The 43 Most Common Wedding Planning Questions by Category

And the answers, straight from The Knot editors.
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
by
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Apr 10, 2024

If you're newly engaged, there's a chance you have some wedding planning questions. And guess what? We've got answers. Planning a wedding, whether you're engaged for six months, 12 months, two years or longer, takes concentration and commitment—but we're here to guide you through it all. We're recapping the most common questions for weddings, like how to avoid planning burnout, what your wedding planning checklist should look like and tips for finding your vendors on The Knot Vendor Marketplace. And because everything feels less intimidating when you take it one step at a time (including planning your wedding), we've organized all of these common wedding planning questions by category so you can quickly find what you need. Keep reading for our tips—and bookmark this page for later.

Wedding planning questions by topic: Planning basics | Budget | Vendor | Etiquette | Invitations | Registry | Style & Theme | Hashtags | Attire | Destination Weddings

Basic Wedding Planning Questions

Get excited—here's where it all begins. If you're just getting started and have some questions for your wedding, let us take it from here. We're covering basic inspiration, wedding day timelines and more.

1. Q: What's the best wedding day timeline?

A: Your wedding day timeline all depends on the ceremony start time, the size of your wedding party and other factors, like whether or not you're doing a first look. There isn't one universal timeline that works for every couple, but we can give you a few pointers to steer you in the right direction. And remember that your wedding vendors, especially your photographer, will have great advice for tailoring the timeline to your specific needs.

2. Q: Planning a wedding is a lot of work. How can I avoid feeling burnt out?

A: You're right—planning a wedding is a lot of work, which is why it's important to break it up into tasks so you don't get too ahead of yourself. Prioritizing your wellness while wedding planning isn't just as simple as applying a soothing face mask and putting on Bravo. Try dedicating one or two days a week to wedding stuff (use our wedding planning tips to stay on track) and be sure to set aside quality time with your partner to catch up on non-wedding things.

3. Q: How early is too early to start planning my wedding?

A: We may be biased, but it's never too early to start planning your wedding (although it's okay to give yourself a week or two of post-engagement bliss before diving in). Getting a head start on wedding planning 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. Plus, some wedding details will take longer to finalize than others—for example, If you're wearing a wedding dress, it can take up to six months for it to be ready after you purchase it. Some of the first things you'll want to figure out are your wedding date, budget and wedding style.

4. Q: My partner and I want to skip the big wedding party, but I still want a maid of honor. Would it be weird to just have one attendant and no one else?

A: It's totally fine to have a small wedding party or no wedding party at all. Your wedding day is about being surrounded by the people you love the most, but that doesn't mean you should feel obligated to include people as attendants. If picking bridesmaids or picking groomsmen isn't a priority for you, that's okay—the important thing is doing what makes you the happiest.

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

A: Whether your budget is big or small, creating a memorable wedding is all about including personal touches inspired by your relationship and love story. Having that "wow factor" will come from small, meaningful details. If your wedding is a personalized reflection of you and your partner, we guarantee your guests will remember it for years to come.

6. Q: What's better: an after-party or a postwedding brunch send-off?

A: Additional wedding weekend events can help make the experience super memorable for guests (and for you). One event 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 postwedding brunch is a good option. That way, you won't miss anyone as they leave your reception. If you're inviting a fun-loving crowd and know your guests won't want the dancing to end, it might be a better option to keep the night going with a wedding after-party. Either way, it's a good idea to share the plan on your wedding website so guests can make the proper arrangements.

7. Q: What should my timeline look like for a courthouse wedding or elopement?

A: The timeline for an elopement ceremony or courthouse wedding won't be too different from a traditional wedding day schedule. You might choose to make adjustments depending on your venue or wedding party—for example, if it's just the two of you, formal portraits with your wedding party won't be as much of a focus. You could also opt to replace the usual dance floor time with speeches or skip cocktail hour and go straight to dinner. Use this opportunity to include the activities that matter most to you and your S.O.

8. Q: What little things am I missing? What could I be forgetting?

A: There are so many little details that go into planning a wedding, which is why we recommend using a handy checklist to keep track of everything on your to-do list. Use The Knot Checklist Tool to create a customized timeline based on your wedding date. We'll help you stay on top of budget deadlines, sending stationery, signing contracts and everything else (including things you might not have even thought of).

Wedding Budget Questions

Money isn't the most exciting thing to talk about, but openly discussing your wedding budget is important if you want to be on the same page as your partner. Here are a few pointers.

