A Wedding Planner’s Top 12 Pet Peeves

We've got a feeling she speaks for a lot of them.

You know, talking to as many wedding professionals as we do on a regular basis, you start to get an idea of what certain vendors think is good at weddings—and what they think is bad, bad, bad. Planners see it all—from the less-than-kind way you might speak to your mother when she’s finally driven you over the edge to the hiccups, shall we say, that happen when not everyone is on their game on the Big Day.

We spoke recently with Philly planner Lynda Barness of I DO Wedding Consulting about her personal pet peeves when it comes to the, well, bad at weddings—and felt quite strongly they should be shared with the class. So read carefully. Don’t let these things happen to you.

Ice sculptures that are themed, and yet, have no relation to the wedding.

We’ve all seen ice sculptures at weddings—clamshells that hold seafood, ice vases that hold flowers—but it’s hard to understand why an ice castle has to hold liquor.


Double dipping in the cooler: the use of ice for cooling bottles—and then using the same ice in drinks.

You can’t do it with vegetables and dips, and it’s just as bad when the subject is icecubes. No one wants to have the ice that has been touching bottles (that have been who-knows-where) scooped up into their drinking glasses. Ick.


“Big” themes.

Like, Elvis, for instance: Let’s just say some themes work better for birthday parties, mitzvahs and corporate events. A wedding with chocolate guitars as favors seems just right, but an impersonator?


Smashing cake.

Sometimes it can be funny, but sometimes one spouse gets furious, and that’s not a pretty sight.


Cakes displayed where it’s hot.

If a wedding cake is placed outside on a hot day or directly under spotlights in a ballroom, disaster can happen, and it’s hard to tell if something is going to collapse until it does.


An attempt at doing something fancy that just doesn’t work.

Your venue suggests a creative idea like serving passed mini ice cream cones displayed on an artist’s palette? Don’t worry about sounding too picky if you ask about every detail ahead of time—if you do, you’ll probably dodge the artist’s palette being made out of cardboard.


Tip jars.

Never, never, never, never. You have invited guests. They are not expected to go into their pockets to thank a bartender who is getting paid for your event. If you think the bartender deserves an extra tip, you give it.


Boutonnieres that get squished early in the evening, aren’t replaced, and look terrible in all the photos.

An extra boutonniere does not cost much in the grand scheme of a wedding budget, and after your groom gets hugged for the millionth time, you’ll be happy you have one to switch out for photos. (Or, if you see one with a few sagging petals, at least yank them off.)


Satin bridesmaid dresses in summer weather.

Satin bridesmaid dresses can be beautiful—but the perspiration marks they easily get are not. Consider this when choosing the fabric for your summer wedding, or at least have paper towels in your emergency kit.


Bridesmaids drinking beer out of bottles.

Somehow that just doesn’t seem to go with a formal affair.


Floral arrangements that are placed too close to fire.

Flowers + candles can = eek. Even a tiny too-close votive can lead to a centerpiece catching fire, so keep them away, and even try and take note of the direction that vents are blowing.


Card catchers that are not sealed or locked.

You wouldn’t leave your wallet unattended at a table at an event, and your wedding cards—often filled with money or checks—aren’t any different. You have no idea who is walking through a public space, and hopefully, most people will be too busy partying and dancing to catch a card thief. Put a lock on it.


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