These invaluable wedding planning tips will help to make sure that your big day is memorable and enjoyable. And you may well find yourself thankful that someone actually told you all this.
1) Guest Numbers
It may seem like a lot of space per guest to allow 25 to 30 square feet, but once you reckon on space for dancing, tables and chairs and waitress service, it's about right. The main thing is to make sure you and your guests aren't cramped, which means you should determine the number of guests before choosing a venue.
2) Look at Blackout Dates
The availability of hotel rooms and traffic in the area on your big day can be affected by local events such as a conference or charity event. Do some homework so you avoid potentially busy dates.
3) Don't Ignore Mother Nature
You don't want problems with flies, mosquitoes or bugs during the summer, nor do you want the tent to feel so hot that it's unbearable. You can be prepared by including bug repellent in gift bags or renting a pest control tank. And if you're getting married in the winter months, you don't want a venue that's too cold. In short, keep up with the weather forecast and always have a backup plan.
4) Make Use of Referrals
Use referrals whenever possible. You may be able to get the names of some great bands from your venue manager, and perhaps have a reliable florist recommended to you by your photographer.
5) Earn Some Points When You Charge it
You'll probably be charging a lot while planning this wedding. You can at least get something back by signing up for a card that gives you miles or points. And maybe you can use those airline miles towards your dream honeymoon.
6) Cut Your Guest List
Dropping 10 guests can save you a thousand dollars if each guest is costing you $100. When budgeting, remember that the food and drink for your guests is about half of the costs of your wedding.
7) Ask For Extras
Your vendors are more concerned with securing your business rather than trying to nickel and dime you, meaning that it's worth asking them early on in the process for a little extra.
8) Have a Meal Plan
You'll have to feed your vendors as well as your guests on your wedding day, but what you don't want to do is spend more than you have to by giving them the same meal as your guests. Choose a cheaper meal option and let them know at least a few days ahead of time.
9) Get Organized!
During planning, keep all correspondence, phone numbers, articles from magazines and newspapers in a folder so you can easily find them again. To have your planning notes and information in one digitally convenient place, download the all in one wedding planning app by the Knot.
The remaining 10 Essential Wedding Planning Tips and Tricks
10) Bar Facts
To make sure guests don't wait too long to be served, you'll need one bartender for every 50 guests. However, you may need extra staff at the event if you plan to mix and serve complicated signature cocktails.
11) Leave Room When Budgeting
You may find you have unexpected expenses even after allocating your budget to guests, invites, flowers, clothing and entertainment. Ribbons, extra invitations, and tailoring adjustments can all mean extra expense, and as a rule of thumb, reckon on up to 10 percent extra.
12) Ask For What You Want
Always communicate with your vendors and make it clear to them what you want or are trying to do. Whether it's a bridal portrait instead of an engagement session, or an evening snack instead of the traditional main meal, you want to make sure your vendors deliver what you want.
13) Last Minute Sometimes Works
You can actually save up to 25 percent on the cost of your venue by booking just a couple of months ahead, rather than the more usual 6 months. You are in a much better position to negotiate the price of your venue when it's closer to the date. And if your wedding is on a Friday or Sunday instead of a Saturday, you can potentially save up to 30 percent.
14) Manage Your Invitations
If you want special wedding themed stamps, save time by ordering them online ahead of time, as not all post offices have them in stock. Make sure to weigh your invitations so you have the right postage on.
15) Prepare For No Shows
Depending on your venue, the time of year, and the number of our of town guests, you should anticipate and plan for guests who don't actually show up. As a general rule, between 10 and 20 percent of those invited won't be there for whatever reason.
16) Are Kids Invited?
It can be difficult coming up with a policy for children at your wedding; whether you want them at all, whether it's immediate family only or whether you should arrange some day care. A uniform policy is probably the best option to avoid hurting the feelings of some guests.
17) Prioritize Your Guest List
If you just have too many people you want to invite to your wedding, you'll have to prioritize and maybe cut down your guest list. It can be difficult making that decision and one way to make it easy is to create a list of guests based on priority. Obviously, you'll have immediate family, close friends and the bridal party at the top, with other family such as cousins, uncles and aunts below. If you need to cut guests, start at the very bottom of your list with coworkers, neighbors, friends of your parents, and so on.
18) Wedding Planning One Step At a Time
Don't get stressed and try to tackle too many things all at the same time. Taking care of tasks in a logical order and keeping a planner or schedule book can help. Confirm your date before you start contacting vendors, and get the flowers ordered before designing the cake.
19) Where To Seat Single Guests
If you have a single guest who doesn't know any other guests, you may want to tell them it's acceptable to bring a 'plus one' even if you have reached your maximum guest number. However, if you have other singles coming, you may want to seat them at the same table. You can always blame budget restrictions or too many family members attending if you have to explain why singles aren't allowed a guest.
20) Getting a Great Room Rate
You can often reserve a block of rooms in a hotel at a discounted rate for wedding guests, meaning you can then cancel if you find a better rate or plans change. As a general rule you'll have until about a month before the wedding date to confirm or cancel.