March 2018

March 26, 2018

Fast forward to a week after your wedding. After you are married and after your gifts and cards have been opened. After thank you cards have been mailed and your wedding clothes have been to the cleaners. Before you get your wedding album and your teaser video back, you’ll be relying on friends and family to relive your wedding. What they post on social media, what you talk about at your next game night, and on all of your phone calls.

When you have a wedding where guests come first, this part of your life is filled with gushing compliments, overjoyed recollections, and hoards of happy conversations. Translation: when your guests are happy you feel better about the wedding you’ve had... guaranteed.

You can put your guests first by:

BEFORE THE WEDDING:

  • Inviting them to your wedding with ample time for them to RSVP, ensure that they get save the dates and/or invitations in a timely manner. Send by dates vary based on factors like where your guests are coming from and when in the year your wedding is. Use your best judgment and think about how much time you like to have when planning to attend a wedding as a guest.
  • Give them the information they need. Things like lodging, provided transportation, and your registry(ies). Guests also like to know the dress code, what time dinner is and if parking is free. You can include any information that doesn’t fit (or doesn’t look nice) on an invite on your wedding website. I suggest reminding guests to check your website, the place where you’ve stockpiled all this juicy wedding information, by posting on social media with a link to the page.

ON THE DAY OF:

  • If a shuttle is provided to the ceremony or from the reception, clearly communicate the departure times. This means a sign, a notice in their welcome bag, have it posted in the bathrooms or even have the DJ make announcements.
  • Have lots of signage OR staff/ushers to guide and direct guests throughout the day. Think about having a parking lot attendant, to let guests know where to go next. Ushers to greet guests, take cards and gifts, and pass out programs. Ushers to direct guests to cocktail hour and then to be seated for dinner. Having your officiant and/or DJ announce what is next can really be helpful, but for some events might feel tacky. Note: your venue might already provide this guest experience via catering staff or onsite coordinators. Just make sure that you have someone(s) helping your guests navigate the great unknowns of your wedding, ‘what is happening next?’ and ‘where do we go for it?’.
  • Allow for opportunities of candids and family photos. Letting your photographer do this during cocktail hour can really knock the socks off of wedding guests. I mean, they too are all dressed up with friends and family abound, they too like to have nice pictures of themselves as taken by professionals.
  • Plenty of food. The kind that’s filling and delicious. Nobody likes a hangry aunt, nobody.
  • Personal greetings. Whether you opt to do a receiving line, a dismissing line or greet guests tableside, be mindful that guests want the opportunity to congratulate you, face-to-face.
  • Music they like to hear. This might seem tough, but there are plenty of hits that most human beings like to boogie to. Play crowd pleasers first and then amp up the hits to the ones you and the people most-likely-to-dance-all-night-long like.

AFTERWARDS:

  • Send thank you cards promptly. I always think it’s a good idea to delegate this task. Ask your sister to address envelopes as you open the gifts and ask your aunt to keep a tally of who gave you what (preferably on the computer). That way you can print your guest list, alphabetize your gift list and write personalized thank yous like a pro. Make sure you BOTH sign the cards.
  • Give access to photos to your family + friends. Let them view the gallery (or your favorites) and then give them the ability to order their own prints. Have your photographer help you with this one. You could even include a note about the photos in the thank you cards with a link to where they can access them.

All of the things I mentioned put guests first, but they secretly put you first. They make your life easier so that you get less of the same question, and they make your wedding better, so you really stretch those hours to fill your heart, fill your cup and fill every waking moment of the day you say ‘I do’ with happiness and fun and love and laughter and....

Prosperity, Love & Happiness,
Josey

March 19, 2018

There’s a lot of knowledge out there but just like when you buy a car, not all of the advice you hear is advice you should take, like these 10 worst wedding planning tips.

