Wedding planning is a lot of things – fun, overwhelming, time-consuming – just to name a few. For most of our couples, this is the first time they’ve planned a big event, and there are a number of things that may slip through the cracks simply because they don’t know about them! With 119 events in 2015, we’ve had the opportunity to assist in so many special days. We’ve seen wedding days run perfectly from start to finish, and on the flip-side, we’ve noticed some little things that were overlooked for one reason or another. In an effort to make planning easier (and to ensure your day goes smoothly!), we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks for you to keep in mind as you continue planning your big day!
Alphabetize Your Place Cards | The purpose of your place cards is to easily direct your guests to their tables, but about 1 out of every 5 of our couples organizes their place cards by table number instead of alphabetically. While at first thought this might not seem like a bad idea, when guests approach the table to find their card (and thus their seat), if not alphabetized, they don’t know where to look! This results in each guest taking more time locating their table assignment and inevitably creates a line of guests at the table. This in turn leads to a delay in getting the reception started, pushing back each event for the remainder of the night. Trust us – you don’t want to rush your cake-cutting or miss a dance simply because of your place cards.
Plan for Extra Chairs at the Ceremony | If you and a date go to a wedding, when you slide into a row to take your seat, you typically leave an empty seat in between the two of you and those further down the row. It is something that just happens! If you’re having the entire first (or second) row reserved for family members, you may end up with some empty seats on the end of the row. Because of these two situations that occur at almost every wedding, it’s best to figure that if having 150 people attending your wedding, you’ll need more than 150 chairs. I recommend planning for at least 10 extra chairs up to 100. After that, plan for 10% extra. It’s always better to have too many than not enough!
Have Your Florist Arrive Around the Same Time as Your Caterer | Unless you’re doing formal photos fairly early, it’s best to have your florist arrive close to the same time as your caterer. Without the caterer and their linens, the florist is fairly limited in what they can do. We frequently have florists arrive in the morning only to have them stand around until the caterer arrives with linens! If your florist arrives shortly before the caterer, they can take that time to drop off your bouquets and arrange any ceremony decor. Once the caterer has the linens and place settings down, they can then begin the reception decor.
Think About Sunset When Planning the Start Time | This is especially important if not seeing your soon-to-be husband before the ceremony. For example, if you plan a sunset ceremony without having the bulk of your photos done before the ceremony, you’ll likely end up with just a short amount of time for photos and end up racing to get them done before the sun goes down! Photos are such an important part of your day – ensure that you give yourselves at least an hour of daylight for photos! Even if doing the majority of photos early, it’s still good to plan for some light after your ceremony – sunset photos are always stunning and provide a completely different light than photos earlier in the day!
Have a Gift Table | These days, it’s more common for guests to give monetary gifts in cards than to deliver actual presents; but there are always a couple of guests that bring gifts! Whether the gift is something off of your registry, something handmade, or an item that they saw and just knew you’d love, it’s best to plan for a table! If you really don’t anticipate gifts, plan to put some decor on this table – think photos of the two of you, your guestbook, or maybe some photos of loved ones that couldn’t be there for your wedding day.
There are so many details involved in planning a wedding. Take our advice on the few mentioned above! These little things can make a big difference on your wedding day.
Stay tuned for Part Two!
Photo left by Erin Keough Photography.