Free Wedding Checklists for Budget, Guests and More

Need help planning your wedding? Here at Wedding Ideas, we’ve produced a fabulous set of free wedding checklists to help you organise your big day. From wedding planner guides to guest spreadsheets and how to organise a hen party, our free downloads break the whole planning process down.

Free Wedding Checklist for Budget, Guests and More

Free Wedding Checklists for Budget, Guests and More

Want less worry, more party? Our friends at Alive Network[1], the UK’s biggest and best loved wedding entertainment specialists, have put together an at-a-glance planning guide with wedding checklists for venues, performers and suppliers, plus on-the-day timings.

Download your wedding checklists[2]


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account. To join in the conversation, share your stories here.[3][4][5]


  1. ^ Alive Network (
  2. ^ Download your wedding checklists (
  3. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  4. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account. (
  5. ^ here (

30 Common Wedding Fails Every Bride Could Avoid

30 Common Wedding Fails Every Bride Could Avoid.

These 30 common wedding fails, revealed by our real-life brides, could have easily be avoided with a little prior planning… Read on to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes!

Short of time on the wedding morning

Not leaving enough time for hair and make-up. Make sure your bridesmaids[1] get hair and make-up out of the way first, so your artist has time to concentrate on you – the bride!


Last minute DIY

Trying to do more DIY details[2] than you can handle, and running out of time. Many brides complained about this nightmare scenario. DIY is a great way to personalise your day on a budget, but if you don’t allocate enough time to finish the job properly, you will end up spending more money in the long run.

30-wedding-fails- Hannah Tom Murdoch Wedding Kristy Field Photography-119

Too many cooks…

Forgetting to set parental boundaries. This is another common wedding fail among couples, as many complain of parents interfering[3] with their plans. Set boundaries right from the start, and give them specific jobs so they can feel involved without taking over. BEARD_086

Buying accessories before your dress

A big dress fail! Many brides have got caught up in the excitement of wedding planning[4] and bought accessories before the gown. Then, when they find their dream dress, guess what? The accessories don’t match. The dress should be the centre of attention and the accessories should complement it – not the other way round. michelle&jon-58 - Copy

Speedy decisions

Being too narrow-minded when it comes to choosing your dress – try on a few, you never know what you might like! Coloured or tinted wedding dresses have proved popular in the last 3 years so make sure you try on few wildcards while you have the chance. You might be surprised! details_012

Not involving your husband-to-be

A common mistake and one of the reasons why so many brides turn into bridezillas during the wedding planning. It’s a day for both of you so include your man[5] in the preparations – common jobs for grooms include sorting the suits, drinks and honeymoon. S&T-261 copy

Not securing your venue first

You book the registrar before securing a venue[6]. So you’ve sorted a date and you want everything to start moving along so you put your deposit down on a venue… But wait! Have you booked the registrar yet? No? Then they may not be available. Put a tentative hold on your venue or a minimal refundable deposit on your venue until you know for definite that someone will be able to marry you!

Thinking wedding insurance isn’t worth it

wedding insurance can cover you from everything from supplier bankruptcy to cancellation due of illness. Basic policies start from around £20 so it’s a no-brainer. Carmichael Wedding (2)

Forgetting to eat on the day[7]

You do not want to be the next You’ve Been Framed bride that faints at the altar. Make sure you eat something at breakfast and limit your alcohol intake during the day.

Not saying hello to all your guests

You don’t have to spend hours with them, just a quick hello and thank you for coming will suffice. Personally handing out favours[8] at the reception is a great way to do this.

Un-natural Poses

Doing silly photography poses[9] that just don’t feel natural to you. OK you need to give your photographer the benefit of the doubt in most cases, but if they’re asking you to smooch a little too much or climb a tree or anything else that doesn’t feel comfortable, just say no. Meeting with your photographer beforehand so he or she can get a feel of what you’re like as a couple should stop this!

Not getting a picture with your mum[10]

A common mistake, especially when your dad gets so much attention walking you down the aisle. HAS0106

A drastic look

Yes a wedding is a formal occasion but that doesn’t mean you hair has to be? If you feel more like you with your hair down, don’t decide to go drastic with your bridal look and wear it up if it simply isn’t you. Try out new styles and see how they work for you but the truth is the more natural and comfortable you look, the more confident you will feel.

