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10 Things Not To Forget About When Planning Your Own Wedding

Updated on May 18, 2009

#1: Budget

After you decide on a budget, make a list of everything that you want to buy to include in your wedding ceremony/reception/celebrations, with prices.

#2: Extraneous fees

Many places expect you to pay fees for cleaning, renting, extra services, etc. Write out checks ahead of time and put them in an envelope so you know that you already have them done. Then, don't forget to mail them or hand them out.

#3: Food

Book your caterer and order your cake at least three months in advance. Even the fastest cake decorators usually require two weeks advance orders. Have backup caterers booked as well, in case something happens with the original ones prior to the date.

#4: Invitations

Check and double-check your invites list to make sure you haven't forgotten anyone and have everyone's address correct. Maps to the location(s) are nice to include, as well as a contact phone number for day-of mishaps.

#5: Rings

Buy and size rings well ahead of time, in case you have to special order them or resize them/stretch them when they arrive.

#6: "To Take" box

Have a designated box for everything you have to take with you on your wedding day. Anything included in the ceremony itself that you cannot bring beforehand should be in this box: marriage license, rings, bride's shoes, gifts for the wedding party, checklist.

#7: Cleanup crew

Usually the bride and groom disappear on their honeymoon while the reception is still going on, so someone needs to clean up after you. This can be done by caterers, but usually a fee is added on. Also, you want to make sure all your gifts, special decorations, anything you added to the reception site comes back to you afterwards, so someone should be designated to collect this and take it back either to your house or keep it for you to pick up.

#8: Guest book coordinator

Having a guest book available is useless if nobody knows where it is. Designate someone to either stand by it and tell people to sign, or carry it around from table to table so people can write in it.

#9: Cake delivery

Some cake decorators deliver the wedding cake to your site; others specify that you pick it up from them. Whichever is the case, you need to make sure there's a way the cake is getting to the site.

#10: Cake servers

This is both the actual silverware needed for cutting and serving the cake, and people to coordinate serving it.


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    • KT pdx profile image

      KT pdx 6 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

      Great additions, albanynydj and PiaC! Thanks. Since we had a very small wedding, most people who gave gifts put them on the end of the cake table before they went in to the sanctuary. If you're having a bigger wedding, the gifts would definitely have to be arranged another way.

      Booking early for anything and everything is something I forgot to do. *blushes* I ordered my cake two weeks before our wedding, and they had to rush the order.

    • PiaC profile image

      PiaC 6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      I would add this: make discreet arrangements for transporting gifts.

    • profile image

      albanynydj 7 years ago from Albany NY

      Booking any of your services early may help with the price. I know I am apt to give you a bit of a "deal" if you book early with a deposit... I'm glad to have the date booked early and generally thats worth something.

      Good tips for a smooth wedding day!

    • KT pdx profile image

      KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

      It's traditional to have the head of the household give the bride away. Whoever you consider that to be is who should walk you down the aisle. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

    • profile image

      Bre soon to be Olsen  8 years ago

      So I am getting married on Jan 16th 2010. I have 2 Dad's my biological Dad who has not been there for me when since I was a little girl and my Step Dad who has been there for me my teenage young adult years. Is it ok that I am having my little brother who is my "best little man" walk me down the aisle instead of my 2 Dad's ?

    • Ryan Hupfer profile image

      Ryan Hupfer 9 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Thanks for answering the request! I love the 'To Take' box idea....I'll have to remember that one.