• Sabrina Lee

5 Things Couples Leave Out When Planning Their Wedding

Whether you just said "yes" to the perfect engagement or you've been wedding planning for a year already, I'm sure you know the {most accurate} wedding planning expression: wedding planning is a full-time JOB. And like any job, it takes juggling a million things at once to nail that dream wedding. If you have chosen not to hire a professional wedding planner to whip those plans into shape (although I strongly advice you to reconsider), there are likely several steps, questions, and tips you and your fiance will miss when planning. And missing steps usually means unexpected costs!

Let's be honest - you don't know what you don't know! Wedding planning is just like building a house. You wouldn't dive into building your dream house on the beach without hiring a professional contractor and doing your research - why would planning your wedding be any different? As a token of pure love for wedding planning (and my amazing checklists and personalized month-of reminders for every client), here's a list of what I've witnessed as being the top 5 things couples most commonly forget about {or simply don't know} when planning their wedding:

1. Security Officers

Rules for serving alcohol differ between counties and states, but security officers are usually a requirement for any event with alcohol consumption. More specifically, venues usually require security officers if any alcohol is being served at your event (usually 1 per 75 guests). Having officers ensures no guests get out of hand, the bartenders are not over-serving or serving to underage guests, and that all TABC laws are being followed - basically a safety net for you, your guests, and the venue. These officers are usually local police officers or sheriffs who you will pay directly on the day of your event. Some venues include the cost of security in your event price, but others do not. Make sure you clarify with your venue!

2. Vendor Tips

Similar to being served at a restaurant or having your hair done at the salon, tips aren't required but are recommended. Some vendors - like catering and bar service - include gratuity automatically in your package total, therefore not requiring an additional tip during or after your wedding. Others - like photographers and DJs - do not explicitly require a tip, but are always appreciative when one is given for their hard work. Keep tips in mind when calculating your budget!

3. Rainy-day Back-up Plan

Regardless of whether your wedding will be indoor or outdoor, you should always have a rainy-day back-up plan...especially if your wedding is in Texas. Outdoor weddings will, of course, need a back-up plan the most, whether that mean planning for tent rentals, moving your ceremony indoors, or providing umbrellas and escorts for every guest. Although indoor weddings may not be affected as much by changing weather, you should still be considerate of minor affects - like slippery or muddy parking lots and entrance areas, potential power outages, and delays in traffic to get to your venue. Check the weather predictions for your wedding week and work with your wedding planner or day-of coordinator to draft a back-up plan, just in case!

4. Marriage License

Did we forget what all of your wedding planning is for? Sometimes, yes, we do! In Texas, both you and your fiance will need to apply in person for your marriage license at least 72 hours before your wedding day. But I recommend you get it as soon as possible (no earlier than 90 days before your wedding day), especially during our new COVID-era. Your officiant is required to sign your marriage license after your ceremony and return it to the county clerk's office (same one you applied at) before you can be considered officially married. HUGE "don't-forget-me" on wedding day!

5. Seating Chart and Table Numbers

Photo by Ivan Garcia Studio. Travel-themed table names inspired by a wanderlust bride & groom.

You may be planning on allowing your guests to sit anywhere they want at your wedding...but do you have enough seating and space available for five-person group who isn't sure what other three guests they should share a table with? And what about your aunts and uncles who feel like they should be apart of your head table (I mean they send you a birthday card every year, right?!)? Bottom line: coordinate some kind of seating chart and post it at your venue's entrance, large enough for guests to find their names and their seats with ease. And don't forget the matching table numbers so guests know which table is actually theirs. You can easily get creative with this part by naming tables instead of using numbers or using a "welcome" champagne wall seating chart!

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