Throwing a successful wedding is nothing that can’t be accomplished with a good planner, a clever budget, organisation, and moral support. But even the most organised bride may find it difficult to remember every detail of wedding planning and, as one of our brides put it, “I never thought I’d be worrying about the colour of napkins!” So, here are our top 15 wedding planning questions that you might never have thought to ask.
Featured above: Claire & Conal’s Real Wedding at Dodmoor House
1. Do I feed my photographer/videographer/band?
Featured above: Warble Entertainment Agency
There may be quite a few people attending your wedding who you don’t necessarily know, such as your photographer/videographer and your evening entertainment such as a DJ or band. Are you obligated to feed them? Yes, if it’s in the contract. Our advice first and foremost is that you check the fine print and bring it up when you agree their services.
However, many brides do feel that it’s the polite thing to do regardless of what’s stipulated in a contract. After all, these people will be with you for most of (or all of) the day. Even though they’re being paid for their services, they’re still human and they’ll get hungry. So you could do a number of things, including arranging a meal by checking with your venue; many venues make provisions for these situations. They may charge you a small amount for an additional meal, or even provide one to the photographer for free. Alternatively, if you’re having an evening buffet you can ask the photographer/ videographer/ DJ/ Band, etc to help him/herself to the food when they’re on a break or have finished working. If you’re in any doubt whatsoever, just ask them if you should make provisions for them.
2. Do I want my guests to post photos of my wedding on Facebook?
Featured above: Vintage Design Disposable Camera
We live in a digital age of Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and other public photo-sharing options. It’s become a huge part of many peoples’ everyday life, and it’s really impacting wedding etiquette. Some people love the idea, some despise it, and some are genuinely not too bothered. Do you want a technology-free wedding? The big thing here however is to ask your other half what his/her opinions are so you can come to an agreement and let your guests know your decision.
The point to consider is that your guests will bring their own cameras and phones, and they will, most likely, take many photos. …And some of the photos might not be something you want to share with the world. They’ll probably not look like the professional photos you’ll enjoy afterwards either. And you’ll have very little to no control over who sees them. So what’s the solution?
If you decide you don’t want guests’ photos finding their way to the internet, the best time to mention this is with a note in your wedding invitations, and again at the wedding breakfast or speeches when everyone’s paying attention.
But you might want to see your guests’ photos! Fortunately, you don’t need to go for the social-sharing option for this. Alternative ways include asking your guests to copy their photos onto a blank CD (that you could provide) or, if the option exists, uploading their photos to the couple’s wedding website. There are also many free online photo-sharing services such as Snapfish that your guests could upload their photos to.
3. What colour are the napkins at the venue?
You may or may not have thought about this question. After all, aren’t napkins going to be white? Most of the time, yes. But not always. Sometimes they’ll be a colour that might clash with your own colour scheme; sometimes a venue, in an effort to freshen up their look, will purchase new linens between you booking your wedding and the wedding day itself. You might then find that your beautifully elegant mint-green-silver-and-ivory theme is accented with…burgundy. So ensure you ask the venue about the napkins as soon as possible (and ask if they’re planning to redecorate or refurbish their function rooms too!)
4. Does my venue allow photos to be taken during the ceremony?
Featured above: An Elegant Wedding in Malta by Emma-Jane Photography
The ceremony is the most important part of the wedding day; you will, of course, want to have pictures. So it’s very important that you check that your ceremony venue allows it! It’s very rarely a problem at a hotel or licensed venue, like a golf course or a country manor, but places such as churches, registry offices, and town halls can have some very strict rules. Unfortunately there have been many real brides who have found out, on the very day of their wedding ceremony, that the photographer is only allowed to take pictures from the mezzanine, or from behind a pillar, or from the 7th row of pews. Give your venue a call and ask what their policies are so you aren’t disappointed.
5. Should I invite the vicar/registrar to the reception?
Featured above: Kristina and Max’s Real Wedding at Westminter Abbey
Not unless you personally know them, or you are having a buffet that could easily feed a few extra people! You are under no obligation to invite the vicar/registrar at all if you only know them because you happen to be planning a wedding. It is a polite thing to do, but not a must.
6. Is my best friend really suitable to be a bridesmaid?
Featured above: Style 1544 by Allure Bridals
In the happy days after your engagement, it’s natural to think your closest friend is the best person to stand next to you on your wedding day. In most cases she is! …But a bridesmaid or chief bridesmaid really needs to have certain qualities if she’s going to be the best support you could possibly have. She must be:
- Dependable and reliable.
- Not jealous.
- Available to help, be it with planning, shopping, wedding fair visiting, etc. (If your friend has many obligations—work hours, children, busy social calendar, etc—she may have very little spare time to plan a wedding as well. But it depends on the person! Even a super-busy person can still be delighted and fully capable of helping you out!)
- Calm and organised.
