6 Wedding Tips We Learned from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

You may not be an aspiring comedienne in 1950s Manhattan, but you could certainly stand to learn a thing or two about wedding planning[1] from The Marvelous Mrs. Miasel's Miriam Maisel, the feminist fast-talking Upper West Side heroine of Amazon’s hit show. Although we only see Midge's impeccably styled wedding to her ex Joel in flashbacks throughout the series, she is a savvy, creative wedding planner who has a take-no-prisoners approach to achieving her vision—even if it means having to ruffle some feathers along the way.

Midge may be perfectly time-capsuled in the mid-20th century, but many of her no-holds-barred planning methods still work for a modern bride[2].

Here are seven wedding planning lessons to learn from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

1. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.

Even when it’s not her own wedding, Midge will stop at nothing to make sure (demand, really) that every bride gets her dream day. While helping her B. Altman coworker Mary with her wedding plans, Midge is horrified to find out that the reception will take place in the “punishment room” at a Catholic church[3]. The room—dingy, dirty, and complete with a crying child in the corner—is a less-than-ideal spot to toast a new married couple.

Midge then sets to work on the priest, whom she convinces to bump a ladies’ bingo game and let Mary have the cleaner, brighter “window room” for an early evening reception without an additional fee.

The lesson here? Don’t be afraid to ask your venue’s coordinator[4] for something that you want to negotiate. Without asking, you may never know what’s possible in your ceremony or reception space.

2. Lighting is absolutely everything.

In addition to the crying child in the corner (“The walls are stained with tears”), Midge disapproves of the punishment room because it has very little light, giving it a damp and lifeless appearance. Midge points this out to Mary and eventually steamrolls her way into a reception room that’s filled with natural light.

When you start touring ceremony and reception venues, one of the most important things to check for is a room with plenty of natural light. Great lighting will help your photographer get better shots, and it will make the space feel cheerier and festive.

3. Themed weddings can be fun and gorgeous.

When you hear the words “themed wedding,” you may think of plastic tablecloths and tchotchkes, but Midge proves that a themed wedding doesn’t have to be cheesy or involve any kind of sacrifices when it comes to décor.

“My wedding had a Russian winter wonderland theme. You know, like Doctor Zhivago,” Midge says to her friends. “Everything was white, and there were trees painted like they were covered with snow. It was really, really beautiful.”

Themed weddings can show off a couple’s unique personalities and interests, but they don’t have to involve decorations you might find at a child’s birthday party. To keep it elegant, make subtle gestures to your theme around your wedding in the form of signage, cake toppers, or props in the photo booth.

4. Keep your guests on their toes during the reception.

Sure, your wedding guests attend to witness your vows, but the main event is the reception, where they’re hoping to be entertained (and, let’s face it, well fed). Keep your guests on their toes by providing some surprise entertainment like a '90s cover band, a magician, a caricaturist, confetti cannons, or anything else you can think of to wow them unexpectedly.

You could also take a page out of Midge’s playbook and hire some professional dancers. After Midge and Joel were hoisted on their chairs during the hora, some guests broke out of the circle and started to show off their skilled dance moves. “I wanted to make sure there were great dancers at our wedding, so I hired some chorus boys from Pajama Game to come and dance,” Midge says to Joel. “Two of them did "Steam Heat." Notice the great hat work.”

5. There are no “rules” if it’s your second wedding.

In season two, when (spoiler alert!) Midge unexpectedly falls in love with Dr. Benjamin Ettenberg, all that’s needed is approval from her father Abe for their engagement to be official. As they await his decision, Midge discusses potential wedding plans with her mother, Rose, who turns her nose up at every white dress that Midge holds up for approval, citing that age-old ridiculous rule that second weddings mean no white and no fancy halls for the ceremony.

Just because it’s your second wedding doesn’t mean you have to plan more conservatively or celebrate less. Your previous marriage may not have worked out, but it shouldn’t prevent you from having an equally (or more) fabulous wedding.

