It’s no secret that there’s a ton of work that goes into planning your dream wedding. Let’s face it: it’s not all fun and games. You have the wedding books from Barnes and Noble and read the wedding tips in Brides Magazine, but there always seems to be a few unforeseen obstacles to overcome when planning a wedding. With our experience at Sand Springs planning over 60 weddings a year, we want to help you make this experience fun and help you plan a night you will never forget. Here are the five biggest planning problems that you’ll run into, as well as SOLUTIONS to those problems!
1. Finding Your Vendors
When you get engaged, it seems like everything is coming at you all at once! You don’t know where to start or who to even contact. The very FIRST vendor you need to focus on is your venue. Finding a venue can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to finalize. That can all depend on how many venues you want to visit and possibly visit a second time before making your final decision. It’s extremely important to have a couple of wedding dates in mind, because rest assured there are hundreds of other engaged couples that have been looking at and booking those same venues. Be sure to coordinate with your ceremony site if you don’t plan on having your ceremony and reception in one place. The SECOND vendor you should book is your photographer. You’re going to have those photos for LIFE! Try to narrow down a couple of photographers that shoot the style you’re envisioning for your wedding day. The THIRD vendor you need is your DJ. There’s no party if you don’t have a DJ. The FOURTH vendor to book is your florist. Florists have a little more flexibility than the previous vendors I mentioned as most of these vendors are one- or two-person businesses and once they book a date, that’s it. (However, that’s not always the case.) Florists typically have a set-up staff with them and can handle anywhere from one to five weddings per day.
2. Meal Selection Tracking
This is probably one of the biggest stressors I see couples having when finishing up the planning. For any of you that have a laptop, iPad, or desktop, you already have the solution at your fingertips! EXCEL! When you open Excel, all you have to do is type in the word “wedding” and it will bring you to a wedding invitation tracker. You can add in columns to the tracker based on the guests’ meal choices when they send back their RSVPs. So not only can you keep track of the meals, but you can keep track of who accepted or declined your invite.
3. Wedding Budget
When it comes time to talking about budget, I think all newly engaged couples twinge a bit. Whether it’s you and your significant other paying for everything or your parents, a wedding is a huge investment! An average wedding for 100-200 guests can range anywhere from $11,000 to $25,000… and sometimes that doesn’t include any of your other vendors outside your venue and catering. The budget can definitely become a HUGE problem if you and your significant other are not on the same page. It’s a good idea to plan a day to sit down with your soon-to-be husband or wife (as well as parents if they are paying) and talk about your budget. It’s better to be on the same page from the very beginning instead of halfway through the planning process and bills that are too large for you to handle. A great tool for couples is to the wedding budget planner found on WeddingWire.com. This will help you track every payment and bill!
4. Bridal Party
As soon as you get engaged, I’m sure you’re already thinking of all the people you want in your bridal party. Slow down!! The biggest problem brides have is keeping their bridal party happy and content. Spend some time after you get engaged to really think about the people you want standing up there with you. Think about each of their personalities and how you think they will get along up until your wedding day. Remember, they are the ones who will be planning your shower, bachelor/bachelorette party, engagement party, etc. Be sure to choose wisely! It’s much easier to ask someone to be in your bridal party than it is to fire them from your bridal party. My biggest solution for this is to slow down and think!
5. Seating Chart
Where in the world do we seat our aunts, uncles, crazy cousins, and next-door neighbor??? There is one thing I want you to keep in mind for your seating chart: your guests will most likely ONLY be sitting there for dinner and dessert. Try not to freak out too much about the seating chart. The first group of people you need to find seats for is your bridal party. Whether it be at the head table with you and your new husband or wife or at a few guest tables nearby. The second group of people you need to seat is your parents and those the closest to you. This is not a ranking system, but a good start to help you get the first few tables out of the way. A great tip to help you through this stressor is try to keep guests who are in the same general age range together. If you book your wedding at Sand Springs, we have a convenient room diagram that we put together for you to help make this process a little easier! – Rachel Tollett, Wedding Coordinator & Certified Wedding Planner