Hours and hours of planning go into every wedding day. And just when you feel like you’ve thought of everything, something new surprises you! Here is our quick, and by-no-means complete, list of some nitty-gritty details that may not have crossed your mind yet:
1. Unquoted costs in your initial venue price quote. There is always a “plus, plus” cost. It is your price per person plus service plus tax. Some venues will include it up front, but sometimes it surprises you later.
- A note about the service charge: Ask whether the venue uses the service fee for admin costs (i.e. insurance, etc) or if the wait staff will receive a percentage of the service charge as a gratuity. This will help you when you are budgeting for tips; it’ll tell you how much to plan for the catering team.
2. Added costs of rentals: The price of a rental item is often not as much of an issue as the cost of delivery or set up will be, especially if they will have to come the night before for delivery or your venue requires a certain delivery window. Always inquire about delivery and set up fees.
3. The more people you bring to your tasting, the more opinions you’ll get. Whose opinions and how many opinions do you really want? You’ll run into the same issue with dress shopping, venue visits, floral showings, and more. Planning takes a village… but maybe most of the village can offer support from a distance?
4. Feed your bridal party breakfast (if you have an early start time) and lunch. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Jimmy John’s has come through on more than one occasion as an easy, crowd-pleasing, and non-messy catered option.
5. On that note, feed your vendors. You don’t want them running out in the middle of your reception because they didn’t have time to eat and there is not a meal provided. Many vendors require a meal in their contracts.
6. Ask about kids meals, teen meals, and vendor meals. They are almost always available and will be less expensive because they will not include the bar charge.
7. Have someone collect mementos throughout the day: place-card, menu, program. If you don’t save one before or during the event, they are likely to disappear.
8. If you have children in your wedding, plan to have pictures taken with them just before your ceremony or immediately after. They have short attention spans. In the same regard, budget some time into your schedule for family pictures including grandparents and other relatives before or after the ceremony. Write a list of pictures you will want so you can zip through them and avoid requests for certain photos.
9. Guests will arrive at their hotel without their invitations and sometimes without knowing the address or time of the ceremony or reception. The best safeguard is to have all the information (time and location) available online. It’s also nice to provide the information at hotel check-in or in hotel bags if you are doing them, especially for grandparents who may have traveled far and don’t think to check your wedding website.
10. Most venues require you to have all of your items taken home at the end of the evening. If you’re a DIY bride, all that is on you to take home. Plan for it!
Bonus tip: Emergency bag! If you have a planner, they will definitely have one. If you don’t, you should make your own. Ours is packed with everything from safety pins and ibuprofen to duct tape, diapers (yes diapers) and even a hammer. You never know what might come in handy on the day-of.