After being officially open for a year, I have gotten to experience SO many weddings, and seen SO many different hurdles my couples have overcome. Here are a few tips I have gathered throughout our first year, and I think would be helpful for any bride planning her big day. Disclaimer: These are just my opinions. Do what is right for you, and your wedding!
This Seems Simple … Hire good vendors and trust them to bring your wedding day dreams to life.
1. A Month of Coordinator (otherwise known as a “day of”) is a must! A good planner will keep everything organized, be in tune with your family dynamics, create your wedding timeline and keep everything on track. They will also create your floorplan, communicate with all vendors, successfully get you and your bridal party down the aisle, and take care of any problems that occur, big or small, and most likely you won’t even know about it. And, that is only scratching the surface of what they do. Remember if you have a family member doing this job they will most likely be a seated guest. If you will have over 150 guests I recommend your planner have an assistant.
2. A good caterer that serves and busses the food. Having a crew that clears all the trash, plates and tables is a huge help to all family members, your bridal party and vendors.
3. One Bartender per every 50 guests will help avoid lines and guests waiting.
4. Remember that your Planner, Photographer, and DJ will keep everything on time and on track.
Water! This is most often forgotten and needed, especially at the end of the night!
- I know alcohol is on everyone’s mind, but trust me. Throwing in several packs of water will be a huge hit at the end of the night. Especially after everyone has been tearing it up on the dance floor.
Tidy up the bridal suite before the photographer arrives
- This will help to avoid any trash in the background of any photos (Hello, Anthropologie mirrors galore). It will also save time, avoid stress and cut down on lost items at the end of the night when trying to clean up!
- It is important to have table numbers, or table names, at every table even if you don’t do a seating chart. This helps the planner and your DJ release tables to the buffet line. However, I always recommend a seating chart. I know it’s more time on the front end, but when it comes time for dinner everyone has a seat. It makes guests less obligated to pull up chairs wherever they want to be close to friends.
Have an end-of-the-night plan!
- Who is taking what, what vendors are coming back and what is all to be thrown away? This means rentals (plates, napkins, linens), florals, leftover food and cake, and any personal decor you brought in. I recommend assigning different people different tasks. That way mother and father of the bride aren’t taking everything. In most cases, they won’t have room.
Remember … Just my opinion take it or leave it … No kids besides immediate family.
- Oftentimes times I find myself just watching parents chase their very very tired, way-passed-bedtime, sugar-overdosed kids everywhere. More often than not, they look at me and are like, “Boy… I should have gotten a sitter.” You want your family and friends to have fun, and I can guarantee that the little nugget won’t remember it. You want your family and friends to have fun!
Money-Saving tip .. Use bridesmaid’s bouquets as extra centerpieces on tables.
- Typically after ceremony photos, the beautiful bridesmaid’s bouquets (that aren’t cheap) just get thrown down or left up in the bridal suite. Put the vases on the table and after photos are done during cocktail hour just have the bridesmaids pop them in the vases on the table for some extra “wow factor”.
The cool thing about 2021 .. no rules! Make your wedding day about you and your groom!
- Whether you want alpacas at your cocktail hour (we really had alpacas at a cocktail hour once) or no dance party. Make your wedding the wedding of YOUR dreams.
Create a wedding email early and do all your wedding planning through that email so nothing gets lost!
- Example: BecomingTheJohnsons@gmail.com
Get your wedding insurance.
- Things happen, we require liability insurance but will always recommend getting cancelation insurance as well.
Skip the wedding favors!
- These just all get left at the end of the night and are just more stuff for Mom and Dad to take home. Do a late-night snack instead. These are a huge hit!! There is nothing like a chocolate chip cookie for the drive home late at night.
Skip the Programs!
- These all just get left out on the ceremony chairs! Have a sign on an easel with the timeline to let guests know the plan for the night. It saves a lot of pick-up at the end of the night. If you want guests to receive something when they arrive I would have a champagne truck or champagne wall. ( of course with TABC servers)
Get your wedding day “things” organized in advance so you don’t have to worry about it on the day of.
- Have your security officer’s cash, any vendor tips or payments ready in envelopes so you don’t have to stress about it.
Feed your Girls!
- Typically the girls get to the bridal suite around 9 AM to start getting ready! That is at least a 15-hour day. Make sure to take care of your best girls with breakfast and lunch! Most do Chick-fil-A trays or cheese boards. Both are always a hit!!
Take as many pictures as you can before the ceremony!
- If you are anything like me, you are going to want to go celebrate with your family and friends as soon as possible. Even if you are not doing a first look, take as many photos as you can with your family, bridesmaids, and the groom with his family and groomsmen before your ceremony. That will cut down on the time you are taking photos after your ceremony and before your reception.
Don’t sweat the small stuff or lose sight of what’s happening
- You’re getting married! Have fun and soak it all in!