Congratulations! The first step of marriage has been taken -you’re engaged! While it may still feel a bit surreal and you may be feeling the weight of wedding planning tugging at your shoulders, don’t worry. You are not alone. With 21 pro tips from one of San Diego’s leading event planners and florists, we’ve got all the answers to help ensure that this important day runs as smoothly as possible. From choosing color palettes to perfect centerpieces- these tips to plan a wedding will give you creative insight into how to craft your dream celebration without sacrificing style or fun for budget or stress. Read on for 21 pro tips to plan a wedding that every bride should know before embarking on this journey down the aisle!
Essential Tips to Plan a Wedding Anywhere
- 1. A casual wedding still requires just as much effort and attention to detail as a formal one. No matter how simple or elaborate you envision your wedding it still takes plenty of time and effort to make it happen. This advice also applies to the number of guests invited. Though the overall costs are significantly less, the event still has the same components as a larger event. Remember, the more guests attending, the more tables you’ll potentially need to rent and centerpieces your San Diego florist will need to supply.
- 2. Don’t book your venue before you hire your San Diego event planner. Don’t make the mistake of booking your venue before hiring a planner. While it’s important to start researching venues as early as possible in your wedding planning process, it’s essential to hire a planner first and get their opinion on the venues you’re considering. They may also be able to suggest other venues that could be a better match both aesthetically and financially. Hiring a San Diego event planner can help ensure that you find the perfect venue for your special day!
Keep Your Sanity
- 3. Number your RSVP cards. This is one of the top tips that pros use to plan a wedding. Keep track of your RSVPs easier. Add a unique number or code on the back of your cards that correspond to your own numbered guest list. Without this extra step, you may be surprised at how many people return their RSVP cards without providing their names. This way, even if all you know is that two people are coming and they both want pasta, you can still figure out which guest sent the card without having to search for them.
- 4. Build Your Website Early. Don’t wait until you’ve sent out invitations to build your wedding website – make sure it’s up and running early. Your guests will appreciate having all the information about the big day in one place. This will also reduce the number of phone calls or questions you’ll have to answer yourself. Add information to the website as you finalize details. Keep it updated so everyone can find out what they need to know ahead of time.
- 5. Size doesn’t matter when it comes to planning a wedding! Whether your celebration includes 10 or 100 people, they all deserve the same level of attention and care. It’s important to remember that though larger weddings are typically more expensive overall, the components of a small wedding remain the same—just on a smaller scale. To help save money, consider reducing your guest list. You’ll find that you can create an unforgettable experience no matter how many people attend. For additional information on how to create a wedding budget that will keep you on track, head over here to our article.
- 6. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. When it comes to San Diego event planning, it’s important to always be aware that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. If a vendor or service is drastically less expensive than what you’re seeing elsewhere, be sure to ask questions as to why. Is the vendor new to the area? Are they just starting out in the industry and hoping for experience? It’s understandable to look for low prices but not when it compromises your wedding. Trust your gut. Make sure you’re getting quality work at an appropriate rate to ensure that everything goes as planned on your big day!
- 7. Check your credit before beginning the planning process. Start planning for your wedding by getting your credit in order. Try to find one card that offers a reward program and use it to pay for everything related to the wedding. This is an easy way to rack up discounts, airline miles, or other benefits that can help with the wedding planning and your honeymoon. Not only will this save you money in the long run, but it can also make managing your finances easier.
- 8. Strongly Consider “Shoulder Season”. This San Diego event planner tip is a great way to save money and make sure you get the perfect vendors for your wedding day. Shoulder season refers to times directly before and after major holidays or peak seasons when demand is lower and prices may be reduced.
Planning an Event in San Diego?
Remember that being in San Diego allows us the luxury of pleasant weather for longer periods of time. Planning your wedding here will give you the advantage of better weather for your outdoor events and activities. Not only can you find great deals on venues during shoulder season, but also many highly sought-after vendors are available during this time who may be fully booked during the busy seasons.
Tips to Planning a Wedding with Great Vendors
- 9. Research your potential wedding vendors with Social Media. When researching wedding vendors in your area, don’t forget to check out their social media accounts. Not only can you get a more detailed look at the products or services they offer (especially if it’s something tangible like bouquets or cakes) but you’ll also get a sense of who they are and how they approach their work. Furthermore, social media tends to feature much more recent photos of their work – so you know that what you see is an accurate representation of what they do today, not when they set up their listing on a wedding website.
- 10. Awards. While accolades and awards are not the be-all and end-all when it comes to selecting a wedding vendor, they can often provide helpful insight into the level of quality and professionalism you should expect. Many website awards like the Knot and Weddingwire are based on reviews from couples who have received service from the vendors being considered. Such recognition is an indication of an excellent reputation within the industry – something that can serve as a helpful guide as you’re narrowing down your list of local pros.
