Time Your Wedding Wisely
The average price per person for a plated meal averages around $71. Avoid the expense of a sit-down meal by scheduling your wedding in the afternoon and planning a reception thats more like an extended cocktail hour with passed hors doeuvres.
Consider day of the week, too. You could pay up to half the price for your venue if you hold your wedding on a Friday or Sunday. Plus, youll have more options for vendorslike bakeries, photographers and DJswhich tend to get booked up pretty quickly on Saturdays.
And keep in mind the time of year. September and October are the most popular months to get married. So youre likely to pay more in the fall when wedding resources are limited.
Are You Okay With Missing Out Certain Traditions
Yes, there are certain advantages to planning a wedding in 30 days or less, but it also means you wont have time to enjoy certain wedding traditions, like having a wedding party, attending a shower or bachelor or bachelorette party in your honor, setting up a registry, shopping for attire at a traditional bridal salon, and more. If youre okay with going this nontraditional route and skipping these traditions, a super-short timeline is probably the right move.
Commit To An Affordable Wedding And Clarify Your Priorities
Youve said yes to each other. Now its time to commit to an affordable wedding. Set aside a time to discuss what you will use the money for later. This is much-needed conversation to have anyway it helps you prioritize and understand what truly matters to each of you.
The two of you will soon face countless decisions on saving and spending: There are a lot of ways to spend money on a wedding, and a lot of ways to reduce costs. Establish a guiding star to help you keep things thrifty through planning process.
If one or both of you are feeling a little sad about not having the budget for a bigger wedding, just remind yourself of the research that finds couples with costly weddings have a higher divorce rate.
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Draft The Seating Arrangement
As guests begin to RSVP, keep track of whos coming and whos not using Excel or Google Sheets. Then, you can start to group your guests by who youll seat together during the reception.
When designing your seating plan, youll need to know how many people each table will seat as well as the overall layout of the reception hall. Seat family members with other family members and groups of friends that know each other from similar walks of life.
Even though people will be moving around during the reception, you want to make sure all your guests are comfortable where theyre stationed for the duration of the wedding.
Send Out Your Invitations
This is an exciting moment in the planning process. Once those invites are in the mail, or you pressed send on your digital invites, the big day starts to feel more real.
Pro tip: Artist and owner of Invitations by Dawn has this to say about wedding invitation etiquette on her blog:
Tip 1. Everyone invited should receive an invitation. Don’t overlook people you know will be attending .
Tip 2. Clearly print the names of all invited on the inner envelope. This is your chance to state each person by name .
Tip 3. Only one invitation per married couple.
Tip 4. Indicate a plus one is welcome by writing and guest after the recipients name on the inner envelope.
Tip 5. Invitations to unmarried couples should be sent to the closest friend but each persons name should appear on the inner envelope.
Recommended Reading: Wedding Spreadsheet Excel
Send Out Your Wedding Invites
This is the ideal time to send out invites to your friends and family. Check the invite, get the respective names printed, and mail them to your guest list right away!
Discuss all the requirements for your wedding with the officiant, and book him for the day before he gets too caught up with the wedding season. Also, take a note of all the required things for the ceremony and get them arranged a couple of days before the D-day.
Finalize Your Guest List
If you havent already, its time to create your final wedding guest list. Remember that if your parents are contributing financially to your big day, theyll get a say in whos invited. Be sure to keep your venues capacity in mind as well, and dont invite more people than the space can handle. Even though youll likely receive regrets from some guests, you dont want to risk it.
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How To Plan Your Own Microwedding
The Budget / Guest CountDeciding your budget and guest count are you first steps. Are you planning a simple mountaintop elopement, and trying to create the cheapest wedding possible? Or you planning on feeding your three dozen closest friends caviar? Once you have these numbers estimated, youre ready to dive into the other details.
WhereA major bonus of microweddings is that youre not limited by the travel-plans of 300 guests. There are exciting and unique places across the United Statesand around the worldthat are perfect for intimate weddings. From beaches to mountain-tops, let your imagination run!
WhenIn the wedding world, there are: seasons, days, and times. Wedding season , weekends, and evenings are the highest demand. The higher the demand, the higher the price, and the more limited the venue/vendor availability. If youre flexible with your scheduling, consider working with off-season dates, weekdays, or mornings/afternoons. Its a great way to save money and opens up a lot more options.
If youre having an outdoor ceremony, dont forget to factor in
Temperaturewhich may affect makeup, outfits, comfort, etc.
Time of daywhich will impact your lighting for photos
Once your ceremony is pinned down, plan the rest of the day accordingly. You dont want to leave your guests in limbo for five hours between the ceremony and the reception.
My favorite spots: Where to Have Your Microwedding
Tips on finding the right officiant: here
Consider A Restaurant Venue
Fewer people on the guest list means the world is your oyster when it comes to choosing a nontraditional venue, and a restaurant may be the perfect fit. They’re unique spaces that have everything you need in one place, Meyer says. Consider a spot that you and your partner love to frequent. Just be sure you love everything about it, from the style and the menu to the existing décor, as restaurants often have restrictions on decorations.
Also Check: Short Notice Wedding Planning Checklist
Book An Accommodation For Guests
Weâre sure that your guest list is ready by now, and you must be aware about which relatives and friends are coming from other towns. Itâs time to book a good and comfortable accommodation for them. Find out good hotels and guest houses that provide friendly hospitality and amenities to assure your guests get the maximum comfort. Also, make sure that the accommodation is in close proximity to the wedding venue.
