Top 10 Wedding Planning Mistakes Couples Make - Wed Mayhem
12 min

Top 10 Wedding Planning Mistakes Couples Make

Wedding planning is stressful, especially as this might be the first time you’ve done it. Our Wedding Wingman Ashley McHone of Always Flawless Planning & Design has planned hundreds of weddings, meaning she’s got experience you want to tap into. Over her years of wedding planning, she’s watched couples make the same mistakes over and over, and she’s here to help you avoid them. In this wedding planning advice video, learn what brides and grooms wish they could go back and tell themselves before they made these common mistakes.

Meet Your Wedding Wingman!

Ashley McHone is a wedding planner and designer who founded Always Flawless Productions nearly ten years ago. With hundreds of incredible weddings under her belt, Ashley joined Wed Mayhem to help couples dive into this crazy process with a plan.

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7 min

Unpopular Opinion: Engagement Parties are Pointless

Congratulations! You’re engaged. Now what? For some couples, next up is planning and throwing an engagement party. Unpopular opinion, but these are totally unnecessary. Here’s why you should consider doing you and your guests a favor and ditch the engagement party.

What It Is

A party, held in the first few months of an engagement, to celebrate the occasion and kick off the wedding festivities. It also can help wedding guests to get to know each other before the actual big day. It’s traditionally held by the parents of the folks getting married, but most couples nowadays choose to throw it themselves. Engagement parties can span from being very formal (think: gift registry, formal invites, RSVPs) to more casual.


Unless an engagement party is culturally significant to you or has a family tradition attached to it, these are just another party you’re expected to throw. Let’s look at the list of popularly held group gatherings that you can have pre-wedding that similar sets of people are expected to attend.

  • Engagement party
  • Wedding/bridal shower
  • Bachelor party
  • Bachelorette party
  • Bridesmaids and groomsmen luncheon/meet
  • Welcome party
  • Rehearsal dinner

This is a huge (and expensive) list and it doesn’t even include culturally specific events that can happen pre-wedding. Doing all of these is great (I guess) if everyone attending your wedding lives close to where you’re hosting, none of the guests know each other, and you have unlimited time to plan events. If these stars don’t align, here are the three big reasons why you should consider not doing this party.

1. It’s a Burden for Your Guests

Are you really going to have your sister come out to your engagement party and then again for your shower and then again for your bachelorette and then again for your wedding? Not to mention that she’s taking time off work for the holidays and then maybe she wants, like, a self care Friday sometime this year. Plus, she probably has at least one other set of wedding things she’s going to for another pair of friends. IMO, engagement parties are needlessly expensive and time consuming for you and your guests.

2. It’s Not a Big Deal for People to Meet

To address the purpose of guests meeting each other… Why is that so important? Everyone attending is going to know someone else. If y’all have a random work friend that just needs to be at the ceremony, organize an informal brunch with some other friends who will be attending so they can get to know each other. Additionally, your parents should definitely meet pre-engagement party anyway so they can actually talk and spend time together with just the two of you.

3. It’s Exhausting for You

Also, how much can you plan? You’re planning the wedding (even if you have a whole wedding planner, you still have to make decisions). You’re figuring out bridal and engagement shoots, making save-the-dates and registries, coordinating all the other parties listed above, plus managing the inevitable social politics of throwing a big gathering. You also, maybe, have a life outside of wedding planning and other stuff you like to do? Go crochet or get coffee with your girlfriends instead of spending Sunday trying to find enough gluten free mini-cruffins for all of your friends.

So… What Now?

Here are alternatives to engagement parties that are 100x better:

Smaller Gatherings

Get together informally with close friends and family in order to really spend quality time with them. Big parties, which will be happening over the course of your wedding timeline, are so fun, but they can make it hard to really spend time with individual people. Cherish this time with more intimate settings.

… Nothing

Don’t do anything! Announce and then spend time together as a couple. You have a smorgasbord of optional parties to choose from over the course of your engagement. Choose other ones that don’t require your guests to spend their next year commuting to wherever you are and buying you gifts.

And there it is. This wedding season give yourself a break! Intentionally choose when you are going to have people gather on your behalf and who is invited. Of course, everyone has their own opinions about what events are important to keep. Talk with your partner about budget and which events are non-negotiables for both of you. Also, check out 6 Wedding Traditions to Ditch…and 3 to Keep for more expert commentary on traditions to potentially throw out the window during your planning process. Disagree with me? Take a peek at Why You Should Throw an Engagement Party, where I look at the positive side of engagement parties.

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