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  • Kerry Paradis

Common Mistakes Newly-Engaged Couples Make

Picture of a marriage proposal

I am by no means the expert when it comes to advice, but I have learned a lot over the years when it comes to some things you should or shouldn't do when you finally get engaged. Some may read this and disagree with what I have to say and others won't. Keep in mind this is just my opinion and you are free to do whatever you want. Every situation is different and what might be bad advice from one person's point of view might make perfect sense to someone in a certain situation.

Make Sure You Tell the People Who Matter Most First

As excited as you are and want to tell everyone right away, make sure you tell the people who matter most first. The last thing any parent or best friend wants to see is that everyone on Facebook found out that you got engaged before personally telling them first. Trust me, they will hold a grudge.

Don't Settle on a Color Scheme Too Early

Many couples will choose a color scheme before they decide on anything else. This may work for some, but there are several factors that need to be considered as well. Depending on what color is chosen, it could completely clash with the venue. If the venue is pretty neutral it won't make a difference, but if you get married in a ballroom, it may not look good for pictures or just in general.

Don't Get Your Head set on a Wedding Date Prematurely

Couples initial planning task is normally to pick out the wedding date, when in all reality, you may want to see what dates are available at the venue you want to get married at first. Some venues book up over a year in advance. There are lots of venues out there so you may need to check several to find an opening, but it is easier if you pick the place you really want to get married at first and then build the wedding date around that.

Make Sure you Book Vendors in the Right Order

Most vendors the order doesn't matter, but there are some that should be booked immediately. I would say the venue would be the first place start when you start your long wedding planning process. The obvious reason is because you want to get the venue you want on the date you are looking at. The second thing to book is the photographer. I am not just saying this because I am biased, because I am, but a good photographer will be booked well in advance. I already have over 10 weddings on my calendar for 2018 and unfortunately had to turn down several clients who wanted the same date I already had booked. Think of it like this, on your wedding day, you want to live in the moment, but you also want to be able to look back at your special day and appreciate the pictures your photographer captured. There are a lot of photographers out there, but there are not a lot of good ones.

Outside of the venue and photographer, you have more flexibility with the order of things, but make sure you book those two first.

Gown Shopping

Everyone wants to have the perfect gown. It is what we dream about since we are little girls. If your wedding is more than 6 months out, you may want to save this until closer to the wedding. I am not saying to wait until the last minute, but you want to make sure the dress fits. In addition, the styles that you like may change. What you liked a year ago you may not like now. Even worse, your best friend got a dress that looks like what you wanted and heave for bid your dress looks anything like anyone else's :)

Sending out the Save the Date's

Make sure find the venue you want before sending out your Save the Date's (STD). If you send out 200 STD's and your venue can only accommodate 100 people, you may have a problem. There would be nothing worse than having to un-invite someone.

Choosing your Bridesmaids

Before assembling your bridesmaids, stop and think about who you really want with you on your big day. Try and be very clear on what you expect your bridesmaids to contribute. Not only in terms of emotional support, but also financial resources. If you want your entire entourage to attend your bachelorette party in Vegas, make sure your friends understand your expectations before committing to being a part of your part. More importantly, don't take it personally if your former college roommate with five young kids at home declines.

Keep your Expectations Realistic

With all the reality TV shows and friends getting married, it is very easy to get caught up in the hype. I remember when I was getting married close to a decade ago that 5 of my friends were also getting married the same year. Don't get me wrong, it was a very fun year, but IT IS NOT A COMPETITION! Make sure you stay within your budget. It is fun to go on Pinterest and get some ideas, but keep in mind that some budgets are bigger than others and just because someone has some huge blown out wedding, doesn't mean you have to too. Also, you don't have to invite everyone. This is probably the biggest mistake that I made. I was inviting people who I just hung out with one time. It is very easy to lose control. It is like a high and you become a little uninhibited.

Crash Dieting

Many brides dream of dropping a few dress sizes before their wedding, but crash dieting is not the answer. It is best to work on your diet first and maybe even get a personal trainer once that is under control. My friend Kelly is great and she makes house call. If you are interested, her information can be found here.


This is just a short list of of tips. There are plenty more out there. Just try and enjoy the journey leading up to the wedding. It seems like a lot of planning, but it can be the time of your life as well.

If you are interested in booking your wedding, please visit my wedding home page for more information. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. If you are interested in pricing, I offer several wedding packages that can be found here.

Picture of Kerry Paradis from Kerry Paradis Photography

I was born and raised in Perry hall (Baltimore area) and have been living in Harford County Maryland for close to 15 years. I have two daughters that keep me very busy and a very understanding husband that helps keep me sane :) I love all kinds of photography including Newborns, Weddings and Family. For the past several years I performed shoots out of my house, but recently opened a photography studio in Joppa, Maryland next to the “The Great Hall” Wedding Venue at the Millstad. My studio allows the perfect lighting to capture the best pictures and it is surrounded by 40 acres of property that is used by a ballet studio and gymnastics facility. There are plenty of places to photograph! I also have some favorite beautiful spots in the area that I like to photograph at as well. Whether you are looking to capture the first days of your baby’s life, the important times with your family, Senior Portraits for your High School Graduation, or walking down the aisle on your special wedding day, I would love for you to consider me! I do not take any of my business for granted and feel blessed to do what I love for my career. I invite you to check out my website and subscribe to my email list for exclusive discounts and updates. I try and write these blogs in a way that might answer some questions you may have. If you ever have any ideas for my blog, shoot me an email and I will be happy to see what I can do. Feel free to check out my testimonials.

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