Your Pinterest board is brimming with color coordinated and glitter/sequined accented inspiration. Your fiance has put a ring on it and the date has been set. You used our handy posts and have decided whether or not to invite children, and how to manage your guest list. The perfect venue has been booked, the menu planned to a (delicious) T, and the most rocking musical entertainer in town has your wedding blocked off on his calendar. You click your 3 ring, tab divided Wedding Planning Binder closed with a SNAP! Now what?
Beyond the big, basic details, wedding planning—and all the small details involved with the event, family & friends—can get a little murky and overwhelming. That’s why we have created a handy quick tip checklist for our busy brides to be. Our in-office crew put our heads together and came up with what we thought would be a helpful list that can help brides stay on track when putting together an event to remember. You’re gonna want to bookmark this one, ladies; so let’s start at the beginning:
All of us have probably been to our share of pretty fun parties. Much more few and far between, however, are opportunities to be part of the celebration of the love, hope and commitment represented by a wedding. As a couple, the two of you will never again have such a perfect opportunity to share your love for one another with your friends and family. Start the celebration with a carefully planned ceremony that showcases your unique love story as much as possible. Your wedding ceremony should be made up of some combination of the following pieces:
• Welcoming music
• Readings, music, blessings
• Possible homily by officiant
• Exchange of vows
• Unity ceremony
• Exchange of rings
You and your fiance’s job will be to bring this bare-bones structure to life. Fill these steps with choices that bring to the ceremony all the love you have in your heart for one another. By creating a completely unique ceremony, you will perfectly reflect to your guests the love and commitment you two have for one another.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
When it comes to decision making, doing whatever it takes to maintain a united front between you and your fiance will go a long way. Undoubtedly, you will both receive advice, opinions, and even criticism on your wedding day decisions. It is very easy to get caught up in the daunting task of trying to make everyone happy, and also for you and your groom to become divided over issues. Your wedding is not Disney World, and can not please everyone. Ultimately, it is a celebration of your love and future together, so each choice should come down to the two of you. Keep your relationship (which matters the most!) at the center of every decision, forget about what you “should” or “shouldn’t” do, and it will be the most memorable day of your life.
On Hiring Family & Friends
We strongly suggest to brides that they think twice before committing to a family or friend for wedding day services. While it can be very special to include loved ones, someone who is emotionally invested in your wedding often lacks the objective judgment that’s necessary to handle the process smoothly. It very rarely works out like you want or envision, and then you will find yourself in the awkward position of being unable to express dislike or needs for fear of hurt feelings; save the potential drama for a day not already so emotionally charged. Our caveat to this note would be for the ceremony: participants like musicians, vocalists, or readers are perfect fits for those closest to you that want to offer their gifts!
Meet and Greets are great!
Your bridesmaids will likely all meet one another at your bachelorette party, but it’s still great to consider an opportunity to gather all your girls together to meet one another and hang out even earlier than that. Our philosophy is the more the merrier—ensuring that everyone will be more comfortable and have a better time together celebrating you! If your ladies are all local, schedule a pedicure date, grab coffee one morning or have brunch together. If that’s not possible, Google Hangout is great for long distance friends!
Get It In Writing
One of the most important things to note as you make plans is keeping a (digital) paper trail. If something is not written out in the contract with a vendor, or at the very least confirmed in writing via email, you have no way to prove what you and a vendor verbally agreed upon. Be sure to get it in writing in some format, and ensure that your coordinator has a copy of that vital information—particularly if it’s an update or change to the existing services already agreed upon!
Make Some Cuts
When it comes down to the last month or so before the big day and you feel like you are drowning in to-do’s, we highly recommend taking a critical look at your list, and cutting three items. The items you axe should not be crucial things that you just don’t feel like doing (such as picking a processional song or confirming honeymoon reservations). Instead, eliminate those Pinterest-inspired over-the-top tasks such as hand painting monogrammed tags for each and every favor, or baking fresh treats for all of the welcome bags. Don’t second guess your decision or even think about those tasks again. Cut them and move on. Breathe deeply and smile, it just got three tasks easier!
Toasts: A Potential Minefield
Decide in advance who you want to make a toast. Receptions often feature toasts by the best man, maid of honor, father of the bride, bride, groom, or all of the above. We recommend saving any others for the rehearsal dinner and we strongly suggest no open mic at the wedding. We also recommend selecting people that will give a short, heartfelt sentiment; while it could be entertaining, your wedding day is not the best venue for a roast, or a budding comedian (or friend who has taken full advantage of the open bar) to have free reign of a mic and an audience.
What Should You Bring on Your Wedding Day?
Not much, thanks to our what-if kits! They arrive on the scene for your day tucked safely away with your day of coordinator and are stocked with tons of goodies to cover all of your possible needs! (Small sample of what’s inside: Tylenol, hairspray, deodorant, mints, safety pins and ring pop bribes for a rogue ring bearer!) Items you should be sure to bring beyond our supplies: any prescription medications, your favorite lip color, marriage license & wedding bands, and all of your necessary IDs.
A first look is something we highly recommend for consideration. They allow you as a couple the chance to let the moment really sink in before the day hits turbo speed. It can also relieve last minute jitters by allowing the two of you to experience the emotionally charged “unveiling” of the beautiful bride in private. If you do decide to have a first look, be sure to mention this to our team. As we work on putting your schedule together, we want to ensure that there’s more than adequate time set aside for you to have an enjoyable experience.
Steal Some Time For Each Other
Ask anyone who has ever been married: wedding days go by in a BLUR! Don’t forget to steal some private moments during your wedding day. Ways to sneak away include a first look, asking your photographer about having a few quick sunset pictures taken, or taking fifteen minutes to eat together in a private space before joining your guests at the reception. This day is about the two of you, so don’t be afraid to take a few moments to soak it in, and make some private memories of your special day. Which leads us to our final suggestion….
Don’t get caught up in perfection
Your wedding is the beginning of your life together, not the culmination of your relationship. Be prepared to embrace the unexpected, and to let last minute changes roll off your back. Try to focus on the big picture and not allow yourself to get mired down in little details. Remind yourself (and your fiancé) what this day is actually about: (not the cake, the flowers, the layout, or the party favors). Your wedding is a celebration of the two of you choosing to spend the rest of your lives together. Your friends and family are not there to judge every little detail of the day, they are there to witness, celebrate, and participate in this monumental day in your life. As long as you’re happy, they’re happy!