Wedding planning for the clueless
February 2, 2013 8:43 PM   Subscribe

Mr. Panda and I are making it official and getting married in April 2014, woohoo! However, I've got no idea how to plan a wedding.

Given the budget is $2000 - $3000 max. Under that would be even better. Our guest list has 100 people on it and that's fixed. Honestly, I'd imagine it would be less then 100 in reality. But how to find a venue, how to pick a venue? Food? Decorations? Invites? A photographer? I do want nice pictures, but only around 10-20 pictures. I didn't think that would be too high maintenance, but I have no comparison.

My main concerns are a cool venue, good food, booze and a few nice pictures. My dress, not that high on the list. For music, an mp3 player will work.

Other possibly relevant info. I want the ceremony and reception at the same place, so no out of towners have to drive much. We are in Houston, TX. I do have friends that will help me out, but I don't want to push all the planning stuff on them. I feel I should at least know what direction I want to go. We are late 20's, if that matters.

Any websites or books with a step by step would be great! What to avoid or what I should be looking for given my budget. Should I do any diy? How to get a deal on *insert thing here*? Assume I know nothing about wedding costs or any wedding planning really. Also, assume I'm overwhelmed by all of this.
posted by Attackpanda to Shopping (22 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I posted a kind of panicky/overwhelmed question along these lines a month ago and got some solid advice.

April 2014 is *forever* away, and in the wedding off-season! You'll have your pick of venues and plenty of time to obsess as little or as much as you want.
posted by charmedimsure at 8:53 PM on February 2, 2013

Just start buying bridal magazines. They all have timelines in them.
posted by jaguar at 9:05 PM on February 2, 2013

I definitely recommend the website Offbeat Bride to people, even though I was not a bride and did not marry a bride. The reason for that is: you learn a lot about how people get pressured into compromises for their weddings, due to family or finance or friends or guilt or culture or all of the above—and you learn how people have resisted that.

I had to sit down and deprogram myself, basically, to deal with my wedding. I had to address every issue with the question "But what do *I* want?" What did I want people to drink? Where did I want people to drink it? And so on from there, a wedding is made.

And then, you also must think: what makes things easiest on ME, so I can enjoy myself? (For example: I used Paperless Post to invite people, and I am unashamed of that. I simply was not going willing to do anything more than send an email and count RSVPs. Life is short, marriage is long.)

In the end, this process of thinking about what you want and what you care about will lead you down a unique path. I certainly did not see my own wedding coming before this process. (We ended up with a really small and illegal public service, officiated by my mother, followed by a big party for all our friends, and we bookended the wedding with meals for our best friends and family. NONE of that was my first thought. Or 18th thought maybe.)

So I really recommend reading wacky tales of wedding potlucking and videogame-inspired bridesmaids dresses and people being their crazy selves to help you nail down who the two of you are and what you are about.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 9:05 PM on February 2, 2013 [9 favorites]

Having recently decided to do the same thing, Mrs. Bureaucrat and I have been asking similar questions lately...

The venue is a logical place to start and, given that you sound fairly relaxed about many of the details, may be your biggest expense. A lot of private venues will lock you into their catering/cleaning/cake-cutting services at $X dollars per person when you book with them. You may want to think about public spaces where you can rent facilities (i.e. public parks with gathering spaces?).

Another tip we've learned: When inquiring, ask about booking a "private party" rather than a wedding, so as not to make the event services folks see dollar signs when you talk to them.
posted by FreelanceBureaucrat at 9:06 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

In the same boat, with a shorter timeline. I've been directed by friends to sites like and, and found good info searching for "budget wedding" and "budget bride" online.

Friends who've done it say choose the venue first, since that seems to dictate dates and whether you can self-serve with food and alcohol or are locked into the venue's catering.

Good luck!
posted by OompaLoompa at 9:11 PM on February 2, 2013

I'm a big fan of both Offbeat Bride and also A Practical Wedding for this. With your budget and your numbers, it's going to be more work, and you'll want to bring in your friends.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 9:12 PM on February 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

FreelanceBureaucrat: ..."Another tip we've learned: When inquiring, ask about booking a "private party" rather than a wedding, so as not to make the event services folks see dollar signs when you talk to them."

Seconding this advice about planning a party not a wedding. We were sort of clueless and stumbled upon the fact that often the same service or same item would cost more if it is for a wedding than if it is for a party or celebration.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:24 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Will this be a religious wedding? Because many churches/places of worship have halls next door or underneath, so that might solve your venue challenge. And church halls are not that expensive to rent.

