Wedding planning can be incredibly fun and exciting but it can also be extremely overwhelming and stressful. It’s not every day that you get married and plan an event of this magnitude. Unless you’re in the business, you may not have a clue where to begin the process.
To get started, here’s a quick list of 50 of the most common wedding planning questions – in no particular order – asked by brides. With easy answers and great inspiration thrown in, take notes ladies and gents!
1. How Much Is The Average Wedding?
On average, most couples spend between $20,000 – $30,000 on their wedding. But, a lot of couples also hit below the $10,000 mark.
2. How Long Is A Reception?
Usually, a reception will last about four hours. That includes the intros, speeches, meal time, and, of course, the dancing!
3. Does The Bride Go On The Honeymoon With Her Maiden Or Married Name?
We suggest that you keep everything as is when it comes to the honeymoon and travel docs. Explore and enjoy with your maiden name so nothing becomes questionable since you won’t have time to go through the entire process (unless you take your honeymoon months after the wedding is over, of course).
4. Who Must I Invite?
This question can get really tricky but it all depends on the size of the event you want to have. If you’re envisioning something more intimate, then that’s what the guest list should include – the closest of family and friends.
But, if you’re having an extravagant, big time celebration with 100’s of invitations to spare, you may just have to invite your extended fam and the sorority sisters who invited you to their own a few years back.
5. Do We Have To Have A Rehearsal Dinner?
Absolutely not, it’s completely up to you. Keep in mind though, that the rehearsal is really just to help everything go smoothly on the day of.
6. Are Place Cards A Must?
This decision is completely up to you. If you’re worried about who will end up sitting with who, map out the seating chart and use place cards. Or, maybe it doesn’t matter and you want everyone to mingle on their own – nix them!
Even if you sans the place cards you can reserve a few tables for “VIP” like immediate family and the bridal party.
7. Can We Register For Nontraditional Items?
Of course! There are so many different routes to take. Set up a honeymoon fund or a website where guests can donate to charities of your choice. Or, set up a funky registry on Amazon and add your favorite, unique finds that way.
8. Who Lifts The Veil?
Traditional, the father of the bride (or mother, uncle, whoever walks her down the aisle to give her “away”) will lift the veil once you reach the end of the aisle. But, there are some other options as well.
For example, the veil can be kept down throughout the ceremony and the groom may lift the veil for their first kiss as husband and wife.
9. Which Sides Of The Altar Do We Stand On?
It is the tradition for the bride to stand on the left side while the groom stands on the right (if you’re facing the altar).
10. Do We Have To Invite Plus-Ones?
No, you don’t have to especially if you’re having a more intimate ceremony. Or, you don’t have to give everyone the plus-one option. It is proper etiquette to extend those in serious relationships (long-term, engaged, or married) one.
11. Should We Include The Gift Registry On The Invitations?
Although some couples put their registry information on the enclosures that go along with their invitations, it’s not proper etiquette. Instead, word of mouth, bridal shower invitations, and on your wedding website would be the best place to hold that information.
12. When Should The RSVP Date Be Set?
Set your RSVP date two to three weeks before the wedding date. This gives you enough time to clue in vendors and allows them to prep accordingly – also make any seating charts!
13. Where Should We Not Cut Costs?
If there’s only one spot we’d urge you not to skimp on, it’s the photography and/or videography. Even if you don’t have the best chairs at the reception or not as many flowers as the latest spread in Style Me Pretty, you can still have incredible photos that last a lifetime.
You’ll want beautiful photographs of you and your bride or groom, but if your photographer is subpar, you won’t be able to remember all the hard work you put into the wedding day let alone how gorgeous the two of you were!
14. Does The Bride Have To Wear A Veil?
Absolutely not. Just like the bride doesn’t have to wear a white dress. It’s tradition, of course. But you’ll want to feel like the best version of yourself and if that doesn’t include a veil, don’t sweat it!
15. When Should We Send Out Thank You Cards?
For any gifts received before the wedding day, you’ll want to send off a thank you as soon as you can. For anything that comes on the wedding day or after, give yourself no more than three months to get it all squared away.
