When you’re engaged, it can seem like everyone’s a wedding planning expert. From the day you announce your engagement, it can seem like everyone has some advice about your wedding venue, dinner, flowers…
We’ve guided a lot of couples through wedding planning over the years, and we know the process can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put some of our top tips (and tricks!) into a list that you can use as you plan your special day.
- Because so many other details depend on your wedding venue, book your venue as soon as possible so you can coordinate other wedding details such as the caterer, invites, and transportation (here are tips on how to choose the right venue for your big day).
- To narrow down your options, set a budget, date (month, season, or day), and approximate guest count before you contact wedding venues. (Discuss these other items with your fiancé as well.)
- Have a favorite caterer that you have to have on your big day? Ask your wedding venue if they have an open vendor policy that allows outside vendors in their venue.
- If you need help but don’t want to hire a full-time wedding planner, utilize the services of a planner at your wedding venue.
- Don’t be so in awe of your wedding venue that you forget to ask about parking. Your guests’ll appreciate it! (Use this full list of questions to vet your wedding venues.)
- NEVER book a wedding venue without a tour of the facility (including the changing spaces and restrooms). Use this guide of things to look for during your wedding venue tour.
- When asking about cost, always ask for the amount of time covered in the cost quoted by the wedding venue to avoid overtime fees.
- Love a wedding venue but not the cost? Ask the venue about “off days” (weekdays or Sundays) or off-season dates that can bring the cost within your budget.
- If your budget for décor is minimal, look for a wedding venue with stunning background that doesn’t need a lot of decorations.
- Worried about your budget? Ask your wedding venue staff if they schedule a final planning meeting where you can see the final bill—and make adjustments that can fit your budget accordingly.
- Screen each wedding vendor carefully to avoid scams and low-quality vendors (use this list of red flags as you select vendors).
- Feel in the dark about where to start finding wedding vendors? Ask your wedding venue staff for recommendations of vendors they’ve worked with before.
- Don’t wait to book your wedding vendors. The best wedding vendors’ calendars fill up quickly (use this checklist to make sure you’re organized and ahead of the wedding planning curve).
- Read the fine print in each contract to make sure you are aware of all hidden fees and contingencies in place in time of an emergency.
- Discuss any deadlines you need to meet with each vendor. Stay organized as you plan (use these tips for organized wedding planning) and take frequent breaks so you don’t get stressed out (enjoy one of these de-stressing ideas). If you get overwhelmed, consider hiring a wedding planner to stay on top of your wedding planning so you can enjoy a wonderful wedding day.