The Most Common Wedding Questions of 2020 So Far

And the answers, straight from industry experts.
by The Knot

If you're planning your nuptials, there's a chance you have some wedding questions. If so, you're in luck! March 1 was National Wedding Planning Day—our very own holiday that we created to signify the end of proposal season and the start of wedding planning season. We celebrated by having The Knot editors and industry experts on call to answer all the wedding planning questions couples had in real-time. 

Here, we recap the most popular wedding questions we received, along with our answers. If you missed the fun (or you just want to see what other couples are asking), keep reading to learn everything from finding your color palette to nailing your destination wedding.

In this article:

Wedding Planning Basics

Q: How early is too early to start planning your wedding, trying on dresses, etc? 

A: It's never too early to start planning! Getting a head start can help you avoid a lot of last-minute stress in the long run, and you'll also have a better chance of getting exactly what you want when it comes to your selection of wedding venues and vendors. Because most wedding dresses are made to order, it can take up to six months for the dress to arrive after you purchase it—so go ahead and start shopping as soon as you've finalized your wedding date, overall style vision, and budget.

Q: How many rooms should I reserve in a hotel block? Does it need to be close to the venue? 

A: If you're having out-of-town guests or even local guests at your wedding, offering a hotel block is a great way to get the group together and make your planning easier. To start, we recommend booking a smaller number of rooms and adding more later if needed. We teamed up with Hotel Planner to help you tackle all your hotel block needs. Fill out a simple information questionnaire and a local expert can help you every step of the way. 

Q: My fiancé and I wanted to skip the bridal party, but I wanted a maid of honor. Would it be weird to just have a maid of honor and no one else? 

A: It's not weird at all! Your planning decisions are totally up to you, so do what makes you happiest. You should be surrounded by the people you love most, so it's perfectly fine to have only a maid of honor if that's what you want.

Q: Should I hire a videographer? Is it worth it?

A: We love the idea of having a videographer. You'll cherish your wedding video for years to come—it'll help you remember all the special moments from your big day. It's important to make sure it fits with your budget. If you want advice from real couples, check out this article.

Q: I want my wedding to be memorable. How can I make my wedding stand out without breaking the bank? 

A: Having that "wow factor" will come from small, meaningful details. If your wedding is a personalized reflection of you and your fiancé, your guests will remember it for years to come. Here are some of our favorite ideas for a standout wedding.

Q: Is a formally-announced after-party better than a brunch send-off?

A: The choice is yours—one option isn't necessarily better than the other, it just comes down to what's most important to you. If you want to spend as much time as possible with your guests (especially those from out of town), a brunch may be better. That way, you won't miss anyone as they leave your reception. However, if you know your guests would enjoy an after-party, it might be a better option to keep the party going. Ultimately, it comes down to what you and your fiancé prefer most.

Staying On-Budget

Q: How do I have a nice wedding on a budget?

A: First, use The Knot Budget Tool to create a budget that works for you. It'll keep you on track as you make all of your wedding-related purchases. Then, check out this article for some great tips on creative ways to save money (without anyone even noticing). 

Q: I'm not sure how paying for an open bar works. How do I choose a vendor for drinks? 

A: When it comes to your open bar, that depends on your venue. Some venues, like vineyards, only allow beer and wine, while other ballrooms have restrictions on ways liquor is served. If the bar package isn't managed in-house, they might be able to recommend a vendor who has done a great job at a prior wedding, and one who'll abide by the space's rules.

Q: We want to save as much money as possible on our wedding. How do we keep it small and plan a cost-effective wedding? 

A: Outline the priorities that are most important to you. That way, you have a list of items that are non-negotiable (like a live band, amazing décor or a late-night food truck). Check out this article to find creative ways to save money. Then, use The Knot Budget Tool to help keep yourself on track!

Q: What are some affordable party favors?

A: There are tons of options. Check out The Knot Shop, Etsy or Amazon. Some ideas include fans, lip balm, tea, coffee, candy, beer koozies, candle tins, matches, bubbles, water bottles or plants (yes, really!). We have a roundup of eco-friendly wedding favors if you're into that too. Looking for a way to make it personal? Consider baking your favorite family cookie recipe or buying some local goodies to pay homage to your wedding destination.

Invitation Etiquette

Q: When should I send out save-the-dates and formal wedding invitations?

A: When it comes to sending invitations, earlier is alway better (especially to help your out-of-town guests make travel arrangements). Typically, save-the-dates should go out six to eight months before the wedding, while formal invites should be sent, at latest, six to eight weeks before the date. If guests will be purchasing plane tickets, consider sending out formal invitations at least three months in advance. 

Q: Do people still send formal wedding invitations with traditional wording?

A: While some people still do use traditional wording, it's ultimately up to you to decide what to write on your invites! Check out this article for plenty of wording tips and templates.

