Lock down guests and location
With the average American wedding consisting of 141 guests, up from 128 in 2008, according to The Wedding Report, getting a head count and even emailing save-the-date information will be key to determining what kind of wedding you're going to have.
It also dictates what traditional wedding touches can stay and what gets cut. Engagement parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties and bridal showers can be a bit much to ask if most of your friends and family have to get
involved in their wedding travel plans.
"It's not necessarily a faux pas, but you do need to consider your guests," Eisinger says. "It may not be quite so considerate to ask people to fly in from all over the country for your engagement party and then have them fly in all over again for the wedding, so maybe consider a couple-of-days-long affair that's the shower, the engagement party and then the wedding."
Even couples that plan weddings months in advance are starting to take the all-in-one approach to weddings and their associated functions. When asked how long their wedding lasted, 48% of couples said it spanned three days or more. That approach not only allows for more parties in a shorter time, but makes it easier for couples to find a venue on an off day and save a little money doing so.
"A lot of short-time brides and grooms are more open to the early Saturday wedding or Thursday-night wedding," Naylor says. "It's kind of inconvenient if people have to travel for it, but sorry, this is what they had to do."