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10. Don't Rock the Cash Bar
When it comes to alcohol at your reception, what you serve is entirely up to you. Whether you choose to serve a full bar, limited cocktails, Beer and Wine, or no alcohol at all will be based on various factors including budget. The one option that is not recommended is a Cash Bar. Your guests should be gracious enough to accept what is being offered to them. If however a guest feels the need for a drink selection that is not offered, chances are that he or she will be resourceful enough to find it.
Also, request that bartenders not put out tip jars. If you are hosting the bar, tell your catering contact that you are happy to pay gratuity to the bartender(s) but that you do not want your guests to feel obligated to tip.
9. Go flat!
A huge number of brides give feedback that they wish they had worn flats, having kicked off their heels during the reception. As a bride you can expect to be standing for 8-12 hours on your wedding day. Be sure to break in your shoes well in advance. Even when wearing flats, unexpected blisters can form after a few hours on your feet.
8. Have a little faith.
D.J.'s are perhaps the wedding vendor most micromanaged by couples. Too many song requests may actually impede the flow of your party. You hire your D.J. to judge when to play what music. You wouldn't instruct your Caterer step by step on how to prepare food, or your Photographer on what angles and lenses to use. Limit your D.J. request list to a few favorites and a do-not-play list of only the songs you cannot stand. Do not get carried away and have some trust.
7. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.
What really matters most to you, the photographer, the music and dancing, the food and wine, the decorations, or being able to accommodate a large guest list? Put your money towards what you care about. You will have regrets if you skimp on what really counts. When you, the Bride and Groom are not footing the bill yourselves however, you may have to forfeit some financial decision-making. If this is the case you will need to compromise on certain priorities or if you really want that pricey photographer offer to pay for one yourself.
6. Bibbity Bobbity Boo.
Wedding Dress shops are notorious for having your dress shipped in at the last minute. Think about it, if you owned a Wedding Dress Boutique you wouldn't want every brides dress held at your shop for nine+ months before their weddings. Schedule your first fitting well before your wedding. Your final dress fitting should be no less than 1 week prior to your wedding so that alterations can still be made.
Tuxedo rentals for all attendants must be tried on, that includes Dad. Whether the Tailor seemed to take precise measurements or not, too many men still show up at weddings with high waters or baggy tuxes.
5. Don't hit the road, Jack.
Your wedding day is one of the biggest, most important days of your life. You will be exhausted and a bit disorderly the following day. Going away is the last thing you will want to worry about. Wait at least a couple of days before venturing on your honeymoon. Your wits will thank you.
4. Last night of single life.
DO NOT hold your Bachelor or Bachelorette party the night before your wedding! This may seem like a no-brainer but many brides and grooms still practice the archaic ritual of drinking all night on that fatal evening. It is simply not worth it, as the Bride/Groom and your attendants will no doubt feel tired, look tired, have a hangover, or worse be sick walking down the aisle. If necessary, request that any out of town attendants arrive a day earlier to help you to prepare and celebrate a different night.
3. No Guidance.
With no Director there are too many details left to too many people at your ceremony. Having a Wedding Coordinator allows for one person to coordinate your wedding party processional, music, minister, seating guests and to resolve any unexpected last minute complications. A Coordinator will ease the stress level of everyone, including you, tremendously on your wedding day. So if your location does not include a Wedding Day Coordinator who also directs your rehearsal, hire your own. A Wedding Coordinator may be much more affordable than you think.
2. Stretching yourself too thin.
As the bride you will make everyone around you crazy by waiting until the last minute in planning and finalizing details. If you have a hard time planning and prioritizing on your own then get help. You don't want to be remembered as “one of those brides” that put everything off and then expected her friends and family to pick up the pieces, do you?
Do not commit yourself to social events the day before your wedding. This day is meant for you to wrap up loose ends, beautify yourself, attend your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner in many cases, and most importantly get some amount of rest for the day ahead. You are going to need it!
1. High demands.
Try to keep in mind that although your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen may offer you extra help, these friends can become taken advantage of. The only "official obligations" of wedding party members are emotional support, the financial expense of wedding attire and travel, participation in the rehearsal and the obvious role on your wedding day. In the case of the MOH or BM, reception toasts are traditional as well. Other help that these individuals may offer should not be viewed as duties, but rather as acts of kindness including: setting up/tearing down, transporting ceremony goods, throwing a bridal shower or other party, distributing gratuities, and any other help that is offered.
Remember to be thoughtful towards your attendants. Bridesmaids may not be comfortable in 4 inch heels, purchasing new jewelry or paying to have their hair or makeup professionally styled. Do not forget to personally thank any bridal party members for taking part in your wedding, as well as family members who gave you assistance. A small thank you gift is always appreciated.
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