How to plan a wedding is a question that has perplexed many couples embarking on their journey to the perfect wedding day. With countless decisions to make, from the venue to the wedding rings, avoiding common pitfalls can save stress and heartache.
Using our years of experience, we’ve crafted a list of tips to help you avoid making some common mistakes when it comes to planning your wedding.
Crafting the Perfect Wedding Budget
An optimal wedding budget is the backbone of the planning process. Remember: all budgets look different. Everyone has their own preferences & opinions on what is more important than not so dont feel bad if you want to spend more or less on something. So, if you’re not a huge fan of desserts, maybe don't go all out on a cake, & instead get an all-you-can-eat mac & cheese bar. This is just a silly example but it shows how you can be crafty with your budget to create a unique wedding.
One of the best ways to optimize your budget is to make a list of your top 10 wants at your wedding. By outlining what’s most important to you at your wedding, you’ll be able to easily allocate your budget where you want it to go.
Another important tip is to not assume some things cost. More often than not people will rely on a quick Google search to find out the average cost of a particular vendor or activity at your wedding. But more often than not, the local companies will have better prices or might be able to provide you with additional value like free add-ons.
Tracking Every Expense
Use a wedding planning checklist to keep track of every cent, ensuring no surprise costs. Now that you’ve got a solid budget in place, it's time to stick with it. Tracking what your costs are can really help with this, in addition to helping you avoid any unnecessary expenses or surprise overspends.
Prioritizing Needs over Wants
Do you need those pricey wedding favors? Or is a larger reception venue a better investment? This kind of goes back to what we were talking about with making a list of your top 10 wants. Make sure that you’re needs are covered & establish between you and your partner what those are. For each couple they could be different.
The Essential Wedding Checklist
Incorporate every detail, ensuring your big day goes off without a hitch.
Every step of the way should be planned out so you don't have to worry about anything being missing or overlooked. This list should incorporate everything day-of or week-of that needs to happen in order for your wedding to go off without a hitch. Here's an example:
One tip we can recommend is hiring a wedding planner either for the entire planning process or just for the week or day of. Doing this can really ease the pressure of your big day so all you have to do is get married!
Selecting the Wedding Date and Venue
While the dream wedding venue is crucial, availability can dictate your wedding date. Make these decisions early so your perfect venue doesn't get booked.
Wedding venues usually book 6-12 months in advance so make sure you start the search process well in advance of your desired wedding date. Also, make sure you establish what vendors or other amenities you’d want to have on your wedding day, this can impact what venue might be right for you.
Some have more space than others, some have noise restrictions or time constraints. These are all important factors to consider when planning what venue to pick.
Ensuring Every Detail is Captured
From invites to the cake, no detail is too small to miss. Hiring the perfect wedding photographer is crucial to ensuring the event goes smoothly.
Being in the wedding industry, we’ve seen our fair share of wedding photographers & understand what separates a good one from a great one. Here’s some tips you can use when investigating different wedding photographers or videographers.
Look at the ceremony pictures & the reception pictures. You want to make sure the photographer can catch you in action just as well as they can when you’re standing still.
Ask if they do videography as well. Having a wedding video is one of the best ways to relive your special day. Most wedding photographers don't automatically also film the event so it's important to ask if they can or if they know someone who can.
Wedding Band vs DJ
Deciding between your own playlist & a live band can be difficult. However, it’s not impossible.
A lot of the time you will see couples opt for a wedding DJ because it's typically cheaper & they can control every single song that gets played. But one thing that couples don't consider is that some are extremely good, while others are extremely bad. That being said, not all DJs are bad, some are actually incredibly talented, like DJ Nixx out of Austin.
However, if you want to make sure all of your guests have an amazing time at the reception, then you need to go with a wedding band.
The energy and atmosphere a band brings to your reception is unmatched, your guests will be talking about it for years to come. Now not every wedding band is alike, so you have to be selective. But with the right help, its super simple and easy to find the perfect band for your event.
Moontower Entertainment specializes in finding the best musicians and singers in Austin & giving you the best possible band for any occasion. Talk to them about some of their amazing wedding bands like PDA Band, Matchmaker Band or Gone To Texas Band.
