Wedding Planning Expectations vs Reality

After getting engaged, it’s easy to start to fantasize about your wedding and the planning process. For many, the process is fun and creative and then for many it’s more stressful then they ever imagined. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies all the time, especially if planning and budgeting are not your forte. I don’t want this post to scare anyone, but I also want to point out a few areas that have stressed my brides out in the past and altered their enjoyment of the planning process. Your wedding planning process should be fun, creative and something you enjoy doing together.

Every newly engaged couple I meet are so excited to start wedding planning and I don’t blame them. I am just as excited every time I start planning with a new client. It’s so fun to imagine what your wedding day will look like, how much fun it will be and all the people you care about in one spot celebrating with you. They all think it’s going to be fun and relaxed with lots of champagne and laughter. However, there is always so much more that goes into wedding planning that many don’t think about. Many brides don’t realize that their fiance also has ideas, expectations and wants for their day as well. Many start planning with what I would say in the biggest mistake- they don’t consider their all in budget. I will dive a bit deeper into some of the other areas where wedding planning no longer becomes fun and where many of my couples find the most stress. This list does not apply to everyone and many couples do have the stress-free and fun planning process they hope for.

Expectation: I can DIY so much to save money
Reality: DIY projects cost the same or more than rentals both in time and money. Many couples don’t realize how much time goes into making 20 centrepieces, a backdrop, your favours or any other part of your wedding details. Buying all the supplies needed is often expensive (unless you are super crafty and have a lot from the start) and it can take countless hours of creating, which leaves everyone hating the process.
Solution: Talk with your decor supplier or florist about simple, low cost options for centerpieces or backdrops, or whatever element you are trying to cut costs on. Get creative with them. They like a challenge and trying new things and it will save you so much.

Expectation: Pinning ever single wedding decor/guest experience and actually having it.
Reality: It blows your budget out of water and so much gets wasted as guests don’t know what to do so they do nothing. Your wedding then feels like you might be trying too hard or trying to outdo the Jones’ so to speak.
Solution: Pinterest is great for ideas but choose one or two elements that you really love and focus on those. If it’s a specialty drink station, or photobooth area, your guests will enjoy it and so will your budget.

Expectation: I will have the wedding of my dreams but I don’t really have a budget.
Reality: Starting wedding planning without your budget in mind will quickly get out of control and you will end up over spending faster than you realize. No one wants to have a wedding where you go into debt, or spend way more than you wanted because you signed contracts without considering the overall costs.
Solution: Sit down together before you contact a single vendor and figure out how much you can spend. You can also read my past blog post about budgets here to help get you started.

Expectations: Everyone will suck up their issues for my wedding day.
Reality: While I do often tell clients, if you are paying for your wedding, then plan what you want because it is your day. However, there will be people with opinions and ideas that might upset you. Unfortunately, brides I’m mainly looking at you for this one. Many have dreamed of their wedding since childhood, so you are ready to put that in place, but what if your parents are divorced? What if your families don’t get along? Weddings bring out high emotions for everyone and it can be hard to navigate, especially if you are dealing with divorced parents or families that don’t get along.
Solution: Listen with compassion to each issue that is brought up. Decide if it’s something that really matters to you or if that person didn’t come how you would feel. Yes it’s hard. At the end of the day, trust your gut instincts. If you feel you can still have your wedding day, while ensuring everyone is just as happy as you, do that.

Expectation: I know what I want and I’m not going to change my mind for my wedding day.
Reality: It’s not just your day. Your way, idea or style is not the only way. Not taking input from your fiance especially is a big problem. It’s their day too. Also, your friends, parents, or vendors will have input to help you make the best decisions possible. If you don’t listen to any of it ever, you will risk turning into the dreaded bridezilla. And trust me, no one wants to be around one of those.
Solution: Talk through what you see for your day with your fiance before you start wedding planning. Create a mood board that pulls both your ideas together to create a day that really feels like you both. Talk with your vendors about what you see and listen to their suggestions on how to execute that the best way possible. Listening early will help you enjoy what you are planning.

I hope this helps put some expectations into perspective as well as help you plan your wedding in a way that is stress-free and fun. It should be fun. If you find that you need help, a wedding planner will help guide you through the process, keeping things in check and helping you through the tough times.


Want guidance through your wedding planning process so you can enjoy it? Regardless of where you are in the planning process, let’s chat on how I can help.

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