Thursday, April 10, 2014

20 tips for to make your wedding day perfect!

With wedding season rapidly approaching, I thought this would be a good time to share my best tips for all of the Brides and Grooms about to tie the knot.  Here are 20 of my best tips for items that are often overlooked.  I hope these tips will make everyone's wedding day a perfect one to remember.  

1. Create a check list of items that are to be brought to the venue such as cake knife, toasting flutes, card box, garment bag, etc.  Give this list to the onsite point person, day of planner or a family friend before the wedding.  This will help them to check off the list as they gather everything at the end of the evening.  This will help the bride know before she leaves for the night that everything is accounted for.

2. Gifts / Cards - Designate a responsible person, someone other than parents, siblings or bridal party, to be in charge of collecting all the gifts and cards throughout the evening.  Preferably that person should be someone who doesn't drink a lot and is willing to make sure everything gets to you in one piece.

3. So often brides forget to create an alphabetical seating list, a table list and an escort card list.  Often these lists are disorganized and not cross checked making it hard for the planner or on site assistant to direct guests when they can't find their seating assignments.  Creating an alpha list makes things so much easier for everyone and allows for the bride to know if someone is missing a seat.  I highly recommend using excel spreadsheets as it's easy to organize with a few quick clicks.

4. If the bride doesn't have a planner, they should designate a person other than the parents, siblings or bridal party to field calls and last minute issues on the day of the wedding.  Choosing someone outside your close circle is best because they are less likely to get emotional and make irrational decisions.  Very often by choosing someone close to the bridal party the bride finds out about any mishaps and gets emotional even before she walks down the aisle.  By choosing someone not present in front of the bride it buffers anything that could upset her on the wedding day.

5. I can't tell you how many times the bride miscalculates how long it's going to take her and her girls to get ready which often causes delays in getting to the church or ceremony.  I always allow an extra 45 minutes to an hour sometimes even more!

6. As a planner I always look to see if there are parades, traffic closures or other things that could cause a traffic nightmare for the bride and groom to get from the hotel to the ceremony to the reception.  Often however, this is overlooked.  There's nothing worse than finding out the major freeway is closed for the day due to construction and you're late for your ceremony!

7. Tipping is of course always at the discretion of the bride.  But this is one area that is often over looked.  Before each wedding I discuss with the vendors if they have any tipping guidelines.  Often they say it's up to the client, but a little tip goes a long way.  And, if given in advance, the vendors will go a little extra mile, like the band playing an extra 20 minutes at the end without charging you overtime!

8. Staff Meal / Vendor Meals - This is always just assumed that the vendors are fed.  But most venues do not include this and often charge extra.  That's fine, but remember giving your photographer or DJ a cold meal vs. a hot meal can make a difference in their attitude.  Often they are given a cold meal like a sandwich and a cookie.  By spending a few extra dollars and giving them a hot meal, you've got a happy vendor and one that is willing to do more for you!

9. I can't stress enough how important it is to break in wedding shoes.  This goes for both the bride and the groom!  Wear them around the house, even vacuum in them!  But break them in!  Your feet and you will be happy!

10. I always tell my brides to wear the exact same undergarment for their gown fittings as they will wear on the day of their wedding.  This goes for bra, panties, corsets, etc!  If you don't want any issues with your dress the day of the wedding then you should have all your fittings done in the same undergarments.  This goes for the shoes too!  Don't switch to another pair of shoes at the last minute, it could affect how the hem of the dress falls.

11. Have a designated person who will be in attendance practice bustling your dress at the final fitting.  I can't tell you how many times there are 8 bridesmaids under the brides dress after the ceremony trying to bustle it and no one can seem to figure it out and they miss the entire cocktail hour!

12. Ask your makeup artist for any extra make up you can keep on you or in your purse.  This way you can do quick touchups and everything will be consistent on the night of your wedding.

13. For the groom - if he's a sweater then have a few extra shirts on hand for him to change into throughout the day and night.  This way he always looks fresh in all the photos!

14. Sounds crazy, but since helping Bethenny pee in her dress I've become the master of helping brides do their business!  Best advice, figure out how you'll pee before you get to the ceremony and reception.  My tip - walk into the stall, lift your dress and sit the opposite of how you normally would.  This makes it so much easier and you don't have to worry if you're going to make a mess.  Of course have your girls help you out!

15. Brides and grooms never account for not being able to check into their hotel rooms early on the day of their wedding.  Hotels can never promise an early check-in even on a slow day!  So it's best to book your suite the night before the wedding.  This way everything is checked into the hotel the night before and you don't have to stress about it the morning of the wedding.

16. Certificates of Insurance or COI's are something I always make sure my vendors have before I step into a wedding venue.  Often however, brides who book their own vendors don't think to ask and thus they are left the week of scrambling because the venue drops this on them at the last minute.  When booking your vendors, photographers, band, florist or whomever, ask if they have one.  If they don't, move on and hire someone who does!

17. Tented weddings are great! Tented weddings with a sub-floor are even better!  Especially if it's going to rain!  I once attended a wedding where the couple didn't want to spend the money on a sub-floor.  It rained for three days straight.  Not only where all the tables and chairs sinking into the grass, but so were all the high heels…There were a LOT of ticked off people at that wedding.  Cutting corners on a tent or a sub-floor is not a good idea!

18. Brides often don't think that the ceremony musicians need shade or even power, especially at an outdoor wedding.  Therefore if you're doing a ceremony on the beach ask if they need power or shade.  Then ask the venue if they can assist with both!

19. It always pains me to see couples rushing off to their honeymoon the morning after their wedding.  They are left to rush, pack up, and get to the airport with little time to breath and digest what an amazing time they had the night before.  Therefore, schedule the honeymoon departure a few days after the wedding.  This allows you to get a few things in order, relax and not rush.  Why start your honeymoon off stressed?!

20. Finally, consider how long of a day it's going to be for your guests.  Just because you want to have an after party doesn't mean your guests will.  At most, including the ceremony, cocktail reception and reception, your guests should spend no more than 6 hours with you.  Anything longer is too long and you have wasted money on an after party.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful.  Here's to a wonderful wedding season and...


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