Hi all! My partner and I are currently in the early stages of planning for our wedding and we are curious to know what are some common issues, concerns and unexpected things you all are running into in the planning process?
1. Asking wedding party too soon (or asking people out of obligation or because someone else wants you to include them or to try to repair a relationship). Wait to ask your wedding party until around 8-12 months before the wedding. Relationships can and do sometimes change, so wait until your wedding gets closer before asking everyone. Once you ask, you can't remove them without potentially damaging the friendship.
2. Only send Save The Dates to those who you absolutely plan to invite. Once you send a Save The Date, it's rude to not follow up with an invitation if you change your mind.
3. Once you buy a dress, stop looking at dresses online or in person! Otherwise, you risk experiencing dress regret.
Congratulations on your engagement! Happy wedding planning!
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Save The Dates (if you choose to send them) are typically sent out 6-8 months ahead of time, or 8-12 months in advance if you have a lot of guests from out of town or are doing a destination wedding. Invitations are sent 6-8 weeks before the wedding.
Another thing to keep in mind is to not invite more people than the venue can hold, just in case 100% of the people invited accept. It would be a good idea to decide on your estimated guest count and budget before booking a venue.
1) pick your guest list and budget first before you go venue shopping. Fire code capacity exists for a reason.
2) do not do anything out of obligation to please other people. They already got married or they will in the future. Parents can start a tradition of a family reunion picnic at another time. If you accept even a penny as a gift, then you lose final say in decisions.
3). etiquette is not archaic and it exists for a reason. We use it everyday as a navigation tool to interact with each other as part of the human experience to avoid embarrassing social situations. Tradition on the other hand is something you can throw out the window with no repercussions if it’s something you don’t care about.
4) there are two people getting married. Goes back to #2. You and fiancé need to get on the same page and support each other’s decisions. It’s not all about what you want and your partner shows up as a guest. It gets practice in for other life decisions after the wedding you may have different opinions on and gives you a united front when dealing with others.
5) pick your guests wisely. This is for your closest friends and supportive family. For some people, their friends have become their family. If you go the full dinner route, that adds up per person so you may not want to host your boss or your parents’ game night buddies. There is no one size fits all guest list. On WW, it is common to invite parents and siblings only and have select kids invited while everyone else stays home. That doesn’t work for everyone and many view select kids as impolite because you are picking and choosing who is important vs not.
6) save the dates cost nothing. They are sent via phone call or text or email, all of which are free, as soon as you book the venue to all guests. That means that you have your guest list set in stone before booking. Physical invites are sent 6-8 weeks before the wedding. If you send them earlier, the info will be lost and forgotten and people will assume you are B listing which is impolite. If sent later, people will think they are an afterthought. Digital invites are often not taken as seriously as paper because they are casual vs formal paper.
7) do not ask your bridesmaids/groomsmen prior to 6 months before the wedding. There is nothing they need to do beyond getting attire. Relationships do change and once someone is asked you cannot have them step down without ending the friendship. The role is reserved for your closest best friends and relatives who are supportive of you and your fiancé. The first person you go to when you celebrate or vent about your relationship. It is not fit for tat and is not something that you ask in laws you barely know or like to participate in or the friend from school you haven’t talked to in 10 years.
8) think outside the box when you are on a budget. Instead of the fancy all inclusive country club that has a 6 figure food/beverage minimum that you aren’t allowed to sample until after the contract is locked in, go on Eventective.com and look at the availability there. Many studios and estates, parks department owned venues and so on that have no minimum restrictions and you can pick your own vendors which is cheaper. Especially since many have tables/chairs and kitchen included. Make sure you get catering tastings before you book them. Your favorite local restaurant can provide drop off catering that is more and better food than a regular caterer at a fraction of the price. Hire staffing online so your friends do not work. Grocery store flowers and cake work wonderfully are cheaper than their artificial alternatives.
9) do not ask guests to open their wallets for any reason at the wedding. If you can’t afford something, don’t offer it. Instead of relying on default suggestions, figure out what works with your crowd. For example, not all crowds enjoy beer or wine and asking them to shell out money for what they do like is impolite when you can skip those and serve what you can afford that they enjoy.
10). Rent whenever possible. Buying something as well as DIY may seem like it’s cheaper but it actually costs more in the long run. People do not factor in their time, sanity, labor at minimum wage per hour in addition to the cost of the supplies. So those inexpensive low quality linens end up being more expensive because you have to press all of them and setup/tear down, plus cleaning. And what do you do afterwards unless you have someone to donate to such as a church that frequently hosts social gatherings? Anything you do purchase/DIY is best to be donated. A local funeral home will take fresh flowers if you don’t plan to keep them. A local shelter may take donations as well, including any extra food you don’t have room to take home.
There are more but those are the most common ones that come up.
A major one is wait until after the honeymoon to give out tips. At that point you can objectively assess who went above and beyond the call of duty and earned the tip as opposed to another vendor who doesn’t care. Do not give them out the day of the wedding because you are on Cloud 9 which is not objective. Some vendors don’t care about the client and they have bad service, they don’t show up or they may show up and not give you anything for your time that is special. Those vendors don’t get tips.
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Gotcha! Any suggestions or information on packages offered by wedding venues? We are trying to stay under a $10.5k budget, since we only have about 30-35 guests. We aren’t sure if it’s better to go with a package or select individual vendors. Thanks again for the help!
It depends if you want to piece-meal it. If you're okay coordinating multiple vendors, then a blank-slate venue may be an option that could possible save you money. Or you can hire a coordinator to do this. Other couples prefer venues with their own tables, chairs, linens, food & bev, servers, and bartenders included. You can also swap out anything you don't want with rentals. Best wishes.
1) Book your vendors early & read contracts thoroughly 2) Do your research, but don’t feel like you have to absolutely rely on what’s always been done. Some things make sense, some do not. Just figure out what works best for you & your guests. 3) Order earlier than “they” say you should. Things go terribly wrong when you order things…dresses, invitations, decorations. Mistakes in production & delays. If you can order early, do it so that you are not freaking out when you find out a bridesmaid’s dress won’t be shipped until a month before the wedding. 4) In fact, any task that can be checked off early…do it! You’ll already have a lot of butterflies in the last 3 months before the wedding, no need to add planning anxiety to it. There will be a few things that will just have to wait, but many, many things can be done sooner.