Planning Your Wedding:
The 10 Biggest Pre-Wedding Mistakes
Reprinted from MSN.com, published by The
Knot Inc. Edited slightly by Zawaj.com to be appropriate for
an Islamic wedding.
Even the smartest, most on-top-of-things couple can make mistakes
during wedding planning. Here are the 10 things you should keep
an eye on before saying I do.
1. Blowing off your budget
It costs a lot of money to put on a wedding. Many excited
brides start booking vendors and making purchases without having
a real budget, and then they're shocked to discover they've spent
all of their money (or their parents' money) and still don't
have half the things they need. If you bounce checks, don't have
the money to pay your deposits, or make your final payments past
your vendors' deadlines, your wedding will not happen as you
have planned. The flowers won't be delivered, your cake will
not be decorated, and the band will not play all night -- unless
you pay up. Planning a wedding is serious business. Make a budget
and keep track of your expenditures.
2. Ordering the wedding gown and/or bridesmaid dresses
If going for a traditional bridal gown, brides need to place
their orders six to eight months before their weddings. Most
gowns are made to order; if you wait too long before your wedding
date to make your selection, the gown simply may not be ready
in time. Bridesmaid dresses should also be decided upon during
the same time period, but only after the gown has been selected.
You want to make sure your ladies have enough time to get measured
and find accessories.
3. Procrastinating on that prenuptial...
It is a reality these days that people -- even brides -- have
assets they want to protect. (This is particularly prevalent
now that there are so many second marriages where a bride or
groom may have children to whom they want their assets to go
in case of death.) Leaving the discussion of a prenuptial agreement
until the week before the wedding is a sure-fire way to increase
the stress level by ten thousand percent -- and endanger the
impending marriage. So deal with this potentially sticky issue
months in advance (Zawaj.com
Editor: this applies equally to any provision that the groom
or bride may want to include in the marriage contract).
4. Messing up the marriage license
There are so many rules around marriage licenses that brides
are bound to make mistakes. Be sure to investigate time restrictions
well in advance of your wedding date. Get your license 31 days
before in some states -- and you won't be able to legally marry
on your wedding day because it may be valid for only 30 days.
Go for your license the day before your wedding and you may not
get it in time, because some states have a 48-hour waiting period.
Another common mess-up if you're remarrying is not having official
divorce papers in time to get the certificate.
5. Booking guest hotel rooms too late
Brides often leave blocking out hotel rooms for out-of-town
guests until the last minute. If you're marrying in a city (particularly
one where conventions take place) or in a resort town and you
don't investigate hotel availability in advance, you can literally
end up with not a single room for any of your guests to stay
in. Your wedding might go on -- but no one will be able to attend.
Reserve a room block as early as possible, up to a year in advance.
6. Inviting too many guests
Make sure your guest list and your reception site match numbers-wise.
You can't invite 400 people assuming only 250 will RSVP with
a yes -- because if 300 happen to say yes, you may have to turn
50 away at the door. Sites can't just add 10 more tables, as
fire laws limit the maximum number of people in any room at one
time. To avoid this, assume eighty percent will respond yes and
limit your guest list accordingly.
7. Last-minute beauty blunders
Many brides think that scheduling chemical peels the week
before their weddings will leave their skin looking angelic on
their big days. Others think having their teeth bleached within
days of their weddings will leave those pearly whites sparkling.
Thinking of tanning the day before your wedding? Think again:
You may end up with blisters instead of sun-kissed skin. Last-minute
beauty treatments can lead to breakouts, mistakes, or -- even
worse -- serious infections. Start a long-term beauty regimen
months before the big day and focus on natural and common-sense
measures such as eating a healthy diet and exercising, or you
could risk ruining all the hard work you've done to make your
wedding -- and photos -- perfect. (Never mind putting your health
and happiness at risk for the most important day of your life.)
8. Underpaying postage on invites
You'd be surprised how many brides just stick a stamp on their
invites and drop them in a letterbox. All but a few wedding invitations
require additional postage. The postal service will not take
pity on you -- your invites will be returned (and rubber-stamped
with that ugly "insufficient postage" message) -- and
it will take at least two weeks (never mind the additional $$)
to get them back out the door. Be sure to get one complete invitation
weighed at the post office before purchasing all your stamps.
9. Ignoring religious restrictions
If you plan on marrying in a house of worship, you need to
abide by the rules. Wearing inappropriate attire or not completing
pre-wedding requirements is grounds for your officiant to stop
your wedding before it begins. As soon as you get engaged, be
sure to contact your house of worship to find out about any potential
issues. Some houses of worship won't let you marry on certain
holy dates; make sure to check your wedding date with your officiant
before putting down any deposits for your reception site or vendors.
10. Ignoring weather warnings
Brides marrying outdoors often test fate and just wish for
the best when it comes to bad weather. Always have a backup plan
-- you may not have a place to marry at all, or your guests (and
you) may be in misery at the hands of Mother Nature. Temperatures
normally around the balmy 70-degree mark may unexpectedly turn
into a boiling 100-degree debacle; be sure to have outdoor air-conditioning.
A hurricane, flashflood, or gale force winds may visit on your
wedding day; make sure you have an interior alternative or a
tent as a back-up location.
Photo: Zieff Photography www.zieffphoto.com
2003 The Knot Inc. All rights reserved.