setting – no matter how stunning the location, the rest of your wedding will look and feel cheaper if you blow most of the money up front.”

DON’T: Forget About The Logistics 

“It’s easy to get wrapped up in your dream venue when visiting different locations, but always ask yourself the right – and important – questions. Will delivery vans be able to access on the day through a narrow lane? How will guests get there? Is there electricity/plumbing (especially for outdoor weddings)? Is there sufficient accommodation nearby? All these considerations will likely add to the cost for a more remote wedding, so think it through and budget accordingly.”

DON’T: Rely On Venue Managers 

“Remember the venue is their top priority and, as much as they want you to have a great day, they won’t be in your corner as much as your wedding planner. They also won’t have the capacity or time to source the added extras you might want – particularly in terms of decorations, flowers or favours – so defer to your own planner to help with the minutiae.”

DON’T: Ignore Dietary Requirements

“First and foremost, have a menu that fits any specific dietary requirements for you and your partner. If you're both vegan, your menu will obviously follow suit, but if only a few of your guests are vegan, the menu doesn’t need to be tailored to them – it might suffice simply to have a vegetarian option. Collect any guest dietary requirements with the RSVPs, create a chart and see who falls into which category. From there, you can share this with your caterer to come up with the right menu. If you’re trying to budget for an open bar, think about including a limited number of drinks, say maybe three mixers for guests to choose from, as well as any leftover wine and champagne.”

DO: Your Research On A Photographer

“Scour Pinterest, Google, Instagram and directories to get a flavour of what’s out there. From there, create a shortlist of your favourite styles. Then, go with your gut. You might be hesitating between a photographer who creates moodier and striking wedding imagery, and one who creates lighter, more ethereal portraits. Just think: which one is a better reflection of you and your partner? If they’re separate organisations, check the photographer and videographer have equivalent styles and put them in touch so they can speak about the day in advance. At the wedding, use the first part of your cocktail reception for photos with your bridal party and portraits of you and your partner. Then, set aside a little more time for extra photos around sunset, provided the weather is good.”

DON’T: Forget To Book A Videographer

“Not only does it complement the photos, a video brings your special day back to life time and again. Just don’t think cheaper is better. Pick photographers and videographers not on price, but because they are right for you: it’s not the area that you want to be scrimping on. Finally, don’t expect your photos and videos immediately. This especially applies in the summer, when wedding season is usually in full swing.”

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