Most of the brides we work with at Leslie Lukas HQ are psyched about planning their wedding. They’re Type A, organized brides who know that they want to have a fun, seamless wedding day. However, no matter how organized you are, there are always a few details that get forgotten. These are the most common based on the thousands of weddings I’ve both planned and attended.
1. Who’s setting up…and taking down?
Again, less of a problem with hotel weddings, but set up and break down of your wedding is the single biggest headache if you don’t prepare in advance. One way to manage this is to make a big TO DO list for the day of your wedding (set up 18 tables and 150 chairs, set up escort card arrangement, set up lawn games, set up ceremony site, etc.) and then hand draw a little map of your event space and indicate where everything goes (or, if you’re SUPER Type A, like we are, you can design your own wedding map in Floorplanner).
2. Who’s cutting your cake?
This generally isn’t an issue if you’re doing a hotel wedding (or if you’re having cupcakes), but, like many of our Rocky Mountain Brides, if you’re having a tented wedding where you’re bringing in all of the vendors, be sure that your caterer (or your bridesmaids) knows that they have to stick around for cake cutting. A lot of caterers will pack up after dinner is over (especially if you got your dessert from a cake baker in town).
3. Who needs to get paid?
Usually, there are a few vendors that haven’t gotten their final payments until the day of the wedding. Generally, the DJ or band will wait until the day of for their final payment, in case you ask them to stay and play an extra hour. Same thing with hair and makeup artists (if they are doing your hair and makeup in your room) and tipping for waitstaff/caterers (our expert guide to tipping covers all of this). Unfortunately, due to wedding week being so hectic and crazy, it’s hard to remember this tiny detail, especially when your Aunt Alice from Albuquerque needs a ride from the airport and your calligrapher is late with your seating place cards. Even if you think you’ve paid EVERYONE, write out a few blank checks (four or five), hand them to your maid of honor or your mother, and let them deal with any final payments on your day. Easy, peasy, lemon-squeezy.
4. When do all the toasts happen?
Most couples assume that all the toasts go back to back at the end of dinner. Which can work, but if you have more than two people speaking, it gets a little overwhelming for guests (particularly if your toasters like to ramble and/or have spent a little too much time at the bar). Even if the toasts are killer, you want to space them out so that your event still flows seamlessly. My suggestion?
•Fathers (or whoever is paying for the wedding) give a welcome toast before everyone begins going through the buffet line. If it’s a served dinner, this can happen while salads are being finished if they are pre-plated or served out.
•Best Man/Maid of Honor toasts are as everyone is finishing the main course.
•The Happy Couple gives their Thank You toast right before they cut the cake. After they do the cake cutting, the band/DJ should jump in with an upbeat song to get everyone dancing (and so that the caterer has time to cut all the cake before people rush the cake table)
•Any other toasts (impromptu) should be given during natural breaks in the wedding. So, if the band is taking a break and your brother wants to give a toast, that’s a good time for him to do it. If there are more than two courses, break up toasts so that there’s one toast at the tail end of each course, so that people who are waiting for the others to finish aren’t bored while waiting for the serve out.
5. What needs to happen at the end of the night?
We already discussed breakdown, but most couples forget that there are a lot of things that happen post-wedding. Where do the flowers go? Can guests take them or did the florist only rent you the vessels and needs them back. What happens with the leftover cake? If your caterer isn’t staying until the end, someone needs to wrap all the leftovers and take them with you. Did you bring candles or decor pieces? If so, who is boxing all that stuff up and getting it out of the venue space. Who is taking the gifts (your parents, maid of honor, etc.)? Who saves the important things, like your place cards, escort card, menu cards, bridal bouquet, and anything else you might want to keep that could easily get lost in the shuffle on wedding day?
Want even more details that brides forget? Email me with your questions!