1. NOT asking your friends for recommendations. Whether we're talking about a friend who's wedding party you were in, or one of your close coworkers- anyone you know who was recently married in the Chicago area and has a similar style to yours can be an amazing resource! Here's a few great questions you can ask them; What were your best decisions when wedding planning? Do you have any regrets (for example, some people will tell you that they wish they hired a videographer, etc.)? Who were your favorite vendors? Asking these can result in an abundance of valuable insight that you may not get from simply reading reviews.
2. Getting stuck in analysis paralysis by researching too many vendor categories at once. Wedding planning can be so exciting, and also so overwhelming. It's actually rather common that couples get into the research process and then life happens, and decision making becomes stressful and they end up taking a break from planning for 1-3 months. Trust me, you don't want to be the person who reaches back out to your favorite vendor(s) when you're ready to book to find out that they are no longer available... especially when you've previously asked all the questions and had the deep conversations with those vendors. I recommend researching just 1-2 vendor categories at a time and stay focused in those categories until you've made your choice and locked them in. Then you can move on to the next category.
3. Taking breaks at a less than ideal time. This one kind of good hand in hand with the previous tip. Unless you have a short engagement, you will be able to take some breaks- you won't need to be wedding planning as a second job for the next year. As you work through your vendor categories, booking each one- make sure that you are aware of the next steps in each category and if the vendor will be reaching out to you, or if there's any homework you need to do. Then you can make yourself a reminder in your calendar so any important tasks are handled on time. Additionally, I recommend getting yourself through the initial phase of securing all of your vendors before you take a break. It's a good feeling to know that you'll be working with a full vendor team that your trust.
I hope you found these tips helpful.
Happy Wedding Planning!