When you mention the word Wedding to any woman, you will definitely get mixed reactions. Some might state vaguely what they have envisioned for their special day, others might not have an interest as yet in wedding details, but I promise you that most will start telling you exactly what they have planned for their special day.

We all know the friend that has been planning her wedding since she was 10, or the one that has been collecting wedding dresses in a scrapbook since she was 18. I even know of a lady that has booked a venue and date without having a boyfriend yet. (now that is determination)

Truth be told, weddings makes woman (not all I might add) a little coo-coo, and this is where the problem comes in.

How does reality, match up with ideas, visions, dream dresses and handsome grooms.

There is a princess in all of us that wants to come out, and even more so on our wedding day:

Horse drawn carriage, designer shoes, jaw dropping Vera Wang ball gown with train that justifies your selection of 10 bridesmaids. A handsome groom dressed in Armani, a castle, butterflies that are released when you say your vows, and birds that spontaneously break out in song when you walk into the sunset happily ever after… SNAP OUT OF IT.

Here is a list of what not to do, why you should not do it, you might save a little on the budget too:

1.Don’t Invite everyone:

To cut down on unnecessary costs start with the guest list, why do you need 350 friends and family, most whom you have not seen since you were 10. Keep it small and intimate and you will be able to stretch your budget substantially. The uninvited will get over it. I promise you.

2.Don’t buy, Hire:

Hire your dress, instead of buying it. Most designers will have a make to hire option, which means you will still have the dress of your dreams, but you don’t get to keep it afterwards, which is ok. What are you going to do with it? Keep it in the closet?

3.Don’t overdo it:

So many options when it comes to your “look” on your wedding day. Here is what can go wrong:

Heavy make-up, larger than life up-style hairdo, over-the-top tiara, too large chandelier earrings, too much cleavage, puffy ball gown when you are short statured, orange spray tan, 9-inch stilettos, hair glitter, gloves, too many rings, bracelets or pearls.

Less is more!! Always!

4.Don’t spend thousands on flowers:

Flowers are expensive, especially the popular one’s like roses & peonies. There are so many alternative ideas to wedding table centre pieces, that you can really cut down on costs by choosing alternative options to the “table overflowing with flowers” option.

I for one, love seeing couples being creative at weddings, when the couple do something different than normal. Your guests is really not going to care about the center pieces that took a big chunk of the wedding budget, the day after the wedding, most of them is not even going to remember what the arrangement looked like. Go for a fun alternative option.

5.Don’t forget about the groom:

Its the brides day and everyone needs to get in line with her ideas? Yes, but only to an extend. Its a very special day in the groom’s life as well. Don’t forget to make it extra special for him too. Splurge on a spa treatment, or a trip to the barber, have his favorite bottle of whiskey or perfume delivered.Most guys will never openly admit it, but they also like to feel special and receive extra special treatment the same way the bride does on their special day.

6.Don’t cut on the photographer’s budget:

If there is one thing you should spend money on, it is hiring a professional wedding photographer. Cutting on the photographers budget will be the biggest mistake you could make.

All the details of your special day, will go to waste if your photographer is not a professional who can capture your day, just the way you envisioned it.

I have seen people spending astronomical amounts on decor, dress, food etc, but cut on the photographers budget, just to receive photographs that don’t do anyone justice. What is the use of all the money and effort if the tangible memories, “your photographs” is not of high quality and standard.

7.Don’t use family:

I can not stress this one enough. Off course your aunt bakes a lovely cake for your birthday every year, and yes, your niece that just finished photography school has a semi-decent camera, and I totally understand that your best friends boyfriend is an up and coming DJ at the local club.

Do you use them for your wedding…tempting…but DON’T!

Do not use family members that are not professionals at your wedding, you might be terribly disappointed.

For some reason the service providers people tend to cut the budget on is the photographer, DJ and videographer, who coincidentally are the people that can either make or break your wedding day to such an extent of it either being the best day ever, or the worst.

Don’t underestimate the importance of a good professional DJ. They set the mood of the reception. Don’t let it be the wrong one.

8.Don’t go into debt:

Weddings are expensive! However, this is no reason to go into large debt amounts to enable yourself to have the lavish wedding of your dreams. Adjust your vision a little, change a few ideas, do a little DIY and try to keep the costs down. Going into large sums of debt, will put unnecessary strain on a new marriage before it even begins.

9.Don’t give in:

As I have mentioned, women tend to be a little bit nutty when it comes to weddings, irrational decisions, emotional outbursts, and even blackmail has occurred in the process of planning a wedding. Stick to your decisions, don’t give in to mom’s request of inviting ALL the family members, don’t listen to the bridesmaid that suggest you use her boyfriend as your DJ or the aunt that wants to bring her 5 children to your, “no children allowed” reception. Stick to what you want, what you can afford, and how you envisioned your day to be. Its your day, nobody elses. They already had their own wedding or one day will have their own.

10.Don’t cut the time schedule of your photographer:

Sometimes the bride runs a little late, or the ceremony has taken a bit longer than expected. Whatever the reason, do not cut on the time you spend with your photographer.

When a couple seems rushed, not in the mood to pose, or anxious to get back to the reception, the task of the photographer to produce high quality photographs with creative flair becomes very challenging. Photographers know that most clients are not models or are comfortable with having their photo taken, but try your best to stay relaxed and excited about your photo session (which should be about 1 hour long). Your guests can wait…it’s your day and your memories.

11.Don’t stress the small stuff:

The cake is delivered late, guests are lost, the brides hair does not look exactly like the trial session and a pimple has appeared, the weather is not perfect and someone is moody cause they did not get their way on Your wedding day. SO WHAT?

Don’t stress the small stuff, everything will happen as it should. As long as the bride & groom is happy, its all that counts. Don’t lose focus on what the day really is all about. Your union.

12.Don’t have an open bar:

I am not having my guests paying for their drinks has been a main reason why couples have made the decision to have an open bar.

99% of them,also regrets it afterwards, since unfortunately this sets the scenario of over indulging, guests getting over served very quickly and the bar budget skyrocketing.The last thing you want to worry about is guests that can’t handle their liquor.

2 bottles of  white & red wine per table and 1 bottle champagne is more than enough.

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