There’s the dress, the rings, the marriage license, the venue and the cake. These are all of the things that immediately come to mind when wedding planning.
However, there a few things you need to take care of that are easily forgotten while you’re getting caught up in all of the excitement of wedding planning. You know, important details like where your guests are going to sit and whether your vendors will have something to eat.
Depending on your venue, you might be completely responsible for furnishing the space where you celebrate. Even if your venue does provide some of the basics, the type of linens, plates and flatware you want for your reception may not be available from their stock. This means that you will need to find a rental company that can get you the kind of decorations you need to complete the look you envision for your wedding and reception. Be sure to include chairs in your order since your guests will need somewhere to sit.
Lighting & Audio
The right lighting sets the mood for an amazing event. You can pick the perfect linens and the most gorgeous flowers, but if you don’t have the right lighting for your reception, you might lose some of the vibe you’re trying to create. Similarly, you want to make sure that your guests can actually hear your music throughout the event. Something else to think about is whether or not you want to have a microphone at the altar so your loved ones can hear you exchange your vows.
Your Wedding Website
Right after you snap those engagement pics and before you send out those Save-The-Dates, you might want to make some time to set up your wedding website. This gives your prospective guests a digital space to check out for the basics of your big day that couldn’t fit on your Save The Date (which are typically called STDs in the wedding industry–gross). This early in the wedding planning process, all you really need to have on your website are the basics like date, location and a number of hotels in the area.
You do want your guests to get those pretty invites you picked out, right? Sticking insufficient postage is the most expensive way to get your invites shipped directly back to your front door. Fortunately, the United States Postal Service has a handy website that will help you calculate how much your postage will be per invite. Keep in mind that the United States Post Office tacks on an additional 22 cent surcharge for invitations that are an odd size or are nonmachineable. This includes non-standard envelope shapes like a square, envelopes that are too rigid and envelopes with elaborate closures. And don’t forget to put stamps on all of your RSVP envelopes, too. That’s right, Beauties, two sets of postage per invite.
Return Address Stamp
Speaking of invites and Save-The-Dates, you can save yourself from carpal tunnel syndrome by ordering a custom stamp of your return address. Failing that, it might be a good move to have your return address printed on all of your envelopes.
Meals For Your Vendors
Your vendors are going to be working hard, doing their best to make sure your big day is a special one. The least you can do is make sure they’re as well fed as your guests. Even if there is nothing in your contract about giving them a dinner break, couples should still do their best to ensure that vendors get a meal during the reception. It would also be a good idea to set up an area for them to eat in peace.
Everyone in your bridal party can’t just pile into your car to get to the church and the venue. Your dress will take up two seats alone (and that’s if you don’t have a ball gown)! Therefore, it might be a good idea to book a shuttle for your wedding party. While you’re at it, you might also want to think about shuttles for your wedding guests because parking may be a bit of an issue at your chosen venue, and it may make getting to your wedding a little easier for out-of-town guests that may not be familiar with the area. And after the reception, where there may be some cocktails flowing, it might be safer to have a designated driver back to their hotel.
Unless you are incredibly fortunate enough to have everyone you know live in your immediate area, consider reserving a block of hotel rooms near your venue for out-of-town guests. In the even that you are having your wedding at a hotel, you may even be able to get some rooms on-site.