As your big day draws near, it can be easy for a few things to slip by your meticulous planning. After all, there is a lot of detail involved in planning a wedding. Luckily, we’ve got some great tips to help you stay organised, on budget and with no last-minute panic required!
1. Finalise your headcount with your caterer
When you give your caterer your final numbers, there are two important things to remember. Firstly, include yourselves in the count! It might sound like a simple thing to get right, but it’s not unheard of for the happy couple to forgot to include themselves in the final numbers.
Secondly, it’s polite to arrange meals for any vendors who will be in attendance for the entirety of the day. For example, your photographer. You should also remember to set aside time in your wedding schedule, so the vendors will be able to take a break to eat.
Depending on your venue, $40-60 per head is a standard starting price for set meals. Often vendor meals will be done at half price.
2. Plan for after the reception
You might have been able to make a special arrangement for your venue to stay open later, but otherwise, you’ll find it’s quite common for reception venues to close around midnight. Do you know what you’re going to be doing after that?
While some couples will choose to party on, for others, it means getting some rest before jetting off on a glorious honeymoon. In that case, you’ll need to decide whether you’re heading home, or to a hotel for the night.
Budget? That can be anywhere from $100 per night if you’re just looking for somewhere to catch a few hours’ sleep, to $600 for some 5-star luxury.
3. Organise wedding favours
Don’t feel you need to spend big on wedding favours. They’re a lovely touch, but the cost can add up quickly across your entire guest list. Most couples choose to spend less than $5 per guest.
Chocolates and sweets can easily be kept in the low-range. You can bake cookies, have personalised drink coasters or even custom silicone wristbands made for less than $5 per guest.
If you want to step it up a notch, that’s fine too. Spending between $5-$10 per guest is acceptable. For this amount, you can gift picture frames used as place cards during the reception, or kitchen items like bottle stoppers.
4. Consider boutonnieres & corsages for parents
With the current trend to go bold with wedding flowers and spend a considerable amount of the budget on beautiful blooms, consider extending your floral theme to your parents’ outfits.
When walking you down the aisle and for your wedding photographs, it’s a beautiful touch to have your parents wearing coordinating buttonholes and corsages.
Buttonholes are usually $15 each, with corsages around $20-30 each.
5. Buy bridal party gifts
You’ll want to thank for your fantastic bridal party for sharing this special time in your life with you. Cufflinks, necklaces or earrings are classic choices for gifts because they can be worn at the wedding and enhance the coordinated look of your bridal party.
Personalised robes are also a popular choice for bridesmaids, while BBQ tools are an interesting choice for men.
Spending $50 to $100 is quite standard when couples buy bridal party gifts.
6. Buy a guestbook
There’s a beautiful range of guestbooks available on Etsy on average between $40 and $100. You’ll find personalised guestbooks with wood covers, destination covers, or even ones printed to match your wedding invitations.
For something a little more fun, you can also find fingerprint trees and framed wooden hearts.
It may seem like a small thing now, but guestbooks with personal messages are the perfect way to memorialise your special day. And one last thing – don’t forget the pens!
7. Choose a signature drink
Signature drinks are a really fun addition to a wedding and another way to personalise your event to represent you, as a couple. Of course, the cost of a signature drink will vary depending on what it is, so ask your reception venue for a quote.
If you are supplying the alcohol, you will likely be charged corkage. In some cases, this could be $10 – $20 per bottle, so it’s important to factor in those hidden costs. Remember to print copies of your signature drink recipe for each bartender to use.
8. Arrange transportation post-reception
So, everyone near and dear to you has made it to your wedding and had a wonderful time. But, how are they going to get home? Going the extra mile and making sure the bridal party, your parents and out-of-town guests, in particular, have a safe way home will be appreciated. Book Ubers or taxis, or make sure public transport is plentiful.
If you have a few guests staying in the same accommodation, you could hire a minibus if you have a willing sober driver. They start from around $200 for a 12-seater for one day, and about double that if you need to hire a driver.
9. Wedding rings!
Of course, if you haven’t chosen your wedding bands yet, you’ll want to do that too! You would not believe how many people leave this to the last minute! You might have a clear picture of what your ring will look like, but does your groom? Don’t worry – we’ve got the perfect solution!
Congratulations and happy wedding planning!