3 Key Elements That Help Create a Comfortable Wedding

Planning a wedding is a huge undertaking. While you may have a checklist of vendors to book, appointments to organize, and finances to arrange, the less obvious details are what actually make your wedding successful and deserve your focus. Here are a few planning secrets that will help make your wedding a smash.

Thoughtful Date Planning
You may have an ideal time of year to tie the knot but be thoughtful to your guests before mailing save-the-dates. Perhaps you want to get married over the holidays. Consider family events and tricky travel dates first. While a Christmas wedding seems romantic to you, your guests may feel disappointed when your event falls on the same weekend as their annual family gathering.

Black-out dates can also cause concern when your guests need to book a hotel room. Investigate events taking place over your desired weekend to see if room blocks or separate reservations will be hard to come by. Some months are busier than others, just be mindful of those who will need a place to stay.

Allow Plenty of Space
Ask your wedding coordinator how many guests you can comfortably fit in your venue. If that number is less than the amount of people on your guest list, it is time to consider other options. Even if this is your dream location, it’s not a good idea to pack people in like sardines. The rule of thumb is between 25-30 square feet per person so there is space to move comfortably.

Timing is Everything
If you want to include certain traditions in your ceremony, understand that some guests may have a hard time sitting for an extended time. Try to keep the ceremony capped at the thirty-minute mark. After you say your vows, don’t let your guests wait too long for you to take photos, even if there is entertainment and food available. Guests can get frustrated if they wait too long for the reception to begin.

At your reception, you also need to balance your time well. Try to say hello to each of your guests and thank them for attending. Most people will be respectful of your time and understand they cannot hold a long conversation. Remember to focus time on your new spouse and have fun with your wedding party. You are the host!

Must-Ask Questions Before Booking Your Wedding Venue

Selecting the venue for your wedding is one of the most important (and expensive) decisions you will make during wedding planning. Perhaps you already have the perfect place in mind. Or maybe you are on the hunt for the space that suits you both. Either way, here are some things to consider and questions to ask the before signing on the dotted line.

Is there enough space?
Even if your guest list is not finalized, gather an idea of how many people you plan to invite. Find a reception space that allows everyone enough room to spread out comfortably without too much extra space. Most venues charge a minimum fee. So, consider the 15-20% of your guest list that will not be able to make it.   Here are also some tips for keeping your list small.

What is included in the package?
It is important to obtain package details in writing so you can evaluate it against other venues. Do they include catering, or will you need to bring in an outside vendor? Is there staff available to serve food and work the bar, or do you need to ask your caterer to provide this service? Are there clean restrooms nearby that your guests can access? Make a list of the important items and have it ready for your meeting. Anything you need to take care of independently should be carefully considered before you make the final decision.

Is it in a convenient location?
Consider where your overnight guest will stay before you make the call.  While there may be the perfect space in the middle of the country, it may be difficult for some guests to commute. Research suitable hotels nearby and find a reception hall close to the ceremony location. Ideally, you will select a venue where both can take place on site. There is no need for your guest spending precious time driving across town!

What about alcohol?
Be sure to ask the venue if the carry the proper licensing before you decide to stock the bar. If you choose to bring in your own supply, ask if they charge a cork fee. There may be a significant cost difference between the purchase of alcohol on site versus the per bottle opening charge you find on your bill at the end of the night.