Planning your wedding is exciting and a little bit intimidating. It’s your special day, and of course you want everything to be perfect! When things start to feel overwhelming, just remember that your wedding is all about love. Let love be your guide, and use these helpful tips from our Georgia mountain weddings experts to help you stay organized.
Setting the Date
1. Does the wedding have to be on Saturday? It’s possible to book a venue on a Friday or Sunday for far less than what you’d pay on a Saturday. 2. Do you have a backup date? Weekend bookings fill up quickly, and you may not be able to secure your first choice. 3. Where will you spend your honeymoon? Off-season pricing, special deals or weather concerns for a tropical getaway or a North Georgia destination wedding are worth considering. 4. Can you make it easy for out-of-town guests to attend? Three-day weekends can be helpful to traveling guests ‒ but send out invitations early, before people make other plans.
Establishing the Budget
5. As a couple, sit down with both sets of parents at once and have a frank discussion about money ‒ how much is available, and how much of it each person is willing to contribute. 6. Don’t imagine that your wedding has to “live up” to anyone’s expectations other than your own. Do what suits you, what you’re comfortable with, and what’s within the budget you’ve set. 7. As a general rule of thumb, allot half your budget for venue, food, and drinks. The other half will cover all the other expenses. 8. Prioritize expenses ‒ for example, if you want to hire Justin Timberlake to entertain at the reception, you may have to cut back on flowers and have your little brother do the wedding photography.
Making the Guest List
9. Set your guest list as early as possible. It’s nearly impossible to plan for anything else until you know how many people you’re inviting. 10. If you know money won’t be a problem, make up your guest list before you set up your working budget. On the other hand, if you know money is tight, base your guest list on the budget you’ve already established. 11. Divide your initial list into five parts: bride, groom, shared friends of the bride and groom, parents of the bride, and parents of the groom. Then ask each set of parents to work on cutting down their respective lists while you and the groom work on yours. 12. Keep things consistent. Include all the children on your list, or don’t invite any. Do the same for “one plus” invitations.
Take Care of Yourself
13. Once you’ve gotten the big things out of the way ‒ the date, the venue, and the guest list ‒ find your dress, line up your vendors and let them do some of the heavy lifting. Your vendors will appreciate having a reasonable amount of time for their arrangements, and you’ll be glad you got those decisions out of the way. 14. Expect that your guests will be tardy with RSVPs, and plan accordingly. Give yourself enough time to hunt the late ones down by phone to get confirmations before you have to send a head count to your venue and caterer. 15. Even if you’re on a tight budget, consider the possibility of hiring a coordinator for the day of the wedding. A good coordinator will ensure that your wedding goes smoothly, so that you can spend some time enjoying your special day.