7. Should I book my honeymoon in my maiden name or my new surname?
Featured above: Sandals Royal Caribbean Over The Water Suites
Your honeymoon and flights need to be booked in the same name as appears on your passport, so for most brides you will book using your maiden name. However, you can change your passport name to your married name before you get married. But please remember that, if you do this, this will make your maiden name passport invalid! So if you need to travel for any reason before your wedding (hen do, business, romantic pre-wedding Paris city break, etc,) and have already changed your passport, this will not be possible.
If you plan to visit a country that requires you to obtain a Visa before you fly, you should leave your name change until after your trip; countries will not issue Visas to post-dated passports. Also, if your maiden name passport is still a long way from expiry, then there is no urgency to change it to your married name. Unless you really want to!
Read more from NameSwitch on How to Honeymoon in Your Married Name and How to Decide What to be Called After You Say ‘I Do’, and check out our quiz on Should I Change My Name After Marriage?
8. Does my venue have access for pushchairs and wheelchairs?
Featured above: Swinton Park
Nowadays we assume every public space has access, but to be safe we advise that you check. At the same time, check that your venue has a disabled toilet available downstairs, and whether they provide high chairs for the youngest guests.
9. How much could I save per head by booking a winter wedding?
Featured above: Dress Style 8827 by Justin Alexander
Winter weddings are beautiful, and they’re also less in demand than spring and summer weddings. Therefore, it’s often cheaper. But how much you might save wholly depends on the venue, the location, the number of guests, and the exact date of your winter wedding. Weddings on New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, for example, may still carry a premium price. It’s best to check, and compare the available packages.
10. Will my hooped dress fit into the wedding car/down the aisle/in a cubicle?
You put your hoopskirt wedding dress on at the bridal shop. You stand on a box and twirl in front of the mirror and take a few wobbly steps back and forth. You probably even sit down on that really ornate Chippendale settee to make sure you can sit down. But you probably won’t have a chance to test your dress in a space as narrow as the aisle you’ll be walking down. You’ll have no idea, until the big day, if you’ll be unable to climb into the wedding car or if you’ll start pulling chairs to the altar.
We advise that you get creative with the shop staff and ask them if they could arrange some chairs for you to walk through. You could also try on different styling options—if your hoopskirt is very rigid, perhaps a soft layered petticoat will do the job just as well? Also, have the dress measured at the bottom so you know the size.
11. Should I get a pair of flat shoes to dance in, or wear heels all day and night?
Featured above: Foldable Flats Pocket Shoes – Champagne
We recommend you get those flat shoes! You don’t have to wear them, but if you don’t have them at all you may regret it! For the photos and the memories, you could have your first dance in your wedding heels and then swap them for something more cosy; the last thing you want is your feet to be sore after dancing the night way in your heels. Another option presents itself when you consider that, these days, many couples get changed into something more comfortable part way through the reception. You could wear any shoes you want!
12. Will my wedding planner be there on the day, or are they just helping me with the planning?
Featured above: Mary Cushen Wedding Planner
It would be really great if the wedding planner was there all the way to the big day. But some of them aren’t. If you’re counting on the planner being there to make the day run smoothly, we recommend you check if they’re attending or not (and that you meet them beforehand). If your planner isn’t attending, you must decide who will be there, and how they’ll be briefed to avoid chaos. Some couples, for example, hire a toastmaster to take everybody through the day.
13. What kind of confetti should I buy?
Featured above: White and Gold Foil Jumbo Party Confetti
Of course you’ll want confetti that’s pretty, looks good in photos, and maybe even matches your theme or colour scheme. But you’ll also want some that won’t stain. Shop our selection of wedding confetti for a range of lovely shapes, textures, and colours.
14. Who brings the confetti?
Featured above: Jon Harper – Wedding Photographer
If you want a proper confetti shower, it’s better if you provide the confetti yourself. That way you can ensure you have all the confetti you want in order to have some gorgeous photos and iconic confetti-shower memories. You could ask your ushers to distribute the confetti among your guests at some point before or after the ceremony, or place a basket at the entrance to your venue for everyone to help themselves.
15. Is wedding insurance really necessary?
Absolutely! If you have insurance, you’re prepared for anything that might go wrong—unfortunately, it happens. Unexpected wedding emergencies can range from a supplier going bust, to your whole wedding getting cancelled for an unforeseen reason. Among our brides, when somebody has venue or supplier issues it’s very common that they’re told to check their insurance policy.
You might be spending a large amount of money on your wedding day, and you’re counting on a lot of people to make it go smoothly—people who you’re paying. In case something doesn’t go to plan, you’ll be stuck with more costs and no recourse.
Furthermore, wedding insurance is cheaper than you may think. Just a few minutes spent online will give you a good idea of what coverage you can get for what cost, and often it’s a small price to pay for huge peace of mind.