Your budget is max $3K - at 100 guests, that's $30 a person. It might be tough to get catering at that price that provides people with food all night long. Perhaps you might consider having people make and bring the food/booze.

Pics? Well, photographers are expensive - even the "cheap" ones (and I wouldn't suggest the cheap ones!) - maybe you can put an ad in Craigslist or whatever and get someone to show up for the time when you wish to have the pics be done. I figure you might be able to get someone to show up for an hour, take the 10-20 pics, give you the SD card and be off. Perhaps there's a friend with a camera who would be willing to take the pics - if no one has a good camera, you can probably rent one for the day.

You can also put those disposable cameras at each table, and get people to take pictures of each other.

Also, get someone to take a video - in my opinion, the video and the photos are so important, because on your wedding day, you'll be so busy and excited and flustered and emotional, that everything will be a blur and gone in a flash!

You seem to have the music issue solved, so that's good.

The rest is all fluff - the flowers, the limos, the lights, etc.

Congratulations, and good luck!
posted by bitteroldman at 9:26 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just to echo FreelanceBureaucrat's comment, really consider asking for "private party" rates instead of rates for a "wedding". Costs go up by at least 10-15% (if not more) when you say that XYZ (event space, catering, etc.) is for a wedding, even if they're providing essentially the same service. Absurd.

Also, just as a dose of reality, a total budget of 2-3k is going to be tight if you are expecting a catered event. I'm not sure how it is in Houston, but in Philadelphia, we were aiming for a relatively laid-back event at a cool venue, catered food that met my foodie expectations (without killing the budget and being all froufrou) and a professional photographer (who we found by asking around at the local art college) and our total projected costs are around 10k. Booze for 100 people is going to be at least 1.5k (conservatively, and I don't think you want to be conservative in this case).

I did go to an awesome wedding in East Texas where it was held on a family member's ranch, and was self catered with the help of a bunch of good friends and the bride's stepfather who borrowed an offset smoker to smoke a bunch of meat and fish. I wasn't privy to the costs but it's almost certain it was sub-10k by a large margin.

I would first decide what it is you as a couple want for this celebration and have a "bottom line" in terms of what you want. You may want to call around and get some estimates for venues and caterers before making any decisions on how you want the day to go especially since those are the major costs of the party. Good luck!
posted by scalespace at 9:51 PM on February 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

My top advice based on what you've said is that you need to be very careful when choosing your venue. Specifically, I would suggest choosing a venue that has very few restrictions, like a public park or someone's (large) backyard/property.

The reason that you specifically need something like this is because of your limited budget and large guest list. One thing I did not realize before I was planning my own wedding was that venues come with rules. Most/many traditional wedding venues have specific caterers they work with, specific vendors to provide the silverware/plates/napkins/chairs etc - and all that locks you in to a ton of expenses instead of giving you flexibility.

I really wanted to use a bed and breakfast as the venue for the wedding, but they had a certain list of caterers I had to use if I wanted to use the B&B's kitchen. I got around that by having the wedding catered by my favorite Indian restaurant - the food was cooked and brought directly to the site from the restaurant so the restaurant did not have to use the B&B's kitchen. That allowed me to negotiate a price for the food with the Indian restaurant that was way cheaper than it would have been with a caterer. The B&B allowed us to bring our own alcohol that we bought in bulk and let people self-serve (and the cost really depends on your friends - we didn't spend more than a few hundred bucks on alcohol and there was a ton left over). My mom and I bought the silverware from Sam's Club. We bought potted flowers from a local garden store and the bouquets from KMart (a local grocery store). The B&B also had a rule that if you had more than 50 people on the property you had to rent a port-a-potty for them. Luckily I had just under 50 guests. But you can see how these sorts of costs would have added up if I hadn't been able to find my own deal for each part of it and had gotten locked in with a more expensive and restrictive venue.

Also, YMMV on the Craigslist for photographer thing. I used Craigslist and found a great photographer who came for a few hours and had a totally reasonable fee (a few hundred dollars). I bet you will find that on the wedding day you want more than 10-20 photos. Just make sure that 1) you see their portfolio before you decide to book them and you like the type of photos they take, and 2) they will give you the full size electronic copies of your photos without you having to purchase them at a separate cost.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 10:10 PM on February 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

It's great that you already have a guest list. How fixed is your date? You will get a decent rates in April but you'd do better in December or January. You could also get cheaper rates if you have the event on a Sunday or a Friday since everyone gets married on Saturdays. One of the most popular venues in my hometown would offer nearly double the food options if you had a wedding on a Sunday in January versus a Saturday in June.

