So you’re planning a wedding. Everyone from family and friends to social media is giving you advice so your day can be all that you could ever dream of. Plus, there are a ton of tips and lists out there of all you should do to make your wedding day perfect and memorable. It can be overwhelming.

We’ve got some of those list and blogs, too. But our goal is to help you avoid things that lessen the wedding planning experience and negatively affect the marriage. 

Here are 11 things NOT to do when planning a wedding.

1. Don’t assume you know how much everything costs.

Everyone says, “Set a budget and stick to it.” Do you know why that’s hard? Have you ever planned a wedding before? When I got married 17 years ago, I had no idea what venues, catering, photographers, gifts, etc., cost. Yes, know what you can spend. That’s important. Don’t decide how much you’ll spend without finding out what a reasonable cost is.

2. Don’t neglect your mental health.

When the urgent is always getting prioritized over the important, then the important gets neglected. YOU are important. Wedding planning can be super stressful. Don’t overlook doing fun stuff, relaxing, exercising, and “me” time.

3. Don’t neglect your fiancé.

Pay attention to their mood, stress, and attitude. How are wedding preparations affecting your fiancé? Are they taking care of themselves? Are you showing them you want to be with them?

4. Don’t forget: The wedding celebration is one day. Marriage is hopefully forever.

The quality of the wedding does not reflect the quality of your marriage. I’ve gone to picture-perfect weddings of couples who were divorced within three years.

5. Don’t ignore red flags.

Are you and your fiancé having trouble compromising? Are they unwilling to listen? Don’t brush off warning signs just because you think it’s part of wedding prep. Marriage brings about potentially stressful situations. Address relational issues now. Assuming they will go away “just because” may set you up for disappointment later.

6. Don’t succumb to the comparison game.

Whether you’ve looked at other weddings, social media, the movies, etc., your wedding is your wedding. Your marriage will be unique, and so should your wedding. Don’t aspire to have the wedding someone else dreams of. Live your own dream.

7. Don’t neglect premarital preparation.

Premarital education enhances the likelihood of satisfaction and less conflict in your marriage. Research backs this up. Don’t take the approach, “I don’t need premarital education.” We offer a great online preparing for marriage course here.

8. Don’t start planning your escape.

Once you get married, you’ve got to go all-in. If you’re already preparing for what happens if the marriage doesn’t work out, you’re more likely to utilize that plan at some point.

9. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

You’ll forget stuff, and you’ll misplace things. You will think you told someone something you didn’t. You’ll envision something one way and then realize how crazy it was. Laugh at yourself. No marriage is perfect, and weddings aren’t either. The goal of a wedding is to get married, not to have a perfect ceremony.

10. Don’t neglect date nights.

Is there so much to do that you don’t have time to go on dates with your spouse-to-be? If so, something needs to be scaled back, delegated, or dropped.

11. Don’t try to do it all yourself.

Figure out how family and friends can help, and delegate. Part of the joy of those relationships is helping each other.

Let’s face it, planning a wedding is probably one of the biggest parties we’re ever in charge of. 

I used the word “party” intentionally. Parties are meant to be fun and memorable even if they can be a lot of work, time-consuming, and stressful. Staying focused on the purpose of the wedding instead of perfection can help you find more joy as you get ready for the party.

Source:

E.B. Fawcett, A.J. Hawkins, V.L. Blanchard, & J.S. Carroll, “Do premarital education programs really work? A meta‐analytic study,” Family Relations, 59 (2010): 232-239; S.M. Stanley, P.R. Amato, C.A. Johnson, H.J. Markman, “Premarital education, marital quality, and marital stability: Findings from a large, random household survey,” Journal of Family Psychology, 20 (2006): 117-126.

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