10 Essential Wedding Planning Tips and Tricks


February 25, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Tips & Tricks



Cover all your wedding planning bases with these expert tips no bride-to-be should be without.

When planning your wedding, there are things that are nice to know, and then there are things you need to know—advice so essential that any bride who’s lucky enough to hear it thinks, “I’m so glad someone told me that!” If you’re wondering whether there’s something you may have missed (or even if you’ve got everything under control), check out our indispensable planning secrets below.

1. Guests Come First

Get a grip on the approximate number of guests you’ll invite before settling on a venue. This will ensure there’s ample space for your crew. As a rule of thumb, allow for 25 to 30 square feet per guest. That may seem like a lot, but it’s not if you count the space you’ll need for the tables, bustling waiters, the band and a dance floor.

2. Investigate Blackout Dates

Especially in Myrtle Beach, know ahead of time if your wedding date falls on the same day as a trade conference, charity walk, or other local event that could affect traffic and hotel room availability.

3. Check Your Credit

Take advantage of the high cost of weddings and sign up for a credit card with a rewards program. Whether it gives you airline miles or great shopping deals, consolidating all wedding-related purchases to this card will help you accumulate thousands of rewards points (which could be used for your honeymoon).

4. Pay It Forward

Let one vendor lead you to another. Your wedding photographer can tell you which florist’s blooms really pop, and your reception manager should know which band packs the dance floor.

5. Lighten Your List

The easiest way to trim your wedding budget? Cut your guest list. Remember, half of your wedding expenses go to wining and dining your guests. If it’s costing you $100 per person, eliminating one table of 10 can save you $1,000.

6. Get Organized

In a three-ring binder, compile all your correspondences with vendors, notes you make during meetings, and photos or tear sheets from magazines you want vendors to see. Set up a special email address dedicated to your wedding, and store important vendor numbers in your cell phone. For the technophiles, try on the free wedding planing apps featured on page 8.

7. Leave Some Room in Your Wallet

Your wedding budget should follow this formula: 48 to 50 percent of total budget to reception; 8 to 10 percent for flowers; 8 to 10 percent for attire; 8 to 10 percent for entertainment/music; 10 to 12 percent for photo/video; 2 to 3 percent for invites; 2 to 3 percent for gifts; and 8 percent for miscellaneous items like a wedding coordinator. It’s essential to allocate an extra 5 to 10 percent for surprise expenses.

8. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

Your wedding vendors should be your go-to, most-trusted experts during the planning process. When working with them, you should feel free to really explore what it is you want. Maybe it’s serving a late-night snack instead of a first course or doing a bridal portrait session rather than an engagement session. The bottom line is that you should feel like you can have an honest conversation with them about your vision. Their job will be to tell you what you can and can’t make work given your wedding budget.

9. Prepare for Rejection

Know that as a rule, about 30 percent of the people you invite won’t attend. Naturally, this depends on the location of your wedding (destination weddings are harder to attend), how many out-of-towners are on your list, and the timing of the event (some guests may have annual holiday or summer plans).

10. Relinquish Control

When it comes down to the last month of your planning (and when you’re particularly harried) look at your mile long to-do list and cut three things. Yes, cut three things. Not crucial things that you just don’t feel like doing, such as picking a processional song or confirming final details with all of your vendors. Eliminate only the over-the-top tasks like hand-painting “Just Married” signs, or baking cookies for all of the welcome bags. Cross them off and make a pledge not to think about them again.

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