12 Essential Wedding Planning Tips & Tricks
When planning your wedding, there are things that are nice to know, and then there are things that you need to know – advice thats is so essential that any bride who’s lucky enough to hear it will truly appreciate it before and after the very special day. Check out our indispensable planning secrets below.
1. Guests Do Come First
Having a rough idea on how many guests to expect is the number one thing to consider, even before searching for a venue. Once you have a number then the first thing to do when contacting a venue is to ask their maximum AND the minimum. It is always best to keep the details in mind when viewing venues such as space for tables, bustling waiters, dance floor and any other weird and wonderful ideas that you may have.
2. Investigate The Calendar
Although having the perfect date that just happens to roll off the tongue or a date that symbolises something special to the both of you it is so so so worth having an open mind of what dates are actually available. There is really no point in calling a venue and stating that, and only that ‘your wedding day IS September 24th’. You never know what may be available and if your dream venue only has a few dates left it is so worth exploring these (especially for the budget conscious).
3. Listen To Mother Nature
Luckily here in South Africa we are absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a season to get married in. We have the delight of never having to worry about the snow factor and even in the most rainy of Decembers’, we simply choose to walk down the aisle either before or after the damned 4pm showers. And if you want a sunset ceremony, make sure you know when to say your vows by checking www.timeanddate.com .
4. Take Advantage Of That Credit Card
IF you are going to use a credit card to pay towards the high cost of your wedding then sign up for one with a rewards program. Whether it gives you airline miles to spend on your honeymoon or great shopping deals, consolidating all wedding-related purchases will help accumulate thousands of reward points to put back into making those incredible memories.
5. By Word Of Mouth
Let one supplier lead you to another. Your wedding photographer can tell you which florist’s blooms have that absolute stunning factor, and your coordinator will know which musician will set the mood for cocktail hour.
6. Lighten The Load
The easiest and most effective way to trim your wedding budget is unfortunately to reduce the guest list. Remember, half of your wedding expenses go towards wining and dining your guests. If its costing you R1500 per person, eliminating one table of 10 can save you R15,000.
7. Get Organised
Compile all your correspondence with suppliers, notes from meetings, and photos or magazine clippings of inspiration. Set up a special email address dedicated to your wedding, and save all your suppliers contact details into your phone.
8. The More Waiters, The Better
Typically, you need one waiter per 10 guests for a plated meal and about half of that for a buffet. Having enough staff is crucial when it comes to pre-drinks and more importantly throughout the reception. Dirty glasses and plates are not what you want or need in the background of your wedding photos.
9. Make A Kids Policy
You have four choices: You can welcome all children with open arms; you can decide on ‘adults only’; immediate family children only; or, provide nannies and childcare. Most venues will help supply this and will also happily provide a children’s room.
10. One Step At A Time
Put together a logical wedding planning schedule and tick things off as you get them completed. Don’t hire any suppliers until you have secured the venue and date; don’t design your cake before you have envisioned your flowers; and don’t book any entertainment until you have settled on space.
11. Provide Accurate Directions
Make sure that your guests know where they are going. We may take for granted that not everyone has the latest google maps app on their phone so it is always a nice idea to creatively display a small map in the invitation. You can also add any little details about parking etc here.
12. Trust Your Marriage Officer
Before the day takes place 100% confirm that your marriage officer has absolutely everything you need and everything prepared correctly. This includes passport photos and witnesses names, as well as I.D numbers. If one of you is not South African then pay even more attention because there may be some extra little jobs to take care of, so be sure to leave plenty of time.