Wedding Planning For Dummies Cheat Sheet - dummies
Cheat Sheet

Wedding Planning For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From Wedding Planning For Dummies, 3rd Edition

By Marcy Blum

Planning a wedding involves hundreds of decisions, from calculating how much liquor to buy to figuring out how much space and how many servers you need for your reception. You also want to be prepared for any kind of emergency that happens on your wedding day. Fortunately, many new websites and smartphone apps can help you with all aspects of your wedding planning, especially your budget.

Bridal Emergency-Kit Checklist

You want to make sure you’re prepared for any kind of emergency on your wedding day. Consider packing a satchel or gym bag with some or all of the following items:

  • Aspirin, antacid, and sedatives

  • Baby wipes

  • Ballet slippers for dancing

  • Blow dryer

  • Brush, comb, and hair spray

  • Clear nail polish, nail glue, and emery board

  • Contact lenses and solution

  • Earring backs

  • Extra copies of wedding-day and transportation schedule

  • Eyedrops

  • Makeup

  • Masking tape (for ripped hems) and double-stick tape

  • Pins (bobby, hair in blonde and black, safety, and straight)

  • Sewing kit complete with thread in white, black, and bridesmaids’ dress colors; have needles threaded and ready to go

  • Smelling salts

  • Stick stain remover

  • Stockings (two pairs)

  • Straws (for a quick drink without messing up lipstick)

  • Studs, cuff links, and bow ties

  • Tampons and sanitary napkins

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, and breath mints

  • Tweezers and crochet hook (to get at button hooks and other teeny places)

  • White chalk (a savior for lipstick on a wedding dress or shirt collar)

How Much Liquor to Buy for a Wedding

If you’re hosting your wedding in an off-premise facility or your rehearsal dinner at home, you need to know how much liquor to buy. The following table gives the standard amounts needed for a simple bar.

Note: Amounts are for 100 guests with a four-hour open bar, including cocktail hour. For ice, figure on 1-1/2 pounds per person; 2-1/2 pounds per person if also chilling bottles.

Alcohol Amount
Campari 1 liter
Gin 5 liters
Rum 2 liters
Scotch 4 liters
Tequila 1 liter
Vermouth (dry) 2 750-ml bottles
Vermouth (sweet) 2 750-ml bottles
Vodka 6 liters
Whisky (blended) 1–2 liters
Beer and Wine Amount
Beer 2 or 3 cases
Champagne during cocktails 1-1/2 cases
Wine (white) during cocktails 1-1/2 cases
Wine (red) during cocktails 6 bottles
Mixers Amount
Club soda 9 liters
Cola 14 liters
Diet cola 12 liters
Ginger ale 7 liters
Juices (cranberry, orange, grapefruit) 8 quarts each
Lemon-lime soda 7 liters
Diet lemon-lime 7 liters
Tonic 1 case

How Much Space Do You Need for Your Wedding?

Figuring out how much space you need for wedding events isn’t easy, especially for the reception site, which has to accommodate tables, chairs, bars, open cocktail space, the dance floor, and so on. Here’s a quick chart that tells you how many square feet you need for various wedding events.

Space Recommended Square Feet per Person
Ceremony 8
Cocktails (pre-meal) 8
Cocktails with dance floor 10
Cocktails with hors d’oeuvres stations 12–13
Seated and served meal with dance floor 13–15
Dance floor 3 (for a dancing crowd)

Round-Tablecloth Sizes for Your Wedding Reception

Change the look of your entire wedding reception simply by choosing a floor-length tablecloth. But what size tablecloth will cover those nasty, industrial-looking legs of a typically round banquet table? Here’s a guide to tablecloth lengths for various-sized round tables.

Table Diameter Floor-Length Cloth
60 inches 120 inches
54 inches 114 inches
48 inches 108 inches
36 inches 96 inches

How Many Servers Do You Need at Your Wedding Reception?

The number of servers included in your wedding-reception contract will vary depending on the venue, its service standards, and the event’s degree of formality,. This table lists the suitable amounts of staff for different types of wedding receptions:

Type of Service Recommended Number of Servers
Formal, multi-course meal 1 to 2 waiters per 10 to 12 guests
Simple menu or buffet 1 waiter per 25 guests
Pre-dinner cocktails 1 bartender per 50 to 75 guests, combined with wine passed by

Wedding-Planning Websites and Apps

Technology has been a savior in the realm of wedding planning. Several websites and apps can make the wedding-planning process infinitely less painful (although apps can’t replace a real, live, hands-on wedding planner, thank goodness!).

  • iWedding Deluxe: This app has a myriad of helpful facets, but most impressive is its budgeting tools.

  • Paperless Post: Use this site to send beautiful, electronic save-the-dates and e-invitations.

  • miWedding: Head to this site to download a great app for getting wedding info and updating your guests.

  • Social Tables: This site makes creating your seating chart a snap!

  • For a reasonable fee, this site makes changing your name on important documents painless.