See more:

6. Don’t be shy: Say a few words to your guests.

Midge certainly knows her way around a microphone, and even before she starts her career as a fledgling comedienne, she takes the opportunity to stand up at her wedding reception and talk to her guests, who hang on her every hilarious word. Though she takes the moment to talk about how she’s been on a liquids-only diet to fit into her dress (not a great idea) and discuss the expense of the affair (also not a great idea), in the act she provides us with this tidbit of advice: Don’t be afraid to say a few words to your guests during the reception.

Who says the only speaking roles during the reception belong to the best man and maid of honor[5]? Grab the mic with gusto and thank your guests for coming on your own terms.

References

  1. ^ wedding planning (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ modern bride (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ Catholic church (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ venue’s coordinator (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ maid of honor (www.brides.com)

Here’s Everything You Need to Buy After You Get Engaged

The long-awaited moment has finally arrived—your partner popped the question[1]. Congrats! Once you've posted your obligatory glorious ring selfie[2] and told your mom the big news, it's time to get down to business and splurge on some much-needed pre-wedding swag. Here's everything you need to buy after you get engaged.

This new relationship status is a huge deal, so there are certain things you need to snag right after the engagement[3] in order to celebrate and plan your future wedding accordingly. From obnoxiously cute his-and-hers "Just Engaged" gear to chic wedding organizers that are bound to become your new best friend, check out our starter kit for everything you need to buy after you get engaged. Happy pre-marital shopping!

See more: 17 Engagement Party Decorations to Celebrate the Newly Betrothed Couple in Style[4]


This Is How Much the Average Couple Spent on an Engagement Ring in 2018

While it's (unfortunately) a well-known fact that weddings are expensive—and according to Brides' American Wedding Study[1], they were even more expensive in 2018, as the average wedding cost skyrocketed to more than $44,000—it turns out that the road to saying "I Do" has also gotten more costly[2], namely the engagement ring.

Brides' study, which surveyed almost 850 brides-to-be or newly married women, found the average amount spent on engagement rings in 2018 was $7,829, compared to $5,023 spent in 2017. (It really puts the $500,000 price tag[3] on Hailey Baldwin's ring or Cardi B AND Paris Hilton's $2 million engagement rings[4] in perspective, huh?) And even more surprisingly, couples tend to spend much more on engagement rings than their actual wedding bands. AWS found that engagement rings in 2018 made up 14 percent of the overall wedding budget, whereas the wedding rings only composed 3 percent, with the average couple spending around $1,800 on their nuptial jewelry.

That being said, even though averages hovered around $7K there is no one correct price point for an engagement ring—don't believe the age-old myth that you need to be spending three months salary on a diamond. As Taylor Lanore, diamond consultant and engagement ring designer for Lauren B. Fine Jewelry and Diamonds, previously[5] told Brides: "Spend whatever you're comfortable with—there's no reason to go into debt. It also depends on your partner's preferences. If she wants something very minimal, it's hard to spend a lot. But if she wants a big stone, it's still very doable. There are ways to accomplish any look for any budget."

So don't stress if these numbers aren't what your planned to spend[6]. (In fact, there are lots of gorgeous ring options[7] for under $5,000.)

Popping the question, in general, has also given people more reason to celebrate. Brides' study found that 38 percent of couples in 2018 had engagement parties, up 6 percent from the year prior. And even more staggering: Eight out of 10 couples in 2018 scheduled in time for an engagement photo shoot; In 2017, only 66% took part in this pre-wedding trend.

We can't be that surprised that the engagement photoshoot has taken off considering the popularity of Instagram. (Guess "Pics or it didn't happen" also holds true for getting married.) Luckily, the Internet is awash with inspiration[8] for engagement pics; from the funny, to the award-winning[9], to even the photoshoots for couples who hate photoshoots[10], there’s something for everyone.

Just don't forget to also get a "ring selfie[11]"—you need a way to show off that pricey bling!