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

A: This might be one of the first questions you ask when planning a wedding. Start by using 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, focus your spending on two or three areas depending on what's most important to you and what will make the most impact for guests. Depending on your preferences, that could mean creating a custom wedding dinner menu inspired by your favorite foods, hiring an unforgettable live band to keep the dance floor packed or wowing everyone with fairytale-worthy flower arrangements.

10. Q: How do we ask family members to help pay for our wedding?

A: Asking parents or loved ones to help you pay for the wedding is nerve-wracking, but it can be done with the right approach. Start by sitting down with your partner to set a realistic wedding budget of what you can afford on your own. Once you have a general amount in mind, share that plan with your parents (or additional family members), ask if they'd like to contribute and what they'd be comfortable chipping in.

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11. Q: How do we decide who pays for what?

A: You may have heard about traditional rules tied to who pays for what in a wedding, but these days, really anything goes. You and your partner might feel adamant that you want to pay for the wedding yourselves, or you might be open to parents or loved ones contributing. If loved ones are pitching in, ask if they're interested in paying for specific things (like the DJ, flowers, or rehearsal dinner expenses), or if they're contributing to a general wedding fund that you can allocate as you see fit.

12. Q: I'm not sure if we should splurge for an open bar. How does it work?

A: Having an open bar at your wedding is always a hit with guests, but the specifics will depend on your venue. Some venues only allow beer and wine, while others might have restrictions on how hard liquor and spirits are served. If the bar package isn't managed in-house, your venue or caterer might be able to recommend a professional bartending company who has done a great job at a prior wedding, and one who'll abide by the space's rules.

13. 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: There's nothing wrong with a small, budget-friendly wedding. Start by outlining 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 decor or a late-night food truck) and you know where to spend your money first. Then, use The Knot Budget Tool to help keep yourself on track and work backwards depending on how much is left in your budget.

14. Q: What are some affordable wedding favor ideas?

A: Elaborate wedding favors definitely aren't a must-have, but if you want to give your guests small tokens of appreciation, there are tons of options. Some ideas include paper fans for an outdoor wedding, candy, beer koozies, candle tins, matchbooks, water bottles or plants (yes, really!). 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.

15. Q: What wedding details can I DIY to save money, and what should I leave to the experts?

A: In a perfect world, you'd have an unlimited budget to get everything on your wedding wishlist. But having to stick to a strict wedding budget is real (and totally normal!), so it's important to know where you should splurge versus save. We definitely recommend sticking to the pros for the bigger stuff (think: food, photography, music, flowers), as these details take a lot of expertise and special equipment to successfully pull off. Handling smaller details yourself, like signage, wedding favors and table decorations, could end up saving you some cash down the line.

Wedding Vendor Questions

Your wedding vendors are the ones who actually bring your wedding to life (as much as your vision boards were a strong start). Before you start reaching out to pros, brush up on some common wedding planning questions and vendor-related advice.

16. Q: How do I find wedding vendors?

A: Your first order of business when looking for wedding vendors: The Knot Vendor Marketplace. Not only can you search vendors by location, but you can filter results by price, services offered, business ownership, award winners (like The Knot's Best of Weddings) and wedding date availability.

17. Q: How many wedding vendors do I need?

A: Couples hire an average of 14 wedding vendors for their celebrations, according to our internal data. But the exact number of wedding vendors you'll need depends on your budget, the size of your wedding, the style of your wedding and the location. If you're not getting married at an all-inclusive wedding venue, you'll likely need more outside vendors that are hired separately.

18. Q: When should I start hiring wedding vendors?

A: You can start hiring wedding vendors as soon as you've made a ballpark wedding budget and have a wedding date locked in. Exactly how long you're engaged will affect how soon you need to hire vendors. For long engagements (a year or more), you have a few months to hire your vendors. For short engagements (like six months or three months), you'll need to hire vendors as soon as possible.

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

A: Professional photos are an obvious yes, but we love the idea of hiring a wedding videographer, too. You'll cherish your wedding video for years to come—it'll help you remember all the special moments from your big day. Need more info about wedding videography packages? We've got you covered.

20. 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, so be sure to ask about their process and preferences first. While there's not a specific amount of time you should set aside for pictures, two hours is a good starting point. You'll want to consider travel time, the size of your wedding party and amount of family members tagging along, as well as what works best with your photographer. Doing a first look with your partner before the ceremony could minimize time spent taking photos later in the day. In general, couples will take photos after the ceremony and before the reception, usually during cocktail hour.