From Wedding Invitations to Wedding Favors
Your wedding invitation sets the tone. And those wedding favors? They're a memento for your guests.
When planning a wedding, make sure you set the tone from the beginning with a good invitation. It should match the vibe & theme you are going for the wedding. Doing this can allow the guests to get a good idea of what they are in for.
How A Planner Can Simplify the Planning Process?
A seasoned planner can streamline decisions, from the wedding band to the wedding cake. We highly recommend getting a wedding planner to help you with all the aspects of your event. More often than not, planners will have a streamlined process for everything when it comes to planning your wedding. More often than not couples say their fee is well worth it.
Vetting & Picking Each Wedding Supplier and Vendor
Every wedding vendor, from the photographer to the caterer, plays a pivotal role. Choose wisely. If you have a wedding planner, talk to them about what vendors they’ve worked with in the past and who they would recommend.
But take their information with a grain of salt. Some planners have dedicated partners who they work with on all of their events, so sometimes it won’t be a totally honest recommendation. Because of this, its important for you to do your own research & homework.
Check out local wedding blogs or look on websites like Reddit to see if anyone has had any good or bad experiences with a particular vendor.
Setting up a call or scheduling a meeting with the potential vendors can also help give you an idea of who’d be the best fit.
Once you’ve found the vendors you’d like, talk to them about what service they will provide. Make sure they specifically outline what they are providing & for how long. Signing a contract with the vendor is often times the best way to do this since it outlines the service they are providing for the fee they agreed on.
Deciding on the Dress, Rings, and Ceremony Details
The dress, rings, and marriage license are foundational to the wedding ceremony. But dont be fooled by the glitz and glamor of a diamond ring. Studies have shown that the more you spend on an engagement ring & wedding ring, the more likely you are to get divorced.
So maybe when you are shopping for the perfect wedding ring this year, try to ball out on a budget. For you & your partners' sake.
The Search for the Dream Wedding Dress
Whether traditional or modern, your wedding dress should mirror your style.
One of the easiest ways to decide what style of dress you like is to design a mood board or Pinterest board centered around your ideal dress. Doing this can give you a good idea of what you are looking for before you go into a shop & talk to a salesperson.
Another thing you should consider is purchasing a more relaxing dress for the reception. Doing this allows you to keep your wedding dress in good condition while still being able to fully enjoy your dance floor.
Creating a Wedding Website and Registry
Share your love story and guide guests with a wedding website. And a registry? Essential for guiding those wedding gifts.
If you’re looking for a simple way to store all of your wedding registry & info for guests, it might be easiest to set up a quick website using wix or squarespace.
Doing this can ease a lot of the unnecessary communications that either you or the wedding planner would have to deal with.
Remembering the Post-Wedding Tasks
The celebration might be over, but tasks remain. Here’s a quick list of what we think are the most important Post-Wedding tasks:
Clean & maintain your wedding dress
Review & pay your vendors
Freeze your cake
Register your marriage
Change your last name
Send out thank-you cards
Bost a bridal or grooms brunch
Take down your wedding site (if you made one)
Return any rentals
Settle your wedding insurance plan
Finish your registry
All of these are extremely important in their own regard & should be top priority. One of the best ways to make sure you can take care of all of this after your wedding is to plan it out beforehand. Scheduling when you will do each of these post-wedding tasks can help ensure you get everything done on time.
Armed with this guide, your journey from the wedding invitation to the last dance will be smoother. Embrace the process, enjoy every moment, and embark on a lifetime of memories.
Extended Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is a wedding planner worth the investment?
Absolutely, especially for larger or more complex weddings.
How do I choose between a traditional wedding and a destination wedding?
Consider your budget, guest list, and personal preferences.
What's the importance of a wedding website?
It keeps guests informed and can simplify RSVPs.
Should I get wedding insurance?
If you're investing a significant amount, it's a smart safeguard.
How far in advance should I start planning?
Most couples start at least a year in advance.
What are the essential items on a wedding planning checklist?
Budget, venue, guest list, dress, rings, and vendors top the list.
How do I handle family members' input in the planning process?
Be gracious, but remember, it's your special day.
Is a DIY wedding a good way to save money?
Yes, but ensure you're not taking on too much.