Pro Tips For Your Wedding
Planning a wedding can be stressful, and is undoubtedly time-consuming. However, since wedding planning is, after all, a preparation for one of the happiest days of your life, here are some pro tips that will help you stay on track and minimize stress as you get ready for the big day.
Budgeting is Key
Right from the get-go, the absolute best thing you can do for yourself is to organize your budget. While you don’t have to know exactly what you’ll spend on each facet of your wedding (venue, photographer, florist, etc.), it’s important to know how much cash flow you’ll have available for your wedding so that you can make all of your decisions accordingly, and save yourself heartache down the line. There’s no reason to make yourself suffer by looking at all-too-expensive wedding dresses and venues that are far outside of your predetermined budget!
Hire a Wedding Planner
Once you have a budget in mind, even if it’s just approximate, see if you can factor in the cost of a wedding planner. While a wedding planner will cost a decent sum of money (likely, somewhere between 10-15% of your total budget), they will also save you an immeasurable amount of time and stress. It’s ultimately up to you if you want to go this route, and you can absolutely pull off an amazing wedding without a wedding planner. However, if it works with your budget, it’s never a bad idea to have a trained professional on your side.
Determine Wedding Size First
Deciding the size of your wedding is one of the most important first steps for you to take, because almost all of your other decisions depend on it. For example, if you want a large wedding with 200 guests, there’s no point in looking at the quaint reception hall with a capacity of 75. Likewise, you’ll be able to make more accurate cost predictions when negotiating with vendors such as caterers and bartenders.
Choosing a Venue Location
Once you have a general theme and budget in mind for your wedding, you can begin to narrow down your search for a venue. Before making the jump, make sure you factor in important questions such as whether you want an indoor or outdoor venue, location or destination, and the general color scheme of your wedding. Depending on your answers to the aforementioned questions, make sure you consider the weather and seasonality of your venue, as well as researching specific days of the week (such as Fridays or Sundays) that you might get a discount on your dream venue for both the ceremony and the reception.
Selecting a Wedding Photographer
For all the time, effort, and love that goes into your wedding day, you’ll definitely want to memorialize it. Therefore, it’s absolutely essential that you select a wedding photographer that you’re 100% satisfied with. Take time to sort through all potential vendors’ wedding photography portfolios, so that you get to know their style, and can select a wedding photographer that matches your own personal taste. Your wedding photography will commemorate your big day for the rest of your life- so you better love the photos you receive. You’ll be staring at them for quite some time.
The Band vs. DJ Debate
You and your fiance are the only ones who can settle the classic band vs. DJ debate– not even a wedding planner can make the decision for you. It all depends on your personal taste- ask yourselves whether you prefer more classic or modern music, how much you value live performance, and whether there are hyper-specific songs you’d like to hear. By sorting through these questions (and budget/space/time considerations), you’ll find an answer. Although some of your guests may have strong opinions on the matter, the only two opinions that truly matter are yours and your fiance’s.
Ensure You Have Fresh Flowers
Much like your venue considerations, make sure you choose your flowers according to the season to ensure that they are in the best possible condition. You don’t want to walk down the aisle with an unavoidably wilted bouquet in hand! If you have your heart set on a specific bouquet style, look into the flowers around the same time as choosing your venue and date to make sure everything is in alignment.
Organizing Required Rentals
Depending on the venue you choose, you may or may not need to rent miscellaneous items such as chairs, tables, dishware, and linens. It’s important that you clarify exactly what’s included in your venue booking before entering into any contracts so that you can make the appropriate budget calculations. If you book your wedding in a full-service hotel, for example, although it may be more expensive upfront, you’ll also likely have very few rental items other than wedding-specific decor. However, this is not the case for all locations, so do your research carefully.
Make Careful Food and Drink Decisions
Choosing the right caterer and menu for your wedding is stressful, albeit delicious. Food and drink are some of the things that guests will remember most about your wedding, and there are a lot of factors at play- the budget, time of day, and even venue space are all important considerations. Make sure you attend several tastings with caterers to ensure you get the perfect menu- and the same goes for drinks.
Beyond just the menu, it’s important to make sure you have adequate staff on board, too. For example, no matter how good the drinks taste, if you have one bartender serving 200 guests, there are going to be plenty of parched and unhappy people. Consider staffing costs and requirements carefully to ensure everything goes smoothly on the big day.
Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult than ever to plan a wedding. With constantly varying restrictions, it can be hard to plan your wedding in 12 months when the government can’t tell you a plan for the next 3. The safest rule of thumb is to get insurance wherever possible before making any deposits and plan your wedding to allow for at least some form of social distancing as necessary. Wherever you plan on holding your wedding, check the local rules and regulations carefully. Now that we’re almost 2 years into the pandemic, you should be able to get an idea of what the restrictions in your chosen area have historically looked like depending on different COVID-19 rates, so you can plan accordingly.
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