Could you do a short ceremony, appetizers, cake and a toast with prosecco or something? That would be reasonable. If you're thinking you want to keep it affordable, think of it as more like a dinner party. You're also more likely to stay within budget if you can find a place like a park or similar venue where you can bring in your own food and drink but that's a lot more work for you and it's hard to find.

We picked our venue because they had our date available, had the most options for food, it was reasonably priced, and they were generally flexible. It also fit us. My sister and I looked at venues together because we got married within a year of each other and she went with a venue my husband and I had looked at but felt like it didn't fit us. If you pick a pretty venue, you don't have to worry much about decorations.

Most venues come with a caterer or list of caterers. Our venue had a list of caterers, we picked the two that sounded the most interesting, met with both of them and went with the caterer who was more flexible. We made our invitations and designed them ourselves. They can be as fancy or informal as you want. You can buy a kit from Target. We sent postcards for save the dates which were great because they didn't need envelopes and postage is cheaper for postcards.

Our photographer was one of my brother's good friends who is starting as a photographer. The most important thing with a photographer is to make a list of what pictures you want. I thought that sounded stupid before I got married but afterwards, I was really happy to have pictures of my grandparents and a little sad that there weren't more pictures of all the children at our wedding. That said, one of my favorite pictures of from my wedding was taken by a friend.

Real Simple has a wedding timeline. My friends recommended the book Budget Brides and the website Offbeat Brides isn't bad. I understand feeling overwhelmed but you take it a step at a time. You have time on your side. People get married every day and the marriage is much more important than the wedding.
posted by kat518 at 10:19 PM on February 2, 2013

Oh, also, there are lots of little things that surprised me regarding how much they cost. For example, wedding rings. You know how gold is expensive these days? Also, taxes and service charges. In NY, where we got married, there's a 20% tax on wedding receptions, plus most caterers tack on 20% service charge. So there's an extra 40%!
posted by kat518 at 10:30 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I also wanted to suggest A Practical Wedding. They are very ... well, practical. Level-headed thoughts, advice, etc.
posted by radioamy at 11:40 PM on February 2, 2013

A Practical Wedding and Offbeat Bride are wonderful recommendations.

My sister got married for about this amount, and it was a fabulous wedding. Ours was a little more, but we'd both been working for 10 years, and saved up for it. Some general advice from both of us:

* Get a competent, level headed friend or relative to play "Day of Coordinator" that day. Should be someone NOT in the wedding party.

* Purchasing a "wedding dress" is way too crazy expensive. My sister got her wedding dress for about $150 because she bought an ivory floor length "evening dress" at a department store. Mine was about $300 because I sewed it myself. Hit up vintage stores, department stores and online and see what you can find.

* Invites: go to Target or a craft store and buy the boxes of print-your-own invitation cards and print them on your ink jet printer. Or look online, amazon has tons if you search for "wedding invitation kits" - I also printed up our menu and place cards using these kits.

* We did not have a videographer. We did pay for a photographer, but that was because the one thing I wanted was black & white film wedding pictures. For my sister's wedding, I was the photographer along with a few aunts and uncles who are also serious amateurs. If you have a handful of family or friends who are really into photography, tell them to shoot away.

* Wedding favors: I bought Glassine envelopes, bulk wildflower seeds, and Inkjet sticker paper. One of my favorite wedding memories is actually from 4 months later- my grandmother grabbed the leftover favor envelopes, brought them home, and planted them around her back deck. It was so beautiful to see all these wildflowers blooming and think that a lot of our friends had similar little gardens with our wildflower seeds.
posted by lyra4 at 5:27 AM on February 3, 2013 [4 favorites]