Q: Do I have to invite someone to my wedding if I've asked for their address?

A: First, consider the type of relationship you have with this person. If you're somewhat close, you might want to extend the invitation. But if you're not in touch as frequently or you don't see them often, it may be okay to not send the invitation. Ultimately, it is your wedding so you get final say on your guest list. But, keep in mind that not inviting them could lead to an awkward conversation. Be prepared to explain your choice if you do decide to skip inviting them!

Destination Weddings

Q: Any tips for those planning destination weddings?

A: Give yourself and your guests time! Make sure that you send out your save-the-dates and your invitations earlier than usual. (For save-the-dates, aim to send them eight months to a year before the date. For invites, shoot for three months prior). Make sure you're clear on the legal requirements of the place you're exchanging vows at and plan for the extra cost of travel. Be prepared for the possibility of people not being able to make the trip—it's not personal! Lastly, consider hiring a destination wedding planner. They know the area inside and out, so they can help you with everything under the sun.

Q: Do you have any advice on hiring a wedding planner abroad?

A: Check out any domestic or local planners who may have worked at your destination. If you can't find any, ask pros you've booked in your destination for their recommendations. They'll probably be helpful! Beyond that, check reviews and past work—and when in doubt, use this guide to communicate with and select your planner, regardless of location. 

Q: I'm having a "destination" wedding over 3 hours away. Do I need to have a welcome party, open bar, and a brunch for my guests over the course of the weekend or can I just pick one?

A: While you most certainly don't need to have all of those (the last thing you want to do is go over your budget), pick one or two of the most important "extras" to accommodate those traveling from afar. If you want to spend more time with your guests (especially those coming from out of town) you might want to consider doing a welcome party or brunch. Or, stick with an open bar if that's a priority for you. Ultimately, work with your fiancé to figure out the most important (and cost effective) option.

Q: How do I vet vendors when I'm doing a destination wedding? What do you recommend as the best way to handle this?

A: We recommend starting by looking at reviews. Check out the planner's website, portfolio and social media. Speak with local vendors as well to see who they recommend or what they have to say about potential planners. Once you've got a few options, hop on a phone call with them and interview them. We even suggest asking them if you can contact any former clients who would be willing to share about their experience with the pro. 

Wedding Styles & Themes

Q: How do I choose a color scheme for my wedding? I want something that's unique and will stand out to my guests. 

A: Check out some of our favorite 2020 wedding trends. This roundup has plenty of ideas for new and unique color combos, so you'll be a total trendsetter. Some of our favorite wedding colors for 2020 are neo mint, cassis and muted yellow. 

Q: How do you decide on exactly what style you're going for? What's the first step after securing a venue? 

A: Take our Style & Vision Quiz. After answering a series of questions you'll get a vision board of inspirational photos and tips to help get you started. 

Q: What things can you save money on by DYing and what things should you leave to the experts?

A: DIY some of your décor. Things like making your own signage place cards and table décor can end up saving you some cash down the line. We recommend sticking to the pros for bigger stuff (think: food, photos, music, flowers), as they're experts in their fields.

Wedding Day Timeline

Q: What's the best wedding day timeline?

A: We recommend using The Knot Wedding Day Timeline tool. You can customize it with your schedule to help your wedding day run smoothly. There's not one universal timeline that will fit every couple, so use this to fit your needs! 

Q: How much time should you build into your day for pictures and when is the best time to do them?

A: Every photographer is different, as is your day-of timeline. While there's not a specific amount of time you should set aside, two hours is a good starting point. You'll want to consider travel time, the size of your bridal party and amount of family members tagging along, as well as what works best with your photographer. Doing a first look before the ceremony could minimize time spent taking photos later, but generally couples will take photos after the ceremony and before the reception, during cocktail hour.

Fashion

Q: How close to the wedding should I schedule dress fittings and alterations?

A: Wedding dresses usually require three to four fittings: One or two after you buy the dress, one about a month out from your date and one two weeks before your wedding. But if you're worried about the fit, work with your consultant, tailor or seamstress to figure out a plan that works best for you.

Q: Is a second wedding reception dress necessary, or is it recommended to party in your bridal dress?

A: The choice is up to you. Wearing two dresses would allow you to experiment with your style or try a bold trend you're loving. But if you absolutely love your wedding dress, there's no need to get a second one if you don't want to. It all comes down to what makes you feel your best.

Q: What are great pieces of accessories for bridesmaids to have matching besides just color with their dresses?

A: There are so many great options. You could have them wear matching jewelry, like a bracelet, necklace or statement earrings, or get creative with hair pieces like barrettes, clips or headbands.

Q: Is it okay to request that guests wear a certain color? 

A: Absolutely! Make a note of your requested attire on your formal invites or a reception card if you'll be sending one. It's also a great idea to put this on your wedding website in case guests have any other dress code questions.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, some of which may be sponsored by paying vendors.

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