Every wedding website and blogger has their own list of things they think every bride should know. And no one list is complete – seek out all of them! You will probably find at least one useful bit of information on each of them.
Of course I am no exception. I won’t be stating the obvious, but more things you may not have thought of or hadn’t heard before. And if there is at least one item on my list that you hadn’t thought of, well…then I have done my job.
1. If your venue is having a wedding the night before or after, see if you can get in touch with the bride(s). Find out if you have any similarities in your event styles and combine your buying power. If you are all renting chiavari chairs, maybe you can split the cost. Hanging paper lanterns? If they are too, maybe you will be lucky and have complimentary color schemes? Renting a tent for a back up weather plan? See if the others would like to have that same security blanket. If you do combine your efforts make sure you all understand the terms – you can’t all three agree to a tent and then only one bride has to pay for it because she is the only one that actually used it.
2. Know when your vendors can arrive at your venue – before you book them. This way you know they will be able to deliver the expensive chairs you’ve ordered for your ceremony before it starts. Instead of finding out later that they can’t deliver in time.
3. When booking your venue, find out how long rental items can stay on-site. Some venues can’t store an extra 100 chiavari chairs – which might pose a problem if you have a Saturday evening event. Having chairs picked up late at night or on a Sunday will often result in an extra charge you may not have budgeted for.
4. If you are serving alcohol, expect to pay for security. I’m not sure if it is a law or an insurance rider, but every venue I have ever worked has required security when alcohol is served. This is a fee most couples don’t expect, and don’t budget for.
5. Texas law requires you obtain your marriage license no more than 30 days before your wedding and not less than 72 hours before. And you can get your license in any county in Texas, regardless of where you live or where you are getting married. If framing is important to you, please note the Travis County marriage license resembles a perfect attendance award you may have received in elementary school – Williamson and Hays counties have much prettier ones.
6. Hiring a Day of Coordinator really is worth the money. I’m not just saying that because it is what I do – or even because I believe in what I do. But because I read the bride blogs and forums out there (I don’t post unless I identify myself as a professional) and time and time again I see former brides wishing they had a professional to take care of the details on their wedding day.
7. Don’t settle. I understand all about budgets and you may not be able to afford the top-tier professionals in your area – but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for someone just because they fit in your budget. There are a wide variety of professionals to fit every budget – make sure you LOVE the people working for you on your wedding day.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask. If you want to do something a little outside the box – ask. When I got married a couple of years ago I was in love with the White Chocolate Raspberry bundt cake at Nothing Bundt Cakes . I didn’t want a bundt cake for my wedding cake but I wanted that flavor – so I asked if they could make me a layer for my cake. Unfortunately the answer was no but if I hadn’t asked, I would have always wondered if my cake could have been that much more delicious.
9. Please forgive the stereotype, but most men do not care about wedding plans. They just want to be told where to be and what to wear – so they can marry the woman they love. Be glad! Don’t force him to participate in the planning process, but allow him to be involved if he wants to be. Ask him what he wants to do…and don’t be mad if the answer is nothing. And if he has a really strong opinion about something that maybe you don’t agree with? Try to find a way to work it in – he will feel more involved and it might end up being your favorite part of the day.
10. Remember why you are getting married. It isn’t about the perfect dress, the gorgeous flowers or the delicious food. It is about you and your beloved making a commitment to each other in front of the people most precious to you. It’s so easy to get caught up in the details – but don’t forget the reason you are there.
Think of this list as a work in progress – version 1.0. What tips would you offer other brides?