You just got engaged and you’re over the moon with happiness and excitement. You want to jump right into the wedding planning, but please take a breath before diving into any quick decisions and plan wisely.

I have saved many couples from making the most common planning mistakes or helped them to correct impulse decisions that left them regretful. Here are the five top wedding planning mistakes and how to avoid them:

1) Not preparing a clear and detailed budget. Before looking at pictures and speaking to wedding vendors, sit down and set a realistic budget. Whether you and your groom are paying for the wedding yourselves or have help from family, be clear about what is portioned out for your dress, the caterer, venue, cake, photographer/videographer, the band or DJ…etc. and respect this guideline. Take your time and don’t make impulse purchases. Shop around and compare the prices from vendor to vendor. It doesn’t cost you anything to get a quote and see the vendor’s work or services as a preview, so take advantage of this opportunity to make an informed decision. Make a list of the top five most important things to you. Maybe your biggest concern is having the best food, or perhaps it’s having the best entertainment. You may then put more of your budget in these places and spending a little less on the other items that aren’t as vital to you. Wedding vendors are used to negotiating as well so don’t feel bad about doing so. After all, if you don’t ask, you won’t get.

2) Not incorporating YOU (and your groom) into the wedding details. Weddings do not always have themes, but all the unforgettable weddings that I’ve planned had one common aspect. The personalities of the bride and groom shone through and made the event so much more intimate, fun, and unforgettable. Because it is your day, the day really should be about you. There are no rules and restrictions. Free your personality and add your personal touches and details. Your wedding guests will no doubt love every aspect of it, taking it home with them and always remembering the day.

3) Not having the right Master of Ceremonies or DJ. This person who is chosen to run your night has a very important role in your wedding and all the power can be in his or her hands to make or break your night. You’ll have to make sure this MC or DJ knows enough about you and your groom (and of course how to properly pronounce your names!) and can really read a crowd, engaging everyone from two years old to 92 years old. This person must be a master in keeping the flow of the evening smooth and making every single guest enjoy the party and feel like they’re an honoured guest. If it is a DJ, he must play not just for the young party people on the dance floor, but also know his music well enough to have grandma and grandpa dancing, as well as be able to read his crowd and see what he needs to do to keep that dance floor full the entire night.

4) Refusing help and taking on the heavy task of EVERYTHING. Planning your wedding is supposed to be one of the happiest times in your life and if you try to take on all the planning, refusing help AND work a full-time job, you will inevitably feel some stress from the many details in the planning. Because of the need for attention to detail and meticulous organization, planning a wedding is one of the biggest events you will ever have to plan. Yes, you could probably do it on your own, but no bride wants to feel tired, stressed or frustrated at any point during this time or, even worse, on her wedding day. Hiring a wedding planner will not only alleviate all of this, but will also have you benefit from all his/her planning experience and they will do all the leg-work for you, keeping you on track and sane and allowing you to ENJOY rather than stress about getting it all done perfectly and on time. Hiring a planner will also inevitably save you money in the planning. Because suppliers will see you as a one-time client, they won’t give you the same planner rebates they do to planners, who bring them repeat business. This added bonus also saves you from booking the wrong vendors, as planners will tell you which ones to stay clear of and present to you only the most reliable, most professional and most reputable vendors. If you want to forgo the wedding planner, make sure you don’t refuse the help of trustworthy family and friends. This will be an invaluable gift to you.

5) Lastly, but very importantly, don’t forget what the most important thing is, amongst all the hectic times and stressful times. You will spend a lot of time and money and issues may arise, but don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember what is most important and that is you and your new spouse and having all your loved ones celebrate with you on your special day.

Written by Rita Wong, Rita Wong Events http://www.ritawongevents.com

Rita Wong is a wedding and events planner and owner of Rita Wong Events. Based in Montreal, Rita also plans many weddings every year for brides living in Toronto and abroad. She is a dedicated follower of new trends and her goal is to give each bride a wedding that is fresh, unique, and a personal reflection of who they are. She now shares her professional insights with slice.ca.

Read all of Rita Wong’s blogs on slice.ca!