It’s not surprising that wedding planning can be one of the most stressful, overwhelming and confusing things you’ll ever have to do in your life.
There’s so many things to consider – both certain and uncertainties – as well as having a back-up plan (or two!) in case of bad weather or other things that are out of your control.
That’s why we’ve created this blog post to address some of the FAQ’s surrounding all things wedding planning – read on to find out more, and let us address some of your concerns!
What About… Invitations, RSVP’s and a Gift Registry?
1. When’s the best time to send out our invitations?
Assuming you sent out some save the dates 6 months to a year in advance, the best time to send out invitations with all the details is usually around 12 - 16 weeks before the wedding date – but, for out-of-town weddings, it can be beneficial to send then more than 12 weeks in advance, in order to allow guests to have more time to make any necessary preparations.
2. When should I send out the RSVP’s?
Usually, RSVP’s are sent out around 6-8, or more, weeks before the wedding date – as many caterers require at least 30 days’ notice of table numbers, and so this ensures that there is no rushing and reduces stress leading up to the big day.
3. Should I have a Gift Registry?
Nowadays, wedding couples often ask for financial contributions towards a house, honeymoon or other special events in their life – but it is also becoming increasingly common to ask for donations to charities instead. However, if you are still opting to go for the traditional route, Amazon allows you to create a ‘wish list’ – of which can easily be sent out and shared to your guests to help them with present ideas. Or you can use sites like myregistry.com that allows you to create a list of all sorts of products from different sites.
How to Navigate Getting Ready
1. When should I (and my bridal party) start getting ready?
Depending on the number of your bridal party, it is commonplace to start getting ready around 4 to 5 hours before your ceremony is due to begin – this allows ample time for hair, make-up and any last minute dress alterations, whilst still allowing you to have some fun!
2. Should all of my bridesmaids/ wedding party arrive at the same time for hair and make-up?
We recommend that yes, they do – that way, if someone is running late, then the assistants can just move onto the next person, and come back to them once they’ve arrived. In addition, this allows you to spend most of the morning relaxing and having fun with your friends!
3. Should we get ready at home, or at the wedding venue itself?
This can vary, depending on the person, your budget and own preferences: but most brides opt to get ready at the venue itself. This helps to reduce stress around timings, as well as avoid any potential hair and make-up issues when on the way to the ceremony – especially if it’s a windy, wet day!
The Ceremony Itself
1. How will the bridal party process in during the ceremony?
This depends entirely on the wedding couple’s preferences; two common combinations are: the bridesmaids walk in independently ahead on you, the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk in together. There’s usually plenty of wiggle room, depending on your ceremony style and venue, so feel free to collaborate with your party to see if they have ideas!
2. What are ushers, and do we need to have them at our ceremony?
Ushers are assistants that wait by the doors of the venue, to greet and direct guests to their seats: they’re there to make sure that things run smoothly for you! In the case of churches, most require you to have an usher – but for most other venues, it’s completely up to you! Make sure to weigh the benefits of having an usher with how strict your venue is on timings and how strict (and talkative!) your guests are!
3. Should we ask the officiant to step out of the way for our ‘ceremony kiss’ photo?
Yes, yes, yes – a hundred times over! Most officiants will automatically move out of the way: but it won’t hurt to remind them – don’t worry, they won’t find you rude. Not only does this avoid any awkward, background interruptions – but it also makes sure that this special moment is free of any distractions. After all, you’re paying for these beautiful photos!
The Ceremony is Done… What Do We Do Now?
1. When is the best time to have family and friends photos?
After the ceremony, and before you move onto your reception and party, is best! Not only are you still high on the emotions of the ceremony, it’s also the time when your guests will be most coordinated. Don’t forget to leave a list of combinations for your photographer, with your family’s names alongside their ‘position’ – this will make the process much smoother, and more personal, for everyone!
2. Do we have to have a cocktail hour; can we open and close the bar as and when necessary?
It’s totally up the couple, however most choose to have one: this gives you time to greet your guests individually with less stress, and can also be used as a time to steal a private moment for just the two of you! Most bars are happy to open and close as you need (this can also save money and stress too!), but it’s always best to talk to them first about what you need from them!
3. Do we need to feed our wedding vendors and suppliers?
You should be willing to provide for the main vendors (e.g. DJ, planners, photographers etc.) on your wedding day, after all, they’ve created all these beautiful memories for you – why wouldn’t you want them to enjoy the day just as much as you have? You should treat them the same as the other guests: ask for their preferences and any allergies; they may also have specifics in their contracts – so make sure to discuss this prior to the catering!
Are you looking for a wedding photographer that specialises in natural-style photography to bring out the best in you and your partner? Then look no further - I offer just that! Feel free to pop me a message, a call or connect with me on Instagram!
All’s Well That Ends Well…
1. Do we really need to provide wedding favours?
The short answer is, no – they’re not a necessity, but can be a nice touch as a special memory for your guests to take home. Many couples are opting for eco-friendly favours nowadays – such as ‘seed bombs’, candles and edible treats – these can be a simple feature, but a big hit!
2. What do we do with our gifts and décor items at the end of the night?
For this, it is vital that you check with your venue beforehand what their expectations are: same require you to take everything home, whereas others may store them overnight and allow you to collect them the next day. Though, it goes without saying that someone should take all of your lovely gifts home safely!
3. What should we do to thank our guests for their attendance?
Handwritten thank you cards, Polaroid photos and simple engraved notes are some of the best (and easiest) ways to warmly thank your guests for attending your wedding – and these can be given out at the end of the night, or in the days afterwards, depending on what’s best and works for you and your venue!
Wedding planning can be one of the most enjoyable and exciting aspects of your pre-wedding celebrations: it is a time to grow closer with your partner, and should be cherished.
So you see… wedding planning can be a fun, stress-free experience with the right tools!
Are you looking forward to planning your wedding, but want a little helping hand? Then take advantage of our free wedding planning bundle and enjoy other tips and offers straight to your inbox.
If you are wanting some more inspiration to help you to figure out what your wedding day could look like then why not follow our Instagram - where we regularly post shots from previous weddings, showcasing the beautiful and unique details of their special day!
And don't forget to get in contact if you're in need of a photographer as I'd be more than happy to help.
We wish you happy planning!