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    Wedding Professionals Are Sharing The Biggest Mistakes They See People Make When Planning Weddings, And I'm Taking All The Notes

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    We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community who work in the wedding industry to share the biggest mistakes they see people make when planning their weddings. Here are the most eye-opening tips:

    Universal Pictures

    1. Don't keep your vows a secret from each other prior to the ceremony:

    Paramount Pictures

    "It’s not a Cameo, it’s the shape of the promises you’re making to one another. If it’s important to you to read your vows instead of doing repeat-after-me, have your officiant hold onto the paper until it’s time so that you’re not pulling a crumpled note out of your sweaty pocket (or cleavage!)."


    2. Don't share "fantasy photos" with your photographer and expect them to re-create that look to a tee:


    "I really can't re-create a full-leaf fall in June or a sparkler heart/arch in darkness when all your guests will be far too drunk to play with fire safely when it gradually gets dark. On the flip side, don't get married in the depths of winter and expect there to be hours for photos without people freezing to death too."


    3. Leave enough damn time for your wedding portraits, or you're going to seriously regret it later.


    "While it's important to spend time with your guests and enjoy your wedding, the photos of you and your love are the ones you will most likely print and display in your home, put in your album, make prints of for family, etc. Every time I have a couple ask to skip these portraits, I always talk them into doing them. Every time, they tell me afterwards that they are so happy we took them!"


    4. Don't DIY absolutely EVERYTHING, because it could end up costing you even more money down the line.


    "I'm a wedding coordinator and some couples think DIY’ing everything will save money when, in fact, it can be more even more expensive! After buying the materials, labor, transport, set up and tear down, it can wind up costing so much more. You can DIY or purchase certain elements like table numbers or place cards, but look into renting larger decor items like arch ways and centerpieces."


    5. If you're the bride, have your makeup done first — no questions asked.


    "Some of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen at weddings are brides getting their hair and makeup done last (instead of being the first one) and hiring only one hair/makeup artist for the whole wedding party, causing the whole wedding to be behind schedule. I’ve seen so many brides arriving late to church and have to forgo a lot of family pictures because the church has another wedding right after theirs."


    6. But, with that being said, don't choose an over-the-top look you'd never actually wear for your wedding day.

    Comedy Central

    "You want your memories and photos to embody YOU and your partner, not the craziest trend on Instagram. Stay true to yourself. If you want to try a wild look, make sure you get a consultation and trial. In fact, get a trial no matter what to make sure of your hire's skill level and that your personalities mesh."


    7. Literally do not stress about the seating arrangements because it's just not worth it.


    "Onsite wedding planner here! The biggest mistake I see couples make is stressing over the littlest details like the seating assignments. I always tell my couples that this is their day, and if Uncle Bob and Cousin Linda are too immature to sit next to each other for ONE HOUR for dinner service, that they shouldn’t get the invite. Everyone should be able to enjoy what you have planned for them without complaints. To all future couples: Don’t sweat the small stuff, your day is going to be perfect!


    8. Only invite the people you want to invite, and, if you can, try to keep the wedding small.


    "Couples who have the MOST fun at their weddings host groups of 30-70. The bigger the group, the less you get to interact with everyone the way you really want."


    9. Build breathing room into your schedule because, trust me, you're going to need it.


    "Photos take longer than you think, stuff happens that needs attention, sometimes your hair and makeup needs a touch up. Plus, you need time to just breathe and enjoy time with your people."


    10. If you can, hire a wedding coordinator for the day of so that your only job is to have fun and enjoy yourself.

    TV Land

    "You may not need a planner, but having someone to help coordinate your day is so necessary. It takes extra work off of you and your families so you can enjoy the day, and it gives the other vendors someone they can go to with any questions."


    11. Stop looking at Pinterest — seriously.


    "Get vision boards set up, and then leave them alone. Otherwise you'll keep changing your mind and end up spending 3x the money if you keep browsing for ideas after planning has begun."