Congratulations! Here are a few of my thoughts:
Don't buy bridal magazines, just pick the slow line at the grocery store and there are many resources online. You can also find location specific message boards on the knot. Do you have any friends who are recently married? They may have venue/catering advice for you, or decorations sitting around that you could borrow. We had guests blow bubbles - which my mom had from my sister's wedding. Do you know anyone with a Costco membership? Have them take you to get their giant packs of napkins/silverware/cups etc. Do you have any friends or relatives who would be able and willing to serve as an officiant, photographer, iPod jockey?
You will want to spend most of your budget on food and drinks. Will you serve alcohol? Alcohol can be pretty pricey. Buffets tend to be cheaper than sit down. Restaurants/caterers will be able to give you sample menus with a variety of price points per person.
Venues can easily be booked up a year in advance, but you still have plenty of time to price different options. Pretty venues can save you on decoration costs. Cheap venues might not be so cheap if you have to rent tables and chairs. Outdoors is lovely, but I would want it to include a back up rain plan.
Is your budget set in stone? Either way I would spend a few months pricing food/drink/venues since those will be your major costs so you can have a set budget for the rest of it. DIY can save you money, or not. It could be fun to make your own invitations or it could be stressful and tedious to make something your guests are just going to throw away.
And really - all you need for the wedding the is you and your partner, a license, an officiant and a little bit of money to make it legal.
posted by florencetnoa at 7:10 AM on February 3, 2013

In my opinion having a small budget lessens all the typical anxiety because so many decisions are made for you. For example, if your 2-3k budget includes rings and your wedding clothes, then your venue must be free or nearly so, and your food from, say, a restaurant you love rather than a big deal caterer. 100 people is a lot on your budget, but it absolutely can be done. I find the main thing is to ignore the Wedding Industrial Complex of magazines and registry sites. In addition to Offbeat Bride and Practical Bride, I like Thirtysometing Bride (no matter your age) because it focuses on doing things creatively and/or on a smaller scale.

My (second) wedding had a budget of 5k and there were 35 guests. Food was lamb burger sliders and truffles Mac and cheese from our favorite restaurant. We paid for a server and one other kitchen staff. The cake was made by the restaurant--not a specialty bakery--for another $200. We bought the wine ourselves from our neighborhood store. Flowers were delivered via mail from a wholesale website and arranged by me. No bouquet, no attendants. The venue was a dear friend's beautiful brownstone--free. The officiant was ordained online--free to us. Music was an iPod on a dock--free. My dress was $100 blue and purple satin print cocktail dress from Nordstrom. His suit was on sale at Men's Wearhouse. His ring came from Etsy, mine from Gemvara. Our invitations were Evites--free.

We chose very early what was important to us to spend money on--food, booze, cake, paid serving staff, clothes, rings, flowers--and found ways to do the rest for free or nearly so. You will have to the same. You can totally do it.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 7:38 AM on February 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

Okay, I'm coming back here with a bit more time to spend answering this. Your budget is going to be HARD to do what you want with for that many people. We had a wedding last year, and I had a budget 5 times that (but in the Bay Area for 80 people), and there were still areas I had to cut completely.

Venue- I spent your whole budget on my venue. I think if you ask friends, start hunting now, you have a better chance of finding something fun that also costs you nothing or next to nothing.
Decorations- I roped friends into making giant tissue paper flowers with me for months. I spent 2 weeks making pinwheels instead of flowers, because they cost $100 instead of $1000.
Rentals- we got married in an art gallery that didn't have tables or chairs, and it cost us a good $1000 to rent everything. Factor this in when you are looking at venues.
Drinks- we had enough champagne for everyone to do a toast, and we had unlimited drinks- as long as you wanted to drink lemonade or our signature drink. This cost us about $750 for the day, and a friend bartended all day for us.
Music- we went the iPod route and borrowed speakers- great choice
Food- we opted to go the food truck route, for cost and because it was what we wanted. I bartered accounting services for most of ours, but feeding 80 people was WAY more than I though it would be- even on the cheap side. Definitely look at your costs here, you will really have to get creative. A friend of mine went pot luck reception, and was able to spend nothing on food, and loved it.
Pictures- I spent a significant amount on pictures. For me, this was the single most important thing from the day. Good wedding photographers are not cheap. There are a lot of great articles about the pros and cons of not using a professional for your wedding on offbeat bride and a practical wedding. My wedding photographer also made our invites and held my hand through problems. You might look at photography students, or people starting out, but I recommend looking at the articles to really decide.
Clothes- I bought my dress at Loehmanns, and I think we spent more on my husband's outfit.
Officiant- a dear friend did this for free

If you have a friend who can help you plan who knows your limitations, it can be incredibly helpful. I ended up paying someone who was starting a wedding planning business to walk me through things, but with more time, I could have sorted it out myself. Good luck! Planning on a tiny budget is hard, but doable if you understand what you want and what you are willing to cut.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 7:55 AM on February 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

My wedding was half splurge-y on items important to us (food, booze) and half cheap-o on others (decor, music). Here's where we saved a lot, I think: beautiful outdoor venue with pre-existing tent and picnic benches. We didn't need to pay anything for seating, but literally sat on picnic tables with paper plates. YMMV on whether you care about tables and place settings.