- 11. Is it real? Looking through a real wedding feature is an excellent way to get an idea of the work that a certain wedding vendor does, and it can provide clues about their aesthetic sense or unique touches. On WeddingWire, you can conveniently check out a pro’s Storefront to see if they are featured – providing another detail to help you decide on the perfect vendor for your special day. While a wedding vendor doesn’t have to have been featured in a real wedding to be ideal for your big day, it’s another detail to help you make your decision.
- 12. Are they an expert? Doing a quick online search with your wedding vendor’s name or company name can be revealing. For instance, the professional you’re researching may be quoted as an expert in local or national press articles, offering their insight into the industry or commenting on current trends. This type of recognition signals that they are a respected figure within the industry – which is certainly useful to consider as you build up your vendor team.
- 13. Never base your decision solely on the photographer’s highlight reel. Sure they can pick the best of the best photos to try and win you over, but instead, ask to see a few full wedding albums. By checking out their work for one single wedding, you can better grasp how they handle and carry themselves throughout a single event. Then you can make a better decision by looking at how their photos progress as the wedding continues. Does the style of images change, or are they consistent? Is this photographer better at wedding shots or reception candids? You can answer these questions with a more well-informed outlook and hopefully find the photographer of your dreams.
- 14. Insure Your Engagement Ring. Here’s a commonly neglected tip to plan a wedding. Don’t forget to insure your engagement ring—no matter the cost! Have your ring appraised by a certified gemologist, preferably through your jewelry store as they may offer in-house appraisals. Keep in mind that most homeowner’s or renter’s policies require an additional jewelry rider on top of your current policy. Once you’re certain your special sparkle is safe, you can rest easy knowing that all of your dreaming and planning was worth it.
Wedding Planning Tips for the Big Day
- 15. Factor the Sunset Into Your Wedding Day Timeline. When planning your wedding day timeline, make sure to factor in the sunset for your most romantic photos together as a newly married couple. The “golden hour” just before the sun sets is especially beautiful and is often missed if it’s not incorporated into your timeline. Allow enough time between your ceremony and reception so that you and your partner can slip away for a few minutes to take some truly special photos. It’s your day after all!
- 16. Take a Video of Your Bustle. If you’re wearing a dress with a bustle, it’s important to get a video showing how it should be attached. This way, your maid of honor won’t struggle to try to figure out where the buttons go on the big day, and trust us San Diego event planners, this happens all the time. Taking just a few minutes to record this essential detail can save you time and stress on your wedding day, ensuring that you and your guests have more time for enjoying the festivities. Plus, having a video on hand for reference eliminates any risk of the bustle not being properly attached.
- 17. Don’t Forget About the Rehearsal. Professional photography is essential on your wedding day, however, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the potential of your rehearsal dinner. Rehearsal dinners are usually a more relaxed affair and give everyone an extra opportunity to spend time with key friends and family. It’s a great opportunity for speeches, stories, and special moments that you’ll treasure long after the day is over. Make sure to have a photographer on hand to capture all those wonderful memories!
San Diego Florist Tips for Decor
- 18. Assess Seasonal Availability for Flowers. As San Diego florists we are lucky to have a temperate climate that allows for a longer growing season than many other places in the country. Keep in mind though that Mother Nature can’t be fooled so easily. Many of our flowers come from other countries that have more defined seasons for certain flowers. If you have your hopes set on peonies for your September wedding, err with caution. They will not be easy to source, will most likely be smaller than you’re hoping, and will be very expensive. Looking for additional questions to chat with your florist about? Head over here.
- 19. Bridal Parties are Expensive. Large bridal parties are expensive when it comes to flowers. According to BRIDES, the average cost of a bridesmaid bouquet before the recession was $80. Multiply that by the median number of maids (3-5) plus the groomsmen’s boutonnieres and you can see how costs keep escalating. In addition, additional corsages for close friends and family members can also add up quickly. Consider having a smaller bridal party or just a best man and maid/matron of honor.
- 20. Don’t Start Buying Things. It can be tempting to get ahead of the planning process by buying decorations for your wedding, but resist the urge! Before you make any purchases, work out your color palette and hire a San Diego florist – otherwise, you could end up with items that won’t match or are unsuitable for your venue. Common mistakes include candles in the wrong color, ones that don’t fit your San Diego florist’s glass hurricanes, chargers made of plastic instead of metal, and place cards without knowing how many guests will be attending. Do your research and take your time when it comes to decorations – it will save you time and money in the long run!
- 21. Don’t Sign a Rental Contract Too Early. It’s understandable to get quotes from numerous rental companies, but don’t sign a contract without confirming with your San Diego event planner, venue, and florist that you actually need the items in your quote. Additionally, don’t sign the contract too early in the process with every single thing you think you might need. Many companies will not give a full refund if you choose to go in a different design direction, and you’ll be stuck.
There’s no doubt that wedding planning is an overwhelming journey. It can take a village to make this special event happen, so don’t be afraid to ask for help! No couple should have to go through the process completely alone. Need help finding the perfect San Diego event planner and florist? Look no further than SISTI&CO – we have the skills, knowledge and creativity to help make any bride’s vision come true. We’re just an email away.