Congratulations on your engagement! Now that you've said yes, it's time to start planning for your big day. Wedding planning can be overwhelming, even if you've been to a few weddings before or have saved countless ideas on Pinterest. Small details can make a big difference - and it's normal to feel unsure about certain things!
But keep in mind: there's no need to feel embarrassed or hesitant about asking questions. After all, it's your wedding, and it's important to feel confident in your choices! Remember, there are no dumb questions when it comes to planning your dream wedding. It's okay not to have all the answers.
12 Wedding Planning Tips & Questions Answered
To help you feel confident and prepared for your wedding day, we've compiled a collection of common wedding questions and their answers. From save-the-dates to venue selection, dress codes to bridal party size, we've got you covered. So keep reading to find the answers you're looking for.
1) When to Send Save-the-Dates
An important part of wedding planning is timing when it comes to sending save-the-dates and invitations. It'll largely depend on the location of your wedding and how far your guests will need to travel. Here's a breakdown of when to send them:
Destination Wedding: If you're planning a destination wedding, it's crucial to give your guests lots of time to make travel arrangements. Send out your save-the-dates 8-10 months in advance so they have enough time to plan. Follow up with the formal invitations ~3 months before the wedding to provide all the necessary details.
Local Wedding: If your wedding is taking place locally and most guests are within reasonable distance, adjust the timing accordingly. It's customary to send save-the-dates 4 months in advance. This gives your guests enough time to mark their calendars and make arrangements. Send out the formal invitations 6-8 weeks before the wedding to provide the final details.
Remember, these timelines are general guidelines, and you can adjust them based on your specific circumstances. The key is to give your guests enough notice to ensure they can attend your special day without any conflicts.
2) What Traditional Wedding Customs & Etiquette Should We Include?
When it comes to traditional wedding customs and etiquette, you have the freedom to decide what to include and what to skip. Most wedding traditions are not required, as it is your special day, and the final decision rests with you and your partner.
For example: do you have to have a receiving line? Nope! Greeting your guests throughout the reception is perfectly acceptable. What about the garter toss or bouquet throw? They are not necessary unless you truly want to include them in your celebration.
In today's world, it has become more acceptable to personalize your wedding and forgo certain traditional customs. Do take a moment to reflect on any family traditions you may want to continue. If you're interested in more etiquette tips, be sure to check out our blog post on modern wedding etiquette. There's a lot of information to cover in order to create a wedding that reflects your unique style and values.
3) How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Photographer / Videographer
When it comes to selecting a photographer or videographer for your wedding, it's essential to make a decision that ensures the highest quality and captures the most memorable moments. While you may have a friend who is eager to build their portfolio and offers their services for free or at a low cost, it's important to use your judgment and consider investing in a professional. After all, the quality of your wedding photos and videos will be cherished for a lifetime! Seek out experienced professionals who can capture the essence and emotions of your special day.
4) Do You Need an Even Number of Bridesmaids & Groomsmen?
Uneven wedding parties have become increasingly acceptable! So, say goodbye to the pressure of including someone for the sole sake of evening out the wedding party. Now it's all about allowing you to create a wedding party that reflects your style and values!
Mixed-gender bridesmaid and groomsmen parties are also gaining popularity! Break free from gender norms and celebrate the unique relationships you share with your loved ones. Don't hesitate to create a wedding party that aligns with your vision and includes the people who truly matter to you and your partner. It's your day, and you have the freedom to make it as personalized as possible.
5) Does the Bride’s Family Pay for the Wedding?
While it was once customary for the bride's family to pay for the wedding, it's no longer an obligation. While the bride's family may choose to contribute to the wedding costs, it's not expected. The financial responsibility can be shared among both families, acknowledging the unity and support of both sides.
Also, it's common for many couples to take full financial responsibility for their special day! By paying themselves, you have the opportunity to prioritize aspects according to your unique desires. Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to wedding finances. You get to navigate this aspect in a way that feels comfortable to you and your circumstances. The key is open communication!
6) How Much Does the Wedding Cost?
According to the Knot, the average wedding cost is around $30,000. However, it's important to note that weddings can be tailored to fit a wide range of budgets! Couples can obviously choose to spend less or splurge more based on their specific plans and preferences.
Remember, your wedding budget is a personal decision that should be customized to suit your financial circumstances and priorities as a couple. Openly communicate, set realistic expectations, and making informed choices! You can create a memorable wedding experience while maintaining financial stability.
7) Do You Need a Bridal Shower? Can We Do A Couple's Shower?
If you want to have a bridal shower, it’s a time-honored tradition that many brides-to-be look forward to! Ultimately, it's completely up to you and where your prioritizes lie. If you want to know where to start, here's a guide to bridal shower planning!
Another option is this: if you want to include everybody in the shower celebration (or don't want all of the attention on you), consider a Couple's Shower! While bridal showers typically include only the bride and female friends/relatives, there's no exclusions with this option. Plus, the focus will be on the couple together!
8) What Questions Should I Ask the Wedding Venue?
Choosing the perfect wedding venue is a crucial decision in planning your special day. As you navigate selecting a space, it's important to be prepared to avoid any unexpected surprises. To help you make an informed decision, here are some questions to ask your venue representative:
What exactly is included in the venue package? Understanding what is covered in the rental fee is crucial to avoid unexpected costs. Inquire about essentials like tables, chairs, linens, and decor options.
How much time will be allocated for setup, and when will the space be available to start? It's essential to know how much time you have for setting up and decorating the venue.
