Expert Solutions to Common Bridal Mistakes

That heavenly venue where you dreamt of swapping vows, has suddenly been snagged, your bridesmaids prefer their style suggestions to yours, and your mother may boycott your wedding if your father brings his new wife.

No one ever said the road to “I do” was going to be a smooth one but some potholes can easily be avoided—if you know to look out for them, that is.

Here, we tapped seven wedding industry experts to weigh in on some of the biggest bridal snafus and how to fix them.


Donna Bouchard | Hamilton Jewelers

Mistake: Not giving yourself sufficient time to customize, or engrave, your wedding ring.

Solution: “Don’t assume your dream ring will be sitting in the showcase, ready for pick-up,” says Donna Bouchard, Vice President of Hamilton Jewelers.  “If your ring is going to be custom designed or requires meticulous detail work, allow four to six weeks minimum.”

Mistake: You want a ring that doesn’t suit your lifestyle.

Solution: “Some jobs, or activities, can cause great wear and tear on your jewelry,” says Bouchard. “Picking the right metal is important.” Bouchard recommends a platinum band because “it is one of the strongest and purest precious metals on Earth. It will never fade or change color, even when it’s exposed to water or chemical substances.”

Click HERE for more of Donna Bouchard’s ring selection tips.


Ceci Johnson | Ceci New York

Mistake: Picking wedding invitations before you have met with your stationer.

Solution: “Thanks to marital blogs, magazines, websites and Pinterest, many brides already know the stationery they want before we meet,” says Ceci Johnson, founder and creative director of Ceci New York.

“These platforms are excellent for idea-collecting, but when we think outside of the box and collaborate together, that’s when we come up with some really creative, never-before-seen designs.

Custom invitations by Ceci New York

Mistake: Waiting too long to have your bespoke wedding invitations designed and mailed out.

Solution: “A bride should order her stationery eight to twelve months before her wedding date,” advises Johnson. “Most designers need about four months to design, proof and print the invitations. Then they will calligraph the envelopes (if applicable).”

Invitations should be mailed six to eight weeks prior to the wedding, she says.


Courtney Gabelbauer | Fabulously Chic Weddings

Mistake: You don’t think you need an expert to help plan your wedding.

Solution: “Unless they’ve done it before, brides may not realize the magnitude of planning a wedding,” says Courtney Gabelbauer, owner and head planner of Fabulously Chic Weddings in Cape Coral.

“Wedding planners can assist busy marrieds-to-be with every aspect of their special celebration, including: creating a timeline/budget, negotiating food and beverage minimums, designing and mailing invitations, maintaining the guest list, picking florals, ordering décor/decorations, and smoothing wedding day disputes,” says Gabelbauer.

If your budget will not allow a full-time wedding planner, Gabelbauer recommends enlisting a day-of coordinator who will take your prep work and turn it into reality.


Stephanie Prenatt | FH Weddings & Events

Mistake: Thinking the DIY approach will save you lots of time and money.

Solution: “Some do-it-yourself projects seem like they would be a cost-efficient solution, but they can wind up taking more time and money when a bride does it herself,” says Stephanie Prenatt, owner and designer of FH Weddings & Events in Tampa.

Photo courtesy of Kristen Weaver Photography via FH Weddings & Events

Prenatt says there are many ways to trim down costs and still deliver the magical wedding a bride wants. “Decorative items, like vases, candles and candelabras can be very inexpensive to rent,” she says. She also suggests leaving those day-of tasks, like assembling guest gift bags or arranging floral bouquets, to a wedding professional so brides won’t feel overwhelmed on their wedding day.


Grymes Cannon | Grymes Cannon Designs

Mistake: Wanting a specific bloom that is unavailable or out of your budget.

Solution: “Flexibility is key,” says Grymes Cannon, owner of Grymes Cannon Designs in Tampa. “Weather, pests, location and demand all play a role in the price and availability of flowers, especially when you want them at the last minute.”

He advocates sourcing florals locally, from area farms or nurseries, as they are fresher and cost less than ones that need to be shipped. “Roses and carnations are pretty inexpensive year-round,” says Cannon, “and dendrobiums cost less than other orchids, but are just as lovely.”

Mistake: Not prepping for the reality of an all-white floral bouquet.

Solution: “White flowers can be more expensive than colorful blooms because they are often more delicate than vibrant ones,” says Cannon. “Pale blossoms can brown and bruise easily. If a bride won’t budge from her alabaster bouquets or centerpieces, she should ask her florist to order extras, just in case.”


Cassi Frielich | Frank Cassi Beauty

Mistake: Trying a new hair color right before the wedding.

Solution: “I’ve seen some messy disasters when brides swap out their signature color for something new,” says Cassi Frielich, owner and colorist of Frank Cassi Beauty in Palm Beach. “Modifying a hairstyle is pretty simple, but last-minute color corrections can leave hair damaged.”

Still wish to make the color leap? Here’s Frielich’s four-step plan:

  1. First, meet with a reputable colorist to discuss the hue you want, its achievability, pros and cons and next steps.
  2. Begin the color process three to six months before your wedding date. This will give your colorist enough time to achieve the look you want and to make any minor adjustments.
  3. Space salon appointments approximately four weeks apart, so color stays bright and fresh.
  4. The week of the wedding, Frielich recommends getting a glaze treatment, which will add shine and a glossy finish to color-drenched tresses.


Tim Quinn | Giorgio Armani Beauty

Mistake: Not scheduling enough time for hair and makeup on your wedding day.

Solution: “I always tell my brides to book their own hair and makeup team and to schedule separate artists for their wedding party,” says Tim Quinn, Vice President of Creative Artistry for Giorgio Armani Beauty.

“It may seem like a lot of time, but give yourself at least an hour for your bridal makeup and an additional hour for your hair. This is your day, you don’t want to rush.”

Quinn also suggests packing a makeup kit for touch-ups throughout the day. “Stock it with a small compact, concealer, a long-lasting lipstick and lip primer, oil-control blotting papers and mints.”

Click HERE for more of Tim Quinn’s bridal beauty tips.

Mistake: Getting a spray tan the day before your wedding.


Solution: Quinn recommends scheduling a spray tan trial run at least one month before the wedding to give brides enough time to see the results before they walk down the aisle. “Skip the spray tan and go for a healthy glow instead,” he says. Quinn endorses Giorgio Armani Beauty’s Maestro Bronzer (pictured above).

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