IF you know someone with a little land you could use for free, that would of course be best. But if there are campgrounds or vacation houses near you, you might also find a cheap-ish casual venue that includes seating and some pretty outside land for the ceremony, so ceremony and reception are just part of the same rental price. Call it a "family reunion."

Other inexpensive things we did:

We didn't have a DJ, just a Spotify playlist and really good outdoor boom box. My husband spent a ton of time making the playlist, but other than that, it was free.

We used dried flowers instead of fresh. They went with the picnic tables and outdoors for about 10% of the cost of fresh. I cannot recommend bulk dried flowers enough -- I think we spent $150 total on dried flowers and theylooked pretty good. Lots of dried baby's breath in little buckets, you could even get old glass jars from goodwill for vases.

I wore a bridesmaid's dress, it was 'designer' and I got to customize it a little, but it still cost less than $300. That even seemed like a splurge to me, frankly.

Friends of ours also had a wedding where they told guests it was BYOB. No one minded, it saved bride and groom a lot, PLUS the leftovers kept them in alcohol for about a year.

As others have said, I think that you have so much lead time will be your biggest advantage. And congratulations!
posted by lillygog at 10:03 AM on February 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

First off, recognize that your budget is pretty small for what you're trying to do, but that's absolutely, totally, 100% okay! Now you can use that knowledge to realign or reassess any white wedding programming you may have grown up with and be the happier for it. Don't buy any wedding magazines, because they will make you crazy with their absurd expectations, and don't fret! People get married every day and you've got plenty of time to get everything in gear.

Finding a cool venue that allows for outside catering (and booze!) is probably going to be your hardest task. It's the one task you want to lock down soonest. The free venue isn't necessarily the cheapest, as renting all the equipment you may need (tables, chairs, plates, etc.) can be expensive. I emphasized outside catering earlier because for the amount you're looking to spend, it's unlikely a traditional catering set up will come anywhere near your budget, unless you find some awesome restaurant. If the venue is pretty, decorations can be minimal.

Some non-traditional venues may not allow alcohol, so ask about that ahead of time. An open bar will be really, really, really tight on your budget, so plan accordingly. Assuming you don't want a dry wedding (which is a legitimate option), the usual fixes would be a cash bar (the norm in some places, absolutely positively unthinkable in others), limiting booze consumption to wine and beer (still potentially pricey), or doing some kind of signature cocktail.

You probably want to either be aiming for a really casual, family-style, possibly potluck-type meal or you can scale it back and make it a dessert and champagne reception instead. If it's a cake and punch-type reception, it's customary to schedule the ceremony earlier so people aren't looking to gnaw off their own arms because they're missing dinner. If you want a "traditional" cake, they're expensive, but one way to do it cheaper is to get a fake cake with a real top tier for pictures and then serve everybody else from sheet cakes. You could also serve a bunch of normal-sized table cakes and use those as the centerpieces.

If you have friends you can borrow things (dress? vases for centerpieces?) or services (photography? cake? hair/makeup?) from, now is the time to hit them up.

When we did our invitations on the cheap, we used Vistaprint, and it looked nice and was super-affordable. Evites are even cheaper (aka free), but if you have a lot of older relatives, expect to make a lot of follow up phone calls to make sure they got it. Buying stamps and dealing with physical cards can seem expensive and a hassle, but so is trying to yell through the phone to your hard of hearing great-aunt, so keep that in mind.

