When I was engaged I had several moments of sheer joy admiring my shiny engagement ring, only to be interrupted by panic moments filled with questions of wedding planning - how much food do I need for the guest count, what should the guest count be, what if it rains, etc. Does this sound like you at all? We've got some common questions and answers laid out for you below. So, read through, take a deep breath, and admire your shiny ring again!
What does an average wedding cost?
An average wedding ranges from $20,000 - $30,000 but many couples plan weddings for less than $10,000. Your guest count is one of THE BIGGEST drivers of your budget (hint: the weddings for less than $10,000 did not have 200+ guests). For more info on what goes into the budget, check out our post - Breakdown of a Wedding Budget.
Who must I invite?
This can often be one of the most stressful parts of the initial planning. It's a joint effort between the couple and the families - you may not think about great Aunt Judy being there, but your mom keeps in regular contact with her and great Aunt Judy would be heartbroken to not be there and celebrate with you. Determine the type of event you want - intimate or large celebration. Explain to your families why you would like to go that way and then develop the list from there.
Who lifts the veil?
Traditionally whoever walks the bride down and gives her away will lift the veil. You can also leave the veil down throughout the ceremony and the groom can lift it before the first kiss. It's sweet either way!
How long is a reception?
Typically about 4 hours. This gives you time for a cocktail hour (while you take photos), dinner, toasts, cake cutting, and dancing. At Pleasant Union Farm - we provide 5 hours of event time from ceremony through send off which gives you plenty of time to spend with your guests.
Should we provide meals for vendors on wedding day?
For vendors that are there during the full event, yes, you should provide them with a meal. Be sure to check your contract with the vendors also as they often give specifics on the meal and when they take a break for that meal. You want them performing at their peak during your wedding day!
Who should be invited to the Rehearsal Dinner?
The rehearsal is to make sure everyone involved in the ceremony knows their role. For rehearsal and dinner, this typically includes bridal party, officiant, immediate family, flower girl and ring bearer. It's also common to include any family have traveled from out of town to provide more time together. Make sure you talk through the plan with whoever is paying for the dinner so everyone is on the same page.
Do we have to have favors for the guests?
If it's not in the budget, this is an area you can eliminate. Small (edible) favors are usually preferred - cookies to go, small candies. A photobooth is also a great idea instead of traditional "favors" because it gives guests something to do during cocktail hour, provide additional photos for the couple and most provide a print out for the guests to take home with them.
When should we send out invitations?
It's customary to send out invitations 6 - 8 weeks before the wedding. This gives guests time to plan and to RSVP.
Who makes the speeches?
Traditionally the father of the bride starts the toasts, followed by maid of honor and best man. It's always nice for the bride and groom to thank their guests for coming to celebrate with them.
If you are looking for more helpful answers to wedding planning questions - check out the full article from Top Wedding Questions here.
Photos by Hillary Leah Photography
Pleasant Union Farm is a family owned wedding venue in North GA, about an hour north of Atlanta.