By Bill Hansen
Over the past four decades, I have catered thousands of weddings at my own venues and venues across South Florida. I truly am compassionate for those who dive into the wedding-planning process with no idea of what is involved.
Here are the top five mistakes I have seen couples make and how it has cost them time-wise and treasure-wise:
MISTAKE #1: NOT KNOWING THEIR TOTAL BUDGET
- Weddings are expensive. The average nuptial celebration costs somewhere between $25,000 and $30,000. I’ve seen many teary-eyed couples when they discover that even the average budget will not give them the wedding of their dreams – not even close.
MISTAKE #2: THINKING THEIR DREAM VENUE INCLUDES EVERYTHING
- Non-hotel, banquet room and country club venues are very popular. Yet when couples rent these types of venues, they basically get the floors they walk on and the air they breathe. If you plan to use one of these venues, remember that the venue rental fee should be 15% to 30% of your total budget.
MISTAKE #3: NOT PRIORITIZING THEIR WANTS AND NEEDS
- Few couples have unlimited budgets where they can get the best of the best for their venue, their catering, their bar, entertainment, décor, photos, etc. When searching for venues and vendors, have a good idea of what you can’t live without, and what you can live without.
MISTAKE #4: NOT HIRING A PLANNER—AT LEAST A “DAY OF” PLANNER
- I remember one bride from decades ago cried her eyes out as she struggled with her seating chart only three hours before her wedding. With a planner, this would never have happened. A “day of” planner starts working for you about 30 days before your treasured day, making sure everything is in place and then oversees the daily details as your wedding and reception unfold.
MISTAKE #5: EXPECTING PERFECTION ON THEIR WEDDING DAY
- Trust me, it will not happen. At my own son’s wedding, the limo broke down with the grandparents in it and the ceremony sound system was faulty. Here is my advice: do all you can before your big day and then trust the pros to deliver what they promised – and be a guest at your own wedding!
Photo by Robert Hacman Photography