You have four choices: 1.You can welcome children with open arms; 2. You can decide to have an “adults only” wedding; 3. You can include immediate family only; 4. You can hire a child care service to provide day care either at the reception space, in a hotel room or at a family member’s home. To prevent hurt feelings, it’s wise to avoid allowing some families to bring children while excluding others (unless, of course, the children are in your bridal party).
SAVE THE DATE
Send them out sooner rather than later. There is no harm in being too organised and your guests will apricate the early heads up, particularly if you are having a destination wedding. Just make sure you finalise your guest list before sending them out… you don’t want to unintentionally not invite someone. Keep the information to minimum, your names, wedding date, location, wedding website and the notice of a formal invitation to follow.
Tradition says send out invites 6–8 weeks before the wedding, but we find this cutting it fine. If your guests are travelling from out of town, you want to give them a decent amount of time to book travel and accommodation. Your guests may also need to book extra time off work, and bear in mind that different companies have different holiday rotas (January-December or April-March). I would recommend sending them out as soon as you have all the details worked out, exact venue/s location and time of ceremony. Ask for RSVP’s to be sent back 4–6 weeks minimum before the wedding. This allows enough time for you to get a final head count to your venue or caterer and organise a seating plan without the panic of the final 4 week countdown.
Keep all wedding related paperwork in one place and make sure to take them to meetings with your suppliers. Pinterest is also a great visual tool for stylists like myself to work with, so get pinning! Think ahead of time, what are the main pictures you want your photographers to capture, and make sure they have a copy of your list along with your bridal party so they can help get key people to where they need to be.
Usually 10–20% of the people you invite won’t attend. Naturally, this depends on the location of your wedding (destination weddings are harder to attend), how many out-of-towners are on your list, and the timing of the event (some guests may already have plans if it’s short notice).
FEEDING YOUR CREW
Possibly an unforeseen expense is feeding the lovely people you have hired to make your wedding day as magical as you imagined it. Before you sign a contract with other suppliers make sure you’re not required to serve them the same meal as your guests, as that could be pricey. By choosing a packed lunch option for them, it means they can eat when it’s convenient for them. Don’t forget to check if your suppliers have assistants too.