Polychemy Blog

Essential Wedding Planning Tips and Tricks

When planning your wedding, there are things that are nice to know, and there are things you need to know-advice so essential any bride who's lucky enough to hear it thinks, "I'm so glad someone told me that!" If you're wondering whether there's something you may have missed, check out our indispensable planning secrets below.

Guests Come First Get a grip on the approximate number of guests you'll invite before settling on a venue.

As a rule of thumb, allow for 25 to 30 square feet per guest.

Investigate Wedding Blackout Dates Know ahead of time if your wedding date falls on the same day as a trade conference, charity walk or other local event that could affect traffic and hotel room availability.

Here's a handy list of potentially problematic wedding dates coming up in the calendar.

Guests have been known to skip out early from hotter-than-hot summer tent weddings and improperly heated winter loft receptions.

Consider renting pest control tanks to alleviate the problem or including bug repellent in guests' gift bags.

Your wedding photographer can tell you which florist's blooms really pop, and your reception manager should know which band consistently packs the dance floor.

Lighten Your List The easiest way to trim your wedding budget? Cut your guest list.

Remember, half of your wedding expenses go to wining and dining your guests.

Make a Meal Plan Another unforeseen expense? Feeding your wedding day crew.

Before you sign the contracts, make sure you're not required to serve the same meal to your vendors that guests will receive.

Choose a less expensive meal for them instead. You will have to let your wedding caterer know a couple of days before the wedding exactly how many vendors you need to feed and what you want them to serve.

Set up a special email address dedicated to your wedding, and store important vendor numbers in your cell phone.

For on-the-go planning that keeps everything in one place, download the The Knot All-In-One Wedding Planner app to keep all of your planning info digitally on-hand at all times.

Tend to Your Bar Typically, you need one bartender per 50 guests to keep the line at a minimum.

Leave Some Room in Your Wallet Your wedding budget should follow this formula: 48 to 50 percent of total budget to reception; 8 to 10 percent for flowers; 8 to 10 percent for attire; 8 to 10 percent for entertainment/music; 10 to 12 percent for photo/video; 2 to 3 percent for invites; 2 to 3 percent for gifts; and 8 percent for miscellaneous items like a wedding coordinator.

It's essential to allocate an extra 5 to 10 percent of your money for surprise expenses like printing extra invites because of mistakes, additional tailoring needs, umbrellas for a rainy day and ribbons for the wedding programs.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask Your wedding vendors should be your go-to, most-trusted experts during the planning process.

Their job will be to tell you what you can and can't make work given your wedding budget.

Since most people book their wedding venues at least six months in advance, calling for open dates two months prior to your desired time can save you up to 25 percent.

Friday and Sunday weddings should cost about 30 percent less than Saturday weddings.

Manage the Mail Of course you want the perfect stamps for your wedding invitations.

Naturally, this depends on the location of your wedding, how many out-of-towners are on your list, and the timing of the event.

Make a Uniform Kids Policy You have four choices: You can welcome children with open arms; you can decide to have an "Adults only" wedding; you can include immediate family only; or, you can hire a child care service to provide day care either at the reception space, in a hotel room or at a family member's home.

Prioritize Your People Pare down your guest list with the "Tiers of priority" trick.

Take It One Step at a Time Put together a wedding planning schedule and do things one by one, in a logical order, so you don't take on too much too fast and end up with everything snowballing around you.

No Ring, No Bring If your guest list is bursting at the seams, assess the plus-one scenario.

If asked why you're not allowing single friends to bring guests, size or budget constraints or your parents' never-ending guest list are always good reasons.

Many hotels allow you to reserve rooms for guests under a special wedding block and a reduced rate.

You can then release any unbooked rooms a month prior to your wedding.

Provide Accurate Driving Directions Make sure guests know where they're going.

Then include the best directions on your wedding website or email them to your guests to print out if they'd like.

See if they can do it the day before, or at the very least the entire wedding day, before the event starts.

Classify Your Cash Wedding budgets are all about balance.

Start your budget planning by making a checklist of the crucial details, like the music, your wedding gown, the invitations, the flowers and the photographer, and assign a number to each-one being the most important and three being the least.

Help Guests Pay Attention Make sure your guests can both see and hear from their seats.

You'll need to coordinate the delivery and setup with your ceremony space, so put your wedding planner or best man in charge of this task.

Write Down Your Digits Keep an emergency contact sheet or phone with your vendor contacts on you on your wedding day-it may come in handy in case your limo driver gets lost or you decide you'd like your photographer to take some behind-the-scenes shots.

Be Realistic With Your Time When it comes down to the last month of your planning look at your mile long to-do list and cut three things.
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