See more: 15 Engagement Ring Trends for 2019[12]

References

  1. ^ Brides' American Wedding Study (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ more costly (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ $500,000 price tag (www.harpersbazaar.com)
  4. ^ Cardi B AND Paris Hilton's $2 million engagement rings (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ previously (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ planned to spend (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ gorgeous ring options (www.brides.com)
  8. ^ inspiration (www.brides.com)
  9. ^ award-winning (www.brides.com)
  10. ^ couples who hate photoshoots (www.brides.com)
  11. ^ ring selfie (www.brides.com)
  12. ^ 15 Engagement Ring Trends for 2019 (www.brides.com)

How to Choose a Wedding Date: 5 Things to Consider When Picking the Perfect Date

When do you want to get married? Choosing a wedding date is usually the first item on your newly engaged to do list. But if you're wondering just how to choose a wedding date, don't put any pressure on yourself. Just because you're engaged doesn't mean you should run right down the aisle. Choosing the length of your engagement[1] and how much planning time you need is entirely up to you. Giving yourself at least six months[2] will make your life easier, but there are no rules as long as your date and your venue are available.

Sometimes it's obvious: You want snow-capped mountains? Wintertime. You want to escape winter weather with your friends and family? Choose a tropical destination[3]. If you're getting married in your hometown, you know what time of the year you love and when it's too miserable outside (hot or cold) for anybody to look forward to visiting your town. It's totally up to you.

Once you've picked the season, you need to get more specific about the date. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a wedding date:

1. Are there any dates that are off the table because of your or your fiancé's careers?

Accountants don't usually get married between New Year's and May. Teachers tend to get married in the summertime. People in politics get married in between campaigns.

2. While you can't arrange your wedding date around all your guests' schedules, you'll need to take professional and personal obligations into account for your parents and immediate family too.

And you maybe want to consider the needs of your wedding party attendants as well. It depends on how badly you want these people to be there on your big day.

See more: Why You Can't Change Your Wedding Plans at the Last Minute[4]

3. Different times of the year cost different amounts of money[5] for wedding events.

Mid-December through May is priciest in the Caribbean. Winter at big ski areas costs a mint, and stay off the Atlantic seaboard from May through October if your budget is tight. In some places, getting married on a Friday or Sunday can be less expensive, so it's a question to ask and something to explore.

4. What other activities do you want to hold, in addition to the ceremony and reception?

Welcome parties? A rehearsal dinner? Perhaps a farewell brunch[6]? You've got to look at all of that on the calendar before you lock in a date and have a clear understanding of what you're committing to for you and your guests.

5. Know your wedding date when you first contact a planner[7] or a venue.

Actually, it's better to have two to three wedding dates in mind if you really want that planner or that location. Your first choice may already be booked by another bride and groom. If you call a venue for information but have no wedding date, you're asking someone to potentially waste a lot of time if he or she won't be able to accommodate you after all.

Owner of Weddings in Vieques[8], a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007.

References

  1. ^ length of your engagement (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ at least six months (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ a tropical destination (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ Why You Can't Change Your Wedding Plans at the Last Minute (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ cost different amounts of money (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ a farewell brunch (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ contact a planner (www.brides.com)
  8. ^ Weddings in Vieques (weddingsinvieques.com)

This Is What American Weddings Look Like Today

Settle in, everyone—it’s time to talk weddings! Okay, we know what you’re thinking: When isn’t it time to talk weddings here at Brides? But today, our annual Brides American Wedding Study 2018 has finally arrived, revealing everything you ever wanted to know about the cost, trends, and planning[1] of weddings in America today. Ready to see how your nuptials measure up?

Over the past year, we polled hundreds of engaged and newly married women, discovering the average wedding budgets and favorite trends of real brides. What’s the cost of the average wedding in 2018? What’s the most popular time of year to say “I do?” And who the heck pays for everything[2]? The results are pretty surprising, TBH, and they reveal some key details you should definitely consider while planning your own big day.

For example, the study reveals that more brides have been ditching tradition as of late, choosing to rock modern two-piece ensembles or funky jumpsuits in lieu of traditional white wedding dresses.[3] The use of social media is also on the rise, with 94 percent of brides incorporating technology into their big day. Brides are also saying farewell to the heat of summer weddings. With fall weddings[4] on the rise, couples are opting to tie the knot in September and October instead.

Want to know more? Read on below! Want to know how many bridesmaids a bride decides to have, or the average cost of a celebration? Here’s what a wedding today looks like.

