This list was created to help you better enjoy the most important day of your life! Some of these things will take a little effort before the wedding but it will have a huge payoff when you're able to sit back and really immerse yourself in getting married!
1. Create an awesome playlist and play music while the bridal party is getting ready!
Honestly, I think adding music to just about anything creates a more relaxing atmosphere. It gives something for everyone to listen to in those moments everyone is busy and always starts up a dance party when the good stuff rolls around.
2. Create a schedule and stick to it!
A lack of a good schedule is probably one of the biggest problems I encounter at weddings. Don't feel like you have to schedule things to the minute - but creating a schedule will help you think about flow of events (which is important!) and if you're over or underestimating the time something will take.
For example, I've seen a reception that was not well planned out - once the bride and groom got to the party they spent so much time talking with friends and family many people began leaving before the first dance had even taken place!
The biggest advice I have is the two people you want to triple check your schedule is the wedding planner and photographer. These two vendors will be with you the whole day and have experienced A LOT of weddings! They know what pitfalls to avoid when planning the flow of events.
3. Share that schedule and make sure everyone knows it!
Having a fantastic schedule isn't useful unless everyone knows what it is! Having everyone know the schedule is really helpful because:
- All of the major role players (priest, wedding party, parents, photographer, caterer, DJ, etc.) will know what to do and when to do it.
- It will really keep your stress level down on the big day because you won't have to direct people or worry about what comes next.
- Everyone involved can really do their jobs at a lot higher level!
Maybe even consider creating the schedule as a google doc - that way you can easily share with EVERYONE the week before the wedding.
4. If there isn't a DJ - recruit a family member your trust to be the announcer during the reception and help direct wedding day flow of events!
Avoid the awkwardness of family and friends wondering what's happening next! The biggest places that an audience needs help knowing what to do are:
- Just after the ceremony, what should everyone do - where should everyone go? (Usually the pastor or priest will give the direction)
- Directing attention at the beginning of the reception for the grand entrance and when to begin eating.
- Announcing each part of the reception (grand entrance, cake cutting, first dance, bouquet toss, etc) so the "people in the back" will know what's going on. :-)
5. Stretch your wedding florals further!
Don't leave all those florals at the alter after the ceremony! You can reuse your wedding day flowers throughout the day by moving them from one location to the other. Just make sure you plan WHO will make the transition and where they should go.
Another idea is to reuse bridal bouquets. Once the ceremony is complete they can become decoration for the wedding party table or center pieces for the food serving area. The possibilities are endless!
6. Use Social Media to see all your guests' photos!
Use a creative and fun hashtag for your wedding so your guests can share their photos for everyone to see! A few examples are:
- Andrea and Brian McCracken (@releasethemccrackens)
- Chelsea and Keith Shields (@shinynewshields)
- Erin and Gavin Potter (@forpotterorforworse)
This way everyone can be in on the fun of seeing the wedding day through each other's point of view!
7. Livestream your wedding for those who can't attend!
Do you have family and friends who can't make it to the wedding? Or are you on a budget have a limited guest list? Consider live streaming your event through Facebook to the world! It's super easy and fun, just be sure you leave that job to a family member in the second row... You don't want to say "I do" over a cell phone!