On-the-day makeup supplies

Forgetting your make-up emergency bag[11] on your big day. Touch-ups are essential throughout the day – plus your evening guests will want to see you looking as fresh and as fabulous as you were in the morning.

Budgeting for wedding dress alterations. 

Keep in mind that you will more than likely have to pay for alterations to your gown especially if you’re buying off the peg. Adam Gray 66_FULLER_PREP

Forgetting to book a manicure[12]

Your hands are going to be photographed all day – and up close – so bitten nails are a big no no.

30-wedding-fails- Hannah Tom Murdoch Wedding Kristy Field Photography-021

Fixating on the small details

Rain on your wedding day[13], favours pointing the wrong way, your table plan not positioned in the exact place you wanted… All little annoyances that will melt away into the background. Don’t sweat the small stuff and concentrate on getting married!

Forgetting your bridesmaids[14] have lives outside of your wedding

This is common b2b fail! Yes, your girls want to help make your day super special but they also have other priorities. Try to suggest a few dates for activities like dress shopping, rather than dictating a particular time. CNV00258

Not finalising guest numbers

Being too laid back about late RSVPs. There is no excuse for a late RSVP. Equally, there is no excuse for adding on a plus one where one was not given and adding children[15] on the invite if they were not specifically listed in the first place.

Too long between ceremony and reception

This is the time when you’ll have your professional pictures taken but if it’s longer than an hour or so, it will get very BORING for your guests. Plan some entertainment[16], games or food during this time to keep them occupied.

30-wedding-fails- Hannah Tom Murdoch Wedding Kristy Field Photography-069

Compulsory sit-down meal

Feeding your guests on your wedding day doesn’t automatically cue the traditional sit-down meal to toast you into marriage! Buffets, cream teas, hog roasts, street food vans, posh pub grub and ice cream stations are super fun for weddings particularly outdoors, could really save you money and are sure to be a guest-pleaser! DR_306

Being too strict with social media (or not strict enough!)

Do you want pictures from your wedding tweeted before the official ones are released? If so, let guests know before you’re all over Facebook by the end of the day. Equally if you want guests to share your day with other friends and family who couldn’t make it, make your own hashtag[17] so guests can follow all the action.

Not having a wedding budget spreadsheet

If you haven’t already done this, you’ll want to be able to budget for every aspect of your day and keep a track on it as you go.

Including your gift list details[18] with your invitations

it’s best to be spread via word of mouth via your parents, or on your wedding website!

Predicting your dress size on the day

Buying your wedding dress in a size that’s too small, thinking you’ll be able to lose the weight[19]. A common error that will be costly to fix!

30-wedding-fails- Emily&DaveStuckey_W_109

Forgetting to feed your wedding suppliers who are with you all day

A hot meal should be provided for the all-day suppliers like your photographer[20] although they don’t have to be accommodated in the actual reception.

Not giving your table plan[21] enough consideration

Think about your single friends, or maybe if you have divorced parents, they could host their own tables? Check out our guide on seating plans for unconventional families![22] Beccy & Tom full res-364

Sending your thank you notes too late!

Wedding etiquette[23] says they should be sent within three months of the wedding date for gifts given on the day! mirror Imaging Photography226 copy

Not getting your engagement ring[24] cleaned

Make sure it’s super sparkly when photographed against your new wedding ring! BeckyPhil-470

Honeymoon Prep

If you are going traditional and leaving for your honeymoon straight after your wedding day make sure you ask someone to bring your honeymoon[25] luggage to the venue! After a day as a princess, you do not want to be carting luggage around! Ask the best man, chief bridesmaid, ushers or parents to help out with this.

Now you’re aware of the common wedding fails, that seem so simple but can easily slip a busy bride’s mind, you can focus on bigger things! We’ve got lots of things to help you with your wedding planning[26], including checklists, questions to ask[27], tips[28] and inspiration from our features on dress collections[29] and real weddings[30].