References

  1. ^ planning (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ pays for everything (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ wedding dresses. (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ fall weddings (www.brides.com)

7 Wedding Expenses You Won’t Believe Are That Expensive

Guess what? Weddings are expensive[1]. We'd be willing to bet some precious money[2] that you already knew that, but what you might not know is why you're being charged what feels like an incomprehensible[3] amount of moolah for certain things. To help us understand, we called three wedding industry experts and asked them two things: (1) Which wedding expenses consistently flabbergast your clients by how much they cost? and (2) Why is that number what it is?

We hope the next time you go to swipe your credit card or write a check for something so costly it made you lower your thrift-store sunglasses, you'll remember their responses below and feel a little bit better about it.

Custom Invitations

We get wanting to announce your impending nuptials with all the due pomp and circumstance, but the thicker the card stock, the thinner your wallet. Handmade elements or special details such as quality paper, letterpressing, calligraphy, gold foil, or heavy customization can be pricey, warns Jesse Tombs of Alison Events[4] in Sausalito, California. "But, save the dates and invitations are the first impressions your guests have in regard to your wedding," he says. "Investing in a beautiful stationery suite[5] is a way to tie your design elements into a pretty bow—and get guests super excited for what's in store."

Fantastic Florals

Nothing makes for an Instagrammable moment like “gobs of flowers[6],” says Alicia Fritz of A Day in May Events in Traverse City, Michigan. But you’re paying for more than petals. “Florists make it look easy, but perfectly ‘haphazard’ blooms don’t happen by accident.”

Rentals[7] and Labor Costs

The budget-busting devil is in the details. “Linens, dishes, and decor add up quickly,” says Emily Campbell, founder of Bella Design & Planning in Breckenridge, Colorado. “As do servers, delivery, setup, and cleanup—especially if your venue is remote.” Plus, consider the cost of schlepping labor versus skilled labor, points out Fritz. "There's a difference between someone delivering items and someone running electrical or wiring or programming—someone putting something down versus someone styling something," she says. "There are certain things you cannot DIY. You need the expert."

Think of it as the real-life version of Snapchat’s pretty filter. “There’s no point in creating a beautiful reception if no one can see it,” says Tombs. Splurge on soft, natural light that is neither blinding nor shadowy.

The Cake

It's just flour, sugar, and butter, right? Not exactly. Campbell says that high-quality bakers justify charging anywhere from $12 to $20 per slice because they're sourcing better ingredients—think organic and local—and creating an edible masterpiece. "Sure, you can get tasty cake from the grocery store, but have you read that ingredient list or tried to stack them?" she says. "And consider how much time goes into handmade sugar flowers. In addition to the actual cake part, the per-slice price covers artistic and structural elements that require skill to keep your cake gorgeous[8] until you're ready to serve it."

A Grand Band

Your wedding entertainers do more than play music; they create the overall vibe for your reception. "Bands are audible art, right?" says Fritz. Many are certainly priced like fine art pieces, commanding up to $70,000 for an event. It seems outrageous, but when you factor in travel, rehearsal, the transporting of instruments, food, accommodations if applicable, sound equipment, lighting, and money lost on other potential gigs while on the road for a large ensemble, it adds up. To make sure a band is worth that investment[9], Tombs suggests seeing them perform at another venue or showcase prior to booking. "Make sure you guys have a connection," he says, "and that they love the music you love."

See more: 8 Real Brides Share One Thing They Regret Splurging on for Their Wedding[10]

Your Wedding Planner

If you opt for a full-service planner[11], you'll easily pay in the thousands. But to recover from your sticker shock, Campbell suggests thinking about the number of hours a first-rate planner will give you over the course of a year—including the 16 on your wedding day. "It's usually 200 plus hours," she says. "So when you're looking at quotes from planners, divide that fee by 200 to get a sense of their hourly rate." Not to mention, you're paying to benefit from their experience, industry knowledge, and vendor relationships as well. "Remember too that the rate is also covering their staffing," says Campbell, "and you'll be pleasantly surprised at what a bargain a planner is."

An abridged version of this story originally appeared in the February/March 2019 issue of Brides, on stands starting December 18.

