Your Tough Wedding Questions Answered

You asked your tough wedding planning questions and we found the answers.

Some of Kentucky’s finest wedding industry professionals provided insight to what you want to know now.

How do you narrow down your guest list? - Keely P.

I hear ya, finalizing your guest list is hard! An easy way to start narrowing things down is to set your budget and go from there. Make a hard cut on your list for the number of people that you can actually afford to have there. Everyone else can be on your "B" list. Set the RSVP date earlier than usual and then for every declined invite, you can send an invitation for someone on your "B" list.

A number that has always worked for me is 67% of the people that you invite will attend. Remember to count each person in the family and not just the number of invites. And know that not everyone on your initial list is going to be able to attend. I hope this started you thinking and that you understand that the budget and guest list are the hardest parts of planning! From here on out, it's time for the fun!

- Leona Morelock, Leona Morelock Designs;

How do you indicate to guests that they are not permitted a plus one? or should it be assumed that each guest you invite is allowed a date? - Jessica

With the modern-day guest lists growing in size, often the traditional “and guest” rule is removed, leading to confusion for many. The name(s) written on the inner envelope are the guests invited, i.e. single name written = no “plus one” invited. To alleviate some confusion, it is also growing in popularity to put a separate line on reply cards below the accepts/declines portion such as “___of___ guests attending” that is customized by hand on each reply card before mailing. This extra step ensures that guests realize if they are or are not allowed to bring a date."

- Melody Rodgers, Refined Social Event Design + Production;

We have decided to have a very small wedding with just close family. is it rude to have a household shower or a honeymoon fund for people to donate to if we aren’t inviting them to our actual wedding? - Haley R.

Traditionally, you only invite people to showers who are invited to the wedding. It is also recommended not to print registries on your wedding invitations. This needs to be listed on your wedding website or provided by those who are hosting a shower.

- Sally Barker, Welborn Floral Co. Event Manager;

How difficult is it to provide the flowers for your wedding? - Ashton H.

I get asked often how to cut costs on wedding flowers. Since a floral and decor plan can be multi-faceted, there are a few things to consider when developing your floral budget. An easy way to keep your expenses down is to lessen the number of bridesmaids and your guest list. That translates to less flowers to purchase and fewer tables that require centerpieces. The internet is filled with beautiful floral ideas, but keep in mind that most of the photo shoots you see featured are curated and use only the best (and most expensive) flowers. Show your floral designer your color palette and be open to suggestions he/she may give. For instance, peonies in August can sometimes happen, but are very expensive that time of year. Give your designer creative freedom to bring something pretty to the table that’s actually in season. Dahlias or garden roses would be a fantastic option.

I hear "flowers just die" a few times a year, but your florals will be one of the most photographed elements of the day and will live forever in your pictures. Flowers really do set the mood and vibe for your day. If you’ve hired a good photographer, give them something special to photograph. Treat yourself! How often do we get to carry something spectacular? Before you run to the nearest craft place and purchase a thousand vases, meet with your designer. Often times a designer can rent out vases, candle holders, or other decor elements at a fraction of the cost. The plus side? You don’t have to store them afterwards. Remember that your floral designer is providing a product and service. It takes many hours of sourcing that perfect flower, creating in the imagination, creating on the bench, delivering, hours of on-site installation, and often times a designer has employed a hard working team of specialists just for your day. Be honest about your budget and be open to suggestions. Well-seasoned professionals will make suggestions to keep your budget on track and make your day extra special.

Don’t fall into the trap of “greenery is cheaper." You’ll spend an equal amount on greenery only centerpieces in order to dress up a table. Trust your designer for suggestions. Save the more expensive flowers for your bouquets only and keep your centerpieces within the same color palette, but with other flowers, like standard roses, tulips, etc. And never rule out carnations! There are several gorgeous antique varieties available that will knock your socks off!

- Jessica Jones, Blooms 'n Blossoms;

How can you make your parents feel special and stress-free on the big day? They have been so selfless and I want to ensure they enjoy themselves and feel special. - Jaime H.

Hire a wedding planner!

- Lauren Chitwood, Lauren Chitwood Events;

what is the proper etiquette for tipping. Who? How much? Only if happy or regardless? - Wendy B.

While tipping is never required or expected, it is always appreciated! Here is some standard guidance we offer our clients:

DJ and/or Musicians: $25-$50 each.

Officiant: A donation is nice gesture, particularly if they are from a church you belong to.

Transportation: Gratuity is often included in pricing so be sure to check your contracts first. Otherwise, tip 20%.

Hair + Makeup: This would be just like going to the salon, we recommend 20%.

Photo + Video: This is optional for above and beyond service. A small gift could be a nice option.

Catering Staff + Bartenders: Gratuity is generally included in your contract. If not, $25-$50 a person is appropriate.

Event Planner: No tip is expected; however, if you would like to recognize great service, a personal gift or tip is appropriate. If your planner has assistants, this tip will most likely be split among the team.

It is worth noting that a nice thank you card or a good review can also go a long way!

- Shelly Fortune, Shelly Fortune Event Design;