Unrealistic budgets to family drama: The 6 worst wedding planning mistakes, according to a professional.

When I prepared to get married earlier this year, I laughed off quips from friends who said I should prepare to enter 'Bridezilla' mode. I assured them I wasn’t going to be that kind of bride. I’m more the cool, calm and collected bride.

Then sure enough, three weeks out from the big day and I turned into some sort of wedding tyrant barking orders at family and ensuring everyone in my ‘team’ kept to a military-precision schedule so everything would go off without a hitch. 

Even though I didn’t grow up dreaming of my wedding day, the truth was, I did want everything to be perfect. 

Watch: Ask Mia Anything | My Wedding Day. Story continues below.

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Having been through the whirlwind of the final weeks before tying the knot I now know exactly why people enlist the help of a wedding planner. Things become chaotic, issues arise and you’re just trying to keep the stress acne at bay. A wedding planner is a literal angel sent from the heavens; they're everywhere you need them to be and they’re the catchfall to ensure things go to plan. 


But even with a wedding planner, tensions are heightened and, er, Bridezillas can rear their heads (trust me I’ve been there)!

I decided to ask two of Australia’s top wedding planners what are some of the biggest red flags they’ve seen as a couple's plan for their big day and how they set about making sure everything goes to plan.

Not having a weather backup plan.

I don’t know one bride or groom who hasn’t nervously refreshed the weather app on their phones in the weeks leading up to their big day. Heck, I was checking it six months out! But if you’re of the mindset that ‘it’ll be fine on the day!’ - firstly, I love your optimism and secondly, you should definitely lock in a wet weather backup just in case mother nature tries to steal your thunder.

Director and founder of After The Rock, Georgie Karloci says, “eople not investing in a good quality marquee and watching it be destroyed in high winds and not having a wet weather back up an the whole event being rained out,” are two of the biggest red flags she has seen in her 10 years as a wedding planner.

To mitigate this risk, always lock in an alternative venue for the ceremony to avoid any last-minute wash outs, no one wants to be a soggy bride!

Trying to plan a wedding too quickly.

Georgie says that a big red flag is often couples not “taking the planning timelines seriously.” In order to do the best job in pulling together a day and night to remember it’s essential to give vendors, professionals, stylists and wedding planners as much time as possible to ensure things run smoothly.


“Be honest and communicate as clearly as you can,” says Georgie. “Work to the deadlines given to you by the professionals you are working with to avoid any additional stress or disappointment. And collaborate! It's more fun when you work together to bring your dreams to life.”

Nina Wiener, Director and founder of Nina Ma’Belle Weddings and co-creator of WEDIT, says rushing the planning stage can often lead to unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved. 

“An epic wedding doesn't just occur by chance,” says Nina. “It is a secret recipe we work on for over a year and work tirelessly to pull off. Our job is to harness your vision and amplify your vibe, the clearer this is from the outset the better the journey.” 

Engage your wedding planner early and try to work to a timeline that everyone feels comfortable with for the best day ever.

Family conflicts.

“A big one is worrying about family conflicts,” says Nina. Ah yes, family. For anyone who has been married, you’ll be very aware that while it is a special day with nearest and dearest, it’s also a delicate dance managing lots of emotions within the family unit. At any given moment a sister, aunty, cousin, mother, father might start crying. There’s just something in the air!

When it comes to navigating these matters Nina says: "Family conflicts are red flags that can be managed by efficient communication and realistic expectations. With family, you can’t control them, just focus on yourself and your partner. Your planner will creatively attempt to avoid conflict via seating plans for example.”


Choosing a physical wishing well.

“Unfortunately, I have heard of wishing wells going missing as a person close to the couple has been put in charge of taking it home safely,” says Nina. “Things have gone missing along the way, whether it be envelopes falling out or the entire perspex wishing well box itself.”

“In this modern age of digital solutions, physical wishing wells do not have a place at a modern wedding,” she continues. “They are a security risk, they are an oversight by guests at 99 per cent of weddings and are outdated and clunky.” This is exactly why in 2022 Nina and her business partner Tatiana Farley launched WEDIT, an online registry that provides a streamlined solution to the traditional wishing well.

Anything to make the wedding more efficient sounds like a winner to me.

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud, Join Mia, Holly and Jessie as they talked about The kind of marriage every woman (Apparently) wants. Story continues after audio.

Unrealistic budget expectations.

I know we all want to get married on the shores of Lake Como like Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, but the reality for most of us is that our budgets are coming to be a little more humble. Both Nina and Georgie have seen plenty of brides and grooms fall under the trap of having unrealistic budget expectations when it comes to planning their wedding.


All too often Georgie has seen couples, “making decisions before a clear budget has been set out and agreed to by all investors.” This can lead to major disappointments along the way like “having to cut really important elements in the lead up and losing a supplier like your favourite photographer because they weren't secured quick enough.”

“Talk about it on the front end of planning and fall in love with your Plan B option. Prioritise what is important to you as a couple to make discussing the budget easier,” says Georgie.

“Hiring a wedding planner early in your wedding journey alleviates the stress as we can forecast your budget and set expectations early on in the piece,” adds Nina.

Wanting to work with unreliable vendors.

Oftentimes, Nina says clients are “wanting to work with suppliers who exhibit poor communication” which can be challenging while planning the perfect day for a bride and groom. 

While couples may have a vision of what they want, wedding planners have a wealth of experience and knowledge from years working in the industry. This means they have a fairly trustworthy hit list of preferred vendors and suppliers they can trust.

“I will 100 per cent work with the client to steer them away from that and always provide them with a solution that is still true to them,” says Nina. “I am a wedding planner/sounding board/stylist/confident all in one, you will get honesty with a positive solution every time when you work with me.”