The 7 timing mistakes all couples make during wedding planningiming really is everything. And when it comes to wedding planning, that statement certainly couldn’t be truer. When exactly should you send those wedding invitations to your destination? And how far in advance do you need to secure your hotel blocks? When should you start contacting vendors?
It’s a lot to manage, but fear not – we’ve laid it all out for you here, with expert advice from professional wedding planners, so you can avoid some of the most common timing mistakes brides and grooms make during wedding planning.
- Reaching out to vendors too early
Seriously, it happens. Erica Taylor Haskins, co-founder of New York-based event planning and design company Tinsel Experimental Design, has had people contact her for inquiries even before they got engaged! Or couples contacting with a wedding date three years away. “While that’s flattering, it’s a little premature and takes up time we could be devoting to other more opportunistic clients,” she says.
- Putting down deposits before hiring your planner.
If you plan to hire a wedding planner, always consult with them first before making major wedding decisions, such as securing a venue, rentals or hiring a florist. “Most event design firms also do in-house florists and recommend rental items as part of their contract package, so this essentially doubles your efforts (and money spent),” she explains.
- Delay booking key suppliers
Waiting too late to book your vendors, especially for a peak-season wedding, is a common mistake couples make, notes Dezhda “Dee” Gaubert, owner of No Worries Event Planning. If your wedding is in peak season (for most regions, that’s summer) and you wait even six months in advance to book a high-quality vendor, you might miss out on the best of the best, she warns. “This includes DJs, photographers, coordinators and some florists. “Vendors that can handle a higher volume, such as cake bakers, caterers and some florists, can be booked closer to the event date, but don’t risk it. Good suppliers book up quickly!”
- Booking a videographer at the last minute
Rachel Jo Silver, founder of Love Stories TV, has seen this happen again and again: the bride puts having a wedding videographer under the “optional” heading on her to-do list and then panics trying to find someone at the last minute when she realizes it’s actually a necessity. In fact, not having a videographer is the number one regret you hear from brides, so take her advice and don’t put it off!
- Sending wedding invitations to your destination too late
According to destination wedding planner Sandy Malone, owner of Weddings in Vieques, destination weddings have completely different deadlines for invitations (and RSVPs) than home weddings. “Since everyone has to travel to get to a destination wedding, you should send invitations and travel information up to 18 months before the big day. Formal invitations can be sent up to a year out and should still have a response date eight weeks from the date you send them.” Don’t delay sending invitations or you’ll have trouble planning and budgeting for all the various events at your destination wedding, she warns.
- Not securing your hotel blocks early
Waiting too long to book hotel block accommodations, especially in a big city, is a big no-no, notes wedding planner Marilisa Schachinger of Martel Events. “While it may seem like a simple task to put off until later, if a city is hosting a large conference or sporting event the same weekend as your wedding, they can be fully booked even six-plus months in advance.”
- Focus too much on the little details first
Some brides focus too much on the “little details” at the outset and don’t get some of the most important planning elements sorted out until too late, says Greg Jenkins, founder of Bravo Productions. “For example, the decision on napkin rings, wedding colors and linens should come after you’ve already contracted with a venue and caterer.”