wedding and event planning

Top 10 Wedding Tips & Tricks

If you’re reading this blog, one of two things is happening.  One, you’re officially getting married!! Congratulations!! You’re entering a wonderful new chapter in your book.  Second, you’ve stumbled upon this article and are either dreaming of planning your future big day, or it’s 2am and you just finished the last season of Schitt’s Creek.  Regardless of which scenario is yours, we are hoping you find these tips and tricks helpful in planning your ideal wedding experience. And let’s be honest, that’s exactly what it is. An experience. Weddings have progressed through the years from your traditional afternoon church wedding (still beautiful) to big soirees where the brides and grooms want not only themselves, but their guests, to have a magically unforgettable experience.

As you begin down the road of planning your big day, keep these wedding tips and tricks at the ready!

Tip #1: On your RSVP cards, put a line for a song. This way you’ll know what your guests want to hear.

Ever been to a wedding and magically your favorite song starts wafting from the speakers lifting you from your chair and you head straight to the dance floor?   For me, it has always been Don’t Stop Believing by Journey. Corny, I know. At receptions I would always hope it would come on as it became mine and my friends wedding jam.  Turns out, a lot of couples today are wanting to create some dancing magic for their guests, and there’s no easier way to figure out how than to hear it straight from them. This helps include them in your big day, keeps that dance floor full, and ensures that Uncle Ralph doesn’t stay at the DJ stand requesting all his favorite songs all night.

Tip #2: Don't wear a bra the morning of your wedding. It will leave marks that will be visible in pictures.

Girl, it is 2020.  More and more ladies are just letting it loose, and for the big day, it’s a brilliant idea!   Some of the standard bras leave lasting imprints on your skin that can be seen during the wedding and even later in pictures.  For the morning/day of, invest in just an oversized cotton button up shirt or a zip-up hoodie. They are comfortable, allow easy removal to avoid hair and makeup issues, and cover the girls.  You could even take it one step further, get one for each of your bridesmaids and monogram them as a gift. No matter what, your photographer will thank you later.

Tip #3: Guests remember 2 things most from weddings - the food and the music. Send them home with good memories.

Close your eyes.  Think back to the last wedding you attended.  What do you remember? I know I remember 1) if I had to stop for Chick-fil-a on the way home because I was starving, 2) if the cake was good, and 3) if I was able to rock out with my tribe.  Why would you want your guests to have anything but stellar memories from your wedding?  

If we have learned anything about people, we know they love good food and good tunes.  From your maid of honor to your old 3rd grade teacher your mom made you invite, nothing resonates with people more than what is going into their bellies and what sounds are going into their ears. A magical experience means focusing on what people will remember, so do not feel ashamed to splurge a little for the food and the music. 

Tip #4: Your coordinator should have the caterer pack up a meal for you. Most of the time, you on't have time to eat and are starving by the end of the night.

The day of can be full of jitters, anxiety, or even just not stop moving and grooving.  Once the ceremony and reception is approaching, the last thing on a bride’s mind is eating food.  You can pre-plan with your coordinator to actually build time for you and your new spouse to eat before you enter the reception.  You also may be too excited to eat or anxious to join the party, so make sure you both get plates to go to the hotel later. You may not be hungry in the moment, but you’ll be starving later! 

Tip #5: Get a wedding coordinator if you don't have a planner. If you do nothing else, they will give you peace of mind so you can enjoy the day!

I cannot tell you how many times I have had brides (and mothers) tell me they wish they had someone to coordinate the day of the wedding.  If you or family do it solo, you will find yourself so busy and stressed out about the logistics during the days leading up, and especially the day of, you miss the magic and excitement of getting married!  There will be questions all day long. Not only can a coordinator help you anticipate those questions so they are already answered prior to the big day, but a coordinator can also run interference with vendors throughout the night ensuring everything goes off without a hitch.  The investment in a coordinator is invaluable for not only your peace of mind, but also for you to truly enjoy the experience of your wedding. 

Tip #6: Bring pictures (or your Pinterest board) of the desired style to meet with all your vendors. It's a great way to share your vision.

Visualization is a great way to communicate anything.  If you don’t have a set vision to replicate but have an idea of what theme or aesthetic look you are going for, create a Pinterest Board!  You can make it private, or just share it with a few people (definitely with your Planner!). You can also pull it up in no time at any vendor meeting to show samples of what you like to help communicate clearly. It’s easy to misinterpret words but hard to get wrong what you can see with your own eyes. This gets everyone on the same page and makes the process less frustrating. 

Tip #7: When you get your dress altered, make sure you can sit down in it before they make the dress smaller.

You can look drop dead gorgeous, be comfortable, and maintain functionality.  During the alteration process, brides tend to go for the most fitting and flattering cut. What you shouldn’t forget is that you will need to be able to move around.  You will want to greet guests, sit and rest your feet or chat with guests, dance the cupid shuffle, and you will need to go to the bathroom. The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable doing any of those things.  I always recommend to brides to wear the dress as long as you can since you only get to once! Ensuring the alterations keep functionality for transitions will help. 

Tip #8: There are TONS of wedding traditions. You don't have to follow all of them. It's okay to pick and choose those that are right for you.

You also don’t have to follow any of them! Remember, your ceremony, and whole wedding experience, is yours and your fiance’s and no one else’s.  Even though there are some “best practices” for weddings when it comes to the logistics, that doesn’t have to affect the traditions or big moments you want to take place. Want your dog to walk you down the aisle?  Go for it! You want to do a staged bridesmaid dance? Do it! From unity candles, “no camera” announcements, to avoiding “obey” in the scripture readings, make the experience yours. The pressures of what to do or how to do it will always be there.  Just remember, you’ll be the one looking back at it the most with your significant other, no one else.

Tip #9: Save money where you can. You don't "have" to do anything. Do what works for you and your fiance.

If you are my friend dreaming of their big day before the ring is even on it, do not even be ashamed to be setting aside money now.  If it’s that important for you, there are little ways to slowly put away money or to put it away big and fast. My husband and I saved our change for the day in a change jar for months. We used this money to pay for our photographer.  Budgets can be managed. Vision can be flexible. If you have parental financial help, that is great! If you don’t, no problem! You can still have your magical experience.

Tip #10: You can't please everyone. Figure out your priorities for your wedding, and stick to them.

Make a list of musts, non-negotiables, and things you want to make sure happen (or don’t happen) on the big day.  If you are using a coordinator, this will help them make sure people do not deviate, intentionally or unintentionally, from what you want to take place.  Another perk to having the coordinator is that we don’t mind playing the bad guy. Everyone will have opinions of what you should do. That’s just what they are though, opinion.  Well placed advice from Aunt Mary, your wedding cake vendor telling you the 100 wedding stories of what you shouldn’t do, or even just the pressures of what a “typical” wedding should be.  Brush off those shoulders, and you do you.  

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