Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, and you can end up a stressed-out bridezilla if you make the wrong assumptions about how to smoothly plan a budget-friendly and well-executed big day. There are a lot of elements that go into a wedding, but at the end of the day, you want it to appear effortless. Here to help is wedding planner Laurie Arons, who shares her expert tips on how to make your wedding memorable and enjoyable for your guests, loved ones, and, of course, you and your beloved. Laurie debunks nine of the most common wedding planning myths — check 'em out now!
"If you mail invitations too early, guests often set aside the invite, forget about it or lose it, and end up neglecting to RSVP," Laurie warns. "Or if they do RSVP, their plans can change if there are still a few months to go before the big day. Proper etiquette states four to eight weeks before is the correct time frame for sending the invitation. A save the date is a perfect tool for letting guests know about your wedding ahead of time and can be mailed up to a year in advance."
"It can actually be confusing during dinner service to serve the meal the guest chose weeks ago," Laurie says. "Strict seating charts or place markers are needed so the caterer knows what to serve, but even then, guests forget or change their mind and ask to switch on site."
She adds, "I advise my clients to pick one meal they love, as if they're hosting their most perfect dinner party. Guests will feel honored to enjoy the couple's designed menu. However, do always offer a vegetarian alternative or accommodate food allergies as needed."
"It can be chaotic and stressful for guests to find seats with their preferred companions," Laurie advises. "Always assign at least a table for the guest to sit at. But taking a little extra time to assign a seat really takes the guesswork out of the equation and puts guests in a group you think they'd get along with best."
"Weddings at home are so special — I love them!" That said, Laurie notes: "However, big expenses come with readying a private home for a big event, including landscaping, valet parking, rental items, and portable restrooms . . . not to mention cleaning fees after the event is over. Weigh all of the costs before deciding to go down this path."
"Rustic weddings look effortless, but looks can be deceiving," Laurie points out. "Trucking rental items into a remote or rustic location can be a logistical ordeal — those beautifully crafted wood farm tables are heavy and bulky to transport. Plus, your caterer will have to build kitchens from scratch on site, lighting will be needed to help guests navigate woodland trails, uneven ground, etc."
"While the honeymoon registry is a new trend that's catching on, it can be improper to ask guests to fund a vacation." Laurie says her opinion is controversial, but adds, "Guests love to buy long-lasting pieces the couple will cherish in their home. I advise my clients to register for the traditional china, silver, and crystal, along with other useful household items like linens and towels. Beautiful vases, candlesticks, and picture frames are also popular registry items that can be passed down to the couple's children later in life."
"With all the wedding blogs and magazines out there, it's easy to get overinspired to include every cute detail you see. But it can quickly get overwhelming and expensive." Laurie's solution: "Pick a couple cute details you like and include them on the day, but try to stay consistent in the look and feel of your wedding for a seamless guest experience."
"Homemade favors, printed pieces, and desserts sound like a wonderful idea at first," Laurie notes. "But if you're stuck baking and crafting into the wee hours the week before your wedding, you will be too stressed and tired to enjoy the occasion. If you can get something done well in advance, go for it. Then leave the last-minute details to professionals or friends so you can relax and enjoy!"
"On-site coordinators are wonderful at managing the flow at the venue and executing their event operations," Laurie says. "But their assistance usually doesn't leave their grounds. If you need help with wedding invitations, wedding party attire, transportation at hotels, etc., a professional wedding planner will be the one to guide you. Venue coordinators usually love when an organized, thoughtful wedding planner is on board, so they can team up to deliver the perfect wedding day to brides."