There are a lot of wedding vendors in this world. And while I try to share my knowledge, sometimes I realize that another lovely lady or gentleman has said it all better than I ever could have. Here are my (current) favorite wedding planning tips from around the web.

You NEED a Wedding Planner, from Every Last Detail. Now, I’m far from the one to tell anyone what their wedding “needs” but I’m speaking from experience here. You NEED a wedding planner (or at least a venue coordinator). We planned a backyard wedding, long distance, at a family residence and, had I been able to find a planner who I could have hired for *at least* day of coordination, I would have. Even on a tight budget, the money you spend on a wedding planner can save your sanity and your budget. They’ll be able to tell you where to get the most for your money, help you figure out what you do and don’t need, and keep you from making last minute decisions that cost you thousands. For us, I wish we’d had a day-of coordinator (sometimes these roles can be played by a venue coordinator), because a lot of those responsibilities fell to me, my maid of honor, my mom, and my brother. Not that I don’t love my family for stepping up, but it would have been great to have them enjoy everything and not worry about setting up tables or cleaning up afterwards.

Romantic Vineyard Wedding // Emily Wenzel Photography

How to Think Like a Wedding Planner, from Carly Bish. Carly is a great photographer and friend from when I lived in Seattle. She wrote this post about timing and light and not roasting or rushing through the day better than I ever could have. The photo below, from Laura & John’s wedding, was taking at high noon. It was hot, it was sunny, but we had made a plan for that timing beforehand, and done some location scouting. [Note: there’s not always a chance to location scout, for this wedding, it was easy, because I walked this path almost daily during my years at Gonzaga! But if you’re not getting married at GU, plan some extra time for portraits.] So, before you send out those invites for a 4pm ceremony the first week of August, think of how hot it’s going to be (hot) and how much more you & your guests will enjoy the day if they’re not dying of heat stroke and squinting straight into the sun.

St Aloysius Wedding // Emily Wenzel Photography

Why Are Wedding Expensive? Putting the Record Straight + A Guide to Managing Your Wedding Budget from Love My Dress. I see it all the time. A couple gets engaged, and then they’re shell shocked by the cost of weddings. They expect to throw a big wedding at the fanciest venue in town for $5,000, and are surprised when they can’t. Weddings aren’t cheap, because they’re a huge party. To sum up one of the quotes in the article: marriage isn’t expensive, weddings are. If you want to get married, you only need a license, someone to marry, and someone to officiate that marriage. You can get married for a couple hundred dollars. Now, having a huge party, that’s expensive. Never fear, the article ends with tips for how to save money and budget well. My number one tip: prioritize and be honestWhat is important to you? Spend money on that. Have a tight budget? Be honest when you’re talking to vendors, they’ll appreciate it. If they can’t work with your budget, they can often refer you to someone who can.

Food for thought: You go out to dinner with your love at a decent restaurant. An appetizer to split, two entrees, drinks (2 each), and two desserts is going to cost you around $100. That’s about the amount of food that is going to be provided at most sit-down wedding dinners. So don’t be surprised that you can’t feed 300 people for $500.

Stew Dietz Catering Methow Valley

For more great tips about planning your wedding, check out the rest of my Tips for Clients series, and find these, and more articles, on my Planning a Wedding board. Got a favorite that I’m missing? Post it in the comments below!