21 Wedding Planning Myths It's Time to Expose

By Maria Yeonhee Ji

When it comes to planning your wedding it may feel like there are so many rules to follow and expectations to meet. However, the truth is that over the years there have been numerous traditions and trends that have established themselves as near-decrees. Which is silly, especially these days when couples have so much more freedom to exercise when planning the event to celebrate such a milestone in the relationship. To help you navigate the myths and misconceptions, here is a list exposing some of the most prevalent lies about wedding planning. 

PLANNING MYTHS

1/ A WEDDING WILL INEVITABLY BE A MONEY SINKHOLE

wedding, outdoor, epic, shoot, location, couple, kiss, mountain, lake,  landscape

Image by Peyton Curry

Though it’s true that many couples do end up spending what they may feel is an exorbitant amount of money on their wedding, spending a considerable proportion of your savings isn’t a requirement by any means. Modern couples are increasingly opting to make savvy decisions that position them better financially in the years ahead. 

2/ TALENTED MATES CAN REPLACE PROFESSIONALS

lux, interior, design, spiral staircase, wedding, photoshoot, bride, groom, dancing

Image by Hollow & Co. 

Financially savvy doesn’t necessarily mean that you should opt for non-professionals when it comes to your vendors, however. Though there are some aspects of wedding planning where you may benefit from accepting kind offers from talented friends/family (e.g. a talented and reliable baker offers to make the cake), in most cases they will not be equivalent to hiring the services of a professional. Without the event experience, industry relationships, and knowledge of how and where to source the best materials, a mate (however talented) may struggle to create the same dream aesthetic that a pro is used to consistently delivering. This is particularly important when it comes to things like wedding photography - you may end up regretting the decision to attempt to be thrifty further down the line when you don’t have the most important, intimate moments of the day captured in a way that takes you back to your magical day. 

3/ THE FOCUS HAS TO BE ON FAMILY

couple, happy, stress-free, bride, wedding, photography

Image by Lynn Lewis Photography

There’s immense pressure to make weddings a family-centric affair, but that’s not a rule you’re obliged to follow. It’s true that one of the perks of a wedding is that it can be used as a lovely excuse to bring extended family members together. But it’s also true that many people have extremely large extended families, or families that have complicated/tense dynamics that you may not bring into the celebration of your love for your partner. It is perfectly acceptable to make the focus of the wedding your relationship and feelings for each other and to organise a wedding that will keep that at the heart of the festivities. 

4/ THE MORE THE MERRIER

outdoor, wedding, moody, dark, palette, clouds, mist,

Image by The Kitcheners

Another misunderstanding to clear up early is that you also don’t have to invite everyone who invited you to their weddings. Kevin, founder of Simply Wed, says “small, intimate weddings are as good, if not better than larger ones. The most important, magical part of the wedding happens in the first hour or two. And fewer guests mean you get to spend that special time with the people who mean the most to you.”

5/ THE PLANNING Responsibilities go to the Bride

couple, wedding, glam, happy, couch, photography

Image by Kate Little Photography

Remember that a wedding is all about celebrating the partnership you have with your partner - make sure you put that partnership to use in the wedding planning! Sharing the responsibilities will the groom/your significant other will lighten the load of the lengthy to-do list and also ensure that they get their dream wedding, too. 

6/ A WEDDING PLANNER IS AN UNNECESSARY LUXURY

invite, table, setup, design, floral, colour, palette, summer, wedding, bride, reception

Image sourced via DU Soiree Weddings & Events 

If you’re assuming that a wedding planner is an unnecessary luxury for those who want an ostentatious, large-scale event, you couldn’t be more wrong. Wedding planners work to events of any scale and can end up actually saving you a lot of money and stress overall. Kevin from Simply Wed says “it’s a sad thing to see brides going to their wedding fretting about what might go wrong because they’ve invested so much in the planning. Brides at our weddings are focused on enjoying the experience.” Pop-up wedding services often come with a planner as part of the available packages, if you want the ultimate stress-free planning experience. 

