This month, in our Survival Guide For Brides series, we’re getting to the nitty gritty details of wedding planning so that you can enjoy the process as much as possible. Here, in the first part, we take a look at common wedding planning woes and how you can take them on, stress-free.
If you’re already in the midst of wedding planning, you have probably quickly realised that it isn’t all cake tasting and venue visiting. While most couples love planning their wedding, as with putting together any big event, it comes with its potential problems. Thankfully, because we’ve seen it all, we’re here to highlight potential wedding planning woes and how you can tackle them with minimum disruption to your wedding plans.
1. “Help! Our venue doesn’t fit all of our guests”
Believe it or not, this happens a lot. In your post-proposal bubble, you may find yourself visiting venues without any real idea of numbers. So before you hit the road, make sure you sit down and create a rough guest list. Adding one or two extra guests on shouldn’t be a problem so you don’t need to be exact. If you do find yourself in the situation that the venue you’ve booked is too small for your guests, it’s time to get ruthless. Invite only friends and immediate family to the ceremony, with other guests joining later. Don’t invite work colleagues (unless you class them as friends for life) and avoid asking plus ones if you’ve never actually met them.
2. “Our parents expect us to invite their friends”
A tricky one, and one of the most common concerns, there’s nothing else for it but to have an open and honest discussion. If your parents are contributing to your wedding, they will expect to have a say in who is invited. Offer to give both sets of parents a limited number of guests that they can invite. Be clear that you need to keep numbers down in line with your venue’s requirements, and kindly let them know that it’s important that your friends are there first and foremost.
3. “We’ve got top table trouble”
Even the traditional top table set-up comes with its troubles, especially where divorced parents and their new partners are concerned. Firstly, you don’t actually have to have a top table. Yes, it’s tradition, but if it’s causing you a headache, scrap it. The flexibility will allow you more freedom to place guests where you want. But of course, if you want to keep things more traditional, that’s definitely okay too! You could sit with your bridesmaids and groomsmen and ask each set of parents to host a table of family and friends, keeping the top table drama free.
4. “My bridesmaid’s pregnant & I’ve already purchased her dress”
If she’s not due too close to your wedding date and she still wants to be a bridesmaid, perfect! All you need to do is tackle the dress situation. Consult a dressmaker to see if the dress can be altered. If not, you need to take the hit and purchase a new dress.
5. “Our friends are wedding suppliers and have offered to help”
While money talks can be awkward, it’s best to get them out of the way straight away. If you’re happy to pay full price, tell them! In most cases, you’ll find that they’ll offer you a discount anyway. You have to budget for your wedding and know what everything costs so don’t feel guilty about bringing it up. This way, everyone knows exactly where they stand.
6. “We promised guests they could come but now we need to cut them”
The excitement of just getting engaged, combined with loose lips means that you may find yourself verbally inviting a few too many people. If you are faced with the fact that your budget doesn’t extend to that many people, or you simply need to cut numbers down, again, it’s time be honest! Most people won’t mind and would prefer if you are upfront, rather than leaving them waiting on an invite that’s never going to come.
7. “What about partners?”
A common question, couples often wonder if they have to invite plus ones if they’ve never met them. Just think about this; would it be weird to look around on your wedding day and be met with faces you’ve never seen before? If you think yes, you know what to do!
8. “We don’t want a gift list”
Let’s face it, with changes in times and traditions, most couples would prefer cash, whether it be for that once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon, or to help with a new home, but older guests may prefer to give you something physical. Here the advice is to put together a small gift list with a few things that you’d like. That way, everyone is happy!
It’s worth noting that you (hopefully) won’t face all of these problems, or even just a few! Planning you wedding is a wonderful time, bringing not just you and your other half closer together, but all of your family and friends. Happy planning!
Next week, in part two of our Survival Guide For Brides Series, bride Heather talks us through how to plan for the wedding day you want.
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