Amid the excitement of an engagement, there might be wedding details that come as a surprise! We asked some newlyweds what surprised them while they were planning for the big day and what advice they would give to others, so you can learn from their wedding wisdom.
The average couple is engaged for 13.6 months before tying the knot. While that might seem like plenty of time to plan your nuptials, popular dates and venues are often booked out much farther in advance.
At Vue Columbus, our Saturday wedding dates are typically booked 14-18 months out; so we recommend couples consider venue availability before deciding on a date.
Vue Bride Claire Kozlowski found venues and vendors were taken aback by her seven-month-long engagement.
“The thing that surprised me the most was how far in advance people are planning their weddings,” said Claire.
“We got engaged in November 2018, and I started looking and venues and scheduling appointments in January 2019. Many of the people I spoke to were shocked that we wanted to get married in June of 2019,” added Claire.
Claire and her husband, Gus, wed at Vue in on June 2, 2019 with a fun Sunday brunch wedding, allowing them to book the venue they wanted on the timeframe that worked best for them. Choosing to wed on a Sunday or a Friday can help ease the stress of wedding planning on a shorter engagement timeline.
If you choose to wait 18 months or more between getting engaged and getting married, you’ll likely find you have more venue and vendor choices, more time to plan and more time to budget!
“A long engagement worked for us. We would plan one big thing a month, starting with the venue, and it was very relaxed because we had about 18 months,” shared Kelsey Kulesza.
Kelsey and her husband Mike were married at Vue Columbus on Saturday, May 25, 2019, hosting both their gorgeous ceremony and reception in our venue. (See their ceremony picture at the top of this blog post!)
“It was extremely stress-free because we had a venue with great coordinators/caterers that we were comfortable with,” Kelsey shared.
“Couples are often surprised by the cost of catering,” said Vue’s wedding sales & marketing coordinator, Michaela Neu Barteldt.
“Food and drinks are usually the largest ticket items in wedding expenses. It’s great to go into catering shopping with a realistic idea so that when you receive quotes, you aren’t thrown for a loop,” said Michaela.
Michaela recommends receiving catering quotes before you visit a venue, so you understand the full cost of a reception before falling in love with a location.
Lauren Woeste and Robert Lustig chose to have their ceremony and reception at Vue on March 23, 2019, and Vue’s BYOB policy helped them solidify their decision to celebrate at Vue.
“One of the biggest surprises when planning our wedding were the limited options with many venues’ bar packages,” Lauren said.
“We didn’t like the idea of paying a large amount of money for an open bar based on your guest count number, especially considering some guests won’t even drink alcohol. That’s an expensive soda! We also love local, craft beer and really wanted to be able to incorporate that into our wedding bar,” said Lauren.
Finding a venue that allows you to provide your own alcohol and drinks can save money and allow you to serve exactly what you want.
Couples are often surprised at how many decisions they have to make before they walk down the aisle!
It can be overwhelming to think about the myriad details from wedding attire to how to serve dinner and how to introduce the wedding party. It’s easy to get lost in the world of wedding planning, so you might consider hiring a wedding planner to handle the details, like Vue bride Kelsey did.
Kesley said, “I recommend hiring a day-of planner at the very least so if something does happen to go wrong on the day of, they can handle it and no one will be calling you to figure it out!”
Every couple we spoke with about planning their wedding at Vue said their advice to other couples is to not sweat the small stuff on your big day!
“Bottom line is fill your day with things that will make you happy and don’t sweat the rest. You want the day to be a fun celebration of family and friends so don’t be pressured to make your wedding about pleasing other people or perfecting details,” said Vue bride Kelli Ciola.
Kelli and husband Kevin hosted their wedding and reception at Vue on May 4, 2019, and focused on personal choices instead of traditional options, like serving Kelli’s favorite rolled ice cream instead of a big cake and creating a unique flower arch they loved!
“It sounds cheesy, but staying focused on what really matters about the day rather than perfecting the details will make your life a lot easier and happier. Sometimes the unexpected complications become the best stories afterwards too,” said Kelli.
Lauren agrees, advising couples to “focus on the big picture, not all the little things. Put your effort into picking a venue that looks nice without additional decor, good food and drinks, and entertainment. This is what your guests will really remember.”
“It’s literally the shortest, best day of your life and there is no reason to be upset about a small detail guests likely won’t even notice,” shares Kelsey – and she is completely right!
You should enjoy your engagement and the season of planning your wedding! And doing your best to leave time to plan, budget properly for food and beverages and not get lost in wedding details will help you get there without unnecessary stress.
Vue’s event team is happy to advise on your timeline, budget and more! Contact us today to get started.
Featured image of Kelsey and Mike by CANDACELYNN Photography.