Essential Wedding Planning Tips and Tricks
Essential Wedding Planning: When planning your wedding, there are items that are nice to know, and there are things that you want to understand –advice so crucial any bride who is fortunate enough to hear it believes, “I am so glad someone said that!” If you are wondering whether there is something that you might have missed (or even when you’ve got everything under control), take a look at our crucial planning secrets below.
Cover all of your wedding planning bases with these expert tips no to-be-wed should be without.
1. Guests Come First
Get a grip on the approximate number of guests you will invite before deciding on a place. This will ensure there is ample space for your team. As a guideline, allow for 25 to 30 square feet per guest. That can seem like a lot, but it’s really not if you count the distance you will need for your tables, bustling waiters, the band and a dance floor.
2. Investigate Wedding Blackout Dates
Know beforehand if your wedding date falls on the same day for a trade conference, charity walk or another community event that could impact traffic and hotel room availability. Here is a handy list of possibly problematic wedding dates coming up in the calendar.
3. Listen to Mother Nature
Heed the weather and other potential annoyances. Guests have been known to jump out early from hotter-than-hot summer tent weddings and heated winter attic receptions. Bugs (gnats, deer flies and mosquitos) also swarm in certain areas during certain seasons. Consider renting pest management tanks to alleviate the issue or for example bug repellent in guests’ gift bags. And if you would like a sunset ceremony, ensure to understand when to say your vows. Oh–and always, always have a Plan B for unexpected weather snafus.
4. Check Your Credit
Make the most of the high cost of weddings and register for a credit card with a rewards program. Whether it provides you airline miles or terrific shopping bargains, consolidating all wedding-related buys to this card can allow you to collect thousands of rewards points (which may be utilized to your honeymoon).
5. Pay It Forward
Let 1 seller lead you to another. Your wedding photographer will let you know which florist’s blooms really pop, and your reception supervisor should know which group always packs the dance floor.
6. Lighten Your List
The simplest way to trim your wedding? Cut your guest list. Bear in mind, half of your wedding expenses visit wining and dining your guests. If it’s costing you $100 per individual, eliminating one table of 10 can save you $1,000.
7. You Might Receive
Request another hour for cocktails or to your group to throw in that Frank Sinatra sound-alike before you sign on the dotted line. Most sellers prefer to secure the reservation than nickel-and-dime you early on (which may turn you off of them). Later on, however, they might be less likely to meet you halfway.
8. Make a Meal Plan
Another unforeseen expense? Feeding your wedding day team. Prior to signing the contracts, be certain you’re not needed to serve the exact same meal to your sellers that guests will get. Otherwise, you might be paying for 20 additional lobster tails. Pick a less expensive (but equally hearty) meal for them instead. You’ll need to allow your wedding caterer understand a few days before the wedding precisely how many vendors you will need to feed (do not forget photography assistants and group roadies) and everything you need them to function.
9. Get Organizationally Focused
In a three-ring binder, compile all of your correspondences with sellers, notes that you make during meetings, and photographs or tear sheets from magazines that you need vendors to see. Set up a special email address specializing in your wedding, and save significant vendor numbers on your mobile phone. For on-the-go preparation that keeps everything in 1 place, download The Knot All-In-One Wedding Planner program to keep all your planning info digitally on-hand constantly.
10. Tend to Your Bar
Generally, you want one bartender per 50 guests to maintain the line at a minimum. But if you are serving a signature cocktail that can’t be made beforehand (or in massive amounts ), consider adding more server designated to this undertaking.
11. Leave Some Room in Your Finances
Your wedding budget should stick to this formula: 48 to 50 percent of overall budget to reception; 8 to 10 percent for flowers; 8 to 10 per cent for apparel; 8 to 10 percent for entertainment/music; 10 to 12 percent for photo/video; 2 to 3 per cent for invites; 2 to 3 per cent to presents ; and 8% for miscellaneous items such as a wedding planner. It’s crucial to allocate an additional 5 to 10 percent of your money for surprise expenses such as printing additional invites because of errors, extra tailoring requirements, umbrellas for a rainy afternoon and ribbons to your wedding programs.
12. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
Your wedding vendors need to be your go-to, most-trusted experts during the preparation procedure. When working together, you should feel free to actually explore what it is you desire –perhaps it is serving a late-night snack rather than a first course or performing a bridal portrait session as opposed to an engagement session. The most important thing is that you ought to feel as though you can have an honest dialogue with them about what it is you desire. Their job is to let you know what you can and can not make work given your wedding budget.
13. Wait for a Date
From time to time, last-minute preparation can work in your favour. The nearer your date, the more bargaining power you have. Because most people reserve their wedding venues at least six months ahead of time, calling for open dates two weeks before your preferred time can save you up to 25 percent. And, Friday and Sunday weddings should cost about 30 percent less than Saturday weddings.
14. Manage the Mail
Obviously you want the ideal stamps for your wedding invitations. However, not all stamps are widely available at every post office, particularly in massive quantities. Save scouting time by ordering them online at USPS.com. And make sure to weigh your invitation and all of the extra paper products before you ship them out so that you can attach the ideal quantity of postage. Consult your stationer concerning the need for extra postage for strangely shaped envelopes.
