What if you know what you you need to do in your wedding planning, but what about the things you’re not supposed to do? Are there things to avoid? Are there things you’ll regret years down the road? Definitely. Let’s look at the common wedding planning mistakes couples make.

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Certainly there are elements that are key to a fine art wedding, but are there elements that undermine the fine art aesthetic? Absolutely. In this list you’ll find both aesthetic elements as well as elements that affect the experience…30 of them with images and ideas of what you could do it instead.

Chicago wedding bride holding bouquet

30 Common Wedding Planning Mistakes Brides Make

…and How to Avoid Them

Props, Tangibles and Decor

Burlap and doilies. Instead, consider silk, linens, satins, high quality lace, and velvet.

Baby’s breath bouquets. Instead, consider higher quality flowers for filler flowers that are less mainstream.

Chalkboards. Instead, consider stone, fine paper, and calligraphy.

Low-quality frames and decorative items. Instead, rent high quality items like metal candelabras and easels. If you’re looking for a table numbers, consider hand-torn paper, using fruit as number holder and think beyond the IKEA frames, if possible.

Chicago wedding bride getting ready with bridesmaids

Props for portraits at tables throughout the venue. Instead, hire a photo booth service to isolate the service and keep the fun without having guests modifying the atmosphere with low-quality props.

Bubbles. Instead, consider lavender, olive petals, or rice.

Weathered wood. Instead, choose pristine materials such as woods with elegant stains and fine finishes, metals, stones, and plasters.

Beer Cans. Instead, use a glass and eliminate the casual nature of cans and definitely skip insulators.

Ampersand signs or other kitschy props. Instead, use larger prop rentals like antique luxury cars, sail boats, settings with respectfully treated animals, European scooters, etc.

Design Style

Trends (smoke bombs, colored powder other than for cultural traditions, funky lipstick colors, bird cage veils, etc.). Instead, avoid all elements that are not timeless and that can be associated with a year or period.

Themes. Instead consider focusing on a type of ambiance, like low key, high fashion and family oriented.

A full pallet of bright colors. Instead, use color sparingly that allows for all elements in the neutral or subdued tones to blend and melt seamlessly into each other and the background, saving any hints of bright colors for the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets.

Toronto wedding invitation flat lay with green envelope

Excessive artificial lighting (when possible). Instead, maximize the use of natural light and mimic natural light when artificial lighting is used, when possible; for walls and pillars, consider uplighting to infuse a warmth into the venue and create depth that translates well to the eye and camera.

A venue you don’t adore. Instead, select a venue that is timeless and special to the experience you wish to create; allow the venue to tell part of the story of your beautiful wedding, look for character and architectural elements that will lend themselves to an enchanting experience for you and your guests.

A mainstream hotel banquet hall (or the like). Instead, choose something with more character and style; some hotels have beautiful historic or refined spaces for ceremonies and receptions, look for something that is more than just a space, but rather a space that tells its own story and enhances yours.

Over- or under-decorating. Instead, hire a planner or ensure you plan a day where all details are included, coordinated, and complimentary to each other, avoiding forgotten corners of barrenness and equally avoiding over the top decor that will not fit the fine art aesthetic.

An aisle runner on grass without a base. Instead, ensure the aisle runner is run only on a hard surface where where heeled shoes cannot affect the integrity of the runner and cause potential hazards; likewise, the runner should add beauty when used, if it is a nuisance, simply remove it.


Over-estimating how many photos can be taken in a given time-frame. Instead, choose only the most meaningful family groupings and the most meaningful locations when planning your timeline – quality over quantity – every time; remember, less is more and feeling rushed or overwhelmed with photos will detract from the ambiance of your day for you and everyone involved.

Adding your registry information in your invitation. Instead, skip this message or suggest a donation to a particular fund in lieu of gifts.

A large time between the ceremony and reception. Instead, respect your guests time by ensuring a beautiful hour for cocktails prior to commencing with the reception.

This topic warrants a pause here. We are about half-way through our list of common wedding planning mistakes couples make. Congratulate yourself on coming this far and for making the effort to elevate your design and experience by hosting a timeless gathering. Every decision we make to include an element in our day, should come with a reason and a purpose. Let’s keep reading to ensure we get to this next point, which is a HUGE factor in having a successful, joy-filled day.

Overbooking your schedule with items. Instead, allow yourself the opportunity to enjoy your day by allocating the time you need for photos, but also the time needed to enjoy the beautiful experiential celebration you’ve created.

Skipping out on providing some alcoholic beverages for guests (other than for religious reasons). Instead, host an open bar or select drinks to treat your guests and set a welcoming tone.

Forgetting to send thank you notes. Instead, conclude your refined hosting by sending thank you notes within two weeks of your wedding.

Irish wedding venue Tankardstown


Cheap tuxedo and suit rentals. Instead, purchase suiting in timeless colors or rent high end formalwear.

Untucked shirts. Instead, ask all individuals wearing suiting shirts to respect a formal dress code until open dancing begins.

Casual attire. Instead, opt for formal attire for evening weddings and semi-formal attire for afternoon receptions, this ensures a timeless, respectful, and elegant dress code to allow your images to be in beauty.

Cummerbunds (unless they are part of traditional West Asian, African or other cultural attire). Instead, choose classic suiting styles that have persisted for decades, ensuring your images will retain a timelessness.

Wedding couple walking in front of World Food Prize building

Bright colored bowties and socks. Instead, stick to a formal and classic dress-code; color is ok, but find timeless colors or use limited brighter colors in bouquets and table florals; classic socks ensure a timelessness and elegance in your photographs; nothing derails a fine art style faster than harsh colors.

Wardrobe that does not suit your location. Instead, select men’s and women’s attire that match the environment and temperature.

Wedding Vendor Team

A team of vendors that doesn’t cohesively work toward a common aesthetic. Instead, select a team of artists that seek to operate as a team and deliver you a luxury experience leading up to the event as much as on the day of your wedding itself; ensure you connect your vendors by circulating their contact information.

Toronto wedding photo of simple wedding cake with gold foil

***Are you looking for inspiration of beautiful weddings filled with all the GOOD THINGS? Visit my St. James 1868 Wedding in ilwaukee gallery or my Tankardstown Wedding in Ireland gallery.***

Toronto wedding with green floral installation

Toronto wedding reception crystal chandeliers with guests mingling


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