So, he’s finally popped the question, you’ve told everyone you know the good news, and the reality of it all is finally setting in. You may have had countless ideas about what you want your dream wedding to look like ever since you were a little girl. Now, you’re finally going to be able to make these daydreams a reality! When planning your big day, there are a number of things you should know, and others that you have to know. If you’re about to get stuck in with the planning, here are some essential tips to bear in mind…
Your Guests Come First
Well, obviously, you come first. However, when you sit down to start planning, your guests are the first thing you should worry about. First and foremost, get a firm handle on the number of guests you’re going to invite. This will make it easier to settle on details such as the wedding invitations and the venue. As a general rule of thumb, you should make sure you have around 25 square feet of space per wedding guest. That might sound like a lot, but remember you need to account for the tables, the catering staff, the band and of course the dancefloor.
Figure Out No-Go Dates
There’s nothing worse than marking a date on your calendar, beginning to count down the days to your wedding, and then finding out that you’ll need to postpone it. Start investigating a rough time when you’d like to have your wedding, and find out if there are any no-go dates around the same time. Trade conferences, charity walks, and other local events, can all have a dramatic effect on both traffic and the availability of hotel rooms. Rule these out, and you’ll ensure your big day goes as smoothly as possible.
Think About the Weather
To make sure your big day is enjoyable and memorable for all of your guests, you need to start thinking about any potential annoyances that mother nature might throw at you. It’s fairly common for wedding guests to leave early from events held in blistering summer days, and winter receptions with inadequate heating. Bugs such as gnats and mosquitoes will swarm around some areas in certain times of the year, so take precautions against these pests if the wedding or reception is going to be largely outdoors. If a sunset is essential to your perfect ceremony, make sure you check what time you’ll need to say your vows. You don’t want the reception to start too late in the day!
Weddings are among the most expensive private events anyone will have to pay for. However, you can take advantage of the high cost of your big day, by applying for a good rewards credit card. Whether it pays off in air miles or excellent shopping deals, trying to consolidate all of your wedding purchases with the right card will help you acquire countless reward points. These can be an absolute godsend when you two are on your honeymoon!
Have a Meal Plan
Feeding everyone who’s coming to your wedding is another major expense that you’ll have to account for. Before you sign any contracts with your vendors, just make sure you’re not expected to serve the same meal to them as you’ve got planned for your guests. You don’t want to have to pay for twenty extra lobster tails at short notice! Start looking for affordable, but equally satisfying wedding meals to serve them instead. You’re going to have to call your caterer in advanceand let them know precisely how many vendors are going to need feeding. Don’t forget the people who often slip through the net, such as roadies and photography assistants.
Leave Some Emergency Cash
We know, your big day may be completely wrecking your bank account as it is. Flowers, attire, music and entertainment, food, transport… the list goes on and on! However, if you want to be 110% sure that the event’s going to go off without a single hiccup, you also need to leave yourself an emergency cash cushion. As a general rule, this should be around ten percent of the necessary, non-negotiable expenses. This will be for surprise costs, such as getting extra invitations made up due to mistakes, supplying umbrellas for a rainy day, or even little décor frills. Hopefully, everything will go according to plan, and you won’t need to touch this emergency reserve. Still, it’s better to have this money and not need it, then to need it and not have it.
Set a Kids Policy
When children and weddings mix, it can make a large and complex event even more hard to manage. You have a few options for dealing with this. You can tell everyone that kids are welcome, make it an adults only event, allow immediate family only, or organise some kind of childcare solution for your guests. There are many childcare services that will accommodate for weddings, basing themselves either in the reception area, a function room, or at a family member’s home. Obviously, you don’t want to avoid hurt feelings, so try to avoid letting some guests bring their kids and then disallowing others.
Take Things a Step at a Time
Planning your perfect wedding is a massive project, and even though you’re excited for the day itself, all the different aspects of planning can quickly turn it into a long and difficult stress-fest! To keep yourself from pulling your hair out, break down all the work ahead of you into several manageable steps, sorted into a logical schedule. Figure out the tasks you need to complete, and tackle them one by one, preventing it all from snowballing out of control and casting a gloom over the happiest day of your life. Don’t hire any vendors or services before a date is set in stone. Don’t design your cake until you’re certain on the flower arrangements. Don’t choose entertainment before you know how much space you’ll have. Move things along in a logical, manageable order, and you’ll take a lot of potential stress out of the situation!