10 Steps To A Fabulous Wedding Celebration
It's no secret... you'd like a wonderful wedding day! While this is likely your first time planning such an event, you are not alone. Online resources are plentiful with advice, proven strategies and tips for those in need of inspiration. While we cannot limit planning tips to a 10 step blueprint, I believe that the following steps are a critical part of achieving your dream wedding day. So thanks for reading and best of luck in planning your big day!
#10… Be Realistic About Time
Leave yourself more than enough time for everything to take place. Weddings can often run behind, even if only by a few minutes. While a few minutes probably won’t upset your timeline too much, a 30 minute delay could leave guests restless while spinning your day into a frenzy. Plan ahead for incidentals so that there is extra time, just in case.
#9… Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
Whether during the planning stages or on your wedding day, pick your battles. I would not suggest making concessions on the major decisions. However, on minor matters, be flexible! Only you know the matters of great importance to you. Decide where you can be flexible and where you should stand firm.
#8… Ask The Right Questions
You have lots of choices to make. Remember, each potential vendor you consider will be trusted to handle a part of your day. So be sure to ask the right questions and feel comfortable with each vendor you hire. Don’t be afraid to ask questions prior to signing a contract. Any reputable vendor will gladly answer your questions and HELP you make the best decision for your wedding day. For a list of questions that you must ask before hiring a vendor, Click Here.
#7… Always Hire Professionals
You should never overlook the importance of hiring full-time wedding professionals. While it may seem advantageous and cost effective to hire amateurs, this is rarely a decision that pays off. Certainly, I’m an advocate of saving money in the appropriate areas, however when it comes to vendors, I would not apply this philosophy too readily. An amateur will not be as familiar with protocol, routine or problem solving as a professional will. IF something were to go wrong, an amateur’s solution will often make the matter worse. Remember… this is your ONE day to plan the celebration of a lifetime! Trust professionals to handle the most important details! When possible, hire professionals who specialize in weddings only!
#6… Don’t Work Your Own Wedding!
Once you’ve done the planning, it is important for you to allow the plans to develop on the big day. Remember… prior proper planning prevents poor results. Trust the choices you’ve made, during the planning stages. On your wedding day, you must enjoy your time with family and friends. Managing the details of the day should be left to your wedding planner or a hired, trusted professional. Allow the photographer to direct your photos… the DJ to lead the announcements and celebration… the caterer to handle the meal service. Be clear with instructions in advance, having a written “game plan” for the day. But by no means should you attempt to manage the day of details.
#5… Don’t OVER-Plan!
This should truly be the happiest day of your life. The stresses of planning a wedding celebration can often be avoided by taking a step back and deciding what really matters. Although you should absolutely plan the day you want, some things should be allowed to simply flow. First decide the matters that are most important to you. These are the non-negotiables. Then decide those matters that, while still important, you can delegate to others. Lastly, identify the matters that are essential, but do not require your immediate, or even direct, attention. Let other’s help, pick your battles wisely and be confident in the decisions that you & others have made.
#4… Consider The Weather
Plan for the unexpected… weather-wise. Outdoor weddings have long been the dream backdrop for couples. If this is your preferred choice, be smart, and have a back-up plan in place. This is not something to be decided in the moment, but rather prior to. If your ceremony is scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm, and you see threatening skies at 1:00 pm, it’s time to make the call. Remember, your location’s staff needs time to move chairs, decor and anything else "ceremony related" to accommodate you & your guests. Your musician(s) and/or DJ must be set-up in a dry place. Inclement weather plans should also consider travel time & outdoor photos. More importantly, consider the weather before, contracting your ceremony/reception location. What is their policy for inclement weather?
#3… Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?
I often encounter couples who run into a battle with family members or friends during the planning stages.
The Predicament: How do you please everyone?
The Answer: You DON’T!
You’ve found the love of your life in your fiancee’. You’ve chosen a great location and your bridal party is set. You must remember that you cannot please everyone. Sure you’ll get great ideas and advice from friends and family. While these loved ones almost always mean well, rarely do they have the experience to guide you flawlessly through the planning stages. Often times, their ideas do not mesh with yours. In the end, you’ve got to be happy with your wedding day. In no way, however, should you ignore all advice. You may receive some very valuable ideas. Just keep in mind that this is your day and although advice is mostly appreciated, you are not obligated to use any advice you receive.
Bottom Line: Make It Yours!
#2… Confirm And Then… Confirm
You’ve spent lots of time planning your wedding day. You don’t want a detail or two to get lost in the shuffle. Contact your vendors 10 -14 days in advance to confirm all details. If your caterer forgot to order a specialty linen or you had a last minute addition for the florist, 10 – 14 days is enough time to correct any oversights. Confirm with your vendors in advance and solidify delivery, arrival & set-up times, quantities of items needed, colors, specialty meals needed, required song selections for your DJ and so forth. If your wedding day is on or near a holiday, please know that delivery times (Amazon, USPS, UPS, etc.) may be altered.
#1… Last But Not Least!
I consider this point to be the most important: Enjoy your day with the ones you love! This will be a day you remember forever. I strongly advise you to do the following… STOP & take a moment to look over your guests at the reception. No… seriously, stop and take a look around! It sounds simple, but It can be easily forgotten. Schedule just five minutes to take a look around and experience the feelings you get when looking at your day. You’ve invited your guests to share in your day. Your family & friends are there to celebrate your love and enjoy this day with you. Be sure to thank your guests and let them know what their presence means to you. Share and enjoy the moment!