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What no one tells you about wedding planning

Weddings! Squee! They’re exciting, fun and an awesome celebration of the love between a couple. They’re also expensive and confusing to plan, especially if you don’t know to avoid some of these common yet often unspoken wedding planning pitfalls.

Wedding planning |

Photo credit: Andrei Spirache / Photographer’s Choice RF / Getty Images

It’s not just your day

You might think your big day is all about you, but very quickly you will learn that, outside of the ceremony, it’s one big bash for your invitees, especially your family. In the lead-up to your big day, you will have to make concessions to all parties involved, from food (dietary restrictions) to venue location.

Your big day will cost more than a car

Today the average cost of a wedding runs around $30K. That’s a pretty wicked chunk of change. Unless you plan on throwing a garden party or getting hitched at city hall, being comfy with big price tags will save you many a headache throughout the planning process.

Hit the ground running

Enjoy your time of newly engaged bliss. Drink Champagne, tweet the world… But within two weeks of getting pre-hitched, it’s time to start planning. It’s a dog-eat-dog wedding planning world, and whoever gets to a venue or caterer wins. It’s a sport. So get ready for it.

Why get married in the same-old, same-old venue? Check out these alternative wedding venues >>

DIY is best, but you can’t do it all

Planning to do a host of wedding projects yourself could save you a ton of money. But unless you want to sift through craft stores or bake cupcakes from E-day until W-Day, it’s best you be honest with yourself about what you can take on.

Trimming the guest list doesn’t equal trimming the cost

Head count affects your budget, but so do a whole lot of other things, like the cost of the bar (open or cash), outfits, decorations, etc. Go overboard on any one of these, and no amount of guest-cutting will save your budget. Chop the extras first, and then move on to figuring out who you really want at your big day.

Looking for some fun “big day” ideas? See our favourite wedding bloggers >>

A cocktail party is no cheaper than having a sit-down dinner

This might seem like a cruel joke, but it’s true. Cocktail parties cost just as much as a sit-down dinner. The price tag is just made up of labour (people to serve appetizers to guests).

People are afraid to not have a sit-down dinner

Maybe it’s because formal dining at a wedding is commonplace, but most people are scared by the idea of doing something different, such as cocktails, food stations — you name it. Common concerns include people not having enough to eat and progression of the reception (cocktails, dinner, speeches, dancing) being thrown off. If you want to have an alternative reception, then the key to avoiding these pitfalls is to hire a catering/event-planning company that specializes in unique events. That’s their job. They will ensure no one goes hungry or leaves unhappy. You can make your big day whatever you want it to be.

(Pro note: If you do opt for something informal, then ensure you have enough seating — from chairs and couches to stools — for at least 80 per cent of your guests.)

Spend money on three things: photographer, food, DJ

These are the only things you and your guests will remember about the night. Oh, and maybe if you run out of booze. So spend your money where it matters.

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