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The Most Difficult Parts About Planning a Big Wedding, According to a Professional

One expert planner shares the advice you need to know.

Contributing Writer
Outdoor Ceremony Setting with Sunset
Photography by: Abby Jiu Photography

A night with all your favorite people, your favorite music, and your favorite food—what could possibly go wrong? The unfortunate answer is plenty. If you're a bride with your heart set on throwing a huge wedding, you'll have to be prepared for all of the potential snafus in your future. We caught up with expert wedding planner Beth Helmstetter and asked her to explain the most common difficulties couples face when their guest list could apply for its own zip code. Keep an eye out for the hiccups below and you'll be well on your way to a wedding day that doesn't leave anyone out.

 

Related: Wedding-Planning Secrets That Only Pros Know

 

Personalization

Wedding planning often begins with the grandest of plans, but what's interesting is that often the "grandest" of these ideas are really the smallest elements of the day. However, the little details are the ones that can send your budget into a tailspin. "The more guests you have, the less likely you'll be able to spend on fun touches like a beautiful escort card display, personal menus for each guest, late-night snacks, and more," explains Helmstetter. "These are typically the first things to get cut when we have too many guests to host." It makes sense—when caught between spending money on an entrée or an escort card with a pretty wax seal, it's clear which needs to take priority. 

 

Pressure

Whether conscious or subconscious, it's easy to fall into the trap of keeping up with the Joneses, and Helmstetter says organizers of large affairs are even more likely to fall victim to this mentality. "Your best friend, your sister, and your cousins are typically just happy you're getting married. They'd be there whether you're in a courthouse or the most glamorous spot on Earth," she explains. But when you start adding people like bosses, co-workers, and distant relatives to the guest list? "These people often bring with them added pressure to impress because they are people who you have to still have a level of posturing with," the pro says. When you start being concerned with how others will view your celebration, you quickly begin planning your wedding for other people instead of for yourself. 

 

P's & Q's

The logistics of a big wedding are harder to manage because, frankly, there are more of them! There can't just be one single restroom; there needs to be a restroom capable of handling 300 people. Your backup plan isn't just a room inside the estate, it's a lawn tent that needs rain or shine deposit. A menu that works for 50 isn't the same menu that works for 250, and the list just goes on from there. It's not that those hosting smaller weddings don't need to think through the details, it's simply that much more important when your guest list begins to hit triple digits. As Helmstetter puts it, "the more bodies, the more these logistics need to be truly thought through to ensure a successful celebration."