Quick note: a few of you asked which books I had left by the wayside, regarding my 25 for 25 (which I’ve turned into a tab – see above – or the link), so I’ve added the list. If this doesn’t keep me accountable, I don’t know what will.
Now, to the matter at hand – this most recent wedding. Since this was my third one this season, I figure I’m pretty much an expert at this point. And, as an expert, it’s my duty to share the knowledge. So, instead of a recap, I offer you a few helpful tips I’ve picked up, that I plan to use for my own way-way-in-the-future nuptials.
1) Have a photo game plan.
If you want to take family photos before the ceremony, set a specific time, and make sure all relevant people are aware of it. If the festivities are running a few minutes early or late, don’t worry. But if you say 1:30 and the photos aren’t taken until 3:00 (and then the same photo’s taken again after the ceremony), don’t be surprised if there are some cranky pants.
2) Keep it short and simple.
I understand that there are certain traditional elements that might extend the ceremony – a unity candle, breaking the glass, self-written vows – and that’s fine. This is more of a personal preference anyway (though I do plan on incorporating some of those traditions into my own ceremony). But the Minnesota wedding was the shortest I’ve ever been to – 23 minutes, give or take. (Yes, we timed it, because the boyfriend and I made an over/under bet for 35 minutes. I won.)
3) Two words: Open Bar.
Imagine getting up there only to be told that it’s cash only, and the ATM in the hotel where the reception’s being held is broken. If it’s an issue of cost, have a limited selection of wine and beer. But still try to keep it open.
4) Again on the bar – if it’s going to be open as soon as guests arrive at the reception, have at least some small hors d’oeuvres as well.
It can often take a while for the wedding party to get from the ceremony to the reception. They have more pictures to take, need to decompress, or want to just soak up the feeling and significance of what just happened. And they should. But, without snacks, this all means that there could be a very long time between the beginning of the cocktails and the consumption of food – and that’s never good.
5) The band or DJ can make or break the party.
Now, I prefer a live band, but to each his own. The important part is that they know how to set the tone. They have a lot of responsibility to play songs that will get people out on the dance floor, and keep people going. A good band/DJ will make you want to keep dancing even when the lights come on. And if they do their job right, then they won’t have to resort to playing the Cha Cha Slide.
Unless that’s what you request.
Keep in mind, these are only a few of the pearls of wisdom I’ve picked up over this past wedding season. I won’t go into dress code, location, guest list, or toasts (this time), but don’t think I haven’t learned a little something about those VERY important topics as well.
I’ll just save them for the potential part II – when the next set of weddings rolls around.
What would you add to this list? And, thinking of the best wedding you’ve been to, what made it the best?
Read Full Post »