We don’t need to tell you that planning a wedding is pretty much a full-time job if you ever decide to do it alone. That’s why it’s good to know how people who actually plan weddings for a living manage to pull it off.
We reached out to Lindsay Landman, a longtime New York City-based wedding planner and events designer, and asked her to reveal some of her industry’s best-kept secrets. So scroll down to find out how to plan your most special day like a total pro.
1. You never need to order a wedding cake for your total guest count.
“If you are having 200 guests, save some money and order a cake for 175. Venues and caterers tend to make smaller slices than bakers account for, not to mention that by the time cake is served many guests are on the dance floor or have snuck out early. Ordering for about 15 percent less than your total count is usually a safe bet. Don’t go too low, though… you still want the physical size of your cake to be proportionate with the size of your wedding.”
2. When creating your tasting menu, don’t waste your choices on favorite items you already know you like.
“Choose the outliers so that you can determine if you wan to add some new or unusual choices to your menu. You know you are going to love the pigs-in-a-blanket, so trust yourself and taste the butternut squash carpaccio or deviled quail egg instead!”
3. Many venues oversell their space.
“They may tell you that you can fit 250 people with a ‘nice sized dance floor’ but in many cases, that would be very uncomfortable and would compromise your decor choices or floor plan. Play it safe and don’t push the limits.”
4. If you are planing a destination wedding, don’t assume your guests won’t come.
“Destination weddings are trending bigger and bigger each year. Gone are the days when you could invite 100 guests to yield just 30. As frequent travel has become more of a way of life for so many, couples are getting more affirmative responses than ever, so plan accordingly with space and budget.”
5. Guests are enamored with their own names… not so much yours.
“While your instinct is often to plaster your name and monogram everywhere from the menu to the favor box, you actually achieve much more lasting impact if you leave your name out and have items personalized for your guests with their own names.”
6. Always “down count” your final count to your venue or caterer when you need to provide the final numbers for your wedding.
“In my 15 years of planning weddings, I have never once had a wedding where at least two guests didn’t cancel. So, if a couple tells me that their final count is 206, I will report 202 to the caterer. Once a number is reported to the venue or caterer, you are locked into it and must pay for that number of guests; since I can say with confidence that there is always at least one couple who drops out at the last minute, you can save yourself the headache and get ahead of it!”