Always break in your shoes before the big day! Otherwise you may incur blisters, find yourself walking funny, or skip out on the rest of the festivities (i.e. the dancing) because your feet are hurting. Be sure to wear them several times before the big day.
2) Buffet or Sit-Down:
Always plan ahead of time if you will opt for the buffet or sit-down style meal. You can also opt for appetizers. If you think the party will be smaller sometimes it is best to go with a sit down style. For larger gatherings a buffet can potentially cut down on costs.
3) Open Bar or No:
Will you be serving free alcohol to the guests? If yes, when will the open bar commence, how long will it remain “open”, and what liquor are you providing for gratis? Or, you can opt to provide your own alcohol and rely on the guests to help themselves. This can dramatically cut costs but is generally best suited for smaller ceremonies where the wedding couple is close to all those attending.
4) Pictures Please:
If you want to remember your wedding day as it looks before the destruction caused by the festivities, be sure to have the photographer take photos of the site prior to the guests arrival. Also, when picking a photographer be sure to check references and credentials, and ask if they specialize specifically in wedding photography.
5) Champagne or Wine:
Pending what food you are serving and how many guests are attending, decide whether you will provide wine or champagne [and the brand(s)] for the toasting ceremony.
6) Fresh or Faux:
Will you be decorating the site with fresh or silk flowers? If you opt for fresh flowers keep in mind that seasonal flowers will be cheapest. Also, research your flowers to discover which ones tend to last longer than others (i.e. which flowers tend to wilt and droop quickly, particularly for summer weddings?).
7) Extra’s Attire:
Will your hired personnel dress comfortably, semi-formal, formal, or in traditional ceremony garb? It is important to give these instructions well ahead of time so you are comfortable with their presence during the ceremony.
8) Children’s Plates:
If providing a sit-down meal, ask about meal options for the smaller appetites. Most often children’s plates are available, which are generally cheaper so a planner won’t give up the information unless you ask. Moreover, most children prefer their “chicken fingers” to “caviar” anyways, so save your wallet and their stomachs some extra stress.
9) Wedding Gifts:
Most people don’t know what to give their loved one on the special day. Decide ahead of time if you will even opt for this tradition, or omit the gift exchange to save on costs. However, if you are going to give a gift, think personal. Bigger does not equal better here. It is definitely the thought that counts on this one.
10) Virtual Wedding:
If you decide to plan your wedding on your own without the assistance of a wedding planner you might want to consider investing in software. Currently there are several wedding planning software programs that allow you to track every minute detail of your wedding throughout every step of the planning process. Bonus: you don’t have to worry about losing hardcopies of all of your information.