5 Major Wedding Planning Pitfalls you Must Avoid

1. Coming up Short on your Ceremony Planning

Planning your wedding ceremony is a relatively non-complex task, especially for traditional Catholic weddings. Two issues, however, that are often overlooked or not adequately focused on are: music for the ceremony and wedding programs.

This is a bit of a tricky area, as you need to select the ceremony music first in order to create your wedding program. This entails a meeting with your pastor or the music director at the church, either of whom will work with you to create an acceptable set list. Note: although you and your fiancé may want your favorite, modern musical selection(s) to be played or sung at your ceremony, the church may have other ideas (in other words, if you fancy Miley or Iggy tunes, you may be out of luck!). The bottom line is that you will be well served to take some time to research popular ceremony selections, and to have some back-up choices, if they are needed.

Okay, so what about the wedding program? Do I really need one? Yes! A wedding program helps your guests to follow the order and flow of the ceremony, as well as to have a heads up when those special moments are around the corner. Trust me – you don’t want a family member or friend to miss your once-in-a-lifetime vows because he or she thought it was a good time to run to the bathroom (a wedding program helps to avoid these potential mishaps).

Also, a well-designed wedding program is a nice memento for your wedding guests, is a great way to thank people for attending, and can be a good way to acknowledge dear family members who have passed away.

2. Tight Day-of Wedding Timeline

Build into your wedding-day agenda extra time for the unexpected. For example, if your ceremony starts at 1:00 pm, don’t plan to be picked up by the limo at 12:45 just because your ceremony venue is “just 7 minutes away.”

Trust me, it is better to build in an extra 10-15 minutes in between events, particularly when it comes to the ceremony (and even more of a buffer if you are heading into the Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia abyss!). Traffic accidents or delays – particularly in this area – are the cause of many-a-groom or bride being late to his or her own wedding ceremony! And if your foresight and great planning acumen happen to result in your early arrival, this will give you time for a snack, a couple of impromptu photos, or another hair and make-up check :)

3. No Song List or an Inadequate List

Have an ample song list for your DJ or band. This is one detail that I have seen done last minute…or not at all. If you’re having trouble, don’t have time, or just like outside input, then consider asking for song suggestions from your guests in their RSVP card. Remember also to nix songs that you and your significant other highly dislike or that bring bad memories (you don’t want to be slow dancing with your new spouse to a ballad that you and your ex designated as “your song”). Keep in mind older generation musical tastes as well – this will help them to better feel part of the festivities. And you might be surprised how an “oldie-but-goodie” gets your Uncle Julio and Aunt Maria to hit the dance floor as if they were in their prime!

4. Not Keeping Your Maid of Honor Busy

Often times, brides are simply overwhelmed by the seemingly insurmountable details of their wedding day – and that is understandable. What to do about it? Well, first and foremost – though I’m biased – hire the right day-of-wedding coordinator! At the same time, even if you have a great planner at your side, I think it is a nice touch to delegate some responsibilities to your maid of honor (MOH). After all, she is one of your closest allies! Give her things to do that could avoid you headaches at a later time... she should be more than happy to help you! During the planning process, the MOH can also help you to select flowers, make phone calls, and run errands. Click here for a useful guide of MOH duties.

5. Let Your Bridal Suite be the Bridal Suite

The bridal suite should be that special place for you and your husband at the end of a long wedding day. While many couples reserve a suite close by or at the reception hotel, this spot generally ends up being full of boxes, leftover food, and other wedding stuff. The bridal suite really becomes the “hang-out” and/or preparation room before the wedding, so at the end of the day, it does not look as glamorous and romantic.

My suggestion is to have a separate room for hanging out and getting ready, and another suite just for you and your husband for when after the wedding is over. Don’t forget to have it prepared with a sparkling bottle of champagne, flowers, and some candlelight. This is a task I suggest you assign to your wedding coordinator or the hotel’s event coordinator.

If you have any questions about this blog post, please contact me: esme@bodamaestradc.com or call to 703.690.1075, I will be happy to assist you with any wedding planning questions.

Happy planning!



Creative Wedding Planning in the Latin Tradition...with a modern twist!

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Comment by Purple Empress on July 9, 2014 at 6:15pm

This has been very helpful! Thank you  for writing this blog! :)

Comment by Esme Krahn on July 15, 2014 at 8:27am

This is what I live for! Glad It helped you.

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