Before You Say I DO, Don't Forget...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Two years ago yesterday! 

Based on scientific and unscientific research…okay, based on analytics and talking to some of you in person, I know that several of my readers are planning weddings this year.

Last year, a friend asked if I had any advice for her before her wedding. You know, the stuff they don’t put in the magazines or on websites. So I gave her some of these tips that I’ve decided to republish here. Please do let me know if there is something that my married readers would like to add!

Two bits of pre-wedding week advice:
1.     It’s a marriage between you and someone you love (I hope). It’s not a magazine shoot. Do things because they are “you” – not because People Magazine bought the rights to your nuptials for their next issue.
2.     Weddings are as only as stressful as you make them. Planning 35 craft projects and haven’t started a single one? Your fault.

·       Boxes, Numbers + Lists
o   Traveling from my parents’ house to the hotel, we had a lot of boxes and items for the reception. I’m a crazy organizer that loves lists, so I numbered every box and item and created a corresponding chart that listed what was in each box and what needed to happen to that item for the wedding coordinator at the hotel. For example, box 1 on the list contained the guest book, cake cutter, place cards, etc. The list on the chart said “box 1” and had a list of what was in that box. It helped keep myself and the coordinator organized and eliminated a lot of questions!
o   If you are getting ready at the hotel the morning of your wedding, include in one important box everything you need to get ready. I’m talking your earrings, bracelet, makeup, garters, shoes, something blue, extra copy of your invite for your photographer, etc.  Put everything in one box – there are so many little things to forget!

o   Another important list – your guest list. Print an extra copy in alphabetical order to help you and the coordinator set up the place cards. OR just in case your place cards are wine charms and bottle openers placed on a cork board with hand bedazzled push pins and someone knocks over the stand with all 200 names....

DON’T Call Me, Maybe
o   Assign your friends and family to be in charge of a vendor so that you aren’t the one dealing with them the day of the wedding. While my florist had a special contact number, she kept calling me, but my phone was nowhere in sight while getting ready!

·       After the party, it’s the hotel….
o   This is a silly and funny thing, but ask you hotel not to put you in a room next to your guests. The hubs booked a room for his groomsmen in his name, so some awful booking person put them next to our suite…with a joining door.

·       Money Shot List
o   Most photographers do this, but if they don’t, make a list of what are must have shots on your wedding day. Again, most weddings I’ve been part of, the photographer has this, but when they don’t, it can cause the newlyweds to miss shots that they wanted (i.e. bride and groom with grandparents, etc.)
o   Don’t forget to tell your family to stay behind if you want them in photos. For example, if you are getting married in a church and want a shot with your aunts and cousins, remind them to stay behind after the ceremony or list that in your program.

·       Run-of-Show
o   That’s a fancy word for what we in the PR business call an agenda. There’s nothing worse than not knowing what time you need to be where when you are in a wedding. Make an agenda for your guests and bridal party and email it to them the week of the wedding. Also share those details with the hotel front desk (or the place where your guests are staying) so they can direct people to the ceremony site if need be.
Run-of-show included in the welcome ice buckets

·       It’s YOUR Day
o   The hosts always sets the tone for the party. If you are dancing, others are dancing. If you are having fun, others are having fun. If you are drunk, others are likely getting drunk too. If you look nervous, others will feel nervous too. HAVE FUN.
o   Don’t freak out if you forgot the 210 menus that you hand cut and glittered (don’t worry, this didn’t happen to me). You will still get married, people will eat and have fun and likely, no one will notice!

For the record, the Smithkowski wedding involved 27 craft projects (not including Shot of Mom’s projects). The original list was probably 35 (as mentioned above).