7/ DIY IS BETTER

diy, table, setup, bride, groom, planning, reception, styling,

Image sourced via Sonnet Weddings & Events

Instagram and Pinterest make easy fools of those planning weddings. While DIY details may seem like incredibly thoughtful, personalised, and one-of-a-kind additions to enrich your wedding aesthetic, they can often come at considerable expense (not to mention the sheer amount of time you need to dedicate if you’re trying to hand-make things on a large scale). We’re not advocating for ruling out DIY projects altogether - just be judicious about when and why you want to take things into your own hands. 

8/ THE FATHER-OF-THE-BRIDE FRONTS THE FINANCES

Image by Peyton Curry

It’s an antiquated tradition for the father-of-the-bride to finance the whole wedding. Perhaps the groom’s family would also like to contribute, maybe the bride’s family isn’t quite in the financial state to be able to cover the entire cost of the event. Or maybe you and your partner want to fund everything independently and get more say in how you’d like the day to be planned. Who pays for what can be a tricky topic to negotiate around, but make sure that it’s a decision with which you and your partner are satisfied. 

9/ EXPECT STRESS & MENTAL HEALTH DISASTER

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Image by Lynn Lewis Photography 

Planning a wedding can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be a marathon of stress, plummeting mental health, and months of turning into your worst self. Photographer Zahn says “There’s no such thing as a bridezilla - they’re just assholes who get married.” If you’re organised, take steps to make sure all the tasks that need to be completed are sorted, and take care of yourself in the process, wedding planning related stress can be completely manageable.
 
One of the things that cause brides a lot of stress is their skin quality - the last thing you want on your wedding day is stress-related rashes, hives, breakouts, or eczema. Romy, a facialist at The Beauty Elixir, recommends working with your facialist at least 6 months prior to the wedding date to prevent the skin freaking out on the day after a last-minute facial. “...choose someone who will help manage your stress too,” says Romy. “... as much as we work with brides in the lead up to their big day to get their inner glow really glowing, we also really focus on helping manage and reduce stress right before the wedding."

10/ THE COLOUR PALETTE MUST BE SEASONAL

windy, winter, wedding, colour, palette, stormy, couple, photography, seasonal

Image by Fern Edwards Photography

There’s a lot of advice out there about the kinds of colour palettes that suit each season. And while these can be both inspirational and helpful, you by no means must adhere to the common recommendations. If you’re having an autumn wedding and you’re just not feeling those classic jewel tones, choose a palette that feels more true to your tastes. 

CEREMONY MYTHS

11/ BRIDESMAIDS

couple, wedding, no bridesmaids, bridal party, groomsmen, maid of honour

Image by The Kitcheners

The process of asking your friends to be your bridesmaids has blown up into an act that in many aspects is not too dissimilar to a proposal. However, there’s no rule to say you need to have bridesmaids at all! Deciding to not have bridesmaids may seem a little unconventional but you avoid having to publicly pick who you consider being your closest friends and you don’t have to pay the expenses of bridesmaid dresses +/- shoes. 

12/ THE NUMBERS HAVE TO MATCH

bridal party, bridesmaids, groomsmen, group, photography, wedding, bride, groom

Image by Tessa Tadlock Photography

It’s common for the number of bridesmaids to equal the number of groomsmen, and you’ll often see group photographs where they’ll be paired off for the shot. However, if you and your partner have different numbers of people who you’d consider your closest friends that you want by your sides, you don’t have to have matching numbers in your respective parties. 

13/ AN OUTDOOR CEREMONY IS A MUST

wedding, vows, ceremony, bride, groom, dress, photography

Image by Lynn Lewis Photography

New Zealand offers unparalleled outdoor landscapes, however, that doesn’t mean your ceremony has to be in the outdoors. Having an indoor ceremony means you can prioritise this part of the wedding, which is arguably the most important part, as the event won’t be impaired by poor weather or wind meaning your guests find it difficult to hear the celebrant or vows. Bex (a bride) says that “it's a lie to think that the wedding is all about the party and the reception. Your biggest regret will be not putting effort into choosing the right celebrant and prioritising your ceremony.”