16. Who Pays For The Wedding?
Traditionally, this goes back to the “dowry” and puts the responsibility into the bride’s parents’ hands. But in modern times, everyone can/should help with what they’re able to. In fact, we see more brides and grooms themselves paying for their own big day.
17. Should We Provide Meals On The Main Day For The Vendors?
Yes, you should be willing and able to feed your vendors. The planner, the DJ/band, the photographer/videographer, all of the ones playing a major role and present at the time of the event should be offered a meal.
18. Who Comes To The Rehearsal Dinner?
The rehearsal dinner is meant for the bridal party to know exactly what’s happening on the day of. Include on the guest list: the bride and groom, immediate families, the officiant, flower girl and ring bearers, as well as the entire bridal party.
19. Can We Ask For Money In Lieu Of Gifts?
The most simple way to ask for money instead of gifts is to write “no boxed gifts” on invitations as a hint to send cash, gift cards, or even checks.
20. Is It Okay To Use Faux Flowers?
If you want to cut corners and save on the budget, you can use silk florals or what Savvy-Silks calls, Forever Flowers
21. How Does Tipping The Vendors Work?
A lot of the time, your contracts will suggest the tip. If not, here’s a quick breakdown of what’s recommended.
- Catering: 15-20% of total bill
- Hair & Makeup: 15-20%
- Entertainment: 10-15%
- Officiant: $100 gift
22. Are The Times Of The Year That Are More Inexpensive To Plan A Wedding?
Stay away from peak season such as June through September because those are the months that are going to be higher in price. Instead, go for winter months (apart from December) to catch deals.
23. Do We Need A Groom’s Cake?
No, you don’t need a groom’s cake but it sure is a fun addition (and surprise) to the party. It’s like an extra special moment for the groom to, when he first gets a peek at what you’ve created for him.
24. If We Have A DJ Can We Still Pick Our Own Music?
There should be no reason why not. You’ll be able to meet with your DJ beforehand and ask these questions. In fact, you should be able to give him/her a list of must-play songs for the event.
25. Should We Prepare A Hashtag For Social Media Photos?
This is totally up to you as well, but it such is a fun way to share and see photos! Just make up a hashtag for your event and then let the guests know to post photos using it. Later you’ll be able to sit down, search it and sift through all of the wonderful memories that your guests captured.
26. Can We Have A Morning Wedding?
Chat with your venue about this. There’s surely options for morning weddings and you may even save some money by going this route.
27. Can We Stock The Bar Ourselves?
This is actually a great solution for cutting down costs on the reception. Just throw a “Stock the Bar” part with your friends beforehand and everyone can chip in on the fun for when the big day rolls around.
28. Who Pays For The Rehearsal Dinner?
Traditionally, the groom’s family is in charge or prepping, planning, and paying for the rehearsal dinner.
29. Is A “First Look” A Good Idea?
There are definitely pros and cons to the entire concept and in the end, it’s really up to what the bride and groom are most comfortable with. Do you really want to see each other before that walk down the aisle? Some believe it takes away from the big reveal while others find it private, intimate, and gets rid of the jitters.
30. What’s The Average Cost Of A Wedding Dress?
In 2017, the average cost that brides were spending on a dress was around $1500. But, most brides try on gowns that hit the $1500-3000 mark when searching.
31. Do We Have To Send Save The Dates?
Save the Dates aren’t necessary but if you have the extra room in the budget, they’re a good idea. It gives guests a heads up for planning, especially if they’re out of town already or the event is taking place near the holidays or other major events.
32. Do We Have To Have An Open Bar?
You sure don’t. The choice is yours. You can stock the bar yourself, have a completely open bar, cash bar, or no bar at all!
33. Is Having A Band Or DJ Better?
There are pros and cons of both. What kind of vibe are you going for? What’s your vision for the “party” portion of your big day? Depending on those answers, depends on whether you should opt for a DJ or live band.
If you want a large variety of musical genres, it’s best to stick with a DJ and create your playlist for them. But if you want that big band theme, or something only bluegrass or jazz-inspired, try going with a live band that dives right into that sound.
Think about the budget as well. Live bands tend to be a bit more expensive than a DJ would be – and with a DJ you get a built-in master of ceremonies as well. Just make sure you mesh with him/her so you know that their personality matches with what you want for your celebration.