  1. ^ Bridesmaids (
  2. ^ DIY Weddings (
  3. ^ 7 ways to make your family a big part of the wedding day (
  4. ^ Free wedding planning spreadsheets for budget, photo lists and more (
  5. ^ Best man duties – responsibilities and tasks for the groom’s wing man (
  6. ^ 10 must-ask questions when booking your wedding venue (
  7. ^ 10 delicious alternatives for your wedding food! (
  8. ^ 20 wedding favours your guests will love! (
  9. ^ 15 top wedding photography tips from the professionals (
  10. ^ 13 emotional wedding photos guaranteed to make your mum cry (
  11. ^ Wedding Hair and Makeup (
  12. ^ 11 classic wedding beauty buys every bride should try (
  13. ^ Coping with wedding day rain and the great British weather (
  14. ^ 21 amazing wedding photo ideas for your bridesmaids (
  15. ^ Children at Weddings (
  16. ^ 5 brilliant wedding entertainment ideas for older children (
  17. ^ Using social media to help plan your wedding (
  18. ^ 10 alternative wedding gift list ideas you’ll love! (
  19. ^ 7 reasons you’re not losing weight – yet! (
  20. ^ 14 ways to look fabulous in your wedding photographs (
  21. ^ 20 amazing table plans to suit your wedding theme (
  22. ^ guide on seating plans for unconventional families! (
  23. ^ Wedding etiquette (
  24. ^ Engagement ring (
  25. ^ 20 dream honeymoons you can afford – part 1! (
  26. ^ Wedding Planning (
  27. ^ 10 common questions every wedding planner gets asked (
  28. ^ 15 expert wedding planning tips revealed! (
  29. ^ Wedding Dress Collections (
  30. ^ Real Weddings (

Avoid These 6 Mistakes When Sending Save the Date Cards

Sending save the date cards is a great idea to remind guests and avoid anyone booking a holiday on your chosen date. But, there are some easy errors you can make when creating them. Make sure to avoid these 6 mistakes when you’re sending out your wedding reminders.

RVSP Invite - 6 Mistakes of Sending Save the Date Cards

6 Mistakes of Sending Save the Date Cards

Sending Them too Late

The earlier you can notify guests of the date of your wedding, the better. That gives them all the more opportunity to book the time off work, confirm hotel reservations and so on.

Save The date - 6 Mistakes of Sending Save the Date Cards

Not Making it Personal

Your save the date invitation[1] doesn’t have to exactly match your colour scheme or wedding theme  – you may not even know what it is at this stage. Just make it personal to you and your husband to be to ensure your guests will never forget your chosen date! Perhaps a photobooth picture of you both? Or you with your pets? Whatever immediately says ‘us’ will be fine.

Personalised date reminder - 6 Mistakes of Sending Save the Date Cards

Not Including Plus Ones

If you know that you want one of your guests to bring a plus one at this stage, add this to your save the date card. It will help them to arrange hotel bookings, transport and so on, the earlier they know the better.

Gig wedding date reminder - 6 Mistakes of Sending Save the Date Cards

Not Saying the Location

Although you may not know the exact venue yet, try to decide on a destination[2] and include this on your save the date cards, especially if it’s going to be abroad. If you’ve always lived in London and you send a save the date, people may assume that’s where you’re getting hitched – but that may not be the case.

Ticket Date Reminder - 6 Mistakes of Sending Save the Date Cards

Sending a Save the Date Card but not an Invitation

Think carefully before sending out save the dates because they have to go to people that you are actually going to invite[3] to the wedding. You can’t send a save a date to someone who you might only invite to the wedding reception at a later date.

Save the date invitation - 6 Mistakes of Sending Save the Date Cards

Making it too Obscure

Save the date cards give you the opportunity to be creative and fun, but don’t go too over the top. The most important thing is that the main information like your names, the date and location are clear.

Save the Date Invitation - 6 Mistakes of Sending Save the Date Cards


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page[4], and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account[5] to join in the conversation.


  1. ^ invitation (
  2. ^ destination (
  3. ^ invite (
  4. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  5. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (