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Ah, wedding season – how exciting it is to witness two lovebirds tie the knot. But it can turn from a whimsical dream to a nightmare quicker than the bride says “I do”. Behind picture-perfect smiles and pretty flower bouquets is often a couple who’s one breakdown away from being dubbed “Bridezilla” and/or “Groomzilla”.

That’s because weddings can be tough to plan. And for those who’ve had their weddings, there are usually some things they wish they could change if they could turn back time. Award-winning wedding planner Trevor Frankfort, shares 10 common mistakes couples make when planning their big day and tips on how to avoid them.

Letting your mom or bestie run the wedding

There will always be that loving friend or family member who wants to be hands-on with the wedding planning – up to the point where they become the ones running the show. But leaving everything to the hands of amateurs is one of the biggest mistakes couples make. Here’s what to do: politely decline their offer and let them know you’d rather have them enjoy than work on your wedding day. If they insist, give them a different role to take, like MC or usher.

Hiring a wedding planner only for the big day

We get it—wedding planners aren’t cheap. But hiring one just for the wedding day kind of defeats the purpose of “planning” if they weren’t in the loop with everything that happened beforehand. It’s a misconception that you need to hire a wedding planner a year or months prior to the wedding. So to save some money without jeopardizing the smooth sailing of your plans, hire a wedding planner a month before.

Last-minute DIY centrepieces

Pinterest is a great place for creative and unique ideas when it comes to decorations like centrepieces. But keep in mind these quick how-to videos tend to make things look easier than they actually are. So if you’ve never been that “artsy” person, your wedding is probably not the time to start being one. If you are big on arts and crafts and want to make your own centrepieces, start as soon as you can! Nothing good can come out of rushing a project that’ll be staring your guests in the face while they eat.

Choosing a playlist over a DJ

The difference between a curated playlist and a DJ is that the latter is physically present and can gauge the reactions of everyone on the dance floor. The last thing you want is a sad, slow song to play while your guests are still jamming to an upbeat one. Hire a DJ so you don’t have to keep wondering whether people are having fun or not.

Overspending on an open bar

Arguably one of the best things about weddings is “free” booze – but obviously for the couple, it comes with a cost, a substantial one. Instead of spending too much money on a cashless bar, try an “on consumption” bar, where you only pay for what your guests drink. Another budget-friendly way to keep your guests happy is by finding a venue that allows you to purchase your own alcohol to serve. This way, you can return any unopened bottles.

Booking the venue before making the guest list

It’s your big day and you want to share it with everyone you know and love—totally understandable. Unfortunately, not all venues can accommodate a large crowd. Each one has a set capacity. So it’s important to have a clear idea of how many people you decide to invite before saying “yes” to a venue.

Inconsistency with the plus-one policy

Some couples pick and choose who the plus-one policy applies to. Huge mistake! This causes confusion and possibly even hurt feelings, when some guests show up with a plus-one the couple knows about, while others were told not to bring a date.

Poorly-timed invites

It’s not a good idea to send out your invitations and save-the-dates between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Around this time, your guests’ inboxes are flooded with other invites. You wouldn’t want your invitation to get lost in all that clutter! Timing is everything.

Waiting too long to send Thank You notes

It’s your big day, meaning you and your new spouse will receive a ton of gifts. There’s an unwritten rule that a couple has three months to send thank you notes to guests. But why wait that long when you don’t have to? Chances are you might even forget , so don’t put off the thank you’s. You don’t wait three months to say thanks for a birthday gift, so why do it for your wedding?

Not communicating with the photographer

From the walk down the aisle to the first dance, photos are a great way to remember all the good stuff. This is why proper communication with your photographer is key. When photographers provide the couple thousands of photos to choose from after the wedding, it can get a little overwhelming. Ask your photographer if they can go over the pictures and delete those that don’t need to be there. No, you don’t need ten photos of your adorable ring bearer in the same pose.