I’ve said it a million and a half times, but seriously you should look into hiring a wedding planner. Hiring a good one will save you so much hassle and will probably end up saving you money too, because when it comes to the wedding industry, no one knows more than wedding planners! Most of your vendors only deal with one aspect of your wedding, but a planner deals with the ENTIRE wedding, they are a fountain of knowledge. So I thought today I would ask our (amazing!) Apple Brides Featured Wedding Planners to share some of their top wedding secrets, things they think all brides should know. And boy did they deliver!
1. Send invitations on a Wednesday.
“Always plan to get your invites out on a Wednesday. This way, they arrive just in time for the weekend when people have a bit more free time and can RSVP right away.”
2. Plan your RSVP window!
“Give yourself a 3-4 week window as an RSVP deadline. This way, you have plenty of time to call/text your stragglers and get a firm number turned into your venue, caterer and florist. Giving all your wedding professionals time to look for better deals and to locate locally grown is a great way to get more bang for your buck and wow your guests!
Speaking of RSVP – The trend for RSVP’ing is technology, which is making it easy for your guest to respond and gets a high percentages of RSVPs. Everyone is on their smart phones or tablets and one way to get some traction is to have a wedding website for all your guests to RSVP from (try a Google search for “Wedding Online Guest RSVP”). One word of caution, be sure to check out a couple of sites before choosing who will manage your RSVPs. Some require your guests to give all their personal information and this can rub your guests the wrong way and not continue on the site to RSVP.
Texting is another great way to make it easy on your guests to RSVP, this is the fastest way to get information to your guests as well.”
(1-2 from Misty Ceriello of Cameo Events)
3. Make a priorities list.
“At the beginning of your wedding planning set 1-3 priorities, these can be concrete items like I want all white roses or a rockin’ band or they can be concepts like ‘I want my wedding to feel like a upscale picnic.’ Whenever you are meeting with a vendor, making decisions on the wedding or just clicking through Pinterest, these priorities will help guide your planning and more importantly your budget.
(From Robyn Bruns of Red Letter Event Planning)
4. Know your style.
“Don’t create a false personality for your wedding. If you’re a clean-line, modern kind of person don’t do lace and burlap just because it’s flooding Pinterest. Your wedding should be a reflection of you as a couple not a copy and paste of every other wedding your guests might go to that summer.”
(From Alyssa Sexton of Belle Journee Events)
5. Discuss alcohol with your venue.
“I am constantly surprised to hear that most couples haven’t discussed alcohol cost with their venue prior to signing a contract. If providing drinks at your event it is important, this should be one of the first things discussed. Make sure all alcohol related details are reviewed and well know prior to exchanging the funds.”
(From Lauren Hallet of Design by Occasion)
5. Stay in season!
“Use in season florals and elements for your wedding flowers and décor. This will save you a tremendous amount of money and also give a very seasonal feel to your event. Aisle florals can sometimes be used throughout your reception. For instance you could transfer your arrangements to the banquet tables or your head table. You can also use your bouquets on the head table or your cake table as well.
6. Choose bridesmaids carefully!
Pick your bridesmaids carefully and thoughtfully. Your bridesmaids are there to assist you in the wedding process and to help in all the work and activities. Make sure they will be a help and not a hindrance. Remember that quality overrides quantity in this area. Consider everyone’s personality in this process carefully. ”
(5-6 From Pam Terpstra of Romancing the Stone)
7. Schedule some alone time and pack protein bars!
Schedule in some time for just you and the groom on your wedding day! You’ll have plenty of time to mix and mingle with friends and family at your reception. We like to schedule in about 30 minutes immediately after the ceremony for our couples and send them away to a quiet part of the venue or on a little drive with or without their photographer. Your wedding day will FLY by and if you don’t stop to take it all in for a few minutes you might regret it. It’s nice to take a little breather with your groom and maybe have your photographer capture those first quiet and intimate moments after you become husband and wife. This can segue right into a Grand Entrance as you join your cocktail hour or reception as “Mr & Mrs ___.” It’s also a great chance to grab a refreshing drink or bite to eat if you didn’t have a chance all day. Which leads us to another little tip….pack a few protein bars in your bag a few days before. You will inevitably be famished by mid day and wedding days hardly grant any time for brides to eat. It will give you that little boost of energy to continue throughout the long wedding day.”
8. Confirm your vendors.
“If you don’t have a wedding planner or event designer who has been involved with you and your vendors during the entire wedding planning process, it’s great to check in with all of your vendors the week of your wedding. Even if you booked a vendor and paid in full significantly before your wedding date, it’s still a good idea to just check in via phone or email and discuss how the wedding day will work, your expectations, your timeline, arrival & departure times, and who is the best contact person day of so you are not getting bombarded with questions as the bride on your wedding day.”
(7-8 from Alisa Lewis of Alisa Lewis Event Design)
9. Don’t forget about the cake cutting!
“More brides are opting for creative wedding locations that may not include the services of a traditional, all-inclusive venue. One of the services often offered by an all inclusive venue is cake cutting. This includes providing the plates, forks and napkins to go with it. For brides with a planner, cake cutting services is something that your planner has ensured is in your rental and catering contract. It is an easy oversight if you do not have a planner. As guests, we’ve attended weddings where cake plates, forks and napkins have been forgotten. We have even stepped in at friends’ weddings to cut cakes when we’ve noticed that the poor mother of the bride is staring dumb-founded at a huge cake with 4 tiers, not knowing where to start. In our meetings with brides, we have noticed that it is always a epiphany moment with our clients when we remind them that we have ordered additional service ware for cake in their rental order or (for the more DIY bride) that they will need to make sure to have an additional set of forks, plates and napkins available for whoever is cutting the cake.
So, “let them eat cake!” And, plan that it will be from a plate with a fork too! ”
Ali Messer and Jessica Sheady of Soiree Event Design