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Tips for Planning Smaller Details of Your Wedding

White table with a bouquet of flowers

Many people claim that their wedding day was the best day of their life. But it’s no secret that planning the whole thing can be extremely chaotic and stressful. If you’re in the early steps of the wedding planning process and don’t quite know where to begin, here are some tips for knowing how many supplies you’ll actually need.

The first step of making wedding plans, aside from picking a date, should be making a guest list, or at least deciding on a number of guests who will be invited to your wedding. As of 2014, the average couple invites 136 guests to their wedding, but you may prefer a smaller ceremony. Getting numbers early on in the wedding planning process will eliminate stress in the future. After that, you can start researching places for wedding receptions. Places for wedding receptions can range in both cost and benefits, so you should take all the time you need. Depending on where you want the ceremony, many wedding halls or party venues will coordinate the entire ceremony so you won’t have to deal with any guesswork that may be involved.

As far as the reception goes, you may have a lot of freedom in deciding exactly how you want seats and tables to be arranged. But other venues may have a template they stick to. Keep in mind that during dinner, it’s recommended to have one server for every eight to ten guests. At the very max, there should be no more than 15 guests per server. Otherwise, food wait times can be excessive. For drinks, experts recommend having one bartender for every 50 to 75 guests.

If you’re planning a cocktail hour for your wedding, it’s recommended to offer enough seating for 15%-20% of the total number of guests, and expect each guest to eat between eight and ten hors d’oeuvres.

Finally, when you’re selecting tables, keep in mind that round tables generally come in two sizes. a 60-inch table can fit eight to ten chairs comfortably, and a 72-inch table can fit up to 12 guests comfortably. If you opt for these kinds of tables, make sure there are enough guests to fill them — you don’t want them to feel empty or look awkward. You should also know that round tables are better if you envision having large or intricate centerpieces on the tables.

Wedding planning can certainly be an ordeal. In the midst of making a guest list, looking for places for wedding receptions, and organizing the wedding party, make sure to remember the small details as well.