Figuring out how much to tip wedding pros can be tricky, but tipping wedding vendors is an important way to show your appreciation for their hard work. To avoid scrambling on the day of, we recommend creating a list of who you tip at your wedding and organizing the cash tips into envelopes well in advance of your big day. While it’s extra-nice if you are able to hand the tips to your vendors on your wedding day, it might not be possible (you’re going to be super-busy!). Instead, have your wedding planner or a member of your wedding party be responsible for handing out the tips, which should be handed out after the service is rendered. Another great way to thank your vendors? Write them a review on a site like WeddingWire!
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. To prevent hurt feelings, it's wise to avoid allowing some families to bring children while excluding others (unless, of course, the children are in your bridal party).
Your wedding vendors should be your go-to, most-trusted experts during the planning process. When working with them, you should feel free to really explore what it is you want—maybe it's serving a late-night snack instead of a first course or doing a bridal portrait session rather than an engagement session. The bottom line is that you should feel like you can have an honest conversation with them about what it is you want. Their job will be to tell you what you can and can't make work given your wedding budget.
In a three-ring binder, compile all your correspondences with vendors, notes you make during meetings, and photos or tear sheets from magazines you want vendors to see. 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.
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. Otherwise, you could be paying for 20 additional lobster tails. Choose a less expensive (but equally hearty) 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 (don't forget photography assistants and band roadies) and what you want them to serve.
"Our biggest piece of advice would be to plan ahead, don’t procrastinate, don’t sweat the little things, only do things that you can afford, try not to do anything wedding related two weeks before the wedding, enjoy your big day, and don’t forget to steal a couple private moments just as husband and wife throughout your wedding day. Things will be stressful as you plan, and things will go wrong on your wedding day, but don’t forget the big picture." —Pearle and James
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. Invest your money in all your number ones and cut corners on your number threes. (But everything can't fall into the number one category!) For example, if a designer gown and fabulous food are what really matter, you may have to choose simple invitations and smaller floral arrangements.
It’s easy to design your invitation, download the image or PDF file, and have it printed at your local print shop on specialty paper. Our print-at-home option is entirely free, too. Or go totally tech and share your invites via email, WhatsApp or SMS, also free of charge. For a full event management service with RSVP, reminders, registry and more features, choose the ‘send online’ option.
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. Don't hire any vendors before you've confirmed your date; don't design your cake before you've envisioned your flowers; and don't book a band before you've settled on a space.
"Before my wedding, I remember my coworker telling me that her wedding day was the BEST day of her life, and she was so excited that I would soon be able to experience mine. When I was in the midst of planning my wedding, the long, daily to-do lists and the stress made me feel as if that day would never come. However, it eventually did! When it came, I tried my best to savor every moment of the wedding day—from the moment I got out of bed to the moment I walked out of my wedding venue as a married woman— and I'd advise brides and grooms out there to do the same." —Jamie and Daniel
"No matter how well-intentioned, friends and family will undoubtedly lend advice, opinions, and even objections to your decisions. It's easy for you two to become divided. But in the end, this is a celebration of your love and future together, and so every choice should be yours alone. Keep your focus on what matters most, forget what you think you should or shouldn't do, and go with your heart. If you keep you two at the center of every decision, it will be the most memorable day of your life." —Kendahl and Nick
A wedding invitation and the accompanying suite of products are a prelude to one of the most memorable days of your life. It’s something most brides and grooms would not leave up to chance. So, you want to touch and feel the paper products in your hands before you make a purchase. Minted understands this and we want to make sure that you are able to make the most informed decisions about paper, printing techniques, and colors for your big day. This is why we offer free sample kits so brides can see our rich colors and papers in real life. You can actually request up to ten samples for free, which is about double what most competitors offer.
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 (or even if you've got everything under control), check out our indispensable planning secrets below.
"Reading from The Lovely Love Story was the best decision we made for our wedding! Our guests couldn't stop talking about how adorable and memorable it was, and we still get a bunch of guests sharing random dinosaur posts on our Facebook walls. We also ended up getting amazing wedding films, since it gave the cinematographers something really emotional to connect all of the pieces together. Cinematographers are storytellers, so having a unifying element to drive your love story will truly leave lasting impression in your wedding films." —Lisa and Jonathan
If your guest list is bursting at the seams, assess the plus-one scenario. Do a faux seating chart in your mind, and imagine whom your single pal would sit with. If it's a table of singles that she knows pretty well, then you're all set. If it's a table of couples (making her the odd one out) or if it's a table of singles where she won't know anyone, consider bending the rules. 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.
How should I address my invitations? This can get pretty complex pretty quick! Generally, you address the envelopes to an entire family as one entity. You can list out the individual family members on the RSVP card if you feel clarification is needed. The same goes for couples, they receive one invitation addressed to both. Single people are given a nudge to bring a date by simply adding "plus guest" to the end of their name.