Wedding Dos and Don’ts


Ask anyone who has already had their wedding, or experienced the joy and frustrations of helping someone plan a wedding, and you’ll find that these people have some insightful tips on what worked and what didn’t. Maybe the schedule they thought would work felt rushed or dragged on. Maybe their favorite music did not translate to a full dance floor. Maybe food and alcohol was under ordered and a groomsman had to make a beer run (or the bride just wanted a cheeseburger at the end of the night!).  Every couple, family, and service providers are a different mix so what works for one may not work for all. However, here are some of our top tips for planning a successful, smooth running event.

  1. Set a realistic budget and try sticking to it. Even couples/families that say “budget isn’t an issue”, there is still some number they don’t want to go over. Wedding planning takes prioritizing so before you get started, pick your top 3 or 4 priorities and make those things happen. On items that aren’t as important to you, skip them or go with something more basic. For instance, white poly tablecloths from the caterer or venue rather than upgraded specialty rental linens. 
  2. On that note, napkins are an easy and affordable way to dress up your place settings and add color and texture to your tables. 
  3. If you are giving out favors (and you are not required to!), edible ones will always be a guest favorite.
  4. By all means, don’t plan to set up or break down ANYTHING on your own wedding day. If you have a specific vision then take a picture or draw a diagram of what you want and relinquish control to your coordinator or the team you’ve designated.
  5. Prior to the wedding, designate WHO will be taking home every last gift, cake topper, and heirloom toasting flute. Make them aware of their job ahead of time. 
  6. Consider closing the bar while guests move from cocktail hour to the dinner reception, especially if those are two separate locations. It helps move guests a little more quickly and can slightly save on your bar bill.
  7. Repurpose ceremony floral and bouquets if possible. This can save you money and enhance the dinner reception significantly. Or use the leftover floral to dress up your brunch the next day.
  8. If possible, keep all reception activities in the same room as the dance floor. Photo booths and bars outside the room will draw the crowd out and away from your party.
  9. Although we love a good “first look” moment between the bride and groom, don’t have one if your vision has always been to see each other on the aisle. Yes, first look photos give you more time for pictures before the ceremony, but the schedule can always be adjusted accordingly if you decide to wait. 
  10. Lastly, in our experience, the biggest regret we hear is when couples don’t hire a videographer. It’s not a priority for everyone of course, but having footage of your walk down the aisle, saying your vows, hearing those sweet and funny toasts again later, and first dance/parent dances are always welcome moments to relive down the road. 

Leave a comment if you have something else to add to our list! And visit this list from married couples featured on Cup of Jo. Above photo by Andi Mans.

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