One of the best pieces of advice a bride can receive is to hire a “Day-of Coordinator,” yet most people don’t know that such a person exists! Akin to a fairy godmother with serious wedding skills, a Day-of Coordinator picks up where you should leave off, allowing you to enjoy the most magical of wedding days.
Day-of services are designed to combine all the freedom and fun of planning your wedding yourself with the reassurance and peace of mind that hiring a professional event manager brings. Instead of tracking the dozens of details you put into place on the day of the wedding, an experienced and skilled coordinator can act on your behalf to make your plans come to life.
Most brides don’t realize the level of logistical coordination that is required on the wedding day. Day-of Coordinators greet and organize vendors on arrival and ensure that your contract with each one is followed. If a crisis arises, a coordinator has the resources and experience to make adjustments that will keep your plans on track. If you have contributed personal details like décor, favors or other items to the design of your wedding, your coordinator will often set these up for you as well.
Once guests arrive and during the ceremony and reception rituals, the Day-of Coordinator supports, or sometimes acts as, your Mistress of Ceremony. Roles may include releasing bridesmaids down the aisle, cueing flower girls and ring bearers and communicating with musicians to ensure smooth transitions. Coordinators often help direct guests and keep an eye on the tiny details, like whether or not guests are signing the guest book. They may also assist with finding family members for formal portraits.
At the reception, a coordinator will communicate with your caterer, entertainer, photographer, and staff to keep events running on time and confirming that important guests are present for each formality. The coordinator might help bustle your dress before your first dance or provide you with a quick fix when your shoes rub a little too painfully. Keeping you happy, fed and dancing are top priorities!
Finally, at the end of the event, a Day-of Coordinator will often pack up all of your personal items and either store them for pick-up the following day or transfer everything to a family car for easy departure.
If enjoying your meticulously planned wedding day is on the top of your to do list, hire a reputable, experienced Day-of Coordinator. Your investment will pay off in a stress-free, magical wedding day.
Bridal Show Survival Tip #1… Be prepared to wait in line to register. Exercise patience! We know you are eager to see all the fabulousness that the vendors have to offer.
Bridal Show Survival Tip#2… Plan to spend a minimum of 3 to 4 hours in order to see all the creative design ideas and the fashion showings that will be sashaying your way throughout the showcase. Wear comfortable shoes because the majority of your time will be spent standing and talking to vendors.
Bridal Show Survival Tip #3… Pre-printed self-adhesive address labels are going to be your best buddy. You will be asked for your name, address, phone number, email and wedding date countless times before the show is over. The labels will save you lots of time as you peruse from vendor to vendor.
Bridal Show Survival Tip #4… Don’t forget to carry your color swatches. This may very well prove helpful in getting suggestions from vendors, such as florists or the invitation specialists. One of the best things about the bridal show is that it gives you an opportunity to see what’s new and exciting; things you or your fiancé’ may not have thought of or considered.
Bridal Show Survival Tip #5… Don’t hesitate to ask lots of questions. The vendors know you’re beaming with excitement and they would LOVE to share in that with you. Every professional at the bridal show is happy to share what they know with you. First question you want to ask is… “Are you available on my wedding day?” If you get a “NO”, that saves you time and you can move right along.
Bridal Show Survival Tip #6… The best place to write notes about a vendor is right on the literature he or she gives you. It is very helpful to you after the show to keep the vendors from blending into one another. I’ve found that placing a few blank self-adhesive address labels in your purse actually come in handy. They can stick right on the brochure! And you can make a few good notes there!!
Bridal Show Survival Tip #7… Don’t expect to walk away from the show with a ton of signed contracts in your hand. If you speak with a vendor, and you are interested in them, I suggest making AND keeping the appointment with them. That way you can discuss your wedding in depth. Without being rushed or interrupted by other brides.
Bridal Show Survival Tip #8… If you are out of town, send your mother or your bestie to collect information on the services you and your fiancé need. You’d be surprised how much they will enjoy helping you with this part of the wedding planning process.
Bridal Show Survival Tip #9… Try to avoid bringing small children to the show. I know it’s sometimes tempting to bring your flower girl along to show her all the exciting happenings, but trust me, she is sure to tire quickly and detract from your mission of finding vendors and ideas for your wedding. Make a date with her at Sweet Frog instead. You’ll thank me later!
Bridal Show Survival Tip #10….Most importantly, HAVE FUN!!!! This is the most exciting time of your life. ENJOY IT!!! The ladies at Elegantly Yours Events celebrate in your excitement and wish you a stress-free wedding planning process!!
The purpose of many pre-wedding soirees is to “shower” the bride (and as is becoming more popular these days, the groom too!) with gifts that will help ease their transition into married life. These events are meant to be relaxing, fun and full of your closest friends and family. While your job is to sit back and gratefully enjoy some pampering, the following tips will help you and your hosts prepare for an entertaining, organized and memorable celebration.
At a bridal shower, your loved ones come together to toast your soon-to-be-wed good fortune, bombard you with great gifts, make goo-goo eyes at your fabulous ring, and take all the pressures you may have about your wedding preparations away for a few hours. This is an equation for pure bridal Heaven. Historically, the bridal shower was a way to provide the bride-to-be with all the necessities that were essential for a woman to bring to her new home; however, today’s bride often already has most of these domestic basics. Even so, a shower is an opportunity for your inner circle to share the happiness you feel in anticipation of your new life.
