- Choose your photographer wisely. Have a rapport or make sure you like or click with him/her or them. You will be
spending more time with them than anyone else on your wedding day. I have had numerous brides and grooms
frustrated and angry with their photographers on the day of their wedding. Photographers who are anxious or stressed
the day of your wedding will pass along that negative energy. You may feel like something is wrong or hurried.
You do not want that experience. You want someone you are comfortable with and who is a calming or soothing,
not pushy. You will find a lot of photographers from big companies or booking houses are only worried about getting
their shots completed on their paperwork. They tend to try and get everything done ASAP, so they can get paid.
They may also make you sign off on everything that was done and OK any photos not taken that were in your package.
- If you are getting married in a Church, then taking pictures at another location other than your reception venue,
make sure you allow proper time for travel with traffic, posing for pictures, packing people up, and getting to the
reception site for more pictures with traffic on time. You may want to double the normal travel time and allow 1 hour
for photos depending on what you have selected. This will guarantee that you arrive at your reception sometime
during cocktail hour.
- The biggest time waster at a wedding reception is moving people from cocktail hour into the ballroom for
introductions-dinner-dancing. If you have a large wedding-especially over 200, it will take at least 15 minutes to have
people get into the ballroom and find their seats. If you are worried about your timeline, have the bar close
7 minutes early. This will stop people from ordering 10 miller lites and 10 jack and cokes for dinner, keeping guests
in line at the bar and holding up introductions. A few guests not getting one last drink before dinner could save you
15 minutes or more of dance time.
- Formalities: Introductions, First Dance, Blessing, Toast(s), Father/Daughter Dance, Mother/Son Dance, Bridal
Party Dance. Imagine going to a wedding being teased with alcohol and finger foods for an hour, then waiting
for the introductions to take place and other formalities to happen before the bar re-opens and dinner starts. Would you
want to sit through the First Dance, Blessing, Toast(s), Father/Daughter, Mother/Son and Bridal Party Dances before
you get to start eating? Of course not. There is a way to efficiently produce a wedding without clogging everything up
and extending dinner. I suggest- Intros-1st Dance, Blessing, Toast(s). Let the venue serve dinner straight through.
If there is a delay in between courses, your DJ can get one or both of the parents’ dances completed.
- Cake Cutting has traditionally been done 1.5hrs before the end of the reception depending on if it is dessert or not.
Couples are now doing “private” cake cuttings where they go off with the photographer and/or videographer to do the
cutting/feeding and kiss without formally announcing it. If your cake is dessert, you may want to cut the cake immediately
after dinner to allow enough time for it to be served.
- Hire a Disc Jockey experienced in Wedding Receptions. You need a DJ who will also be an advocate for you, not the
venue. A lot of companies or independents are on a preferred list and will not get involved if things are not going as planned with timeline or service for fear of losing their exclusive or preferred status. You want a professional dj that will
produce your event the way you had planned together.
- When hiring a DJ make sure you get to meet with your specific DJ. You also want the contact information for your
DJ-email and cell phone. A lot of multi-op companies will not even let you know who will be your dj, let alone meet or talk
- When meeting with your DJ, give them as much information about what you want and do not want in terms of
entertainment. The more information they have, the easier it is for them to produce the results you want at your reception.
Most DJ’s would like a small MUST PLAY list 10-12 songs and a bigger DO NOT PLAY list. This will give them a
map of where they have to go and where they can not go with regards to music. Trust them to do their job of reading the
crowd and making sure everyone is included musically. You do not want to alienate any specific age group of your guests.
- There are a thousand decisions to be made through the wedding planning process. Many are small and inconsequential,
and some are very important. Plan on getting your major pieces taken care of as soon as you can. These would be booking
a venue for ceremony, venue for reception, photographer, videographer, entertainment, transportation, florist, officiant,
music for ceremony…. If you get these out of the way quickly, you will have plenty of time in dealing with any drama or
complications that may occur.
- Communicate any questions or concerns with the professionals you hire as soon as they come up. I have dealt with too
many couples who waited to address an issue and it caused all kinds of stress and arguments. Most things that come
up in the planning process can be taken care of quickly just by asking those you have hired for help.
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THERE ARE MANY MORE TIPS AND ADVICE WAITING TO BE GIVEN TO HELP YOU ENJOY YOUR SPECIAL DAY.