Six things no one tells you about wedding planning

So you are now engaged and in the process of planning a wedding.  Congratulations! Please feel free to bask in the joy and accolades for a full solid day.  After that, it’s time to get planning especially if you want to get married during Wedding Season.

Yes there is a Wedding Season. It use to be June to September but now it is mid-April through mid-October, especially in more temperate climates. That means costs are higher if you want to get married during that time frame. Even if you are a guy and you think your fiance will do all the heavy lifting, or she won’t let you make any decisions beyond inviting a few guests, here are some things to consider that no one tells you.

Venue Considerations

So you really want to get married on June whatever and this year it falls on a Saturday! Hooray. You just have to hope the place you want to have the ceremony and a nearby reception venue are available. If your date is during wedding season, you might not be so lucky if you actually waited until you got engaged to book it. [graphic of adolescent child booking her venue now.] And yes, now that same-sex marriage is gaining ground in more states, the competition for a specific date and venue will only double triple.

We are booked until July 2018

We are booked until July 2018

Now it is considerably cheaper to have your wedding on a night that isn’t a Saturday. However, many religious institutions won’t perform the Rite of Marriage on those days. This problem can usually be resolved by what’s known as a large bribe.  Speaking of June Weddings, remember there are 11 other months in the year.

Date Conflicts

You might not give a rat’s touchy about baseball, football or any sporting event. Could care less about your city’s annual marathon or wouldn’t be caught dead at a particular parade. However, you should at least be aware of major events that could conflict with your wedding week. One year a friend booked their rehearsal dinner at a restaurant that was around the corner from Wrigley Field on the same night as the Sox-Cubs crosstown classic. Her guests could not find parking and it was a total nightmare trying to navigate the drunks.


So you assume your BFF will be your maid of honor or that your sister-in-law will fill that 3rd slot because your husband-to-be has to have three groomsmen. Stop right there. She might have been willing when you ask her in February but what she isn’t telling you is that she and hubby are trying to get pregnant. Will it make a difference to you? It shouldn’t but keep in mind, she won’t have much fun at your bachelorette party. Also, you or your spouse may have a sibling that just assumes they’ll be included in the wedding party.

What do you mean I'm not the Maid of Honor?

What do you mean I’m not the Maid of Honor?

Paying Vendors

Most of your typical wedding vendors — florists, deejays, photographers, etc — aren’t set up to take plastic. Or if they are, they will give you a discount if you pay them cash. And guess what: they want a deposit, often a hefty one, upfront. It’s understandable from their point of view – this is how they make their living and if you change your mind or go with another vendor they are out of work. Unfortunately, the reverse is true too. Do a little Google-fu and you’ll find stories about deejays that didn’t show up, florists who were late to the church and photographers who lost the pictures. Yes you can probably lawyer up and get your money back, but unless you have a DeLorean you cannot go back and recreate that special day. Note: the wedding is one day, the marriage should be forever and bleah bleah bleah you want your F-ing pictures.


Technically speaking, guests are not required to provide a gift. Culturally, that’s how it’s done. You want to pick out a bunch of stuff at various price points so that office friends can easily go in on a gift together or that one poor grad student friend doesn’t have to eat Ramon noodles for the rest of the year to get you something. You also want to pick a merchandiser that makes it easier for them to send the gift to you directly versus dragging it to the wedding.

Guest list

Finally, the one thing no one tells you but you need to realize. you are going to invite someone you regret. You will also not invite someone and regret that too. Even Kim Kardashian has a budget and Kate Middleton had a B list (and a c list and probably several more letters). Someone is paying for your wedding and budget and venue will determine how many people you can invite. Many banquet halls have tiers like 100, 250 and 500, so inviting a few more guests pushes you into the next tier…but you are on the hook for covering the empty seats.

 Bad enough we work together, did you have to seat us at the same table?

Bad enough we work together, did you have to seat us at the same table?

Example: you have 120 guests and the fire code won’t let you use the 100 room hall. If you ask for the 250 room, you have to pay for 75% of the seats, an extra 68 people. That’s a lot of camp friends.

Unfortunately, there are probably a lot more than six things that should end up on this list.  These are just some of the ones that apply across the board when planning a wedding.  If this seems like a lot, I have two words for you: Destination Wedding.

If you liked this post, you will enjoy 7 Things No One Tells You about being a Wedding Guest.


Filed under: Holidays, Life Lessons

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