Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007. Here, she breaks down the top 10 things she'd advise her clients never to do.
Wouldn't it be nice if all my brides and grooms took all of the advice that they pay me to give them and actually followed it? But they don't. That said, there are some things that I tell all of my clients not to do and it's always interesting to see who listens.
1. Don't invite more guests that you can actually afford to have accept your invitation.
2. Don't pad your invitation list to get more gifts — that's called a "gift grab" and is easily recognizable and frequently snarked about. Send announcements instead.
3. If you're using a wedding planner, don't start interviewing and hiring vendors on your own first. Most planners have preferred vendors they'll ask you to consider.
4. Don't designate your daughter, friend or anybody else as a "go between" for you and the planner because you are too busy.
6. Don't let the bridesmaids choose their own dresses. Give them guidance to ensure all of them look cohesive in photos: Choose a color in a certain designer's line of dresses and let them choose their own style. Give input about the neckline and length, too.
7. Don't give your wedding party gifts that they have to use or wear for your actual wedding. That's called "accessorizing" your wedding party, not thanking them.
8. Don't skip registering for gifts. Some brides and grooms skip it in hopes of getting cash gifts — and nobody is fooled. It's extremely bad etiquette. If they wish to give you a money-based gift certificate, they will. If you don't want gifts at all, put something snappy like, "Your presence is present enough!" on your wedding website.
9. Don't invite the same wedding guests to more than one bridal shower, unless they're immediate family or wedding party. Again, it looks like a gift grab and your guests will feel overburdened.
10. Don't put off all the things your wedding planner told you to get done in the first three months of planning. It's easy to tell yourself you have a year to write your DJ playlist, choose your ceremony music and write your vows and then procrastinate. But when you're three months out from your wedding date and trying to keep up with thank-you notes, showers and bachelorette parties, and get ready for the actual big day, those things you were supposed to do six months before will come back to haunt you.