14/ CONFETTI 

confetti, wedding, guests, recession, just married, couple, bride, groom, photography

Image by Levien & Lens Photography

It’s traditional for confetti or rice to be thrown at the newly married couple while they exit the ceremony venue. However there is a range of alternatives that are becoming increasingly popular (flower petals, sparklers, dove or butterfly releases), so don’t feel like you need to go for the old school options. 

WEDDING ATTIRE MYTHS

15/ THE WHITE DRESS

brides, gown, bride, dress, colour, not white, pink, bold, tradition, groom

Image by Fern Edwards Photography

The tradition of wearing a white gown only established itself less than 200 years ago when Queen Victoria decided to be married in white. Historically white was a colour that was a symbol of purity/virginity. But wedding dresses are now made in a large range of colours by ateliers all over the world, and if the classic white dress isn’t for you, feel free to opt for one of the many other stunning statement dresses that come in all manner of hues. 

16/ THE VEIL 

veil, bride, getting ready, morning, dress, makeup, wedding, photography

Image by Fern Edwards Photography

The origins of the wedding veil are imbued in some outdated beliefs such as the need to represent a woman’s virginity, the need to ward off evil spirits, and (in arranged marriages of old) to cover the woman’s face in case the groom found her repellent and decided not to walk down the aisle. So remember that though there’s nothing stopping modern brides from wearing veils if they like the accessory/look of them, there’s also absolutely nothing forcing your hand if you want to ditch the veil altogether. 

17/ THE PRICE TAG IS ABOUT MARKUP AND MARKETING 

white, wedding, floral, bride, gown, dress, photography, bouquet

Image by Samantha Donaldson Photography

Though the wedding industry does have a reputation for putting a markup on products and services just because they are intended for weddings, it’s not true that the price tag is all simply a marketing ploy. Garments and accessories that are made of higher quality fabrics and materials that are made ethically and/or sustainably will naturally reflect this in the price tag. 

18/ SOMETHING OLD, NEW, BORROWED & BLUE

tradition, wedding, floral, bouquet, bride, groom, couple, shoot, photography

Image by Jodie C Photography

The bridal rhyme of having to wear something old, new, borrowed, and blue for luck is a complete superstition. Though some contemporary brides like to stick to this tradition, there’s no reason why it’s necessary to go out of your way to find accessories that fit these categories (especially if you’re not a big fan of the colour blue or it’s simply not part of your palette). 

19/ FORMAL WEAR  IS FOR WINTER WEDDINGS

winter, wedding, floral, bouquet, white, dress, bride, photography

Image by Levien & Lens Photography

While your groomsmen may not appreciate having to sport a three-piece suit in the sweltering heat of mid-summer, there are still ways to keep the dress code formal in the warmer months. Having a summer wedding doesn’t exclude formalwear from your options - you can go as extravagant and as formal as you want as long as you pick your fabrics wisely.

RECEPTION  MYTHS

20/ YOU CAN’T AVOID THE FOOD BEING AVERAGE

catering, wedding, food, littlewolf, reception

Image sourced via LittleWolf

The days of average wedding reception food are far behind us - it is definitely possible to have fantastic food at an event of a larger scale! Liaise with your vendor about the different options that may meet your group’s needs better - if you opt for something other than a sit-down reception dinner, you may be able to avoid the higher per head costs that let you invest in menu options that will leave your guests’ mouths watering for third helpings. 

21/ YOU CAN’T JUST RELY ON A DJ OR BAND

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Image by Levien & Lens Photography

There are many false assumptions that float about the ether when it comes to wedding music. Many people assume that you need both DJ and wedding band at the reception because one of them alone will be insufficient for a good evening. 

A common misconception for example is that a DJ will play cheesy/lame hits or talk far too much, or that a band won’t be able to provide enough variety and will take too many breaks. While you can definitely still opt to hire both a DJ and a wedding band (and most professionals will charge less for weddings in comparison to corporate bookings making booking both very doable according to Sam Browne from Blue Steel), professional DJs/bands with lots of experience will be able to hold their own with regards to getting your crowd going.
 


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