Wedding Planning Tips
Your wedding will be one of the biggest days of your life, so an event this big requires quite the amount the planning. At Ultimate Entertainment, we’ve enjoyed creating memories for hundreds of brides and grooms, and they’ve all had to go through similar planning processes. Over the years, we’ve sat with dozens of clients to ask them what they suggest for couples in this planning process.
It’s worth searching the internet for other ideas as well (since there will be a lot of to figure out), but here are some suggestions that we’ve heard brought up the most. These tips cover everything from dealing with kids to getting a budget worked out. See which ones below can help you as you begin this memorable journey.
1. Guest List
One of the biggest things every couple will have to figure out is the guest list. Keep in mind that there are few things more political than choosing the right guests for your wedding. Never forget that the bride and groom are a team on this one - work together and choose the people you want to be at your wedding. There will be some people who get excluded - and that’s ok. Even if parents or relatives don’t understand why some guests were left out, don’t let that discourage you.
Getting this list done ahead of time is the single most important way to alleviate stress when it comes to planning a wedding. Trust us, if you take away one thing from this list it’s getting your guest list done ahead of time. Doing so frees up so much time to work on things that matter, and once this list is done you don’t have to worry about it again.
Start with your immediate family, the bridal party, and your other best friends. Follow with extended family (aunts, uncles, and cousins) and then go from there to other friends and friends of your parents. Next might be neighbors, co-workers, and go from there. Make sure you don’t forget anyone either! This can be difficult to do, but thankfully things your Facebook friend’s lists allow you to scan through long lists of people to check off missing people.
2. The Date Details
Everyone wants to have their dream wedding. But often you’ll have to settle on certain details that you can’t just work around. That being said, the closer you can make this to your dream wedding, the better. And the best way to do this is to get the date details figured out.
With every date there are pros and cons. Based on your location, do you want your wedding pictures with an autumn background? What about near the water on a warm summer’s day? These are both good ideas, but each come with potential shortcomings. With summer weddings comes very hot weddings, and outdoor autumn ones could lead to strong winds disrupting the service.
See what your potential dates brings with them, and also check around locally to see if there would be other reasons why that date couldn’t work for guests. Maybe a holiday is happening around then that you forgot about, or there’s a football game that day that will cause hours of traffic on the way to your venue. Thinking through your date will lead to less headaches later on.
3. Figure Out a Budget
Another way to alleviate stress in the planning of this wedding is to iron out your budget. It’s not a fun task, but a necessary one. Sit down with your significant other, and work out how much things should cost. Even if it’s just a basic budget that focuses on the essentials, anything to give you a rough idea of what you intend to spend on your special day.
Are any family members giving you money to help out? Talk to them about what they’re comfortable contributing, and then allocate money to different categories. It’s best to not spend anything until you have something that represents a budget in place. Once you have some numbers in place, stick to them!
4. Get A Wedding Planner (Book)
A quick piece of advice when it comes to planning a wedding is to get a wedding planner book. Yes, an actual wedding planner is a great idea as well - but beforehand a physical planner helps you keep things organized and your to-do-list on track.
If you want to go the cheaper route, there are even checklists and spreadsheets available online for free. Anything to help you plan out your wedding and keep things going in a positive manner. If you’re not careful, you will quickly get overwhelmed when it comes to planning a wedding. Having everything you need to get done laid out allows you to work efficiently and combat your worst enemy in this whole endeavor - procrastination.
5. Kid’s Policy
Something that is a bit hard to deal with, but should be faced head on is what to do with kids. Most go the easy route, and welcome any and all kids and the fun that they bring. That being said, everyone knows kids can be a handful - and some couples don’t want to deal with them. If you decide on allowing kids, it’s often good to have places/activities for them.
Also keep in mind that if you decide
to not allow kids, that doesn’t mean you don’t
like kids. We work with kids often, and love doing so. But this is your
special day, so make sure you create a policy that suits you.
A middle-ground solution could be simply hiring a child care service (or some friends) to look after the kids. Set up a TV with a borrowed game console, as well as some other cheap activities for them to do. This keeps them occupied, and the adults can get their partying on.
6. Make A Wedding Website
Over the last couple years we’ve noticed more and more a certain trend popping up. Brides have told use that making a wedding website made the whole process easier for them. With a wedding website, everyone has the ability to get all the information they might need at any time. Location, nearby hotels, registries - you can find all of it on these websites.
What’s great about making a wedding website as well is that you don’t need to hire someone in order to make one. They’re easy to make, and websites like TheKnot.com, Minted.com, and even Wix.com all have templates for you to make a wedding website. Throughout the entire build up to your big day there will be 3-5 questions you get asked over and over again - a website allows you to point them in that direction to answer them easily.
7. Ask Away (We Insist)
Here’s something obivous - this is probably the first time you’ve ever done this before. And if it isn’t, we doubt you’ve done this more than a couple times. Because you aren’t doing this once a month, you’re going to have a lot of questions throughout the entire process.
The vendors you hire for your wedding should be always listening to what your desires are for your big day. We are here to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask us anything that’s on your mind. Never feel like you can’t have an honest conversation with your vendors about what it would take to make your big day memorable. We are used to working with late adjustments, and your happiness is our ultimate goal.
8. The “DNP” List
The Do-Not-Play List is something that we as entertainment vendors insist you do. When music is being played, we all want everyone to have a good time. That being said, there are always songs that you as the bride/groom just know won’t do well. Either a song that your whole friend group is tired of hearing, or a song that just reminds you of the not so great times in your life.
Whatever it might be, make sure you let your DJs know what songs you
don’t want played. 95% of the time, the DJs know which songs work and which
ones don’t. But for those that might slip through the cracks, make sure you let
the entertainment company you hire know.
9. Know Your Priorities
One thing that we’ve heard time and time again from couples is that they wish they sat down with their partner early on and talked through what meant the most to them in terms of this wedding. What are the biggest priorities for each of you? The groom might think food and booze are everything, while the bride might just want great music. Whatever it may be in your case, make sure you talk through what is most important to you.
Most importantly, don’t ever feel like you are planning this wedding process all by yourself. Work together, and ask your significant other for help. Even ask around to your parents and best friends to see what things they can take off your plate. It never hurts to ask, and you’ll be surprised how many people are willing to help - allowing you to focus on the priorities that matter most.
10. Talk to Other Married Couples
The last piece of advice we recommend to couples is reaching out to other couples (especially newlyweds) about their entire process. What did they like about their wedding? What do they wish they could have done differently? Hearing other couples’ thoughts gives you food for thought when it comes to planning an effective wedding.
If you really want to get some insider info, maybe even look into reaching out to couples who recently hired vendors you’re thinking about for your wedding. Nothing beats personal reviews, and most vendors (ourselves included) don’t mind putting our reputation on the line when it comes to other people’s thoughts. Ask around, and see what you find - who knows, it could even save you the headache of hiring a vendor who doesn’t know what their doing!
We hope some of these tips have
given you a general idea of how to plan for this big moment effectively.
Obviously, this blog post doesn’t cover everything, but it should give you some
things to take and run with.
Throughout this entire process, we always reiterate the most important thing to the couples we work with. Never lose sight of what really matters. This is your big day, and you and your significant other need to be sure that you both enjoy it. So break your tasks down into chunks, and enjoy the journey.