Bridal Affairs

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Here is a place to share all things wedding! Please share your ideas with me.


Monday, October 27, 2014

I DIDN'T THINK OF THAT

When you are planning your wedding there are so many little things that arise- some of which you don't think of, expect or know.   So, I asked my brides to tell me what they had learned, AFTER the wedding.   And, here are some of those things. 
Stressful things:
  Obviously money.  But specifically how much to allocate to what.  And the little things that you don't think of

 You have to decide WHAT is important to you.   List the 3 most important elements of your wedding.  Then, work your budget from there.   The venue and the food are going to be the biggest chunk of your budget. 
Postage - postage for the RSVP's - always forgotten
When you are figuring out the cost of postage for your invitations, you have to multiply it by 2- the outer envelope and the RSVP envelope
Do you have to tip the venue?
You do not have to tip a venue.   
 
What is a service charge?  Is that the gratuity? 
You must ask the caterer about this.   a "service charge" may be in addition to a "gratuity".   Make sure you read your contract and ask the question- "Is the gratuity included in my cost?"   
 
Inexpensive favors that people won't just leave on the table
Favors get left behind.   Make a donation to a charity and tell your guests with a piece of chocolate and a little note that you did.   Something yummy will usually not be left behind.
 

Affordable places to buy shoes
There are so many outlets to find great wedding shoes.   Ask your friends who have been married where they found shoes.   Check out places like DSW.  And, wear them at home with socks on- before the wedding.  That way, they won't be stiff and make your feet hurt at the wedding.
 
Affordable honeymoons
All inclusive resorts are a very affordable honeymoon.    Or, find a great deal with a travel agent.   
How to get a passport
This must be done in person and you must have a passport photo, a birth certificate or naturalization certificate, your drivers license or a military ID, photocopies of all documents and the fee for applying.  Check with your state government office web site for specifics in your state.
 Add in a buffer - you will always go over in some category.
There will always be an added cost somewhere.  So, put that extra money in your budget.
 
"They" always say to put the money toward what is most important, but how much?  If the DJ is most important, how much do you put toward that
 How much depends on what IS most important.  Make some calls and get pricing from several vendors in each category.  

How much a centerpiece actually costs.  And always remember to multiply that by how many tables you COULD have if everyone comes...Just in case!
Centerpiece prices vary according to what they are.   High, full centerpieces will cost more than low, more sparse centerpieces.   Discuss the options with the florist.  And, remember- if YOU are doing your centerpieces, YOU need to provide the means of setting them.  
Why the heck are you wasting so much money on things that you won't want after the wedding?? - the serving set, the topper, etc.
You don't have to have these things.  However, if you choose not to have them, remember that a kitchen knife is not a great prop for a formal photo.  And, a cake topper is something to hand down or sell.  Using flowers instead of a topper is fine.   

Married priests are controversial, but they will marry you -not in a church! - and it still will count as a sacrament in the Catholic church
You need to decide what is important about your ceremony.  And, there are so many alternatives to a church.  

Other Things

How to interview a DJ, florist (how big is a 16 flower bouquet really?  If I pay for 20 is it alot bigger and worth the money?)
Have a discussion with your florist and ask for a proposal.  Ask questions and try to get a mock up of your centerpiece.   Some florists will show you examples of flowers you like and how they look in a bouquet.   Bring pictures and explain your vision.    Be clear about what you want and how much you have to spend. 

Get everything in writing.   
Make sure you get a contract and READ it!  Ask questions.  Understand what is included and what is not.  Be clear about cost.  And, make sure that what you have contracted for is actually what the vendor can do.

Find out what the DJ, photographer, videographer charges for over time.
Your contract with these vendors is very time specific.  If you want them longer, you will have to pay for it.  So, make sure you know what they charge and what notice you need to give them for that extra time.


Get a videographer!!!
PLEASE!!!   Your photographs are very important.  But, video can catch things that photography can't.    Voices, vows, toasts, your music- all things captured on tape that are not HEARD in a picture.

How do you cut a cake for the wedding? 
The catering staff will help you with this.  For some couples, this is an awkward moment.  You both hold the knife and cut a slice from the bottom tier of the cake.   

Don't forget you are supposed to greet all your guests? (not 1/4 of them because the groom won't stop talking....my wedding!!)
Greeting your guests is tricky.  Do you have a receiving line?  Do you have formal photos before the ceremony so you can join your cocktail hour?  Do you have to go from table to table at the reception?  These are all things you want to decide before your wedding day.   

don't forget to feed the wedding party the day of.  prepay for it!
Feeding the wedding party breakfast or lunch is important.  There will be champagne and a shot or two- so food is key to having upright witnesses at the altar!
Remind the party not to drink too much
This is something I ask of ALL wedding parties at rehearsal.  Too much celebrating before the party is disrespectful.  Ask your bridal party to curb their drinking until the party.  And, make sure that everyone has a safe way to get home.

what to do at the ceremony rehearsal - and plan ahead of time for it - who walks with who, etc.
I can't tell you how many times I have had this issue.   Figure out who is walking down the aisle when and know there is a protocol for parents and grandparents.   Make sure that everyone is clear at rehearsal about what time they need to be on deck the next day for getting ready.   Are you walking with your dad, both parents or alone?   If there are children in the wedding who is responsible for them once they get up the aisle- and what to do if they DON"T get up the aisle.   Is there a stepparent or a deceased parent that is being honored?  And, girls on the left, boys on the right- there is a reason!  I would be happy to explain.


