I am frequently asked for tips about how to start wedding planning… and here are some things to think about:
1. Everything takes longer than you think it will on the wedding day! If you are providing transportation for the wedding party and guests, remember that it takes time for each person to get in a vehicle, be seated, and then disembark. And that’s just one example of how time flies.
2. Your guest count matters. In planning, figure that all of your guests will attend. You don’t want to pick a random percentage that won’t, only to find that the room you have chosen won’t fit everyone comfortably. You don’t want a room so crowded that the guests can’t get to the dance floor. And remember that for each 10 guests, you need another table with chairs, linens, centerpieces, table settings, and of course food and drink. That means more dollars.
3. Read the contracts of your wedding professionals before you sign. You don’t want any surprises. You have engaged a photographer for 8 hours? Great. But does that give you enough time to have both getting-ready pictures and your departure from the reception? Maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t, but you want to know these things before you sign.
4. Register for gifts as soon as you can. And do it in stores and also on online. First of all, it makes it easier for your guests if they know what you want. And, it is so much easier for you to receive gifts you like. After the wedding, it is not fun to have a pile of boxes that need to be exchanged! And it’s a good idea to register for gifts in a very wide range of prices. Some gifts may be purchased for a wedding shower… and sometimes a group of friends will buy something together. It’s fine to share your registry on a wedding website, but this is a reminder that the information does not belong in your wedding invitation.
5. Technology and your wedding is obviously a recent issue. Do you want your wedding to be unplugged? If you don’t want your guests to take photos of your wedding ceremony, let them know in a wedding program or with an announcement from the officiant. Or, do you want to share a special wedding hashtag with your guests so all can see the details of your wedding? Just remember that guests may not be as proficient with their cameras (or cell phones) and the images may not be as flattering as those of the professional photographer you have hired. But it’s something to think about. A wedding website, though, is helpful for your guests. It sets expectations (attire, footwear, timing of events, your registry) and is a fun way for you to share your excitement of your upcoming wedding.
And of course number 6: HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER! We are the official worriers, so you don’t have to worry at all.
photo courtesy of Emily Wren Photography