  1. A buffet is a cheap way to feed your guests.
    No. A buffet is not a cheap way to feed your guests. Food costs money, people to serve the food costs money, things to serve the food on cost money. Some caterers have a buffet option which is more cost-effective than their plated meal option. But for some catering companies, their plated meal option is more cost-effective. Weigh your options wisely.
  2. Wait to buy your dress until it’s on sale.
    Or purchase your wedding dress with enough time for you to get your dress, and have it altered, with a bit of a buffer in case things go longer than expected on either end.
  3. BYOB is an easy option for saving money on liquor.
    Easy is the wrong word. You can save money by purchasing your own liquor, but there are a lot of liquor options which also allow you to return any unopened bottles. The downside of BYOB is correctly estimating your needs. Hiring a bartending company eases the stress behind the potential of running out or running low.
  4. DIY everything to cut costs.
    Opting to do it yourself may not always save money. Especially if you are an inexperienced stationer or a novice disc jockey. Without a great plan or an expert to rely on for advice, DIY can result in a big headache. Hindsight makes most brides and grooms wish they had paid for the professional and gotten some of their time and their peace of mind back.
  5. Skip appetizers to save on your catering bill.
    Please, feed your guests. If they have to go 2 or 3 hours between the start of your ceremony and dinner, they will be hangry.
  6. Have your girls pay for their hair and makeup on the day of.
    How about the week before. This will alleviate early morning awkwardness and inconvenience. Get it out of the way before the wedding morning so that you can enjoy your day without any hiccups.
  7. No ring, no bring, and a uniform kids policy.
    Unfortunately, creating and then trimming the guest list can really tie your insides into knots. Listening to other people’s advice about your own friends and family can leave you feeling guilty and cruel. Go with a plus one policy that feels right to you and allow kids or don’t allow kids, it should be whatever you choose.

I know you’re about to get a lot of advice, on what you should or should not do with and for your wedding. Please, take it slow, take all advice with a grain of salt, and focus on the “why” of your wedding. I’m getting married because I love my fiance and want to spend the rest of my life with them.

Prosperity, Love & Happiness,
Josey

March 12, 2018

Before you overwhelm yourself with what to’s and what not to’s, read these 17 wedding planning tips that you just cannot get married without.

  1. Don’t (price) shop until you drop.
    Instead of inquiring with hoards of vendors, preening through their return emails for the smallest dollar sign, pick three vendors that you like the most and compare what they have to offer. You have a lot of things to figure out and to book for your wedding so using up all your energy on one vendor category at the beginning would be unwise.
  2. Quality over cost.
    You get what you pay for still applies to weddings. Opting to skimp on your reception music, for example, could prove detrimental to that all-nighter you have envisioned.
  3. DIY doesn’t always save you money.
    A lot of couples feel confident that doing decor or invitations DIY will be a huge money saver, but not necessarily. Without a little experience or a grand plan doing it, DIY can result either in poor quality OR your perfectionism might grip you tightly and say goodbye to having time to spend on anything but your wedding sign, your handmade wedding macrame backdrop, etc.
  4. Don’t tip vendors whom you’ve already tipped.
    Some wedding vendors include gratuity in their invoice. Make sure you read it through top to bottom, understand what it is you are paying for.
  5. You can have the wedding you want, even if you go against tradition.
    If you’d rather not have a bouquet toss or want to forgo a receiving line, then do (or don’t).
  6. The best vendors communicate clearly and smile when listening to you talk about your wedding.
    You want the best vendors, but you want them to care about your wedding day and to make your wedding planning process easier, less stressful. All of this so that on the day of the big event your plans get executed the way you’ve envisioned. Otherwise, why not DIY everything?
  7. A small guest count can mean more money for other wedding wants.
    Feeling like your wedding budget is going to be stretched thin? Consider inviting fewer people to keep things affordable.
  8. You don’t need to rehearse at your ceremony site.
    It’s true. You can practically rehearse anywhere. I’ve conducted rehearsals at hotels in conference rooms, at parks, and at restaurants in the party room. What matters more is that you have a good outline for the rehearsal and that the people who matter most are present.
  9. Prepare cash tips in envelopes ahead of time.
    That way you can divvy them out on the night of without being locked into the tipping amount.
  10. If you’re getting married outside, and there is a chance of rain, you should rent a tent.
  11. If you’re getting married outside, and there is a chance of it being really hot, really cold, really hot and windy, or really cold and windy, you should rent a tent.
  12. If you’re getting married outside, you should rent a tent.
    Maybe I’m trying to be overly prepared, but really I just am looking out for your best interest. Yes, it might stop raining or warm up for your ceremony, but what about 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after, you know, when the guests have arrived and before they leave? Think about the guest experience as a whole, and how you can make them the most comfortable. Comfortable guests yield a happier you, every single time.
  13. Fill your emergency kit with things you’ll actually need.
    Things like a tide-to-go pen, a small sewing kit, gum or mints, and snacks, you MUST have snacks.
  14. Make sure you have a plan.
    If you haven’t hired a professional to take care of all the details, then you need to ensure you have a plan for the things they will not do, like emcee your dinner hour or place your floral centerpieces.
  15. Buffer your timeline.
    That way when something runs late, you don’t need to stress out or feel crunched for time.
  16. Designate alone time for you and your new spouse after the ceremony.
    Once you’ve said your ‘I dos’ take a moment to revel in the excitement!
  17. If a friend is officiating your wedding, make sure there’s a plan to mail in your marriage certificate. Otherwise, you’re not legally married.

