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Ashley Sanders and her expert team at
Ashley & Co. share wedding planning
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Article + Photos by | Ashley & Co.
Congratulations, you’re engaged! The ring is beautiful, you’re on cloud 9, this is everything you’ve dreamed of! But oh the questions associated with wedding planning, who knew? The entire wedding planning process can be so exciting, but also a little overwhelming. Know that you are not alone and that there are answers to your questions. Here are a few that often come up in our office that might help jump start the process.
What is the average cost of a wedding?
According to www.weddingstats.org, the average cost of a wedding (nationally) in 2019 is $30,433, not including the honeymoon. Find your financial comfort and write your budget accordingly.
What should I spend the most money on?
Before you start hiring vendors, sit down to write your budget and talk with you fiancé about what is most important to you both. Some of your big ticket items can be your venue, food, bar, floral, entertainment, dress and honeymoon. However, some couples decide to leave the wedding dress and honeymoon out of the budget. Determine what your level of importance is with the items associated with your wedding and research the vendors in that category that you like so that you know what price range they fall within. If you are working with a coordinator, the coordinator should write you a budget to start interviewing for selection.
Should I be open with my vendors about my budget?
Yes! Be very open with your vendors about your budget, it will help to make sure you are selecting the correct vendors and that they are selling you the correct products and services. It will also ensure you are not falling in love with a vendor outside of your price range.
We only have our venue for an 18 hour rental and won’t have a rehearsal, do we have to have a rehearsal dinner?
Absolutely not! With no rehearsal, you can skip the rehearsal dinner and just go with the wedding day, you can choose to have a traditional rehearsal dinner sans the rehearsal, or you can simply throw a welcome party with dinner or cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres to entertain guests who have traveled to be with you on your wedding weekend. It is just as easy to rehearse on your wedding day, or rehearse at a different location, don’t fret not having a rehearsal the day before the wedding.
I’m so excited to be getting married, but I have no idea what I want! Where do I start, and what type of help should I enlist?
That’s okay, and know that you’re not alone! A few of the first things are date or venue, vision, and deciding if you want to work with a wedding planner. If you want to work with a planner, start interviewing so that that company can help you gather your thoughts and make a clear plan based on your personality and stress points. If you want to go at the planning alone, decide if you want to commit to a certain date, or if a venue is most important to you. If you’re uncertain, just start touring a few venues until you find the one you can see yourself getting married in. Create a Pinterest board, but also make sure you’re feeding off the advice of the trained professionals when you schedule vendor meetings and start looking at flowers, linens, cakes, anything that adds into the décor. Your Pinterest page will tell you what colors you like, if you want to incorporate texture, if you are modern or traditional, and will help you lay a base for your wedding style. Again, if you’re working with a planner, work with your planner to create your design board to help pin point your exact style before meeting with vendors.
We will have a room flip between our ceremony and reception. What do I need to provide for my guests during that time?
A room flip is great because there is very little travel associated between the ceremony and reception! Moving the guests into a different space, the porch, an adjoining room or the front lawn, will work while a team executes the room flip. This is an opportune time for cocktail hour and hors d’ oeuvres. The bar can open following the ceremony and hors d’ oeuvres can be passed for 45 minutes to an hour so that the guests can have a small bite to eat before dinner while the room is being prepared and you are finishing pictures with bridal party and family.
Who will be responsible for flipping my space?
Have this discussion with the venue to determine if they handle the room flip. In some cases the venue will handle the room flip and will have all staff onsite to manage any logistics associated with this. In some cases, you will need to bring in your own crew to handle this. If you are working with a coordinator that company should handle the room flip with the correct staffing. In any case, you will need a diagram of the ceremony and post ceremony of reception set so that everyone on the team knows the full plan of execution.
Who should cut my cake? Will there be a charge for it?
Your venue, caterer, coordinator, or house party can cut your cake. If your venue or caterer will be cutting your cake, make sure to ask them during one of your meetings if there is a cake cutting fee, and/or cake passing fee. Some venues and caterers charge this, some don’t. Your wedding coordinator is another option for cutting your cake and should have the proper utensils and gloves to cut and serve your cake. If you have a house party or family member who is looking to get involved in the wedding and loves to talk to the guests, this is a great job for them as well.