References

  1. ^ expensive (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ money (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ incomprehensible (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ Alison Events (www.alisonevents.com)
  5. ^ stationery suite (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ flowers (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ Rentals (www.brides.com)
  8. ^ cake gorgeous (www.brides.com)
  9. ^ band is worth that investment (www.brides.com)
  10. ^ 8 Real Brides Share One Thing They Regret Splurging on for Their Wedding (www.brides.com)
  11. ^ planner (www.brides.com)

The Ultimate Guide to the Wedding Budget: How to Allocate Your Funds and Tricks to Stay on Track

Breaking down your wedding budget[1] is one of the trickiest (yet most important) wedding planning tasks. Since creating this figure influences all of your other decisions—venue, guest list, which meal options to select, and if you can spring for that pricey DJ—it's essential you select this figure correctly. No matter your starting number, think about dividing your budget in terms of “for you” and “for them,” says Alicia Fritz of A Day in May Events in Traverse City, Michigan. “A budget begins with a guest list that informs most of your costs. Be prepared to spend the most (around 40 percent) on taking care of guests’ basic needs—that's venue, food, and beverage." The remaining amount includes fixed costs like your photographer, videographer, and entertainment. Then, there's the more logistical and arbitrary stuff—transportation, labor, lighting, stationery, and anything else you’ve deemed essential in the mix.

According to the Brides American Wedding Survey from 2018, the average wedding costs approximately $44,105 and has about 167 guests. (Note: Hiring a wedding planner[2]? A day-of coordinator can charge $1,500 and up, while an event designer will cost around 10 percent of your budget.) Use the handy guide below as a rough outline for spending breakdowns and adjust according to your priorities.

Venue and Catering: 40 percent of your budget

Photography and Videography: 15 percent of your budget

Wedding Attire and Beauty: 5 percent of your budget

Music/Entertainment: 10 percent of your budget

Flowers: 10 percent of your budget

Favors and Gifts: 2 percent of your budget

Transportation: 3 percent of your budget

Stationery: 3 percent of your budget

Cake: 2 percent of your budget

Decor: 10 percent of your budget

And keep these questions in mind: Is your dream venue[3] (or that dress, or imported peonies, or whatever is currently weighing on your mind) nonnegotiable for you? If it will put you over budget, cut down in another area that matters less to you. And if it isn't a deal breaker, then find another pick that you're sure to love just as much.

See More: Why Wedding Budget Calculators Don’t Work—And How to Do It Yourself[4]

To track your spending every step of the way, do what wedding planners do and create an Excel workbook or Google Doc.

Here are the important elements to include:

Down the side of your document, break each category into its component's costs. For example, under "Bride's attire," make line items for the dress, accessories, and alterations.

Fill in columns with essential information. Every spreadsheet should include vendor contract information, estimated cost, actual cost, additional service fees[5], and tips, transportation and parking costs for off-site vendors, and taxes. Create a line for your grand total, and use the auto-sum function to add things up as you go.

A version of this story originally appeared in the February/March 2019 issue of Brides, on stands starting December 18.

References

  1. ^ your wedding budget (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ a wedding planner (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ your dream venue (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ Why Wedding Budget Calculators Don’t Work—And How to Do It Yourself (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ fees (www.brides.com)

I Planned My Budget Wedding in Just 52 Days

When we got engaged, my husband and I knew one thing: We didn’t want to spend anywhere near the national average cost of a wedding ($44,105, says the Brides 2018 American Wedding Study). As a couple in our late 20s, we had our sights set on larger financial goals—our first home[1]! Early retirement[2]!—so we budgeted $14,000 and braced ourselves to make sacrifices. Then, just to keep things interesting, we planned it all in 52 short days[3] due to an unforeseen family matter.

I’m a creative person working in digital media, so the sacrifices couldn’t be visual (tablescapes had to be on point[4]), and I didn’t want people to know they were at a budget affair.

We started by ruthlessly cutting our guest list. Our head count went from 80 to 40 of our absolute closest family and friends[5], nixing plus-ones and hoping those we cared about most would attend. (Spoiler: They did—and at our budgeted $350 a head, we created memories.)

