Common Wedding Planning Questions
I cannot even believe that I am getting married in a little more than a week. It feels like this entire ten months of planning has just completely flown by. If you’ve been following along with my Setting the Wedding series, then you’d probably know all about the whole planning process. I had almost no idea what I was doing more than half the time. Now that it’s basically here, I thought it’d be fun to look up some of the most common wedding planning questions and share a little bit of my experience. This will include a few sneak peeks on some wedding details that I might not have mentioned before and hopefully help you out a little bit if you’re planning a wedding too!
1.) Cost of a wedding?
I read a lot of places that you should pick a budget when you start planning and although my mom might have done that for me, I basically just kept looking for the best deals. Obviously we all know that weddings are crazy expensive, so we really took our time to find the best options on everything for the best price.
2.) First look?
Jacob and I might not have been very traditional throughout our relationship this far, but there’s many details in this wedding that we are keeping traditional. Including not seeing each other after we leave the rehearsal dinner until I walk down the aisle. However, we will be doing a first not look just so we can at least touch each other and calm our nerves a little bit before the ceremony.
3.) Sorting through all the information
Just like with any big changes in your life such as buying a house, having children, etc. it seems like once you get engaged everyone around you suddenly becomes wedding experts. Information starts getting thrown at you the moment you announce your engagement and as rude as it may sound, I honestly just let it all go in one ear and out the other. Let’s be real, there is no possible way you’re going to remember all the information you’re being given so I recommend just taking it one step at a time. Get a planner binder to write everything down in and you’ll stay much more organized. Pinterest works too, but make sure you stay focused on the task at hand.
4.) Invite plus ones?
After doing research and looking up the best etiquette, offering your guests a plus one is absolutely not mandatory. But if your venue and budget allow for it, then it’s nice to do so. Since we’re having a pretty small wedding and the amount of our guests that would be bringing a plus one is minimal, we did leave that option open for those who would feel more comfortable bringing a plus one.
5.) Open bar?
I think this pretty much is going to depend mainly on your budget and guest list. Again, we are able to do so because our guest list is fairly small and I feel pretty confident that our guests can control themselves enough. However, we are keeping the options limited!
6.) Band or DJ?
This was a super easy decision. I’m not a big fan of bands performing live, so we chose to go with a DJ. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s actually really cool because our DJ is also going to be our officiant. That man does everything!
7.) Finding the best venue
I actually had the venue picked out before we even got engaged. My whole life I had always wanted a wedding on the beach, but the older I got the more I realized that wasn’t for me. There’s too many factors that I’d be worried about and there’s no way I’d put myself in such a windy location to ruin my hair. We chose to go with this beautiful pergola in front of a pretty pond with fountains that’s surrounded by beautiful greenery. It just seems so timeless, which has pretty much been our goal for the whole wedding.
8.) Where to focus the budget
Aside from the venue, which is obviously a big portion of the costs, we chose to focus a lot of it on the food. We did get a really good deal for the food that we picked out, but when you add it all up it seems like more than it really is. Food is important in our relationship, our family, and the majority of our guests and with that being one of the main points of the night, we had to get it right. And y’all...I am so excited to eat!!
9.) Forming a guest list
I didn’t realize how early on in the planning you need to at least start a draft guest list to get a rough idea of how many people will be there. We needed this for the venue, the photographers, the caterer, and a few other bookings that we made within the first month or two of being engaged. We kept it pretty small and only invited people who we stay in touch with and who we really thought would show up.
10.) Knowing what to do next
That is one of the most stressful things to think about through the entire process. As if making decisions isn’t difficult enough, how am I supposed to know what to do next when I’ve never done this before? The wedding planner was a huge help in guiding what to do and when. The book I got is The Wedding Planner & Organizer by Mindy Weiss and I definitely recommend it for anyone planning a wedding. It literally had everything I needed to know and kept me on track for getting things completed in a timely manner.