34. How Big Should Our Wedding Party Be?
Again, this is completely up to the bride and groom. Although, we suggest not getting too big. More than six attendants on each side could easily become stressful and overwhelming.
35. What Colors Should We Use?
Chat with your wedding coordinator and let him/her know what you have in mind. Really, nothing is off limits, just think about the time of year, your theme/vision, and your venue.
36. Do We Have To Invite Children?
Sometimes you just don’t have enough room to invite all the kids too. It can be a hard pill to swallow but if there are a lot of kids on the guest lists, you may have to cut them and that’s okay.
37. What’s The Difference Between A Traditional And Civil Ceremony?
A traditional ceremony usually takes place in a church and/or include religious beliefs, sentiments, and sees you being wed within the eyes of God. Whereas a civil ceremony is when couples are seen as being wed in the eyes of the law.
38. Do We Really Need A Wedding Planner?
If you’re already not incredibly familiar with weddings, a wedding planner is a good idea. And even if you are, you don’t want to be stressed with all the details. The planner takes you through the entire process and makes sure it goes off without a hitch on the big day.
39. Should We Include The Dress Code On The Invitations?
If you have a worry that your guests won’t know how to dress for the wedding, you can simply add “black tie” or “cocktail attire” somewhere in the corner on your wedding invitation insert.
40. Do We Have To Serve A Full Meal At The Reception?
Absolutely not! Instead, you can go with passed appetizers or even just a casual dessert buffet depending on the time of day and venue choice.
41. What Should We Know About Venue Contracts?
Before signing on the dotted line and deciding on a wedding venue – or package – take these bullet points into consideration as they’re sometimes forgotten in the hustle and bustle of it all:
- What is the time limit on the venue?
- What’s the parking situation? Where can guests park? Is it free?
- Is the price of alcohol included or will be added based on usage after the event?
- Are you allowed to use any of your own vendors?
- Is there an added charge for using your own vendors?
- What rentals are included in the price?
- Are the setup and clean up fees included in the price?
- Does the price include gratuity? Taxes?
42. Do We Have To Have Favors For The Guests?
They really aren’t a necessity but if you’ve got some room in the budget then a small thank you to your guests is always a nice gesture and addition to the reception tables.
43. What Are Some Money-Saving Tips?
There are a lot of great money-saving tips when it comes to planning a wedding. One of the main ones? Get married during off season, winter to be most precise.
- Have a “Stock the Bar” Party
- Downsize Your Bridal Party
- Design Your Own Invites
- Minimize Florals
- Nix A Sit-Down Dinner
44. When Should We Send Out The Invitations?
The best time to send out your invitations is 6-8 weeks before the wedding date. This gives enough time for planning and sending back the RSVP card in time.
45. Who Pays The Travel Fees For The Bridal Party?
If you’re able to, the bride and groom could help their party. But, traditionally, once the responsibility of being a bridesmaid or groomsmen is expected, each man and woman should be willing to take on any travel expenses to the event.
46. Do We Really Have To Invite Co-Workers?
No. For good measure, just do it as a blanket. None of your coworkers are invited and keep the drama to a minimum. Of course, if you have a small office and everyone is really close, use your judgment. But no, there’s no actual obligation here.
47. If We Invite Someone To The Bridal Shower Do We Have To Invite Them To The Wedding?
Yes, that’s the most proper etiquette here. To expect a gift from someone but not allow them to the actual celebration is tacky.
48. Should Our Bridal Party Be An Even Number?
This isn’t a dealbreaker for the event but it does make the setup and photos a bit easier to handle. Of course, there are unique and fun ways around this. Just prep the photographer beforehand!
49. Who Makes The Speeches?
Traditionally, the father of the bride will start off the toasts at the reception. Then, thebest man and maid of honor will participate. And finally, it’s always nice when the bride and groom stand to thank everyone for coming and being a part of their big day.
50. Should We Have Kid-Friendly Food?
If you’ve got a lot of kiddos coming to celebrate, it’s a great idea to have some kid-friendly food and snacks for them. You can even have a little nook of the reception set up for them to have fun and be comfortable.