It’s no secret that there is a lot of time, effort, and planning that goes into putting together your dream wedding. Whether your Type A personality has already kicked in and you’ve downloaded every bridal app known to man in order to ensure you don’t forget a detail, or you’re the consummate “laid back” bride who knows it will all come together in the end, you might want to look at the general insider information we’ve put together for you here to make certain you have your bases covered.

Make sure to get it (and that means everything!) in writing.

Most people know that with large sums of money exchanging hands as down payments on wedding venues and caterers, you will want to get a contract. But if you want things to go off without a hitch on your big day, make sure that contract is as specific as it needs to be. Many people think that once an agreement on pricing or dates has been reached, the contract will cover incidentals. But even minor changes, like the amount of time set aside by your venue for your wedding, should be listed and initialed by both parties. Details might include a specialty drink you’ve ordered from the bar, the number of service staff you agree upon, the types of flowers you are allergic to, or songs you don’t want to be played at your reception. Be sure to follow the simple rules of amending a standard, existing contract to ensure that you are covered in the event of the unexpected happening.

Sometimes it’s worth paying for.

Most brides and grooms will look for ways to cut corners on their wedding budget, whether it’s finding a friend or family member to conduct the service or hiring someone they know to act as DJ. Weddings are an expensive proposition, and if you are on a tight budget, you will want to find ways to shave off a little of the cost here and there. But keep in mind we often get exactly what we pay for, so be sure that those vendors you use are trustworthy, capable, and completely clear about what you want, need, and expect on your big day. Be sure to check reputable wedding sources like The Knot for references, recommendations, and reviews, even if the person you’re hiring to do an important job is your cousin twice removed. You will be glad you did. Sometimes cheaper at the onset can cost you in the long run, especially when looking at important aspects of your wedding like photography, floral arrangements, and the wedding cake.

Sit down and dance in your wedding dress before you buy it.

All too often, the only thing a bride does is look at how her wedding dress plus size styles look when standing and posing in front of the mirror. Brides are pre-conditioned to think about how they are going to look as they walk down the aisle or as they stand in wedding photos, but few brides think about the importance of dresses moving with them throughout the day. Be sure that your dress is comfortable. Sit in it. Walk in it. Dance in it, and make sure that it is not only flattering for your body shape and reflects your own personal style, but will feel good through all of the day’s events.

Remember that families can be drama, so don’t buy into it.

One way to avoid the inevitable drama is to have frank and open conversations early in the wedding-planning process. Propose a reasonable early on and decide upon the amount that will be furnished by each person. By choosing an amount (rather than a task), the money becomes a collective unit to be dispersed and utilized however the bride and groom see fit. All too often, contributing parties feel as if they have the right to call the shots if they are the ones writing the checks for specific items such as the bar, the flowers, or the music, so determine to collect money as a whole and use it as needed throughout the planning process.

Besides the difficulty in navigating the financial aspects, brides and grooms often find themselves caught up in long-standing family feuds or issues, especially when it comes to extending invitations or determining seating arrangements. The best and simplest way to handle these issues is to decide a blanket cut-off for invitations that are consistent across both the bride’s and groom’s families. That might mean no cousins beyond first cousins, no business associates, or limiting the number of plus-one invitations. Whatever you do, be sure that both sides understand the decisions are not personal in any way but are being made fairly and consistently across the board.

Any special secrets you can share that have worked for someone you know? Feel free to comment below.

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