These Are The Only Things That Matter On Your Wedding Day
After having most of my good girlfriends married off now, I’ve had a chance to talk them about what they thought of their weddings. They’re all at least six months past their big days now, so they’ve had the space and time to really reflect on the event without the high emotions that come near the actual wedding. It’s been pretty eye-opening, and I’ve learned some things from them that could really save me a headache (and money) later. Once the wedding planning begins, the brides can be so nervous/excited/overwhelmed that they can’t see straight and are convinced that they must buy this upsell on the flowers, table settings, party favors, and chairs. But once the big day is over, they realize how much of that didn’t even go noticed or touched. So, here are the only things that matter at a wedding.
An open bar
There seems to be a resounding agreement that, if you don’t have an open bar, guests feel ripped off. Many of them flew hundreds of miles and booked hotels to be here, but they have to pay for their own martini? Furthermore, if the guests can drink plenty, they’ll love whatever food you serve and whatever music you play. So, if you must, choose the cheaper caterer so you can afford an open bar.
So long as the playlist is good, people will have a great time. So, with that in mind, while a live band may seem very romantic and exciting, your guests won’t wind up appreciating it enough to make it worth the cost. Just get a good DJ, and be very specific about your playlist.
The main complaint I’ve heard from guests and brides and grooms is this: there isn’t enough food at weddings. The chicken and fish passed out is barely enough to fill the hungry tummies of guests who plan on dancing all night. Your guests would rather be full on generic food, than only half-way full on very fancy food.
If you dream of marrying on a hilltop in Bali, then maybe have a private ceremony there—just you and your boo. If you make your guests go there, though, most of them won’t and the ones who do will sort of resent you for it forever. Be reasonable about location.
Whatever you need to do—get heaters, get fans, provide blankets, provide a tent—do it to control the climate. When guests get too hot or too cold, they go home early.
A dress that photographs well
Current brides-to-be might have a hard time swallowing this reality but, that custom-made dress that you personally designed and worked tirelessly with a designer to have created—it’s not worth it. When you look back at photos, you will not notice the hand beading you paid an extra two thousand dollars for. You’ll notice how it flattered your body. That’s about it. If you can handle it, consider settling for an affordable dress that will photograph nicely, and save money for other things.
Relatives feeling acknowledged
If the important relatives do not feel acknowledged, you could burn a bridge or ostracize yourself for a very long time. A small mention of the close, relevant people in a toast—or mention of them in the program—goes a long way.
A clear itinerary and signs
There should be a clear itinerary and well-marked signs so that guests always know where to go to eat/use the restroom/take photos/dance etc. Without these, your whole night could be thrown off. You might make your grand entrance to the dining hall and find that only half the guests are there.
A great photographer
When all is said and done, all you’ll have is the memories. So if you’re going to put a lot of research into one thing, it should be the photographer. See your friends’ wedding photos and find a photographer who captured every element that you’d want captured at your wedding.
Consideration of children
Will there be childcare on site? Or perhaps, at one of the major hotels guests are staying at? Or, is this a child-free wedding? Your friends with kids need to know these things.
Oh for goodness sake make sure people can find the seating cards, and read them. I’ve been to too many weddings where people got too creative with the seating cards and nobody could tell what they said. Or, people didn’t even realize they were seating cards. It was chaos.
I understand that there are politics involved here but…your bridesmaids are going to be around you for a lot. They’ll be with you for the bridal shower, the bachelorette party, the slumber parties when you put together party favor bags, the dress fittings, and the entire morning before the actual ceremony. Choose bridesmaids who are easy going and will focus on helping you. If you leave someone out because they have a bad attitude, well, at least they’ll be outside with the other guests and not in your changing room.
Your own sleep
Make sure you get some sleep. You don’t want to be so tired on your wedding day that you don’t appreciate all the wonderful moments. So be selfish about your time the night before the wedding. And, consider having a ceremony that’s slightly later in the day so that you don’t have to get up at 6am to get your makeup done.
This is so important! You’ll cherish looking over this when you’re older! So first, make sure you have one and second, make sure somebody is in charge of making guests sign it.
At the end of the day, know that you will not notice most things on your actual wedding day, and you certainly won’t remember them. So sometimes, when you have to pick the color of a ribbon on a chair, just pick the first one you see and move on.