Your wedding can be stress-free and successful whether you plan a small ceremony in your back yard or a you choose to get married on a yacht! With a few pre-wedding, ceremony and reception considerations, you and your guests will leave your wedding with fond memories.
Begin planning early and share your planning responsibilities with your significant other.
After you have determined your wedding budget and prior to booking the venue, you should have a semi-accurate guest count. Before choosing a wedding date, research conferences and local events, as well as their resulting hotel availability. Finally, have a plan B in place for outdoor weddings.
Purchase a wedding planner and organize everything. Include multiple checklists and prioritize your tasks. Choose vendors recommended by other vendors and married couples, and ask these individuals for wedding tips and tricks. Read your contracts carefully and get all changes in writing. Learn about licensing requirements and vendor restrictions prior to signing contracts.
Take advantage of cost savings by negotiating pricing and waiting until closer to the wedding to book venues and food. Negotiate room blocks at discounted rates for wedding guests.
Consider your guests, including vendors and children, and accommodate their needs. Provide personalized programs and event schedules, including pre-wedding events, such as wedding showers, to all guests. Plan a seating chart.
Practice walking and dancing in your wedding wear. Hire the best photographer and videographer you can afford.
Prepare an emergency vendor contact sheet. Arrange a setup schedule with your venue. Set up seating so everyone can both hear and see the wedding ceremony. Save money through creative décor and flower placement. For example, do not place flowers under HVAC systems or in areas where they are less likely to be seen and appreciated.
Consider providing guests with welcome bags or baskets and wedding transportation options. Provide accurate directions to the ceremony and reception venues.
Personalize and plan a short ceremony. Do not adhere to traditions that conflict with your personality or lifestyle. Be somewhat flexible in your start time in case of guest delays.
Your reception should include adequate staff. In addition, it should be planned with your guests’ comfort in mind. For example, comfortable seating areas, adequate parking and convenient bathroom facilities should be priorities.
Consider extending your reception time to prevent rushed conversations. Remember to feed your vendors, and provide hors d’oeuvres between the ceremony and reception so the guests do not get hungry while they wait for the wedding photos to be taken. Late-night snacks may also be provided.
Ensure your guests are entertained. Therefore, keep your speeches short and greet every guest. In addition, ask for song requests, provide fun wedding or garden games, set up lounge areas and include unique entertainment, such as photo booths.
Provide favors that your guests will use, such as cookies, jams and jellies or mini bottles of wine. Request that your guests remain unplugged during the wedding and reception, and make a memorable exit.
Although not everything will go perfectly, you can plan and execute a successful wedding by following a detailed pre-wedding, ceremony and reception plan.