22Jan2015

11 Problems Every Wedding Encounters (And How to Solve Them)

Wedding

You’ve just gotten engaged—how fun! This is an extremely special time in your relationship, but it can also be extremely stressful. You have a whole wedding to plan—and that means financial commitments and lots of personalities that want to be involved and have their say not just one venue and who’s invited, but also on your dress and the color of your invitations. Even if you have the most relaxed, unobtrusive family in the world, you might still run into some problems while planning your wedding. You don’t have to let those problems take over your life and ruin the fun of being engaged and planning your big day. Here are eleven of the most common problems and how to solve them:

Who pays for the engagement party?

If this was the 1950s, everyone would know all of the etiquette for every wedding event. Today, things are a little less clear cut, and many brides and grooms aren’t sure whose family should pay for what. Tradition states that the bride’s family should pay for the engagement party, but lots of couples are just pooling their funds and throwing a joint party themselves, instead of separate ones that the bride’s family has to pay for.

How can I cut costs?

One of the biggest stressors of planning a wedding is how expensive everything is. Planning a wedding can be extremely expensive, especially if you don’t keep track of your costs. One good way to keep your spending in check is to write down everything you purchase for the wedding and how much it costs, so you know how much you’ve already spent. Another good way to cut costs (and save time) is to rent as much of the decorations, seating, and even the venue as you can. Renting seats, a rental tent, china, flatware, and more can help you save money and cut back on set up and take down costs.

How do I feed people with varying dietary needs?

This is probably one of the biggest problems a bride and groom will have to face. Inevitably, there will be someone who needs a vegan meal, a gluten-free meal, or a kosher meal. A good way to make sure everyone has something they can eat is to have one plate option that adheres to all of those needs, or to have a buffet so each person can pick and choose what goes on their plate.

Who do I have to invite to my wedding?

Do I have to invite everyone to my wedding who invited me to their weddings? A good rule of thumb for inviting people to your wedding is to only invite people that you really want to come. It’s your big day—not theirs.

We want a non-traditional wedding, but my parents want us to go traditional—which should we pick?

Again, it’s your big day, not theirs. They already had their wedding, this is yours. The truth is, however, that if they are putting up cash for the wedding, it’s important to let them voice their opinions and take them into consideration. Don’t just brush them off because they have a different idea.

How do I choose my bridesmaids?

If you have two sisters and five close girlfriends that all want to be in your wedding party, there might be a bit of a power struggle, with lots of voices vying to be in your line. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but you also might not need seven bridesmaids. Only pick people to be in your wedding party who are really there to support and help you.

What if my bridesmaids can’t pay for their own dresses?

If you’ve chosen a $500 dress and a $200 pair of shoes that you need each bridesmaid to wear, there may be some family and friends that can’t put out $700 or more on an outfit they’ll likely wear one time. Communicate with your bridesmaids, let them tell you what’s a reasonable price for a dress. If you don’t mind the dresses being mismatched, give them a color they should look for and let them buy their own dresses.

What should we do if a guest doesn’t RSVP?

Don’t just assume that someone who doesn’t RSVP isn’t coming. That will give you an inaccurate count for seating and food. If someone hasn’t made a timely response to your invitation, either call and ask them directly (but politely), or just make sure that you have a seat and food for them if they do show up.

How should we plan for no-shows?

In the case of a typical party, about 20% of your invited guests won’t show up. Most people plan for 20% fewer seats and less food than everyone they invited. This isn’t the rule for weddings, however. Instead, always err on the side of caution. It’s always better to have food left over than to not have enough food and a few seats empty than people standing in the aisles.

How do we let people know where we’ve registered?

There are essentially two “polite” ways to tell your guests to pick something off of your list, if they’re going to buy you a present. The first is to ask your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and family to tell your guests if they ask. The second is to put it on your invitation, so even those who can’t attend can still send a gift. “Jack and Mary are registered at Target and Macy’s,” is a good example of a polite, but firm reminder to not go off-book when it comes to buying gifts.

What should we do about plus-ones?

The best way to deal with guests that want to invite a plus-one is to either invite that extra person right off the bat, or to explain to your guests that you can’t budget for extra people.

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