Another key step was finding a venue that didn’t need costly decorations to fit into my Pinterest-board aesthetic: garden-fairy princess meets rustic chic. We landed on the whimsical Denver Botanic Gardens (miraculously still available on a weekend date), which not only allowed us to BOOB (buy our own booze) but also self-cater, avoiding catering-company upcharges[6].

For all other details, we splurged on things that really made a difference in optics (table florals, translucent Chiavari chairs, and simple farm tables)—and compromised on others (a dress my mom made from scratch, gorgeous chargers that doubled as dinner plates, and a $200 camcorder that was passed around all night in lieu of a videographer[7]).

Keli Photography

We also asked our loved ones for help (a designer friend illustrated our e-invites[8], and my future mother-in-law thrifted vintage-style family platters). Shopping around for less expensive vendors (we went with the $1,500 photographer, not the $5,000 one) paid off, and rather than dealing with fussy catering, we ordered favorite dishes from a local Cuban restaurant where we had celebrated our second year anniversary seven years prior.

See more: How to Create a Wedding Budget and Save for What you Really Want[9]

I won’t say it was easy, but being constrained on time gave me the freedom to let go and make difficult decisions quickly—without obsessing over (or missing) every last pinned detail I’d sworn to recreate one day. Was it the best day of my life? Absolutely. Would I do it all over again? Not a chance, so here’s hoping I never have to.

This story originally appeared in the February/March 2019 issue of Brides, on stands starting December 18.


12 Winter Rooftop Bars That Are Perfect For Holiday Engagement Parties

Refinery Rooftop at Refinery Hotel (New York, New York)

Located just a few blocks away from Bryant Park's Winter Village, this massive year-round rooftop space has it all: seasonal hand-crafted cocktails (try the Perfect Pear or Martini Thyme), delish light bites, and North Pole-esque accommodations, should you want to spend the night. Select packages include in-room Christmas trees, gingerbread houses, and discounted tickets to The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and obviously there’s always the room service and a movie route with bae. Win-win either way.


New Year’s Eve Wedding Etiquette: Is it Rude to Get Married on New Year’s Eve?

New Year’s Eve and weddings have a lot in common. Both involve dressing up, dancing, celebrating, and, of course, champagne[1]. It’s no surprise, then, that December 31 is a popular choice for a wedding date. Run with the glitz and glam! The downside, though, is that it comes with some major misconceptions, including that your decor will be built-in (hint: it’s not!) and that everyone will be available for the holiday. To help you avoid mistakes, our wedding pros share some top tips for NYE nuptials.

Plan Early

Most weddings involve getting a head start on planning, but for New Year’s Eve this is especially critical. Many hotels and venues host their own NYE parties, and you’ll be competing for space against non-wedding gatherings in many destinations, plus all the other brides and grooms looking for a holiday marriage. “Any city where you host a New Year’s Eve wedding will be more hectic than other times of the year,” explains Jack Kane of Sapphire Events in New Orleans. “Commit to a date as far in advance as possible and secure your top choices for vendors early on.” He also suggests that couples send save-the-dates well in advance so that guests can make appropriate travel plans. Flights and hotels can book up quickly.

Speak to VIPs First

You may think that a holiday weekend means everyone is available to celebrate with you, but not all your guests may want to brave the busy travel time to be there. Talk to family and close friends about their availability for your December 31st date. If it seems that everyone is a go, then continue planning. You wouldn’t want to assume, and then end up with fewer people in attendance or the ones you love the most not on the dance floor with you. One comforting thought: “For the most part, couples should be wary of throwing a wedding over a holiday weekend[2],” Kane says. “New Year’s Eve is the exception to this rule. Most guests will be excited to have fun plans for the holiday.”

Hire a Planner

Planners generally help couples navigate the wedding journey and they can be essential for holiday weddings, especially if it’s a destination affair. The popularity of the holiday for all things party can lead to more hiccups along the way. “Enlist the help of a planner and travel expert who can secure group travel rates and hotel rooms,” advises Andrea Eppolito, a planner and event designer in Las Vegas. “You need a person who is well-versed at troubleshooting and coming up with alternative solutions.” Since many NYE nuptials also tend to be destination weddings, a planner can help you more efficiently (and quickly) wade through the available vendors and advise you on best practices for getting all your guests to the location without overspending.

