Instead of starting to scout venues, the first thing on your checklist should be your guest list. This may seem like something you can start to do slowly, but your guest count is going to be a key factor in the determination of most other checklist items. You’ll want to make sure your venue can easily accommodate the number of guests you’re inviting.
Build an “emergency fund” into your budget. It doesn’t have to be major, but if you take a small percentage of your budget and put it toward “incidentals” then you’ll be good to go when extra things come up, or when you realize you forgot to purchase something.
Know your guests. It’s a rule of thumb that 30% of your invited guests won’t attend, but it varies greatly on how many of your guests are out-of-town, if you’re planning a destination wedding, etc. Anticipating some of your RSVPs will greatly benefit your planning and costs.
Hire plenty of staff for the bar. No one likes to wait for the party, and making sure you have plenty of bartenders available will ensure that your guests’ experience is excellent.
Practice bustling your dress beforehand. Use this as an occasion to get together with a few of your best girlfriends. It’s rare that your girls will already know how to bustle a dress properly, and even if they do, every dress and bustle is different. Practice makes perfect, and in this case, can save you a few valuable minutes that you can put toward getting to enjoy your wedding.
Have a rain plan! Whether you’re getting married outside or guests just have to be outside for a moment while shuttling between venues, nothing ruins the guest experience (and your hair) more than rain, so have a Plan B (or at least some umbrellas!) in case of unfortunate weather.
Consider shuttling your guests. Not only does it enhance guest experience, but it also gives everyone the opportunity to let loose during the reception without having to worry about driving home afterward. It’s a win-win!
Hire a planner (or at least a coordinator)! So this may be a more popular tip, but it’s such an important one, and not something you can typically do at the last minute. Even if you’re incredibly organized and don’t have that many moving parts to your wedding, you still can’t be everywhere at once, and you especially can’t enjoy the day if you’re running around handling everything. Let a professional handle it for you.