In a perfect world, wedding stress takes a backseat to joy. However, the occasional sticky situation is bound to happen. Most every bride-to-be finds herself in some sort of pickle during the planning process. Local event planner Nicole Brooks, of Brooks and Co. Wedding Consulting, offers solutions to common quandaries.
What should a bride expect from a wedding planner?
Planners can cater to your needs, whether you want help with every detail or just a few key tasks. Regardless, Brooks highly recommends a day-of coordinator. “No matter how small or informal the wedding is going to be, ” she says, “the planner will relieve the stress of having a family member or friend in charge of managing the big day.”
Help! I am way over my budget! What can I do to bring it back down to size?
Reducing the guest list is the best way to lower the budget. The number of guests determines the amount of everything you need. “If this isn’t an option, consider having the reception earlier in the day to lower food costs. Or, only offer beer, wine and one or two specialty drinks, ” Brooks says.
How can I whittle down the guest list?
Divide your guests into three lists. Make a priority list of the people who are most important to you. “These are the ones whom you want to invite, but are not necessarily obligated to invite, ” Brooks says. The second should include guests who must receive an invitation, and the third should list everyone else. “If you haven’t seen the person in a year or rarely get in touch with them, they belong on the third list, ” she says. Keep in mind that about 20 percent of invitees decline.
Is it rude not to include “and guest” on a single guest’s invitation?
Yes. While this might nearly double your guest list, there is no polite way around it. Guests feel more comfortable having a date, especially if they don’t know many other invitees. Whether a guest is in a serious commitment or seriously single, their relationship status is irrelevant to their invite.
I have to choose between a friend and family member for the final spot in my bridal party. How do I decide?
Who is closest to you? Who will be able to put you at ease and be of the most help? Who do you want to see standing by your side? Choose this woman, and don’t let emotions take over.
I do not want my stepmother walking down the aisle. Period. How can I have her seated before the ceremony?
This can be a tricky and sensitive subject. The stepmother does not have to be a part of the processional, but she should be seated just prior to it. That way, she is not actually in the wedding, but she is set apart from guests. “Ultimately, the day of the wedding belongs to the bride and groom and their respective mothers and fathers, ” Brooks says. “The stepmother should be understanding.”