When do we need to have everything cleaned up? Understanding the venue's specific guidelines regarding cleanup and departure time is vital for avoiding any additional charges.
- What is the maximum capacity for guests? Knowing the venue's capacity will help you determine whether the space can accommodate your desired guest count and whether any adjustments need to be made.
- Is gratuity expected, and if so, what is the customary amount? Know the venue's gratuity policy to help plan your budget and ensure that you account for this expense.
- What is the payment schedule? Do we need to provide a deposit? Ask about the deposit amount, when it is due, and whether the venue offers any installment options for payment.
By asking these important questions, you'll be able to compare different venues. Remember, thorough research and clear communication with the venue will help you choose your perfect space.
9) Can We Include a Dress Code on the Wedding Invitations?
Of course! In fact, guests often prefer to have direction when it comes to choosing outfits. If you have a specific style of dress you’d prefer at your wedding, it’s okay to say so in your invitations! Try to use clear language—saying the dress code is “black tie” is better than saying “dress fancy.”
10) Do We Have to Invite Plus-Ones?
Inviting plus-ones to your wedding can be a delicate decision to make. While it's not mandatory to extend an invitation to your guests' guests, it can be a thoughtful gesture if your budget allows. However, considering the potential costs involved, it's essential to find a balance that works for you. Here are some guidelines to navigate plus-one invitations with grace:
Relationship duration: A helpful rule of thumb is to extend a plus-one invitation to guests who have been in a committed relationship for over a year. This guideline helps ensure that couples who are more established are included while managing the guest list effectively.
Venue capacity: Consider the capacity of your chosen venue. If the venue has limited space, it may be necessary to restrict plus-ones to close family members and established couples to prioritize accommodating all your desired guests.
Clarity in invitations: Clearly communicate who is invited on the invitation itself. Address the invitation specifically to the intended guest, using their name, and refrain from using generic "and guest" phrasing unless a plus-one is explicitly offered.
Communicate with courtesy: If you need to limit plus-ones due to budget or space constraints, communicate your decision tactfully. Personalize your message by explaining the constraints you are facing and express your regret that you cannot extend an invitation to everyone's guests.
11) Do We Need An Open Bar at the Wedding?
Determining the best approach to serving beverages at your wedding is a challenging decision. One popular choice is an open bar, which offers a wide selection of drinks to guests at no additional cost. However, it can come with a hefty price tag and potentially lead to excessive drinking. Here are a few other options to consider:
Cash Bar: Guests purchase their own drinks directly from the venue. This can help offset costs since guests pay for their drinks. However, communicate the cash bar arrangement to guests in advance so they can come prepared. Some guests may not expect to pay for drinks at a wedding, so don't let it be a surprise.
Limited Bar: Another option is to offer a limited selection of complimentary drinks, like a signature cocktail or a specific set of beverages. This allows you to control costs while still providing a delightful experience for your guests. Consider selecting beverages that are popular and reflect your wedding theme or personal preferences.
Ultimately, the decision about the type of bar service depends on your budget, guest expectations, and personal preferences. Consider factors such as the overall wedding atmosphere, guest demographics, and cultural norms. Remember, the focus is on creating a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone while managing your finances.
12) Is It Normal to Feel Nervous About the Wedding?
Feeling a mix of nervousness, fear, or doubt about your upcoming wedding is completely normal! As you go through a significant life change, it's natural to question whether you're making the right choice and worry about the details. Rest assured, you're not alone in these emotions. Here are some tips to help you navigate the pre-wedding jitters:
Acknowledge your feelings: Recognize that it's normal to have butterflies in your stomach or moments of uncertainty. Getting married is a major milestone, and it's okay to have a range of emotions leading up it!
Communicate with your partner: Share your concerns and anxieties with your partner. They are your support system, and discussing your feelings can help alleviate some of the stress. Remember, you're in this together, and open communication strengthens your bond.
Embrace imperfections: Accept that not everything will go exactly as planned. Imperfections and unexpected moments can add charm and character to your wedding day. Embrace the spontaneity and remember that the most important thing is celebrating your love and commitment.
Trust your instincts: If you're certain that your partner is the right person for you, trust your instincts. Believe in the love you share and the foundation you've built together. It's normal to have doubts, but remember the reasons why you chose each other.
Remember, pre-wedding nerves are a testament to the significance of this life event. It's a journey filled with excitement, anticipation, and, yes, even a little apprehension. Embrace these feelings, stay connected with your partner, and focus on the joy and love that will surround you on your wedding day. Trust yourself and enjoy the beautiful moments that lie ahead as you embark on this incredible chapter of your life.
You've Got This! Cheers to Wedding Planning!
It’s normal to have questions about your wedding day - and it’s okay if you don’t have all the answers! Your friends and family are your support group during this hectic and exciting time. Your vendors can also be a good resource (after all, they’ve probably seen hundreds of weddings).
In the end, though, the decisions are ultimately yours and your partner’s. There are no hard line requirements or rules. What’s important is creating a day you both remember and cherish during your lives together. And maybe one day you can share your own knowledge with friends who are getting married! As you get closer to your big day, check out our post on things to do the night before the wedding.
If you have any other questions or ideas about getting married, we would be thrilled to hear from you in the comments below. Share your thoughts, experiences, and insights with our community. Together, let's celebrate the joy of love and the beauty of weddings!
You've got this, and we're here to support you every step of the way. Cheers to a memorable wedding day and a lifetime of happiness together!