You shouldn’t send tiered invitations (B-listing) or hold a tiered reception (where certain guests are only invited to certain parts of the reception), but you should tier your first draft of your guest list. Who must be invited, and who can’t be invited without inviting three other people? Immediate family (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles) may be one tier while cousins and great aunts and uncles are another. Instead of cutting individuals (which can cause some family tension), try to cut your guest list off at a tier. Maybe you invite family but not friends – it all depends on what your guest max is. Invite all significant others
If one of your adult guests is in a relationship, you should invite the significant other. While some people may say that it’s okay to not invite someone who is only a “casual” boyfriend (or you should only invite couples together if they’re married), you begin to tread in dangerous waters when you start making those decisions and distinctions yourself. Your definition of a “serious” relationship may be different from someone else’s, and you don’t want to split up a couple who identifies as a unit in social situations. They may be offended, and you could end up with a “regretfully declines” from someone you really wanted there. Decide about +1s now
If you allow your single friends to bring guests, prepare for your guest list to grow significantly. You may alter who gets a +1 depending on various factors, such as how far your guest is traveling or if they’re attending with their families, but whatever you do, decide now what your plan is before you deliver any numbers to vendors or venues. You don’t want to quote 100 people to your venue when adding +1s would bump your guest list to 150. Be clear on your invites
The best way to guarantee a final guest list even close to the original number you intended is to be clear in your invitations. If you aren’t inviting children to your wedding, only write the names of the adults invited on the invite, and be sure to add “(2) seats reserved in your honor” to the RSVP. If someone RSVPs with more names than you intended, make a quick phone call to your guests to clarify who the invitation was for. Most people will understand, though you should be prepared for a few “regretfully declines” when you aren’t willing to invite everyone.
A Wedding Organizer to Keep Everything in Check
Wedding OrganizerAny wedding professional will tell you that they key to avoiding wedding planning stress is to keep everything organized. If you're an old fashioned kind of bride (or groom!) who has trouble keeping everything straight without writing it down, a good wedding organizer should help you greatly. A wedding organizer will do much more than offer you inspiration and advice as you trudge through wedding planning; it will be your stylized guide to keeping everything in check as the quotes and contracts come rolling in. If you're looking for a good engagement gift for the potentially frantic bride, a wedding organizer couldn't hurt. While others might be gathering wedding magazines and website recommendations for the overburdened bride, you can help her keep everything in check with a solid wedding organizer! A good wedding organizer will have tabs, budgeting tools, and a large, infallible calendar. You can play with your iPhone all you want - nothing is a substitute for writing dates and deadlines down. The act of writing things and taking notes in your wedding organizer will commit them to memory better than simply jotting them down in your digital universe. Plus, your wedding organizer will never run out of batteries.
Microsoft Excel is designed to be easy to use and helpful, and is especially wonderful during the wedding planning process - take advantage of it! If you aren't comfortable using Excel (or an equivalent program), try to get help from your new fiancé/fiancée or a particularly friendly coworker. I first learned how to navigate the wonderful world of spreadsheets by looking around on Google and YouTube for quick "basics" tutorials, as you won't need anything past a basic understanding to create a good wedding spreadsheet - it's an amazing tool, as it practically does all of your budgeting for you.
Columns! So Exciting!
Columns can be organized by different budget scenarios, with the running total on top (for ease of access), starting with your ideal budget and working toward budgets that are more specific. I recommend one column for an ideal budget, a column for projected budget (how much you think you'll actually spend. Depending on different variables, you can have multiples of these), a column for various quoted prices, and an actual money spent column. These columns will help you to keep your budget in perspective as you move forward, and it works well for testing out different combinations and package options to see how they would affect your overall budget. Sometimes it's hard to visualize all budget outcomes without a tangible guide, and Excel is a great solution. Rows! Hooray!
Your rows can be as general or specific as you like, but keep in mind that you can always add subheadings for specific items that are a part of a larger group. You can have a row for "party rentals" and a row for "tables," or you can group them together as a single expense. These groupings will change depending on how inclusive venues and packages are and you can always group them in later columns. The reason that Excel is such a great wedding planning tool is that no expense with take you by surprise at the last minute as you add up your expenses and discuss priorities with your future spouse. Excel can be a singular tool that keeps track of your expenses and helps you decide where you want to spend your money on your wedding day! Color code away!
Casual Wedding Invitations for your Laid-Back Nuptials
Casual Wedding InvitationsYour wedding invitations are the one bit of wedding stationary that almost no one skips, specifically because of how important they are. Casual wedding invitations will help your guests understand what the vibe of your wedding is – how they should dress, what they should expect, etc. If you’re planning on a big to-do black tie affair, it’s safe to bet that you don’t want to stock up on casual wedding invitations. Casual wedding invitations are for casual weddings; weddings where your guests don’t wear ties or sip expensive cocktails. Casual wedding invitations still conform to all the protocols of standard invitations, however. Be sure to give your guests plenty of notice (6-ish weeks) and make sure they have a card to return an RSVP. The difference with casual wedding invitations, however, is that you probably won’t have delicate inlayed spacer paper and a thousand tiny envelopes within the casing of your casual wedding invitations. Casual wedding invitations should also be paired with equally casual Save-the-Dates, if you can. They, along with casual wedding invitations, will help your guests navigate the formality of your event and plan accordingly.
• Fix your hair and makeup specialists before hand. Have your facial done a week before the D day, if you are afraid that you might have rashes. If you need accessories for your hair, it is more practical to buy them yourself instead of leaving it to the stylist. It is better to try out the make up and hairstyle before hand so that you are not in for any kind of surprises.
• Choose your caterer carefully. While selecting the menu, keep in mind guests of all age and genre. You cannot have only veg food and vice versa. Decide on what drinks you want to serve.
• Choose a photographer who will give you your negatives. That way, you can get as many copies as you want. Make a checklist of all the items that need to be taken care of. This way, there will be no last minute rush.