Your wedding is perhaps the biggest day of your life. You start thinking about it in adolescence and spend countless hours close to the date planning every detail, from the reception hall and the DJ to where to seat your feuding aunts.



Still, mistakes happen that could turn your dream day into a nightmare.



Wedding planners, photographers and others involved in the wedding process have seen their fair share of disasters and mistakes. They say proper planning with attention to every detail can prevent embarrassment on your big day.



One couple didn't budget enough for drinks, leaving their guests thirsty and unhappy. Another had filet mignon on the menu, although many of their guests were vegetarian.



Planning can even save the day from the unpredictable and unpreventable. If a clasp on your gown breaks just before you’re ready to walk down the aisle, a sewing kit stashed in your purse will come to the rescue.



Following are four common mistakes wedding planners have seen, and ways you can avoid them.

  

Your wedding is perhaps the biggest day of your life. You start thinking about it in adolescence and spend countless hours close to the date planning every detail, from the reception hall and the DJ to where to seat your feuding aunts.

Still, mistakes happen that could turn your dream day into a nightmare.

Wedding planners, photographers and others involved in the wedding process have seen their fair share of disasters and mistakes. They say proper planning with attention to every detail can prevent embarrassment on your big day.

One couple didn't budget enough for drinks, leaving their guests thirsty and unhappy. Another had filet mignon on the menu, although many of their guests were vegetarian.

Planning can even save the day from the unpredictable and unpreventable. If a clasp on your gown breaks just before you’re ready to walk down the aisle, a sewing kit stashed in your purse will come to the rescue.

Following are four common mistakes wedding planners have seen, and ways you can avoid them.
  
1. Not budgeting correctly

Hidden charges and mismanaging the wedding budget can result in the couple scrounging for cash in the final days, says Lynda Houghtaling, owner of Details Wedding and Party Planning in Connecticut.

Houghtaling recommends having a detailed budget with a set amount allocated for each area of the wedding. This gives the floral designer, photographer and other vendors an idea of what they can provide for the price, and prevents overcharging.

Stick to the budget, ask questions, know your guests, and beware of good deals. “A $50-a-plate reception may sound like a good deal, but not if it doesn’t include the price of the hall or drinks,” she says.     
 
2. Making unsound decisions

Many couples think once they hire a DJ, their music is taken care of. One bride didn’t check the acoustics on the yacht in which her reception was hosted. Motors drowned out the music and her cue to make her entrance.

Know the venue well before the wedding, especially if it is in a nontraditional setting such as a ship, old building or outdoor setting, advise Barbara Rothstein and Gloria Sklerov, authors of www.weddingmusiccentral.com and of the book, “How to Set Your Wedding to Music.”

Make sure the electrical system and acoustics are adequate for the equipment so you don’t blow out the electrical system, leaving the reception in the dark.

3. Putting the cake in danger

Wedding cakes are beautiful, but so much can go wrong, according to weddingpaperdivas.com. Cakes have melted from the heat, been bumped into and fallen, and become dinner for bugs and other creatures at outdoor weddings.

At an outdoor event, make sure your venue manager protects your cake with a tent to keep animals, bugs and strong winds and rain away. If you’re inside a banquet hall or restaurant, the site recommends, keep the cake away from heating vents and windows. Ensure it is stored in a cool area during decorating and transport. Finally, have the cake placed in a low-traffic area and away from the dance floor.

4. Not planning photo shoots

Pictures by the lake or are beautiful, but couples don’t always account for the amount of time it takes to get to and from the destination, sometimes making them late for their own reception.

The root of all wedding photo problems is scheduling, says Sarah Toulouse of Wedding Creativo Photography in Chicago. She recommends giving the photographer a list of photos you want taken and where you want them. Then, come up with a realistic timetable together.

“Some people want pictures by the lake, but don’t account for Saturday traffic,” Toulouse said, adding one groom allocated just 10 minutes for photos after the ceremony.

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Relieving stress

Every bride wants the perfect day, but how do you keep from becoming “bridezilla” when stressed? Here are tips from instyleweddings.com.

- Blow off steam. Find stress-busters that work for you, including laughter, exercise, music, massage, sleep, meditation and even crying.

- Count. Close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and tap each finger from one to 10 and back. If stressful thoughts intrude, start over.

- Get your ZZZ’s. And to help you sleep more easily, avoid stimulants such as coffee and sugar and even exercise within three hours of bedtime.