Every bride is faced with the same set of questions as she goes through the planning process. Should I do this? Should I do that? There are also plenty of things brides do not think of, simply because they are thinking of everything else! So, here are the top 10 Do’s & Don’ts of planning a fantastic wedding…
10. Don’t Rock the Cash Bar –
When it comes to alcohol at your reception, what you serve is entirely up to you. Whether you choose to serve a full bar, limited cocktails, Beer and Wine, or no alcohol at all will be based on various factors including budget. The one option I never recommend is a Cash Bar. Your guests should be gracious enough to accept what is being offered to them.
Also, request that bartenders not put out tip jars. If you are hosting the bar, tell your catering contact that you are happy to pay gratuity to the bartender(s) but that you do not want your guests to feel obligated to tip.
9. Go flat! Or at least have the option…
A huge number of brides give feedback that they wish they had worn flats, having kicked off their heels during the reception. As a bride you can expect to be standing for 8-12 hours on your wedding day. Be sure to break in your shoes well in advance. Even when wearing flats, unexpected blisters can form after a few hours on your feet. If you choose to wear heels – and let’s face it, anyone who knows me knows I LOVE heels and will certainly wear them at my wedding – be sure to purchase an equally fantastic pair of flats to wear for dancing and reception fun.
8. Have a little faith.
DJ‘s are perhaps the wedding vendor most micromanaged by couples. Too many song requests may actually impede the flow of your party. You hire your DJ to judge when to play what music. You wouldn’t instruct your caterer step by step on how to prepare food, or your photographer on what angles and lenses to use. Limit your DJ request list to a few favorites and a do-not-play list of only the songs you cannot stand. Try not to get carried away and have some trust.
7. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.
What really matters most to you? The photographer, the music and dancing, the food and wine, the decorations, or being able to accommodate a large guest list? Put your money towards what you care about. You will have regrets if you skimp on what really counts. When you, the Bride and Groom are not footing the bill yourselves however, you may have to forfeit some financial decision making. If this is the case you will need to compromise on certain priorities or if you really want that pricey photographer offer to pay for one yourself.
Dress shops do not control the length of time it takes to ship your gown. That all depends on the designer and the dress you choose. Be sure to shop early and schedule your first fitting well before your wedding. Your final dress fitting should be no less than 1 week prior to your wedding so that alterations can still be made.
Tuxedo rentals for all attendants must be tried on, and that includes Dad. Whether the tailor seemed to take precise measurements or not, too many men still show up at weddings with high waters or baggy tuxes.
5. Don’t hit the road, Jack.
Your wedding day is one of the biggest, most important days of your life. You will be exhausted the following day. Getting up at the crack of dawn to make that flight is last thing you will want to worry about. Wait a day or so before venturing on your honeymoon. Your wits will thank you.
4. Last night of single life.
DO NOT hold your Bachelor or Bachelorette party the night before your wedding! This may seem like a no-brainer but many brides and grooms still practice the archaic ritual of drinking all night on that fatal evening. It is simply not worth it. You and your attendants will no doubt feel tired, look tired, perhaps have a hangover, or worse be sick walking down the aisle. If necessary, request that any out of town attendants arrive a day earlier to help you to prepare and celebrate a different night.
3. Choosing to Forgo Guidance.
With no director, planner, or coordinator there are too many details left to too many people – or worse, no one at all! – at your ceremony and reception. Working with a wedding planner allows for one person to professionally coordinate your wedding party, family members, vendors and venues and to resolve any unexpected last minute complications. A planner will ease the stress level of everyone, including you, tremendously on your wedding day. Planners may be much more affordable than you think.
2. Stretching yourself too thin.
Do not commit yourself to social events the day before your wedding, outside of perhaps a lovely luncheon with your bridesmaids or out of town relatives and friends. This day is meant for you to beautify yourself, attend your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, and most importantly relax and get some rest for the day ahead. You are going to need it!
1. Become the Dreaded Bridezilla….
Try to keep in mind that although your bridesmaids and groomsmen may offer you extra help, these friends can easily become taken advantage of without realizing it. The only “official obligations” of wedding party members are emotional support, the financial expense of wedding attire and travel, participation in the rehearsal and the obvious role on your wedding day. In the case of the MOH or BM, reception toasts are traditional as well. Other help that these individuals may offer should not be viewed as duties, but rather as acts of kindness including: setting up or tearing down, transporting ceremony goods, throwing a bridal shower or other party, distributing gratuities, and any other help that is offered.
Remember to be thoughtful towards your attendants. Bridesmaids may not be comfortable in 4 inch heels, purchasing new jewelry or paying to have their hair or makeup professionally styled. Do not forget to personally thank any bridal party members for taking part in your wedding, as well as family members who gave you assistance. A small thank you gift and card is always appreciated.
So there you have it – a few things to keep in mind as the days fly by and you march your way toward wedded bliss.
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- Say ‘I Do’ to Wedding Etiquette (lifescript.com)
- Tips for Brides (wedding-planning.suite101.com)
- Wedding Rules for Every Bride (lifescript.com)