Lists of wedding songs, father/daughter dances, etc.  That father daughter dance music was hell for me to find (that wasn't the "daddy you are my hero"
Finding the right song to dance to can be daunting.  Ask your DJ or bandleader for suggestions.   Or, in this case, your wedding planner!   Cali and I worked together on this.

How to make a budget - how to use excel to add it up -
This is a difficult part of planning a wedding.  Make a spreadsheet.  List everything.  Have a conversation with everyone involved with paying for the wedding to see what each contribution is.   Understand that things will add up and add on.  Be prepared.


Keep your receipts so you know how much you paid (so you can sell it accordingly) or so you can order some more of the same item when you run out

figure out a pretty place to have your wedding dress photographed.  And not hanging from the sprinkler system
Most photographers have some great ideas.  But, if you are in a place that doesn't have an ideal spot, go outside and find a wall or a tree.   Seriously, the photographer can take this one on!


How to get a marriage license
Your city government office can help you with this.

The groom might want to buy a pair of shoes so he is comfy and not wearing rentals

Who is supposed to get a corsage or bout?  do the readers get one?
Traditionally, the mothers and grandmothers get a corsage.  Fathers and grandfathers get a boutonniere.  You may want to honor your readers with something also.  And, if you have any other honored guest that you want to recognize, you can do that with a flower.
Vistaprint is a great low cost way to get all your invites, thank yous, etc.
There are a few other sites that offer inexpensive ways to do your invitations, as well.  But, PLEASE!!  Don't use the internet to invite your guests to your wedding.  You are more special than that.


Make sure to get the rights to your photos so you can print them for super cheap and not order their prints!
Your photographer may offer you a disc with all of your photos on it.  Or, you can purchase one along with the right to reproduce them yourself.

Make sure to feed vendors if required by contract.  Sometimes you book them so far out, you don't revisit that contract until too late
Many vendors, including planners, photographers and DJ's require a hot meal in their contract.   Everyone should be fed.   Your team is working hard for you and should get some kind of a meal. 
  

Make sure to have someone to take your gifts to the hotel - and make sure you have room in the car!
I always make sure that all of your personal belongings get into a car or back to the hotel.  If I have to, I pack up my own car and take things to their destination.   This is one of those things that most brides don't think of until the party is over. 

Get a shuttle.  And when the hotel calls it a shuttle, don't assume it is like one you get at an airport.  It could be a dirty minivan!!!!!!!
If you have out of town guests, you need to provide them with a way to get to the wedding.   Not all hotels have a shuttle and some say they do, but it only holds a few people or is a mess.   So, make sure you are clear about a shuttle service or hire a professional company to transport your guests in comfort.


Get a day of coordinator - and if you use a friend, make sure they know what you expect - you don't want the lazy, shy friend!
Having someone who is there ONLY for you is the best answer to this.  Hiring a planner to make sure your day is perfect is like insurance.   You don't know you need it until something happens- then its too late!
Creative inexpensive ideas for party gifts - personal, meaningful gifts are nicer than a silver engraved picture frame.
Lots of things that can be fun and meaningful- and won't be left on the table.

What are you supposed to say for the toast from the bride and groom?
Not all couples want to say anything.  But, if you and your fiance want to say think you or acknowledge those that made your day so special, find words from your heart.  There are no wrong words.  Say what you feel.
Remind the groom that he might need a hanky (or get him a monogrammed one :).  Shredded snotty tissues aren't sexy.
Make sure the stupid men try on their tuxes before the morning of.  Sigh.
This is something that happens all the time!   PLEASE!!!  Don't wait to try on the tux.  Especially if the place they came from DOES NOT own the tuxes.  Find a reputable source for the tuxes that owns their inventory.  That way, if something does go wrong, they can replace it at the last minute. 


What to Expect AFTER the Wedding:
You won't want to watch wedding shows ever again
You won't want to try to sell your things from the wedding (decor, etc)  because you are sick of all the prep from the past year. 
Where can you sell/how do you list your stuff? 
There are sites that are set up specifically for this purpose.   Or, try a consignment shop

 You need to write thank yous - are you supposed to write thank yous before the wedding if you receive a gift or should you wait??? 
Thank yous take a lot of time
If you receive gifts before the wedding- write those thank you notes.  Have your thank you notes made with your wedding invitations.  So, as you receive gifts, you can take care of the thanks!
 
After wedding depression - the let down of all the hub bub and your friends and family going back to their normal lives
How to change your name - and in what order...SSN first, then drivers license then banks then everything else.
There are sites that help you to do this.  Or contact your local government agencies to get the forms.

Neat ideas to preserve your dress, bouquet instead of the norm.  For example, I am going to put together a shadow box with my bouquet or parts of it and      other wedding things.
Other things you should think of - getting life insurance, changing your beneficiaries, etc


Now that I have started the conversation- what do you need to know?  What did you learn from planning your wedding?  Lets keep the conversation going!!

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