The graceful guide to proper wedding planning

There’s a first time for everything, and planning your wedding is likely the one and only wedding you’ll ever plan. But if you want your guests to be as excited as you are about the grand affair, you’ll need to practice a bit of restraint, compassion and understanding when planning for the big day.
Ready to start planning? Here are 7 things you need to know before you even announce your engagement. Follow these steps, and preserve your relationships, sanity and peace of mind.

Tell your nearest and dearest first

It goes without saying that as soon as you say “yes”, you’ll probably want to snap a shot of your ring for Instagram and let the world know. But hold up – how would you feel if you found out your best friend was getting married via social media? You’d be pretty annoyed that she didn’t call you and tell you first. Always let your nearest and dearest know first before you broadcast it to the world.

Save the date in style

Give your guests at least 3 weeks notice between receiving the wedding invite and the RSVP date so that they can figure our their schedules. Sending a pre-stamped envelope or allowing RSVP via email will help speed up the process.
One or two weeks before the wedding, follow up with guests, particularly those you might not see very often. People make plans and forget, so do a final head count to avoid any embarrassment or no-shows.

Don’t expect too much

If you’re planning your wedding yourself, learn to accept help from others. Just don’t expect it. Not everyone understands or shares the same wedding sentiments that you might, let alone know how to put together a seating plan. Learn to rely on your own organisational skills, or outsource to a wedding planner.

Ask about allergies

There’s nothing more depressing than watching people enjoy a lovely meal, and then having to put up with a wilted salad. Don’t let your guests go hangry! Ask them for their specific dietary requirements in the wedding invite, and make sure you can cater for a variety of intolerances. These include dairy free, egg free, gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, nut free...it sounds exhausting, but going hungry is much worse.

Set your rules in the invite

If you’re anti technology during important and intimate moments, ask that your guests leave their phones off during the ceremony. You’ll hardly have the chance to stink-eye guests when you’re walking down the aisle, so let them know your rules in the wedding invitation.

Give a +1 to those in relationships

If you know that several or even most of your guests are in serious relationships, add a plus one to their wedding invite. If they’re in a casual relationship, you’re technically not in the wrong for not inviting their fling.

Share your guest list

Before you start sending invites, you and your partner should make one giant list together. Then ask your parents for input. Add these lists together, and then decide on a guest list count that fits into your budget. Think about who you have to invite. Who do you not have to? Will your old boss mind? And what about Aunty June from the Gold Coast? Don’t feel you need to invite all of your co-workers either, but there may be a select few you’ll definitely want to see on the day. Remember: not everyone who you’ve shared a laugh, smile or cry with is going to be able to make it. Learn to deal with hurt feelings gracefully, and focus on what head count will fit your budget.
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