Ten Tips to Make Your Wedding Day Run Smoothly
As a wedding coordinator, I frequently see the same issues during each wedding that could have easily been prevented with a little extra planning or practice before the big day. Even though these issues are small, they always seem to throw off the schedule and stress out the bride, groom, wedding party, family, and vendors! Here are some tips to avoid these wedding blunders and make your special day run smoothly:
1. Pull the wicks up on the candles you are using. Most newly purchased candles have wicks that are laying flat against the candle which make it impossible to light.
2. Make sure your table numbers fit into the stanchions you are using. You don’t know how many weddings we have set up where the beautiful table numbers that the brides spent hours designing don’t fit into the rented stanchions because they are either too tall or too thin. Unfortunately, this always results in us having to improvise, which means folding the too tall numbers in half, or taping the too thin numbers to the stanchions.
3. Designate somebody in advance to take your gifts, decorations and extra food home at the end of the night. When it is time to depart, the last thing you want to do is worry about what family member is going to haul everything home. Designate somebody in advance so they can plan ahead and make room in their car.
4. Alphabetize your escort cards. It is extremely time consuming to alphabetize over 100 escort cards with guest names that we are not familiar with! Please put the escort cards in alphabetical order beforehand, it will save time during set-up and make your planners happy.
5. Leave the draping to the professionals. A hot trend at weddings these days is dressing up venue ceilings with beautiful layers of sheer fabric. However, with ceiling comes height and with yards of fabric comes the need of multiple people to place and tack down the fabric. You definitely want to spend some extra money to pay for people who are willing to climb 12 foot ladders and have the knowledge and experience to strategically drape the fabric in beautiful designs.
6. Touch base with all vendors. Within two weeks of your wedding day, make sure to touch base and confirm with all of your vendors. Some of your vendors were likely hired a year in advance. Remember, you aren’t their only client, so make sure to talk to them shortly before the wedding to confirm what time they will be arriving and remind them of any special notes or instructions you previously discussed with them.
7. Hustle your Bustle! Make sure you have at least one person who knows how to bustle your dress. Ideally, you should have that person practice a couple of times before the wedding. If you are unable to have anybody practice, ask your dress shop or seamstress to write out the instructions and then practice yourself.
8. Punctuality is the thief of time. Everything take longer on your wedding, this is inevitable. I don’t care how much time you spend mapping out the details of each minute of the day; you will never stay on schedule. So if you can avoid being late, do so because if you are late, then the entire day will be thrown off. The pictures start late, which means the ceremony is delayed. If the ceremony is delayed, then the reception is pushed back and the caterer has to hold off on dinner. You get the point. Talk to your vendors beforehand and find out how long it will take to get your hair done or take family pictures, then add another 30 to 60 minutes.
9. Hire a day-of coordinator. I’m not trying to plug Your Day Your Way, I promise. Hiring a person who is completely unrelated to the wedding party and wedding itself is a MUST! You and your family, and probably your close friends too, have spent the past year sweating and stressing over the details of your special day. If your budget allows, I strongly recommend a planner who takes care of all the last minute details. This person makes sure you have a plate of food ready and waiting with your favorite drink. If there are any snags with the venue or vendors, they take care of it so you don’t have to. You spent a lot of money for your wedding and a planner will make sure you are able to enjoy every minute of it!
10. Make sure you have a clean-up crew. Most couples will appoint their wedding party as clean-up crew at the end of the night. Intoxicated, tired people climbing ladders to take down hanging flower pomanders. Bad idea. After a long day (or week), the last thing your wedding party wants to do is clean up the party. Give your wedding party a break and let them end the night on a high. Hire a clean-up crew from the venue or spend a little extra to have your wedding planner clean the venue, it is worth it.
Do you have any tips to share?