We are getting excited because engagement season is upon us! The weeks between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day is the most popular time to get engaged, and we can’t wait to start hearing all of your sweet stories.
A few weeks ago, we asked our Instagram followers to send us their biggest wedding planning questions and boy did you guys deliver! So in this episode of the Wedding Duo podcast, we are answering 5 really great questions that will help make your wedding planning decisions a little easier.
Most people think about backyard weddings are completely DIY and they can be, but we have also seen some backyard weddings that were done completely by professionals! Many times the reason behind choosing a backyard for the venue is simply because it’s a beautiful, special space.
The bigger question is, do you save money by doing it in your own space? To answer that, you have to weigh the pros and cons against your budget.
Here are a few things to consider:
It’s absolutely not odd! We do weddings all the time that have no bridal party, or one of many variations of it. There are lots of reasons to have a bridal party that’s different, and it’s a choice you need to make based on the situation with your friends and family, as well as your preferences as a couple.
Sometimes couples have too many close friends or siblings and don’t want to have a huge bridal party, so they decide to just have none instead. If you are wanting to add an intimate touch to the ceremony, it can be really special to just have the couple up there.
(One of the more unique bridal parties we have seen was when the mother of the bride and father of the groom be the matron of honor and best man because they had a close relationship and it just seemed like the right fit.)
Sometimes couples end up with an uneven amount of bridesmaids and groomsmen. You have a few options in this case: you can either have them all stand up as normal if the uneven number doesn’t bother you, or have some of them sit down once they get up to the front so that there is an even number of them standing.
Another option is to have them walk in the processional separately. For instance, have the groom walk down with the officiant, with the groomsmen following him, then have the bridesmaids come down by themselves ahead of the bride.
This is a vast question and it really just depends on your taste in food! So instead of answering with exact cuisine choices, we are going to focus more on what makes for a good dining experience instead.
If it fits in your budget, we do suggest hiring a professional catering company, as it just takes so much stress off from having to try to figure out the meal another way.
Here are a few things to consider as you choose your caterer:
And if for nothing else, one of the most fun parts of the wedding planning process is getting to go to tastings for the caterer and baker! So fun!
For more tips on hiring a caterer, check out our post: How to Vet Your Wedding Vendors (Part 1)
Destinations can be really fun, and very special! It can be more challenging, but not impossible to plan.
If the destination is not an all-inclusive tropical location that is made for weddings, you will want to hire someone at the location to do some of (or all of) the scouting and planning for you. For example, if you live in Chicago, but plan to have your wedding in Texas (where all your family lives), you can have your mom or sisters or another family member go and talk to potential vendors and take pictures to help you make decisions from a distance.
What about a tropical destination wedding? If you want to have your wedding include just you and your partner and your ride-or-die friends, you can have your wedding, along with a pretty nice vacation for the same budget as a bigger wedding would have been. Lots of couples really like this option.
When choosing your venue resort, take the time to read reviews to see what’s included. Some resorts are designed to be destination wedding venues and have all-inclusive packages where all you have to do is show up, make a few decisions about the style of your wedding, and get married. Others only supply a portion of what you need for your wedding, and you bring the rest. These resorts can get really expensive though, so keep that in mind when choosing your guest count.
One more thing to keep in mind with destination weddings is that if it is over an international border but some of your vendors are in the States, such as the photographer, it can be difficult to get over the border without a work visa. It’s definitely possible, and something people do all the time, but it’s possible red tape that can be worth being prepared for.
We love this question because it’s something that weighs heavily on lots of couples’ minds; knowing what is appropriate for the ceremony.
Most ceremonies that are not in a church ( or a church that’s not catholic) have a timeline of about 30 minutes. The actual ceremony may even take only 20 minutes, but that leaves a little bit of wiggle room in case it starts a few minutes late. It can also leave 5 minutes at the end for people to get moved to the cocktail hour and everyone who needs to stay for photos in the right place.
If you are catholic and have your wedding at the church, you need to leave time for a full mass, and the timeline of that is dictated by the church. We have seen those ceremonies last for over an hour.
Tip: check with the church to see if they have any limitations on when the ceremony can start. Some churches only have certain time slots available on Saturdays.
If you want to add more substance to your ceremony besides the obvious elements, you can have someone do a reading or sing a song as well. Some of the most common readings we see are:
For even more ideas check out our post, Top 10 Unity Ceremonies to Include in Your Wedding Ceremony
We think humor can be a fantastic addition to the ceremony. Lots of times, everyone is really stressed by the time the ceremony starts, and humor can be an effective way to hit that release button, allowing people to giggle a bit and start to really enjoy the day.
A few of our favorite ideas for sprinkling humor into your ceremony are:
Personal stories are always an excellent addition to the ceremony and the guests love to hear them, so wherever you add one in, it just adds a unique element of “you” to the ceremony!
Need some help writing your own vows? Check out our post, How to Write Your Wedding Vows with Tanya Pushkine
We hope this helps with some of your wedding planning questions. If you have a question that wasn’t answered here, be sure to follow us on IG and TikTok to ask it!
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