Being in the wedding industry, you would think I would have a pretty good handle on almost everything to do with a wedding. However, as much as we want our day to be perfect we don't really think about the what-ifs... Here are the most common items that people forget about when planning their wedding. Wow! There’s a lot. So, I compiled a list of the ones that I felt were the most important. I present to you the 20 Most Often Forgotten Wedding Items. We hope this list helps you in planning your own wedding!
1.Prepare for Bad Weather
Living in Upstate, New York, the weather does not always go as planned compared to other states. Traditionally, in the first quarter of the year, there is an increased chance of rain. Fall seems to be a bit more dry but then you have the cold windy days. So, first, plan a date that you think will work out well but also have a backup plan. If you want an outdoor wedding ceremony and/or reception, what is your backup plan if it were to rain? Check with the venue of your choice. If they have one, great, but if not, and the rain or wind is a concern for you, then you might want to go with a different venue.
2.Additional Ceremony Seating & Reserved Seating
It’s always a good idea to add seating to your ceremony in lieu of cramming everyone together. Give them some space as no one wants to feel crunched, or to be sitting on top of strangers, from the time they sit down to the time your ceremony ends. Having about 20 extra chairs than there are guests, will allow people to spread out and not necessarily crunched together. In addition, be sure to mark each seat located in the front that is reserved for those you designate. It can be as little as just the front row or as many as the first three rows. Be sure to inform those who are designated to sit in the reserved section. If for some reason someone is sitting in those sections that have not been designated, be sure that your wedding coordinator or wedding day point person is notified.
This is very important and will depend on the time of day and whether or not you are having an outdoor or indoor event. Decide on what kind of lighting you want. Just plain lights, mood lights, hanging lights, etc. Then work with your photographer and/or videographer to see what they recommend so that the services they are providing are highlighted. After all, you want your guests to enjoy the ambiance, but you also want amazing photography.
4.The Cake Knife & Server
Im telling you, it’s the little things that get left out. Be prepare. You don't want to be that couple that gets stuck using a plastic knife from your caterer becuase you left your cake knife at home.
5.Your Marriage License
I can't tell you how many couples forget about this very important detail on their wedding day. Everyone remembers this leading up to the wedding day, but then forget to include it in the wedding day. Without it signed by whomever you designated to be the witnesses and the clergy member; your marriage is not complete. Be sure to bring it, and make it a priority that you, your new spouse, witnesses, and clergy member signs it right after the ceremony after the guests have left the ceremony area, so you can get on with your photo session and reception.
6.Having A Point Person
If you plan to hire a wedding coordinator, then this role, as well as some of the other roles in this category will be taken care of. However, if you don’t plan to hire a professional, then be sure to find someone responsible. You will new a person or two that will organize and follow through on everything you want them to do so you can focus on your special day!
As a wedding photographer myself, I cannot tell you enough how important this is! Your photographer will work with you to create a list of photos you want to be captured. During that process, you will create a list of all family and friends you want specific photos taken with and the various combinations. Us photographers don’t know these people, so assigning a person from each side of the family or someone who knows your family well to be the person that gathers the people needed for the next shot. You want to be sure to get family photo time done properly, but on a timely basis since your guests will be waiting to start the reception.
The last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your venue was left a mess or whether it was cleaned at the end of the night. Were the tables cleaned? Will you get your cleaning deposit back? Was the trash picked up? Was everything put away? and so on. So be sure to assign someone to help with the clean-up. You shouldn’t be worrying about that at the end of the night as you are heading off on your honeymoon.
Going off my last topic. The last thing you want to do at the end of the night is to gather up your gifts and cards and take them with you on your honeymoon or leave them in the car overnight at a hotel. Assign someone that will take all your gifts and either take them to your home, or they can take them to their home until you return. Someone you can trust, such as your parents or closest friends would make for a great choice.