Know of someone who could use these wedding planning tips? Use the share buttons below to give others the great knowledge!

Prosperity, Love & Happiness,
Josey

March 5, 2018

Planning a wedding is no small feat. It’s like hosting a dinner party for 200 friends, one with grand entertainment, stellar music and plenty of libations. If you aren’t in the event management sector, it can seem fairly straightforward, at first. As soon as you delve further in, however, you start to realize that there are a LOT of details.

That’s where a wedding planner comes in. Someone to hold your hand and guide you through menu tastings and vow writings. Someone with grand expertise that will tell you all of the following things.

  1. Pay your vendors at least one week in advance.
    Saving payments for the day of your wedding is stressful. It’s a headache you don’t need. Instead, pay all your vendors beforehand in full, that way no one gets forgotten.
  2. Enlist one person to be in charge.
    If you decide to also forgo a day of coordinator, assign one person the task of being in charge. One person who will watch the timeline, have emergency contact numbers, be a vendor contact, and help fill in those little gaps as they appear, like directing cars where to park or taking cards from guests during the reception. (Yes, that does happen).
  3. Be organized with a timeline and contact number sheet.
    The tools that your person in charge will have to ensure your wedding day vision comes to fruition.
  4. Your ceremony must have a detailed timeline.
    I know I’ve said timelines now, once or thrice, but having a detailed outline of your ceremony can help it run smoothly. All the people involved will be a little bit nervous, and nerves make us do weird things. Like when that groom forgot to stay at the altar and came back to the start of the aisle. Or like when that DJ changed processional music in the middle of the bridal party procession. Have a clear outline of who walks where when and to what music and then where they stand or sit can really help. Also having a rehearsal helps.
  5. Rehearse with a pro (either your officiant or the venue coordinator).
    Unless you are a dance instructor or a drill sergeant getting people to line up and cueing them when to walk can really be annoying. Like when your friends are too busy flirting to hear their cue, or like when they practically sprint down the aisle making you feel as though the real thing will be a replica. Having a professional there, someone of authority, can make a huge difference. Remember, this is the day before your wedding, why not keep it fun and happy?
  6. Have tips pre-partitioned.
    Tipping vendors is totally a personal choice. A choice that you should make and prepare for before the night of your wedding when your caterers are leaving and awkwardly shifting at your side saying 'well, it looks like we’re just about finished.' HINT HINT.
  7. Hire a professional DJ or have a set playlist.
    Seeeriously. Just hire a professional DJ. If you want to tear up the dance floor all night long, you need someone with the ability to entice everyone to that dance floor. OR you need better friends. lol
  8. Have a good bustling plan.
    There comes a moment during your night, usually after the receiving line, when you want your dress to be less dainty, i.e., you don’t want to worry about people stepping on your train anymore. You slip away quick to quickly bustle, but without a good plan, it’s anything but quick. Plus you’ve got one or more persons getting really intimate with your body under your dress trying to tie or button or snap. Have a good bustle plan so this part of your day is a breeze.
  9. Pre-pack all of your wedding details, including decor.
    I always suggest labeling boxes with what’s inside, and with what needs to go back inside at the end of the night. Programs and menus will likely not need to make it back in the box, so having a list right on the top ensures your clean up crew doesn’t leave anything behind or worry about taking something that isn’t yours.
  10. Have a setup strategy.
    Along with what’s in the box (ha!), it’s always good to include a list of where the items go. Even a picture can help the setup crew have confidence that they are executing your vision.
  11. Have an exit strategy.
    Don’t just think about how your stuff is getting to the venue, also think about how it is getting home and in whose vehicle. Remember you might not necessarily have less stuff at the end of the night because along the way you are going to accumulate gifts and leftover cake.

Do you know someone who is getting married without a wedding planner? Use the share links below to make sure they get this essential insight!

Prosperity, Love & Happiness,
Josey

Sponsors

  • Aurther's Jewlers
  • Wedding Shoppe
  • Savvi Formal Wear
  • Effies Bridal Trunk
  • Festivities
  • David's Bridal
  • Men's Wearhouse
  • Dinner 4 Two
  • Indulge & Bloom Group

Media Partners

  • Citiies 97
  • K102
  • Savvi KDWB
  • iHeart Radio
  • CC Outdoor

Read Our Current Issue