The day has finally come. He asked, you said “I Do!” and now you get to begin planning one of the biggest celebrations of your life. And, unless you’ve been married before or been a part of many of weddings, you probably aren’t exactly sure how to plan your big day. So, we at Bridal Spectacular put together some of the most asked wedding planning questions brides-to-be will likely confront. Let’s begin with the pre-wedding questions!
What do I look for in wedding contracts?
Wedding contracts can be pretty tricky as there can be a lot of fine print or legal jargon you may not understand. Some things you should confirm before signing your contract are:
- How much time will you have to setup and teardown?
- How many hours are you allowed to rent the venue? Some venues may let you rent the space until midnight while others may only give you until 10pm.
- Are there any additional charges not mentioned in the contract, such as valet parking, coat check, corkage fees, cake cutting fees, etc?
- Are you allowed to use your own vendors or do you need to use the venue’s preferred list? If so, what is their pricing?
- Will you need to pay any service charges, taxes or gratuities?
What does a wedding coordinator do?
A wedding coordinator (also called a wedding planner or event coordinator) is the key to helping couples maintain their sanity while planning their wedding! Although each planner will work differently, coordinators can help with everything throughout the planning stages, including helping couples choose all of their wedding vendors (photographer, caterer, DJ, florist, etc.), helping you design your wedding and bring your vision to life, and helping couples work with budgets. Wedding coordinators can also manage everything the day of the wedding, including the rehearsal, wedding day logistics (telling vendors when to arrive and where to go) and running the wedding schedule (aka telling you when to walk down the aisle, take your photos, do your first dance, and cut the cake).
How do I address wedding invitations?
Addressing wedding invitations can seem a bit confusing, especially with all of the various living arrangements these days. Some most common rules are:
- Spell out titles and degrees “Doctor” and use “Mr. and Mrs.” for married couples.
- If a couple is unmarried but living together or is married and uses different last names, put their names on separate lines in alphabetical order.
- If you wish to invite children, it’s not necessary to include their names on the outer envelope, but you should list them on the inner envelope with their parents (Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Child’s Name). If you don’t want children to attend, be sure to include on the invitation that you are having an adults-only reception.
- If you are inviting a single person and they are allowed to bring a guest, make sure to write “John Smith and Guest” on the inner envelope, otherwise it implies they are not allowed to bring someone.
Should I include the dress code on the invite?
It’s always helpful for your guests to know what dress attire is expected at the wedding, especially if your wedding will be very formal or casual. So include descriptions that are well-known such as: Cocktail Attire, Black Tie Suggested, Casual, or Semi-Formal.
Do I need a provide choice of entrée for a seated dinner?
This is completely up to each couple. It’s nice to provide an option if you have guests who don’t eat red meat, so you could offer chicken and steak or fish and short ribs. However, it is not necessary if you need to cut costs. Just be sure your caterer has options for guests with special diets, such as vegetarian, gluten-free, Kosher or any food allergies, which your guests will need to inform you of in advance.
Should I provide welcome bags for out-of-town guests?
This is up to you, though it is a wonderful gesture for your guests who traveled to celebrate with you! If you do choose to provide a welcome bag, be sure to include something that’s helpful for your guests, such as a city guidebook, schedule of wedding events or sunscreen if you are having an outdoor wedding.
Should I hand out wedding favors?
Yet again, this is entirety up to each couple. You are already throwing a great event with food and entertainment, so if your budget doesn’t allow for favors don’t worry about it. However if you do provide favors, guests usually love anything that’s edible, such as a candy, cookies, or mini bottles of wine. Another great option is having a photo booth at your wedding. Not only is it interactive and brings your guests together, but they can also take the photos as their wedding favor!
Stay tuned next week when we cover the top wedding planning questions for the day of your wedding! In the meantime, for more wedding tips and ideas, please visit http://www.bridalspectacular.com or follow us on Facebook, twitter and Pinterest.