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27. Discuss budget EARLY. Planning a wedding can get expensive and you will need to set parameters.
28. Who’s contributing? Give family members the chance to help financially however they feel comfortable.
29. Prioritize. Decide what is most important to you and your fiancé. Plan your budget accordingly so you don’t blow too much of it on a low-priority item.
30. Leave some reserve funds. There are always little things that will pop up later on, so don’t plan your initial budget estimates down to the very last dollar.
31. Plan for tips. Plan in advance for vendors that you will need to provide a tip to for day-of services.
32. Gifts. Many couples give gifts to the special people involved in their big day, like parents and bridal party members. Set money aside for this.
33. Consider assistance. Know someone who is great with money that has asked how they can help? Put them in charge of your budget to keep you accountable.
34. Establish a range. When speaking with vendors have a budget range in mind. This may eliminate some vendors before you get in too far.
35. DIY. Need to save in certain areas? Get creative. Enlist crafty friends and family to help you create the look and feel you are going for.
36. Select an officiant/pastor. Does your ceremony location provide one, or do you need to find your own?
37. Marital counseling. Are there any requirements you must meet before walking down the aisle?
38. Get your marriage license. That’s kind of important, err, necessary, and the ceremony won’t happen without one.
39. Consider the feel. Will your ceremony be formal or not?
40. Timing. Length of the ceremony may be something you want to discuss with whoever will be marrying you.
41. Vows! Discuss with your fiancé if you will be exchanging traditional vows or writing your own.
42. Kids or no kids. If you would prefer guests not bring children to the ceremony, make sure this is clear. You may even want to have childcare available.
Genius Tip: Send out an online sign up to have guests reserve a space for childcare far in advance and then you will know how many babysitters you will need on hand that day.
43. Choose words wisely.
Carefully consider scriptures, poems and songs that will be part of your day. Make it meaningful.
Have everyone sign a guestbook so you can look back on the special people who were a part of your big day!
Provide a printed program to guests when they arrive. If you need someone to hand them out, choose someone who may know the majority of guests – it’s a nice warm welcome!
46. Does your caterer… cater? Whether you’ll be providing a sit down meal or hors d’oeuvres, make sure your caterer has options for those with diet restrictions.
47. Music sets the mood. Create the atmosphere you desire by choosing you music option with care. Will a DJ help to get the party going or is a live band more your style? Some may even opt for an iPod with a playlist.
48. Who’s directing traffic and flow? Make sure you have a point person for the reception activities. It is helpful to have someone keeping things on pace.
49. Money and tips. You my find that certain companies outsource people to handle day-of tasks. Ask in advance if it is necessary to tip those individuals.
50. Favors. Donate to a charity in your guests’ honor or provide an item they can use later, like a matchbook. Make it personal by having your initials printed on it.
Selecting Wedding Vendors
51. Do your research. You want dependable people and companies involved so that you can stress less that day.
52. Create a short list. Researching vendors online and in magazines as well as collecting recommendations from others is a good place to start.
53. Hire a professional. If the task just seems too overwhelming, consider getting a wedding planner to help you shorten the list of options out there.
54. Don’t rush. It may take time to find the right people or companies to handle each task. Know it doesn’t all come together immediately.
55. Ask for proof. Are you going for a specific wedding theme – perhaps a beachy, rustic or theatrical flair? Find vendors that have created the look before and always have them provide examples of their work.
56. Use your head. Listen to recommendations from the vendor, but don’t be afraid to ask questions, negotiate or ask for other options.
57. Face to face meetings. You are juggling a lot, but it is still smart to meet in person and not take their website as their word.
Genius Tip: Set up a schedule of time slots online when you are available to meet with vendors and ask them to choose a time that might work best from the list.
58. Under pressure.
If a vendor is putting unnecessary pressure on you to commit before you are ready, it may be a red flag. The goal is to feel good about the decisions you make.
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