    12. Even though you love 'em, DON'T SERVE TOO MANY DESSERTS.

    Sony Pictures Releasing

    "I’m an event coordinator and catering manager, and most weddings I work, I am boxing up fancy cake leftovers and I don’t see how all of it could get eaten, let alone all the additional desserts and trendy, sweet party favors or candy buffets offered to guests. Unless your guest list is more than 50% children, you’re wasting your money and you’re overestimating the amount of sweets grown adults will consume!"


    13. And don't waste your money on a giant, expensive cake that no one's going to eat anyway.


    "I'm a former lead server/bartender at one of the biggest and more expensive wedding venues in my state. The thing that I saw repeatedly while working was that the large fancy cakes almost never got eaten. People do not like fondant for one thing, and for another, in order for a large cake to be structurally sound, it has to be stale. My advice, and what I did for my own wedding, is to have a decorative 6–8 inch cake for cutting and pictures, and then order sheet cakes for the guests. The cake will all be fresh since it doesn't need to support any sort of structure, and it costs way less."


    14. However, make sure you don't spend thousands of dollars on decorations and then have to skimp on food to feed your guests.


    "Appetizer-only receptions gave me the sweats because they would never order enough food."


    15. If you want people to stay off their phones during the ceremony, 100% make a sign telling them that, and also tell your officiant to announce it before things get going.


    "No matter how many signs you could add, if someone doesn’t say from the start to not use your phones and STRESS IT, you will have a ceremony and reception full of phones. It looks awful and feels so disconnected.


    16. If you try to make your own fresh flower arrargements, they'll probably die — so just put down money for a florist and save yourself the trouble.


    "My family has owned a flower shop for 70 years that my mom runs now, and I’ve worked on and off for her my whole life. She does beautiful work and can work with ANY budget, so I can’t stand when people try to make their own fresh flowers. If you don’t have the proper equipment or quality product, you risk flowers dying quickly and not turning out how you pictured them. It’s a lot of work to make flower arrangements, and adds extra stress to the week of your wedding."


    17. Don't buy your wedding dress in a size too small with the intention of losing weight before the big day.


    "I used to work as a bridal consultant, and I can’t tell you how many ended up coming back and having to find a last-minute replacement because the dress they bought didn’t fit. I would tell them, 'No one will see the size tag and you can always alter the dress to make it smaller, but you can’t alter to make it bigger,' but some brides just couldn’t get past that size number."


    18. Know when/where/how you're getting married before you buy your dress, because it'll make finding the right dress so much easier.

    TLC Netherlands

    "If you want to wear a ballgown with a twenty foot train to the courthouse, you do you boo, but your consultant's job is 300% harder if you shop for a dress without key information! "


    19. Try to lock down your wedding dress ASAP because it could take months to actually get into your hands.

    Paramount Pictures

    "I work in a bridal gown salon, and our dresses take 9 months to a year to order and get altered. When I see brides come in with wedding dates under 4 months away, I just pray they find a sample we are selling that fits close enough to them. WEDDING GOWNS ARE (usually) NOT OFF THE RACK!


    20. Stick to only one or two bridal stores, and only invite a select few to go shopping with you, because it'll be way too overwhelming otherwise.


    "I'm a bridal stylist, and the biggest mistakes that I see by far are going to way too many bridal boutiques and falling in love with multiple dresses. It just confuses the heck out of you! Stick to 1–2 stores to make the process easier for yourself. Also, don't bring your entire family/bridal party with you. Keep it to two people max, people whose opinions actually matter to you! I can’t tell you how many 'friends' of brides that I’ve had talk a bride out of a dress because they didn’t like it...even when the bride was sobbing with joy!"


    21. And finally, don't put too much pressure on yourself to find the PERFECT dress, because that doesn't happen for everyone and that's OK.

    TLC Europe

    "The dress is important and you should adore it and yourself in it, but the important thing about the dress is that it's what you marry your partner in! So don't put so much pressure on having 'the moment' where you burst into tears and call your grandma to gush about a gown. Not everybody has that moment, and it doesn't mean it's not the dress for your if you're happy wearing it!"


    Do you notice any big mistakes people make when planning their weddings? Share them in the comments!