Things to do before “I do”
Make Your Guest List
The number of guests that you invite will determine how much space you need, how much food you need to have and will help you set your budget.
Just to give you an idea: the average wedding costs approximately $25,000, so if you have 250, guests that’s $100 per person. Granted- that’s for everything from dress to cake to DJ and it’s an average so it’s a good place to start. You can adjust for your personal situation from there.
Pick Your Venue
This includes both the ceremony and reception venues and will likely determine your wedding date. Make sure that the space is large enough to do what you want. Keep in mind that filling the space to capacity will not leave room for any extras such as a photo booth, dance floor or dessert station and your guests will likely be crushed together. Try and keep your guest list at about 25% below capacity.
The hall, hotel, museum or church may be all inclusive, provide a limited number of items or supply nothing. It is best to compare the prices of the spaces side by side along with what is included and what you will need to provide separately, such as linens, tables, chairs and dinnerware.
Also, keep in mind that if there is a particular style that you would like for your reception it is best to go with a space that already has that look or one that is a blank canvas. Covering areas of your venue that you don’t like is a waste of your decorating dollars. It is better to be able to bring in unique features and highlight areas of the space that have character, interest or charm.
Select your Caterer, Photographer & Band
With all vendors, it is important to know exactly what items and services will be provided. Read their contract, ask very specific questions and make sure that the items and services that are important to you are included in the paperwork.
You don’t need to talk to them weekly leading up to your wedding, but it’s good to touch base from time to time just to make sure you and your vendor have a consistent plan. Also, it’s good to provide a list of “must have” items as well as a “not on my day” list.
If there is a specific vendor that you are really set on using for your reception such as a really great florist, cake decorator or DJ book them at this time as well.
Attendants, Attire & Accessories
Time to get your friends and family involved in the planning process and get shopping!
Make sure that your selections are flattering to you and your entourage, that the style is consistent with the rest of the décor and that you allow funds for alterations.
Also, keep in mind when you are asking friends to participate in your day that you are not causing them financial problems. Select attire that is affordable if you are asking them to buy their own outfits.
All Other Vendors
Iron out the details and make arrangements for everything else. Keep in mind all of the things that are being provided by suppliers you have already secured, you don’t want to double book items or services.
Best suggestion- get really familiar with excel and enter everything on your wedding spread sheet. It will be much easier to keep track of all the little details as well as the expenses.
Special Touches & Accessories
This is the part where you work on all of those special projects and personal details that you have been stalking on Pinterest. Just keep the details consistent with your overall décor, keep it organized and easy to transport for the big day.
Rehearsal, Yes Rehearsal
Don’t neglect the rehearsal and assume that everything will go as you see it in your mind because it most certainly will not happen all by itself! Everyone will feel more comfortable on the day of if they have an idea of where and what they are supposed to be doing.
However, don’t despair over little mishaps or unanticipated issues. Those little details will make your day uniquely yours and will probably become some of the most fondly shared memories that you have together.
Make sure that you are able to enjoy the day to the fullest. The best way to make sure that you have a perfect day is to be relaxed, extremely organized ahead of time, put trusted people in charge and focus on your partner.