21 Wedding Tips to Plan the Perfect Wedding
Planning a wedding can be both very fun, and at times, a bit stressful. There's a lot to plan out, and sometimes it can be possible to forget a thing or two. While we're experts at creating custom wedding gifts and items, such as wedding socks and other gifts, we also have quite a few tips on planning that special day.
1. Guests First
The first thing to figure out is how many guests you plan on having. Once you know this crucial piece of information, you can start figuring out the venue and everything else.
2. Check the Date
Prior to picking a date, make sure there's nothing else happening that day in the area of your wedding. This could be anything from a sporting event or concert, trade show, parade, construction, or anything else that may cause extra traffic and blocked off roads.
3. Follow the Trail
You don't have to find every single vendor yourself. One vendor can lead to another. If you have a great florist, ask if they can point you in the direction of a wedding photographer. If you have the location picked, ask if they know a band (or dj) who always gets everyone off their chairs and onto the dance floor.
4. Take Advantage of Credit Cards for Wedding Payments
Weddings tend to pack on a high cost. If you're paying yourself, use a credit card that offers points for every dollar spent. This can help earn quite a bit back from all the spending.
5. Check The Wedding Guest List
Each guest at a wedding carries a price. For those looking to cut their budget, see if there are any people who can be taken off the guest list. If each guest costs $100, cutting the list by just 10 people saves $1,000.
6. Take Weather into Account
Remember that the weather isn't concerned with your wedding. Keep in mind the type of weather there will be around the dates of your wedding. Does it usually rain a lot? Will it be very hot or cold? Bugs if you'll be outside? Keep these things in mind and choose a venue appropriately.
7. It Never Hurts to Ask For a Little Extra
Prior to signing anything, see if you can get an extra hour of cocktails or the band playing. They may be willing to do so in order to get the reservation. At worst, they decline or offer to do it at a smaller expense. (Just make sure the request is fairly reasonable and isn't too much.)
8. Find Out Everyone You're Feeding
Sometimes the wedding photographer, band or other vendors will take part in eating from the caterer. This can add on extra cost's. Be sure to find out this information first.
9. Get Organized
Keep a binder that has all the information of every vendor you're currently working with, along with any special request you have of them, and any specific notes about anything you discussed.
The general rule is to have one bartender for every 50 guests. If you're going to have specialty cocktails, you may want an extra bartender just for this to keep the bar from getting overrun like a discounted happy hour.
11. Follow the Wedding Budget Formula
The general rule on wedding budgets (source weddingwire.com)
50%: Venue, Catering, Cake, and Rentals
12%: Photography and Video
9%: Wedding attire, Hair, & Beauty
8%: Flowers, Lighting and Decor
3% Wedding Planner
3%: Invitations and Stationary
2%: Officiant & Ceremony Music
2%: Wedding Rings
2%: Favors & Gifts
For those that want a general estimate on how much their wedding will cost, you can also use the wedding cost estimator.
12. Always Feel Free to Ask Questions
Your wedding vendor's should be your most trusted allies before your wedding day. You should always feel free to ask any types of questions you have or for specific requests. Whether it's food adjustments or specific types of photo's, this is your day, so make sure to ask anything you may want. Part of their job is letting you know what they can and can't do, and what will work with your budget.
13. Remember Not Everyone Will Attend the Wedding
The general rule on inviting guest's is about 10-20% will not attend. Keep this mind when inviting guests, your budget, and the possibility of inviting additional people in place of those who cannot attend.
14. Prioritize People
For those cutting back on the guest list, list guests in tiers. Start with immediate family, bridal party and groomsmen, aunts, uncles, cousins, close friends and keep working down. This can help when deciding who to remove from the list if necessary.
15. Baby Steps
One of the biggest mistakes that can be made is attempting to do everything at once. Start small and focus on one thing at a time. Don't hire vendors before a date has been chosen, don't buy the cake until the flower colors have been picked, don't book a band until a venue has been selected.
16. Book Hotel Rooms
Once the date is chosen, find hotels near the venue that allow for wedding specials. These will allow a special reduced rate and a set amount of rooms. Make sure the hotel allows to release any unbooked rooms with a 30 day notice. If they don't, choose another hotel.
17. Check the Driving Routes
While most people have GPS, sometimes these are not the best routes. Find out the best driving routes to the reception area from the different locations guests will be traveling.
18. Don't Assume
Make sure to have a paper trail and everything in writing that should be, such as how late the venue is open, how long the band will play, the rules on the bar, etc.
19. Find Out Any Restrictions
Make sure to find out if there any restrictions were the reception or celebrating will be.
20. Contact Info
Make sure all vendor's have a direct contact with you or someone involved with the wedding in case they get lost on the way or anything happens.
21. Enjoy the Process
While all of this can be overwhelming at times, remember to take a step back and enjoy the process of putting the wedding together.