In the tapestry of modern love, diversity and inclusivity shine brightly as essential threads that weave together the stories of couples from all walks of life. A wedding celebrating a modern-day romance embraces love in all its forms—across different shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. Planning such a wedding is a beautiful endeavor that requires careful consideration to ensure that every detail reflects the inclusive spirit of the couple’s love story.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some crucial wedding planning mistakes to avoid when creating a modern, inclusive celebration that embraces the beauty of diversity with help from some of our favorite vendors.
1. Failing to Embrace a Diverse Vendor Team
A truly inclusive wedding begins with a vendor team that mirrors the couple’s values. Avoid the mistake of overlooking the importance of hiring vendors who are sensitive to and experienced with diverse love stories. Seek out vendors who are enthusiastic about celebrating all forms of love, and who are well-versed in working with couples from different backgrounds. Their understanding and commitment will contribute to an authentic and inclusive wedding experience.
2. Overlooking Body Positivity and Dress Selection
In a celebration of love that includes all shapes and sizes, embracing body positivity is paramount. As you search for the perfect wedding attire, remember that beauty knows no bounds. Avoid dress shops that cater only to specific body types. Instead, choose boutiques that offer a diverse range of sizes and have consultants who are experienced in helping every bride feel confident and beautiful. Focus on finding attire that celebrates your individuality and makes you feel extraordinary on your special day.
3. Not Allowing Enough Transportation Time
When it comes to planning a day-of schedule, not allowing enough transportation time is a common mistake, says Brittanie Pate of The Ella, a new wedding venue in Wilmington, NC. “Not only do you need to calculate how long it will take to get to the ceremony site but also to the reception if it’s in another location.”
4. Underrating the Value of Wedding Vendors
Don’t be tempted to hire a vendor based just on pricing,” says Heather Laughman, owner of Central PA Wedding Shows and the top producer of wedding shows in Central PA. “Take time to explore your options and understand the value behind the products and services you’re comparing.
5. Overcommitting Yourself to DIY Projects
Taking on too many decor tasks is a wedding planning trap to avoid. “Beware of DIY overload,” says Aly Heintz Raddatz of Elevated Events, a Chicago event decorating company, which also features DJs and photo booths. “Your time has value, so be mindful of what you want to take on yourself.”
6. Neglecting Cultural and Ethnically-Inclusive Elements
A modern, inclusive wedding celebrates diverse cultures and ethnicities, intertwining different traditions seamlessly. Avoid the mistake of disregarding the importance of incorporating culturally significant elements into your celebration. Embrace traditions that resonate with you and your partner, whether it’s through the ceremony, attire, cuisine, or decor. By honoring your heritage, you create a wedding that’s a rich tapestry of your shared love story.
7. Ignoring The Value of a Timeline
Do not underestimate the value of a timeline,” explains wedding DJ Brendan Lafferty of B-Sharp Entertainment. “While you may want your wedding to have its own ebb and flow, a timeline is essential for your vendors, venue, and caterer in order to produce an amazing reception.”
8. Waiting to Book
Key West wedding planner Michael Vernon, owner of Conch Concierge Weddings, offers this advice. “Avoid waiting until the last minute to book vendors, especially if you are getting married on a Saturday or during a prime time of the year.”
9. Omitting Contingency Plans
Two owners from the famed Bunn DJ Company weighed in from their locations in the Carolinas. “Make sure you work with a DJ who has backup – both in personnel and equipment. Things happen and you want to make sure there’s a plan in place,” says Brandon Alley, owner of the Charlotte wedding DJ division of Bunn.
10. Assuming Gender Norms and Pronouns
Respecting all sexual orientations and gender identities is a cornerstone of an inclusive wedding. Avoid assuming gender norms or pronouns for you, your partner, or your guests. Instead, provide spaces on your RSVP cards and wedding website where guests can indicate their preferred pronouns. Make sure your officiant and all involved parties are well-versed in using correct pronouns and inclusive language throughout the event.
11. Not Expanding the Entertainment Offerings
While dancing is a big part of a wedding reception, not all of your guests are going to want to hit the dance floor, explains David Fox, owner of the Charleston wedding DJ division of Bunn. “Keep them entertained with games, a character station, or a photo booth.
