We all know that the more often we do something, the better we get. But when it comes to planning a wedding, you only get one shot to get it right. A wedding is a once in a lifetime event, afterall! After the dust has settled from the big day, we want every bride to walk away saying “that was everything I dreamed of” and have no regrets. That is why we asked everyone here at Weddingstar to tell us something they wished they knew while planning their own wedding. Here are 8 things we learned that we think every bride should know.
1. Who does what?
Your fiancé might not be as involved as you would like him to be. BUT, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care as much about the wedding or that he isn’t as excited as you are to be married. It just means that floral choices and backdrops are not his top priority. The important thing is not to stress about it. Find out which parts of the wedding are most important to him. Chances are that if he is a foodie or loves music, he will show much more interest in planning the dinner or creating the perfect wedding playlist. Don’t be afraid to ask him what he is looking forward to the most. His answer might just surprise you!
2. Recruit a coordinator
Even if you DIY your entire wedding up to the day, having a day-of coordinator might be worth it. Having someone to handle the running around and setting up for you is much less stressful. It still allows you to coordinate every detail while being able to enjoy all your hard work on the day of. It is also less costly than hiring a wedding planner!
3. Schedule some alone time
Remember to set some time aside. Even if it is just a few minutes to be alone with your sweetie on your wedding day. The day will come and go by so fast. It is important to cherish a moment (or two) with each other and remember why this is all happening in the first place. Some good times to do this are often between photos and cocktails, or after the speeches are over.
4. Have a plan B.
This one might be a given, but it is often overlooked. We often dream of our wedding day being sunny and beautiful. But we all know that Mother Nature isn’t always kind. If you are planning to have your ceremony outside and there is a torrential downpour, a backup plan will prevent stress, worry and chaos. Make sure that your parents, wedding planner/coordinator and bridal party are all aware of the plan if the weather turns. Also, remember to pick a few indoor photo shoot locations.
5. Acquire proper permits
If you are planning to have alcohol at your wedding, it is important to educate yourself on rules and permits. Often different venues will have their own set of rules in regards to alcohol. Make sure you speak with your venue and are clear on what their guidelines are. Is the bar included in your venue rental? Does this include a bartender? Is the permit a part of the package? When are we required to stop serving drinks? Are we able to purchase and serve our own wine or do we need to use your bottle service? These are all very important questions to ask when booking your venue.
6. Make your guest list first
Picking a venue is one of the very first things you will do when planning your wedding. BUT, there is one more very important step you need to take before signing that contract. Make a rough guest list. This in no way needs to be finalized, but it is so important to have a rough idea of numbers before you book. The last thing you want is to book a venue that only holds 100 and find out that your guest list is actually 150.
7. Consider extra costs beyond the dress
Remember to budget for alterations when picking your wedding dress. Lace applique, beading and other details can often be costly to alter. Before saying “yes” to the dress, talk to your bridal consultant about an alteration estimate.
8. Maximize your photographer’s time (and your budget!)
Photographers and videographers are so important to a wedding, but they can also be very hard on your wedding budget. If your budget does not allow for a full day wedding package, there is still a way to capture all the important moments. Don’t be afraid to play with the traditional reception program. Who said that the bouquet toss and cake cutting have to be at the end of the night? Kick off your reception with the first dance, cut the cake after dinner, and then toss the bouquet. This will allow you to shave a few hours from your photography package while still capturing all those big moments.
Have you been married? Or maybe you’re in the midst of planning a wedding? What is it you wish you knew when going through the process? Tell us below!