Utilise Your Friends’ Talents
Is one of your best friends a talented musician, photographer or DJ? Utilise their skills by asking if they would kindly help out on your wedding day, whether its performing during your drinks reception or doing a DJ set in the evening. Chances are they will love the opportunity to play an important role in your wedding, and it could save you thousands on booking the services elsewhere.
Also Check: Google Wedding Spreadsheet
Rehearse Eat And Be Married
You made it! The days leading up to your wedding should be as stress-free as possible, so if you realize you forgot something at this point, let it go . Your wedding will be yours truly because you tackled the biggest decisions first. If something goes wrong during the wedding festivities, designate a point person in advance to suppress the stress. More than anything else: have a great time. Make it a priority to be present with your partner and enjoy the wedding you’ve planned for you and your guests. It’s the best gift you can give yourself.
If you want a fairly traditional wedding, with the wedding dress and bridesmaids and a reception and all of that, there’s no such thing as a really simple wedding. A wedding can be simple, but only if you and your bride and a few friends go to the court and get married and go to dinner afterwards . What we’re talking about in this post is the more complicated, traditional wedding, but with some traditions thrown out to keep things a bit simpler.
Choose Your Wedding Invitations
Consider picking out your formal invitations while your save-the-dates are top of mind. You dont have to send them until about 6-12 weeks before the wedding, but theres no harm in getting them ordered early.
Its traditional to send out cardstock invites, and its lovely to have a hardcopy invite to frame after the wedding. Visit a stationery store, or browse invite websites online. Select invites that reflect your wedding style and theme. The words you select will also set the tone for your wedding. For example, use traditional language for a classic wedding and opt for laid-back wording for casual, rustic, or beach weddings.
If you want to buck the traditional trend, there are many lovely digital options for invites as well, including Paperless Post, Greenvelope, and evite. These are perfectly acceptable, and , theyre eco-friendly and usually more affordable. You can even give invitees a link to your wedding website and have them RSVP there.
Pro tip: As people RSVP, add them to a free wedding seating chart tool so you can begin to assign seats, add in dietary restrictions and meal choices, and make special notes for your catering team that they can reference as you plan your menu.
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Involve Your Significant Other
Whitney Neal Studios
Don’t feel like you’re in this wedding planning process alone. Consult with your partner along the way their opinion is bound to be invaluable andeven if they’re only involved in some aspectsit makes wedding planning that much more fun when you can make decisions together. Working towards a common goal not only further bonds you and your partner but also helps you grow as a couple with every issue you tackle as a team.
Set Your Wedding Budgetand Stick To It
Whitney Neal Studios
Your wedding budget will be the driving factor for many of your wedding-related decisions, so this should be one of the first things you tackle. If any family members will be contributing, chat with them about what theyre comfortable spending. If youre footing the bill yourself, its time to take a hard look at your finances. Be prepared for a reality check when it comes to actually budgeting for your wedding day as many couples dont realize the full scope of costs involved. Once youve got that magic number, stick to it!
Don’t forget to build in a 10 percent splurge cushion for those unexpected costs or urges that inevitably arise.
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Determine The Kind Of Wedding You Want
When you picture your wedding, what do you see? A swanky reception at a downtown loft? A backyard barbecue with all your friends and family? A classic hotel ballroom reception?
If you need a little more inspiration, think about all the weddings youve been to, seen on TV, or scrolled through on Pinterest. What did you likeor not likeabout them?
Dont get hung up on the little details just yet. Instead, think about the overall feel you want your wedding to have. When it comes to planning a wedding on a budget, knowing your priorities matters.
What’s Considered A Small Wedding
According to Jenn Johnson, CEO of EPIC Presentations, a small wedding consists of 50 people or less. However, she says the less people you invite, the more intimate the event can be. You can make it a hyper personal event by inviting 20 to 40 people, or you can have a VIP-only guest list of 10 loved ones. It’s entirely up to you. Given the limited guest list, small weddings are often hosted at a destination. However, considering the current circumstances, most intimate celebrations are local.
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Invite Others To Virtually Attend
Another idea is to turn to technologyespecially in light of coronavirus. “Have your ceremony on Zoom if you want to include more people or if some family members don’t want to travel and/or people don’t feel safe attending a social gathering,” Johnson says.
Couples can still implement the idea of a virtual wedding once gatherings become safe again too. If you’re trying to keep the headcount down, inviting people to dial in virtually is a wonderful solution. They still get to watch you exchange vows, and you get to keep your guest list small.
Keep Your Attendants Few
Having a few people to work with makes managing people and things easier, and stress minimal. Since youre talking of a small wedding with a few guests, its appropriate to have a few bridesmaids and groomsmen. Cut down the number of bridesmaids and groomsmen maybe, just have a best-man and chief bridesmaid, and maybe one flower girl. Note that its the norm for bridesmaids and groomsmen to buy their own outfits, although the couple get to choose the colours and styles/designs. However, be attentive to their comfort it may be best to let them choose the dress styles in the colour you want. And dont ask them to buy a really expensive outfit just because youre the bride.
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Tips On Planning A Small Wedding
Planning a small wedding is definitely easier and much less stressful than a big wedding. A destination wedding with your closest family and friends is not just the ultimate trend. It is also highly recommended to enjoy a wedding, a honeymoon and a holiday at the same time.
Most of the couples who decided to have an intimate wedding have a very clear vision. The drive of cutting the guests list is not dictated by the number of seats. Instead, the idea is to share the day with the most important people in their life. Enjoy every little meaningful moment and have fun! From that vision to booking a destination wedding and sending out Save The Date notice is a very small step.
Sara Bartolini, wedding planner and coordinator for SposiamoVi