When planning our wedding, it’s essential to differentiate between the things that are nice to know, and the things you need to know. This is an advice so important that any bride who’s lucky to hear it or read it thinks, “I’m so glad someone told me that!”
In case you are wondering if there’s anything you may have missed or overlooked (or even if you’ve got everything perfectly under control), check out our ever-indispensable handy list of wedding planning tips and tricks that are a must-know for every bride.
Essential Wedding Planning Tips And Tricks
1). Guests Always Come First
It’s important to have a figure on the appropriate number of guests you’ll invite before selecting a venue. This will ensure that there’s enough space for your crew. As a rule of the thumb, provide for 25 to 30 square feet per guest. While this might seem like a lot, it’s not if you consider the space required for the tables, where the wedding cake would be placed, the bustling waiters and ushers, the band and a dance floor.
After all, you wouldn’t want your day of celebration of love to suddenly turn to a day of nightmare when accidents begin to occur as a result of cramped spaces.
2). Investigate Wedding Blackout Dates
This wedding planning tip is essential in the days or months leading to your wedding. It would do you a lot of good if you know ahead of time whether your wedding date falls on the same day as a trade conference, cultural festival, protest match, charity walk, or other local events that could affect traffic and hotel room availability.
3). Never Ignore Mother Nature
While the thought of planning your wedding makes you excited, never ignore Mother Nature’s subtle or not-so-subtle signals. Heed the weather and other potential disturbances. Guests have been known to avoid or skip out early from hotter-than-hot summer tent weddings and improperly heated wedding venues during the cold season.
Also, bugs (gnats, flies, and mosquitos) are densely populated in certain areas during certain seasons. Therefore, you might consider fumigating the area to eradicate the problem or including bug repellants in guest’ gift bags. This is one essential wedding planning tips you shouldn’t forget!
4). Pay It Forward
Allow one vendor lead you to another. With this wedding planning tip, a vendor would help recommend other vendors who will give you your money’s worth and ensure you have the perfect wedding. For instance, your wedding photographer can tell which florist’s blooms are really gorgeous, and your reception manager would know which band lights the dance floor like wildfire.
5). Lighten Your List
Want to know an awesome wedding planning tip that will easily lighten your wedding list? Trim your guest list. Remember that half of your wedding expenses are spent on wining and dining your guests. If it’s costing you N1000 per wedding guest, eliminating a table of 5 or 10 can save you N5000 OR N10, 000.
6). Make A Meal Plan
Another unforeseen expense? It’s feeding your wedding day crew. Before you sign the contracts, ensure you are not required to serve the same meal to your vendors or crews that guests will receive. Otherwise, you’d end up paying for additional food. Instead, choose a less expensive (but equally tasteful meal) for them.
Therefore, you will have to let your wedding caterer know in advance exactly how many vendors/crews you need to feed and what you want them to serve. Don’t forget to add photography assistants, drivers, and security guards to the list of your crew.
7). Become Organizationally Focused
One wedding planning tip you shouldn’t forget as you begin to count the weeks to the big day is being organizationally focused. What should you do? Compile all your correspondences with vendors, notes you make during meetings, and photos or tear sheets from magazines you want vendors to see.
It’s recommended you set up a special email address dedicated solely to your wedding and store important vendor numbers in your mobile phone. You can also keep your wedding information or details in a spreadsheet to help you tick items you’ve sorted (or have a notebook or diary solely for that purpose).
8). Tend To Your Bar
Typically, you need one bartender or server per 50 guests to keep the line at a minimum. However, if you’re serving a signature cocktail that cannot be made in large quantities or ahead of time, consider hiring an extra server for this designated task.
9). Make Some Room In Your Wallet
As a rule of the thumb, your wedding budget should follow this formula: 48 to 50 percent of total budget to reception expenses; 8 to 10 percent for flowers; 8 to 10 percent for clothing/attire; 8 to 10 percent for music/entertainment; 10 to 12 percent for photo/video coverage; 2 to 3 percent for invites; 2 to 3 percent for gifts; and 8 percent for extra expenses like a wedding planner.
As a wedding planning tip, it’s recommended that you allocate an extra 5 to 10 percent of your money for unexpected expenses like additional tailoring expenses, ribbons for the wedding programs, or printing extra invites due to mistakes.
10). Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
Your wedding vendors should be your go-to and most-trusted experts when planning your wedding. When working with them, feel free to ask or tell them what you really want — whether it’s serving a late-night snack instead of a first course or serving your guests assorted sweets instead of small chops. The bottom line is you that you should be able to tell them what exactly you want. And their job will be to tell you what can and can’t work based on your wedding budget.
11). Wait For A Date
Sometimes, this last minute wedding planning tip can work in your favour. The closer your date, the more bargaining power you might have. Since most couples book their wedding venues at least 6 months in advance, calling for open dates two months before the wedding date can net you an amazing deal.
12). Prepare For Rejection
As a rule, know that about 30 percent of the people you invite might not attend for some reasons. Typically, this depends on the location of your wedding (guests find destination weddings harder to attend), the number of out-of-towners on your list, and the timing of the event. For example, if your wedding would take place during Ramadan, you would most likely observe a decrease in the number of guests in attendance.
13). Prioritize Your Guests
As a wedding planning tip, ensure you pare down your guest list with the ‘levels of priority” trick. Place the immediate family, best friends and the bridal party at the top of the guest list; followed by aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends you can’t imagine celebrating without.
Under that, list your parents’ friends, neighbours, coworkers and other people you might want to attend. If you want to trim the list, start from the bottom until you achieve your ideal number.
14). Take It One Step At A Time
Make a wedding planning schedule and do things one at a time, logically, so that you don’t take on too much too fast, and end up having things spiraling out of control. As a rule, don’t hire any vendors before you’ve confirmed your date; don’t design your cake before picking the flowers of your choice, and don’t book a band before you’ve picked a wedding venue.
15). Release Rooms
As soon as you’ve picked a date, begin to look for hotels with varying price ranges. Many hotels might allow you to reserve rooms for guests under a special wedding bonus. You can then release any unbooked rooms a month prior to your wedding. As a wedding planning tip, if the hotels you contact insist upon contracts with cancellation penalties, just say no — you don’t want to end up paying for rooms you can’t fill.
16). Provide Accurate Driving Directions
Ensure your wedding guests know where they are going. As easy as online maps are easy to use, sometimes; the directions are work or there might be a quicker, less traffic-prone route they can take. Ask your wedding reception manager for recommended driving directions and even test out the routes yourself. Then, text or email them to your guests to print out if they’d like.
17). Classify Your Cash
Wedding budgets revolve around creating a balance. And this is one wedding planning tip you shouldn’t forget easily. Begin your budget planning by creating a checklist of important details, like the music, your wedding gown, photographers, the flowers and the invitations, and allocate a number to each — one being the most important and three being the least.