11.) Predicting RSVPs
Like I said, we only spent money on invitations for close family and for who we thought would actually show up. We thought we had it figured out and that most of our invites would respond. If you’ve read my last two wedding update posts then you know that’s definitely not the case. I’ve learned that there’s really no way to predict RSVPs. We got some acceptances from people we really weren’t completely expecting and some regrets from people who I had no doubt would definitely be there. Unfortunately there’s only so much you can do to try and get them sent back and there’s almost nothing you can do to predict it. Just make sure you buy postcard stamps if possible to save you money on those that don’t get returned.
12.) Include a dress code on the invitation?
Our wedding won’t be that fancy, so I didn’t think we needed to include it. However, the location is on a “farm” and the reception will take place in an event barn so we did have a few people not fully understand what to expect. I thought event barns are more popular than they are until we started having people think they’re going to a hoedown of some sort. Apparently that’s something we probably should have included on the invitation...
13.) When to send out invitations
According to the planner I have, the invitations need to be sent out eight weeks before the wedding which is exactly what I did. I gave two weeks time for the RSVPs to get sent in and we were still trying to contact people last week, two weeks before the wedding. I tried to allow as much time as possible, especially because our wedding won’t be on the typical Saturday.
14.) Choosing the wedding party
Fortunately for me and Jacob, it didn’t take much thought on who to include in the wedding party. To keep things as simple as possible, we chose to only include our younger siblings to stand next to us. I can’t even begin to tell you how much stress (and money) that has saved us and how much more time it’ll give us when it comes to taking pictures.
15.) Booking the honeymoon
This actually took us quite a bit of effort until we finally figured it out. Cruises were recommended to us so many times and although I’d love to do it because Jacob has never been on one before, I can’t because I get so sick on them. He also likes to explore a lot, but I just want to relax. After realizing that Sandals was an option, we were so excited. Until they cancelled on us, then I had a complete breakdown because we had to start at square one again. But we got it all figured out and are super excited. I’ll get my beautiful warm weather and relaxing beaches, and Jacob will get a good view of some mountains with many activities at the resort to choose from.
16.) Choosing a theme
The most important thing to think about when deciding on a theme was what I might regret in years to come. I’ve gone through so many phases in my life obsessing over different patterns and colors, then looked back the older I’ve gotten and wondered what I was thinking at the time. I don’t want to do that on my wedding, so we chose to stick with a classic, classy, simple, elegant, timeless theme. I know that’s a lot of adjectives, but I don’t want to give away too many specific details just yet!
17.) Deciding on a date
We had a few dates picked out, but realized once we visited the venue the first time that it really all depends on what they have available. The venue we chose had Saturdays booked up for the next two years, so there was a lot of thinking we had to do on the spot. It also really depends on when you get engaged. We got engaged last December and I’ve always seen myself needing close to a year to plan, which ended us up in Fall of this year. I either wanted a Fall or a Spring wedding, so that worked perfectly. And there’s something a little special about the date we chose that we didn’t realize until after booking it, which I’ll include in a wedding post after the honeymoon. ;)
18.) Who to hire first
I don’t know if you’re “supposed” to book the venue first, but that’s what seemed the most important to me. Directly after that were the photographers, the officiant/DJ, and the caterers. You can’t really book the others until you have a date made with a venue, so that’s definitely what I’d recommend.
19.) Food options
We were originally going with stations and more of a comfort food theme because I’m pretty picky and that’s my favorite food, but we ended up going with something completely different. Now we have a buffet that only has a few comfort food side items offered and I’m so surprised at myself that I’m looking forward to that just as much as I would have for the stations.
20.) Backup plan
If you have an indoor wedding, then I don’t think a backup plan is as necessary but it’s still important. We did have a few options in case something were to happen to the venue before or the day of the wedding. And regardless of the location of your wedding, it’s just as important to consider backup plans with all of your vendors because life is crazy and you never know what’s going to happen. When talking about your wedding, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
I will have a post going up keeping y’all informed of the date and my honeymoon absence, but until then I hope you found this post enjoyable. I’m kinda having fun keeping most of it a secret and I can’t wait to see all of our hard work finally all put together. I can think of everything I want to right now, but I know none of it is going to come close to the magic I’ll feel the day I get to marry the man of my dreams! ♥
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