Host a Countdown to Midnight

A New Year’s Eve wedding would not be complete without midnight cheer! Plan to pass out bubbles and shout out “Happy New Year!” when the clock strikes 12 a.m. You can put a unique spin on this by pouring a champagne tower or toast with your favorite non-sparkling wine beverage to personalize the moment. Consider also having confetti rain down from the ceiling, setting off sparklers, or booking a surprise performer to take the stage. Just be sure your venue knows you want the space until after the new year rings in. Many venues cut off at 10 or 11 p.m.

Be Ready to Pay More

Set a higher budget[3] for most decor, venue, and catering line items. Labor, flowers, transportation, room costs, and more all increase on NYE. “Many vendors double and triple their pricing for the occasion,” says Liz Castelli of Tinsel Experiential Design in Brooklyn. “It's not to be greedy or take advantage of couples, but realistically to compensate the teams working on what is also a big night for them.” This increase also trickles down to your guests; the cost per night at hotels will be more pricey, as will tickets for flights. The sooner you can book your pros and let guests in on the plan, the more likely you and they will save.

Carefully Organize Logistics

“Traffic and delays are almost a guarantee,” Eppolito says of getting around on NYE. She advises that you allot extra time[4] for vendors to set up and for guests to arrive at the venue. If you can, keep the festivities to a single venue, and bonus points if the same venue, such as a hotel, includes your accommodations and those of your guests. “Booking a ceremony in one location followed by a reception in another will create delays, confusion, and stress for your guests,” she adds. “Keep things easy and convenient.”

The same goes for the younger attendees. Many guests will likely want to bring their kiddos along, especially given the holiday, so be prepared to keep the smaller guests comfortable. “Little people love weddings, but inevitably cannot make it to midnight,” Eppolito says. She adds that you can satisfy the needs of the children and keep their parents on the dance floor by creating a kids' club in an adjacent space. Stock it with art supplies, snacks, games, pajamas, and sleeping bags. The little ones will love their own secret sleepover, and you can even host a mock-countdown at 9 p.m. so they feel included in the action before they knock out.

Decor is Not Built In

One common misconception about NYE weddings is that decor will come with the venue. That’s false, says Eppolito. While entryways to hotels or venues may still be festively outfitted, the event spaces themselves are often blank canvases. You’re still on the hook for bringing in the decor you want. The positive to that is you can personalize the look of your NYE wedding. Stick to traditional NYE elements, such as sequin linens and jewel-toned colors, or opt to avoid them in exchange for something that feels more like you. Either way, you can always add a pop of NYE at the photo booth with funny hats and 2019 sunglasses.

Honor the Holiday

One benefit of matching your wedding to such a glitzy holiday is that everyone will be in the mood to get glam! Consider hosting a black tie affair[5] or designate your dress code as something sparkly. Eppolito says that she likes when brides change into something with sequins or a flapper-style cocktail dress during the reception to keep the vibe festive. Kane also loves when couples play off the more chic aspects of the holiday rather than the cheesy ones. Get creative with twists on NYE traditions. “Fireworks are such a fun part of New Year’s Eve, but they can be challenging to coordinate,” Kane says, noting a NYE wedding where the couple wanted fireworks but had an indoor venue. “We projected a countdown on a large wall of the ballroom once midnight was approaching. As it hit zero, an amazing projection of an over-the-top firework show played from the floor to the ceiling. The guests were blown away.”

See more: How to Enjoy the Holidays While Wedding Planning[6]

Say Thank You to Your Vendors

“Remember that the professionals working your NYE wedding would rather be celebrating too,” Castelli says. She suggests adding good karma points for your new year and showing your vendors how much you appreciate their effort[7] on a holiday: Request they cheer at midnight with your guests. “Inviting the entire room, including staff and performers, to enjoy a toast and dance at midnight will mean a lot,” she adds.

References

  1. ^ champagne (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ holiday weekend (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ Set a higher budget (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ allot extra time (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ black tie affair (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ How to Enjoy the Holidays While Wedding Planning (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ showing your vendors how much you appreciate their effort (www.brides.com)