Preparing for Forever and The Big Day
It’s June and many couples are making plans to celebrate their wedding. June has traditionally been the most popular month for weddings, but a shift to fall has occurred in the past three years. October and September have taken over the first and second top month spots, which means there is still time to finish planning and booking the venue of your dreams.
Your wedding is about celebrating your love for each other, which is why so much time and thought go into planning the day that highlights your love story. But where to begin? We’ve got you covered. Just remember to have fun, don’t get hung up on the tiny details, and make sure your significant other is involved. Let us do our part in helping plan for your big day by offering tips and money-saving ideas from the pros that will keep your wedding organized and make sure you get hitched without a hitch!
— Jessica Forrester
5 Spending Tips
Your wedding should be one of the happiest days of your life, but it also can be one of the most expensive. Determining a budget in the beginning and sticking to it can help couples save thousands on their big day. With inspiration from wedding experts at The Wheeler House and from other online resources, we wanted to help you reduce the costs and stress that come with planning a wedding.
1. Choose a Different Day/Time/Season.
The most expensive time to get married is in the evening on a Saturday in June, September or October. Consider Friday or Sunday weddings to cut costs by 20% to 30% during in-season dates, research a venue’s off season pricing, or think about having a brunch wedding instead.
2. Simplify Your Drink Options.
If you are serving alcohol, consider serving only beer and wine. No cocktails means major savings on a variety of garnishes, mixers and liquor. A self-serve drink station is another possibility, depending on your venue, which can eliminate the cost of a bartender. Non-alcoholic beverages such as tea and lemonade are low-cost options as well.
3. Throw a Bachelorette Slumber Party.
Hosting the bachelorette party at home instead of in the city or another destination can offer substantial savings to the bridal party. A movie night, game night or a good old-fashioned slumber party are fun and nostalgic ways to spend time with your closest friends before tying the knot. The groom and groomsmen can take advantage of these savings by planning a similar event.
4. Skip the Wedding Favors.
You could opt for edible favors as part of a dessert bar with goodie bags or save time and money and skip them altogether. After enjoying a lovely event, your guests will not miss the favors. Let’s be honest; how many wedding favors have you thrown away over the years?
5. Make Your Guest List the A-List.
Build your guest list based on your budget and stick to it. A good rule of thumb is to invite only the people you both have talked to in the past two years. You can limit plus-ones to only friends and family who are engaged or married to help keep numbers low. Feel free to let everyone know that unexpected guests may not get a seat or anything to eat.
3 Success Secrets
Although the time leading up to your wedding can be hectic, proper planning will ensure your big day runs smoothly. Our friends at The Wheeler House shared their top three wedding tips, ideas you may not have thought about but are guaranteed to make a difference on your special day.
For more wedding tips, visit www.thewheelerhouse.net or follow @thewheelerhouse on Instagram.
1. Take Bridal Portraits in Advance.
Coordinate your hair and makeup trial-run on the same day and have your bridal portraits taken in advance. The Wheeler House allows brides to come on property during the week with their wedding photographer to get an early start on photos and save time on their big day.
2. Open a Dedicated Wedding Email.
Create a dedicated email account to keep all of your wedding-related correspondence organized. You can also sign up for free stuff without bombarding your personal email!
3. Repurpose Bouquets.
Repurpose your bridesmaid bouquets by asking your coordinator to grab them after photos are taken to be used as decor. They can then be placed in open vases left on the head table, guest tables or the bar.
From the Mother of Two Brides
Cindy Messerly, whose daughters, Anna and Kate, were married in 2018 and 2020, respectively.
What was your biggest challenge, and how did you resolve it?
The guest list is a challenge because the more you invite, the more expensive the wedding will be. It’s also tough because you want to invite anyone who has invested time, love and effort into your child’s life. As a parent you have to not think of your own friends, but the people who are important to the bride and the groom. It’s hard when you don’t want to hurt feelings or leave anyone out, but you have to realize you can’t invite everyone to everything.
What advice would you give someone who is planning to get married?
Once the wedding day gets there, just enjoy. You’ve done all you can do – the planning is over. Now is the time to be there for your daughter or your son, and focus on them.
Another suggestion is to repurpose flowers from the wedding ceremony to use at the reception. Make the flowers a keepsake instead of throwing them away. And have the photographer make a detailed list of who should be in each picture grouping and call out names so everyone knows when they are needed.
If you could, is there anything you would do differently?
Yes! When the bride and groom leave the reception, make sure they have a to-go box of food and cake, in a place where they can get to it easily. Make sure that silverware and napkins are packed with the meals.
From the Mother of a Groom
Michelle McCulloch, whose son, Bryan, married in 2020.
What advice would you give someone planning a rehearsal dinner?
The wedding was in Decatur, and most attendees were at a hotel near the venue, so we carefully chose the rehearsal dinner location to be a short ride from the hotel. For the table decorations, I used Pinterest for inspiration. I proposed a budget to the florist initially, instead of leaving it open ended, and she described what she could do for that budget. On the night of the party, I let the event host watch the clock and prompt me at certain times to invite guests to sit, do the toast, etc. You lose track of time when you are socializing.
A tip for wedding planning.
My advice to brides would be to invite the parents of the groom when making selections, if possible. It meant the world to us to be included in the wedding planning, especially since we don’t have daughters.
What was your biggest challenge, and how did you resolve it?
Cutting the guest list in half after the Save the Dates had already gone out, because of safety requirements during the pandemic. Guests who were removed from the list received a mini bottle of champagne and a heartfelt note from the bride and groom, so they could raise a glass on the wedding night to toast the newlyweds and feel included in the celebration.
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