1. Set a budget . Everything flows from a budget. Your planner can help make your budget realistic.
2. Make a guest list. All the parties – that is both families and the bride and groom – should start to write down who they would like. Whoever is paying should determine how many guests they feel comfortable paying for. Then divide that number by 3 – bride’s parents list, groom’s parents list and bride and groom. Very often this list is too large so it will have to be trimmed.
3. Choose a venue that will comfortably hold your number of guests and that suits your style and of course budget.
4. Send a Save the Date only to those people who are must haves on your list. If you send a save the date card, you must then invite those people to the wedding. If you later feel like you can include some more people by all means send them an invitation.
5. Be sure how many invitations you need. Guests usually come in pairs. Look at your list and count addresses not number of people. Add in at least 15 extra invitations and also order extra envelopes for those invitations that are returned as undeliverable.
6. Proof your invitation carefully. When a company e-mails a proof and you sign off on it, if you later discover a mistake you will have to pay to have it redone. Have more than one person proof for you. Mistakes are costly.
7. Hire someone to help with at least the wedding day direction. You are the star and your parents are the hosts of your wedding. Who will troubleshoot, orchestrate, and keep all aspects and details together? A wedding planner who will do wedding day direction is a godsend and will offer peace of mind.
8. Finish everything as early as you can. Don’t leave the ceremony program, the place cards, the guest bags, the table numbers and the menu cards until the last minute. Your last week should be calm, with little or nothing to do. So many things can be done well in advance, do them early.
9. If you have small children as part of your wedding, ask the parents to bring them just 30 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Young children get bored, cranky and restless if they have to be at their best for too long. They are darling additions – but give them the chance to be their best.
10. Do not let anything, and I mean anything, spoil your beautiful day. Things happen that aren’t on your wish list. Focus on the fact that you are marrying the person you adore and will start a beautiful life together. Smile and be happy and everyone else will be too.