We're lifting the veil on the little surprises that no one tells you about prepping for your big day.
Credit: Bryan Gardner

It's possible to plan too early.

Every season brings new dresses, décor, and trends. Planning with two years to go can leave you disappointed with your picks or scrambling to make last-minute changes. There are exceptions. If you know you want a popular date, a certain venue, or a hard-to-pin-down band, it's OK to secure them. Just hold off on the décor and style planning until closer to the one-year mark.

It's a 101 in business contracts.

Yes you get to pick pretty flowers, taste-test your favorite cuisine, and rent a fancy fleet of cars, but they all require contracts. Don't take the vendor's word for anything. Read the contract front to back (at least twice), and make sure you know what you're signing.

Get Vendor Etiquette Tips

The advice will overwhelm you.

Once that ring slips on your finger, it's on! Brace yourself for phone calls, emails, and texts filled with what you should do, how you should do it, and why your way isn't the right way. Smile, nod, and do what you want.

Fees, fees, fees ... they're everywhere.

Did you know there's such thing as a cake-cutting fee? Yep. It's a real thing, and your venue might have one. Add taxes, services charges, and delivery fees, and your budget might be in trouble. Read the fine print, and plan a contingency in your budget for these fees.

More Hidden Costs to Beware

You'll have nightmares.

No, really! You'll find yourself shooting out of bed in a panic that your dress rips off midway down the aisle or a big rainstorm floods your venue. While it's very unlikely these things will actually happen, they'll keep you up at night. Sweet dreams …

Things Not to Freak Out About

You'll also shed tears.

If you found yourself in a puddle of tears during your proposal, there's more where that came from. There will be tears over finding the dress, a sweet shower gift, or just a hug from mom. And you'll cry stressful tears, too. (Think mother-in-law's white dress or a booked vendor you wanted.) Don't fight it. Happy tears will make the best memories, and sad tears will help you de-stress.

How to Stress Less

It's only as much work as you make it.

This is especially true if you plan to take on a lot of DIY projects. Make a realistic to-do list with a few tasks for each week or month. By spreading things out, your wedding won't take over your life.

There will be hurt feelings.

From your dad's fifth cousin's disappointment over no invite to your mom's disapproval over your dress pick, you're bound to make someone upset or mad on accident. You can't please everyone, and that's OK.

You'll fight with your fiancé.

Pink's your signature color. It's not his. You want an envelope liner. He thinks it's a waste of money. Try to find a compromise, and then go on a date. Spend time together and ban the wedding talk.

Common Bride and Groom Fights

The mistakes won't matter in the end.

Spat with your mother-in-law, crooked cake, last-minute vendor swap, nothing (and we mean nothing) can bring you down. No tips needed here. Congrats!


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