There’s so much planning that goes into a wedding day that it’s actually easier than you may think to gloss over some essentials. So here’s my count of the top four things brides often forget to plan, but shouldn’t. These may not be at the top of the list, but if you plan for them, the smoother the day will go.
- Weather Accessories
Expecting a hot day? Make sure the men have some handkerchiefs handy. Getting married in a cooler month? Think of shawls or wraps for the ladies. A windy day? Be prepared with extra hairspray and pins. And if it’s going to rain, you can always make the best of it with cute umbrellas (black always works) for fun rain pictures—or even matching rain boots for the ladies.
- Food for you, food for him
This sounds simple, but oftentimes guys and gals will be running late or worried about fitting into clothing and they either don’t have time to eat, or just choose not to. Even worse, time for a pre- wedding dinner snack was not budgeted into your event timeline. We always suggest the groomsmen meet for a meal before getting dressed, and the ladies have lunch or refreshments during hair and makeup. Plan a cooler and/or snack basket for your limo, trolley or party bus after the ceremony with water and snacks if you plan on taking photos or may miss your cocktail hour so your bridal party doesn’t show up starving.
- Extra time: During hair and makeup; travel time
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have extra time in your day. Plan for an extra hour to hour to an hour and a half depending on the size of your bridal party for hair and makeup completion time. If you finish on time, you can use the extra minutes to relax with your bridesmaids and have a snack.
Transportation is another category where people often cut it too close. It’s better to arrive 15 minutes early than be 30 minutes late! Of course, please be mindful of your restrictions at the church/reception site and don’t arrive obscenely early. But a little extra time to sip champagne in the limo at the church parking lot is better than sweating in your dress or stressing about getting through a traffic jam.
- Your Exit Plan
I always encourage couples to plan their final moments and make an exit before the guests. This allows the couple to bring the event to a close on a high note. The couple can always make plans to meet up with everyone after the event in a hotel lobby, downtown, or at a restaurant or bar. Sparkler exits are very popular and well earned—it’s a fun way to send the couple off with a bang (or actually more like a sizzle).
I love the idea of all the guests coming together as a final capstone on the night to say goodbye. Other options could be bubbles, or a classic car exit. All these options signal to the guests the event has ended and the couple has departed.
What I don’t suggest is the Bride and Groom lingering as the lights come up and the reception staff is cleaning up around them. It’s hard for the couple to make an exit if they haven’t already and often times are the last ones there as they feel obligated to say a goodbye to each guest.
After a long day or night, this makes it even longer. And it’s anticlimactic. You can always meet up with guests at an after party.