Fact—reality often doesn't meet expectations. Whether it's because you've watched The Wedding Planner one too many times, or you've thought about what your big day would look like since you were a kid, you may have the wrong idea about wedding planning. And that may lead to quite a few disappointments and family drama.
So before you start an argument with your S.O. about how their unwillingness to help you pick wedding colors might actually mean they don't want to marry you (or other such nonsense) we reached out to professional wedding planners and asked them to share the most common misconceptions about their job—and weddings in general.
VIDEO: Tips for Planning a Wedding on a Budget
1. MYTH: My fiancé and I will plan everything together.
Reality: "Many brides have a Hollywood movie playing in their head of what being engaged and planning a wedding is all about: Your attentive groom agreeing with all your ideas, oohing and ahhing over shantung linens with you. But the reality is, your groom may not be interested in debating ecru v. white escort cards, and that is perfectly fine. Just because your groom may not be as excited about the planning details, doesn’t mean he is any less excited about marrying you and spending the rest of his life with you! Ask your groom what are a few items he’s excited about (typically the band, alcohol, and the cake tastings) and let him take the lead on those tasks."—Sara Fried of Fête Nashville
2. Myth: Your Wedding Ceremony must be the first event of your Wedding Day.
Reality: "We find guests love the surprise of the ceremony happening in a non-traditional time of day. Greet your guests at a wonderful sunset cocktail hour and then welcome them to a ceremony at dusk before continuing the night with dinner and dancing."—Sheila Camp Motley, owner, Sheila Camp Motley Event Design + Management
3. Myth: Bridesmaids must wear identical dresses.
Reality: "This is just not necessary. There are many ways to coordinate your bridesmaids without forcing them to wear the same dress. Consider dresses in the same color yet different styles that will flatter each girl individually, or choose two or three shades of a color for the dresses to create a coordinating palette."— Sandy Hammer at AllSeated
4. Myth: Your planner will tackle your seating arrangements for you.
Reality: "While yes, your planner can assist you and offer you seating tips, only you know your family and friend dynamic. Your planner cannot blindly decide who should sit with who."—Sandy Hammer at AllSeated
5. Myth: DIY saves money and is easy if you use Pinterest.
Reality: "It takes time to DIY, if you want to have something done right. Unless the bride or groom is an artsy craftsperson by trade (or naturally), most likely the projects are not going to cost less, and will certainly cost more time and energy. And ultimately they will not look like the Pinterest images. Also DIY means "do it yourself." It doesn't mean order a bunch of things, bring them to the venue, and ask the venue staff (or your wedding coordinator) to set them up for you"—Sojourner Auguste of Erganic Design
6. Myth: Wedding planning is easier when you use your family to help set things up.
Reality: "You really think your mom, grandma, sister, cousin, uncle etc will set up the DIY projects you have? Will they actually get all of your projects done and still have time to get dressed for the wedding? Or will do what they can, and then leave the rest behind because they don't want to be late. Also, news flash—your family is actually mad at you because they won't get to enjoy the wedding."—Sojourner Auguste of Erganic Design
7. MYTH: Wedding planners are only necessary for high end weddings.
Reality: "This is the biggest myth of them all. Wedding planners are an absolute necessity whether you are getting married on a budget or in a castle. You are busy! Your planner will present you with ideas and vendors that suit your vision and budget. Plus, there are things you just don’t want to do. Planning a once-in-a-lifetime event has hours of very un-glamorous work behind the scenes."—Sara Fried of Fête Nashville
8. Myth: A Huge Wedding Band is a Must
Reality: "Instead of forcing a traditional wedding band into your day, offer guests a different experience by focusing on your dinner instead. We love when our clients are open to hiring a smaller specialty live music act, and hiring a creative caterer that can make the wedding day special with a five-course local tasting menu."—Sheila Camp Motley, Owner, Sheila Camp Motley Event Design + Management
9. MYTH: The Wedding of Your Childhood Dreams
Reality: "So many brides have dreamed about their wedding day since they were a little girl. But now that your day is here, it may be time to adjust your dreams to a more updated version. You may decide on a sleek designer wedding dress and your knight in shining armor may look better in a traditional tux. The grand ballroom with opulent chandeliers may take a back seat to a modern warehouse venue with lots of natural light. Try to be mindful of decisions that you will be happy with when looking back on your wedding day in 10, 20 years."—Sara Fried of Fête Nashville
10. Myth: Save on your budget by only hiring a day of planner.
Reality: "The value of working with a planner comes from partnering early on so they can help you make the best decisions based on your style and your budget. Too often brides wait until late in their planning process to hire a planner once contracts have been signed and deposits paid. In the eleventh hour more money is spent trying to bring details together over the last days that could have been saved under the guidance of a good planning team."—Sheila Camp Motley, owner, Sheila Camp Motley Event Design + Management
11. Myth: Photo/Video shot lists are not needed.
Reality: "The most amazing photogaphers/videographers use shot lists. They don't have boring, static images/films. They have amazing work, because they had clarity on what the couple wanted."—Sojourner Auguste of Erganic Design
12. Myth: Everything must be perfect on your wedding day.
Reality: "Nothing ever goes 100-percent according to plan! The good news, though, is that no one but you will know the details as you planned them. So, if something is missing or not perfect, only you will realize it. On the day of your wedding, let it all go and enjoy the moment."—Sandy Hammer at AllSeated