Being a part of the ChocolateBrides Community, I’ve been blessed to attend quite a few weddings. Regardless of whether it was a wedding of a fellow CB who I’ve had the awesome pleasure of knowing through the board, friends and family members, or sometimes absolute strangers about which CB is reporting, I tend to see the same repetitive errors….so I’m gonna clue you in to a few.
- Number or code the back of your RSVP cards to correspond with your guest list so that you can tell who the returned cards belong to! I can’t tell you how many people don’t know how to properly fill out and return an RSVP card. Having a small way to identify their card will save you tons of confusion and time.
- At your rehearsal the night before, take a minute and jot down the order of the processional into the reception. It holds up YOUR entrance when the DJ or coordinator has to walk up and down the bridal party line with a piece of paper asking everyone’s name, or making sure that people are standing in the same order as they are written in the program.
- Tell your DJ what kind of music, if not a specific song altogether, that you would like for your bridal party to enter on. I’ve seen at least three weddings where a really upbeat couple had to enter their reception to smooth jazz. Uncute.
- Clearly DEFINE and EXPLAIN exactly what you want your hostesses and helpers to do! I have been to quite a few receptions where hostesses were sitting around while friendly helpers took on the task of setting up the guest table and other tasks. I’ve also seen people who have no business running the guest list, suddenly being in charge of telling your Aunt Mabel where she’s supposed to sit, and rather rudely I might add. Also, if you expect these people to set up ANY decorations, leave clear instructions about where you want things to be. You do not want people pulling things out of boxes going, “I wonder what she wants us to do with this thing?” No matter how much of a perfectionist or micro-manager you THINK you’re still gonna want to be on your wedding day, you will not be the least bit concerned with these things. Trust me. Plan ahead.
- Since we’re on the subject of the guest entrance table, make sure you have people at the door who will respect your wishes NO MATTER WHAT. It may mean them catching a few nasty looks, or evil glares, but the goal is not to make them popular, but to make sure that your orders are followed. Even if you made it crystal clear in your invitations that only RSVP’d guests will be allowed into your plated reception, it will go right out the window really fast if your cousin Peaches is at the door laughing and chilling instead of holding up the law.
- You do NOT have to allow any and everyone who asks to help, the opportunity to help. Woe to the bride who let her shaky handed cousin Pearline cut out the monograms she wants perfectly sized for her programs. Please, give Pearline a job that doesn’t rest solely on her ability to hold scissors steadily and save yourself the heartache of having to wait until AFTER she’s ruined all $15 worth of your specially purchased paper only for you to have to go out and buy some more and then cut it yourself anyway. There are times when trying to be nice, doubles your workload.
- Take your Maid of Honor with you when you have your final fitting. Not just because you want to “ooh” and “ahh” together, but because you need for this woman to know exactly how you want your dress fastened and how the bustle works! It would make no sense at all to spend that hefty fee for a glamorous bustle and then spend a half hour standing helplessly in the bathroom of your reception hall while your MOH tries to figure out what ties with what.
- Please inform your mother and mother-in-law that they are NOT to beat up the coordinator on the day of the wedding. As hard as it may be, the mom’s have to realize that the way your day plays out is the way you’ve planned and coordinated with your wedding staff. Let them know ahead of time that they are not to grandstand and assert authority over your vendors or planner just because their baby got married today. I have seen TWO weddings where the mother of the bride and even one where a mother of the groom, who had no prior knowledge of the couple’s wedding plan, came in and restructured seating, changed music selections, even changed the order of the program to suit themselves. Tell Mama nem to “saddown somewhere” or they just might catch a beatdown from your coordinator.
- If you hire a coordinator, hire one with thick skin. Your wedding day may be beautiful on the outside, but baby there are gonna be some battles underneath. People cuss, fuss, and act a clown behind the scenes at weddings. Nothing will be accomplished easily if your coordinator is in the bathroom crying into her hanky because Aunt Ruthie has cursed her out. Yes, even YOUR dear sweet Aunt Ruthie will act a hell’s bell fool on her favorite niece’s wedding day. Guests, obviously, don’t know the work that has been put into a wedding or reception, all they know is what they see. Some guests, don’t like when they see themselves sitting a bit of a distance away from your head table, or when they find out that they can’t enter the hall until a certain time. And believe it or not, there are some guests who will totally flip if a coordinator politely reminds them that they have not RSVP’d and should stand to the side until they are approved entry. Your coordinator and staff should be well-equipped to handle any emotional outbursts. Take a good long look at her. If she seems like Aunt Ruthie would have her hemmed up, seek other arrangements for the day of the wedding.
- EAT! Your wedding is a big event. Your body is going to be pumping out so many endorphins that you just might forget that no, you cannot live on love alone, you need fuel. I personally forgot to eat at my own wedding and had a splitting headache until the next morning. Make sure that you have a small snack throughout the day to keep your energy up. You will thank yourself later.
- SMILE! (or at least look happy) People are snapping pictures from all angles at all times. You do not even want to know how many brides have seen pictures of themselves after the wedding and said, “What was I thinking about right then?”
- Be attentive to your groom. Yes, its the wedding, and its a big party and you have to greet people etc, but you just attached yourself to this man for LIFE, the least you could do is make sure he knows where you are at your own reception. I have seen with my own two eyes, grooms who are left sitting at their head tables eating while the bride is showing her cousins the new ring.
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