You don't need favors, and if you do get them, don't be offended if people leave them behind. Do make a registry, even if you think they're silly, because I guarantee that you'll have guests who are grateful for it. Finally, don't worry too much, have fun, and congratulations!
posted by Diagonalize at 4:19 PM on February 3, 2013

One option that worked for us was to take a chance on people trying to break into/move up in their fields. (Admittedly, our budget was still somewhat larger than yours.) Our florist was a floral assistant who was trying to start his own business. Our photographer was an art photographer who had just started doing weddings. Our DJ was also pretty new to weddings. We spent a lot of time talking to these people to make sure they were qualified and reliable, and we felt pretty good about giving people work and experience while saving some of the cost of more seasoned professionals. They were also perhaps more accommodating to our quirky needs, as they had fewer preconceived ideas and truly wanted to please. So for those areas where you do need to hire someone, consider giving a newbie a chance!
posted by hsoltz at 6:52 PM on February 3, 2013

Instead of a Saturday wedding with plated meals at $60 a person, we had a Sunday afternoon wedding with a brunch buffet for $15 a person. The open bar costs were higher than my entire wedding budget, so we offered just mimosas and bloody marys. I found a coop grocery store that would make the wedding cake for $100. Our rehearsal dinner was bbq at a local park. I bought gorgeous custom invites from a seller on Etsy, that cost less than printing some ourselves at Kinko's. We bought a bunch of bulk candy at Sam's Club and put it out with party favor bags that were on clearance at Target. I found a box of paper lanterns at Goodwill, so the night before the wedding a bunch of friends came by and helped hang them all over the room. One friend manned the ipod as our dj.

I don't know how appealing any of that sounds to you, but it saved us tons of money and we still ended up having a pretty traditional wedding (at least by offbeat bride standards). You've got plenty of time to get a feel of what is important to you and come up with a plan to make it more affordable.

I would recommend you actually spend some money on a wedding photographer. The day goes by so quickly that it's really great to have something to look back on. Plus, our photographer was reliable and full of helpful information. He made sure that we got pictures with family members that were skipping out early and even helped us figure out how to set up the bouquet toss. When my sister got married, her husband had a really good friend who was a photography student take their pictures. Unfortunately, the guy didn't plan beforehand, got lost, and showed up an hour late. All the pictures she has of her wedding ceremony are crappy ones taken our relative's point and shoot cameras.
posted by galvanized unicorn at 11:27 AM on February 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

We got married last April, and this is the timeline we more-or-less followed:

1. Book the venues
2. Book the honeymoon
3. Book the photographer
4. Create wedding website to serve as a place for maps, online RSVPs, link to registry, etc.
5. Buy dress, arrange for alterations
6. Ask friend to officiate
7. Send out invitations
8. Book food--we went with a food truck and a selection of desserts from our favorite restaurant, rather than a traditional sit-down dinner and cake
9. Have family crisis because MIL failed to give us addresses after being asked 5(!) times, and then got upset when extended family members didn't get invitations because we didn't have addresses
10. Order gifts for officiant, best man, and dude of honor
11. Book hair & makeup
12. Groom procrastinates on ordering shirt for wedding long enough that it doesn't arrive until afterwards (luckily, he had another one!)
13. Create ceremony
14. Weekend of the wedding, I made centerpieces for the tables, which consisted of cardboard flowers glued onto dead branches held in Mason jars. It was a rather informal do! (They looked better than they sound!)
15. The week of the wedding, realize that ceremony venue doesn't supply chairs, and call around several places to book chairs at last minute.
16. Make wedding programs when the weather looked to be unseasonably hot, so that the guests could use them for fans
17. The day before the wedding, get flowers and make my bouquet and corsages for the mothers
18. Day of the wedding, realize I should have either hired a wedding coordinator for the day or or gotten a friend to do that job because everyone kept asking me for OPINIONS and ANSWERS and I no longer cared, but nobody would take "I don't care. Do it as you think best" for an answer because they were afraid of upsetting the bride's Perfect Day, despite me insisting that no, I really, really didn't care.
19. Realize we forgot to work out how we, the bride and groom, were getting to the ceremony and reception and back home again, press father-in-law into service as chauffeur.
20. Come home in the evening, spend the time winding down with new husband opening cards and presents that were given to us at the reception to make sure any checks that were included got deposited quickly, since we both hate it when people take forever to deposit our checks. Also remembered to write down what people gave what, so that we knew who to send thank-you notes to.

I CANNOT emphasize step #18 enough--by the day of the wedding, I was all decisioned out, and nobody took my pleading with them to STOP ASKING ME TO DECIDE THINGS seriously. My brother-in-law's girlfriend stepped up to the plate during the ceremony, so I promoted her to bridal party on the spot. She also carted around the Oh Shit Wedding Kit I'd put together, which contained things like sunscreen, Lact-Aid, water bottles, umbrellas (outdoor wedding!), various medications, tissues, etc.
posted by telophase at 10:26 AM on February 5, 2013 [3 favorites]

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