10.Feed Your Vendors
This seems to be forgotten often when it comes to weddings. All the vendors you hire for your big day, such as your DJ, photographer, videographer, bartender, etc. will be working for you all day long, especially those that are with you all day long like your coordinator, photographer, and videographer. Although you are paying them for their service, they don’t get to take a break. So, be courteous and be sure they are fed and have plenty to drink. Also, be sure to include them on your guest list when reporting your final headcount to your caterer. Additionally, if you are paying for a team of multiple photographers, be sure to include all of them in the count as well. One last thought, be sure to have a designated table for your vendors to eat at. It is very awkward when it's dinner time and your vendors have to sit at their DJ booth or find a seat next to a guest if there even is one available.
11.Gratuity in Envelopes
Many vendors do not require a gratuity (tip). Whether it’s required or just a good gesture on your part. They're is no right or wrong amount for a tip, whether you want to tip $50 or a few hundred bucks. Your vendors will appreciate any tip given. Place some cash in envelopes and mark those envelopes with the appropriate vendor and hand them out at some point during the day. I suggest some time before your vendor’s time is up. Your wedding coordinator can also do this for you if you plan to party the rest of the night up and don't want to forget. If you’re not happy with them, you totally don’t have to tip them.
13. The Bridal Party
Don't forget to have a plan in place on how you want your bridal party to arrive at your venue. Together, seperate, on a bus, limo, taxi? Are groomsmen and Bridesmaids separate? Also, what is the exit procedure? If they all come together, should they plan to get rides home after? Don’t leave them stranded before or after the event or force them to pay for Uber or Lyft services.
Whether you need alterations on your wedding gown or the bridesmaid’s dresses, be sure to give yourself enough time to retry the dress prior to the big day and allow the time needed if any new alterations are required. You do not want the dress to need altering and they can’t get back to you in time for the wedding. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time!
Alot of brides don’t realize how important emergency kits are; until your looking for a bobby pin or needle and thread. Last-minute mascara, lipstick, bobby pins, etc. Things you’ll be glad they’re there if needed.
16.Your Overnight Bags
If you plan on going to a hotel after the reception instead of straight to your honeymoon, be sure to bring your overnight bag with everything you will need for that night and the next day. A Change of clothes for both of you, makeup, hair items, and any medications, etc.
17.Change of Clothes & Flats
Being in your wedding dress for the entire event and reception can become a bit uncomfortable. If you plan on changing into something more comfortable for the reception, don’t forget to bring a change of clothes. Now if you end up wearing heels all day, and don’t want to go barefoot, bring a pair of flat shoes to wear regardless if you change your clothes or not. Your feet will thank you!
18.What is their Overtime Policy?
Be sure to check with each of your vendors and ask them about their overtime policy. Most will go over it with you during your consultation, but in the case that they don’t, be sure you ask. The last thing you want is to be hit with overtime charges that you didn’t plan for. If overtime is a concern for you, maybe re-evaluate the actual time needed. That way if they go over, you are covered.
19.Be sure to Eat & Drink Water Throughout the Day!
If you are having your ceremony mid-day, you won’t eat until later in the day. You will have a lot going on and the lack of food/ water, combined with nerves, is a recipe for disaster. No one wants to faint and face plant on the altar! Be sure someone is in charge of providing food and drinks, including water, to the bride and her party. Stay hydrated!! Even if you have a really aggressive dress and it takes time and maybe even other people to help you undress to use the restroom, it’s still better than that faceplate. This goes for the groom and his guy's party aswell. You’ll be going on empty stomachs, so be sure to eat and drink.
20.THIS IS YOUR WEDDING!
Lastly, One of the hardest parts outside of the guest list and table assignments is all the advice you will be getting from your family and friends! Not marital advice, but wedding day advice... Ugh, Some feel they should have some things their way since it’s their daughter or their son getting married, and especially if they are paying for all or some of it. Try to understand, they’ve probably waited a long time for this moment and they just want to be a part of it too. But at the end of the day, it’s the Bride and Groom’s day. Not theirs! Be sure to stop, breathe and refocus, and make it the best day possible… for yourselves.
I hope this list of the 20 Things You’re Probably Forgetting About While Wedding Planning is a helpful tool for you in your wedding planning process, and helps you to feel a little more stress-free! check out some other helpful tips for your wedding day here! Best of luck to you in all of your wedding planning!