Wedding Planning Advice

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Most of us know the major components of planning a wedding, but what about the smaller details? Here are some great suggestions for planning your wedding! Be sure to check back - this list is growing regularly!

1. Guests Come First The first step in wedding planning should be to make a guest list and determine who is a must and who can be left off if necessary. This should be done before venue shopping, picking a date, or even budgeting so you know who you need to factor for an how many you need to accommodate.

2. Prioritize your Planning Determine what is most important for you on your big day - dress, venue, food, etc. This will affect every other component of your wedding, including budget, deocr, and more. I fyou have to have a beach wedding, a ball gown may not be appropriate. If that brand name mermaid gown is a must, you may need to cut on catering.

3. Search for Non-Traditional Venues A wedding venue does not need to be a "wedding venue." Try looking for lodges, community centers, gardens, theaters, hotels, and other unique gathering places for venues. Often times these places are more affordable and can lend a unique scenery and feel to your day.

4. Avoid Friday & Saturday While it can't always be done, having your wedding on a day other than Friday or Saturday could save you quite a bit. Try for Sunday brunch, the Thursday before a long weekend, or even days right before or after a holiday when people can justify taking a little extra time off. Switching your day could save you thousands, and lower your risk of someone booking the same day with your dream vendors.

5. Ask for Help as Gifts Weddings can be expensive for guests as well as the bride and groom. If you aren't to particular on gifts, try asking guests with special skillsets to contribute to the wedding as a gift. A cake decorator may be happy to make your wedding cake, or a photographer could take photos the day of, each saving both you and them hundreds if not thousands in vendor costs and gifts.

6. Remember the Vendors It's easy to remember how many people are on your guest list and to remember to hound them for RSVPs, but you also need to remember your vendors with making a head count. Be sure to factor in your photographers, musicians, planner, and even the wait staff, as a well-fed crew is a more productive crew.

7. Have a Back-Up If you are planning for any part of your special day to be outdoors, make sure you have a back-up plan to account for inclement weather. Having a tent, umbrellas, or having the event at a venue with an indoor option are great ways to be able to keep mother nature from becoming an uninvited guest.

8. Consider Costs and Values of Extras When venue shopping, consider the amenities and extras included in the price. While you may save $500 up front between two different venues, if one offers seating and help setting up and taking down versus having to find your own tables and chairs, transportation, and help getting everything taken care of, the $500 extra may be a steal.


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