When it comes time to plan your wedding, there are some things you should know, and some things you need to know. As a wedding planner you’re probably browsing through wedding blogs and Pinterest likes it’s your second job. Still, you can never full anticipate exactly how your wedding day will go until it’s finally here. Thankfully, we’ve spoken to some wedding experts and they’ve been kind enough to share some of the best tips and tricks you should know before saying “I do.” Continue reading to learn how these experts can help make your wedding day a dream come true!
1. Guests Come First – Make sure to get an approximate number of guests you’ll be inviting before you decide on a venue. This will ensure you’ll have ample space for your guests. As a rule of thumb, allow for 25 to 30 square feet per guest. That may seem like a lot, but you’ll find that it really isn’t when you consider the space needed for tables, bustling waiters, and a dance floor with a band or DJ playing.
2. Take Your Time – Don’t feel like you need to rush everything. It’s not uncommon for couples to plan their wedding well over a year in advance. This is a great way to help keep stress levels down and give you some extra saving time so you can get some of those glamorous things you really want. You only get to plan your wedding once, so make sure it’s a fun time with no stress!
3. Investigate Wedding Blackout Dates – It’s good to know ahead of time if your wedding date falls on the same day as a charity walk, trade conference, or other local event which could effect traffic and hotel room availability in the area.
4. Check Your Credit – Weddings are expensive, so take advantage by signing up for a credit card with a good rewards program. Whether it gives you some airline miles or great shopping deals, consolidating all of your wedding-related purchases to just one credit card will help you accumulate thousands of rewards points which can then be redeemed during your honeymoon.
5. Make A Meal Plan – Another unforeseen expense people have is feeding their wedding day crew of workers. Before you sign any contracts, make sure you’re not required to serve the same meal to your vendors that guests will receive. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying for 20 extra lobster tails. Instead, choose a less expensive (but equally hearty) meal for them. Be sure to let your wedding caterer know a few days in advance exactly how many vendors you will need to feed.
6. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask – Wedding vendors should be the most trusted experts during your wedding planning process. When working with them, feel free to really explore what it is you want. Maybe it’s doing a bridal portrait session rather than an engagement session. Remember, it’s your special day and you should feel like you can have an honest conversation with them about exactly what you want. Their job is to tell you what can and can’t work given your budget.
7. Make A Uniform Kids Policy – You basically have four choices: Welcome children with open arms, have an “adults only” wedding, include only immediate family, or hire a child care service to provide day care either at the reception hall, in a hotel room or at a family member’s home. To prevent any hurt feelings, it’s wise to avoid allowing some families to bring children while excluding others.
8. Prioritize Your People – Pare down your guest list with the “tiers of priority” trick. Place immediate family, the bridal party and best friends at the top of the list. Follow that up with aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends you can’t imagine celebrating without. Then, list your parents’ friends, neighbors, coworkers and so on. If you end up needing to make some cuts then start at the bottom and work your way up.
9. Release Rooms – Once you’ve managed to pick a date, start to look for hotels in a wide variety of price ranges. Many hotels allow you to reserve rooms for guests under a special wedding block reduced rate. You can then release any unbooked rooms a month prior to your special day. If the hotels you contact insist upon signing a contract with cancellation penalties, just say no.
10. Classify Your Cash – Wedding budgets are all about proper balance. Start your budget planning by making a checklist of the important details such as music, wedding dress, invitations, flowers, photographer..etc. Assign a number to each with 1 being most important and 3 being least important. Invest your money in all number ones and cut corners on all number threes.
With patience and proper planning you should be able to make your wedding day go off without a hitch. Remember to take your time and plan everything the way you really want it to be. Cut corners in areas that are of least importance and watch your spending to make sure you have a little cash on the side.