Who should host the bridal shower?
Usually the maid or matron of honor, with help from the other bridesmaids, a sister, mother, daughter, or other close female family member, will coordinate the festivities. While traditional wedding etiquette holds that relatives should not throw showers, we now see many more aunts, cousins and even mothers involved in hosting these events.
Who should be invited?
A bridal shower guest list should be limited to the bridal party and the closest friends and family members of the bride and sometimes the groom. Only guests invited to the wedding should be invited to the shower to avoid the impression that you invited someone just to solicit a gift. The bride should be consulted about the guest list unless the shower is a surprise party. In such cases, the maid of honor or the bride’s mother will usually handle and edit the roster.
When should it be?
When scheduling the shower, consider the availability of your guests while also being sensitive to those who may need to travel. Secure your venue early, even if it’s a private home. A shower can take place six months or two weeks prior to the big day. Do not plan the shower for the week of the wedding, as there will likely be a lot stress during those last few days.
Who should do what?
The hostess should delegate jobs to other bridesmaids and willing friends. These tasks might include inviting guests, preparing a creative menu and planning decorations. Sending out formal invitations is not required, but it does help encourage important RSVPs.
During the shower, assign someone to record gifts received along with the gift-giver’s name to ease the bride’s task of writing thank you notes. To encourage guests to interact and socialize, plan a sufficient time where old friends can catch up and everyone can meet new people.
Most importantly, have fun and relax and your shower will be a raging success!
With weddings, it’s easy to focus on the inevitable small glitches. However, know that the best way to savor the wedding day is to keep in mind the moments that matter most- whether it be your honey’s smile when you’re pronounced husband and wife, your adoring guests, the scrumptious menu or your friends trying to do the Cha Cha Slide.
Not only will this make your big day better and put your attendants and guests at ease, but it will also be good practice for your marriage – and life. After all, isn’t it always best to look on the bright side of things?
Here are a few handy tricks we share with our brides, to make sure they are truly savoring the day:
- Take a minute to write in your journal on the wedding morning.
- Tell your parents you love them.
- Get in the middle of a group hug with your best friends before the festivities begin.
- After the ceremony, fade away with your honey to a quiet, private place.
- Kiss, hold each other, gaze into each other’s eyes, and tell each other how happy you are.
- Chat with friends and family you adore but hardly ever see.
- At some point during the reception, grab your honey’s hand under the table and squeeze it tight.
- When you take a “pit stop” during the party, look at yourself in the mirror and smile.
- Eat something even if your nerves are getting to you– it will keep your stamina up.
- Shake a tail feather on the dance floor. Tango with your baby. Lead a silly line dance with your girlfriends. Twirl your nephews and nieces around. Do the twist with Grandpa.
- Toast all your guests.
And don’t forget- when the reception is in full swing, stand back for a couple of minutes and just take in the sights and sounds. It will be, I promise you, one of the best days of your life.
Forget the preparations, the decisions, the coordinating, the orchestrating, and the finessing. Your most critical task at this point is having the time of your lives. This is what it’s all about: love, happiness, fun, good friends, and family.
Oh and of course- how simply amazing your sweetie is.
As unromantic as it may sound, money will be a factor in every aspect of the wedding planning process. One of the biggest expenses you’ll have is that of the wedding reception itself. Here are the tips you’ll need to make sure your plans are as stress free as possible.
First and foremost, it will simplify the process enormously if you sit down and crunch some numbers before you head out to start booking vendors. Take the time to learn the average costs you may be facing. Just remember – you’re not getting married every day, so being involved in planning such a big event might be “sticker shock” when you first start planning. It’s difficult for some couples to understand how expensive hosting a wedding reception can be, so take the time to educate yourself first.
The average cost of today’s wedding reception can run $25,000 or more and the amount you spend on your venue and menu will be one of the first things that you have to consider.
My suggestion? Know your budget from the beginning before you shop. You won’t want to run into a situation where you contract with a venue that ultimately ends up taking 75% of your budget, leaving you little room for any of the other “must haves” on your wedding day.
Once you have a budget in mind and rough estimate of your guest count, you and your fiancé can now start shopping around for venues that fit your needs and budget. The important thing is to remain flexible and realistic, as well as to take the time to fully understand all of the financial requirements before going to contract. Small added details such as specialty linen fees and chair cover rentals can bog down your budget if you aren’t prepared for them. Have a firm sense and agreement on how much you are willing to spend as well as your financial obligations to host your wedding reception at the venue you are considering.
Additionally, keep in mind that the wedding guest count drastically impacts the cost of your reception. The time of day is another factor to consider as daytime brunches or luncheon affairs tend to be less expensive than evening soirees.
Above all, be up front about your budget with your potential wedding professionals. Don’t be embarrassed to discuss financial considerations, as rare is the bride who doesn’t have to worry about sticking to a budget. If you share your bottom line with the experts, they might be willing to show you how you can stretch your dollars or plan something that fits your purse.