15. Prepare for Rejection
Know that as a rule, about 10 to 20 percent of those people you invite won’t attend. Naturally, this depends upon the location of your wedding (destination weddings are more difficult to attend), how many out-of-towners are in your list, and the timing of this event (some guests might have yearly holiday plans).
16. Produce a Uniform Kids Policy
You have four options: You are able to welcome children with open arms; you can choose to have an”adults only” wedding; you could include immediate family only; or, you can employ a childcare service to offer daycare at the reception area, in a hotel room or in a family member’s house. To prevent hurt feelings, it is sensible to avoid allowing some families to bring children while excluding others (unless, of course, the kids are in your wedding celebration ).
17. Prioritize Your People
Pare down your guest list with the “tiers of priority” trick. Place immediate family, the wedding celebration and best friends in addition to the listing; follow along with aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends you can not imagine celebrating without. Under that, list your parents’ friends, neighbours, coworkers and so forth. If you will need to generate some cuts, begin from the bottom until you achieve your ideal number.
18. Take It One Step at a Time
Gather a wedding planning program and do things one by one, in a logical sequence, so you don’t take on too much too quickly and end up with everything snowballing around you. Don’t employ any sellers before you have confirmed your date; do not design your cake before you have envisioned your blossoms, and do not book a band before you have settled on a distance.
19. No Ring, No Bring
If your guest list is bursting at the seams, check the plus-one scenario. Do a faux seating chart on your head, and imagine exactly what your single pal would sit with. If it is a table of singles who she understands pretty well, then you are all set. If it is a table of couples (making her the odd one out) or if it is a table of singles where she won’t know anybody, look at bending the rules. If asked why you are not permitting single friends to attract guests, size or budget limitations or your parents’ never-ending guest list are always good reasons.
20. Release Rooms
The moment you’ve chosen a date, begin to search for hotels in a vast array of price points. Many hotels let you book rooms for guests under a unique wedding block and a reduced speed. You may then release any unbooked rooms per month before your wedding. If the hotels you contact insist upon contracts with cancellation penalties, just say no–you do not need to be accountable for rooms you can not fill.
21. Provide Accurate Driving Directions
Make sure guests know where they are going. As simple as online map programs are to use, sometimes the instructions are wrong or there is a faster, less traffic-prone path to take. Consult your service and reception sites for printouts or electronic copies of recommended driving directions and also test out the paths yourself. Then incorporate the best instructions on your wedding site or email them to your guests to print out if they would like.
22. Keep a Paper Trail
Get any nonstandard modifications to your agreements in writing or send the seller a confirmation email stating,”Hello, just confirming that you will keep the place open until two a.m. versus midnight” Do not just assume everything’s all set–occasionally, by the time the real day rolls around, your contact for a particular may no longer be working there to guarantee you.
23. Schedule the Setup
You have to make sure that there’s ample time for installation. If you are renting a place and bringing in outside assistance, ask what time people may come in to begin setting. See if they can do it the day before, or at the very least the whole wedding day, before the event begins.
24. Learn About Marriage Licenses
You can check your state’s permit requirements on the internet but confirm with a call to the county clerk’s office to determine when they are open. Even if it’s open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., they might issue marriage licenses only during slower times like, say, Thursdays from two p.m. to 3 p.m. Give a copy of your marriage license to your mother or your maid of honour (just in case you lose yours during the last days before your wedding).
25. Go Over Ground Rules
Be ready –ask the supervisor of the home of worship or site at which you are going to be wed for the list of restrictions (if any). As an example, is flash photography or bare shoulders banned? Or, if you are exchanging vows outdoors, are you permitted to plant tent stakes in the yard (which is usually not permitted )?
26. Classify Your Cash
Wedding budgets are all about balance. Begin your budget planning by building a checklist of the important details, such as the music, your wedding gown, the invitations, the blossoms and the photographer, and assign a number to every –one being the main and three being the least. Invest your money in all your ones and cut corners in your number threes. (But everything can not fall in the number one class!) By way of instance, if designer apparel and fabulous food are what really matter, you might need to choose simple invitations and smaller floral arrangements.
27. Help Guests Pay Attention
Ensure that your guests can both hear and see from their chairs. If people are seated further than 15 rows back from your service altar or podium, think about renting a mic and a riser. This could range anywhere from $50 to $100, depending upon the equipment used. You will want to coordinate the delivery and installation with your ceremony area, so place your wedding planner or best person in charge of the task.
28. Write Down Your Digits
Maintain an emergency contact sheet or telephone with your vendor contacts on your wedding day–it may come in handy if your limousine driver has lost or you decide you would like your photographer to shoot some behind-the-scenes shots.
29. Call the Fashion Police
Do not go dress shopping in your –all of the gowns will begin to look the same after a while and it’ll be more difficult to remember which style you loved. But be careful about who you do attract. If your mother or sibling can not make the trip, ask a friend who’s really honest. This is the time when you should know which dress looks best.
30. Be Realistic With Your Time
If it comes down to the last month of your preparation (and when you are particularly harried) look at your mile-long to-do list and cut three items. Yes, cut three items. Not crucial things you just don’t feel like doing, like choosing a processional song or confirming final details with all your vendors. Remove only the over-the-top tasks like hand-painting”Just Married” signs, or baking cookies for each the welcome bags. Cross them off and make a pledge to not think about them.