1. Blowing your fashion budget on just the dress
Maybe you have $1,500 set aside for your look. That doesn't mean you can buy a $1,500 gown! If you're not buying off the rack, you could get charged for shipping. You might need alterations, too. Consider your undergarments, shoes, hair accessories and jewelry when budgeting as well.
2. Getting attached to specific flower types
When you book your florist a year before your wedding day, he can only guess which blooms will be available for your wedding. If you have to have, say, asters, you could be disappointed. Instead, choose backups to your main blooms and add them to your contract. Think in terms of colors and shapes instead of specific flowers.
3. Sending out save-the-dates too soon
It may be tempting to tell everyone about your wedding date as soon as possible, but don't send those save-the-date cards out until you've finalized the guest list. Friends you're close with when you get engaged may be mere acquaintances by the time you get hitched. Reserve save-the-dates only for those guests you know will be invited, like your families.
4. Skipping a wedding videographer
Photos only take you so far: Videos let you hear your voice tremble as you say your vows and watch your friends tear up the dance floor. With more people documenting your wedding, you'll see things you may have missed on the day.
5. Micromanaging your vendors
You're choosing talented pros who understand your vision, so let them do their jobs! We know it's tempting to control every detail so you're guaranteed to love the results, but you won't have the time, and you certainly don't have the experience your vendors do. After your initial meetings, trust the pros to get it right.
6. Picking your attendants too early
Your bridesmaids should be your closest friends. Period. They can also be your sisters, cousins, aunts and even your mom, but they have to be people you'd trust to be there when you most need them. You don't know new friends well enough yet to be sure they'll support you in tough situations (every bride encounters one at some point), and picking people because a family member demands it or so you and your man will have an even number of attendants are also decisions you'll likely regret.
7. Telling everyone about your wedding
It's so hard not to talk about your wedding. Try. The more you share, the more opinions you're going to get about your choices, whether or not you ask for them. Plus, part of wowing your guests is surprising them. If they already know that you're changing into a different dress for dancing or sending guests home with a batch of your grandma's cookies, they won't be quite as impressed on your wedding day. If that's not enough to deter you, talking about your plans means opening yourself up to copycats, who may actually be marrying before you do.
8. Starting your hair and makeup too late
Sure, you don't want your 'do to fall out or your makeup to fade before you walk down the aisle. But busy stylists will likely get to you late if you're last in the chair. Schedule your appointments in the middle of your attendants'. It's not a big deal for a bridesmaid to switch to a less complicated (read: quick hairstyle) if she's pressed for time. That's not an option for you.
9. Speeding through photos
Speaking of not having enough time, any less than an hour isn't enough for a portrait session; an hour-and-a-half is closer to ideal because you'll look more relaxed in your pictures. And those first few never come out as well as you hope. Squeezing photos into the first half-hour of your cocktail hour will make you anything but at ease. If you refuse to see your groom before the ceremony, take pictures separately beforehand so the only shots left to take after the ceremony include both of you.
10. "Hiring" a friend instead of a pro
Sure, your pal was the king of the mix CD back in the day, but that doesn't mean he'll make a great wedding DJ. Same goes for your friend who won't leave home without her Flip — this doesn't make her a videographer! Even on a tight budget, you're much better off paying a vendor with experience to take care of the biggies, like the music and the food. Don't you want your friends to enjoy your wedding instead of having to work through it, anyway?