It’s hard to conceptualize how many moving parts there are in a wedding until you plan one yourself. If you’re going to send invitations, first you need to source them. And then you have to plan how you’re going to get the necessary information on them: are you going to get it printed, professionally? Are you going to handwrite them? Are you going to get them done at your local print shop? And wait! Before you send your invitations, you have to make sure you have your guest list decided. Then you have to track down everybody’s address if you don’t have it already. Now, what about stamps?
That’s just one task. So, it’s no mystery how and why things get lost in the shuffle during the wedding planning process. The truth is, you’re bound to mess one thing up, even if you hire a wedding planner to help you keep it all together. Event planning is no joke—it’s one of the most detail-oriented jobs there are. In the spirit of making things a little bit easier for everyone planning a wedding, here’s a list of things that most people overlook. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we hope it’ll help you with your wedding planning journey!
1. A place to put gifts.
Gifts are one of the most exciting parts of getting married, but a safe place at your wedding venue to store gifts is something that often falls through the cracks. Make sure your gift protocol is safe, and this includes putting them in a place where they won’t be forgotten. (This is also a great opportunity to add a little bit of decorative flair.)
2. Your wedding entrance.
First impressions matter. Make sure you plan for what your guests see first when they walk into your wedding.
3. Seating cards.
Everyone knows that assigned seating makes weddings much, much easier. Don’t skimp on creating decorative seating cards! This is a place where you can really make sure your theme is present. Another thing to think about is where you’re going to put your seating cards, and how you’re going to display them. Pinterest is full of innovative ideas and inspiration.
4. Transportation for decorations, gifts, and things left behind after the reception.
If you’re renting a venue space, make sure you have a plan for what to do after your wedding party. Having a clean-up plan in place is absolutely essential, and certainly not something you want to be worrying about on your wedding night. Ensure you delegate who’s responsible for taking down the decor, any left behind items, and of course gifts. One good option for this is asking a family member or friend who has access to a good size truck to transport these things to your home, or theirs for you to pick up at a later date.
5. Menu cards.
Make sure to place menu cards at people’s seats. If you sent your invites months ago, they may have forgotten what’s for dinner. This is another area where you should let your creativity shine through. It’s a simple way to add some flair to any table.
6. Transportation for out of town guests and your bridal party.
These days, easy transportation is a lot less difficult, especially with apps like Lyft and Uber. However, weddings are the one day where reliability is everything. Pick the most reliable option for transportation for people who may be staying at a hotel. For a more frugal option, ask a family member or friend to use their SUV to help transport guests. If you have a slightly higher budget, you can hire a bus. Sometimes, they are even themed!
7. A guest book.
A guest book is how your guests can show their love in a personalized way. It’s also a fun activity that people can partake in at your wedding. Here’s another place where you’re able to show off your creativity.
8. Transportation for you and your partner after the wedding.
Whatever you do, don’t forget yourself! Some people opt to have a family member or friend transport them, other people rent a limo, and some people still will go for Lyft or Uber. We’ve even heard of people who don’t drink or who had dry weddings drive their own car home… but we can’t say we recommend that one.
9. Venue-specific lighting.
Make sure you have lighting that’s appropriate for your venue and the time of day you’re having your wedding! This isn’t only for practical reasons, but it also helps create a good atmosphere. If you have a professional videographer or photographer, you’re going to want to consult them on this one. They’ll be able to give useful feedback and ensure that whatever you pick works.