If you’re planning a wedding, you probably have many, many wedding planning questions. That’s reasonable! You’re most likely not a wedding planning expert, and the process can be confusing, random, and strange sometimes. We had a thousand questions when we planned our wedding, even though we’re in the wedding industry. It’s normal to feel confused and overwhelmed! Here are some of the most frequent questions we hear from our couples. If you have more questions, ask us in the comments or email us and we’ll add to the list!
When should we start wedding planning?
That’s a great question that we get all the time! The short answer is there’s no right answer when you’re planning a small wedding. Tiny weddings are way more flexible than event weddings since there are way fewer details and logistics to keep track of! But if you’re looking for a specific recommendation for how early to start, we generally recommend starting at least three weeks in advance. Two weeks is plenty of time to confirm your wedding vendors, book an afterparty venue, and get everything ready! Many of our couples say the only thing that takes longer is finding their wedding outfits. But if you’re a planner type (like me), you can plan a tiny wedding up to six months in advance with pretty good success. Small weddings are nothing if not flexible!
What kind of wedding should we have?
I get this question from friends all the time. And, from pretty much anyone who finds out what we do. I love sharing wedding planning advice, but I can’t tell you what kind of wedding is best for you. No one else can! Here’s how to find the answer: What do you want your wedding day to feel like? If you have stage fright, a smaller wedding might make you happier and keep the stress at bay. If you’re only planning a huge wedding for the presents, maybe a larger wedding isn’t for you. But if you love being the center of attention, or if you have large families and tons of friends, or you just plain love a giant party, go for the big wedding!
One thing to keep in mind is that there are lots of ways to include family and friends in your wedding, even if you want to have a small ceremony. Some of our couples invite just a few people to the ceremony but have large receptions so that they can include more family members. Others have multiple wedding celebrations in different parts of the country so that families don’t have to travel long distances. Planning it this way also has the residual effect of keeping the ceremony itself nice and small! And (a shameless plug) our Giant Wedding package now allows up to 35 guests after many, many requests from our couples. So now you can have a larger tiny wedding (hah) while still including family and friends.
What is an elopement wedding? How is it different from a small wedding or tiny wedding?
Traditionally, an elopement is when the couple runs off in secret and turns up married a few days later. But today, elopements can be a lot more like tiny weddings — with just a few guests, and a short wedding ceremony, usually planned in a couple of weeks, or sometimes a couple of months. Across the internet, you’ll see that the term “elopement” can mean many things.
What do all these different terms for small weddings mean?
There are a thousand ways to refer to tiny weddings, and while the terminology can be confusing, they’re all pretty fantastic. We usually call them tiny weddings, but others have called them flash weddings, micro weddings, pop up weddings, and fun size weddings (ok, no that was me, I just love candy). After a lot of questions, we wrote more about all that over here. But the short answer is, all of those terms mean approximately the same thing, which is a very small wedding that is focused more on the ceremony and less on the reception.
Where do I find an elopement dress? Is it different than a wedding dress?
First of all, your wedding outfit should be whatever makes you feel your best! Whether that’s a short swing dress, a pair of jeans, or a stormtrooper outfit is up to you. Many traditional wedding dresses are tailored to fit the wearer, taking weeks if not months (I’m not an expert on this process but I hear it takes a while). Most of our couples are planning their weddings in just a couple months, so a multi-month dress shopping process is not ideal. Plus, I’ve heard those dresses can be pretty pricey. Many of our couples buy ready to wear dresses, which are quicker and more affordable. ModCloth, David’s Bridal, and Rent the Runway are favorites for dress shopping. And for suits, Steven is a die-hard Blank Label fan, but many of our couples go with Suit Supply, too.
How should we tell our families about our wedding plans?
When you’re sharing the happy news with your family and friends, there are a couple things to keep in mind. Sending a special note before you share online can make loved ones feel special, even if they weren’t invited to your wedding. And sending announcements is always a fun way to share the news, too! One thing to keep in mind is that your family and friends may feel a little left out, even if they’re extremely happy for you and your new spouse. But if you share why you two are so excited about the way you celebrated your wedding, your family and friends will be that much more excited for you.
What do we do when wedding planning isn’t fun anymore?
This is the question that breaks my heart the most! Your engagement should be fun! If you’re not having fun with the wedding planning process, why is that? Are the logistics a nightmare? Maybe a professional wedding planner could help. For larger wedding planning, I can’t recommend my friend Bree highly enough as an event wedding planner. She rules. As far as other locations, if you’re looking for someone in a different part of the country, A Practical Wedding‘s vendor guide is my favorite go-to resource.
Another thing to keep in mind is that planning a wedding and preparing for marriage are two totally different things. Wedding planning is an event coordination exercise at its simplest. But marriage planning is such a crucial part of your engagement, too. Do you two want the same things long-term? Are you on the same page as far as money and debt are concerned? What about kids? It can be tough, but try to make sure that planning for your lifelong relationship doesn’t get eclipsed by planning your wedding day. You might notice that almost all of my article links are from A Practical Wedding, and it’s not an accident. I read them all the time, and I’m already married. They share great wedding planning advice, but beyond that their relationship advice and point of view are so spot on — I’d link a hundred articles here if I could. And I promise, I’m not getting paid to say that at all.
Ok, this article got pretty long way faster than I was expecting. Tell me: what other wedding planning questions do you have? Ask away in the comments and I’ll do my best to share (hopefully) good advice!