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Tips and Tricks When Planning Your Wedding

Tips and Tricks When Planning Your Wedding

Your wedding day should be one of the happiest days in your life. Unfortunately, if you don’t plan properly, it can also be the most stressful day. Worrying about whether all of the wedding vendors will be on time, if the guests are happy and well fed or if the day’s events are on schedule, can place a lot of stress on any bride or groom. Have no fear! There are several ways to combat this stress by planning ahead. Here is my personal list to combat the nerves and headaches associated with a poorly planned wedding day.

If you don’t hire a Wedding Planner, at least hire a “Day Of” Coordinator.

A Day-Of Coordinator will act as a guide for you, a concierge for your guests and a Drill Sargent to keep the vendors inline, on time and on schedule. Also, having one person in charge of the events throughout the wedding day eliminates a lot of stress on the bride and groom.

Go see Bridal Shows early in the engagement to be prepared for later.

Forget Pinterest. Seeing new wedding ideas in person are always best.  A Bridal Show really can be a fun way to plan many aspects of your wedding. Bridal shows can also be a good opportunity to get the groom actively involved (or at least interested) as they typically feature many guy-friendly things such as food, games and Free Stuff.  You could also make attending a Bridal Show a great “Girls Day Out”  for you and your bridal party.

Create a personalized wedding email address.

Instead giving out your personal email when attending bridal shows or shopping for your wedding supplies, create a new wedding only email address.  Not only will it help protect you from the tons of wedding related spam that you will receive, it will also keep all of your wedding correspondence in one place. Be sure to check your wedding email frequently for updates, contracts, invoices, etc.  After your wedding, do be kind to future brides and grooms and remember to close out the email account.  Another bride may really enjoy using OurAmazingWedding 2016@....com

Choose a less expensive venue.

Do you really, absolutely have to get married at the biggest hotel in town or at a perfectly restored historic mansion? A lot of public places such as parks, botanical gardens, library, City Hall or church Fellowship halls will allow you to celebrate your marriage in exchange for a small donation. You may also consider asking friends and family if they own or know of a beautiful, romantic space to use for your wedding. Think rustic ranch, fragrant orchard, or spacious private backyard.

If you can’t afford a professional wedding photographer, hire locally.

“Hire” multiple amateur photographers; social media is crawling with them. Check out their photos to see if their work is of a high enough standard to properly capture your wedding day. You can also ask everyone at your wedding to take lots of photographs.  If 100 guests take 100 pictures each during the course of your day, the Law of Averages insures that you’ll receive a good amount of really great photos.

Use a single vendor for multiple services.

The more services that are provided by a single vendor, a Package Deal, usually translates into better discounts for you. Package Deals also give you more room to negotiate the price.  It’s also one (or 2,3,4....)  less vendor for you or your Day-Of Coordinator to keep track of on the big day.

Create an accurate guest list.

Before selecting a wedding or reception venue, very carefully check your guests list total to make sure there will be enough room for everyone. In addition to your wedding party, family and invited guests, you will also need to provide adequate space for the reception line, bar, tables, chairs, waiters, cake station, band/DJ and dance floor. Also, the easiest way to limit wedding costs is to keep a tight rein on the size of the guest list. Even if your wedding will be held at a price-friendly venue, the costs to provide food, drink and entertainment for 200 guests versus 100 guests can be huge. Think double the tables, chairs, linens, food, drinks, wait staff, flowers, etc.  A $10,00 wedding can easily become $20,000 without guest list restraint.

Prepare the bartenders.

To insure good service, usually one bartender is needed for every 50-60 guests. Plan accordingly. Make sure the bartender is well equipped with a variety of nonalcoholic beverages, popular mixes, more ice than you believe is necessary and fun garnishes. For hot summer weddings be sure to provide ice cold water at numerous stations throughout the venue. Also be firm to insist that guests who have "over enjoyed themselves" are to be gently provided nonalcoholic beverages and that a designated "Bouncer" can be summoned if a potential situation must be smoothed out.

Plan ahead when making your RSVP cards.

Invest in an ink stamp to avoid writing your address over a 100 times. Ink stamps look beautiful as compared to labels and only require a light amount of pressure to be legible. Test the ink out on a scrap piece of paper first to limit errors. You can also purchase special stamping powders at craft stores that when sprinkled on wet ink and blown with a hair dryer, create an amazing 3-D texture.  These powders are available in many colors including metallic silver and gold. In addition, number the back corner of the RSVP cards to coordinate with your address book. This will help easily identify who has not RSVP’d or figure out who the response came from, in case your guest has very messy handwriting.

Be flexible when selecting your wedding date.

Most couples book their wedding a year in advance, but if you wait till about four or five months in advance you can save money. You have more bargaining power as venue places are trying to fill spots and vendors are looking for clients to fill empty dates. You should also know that dates associated with holidays, three-day weekends, special numeric (7/11 or 4/20) or are culturally auspicious, can carry very hefty premiums.  The more demand for a date, the higher the costs demanded by venues and vendors.

Plan for the weather.

The venue may be beautiful in early Spring, but if your wedding day is in the Summer, Fall or Winter, you need to be prepared. How will your venue combat nasty weather? Make sure that there is a plan in place to protect your wedding from rain, sleet or broiling sun.  Don't wait until the day before your wedding to suddenly need extra umbrellas, misters, tents or heaters.

Prepare for rejection.

Know that on average 30 percent of people you invite will not be able to attend. This is based on the number of people who live out of town or the natural timing of the event. Don’t take regrets personally.  Everyone has jobs and busy lives.

Make a policy when it comes to kids.

Avoid hurt feelings by either allowing all families to bring their children or none at all. You can have an “adults only” wedding or put out the word that the only children attending your wedding will be your immediate younger siblings or your nieces and nephews.

Include accurate directions to the wedding.

You want to ensure your guests arrive timely and not flustered. Provide accurate driving directions to the wedding by emailing it to all the guests and put it on your wedding website. Is your wedding day really the day to test Google Maps for accuracy.

Look for hotel rooms early on.

Find multiple places your guests can stay with varying price points and amenities. Contact hotels early on to see if you can setup a special group wedding price on rooms at a lower “corporate” rate. If any hotel wants to hold you liable for guest cancellation penalties, say "no" immediately. You don’t want to be held responsible for rooms you can’t fill. Also, don't be shy about asking for special hotel favors.  If your wedding guests are booking a substantial number of rooms, many hotels are very happy to provide things such as car service, early check-in/late check-out, and perhaps even a complimentary suite for the bride and groom on their wedding night.

Write down all the contacts.

Just in case of any emergency, keep all the vendor contacts, everyone involved in your wedding, in your phone's address book. If the photographer, baker or a bridesmaid is late on your wedding day, you don’t want to be searching the web for their phone number or frantically calling everyone you can think of who may have the phone number.

Have your makeup artist stay through the first dance for some quick touch-ups if needed for the bride.

If this option is not possible due to cost or scheduling, buy your own makeup items, the same that the artist uses, and do any small touch ups you may need. For the bride, be sure to coat your ears, chest, and neck with a light layer of foundation as these areas can turn very red when nervous. Don't forget the groom. A subtle use of makeup, perhaps just a little powder on his nose and forehead, can make a big difference in the photographs.

Hopefully a few of these tips will come in handy.  Your wedding day really can be stress free and amazing!

Look better than expected,


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