Julia Kadish is the owner of Small Wonders, an event, planning and design firm that services Southern California. With over a decade of experience in the industry, Kadish opened her company in 2008 and specializes in creating one-of-a-kind weddings for couples. Here, Kadish is revealing (and answering) the seven things her clients always ask her while planning their big day.
When should I start planning?
It is never too early to start getting ideas, but the ideal timeframe for planning a wedding is 10 to 12 months. I won't take clients more than 18 months out, and many venues won't book more than 18 months out.
Where should I start?
Typically, it's best to begin by selecting a time of year you want to get married, and then finding a venue. The venue you love may dictate your guest count either because of spacial limitations or price. It may dictate your date on account of availability as well.
How much do things really cost?
Most couples don't really know how much services for a wedding cost. When building your budget, you should start by doing research on flower, DJ, photographer, and venue pricing in your area.
When should I buy my dress?
A wedding dress can take as long as four months to come in, so try to order it five or sixth months out if possible to ensure you have plenty time for alterations.
When should I send out invitations?
It's great to give your friends and family as much time as possible to ensure they can attend your big day — typically, I encourage invitations to be out no later than three months out. If you have a lot of people traveling to attend, consider sending save the dates around the six month marker.
How much should my bridal party expect to spend on my wedding?
On average, it costs a bridesmaid over $500 to be in your wedding — the dress, the alterations, the bachelorette party all costs money. For this reason, it is customary to give your bridesmaids and groomsmen a gift. If you can swing it, consider offering hair and makeup (your treat) to bridesmaids or a fresh old-school shave for groomsmen — it's a nice way of telling them how much you appreciate them.
How long is the actual wedding day?
A lot of brides only think of their wedding as the four to six hours that guests are around. The truth of the matter is that the day typically starts around 9 a.m. with hair and makeup and bridesmaids. Pictures can start as early as 12:30 p.m. and by the time your reception is over, its likely you will have pulled a 15 to 16 hour day. Remember to eat breakfast and don't start drinking too early.