More questions to ask your potential: Venue | Planner | Photographer | Videographer | DJ | Live Band | Caterer | Florist | Makeup Artist | Officiant | Decorator | Rental | Transportation Company | Stationery Designer | Bridal Salon | Jeweler

Wedding Etiquette Questions

Weddings have their very own set of etiquette and customs, which can be confusing to navigate. Let us guide you through some of the most common etiquette questions for your wedding.

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

A: Asking your guests to wear attire in a specific color or color palette isn't just a wedding trend—it's a great way to create a cohesive look if that's important to you. Make a note of the requested attire on your formal invites, detail card or RSVP card. It's also a great idea to clearly explain this on your wedding website in case guests have any other dress code questions.

22. Q: Do I have to invite kids or plus-ones?

A: The decision to invite kids or plus-ones to your wedding is completely up to you, but once you make a decision, be sure to stay consistent with it across the board. In other words: don't pick and choose who is or isn't allowed to bring their kid or plus-one depending on how you feel about each person. There are a few exceptions to this rule—for example, anyone in your wedding party should definitely have a plus-one.

23. Q: Who hosts the prewedding events?

A: From the wedding shower to the bach parties and rehearsal dinner, there are a handful of celebrations leading up to the actual wedding day. Prewedding events are typically hosted by someone in the wedding party, but it depends on the situation and your preferences.

24. Q: Can I ask guests to put their phones away at the wedding?

A: You can absolutely ask your guests to keep their phones silent and away during the ceremony. Sometimes called an "'unplugged ceremony" or "unplugged wedding," this is a good option if you're worried about guests causing disruptions or their phones getting in the way of the professional photographer. Ask your officiant to make an announcement for everyone to put their phones away at the start of the ceremony.

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

A: For out-of-town guests, offering a hotel block is a great way to get your group together and help people save money if they have to travel and stay overnight. To start, we recommend booking a smaller number of rooms and adding more later if needed. If you're looking at hotels 20-30 minutes away from the wedding venue, we also suggest providing transportation to safely shuttle guests to and from.

Wedding Invitation Questions

From invitation wording to RSVP questions, wedding stationery has a lot of moving parts. Don't sweat it—we've got answers to the top wedding invitation questions you might have.

26. Q: When should I send out save-the-dates and invitations?

A: Typically, save-the-dates should go out six to eight months before the wedding, while formal invites should be sent, at the latest, six to eight weeks before the date. If most guests will need to plan extensive travel, consider sending out formal invitations at least three months in advance.

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

A: Traditional wedding invitation wording is most often used for formal wedding styles, like black-tie dress codes. It's ultimately up to you to decide what to write on your invitations and envelopes—if your wedding is casual and low-key, you can take a more laid-back approach with the wording and envelope addressing, too.

28. Q: Do I have to invite someone to my wedding if they invited me to theirs?

A: You definitely don't need to invite someone to your wedding just because you were on their guest list. 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 anymore, it may be okay to not send the invitation. Keep in mind that not inviting them could lead to an awkward conversation, so be prepared to explain your choice if you do decide to skip inviting them.

29. Q: How should I handle guest list reductions due to venue capacity?

A: If you have to cut people from the guest list because of capacity or budget restrictions, it's always best to be honest (to an extent). Generally, you shouldn't reach out to someone to tell them that they aren't invited, but if you do find yourself in an awkward position where they ask, try an explanation that's simple and direct. Something along the lines of, "Due to space restrictions, we unfortunately can't invite everyone that we'd like to celebrate with at this time," makes it clear that you aren't able to extend the invitation, and hopefully they'll understand.

Wedding Registry Questions

Your wedding registry is about more than just shopping for new home goodies (although that's a major perk). Here's what to know before you start scanning barcodes or adding to your virtual registry. P.S.: Check out The Knot Registry Awards for our top item recs.

30. Q: Why do I need a wedding registry?

A: Your guests are going to want to give you a gift to celebrate your wedding, and a wedding registry lets them know exactly what you want (and actually need) instead of leaving it to chance. Your registry doesn't have to include elaborate, expensive items—the ideas can be as simple as a home improvement gift card or cooking class for you and your partner.

31. Q: How do I make a wedding registry?

A: You can start your wedding registry right now—for free!—using The Knot Registry. Through the platform, you'll be able to shop and add items from your favorite stores, including Target, Amazon, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn and Bloomingdales, just to name a few. Want to register for cash or experiences, like meal kit subscriptions or honeymoon sightseeing tours? You can do that too using The Knot Registry.

