Make sure you put yourself first when choosing your wedding theme. Have you always envisioned a rustic barn wedding in the afternoon, or a formal, evening wedding in a hotel ballroom? Whatever you choose, make sure you stay true to yourself. After you set a budget, make a list of priorities to help you determine how much money to allocate to each aspect of the event. You may choose to spend more on dinner if you consider your consider yourself a “foodie”, while someone who is passionate about music or dancing may spend more on a DJ and band.
Consider out of town guests who may be traveling long distances, at a considerable expense, to attend your wedding. Provide transportation to and from the ceremony and reception. Make welcome care packages for guests to receive upon their arrival to the hotel, including snacks, drinks, and a map of restaurants and other local points of interest.
Mingle families through your seating chart based on similar hobbies and interests. This will give your guests an opportunity to get to know one another and connect with each other on multiple subjects. For a more laid-back feel, assign people to certain tables, instead of specific seats. If there will be children at your wedding, consider a “kid’s table” with crayons, stickers, and white paper table cloths, in order to make them feel included, and keep them entertained.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with table shape and get creative with your centerpieces. Not all tables need to be exactly the same. Make sure your tables aren’t too cluttered, and that your guests can still see each while seated at the table.
Do some research before you pick your floral arrangements. A good florist will be able to tell you which flowers will be in season, making them more cost effective. Avoid including flowers with a strong scent in the centerpieces, so that they do not overpower the food.
While large bouquets seem to be making a comeback, remember that a bulky bouquet will be much more difficult to carry and pose gracefully with in pictures. As the bride, the focus should be on you and your groom. A large bouquet may cover more of you, and your gown than you initially intended. Bring a photo of your dress to show the florist so that they can properly determine the size and shape of your bouquet.
While paper will always reign supreme for invitations, don’t clutter invitations or over-stuff envelopes with information that could be better delivered electronically. Include a link to your wedding website or send an e-mail with information like maps of the area, hotels, and restaurants for your guests to utilize.
Give your photographer some freedom. While it is important that you communicate which pictures are essential on your big day, allowing the photographer to have fun and do their job will provide you with several candid and creative photos that they may not be able to capture if they are too heavily scheduled. Don’t forget to feed your photographer, as well as any other vendors like a wedding planner and DJ, and consider it part of their fee.
Choose a hairstyle that makes you feel prettiest. If you hate the way your hair looks up, don’t feel like you have to wear it that way for your wedding. Stick to natural makeup, instead of trying out a new trendy look that you wouldn’t normally wear. The last thing you want to do is look back at your wedding photos and feel like you don’t look like yourself. Schedule more time than you think you will need for hair and makeup, just in case something needs to be redone, and to allow time for pictures while getting ready. The less rushed you are, the less stressed you will feel.
10. Let Go
There will always be something that doesn’t go as planned. You have done all that you can up until your wedding day, and it is time to let go of the little things, and enjoy being in the moment. Remember, your reception is a celebration! Have fun! If at the end of the day you are married to the one you love, then everything went well.