Wedding Planning Tips & Mistakes to Avoid

Planning a wedding can be chaotic. There are so many things to do and remember in the months leading up to your big day. Here's my advice from personal experience:

#1: How many invitations should you order? One of the biggest mistakes I made was ordering way too many invitations. So you're inviting 150 people? You don't need 150 invitations. Seems like a no-brainer but I've talked to a few other brides that made the same mistake! Remember you only need 1 invitation per household and households are usually 2+ guests.

#2: Create a list of must-take photos for your photographer: Many brides put effort and time into creating cute DIY wedding decor so make sure your photographer captures all the details as well as the Pinterest-inspired photos you love.
S&S Photography

#3: Use an online wedding planning tool: I used Martha Stewart's wedding tools which was a lifesaver! I used these tools almost daily to make sure I was on track:
- Checklist: provides a weekly checklist with deadline dates and alarms if you happen to forget anything. 
- Budget Calculator & Planner: helps track & record all expenses and when payments are due. 
- Guest list tool: keeps track of your guests' addresses, RSVPs and the gifts you receive.
- Seating Chart: helps you map out where your guests will be seated. Print this out and give it to your venue and/or wedding coordinator. Example image below.

#4: Adults-only wedding: Make sure to specify it (discretely) on your wedding invitation or the envelope. I didn't specify it on our invites but tried to spread the word mainly to those with children. This failed miserably. While most of our guests were respectful and knew it was adults only, we did get a few RSVPs from our guests and 2+ kids. We ended up having toddlers and babies at our lakeside (alcohol-plenty) wedding.

#5: Create a hair & makeup schedule for your bridesmaids: Leave enough time for any delays and make sure to schedule the most amount of time for the bride. The bride should also typically go last so her hair and makeup are fresh for pictures and the ceremony.

#6: If your budget allows, hire a wedding coordinator for, at least, your rehearsal and wedding day: There are so many little things that need to be done on the day of the wedding & I don't know what I would have done without a coordinator.  They usually help coordinate the wedding party and priest/officiant on the rehearsal day and then coordinate all the vendors, decorating and setting up the floor plan on the wedding day. Along with greeting guests and making sure everything runs smoothly and on time. 

#7: Print out an itinerary for the guys: Let them know where they need to be & at what time for photos, etc. You won't have time to be calling around and sometimes guys get distracted when they get together (or they end up at the bar). Weddings and photography usually run on a tight schedule and you don't want a late groom.

Wedding Day Tips:

#8: Make sure to eat dinner: The bride and groom typically get seated first and served dinner. Take this opportunity to eat and chat with your new husband. I was too excited/distracted that I barely touched my plate. By the end of the night, I felt light headed from lack of food and drinking on an empty stomach. Make sure to eat enough to prolong your moves on the dance floor! ;-)

#9: Walk around from table to table and great your guests: Your guests should be still seated and eating by the time you're done with dinner, so make sure to spend a few minutes with each table. Every bride says that their wedding night just flies by in a wink of any eye and they never get to really spend time with all of their guests. This is the perfect time to mingle with your guests before the music gets turned up and the dancing begins.

#10: Don't sweat the small stuff on your wedding day. Enjoy the hours leading up to your wedding and just try to catch up with your favorite girls while you get dressed. Have a mimosa to calm your nerves. Mistakes do happen but think about the grand scheme of things. Is it really that big of a deal? Your your fiance still loves you and you're still going to get married!

We plan for months & even years for everything to go perfect. Well is life perfect? No. Do mistakes happen? Yes, all the time because we are only human. Remember mishaps or small hiccups just bring character to your wedding day and it will be something to laugh about when you look back.

Good luck to all the brides-to-be out there and feel free to reach out to me if you have any specific questions or want any additional advice!

Joining Jordan and Meredith today.
Love Always Nancy J


  1. These are great plans! I need to keep these in mind for whenever I get married. It's such a amazing and exciting process/day that some people get wrapped in the small stuff that don't go right. It's the big picture that matters and your tips are perfect for getting to the best big picture!

  2. I'm jealous of how much you got to drink at your wedding, I barely had a sip of champagne during the toast and we had drinks brought to us during dinner, but they got left at the table when we did our rounds and then we were out on the dance floor the rest of the night. I'm definitely one of those brides that barely got to drink, but I did eat some of my dinner since we were served first.

  3. These are all so great!!! Thankfully we were able to eat during the reception and that helped so much! My other favorite was that our caterer made us to-go boxes for when we got back to the hotel and needed a late night snack!

  4. Thanks for sharing! I am 3 months from my big day so I will definitely have to keep all this in mind!

  5. These are great tips! I'm definitely going to check out that online planning tool today. And that's such a good job to write up an itinerary for the boys since they are clueless sometimes!

  6. Replies
    1. Hi Courtney, No problem. Btw you're email is set to so I can't respond to your comment via email.

  7. All great tips!! I'm in the final stages of my wedding planning, and some of these things are definitely important for me to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Wahoo, yes girl! Great tips to stay on top of things and be prepared to enjoy all the day brings! Xx.

  9. with a been there done that attitude i cannot tell you how glad i am we chose to eat in private before joining out guest. even if you cant hire a day of assistant pick someone (friend/family) before the day and give them strict instructions that they are your personal assistant, something I wish i'd done. all around great post!

  10. Great tips! I think I'll check out Martha's wedding planning tool. Thanks for the suggestion!

  11. I totally agree with creating a list of must-take photos for the photographer! I wish I would have done this. Great tips :-)

    - Lisa

  12. Thanks for this post! I almost made the wedding invitation mistake but luckily caught myself. I am DEFINITELY going to use the seating chart advice. I am in the midst of getting my RSVPs back and was dreading figuring out how to seat everyone (or at least how to plan it). I've had a short engagement (got engaged right at Thanksgiving and getting married on 4/26 so everything has been so hectic, so this was awesome advice.

  13. You share the great tips. I like your these tips. It is very useful.

  14. Thanks for sharing useful wedding planning tips.