12. Not Factoring in the Details
You may not be familiar with all the fees associated with planning a sit down dinner reception and can underestimate costs. “Be sure you understand the difference between a service charge and a gratuity,” offers Gregg Carlysle owner of Millennium Center, an historic wedding venue in Winston-Salem, NC. “A service charge covers a venue or caterer’s fixed costs while a gratuity is for the service.”
13. Overlooking Accessibility Considerations
An inclusive wedding ensures that all guests, regardless of physical abilities, can fully enjoy the celebration. Overlooking accessibility considerations can inadvertently exclude some attendees. Choose a venue that’s wheelchair accessible and provide accommodations such as ramps and accessible restrooms. Consider the needs of guests with mobility challenges and communicate with them to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience.
14. Neglecting Vendor Meals
Jose De Leon, a top bilingual DJ in NJ and owner of LEM Entertainment offers this reminder. “Don’t forget to feed your photographer, videographer, DJ, and Day of Coordinator. “You want peak performance so make sure there’s fuel in the engine.”
15. Missing Your Venue’s Plan B
Have your heart set on getting married outdoors?” asks Kathy Gibson of Occasions at Laguna Village, a waterfront wedding venue in Laguna Beach. “Avoid venues that don’t have a Plan B in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.”
16. Ignoring Multicultural Cuisine and Menu Options
A diverse guest list calls for an inclusive culinary experience. Avoid offering a limited menu that doesn’t cater to different dietary needs and preferences. Collaborate with your caterer to create a menu that celebrates various cuisines, includes vegetarian, vegan, and allergy-friendly options, and respects cultural dietary restrictions. A thoughtfully curated menu ensures that all guests can savor the celebration.
17. Neglecting the Guest List
When you have a grip on your guest list, you’ll find it easier to make budget decisions. “The cornerstone of your budget is your guest list,” says Shannon Loiacono of Limousines Inc, a prominent limousine company serving Maryland and Washington DC. “If you let it become a moving target, you won’t be able to keep expenses in line for important needs like limousines.”
18. Forgetting the Overall Purpose
Photography team Shado and Isabelle, owners of Shado of a Rose and two of the trendiest Portland Maine wedding photographers, share this piece of advice. “Time and time again, we see couples drive themselves literally crazy planning a wedding and forgetting the overall purpose is to honor the relationship and the choice to create a union between each other. Although it’s a family affair, it’s about what you want, not about what everyone else expects. We always say, make it about YOU. What feels most important to you!”
19. Forgetting Inclusive Decor and Seating Arrangements:
Inclusivity extends to the visual aspects of your wedding. Avoid decor that may inadvertently marginalize certain guests or cultural backgrounds. Choose decor that celebrates the beauty of diversity, such as incorporating colors, symbols, or motifs that hold significance for you and your partner. Consider thoughtful seating arrangements that promote mingling and interaction among guests from different backgrounds.
20. Disregarding Professional Help
Cape Cod officiant Jill Meyer of Write Weddings not only performs weddings, she also helps write wedding vows for couples nationwide. She encourages them to put a great deal of energy into writing their vows. “Unique, heartfelt, authentic wedding vows make a ceremony so much more meaningful, not only for the couple, but for all the guests. Not getting additional professional help to eloquently share those sentiments is a lost opportunity for couples to express their best selves.”
A modern, inclusive romance deserves a wedding celebration that reflects the boundless beauty of love in all its forms. By avoiding these common wedding planning mistakes, you can create a modern love story that resonates with authenticity, unity, and the celebration of diversity. Prioritize a diverse vendor team, embrace body positivity and dress selection, incorporate cultural and ethnically-inclusive elements, respect gender identities, ensure accessibility, curate a multicultural menu, and infuse inclusive decor. Your inclusive celebration will be a testament to the power of love that knows no boundaries, celebrating the shared journey of two souls and the kaleidoscope of love stories that make up the modern world.
Brian Lawrence is a wedding business marketing expert who has helped thousands of clients like Alan Berg and Joe Bunn with consulting, marketing and web design. We’ve partnered with Brian Lawrence to bring this great advice from some of his amazing clients.