With the million details you’re expected to know and manage with wedding planning, it’s inevitable for one or several things to slip your mind until after your wedding day or a couple of wedding planning surprises to pop up during the planning process.
This is your first time planning a wedding — you’re not going to know every little wedding planning detail or be able to predict surprise expenses. So from someone who’s been through it already, here are nine things that might not be on your wedding planning radar, but should be.
1. Make a list of the important wedding photos you want taken
If you’re like me, if you don’t write something down you forget it. And with how happy (and a little crazy) your wedding day is going to be, you might not remember and get all the different and important wedding photos you want taken with your family, wedding party and friends. The only way to ensure you get each post is if you write down the poses you want and give the list to your photographer so it becomes their responsibility on your wedding day. But to be safe, keep a copy of the list that you, your groom or your maid of honor holds onto so each special moment is captured.
2. Your fiancé isn’t going to care about things you thought he would
Men and women are different. Brides-to-be enjoy picking out colors, flowers, centerpieces, etc., but grooms-to-be typically don’t care as much, or even at all, about wedding planning. So when you ask your man if you should have chicken or beef on the dinner menu or to help you make the reception playlist, don’t be offended when he shrugs his shoulders or says he trusts you to make the decision. You’re marrying him because he’s going to make a great husband, not because he’s a great wedding planner.
3. Everyone you know will share their opinions with you
“Don’t get a DJ. DJs are the worst. Hire a band. We did at our wedding and it was wonderful.” I’m not lying when I say everyone you know who’s married, and even those who aren’t, will have their own wedding-related opinions about how you should plan your wedding, and they’ll share their opinion with you whether you ask for it or not. Remember to patiently listen, but ultimately they’re just opinions. This is your wedding, so you plan it however you want.
4. Ask your MOH to DIY or buy a day-of emergency kit
This is simply a small bag full of just-in-case items, such as floss, safety pins and tissues, that if you don’t need someone else probably will. Have your MOH carry it around with her all day or stash it somewhere nearby so when a piece of your hair falls she can bobbypin it back up, when lipstick needs polished during pictures she can quickly apply it and to make sure every other small emergency is immediately taken care of.
5. Find out if any of your guests have food allergies
Yes, you decide the reception menu, but you have to keep your guests in mind when choosing what to serve since they’re eating the food. You can’t personally ask everyone who’s attending, but if you know family members or close friends with certain food allergies, keep those in mind. You could also have your guests mention if they have an allergy when they RSVP. That way you can make a note and let your caterer know who has what food allergy and where they’re sitting so he can leave certain items off certain guests’ plates. Your guests and your caterer will appreciate the gesture.
6. Have someone pack you and your groom to-go boxes
With the long line of guests waiting to hug and congratulate you, you likely won’t eat as much as you want — or even at all — at your reception. Don’t miss out eating all the food you had made. Ask your caterer or your mom ahead of time to make two to-go food boxes to take with you back to your hotel. You’ll thank me when it’s midnight and you’re eating delicious reception food instead of something from the hotel vending machines or going hungry.
7. Put someone in charge of watching the gift table and taking your gifts home with them
Your gifts and cards will pile up, and to ensure you end up with all of them (yes people have had gifts and cards stolen before), put a groomsmen in charge of watching your gifts and cards. Also, make sure you have someone who’s going to take your gifts home with them to keep while you’re on your honeymoon or drop them off at your house after the reception.
8. At least one unexpected, not-so-small expense will pop up
Life happens, and when wedding planning surprises happen they’re usually costly. Whether it’s weather ruining your outdoor reception the day of or day before or one of your shoe’s heels breaking during a dress fitting, something not originally in your budget is going to inconveniently appear. Tight budget or not, provide some wiggle room in yours so when a surprise expense does pop up, you won’t have to stress over it.
9. Don’t start planning the second you get engaged
Let being engaged sink in for a couple of weeks. Enjoy that feeling, tell everyone how it happened, show off your ring and then start the wedding planning. If you start planning too soon, especially if you have a long engagement, there’s a good chance you’ll change your mind on a few things.