32. Q: My wedding registry is finished. Where should I share it?

A: The best place to share your wedding registry is on your wedding website, either listed on the FAQ page or as a separate tab. If you make your wedding website and registry on The Knot, you can easily sync them so that your registry automatically appears on your website. When your wedding website is ready, you can include the link on your save-the-dates and invitations.

Wedding Style & Theme Questions

The color palette, flowers and decor are all key players when it comes to your wedding theme. Here's how to zero in on your wedding vibe to create an event that's totally you.

33. 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: The color scheme makes a big impact with your wedding decor and flowers, so it's smart to choose a combination that you really love. Start by thinking about the colors that you already surround yourself with in everyday life, from the clothes you wear to the items you have in your home. Don't worry too much about impressing your guests—the most meaningful wedding colors are the ones that you genuinely enjoy.

34. Q: There are so many different wedding styles. How do I choose just one?

A: It's tempting to follow the latest trending wedding theme or aesthetic, but before you get too carried away, you have to decide what truly feels like a good fit for your personal style. Our solution: The Knot Style Quiz. You'll answer a series of questions and upvote or downvote inspirational photos depending on your taste. At the end, you'll have a vision board, color palette recs and planning tips to help you get started.

Wedding Hashtag Questions

Yep, they're still a thing—but how should you use your wedding hashtag? Follow our tips for creating and sharing a hashtag that will help you track your wedding day memories.

35. Q: Do we need a wedding hashtag?

A: We recommend having a wedding hashtag if you want guests to share photos and videos throughout your wedding. This is a great way to get them engaged from the moment they arrive—consider investing in signage that displays your hashtag so they know what to use. You and your partner will have so much fun scrolling through the hashtag posts after your big day to see special memories from your guests' point of view.

36. Q: I don't have any hashtag ideas! How can we create something that's personal and fits with our names?

A: Making a wedding hashtag takes some creative thinking, so start brainstorming early to give yourself plenty of time. You could go for alliteration, a cute pun or a play on words that involves your first or last names. The same goes for your bachelorette party hashtag or engagement announcement hashtag—but remember that these are meant to be fun, so don't put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect.

Wedding Attire Questions

Getting dressed for your wedding comes with a little more pressure than your everyday wardrobe, but you've got this. We're answering a few common wedding attire questions to get you started.

37. 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.

38. Q: Is a second wedding reception dress necessary, or is it recommended to party in your original gown?

A: The choice is up to you. Wearing a reception wedding dress gives you a second opportunity to experiment with your style or try a bold trend you're loving—plus, you can slip into a shorter hemline if comfort is your main goal. But if you absolutely love your wedding dress, there's no need to get a second one. It all comes down to what makes you feel your best.

39. Q: How can bridesmaids accessorize or match besides just the color of their dresses?

A: The mismatched bridesmaid dress trend is sticking around for the long haul, but there are plenty of tips and tricks to make sure that your group still looks cohesive. You could have them wear matching bridesmaid jewelry sets, like a bracelet, necklace or statement earrings. Other options include hair accessories (barrettes, clips, bows) and outerwear, like jackets or shawls.

Destination Wedding Questions

Heading abroad for your nuptials? Your destination wedding might require some additional planning, but it will all be worth it in the end. Follow these tips (and send us a postcard!).

40. Q: Any tips for planning a destination wedding?

A: When you're planning a destination wedding, the number-one piece of advice is to give yourself and your guests time—even more than you think you might need. 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). Brush up on the marriage requirements for your wedding location and make arrangements to do your legal ceremony in the U.S. first if necessary. Start saving for the cost of the trip and consider hiring a destination wedding planner who's familiar with the local area. Lastly, be prepared for the possibility of people not being able to make the trip—it's not personal!

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

A: Start by looking at photos from other weddings that took place at your destination venue. If you can't find any, ask the other vendors you've already booked or spoken with for their recommendations. Once you have a few options, check their reviews, references and examples of their past work. pros you've booked in your destination for their recommendations.

42. Q: I'm having a "destination" wedding over three hours away. Do I need to plan a full wedding weekend of events in addition to the actual wedding?

A: You don't need to host an endless list of wedding weekend events (the last thing you want to do is go over your budget), but you can consider picking 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), a welcome party or brunch is a nice gesture. For downtime in between events, share a list of local activities or noteworthy sites that guests might enjoy to help them make the most of their travel.

43. 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: The best way to scout for vendors when planning a destination wedding (or any wedding) is by looking at reviews. You can do this on The Knot Vendor Marketplace, but don't forget to check out their website, portfolio and social media too. You can speak with local vendors to see who they recommend or what they have to say about potential pros.

Samantha Iacia contributed to the reporting of this article.

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