I have seen a lot of weddings in my life, and there are some mistakes I see over and over again. I decided maybe I would share some things I have learned over the years. And if you are in the market for a wedding planner, check out my website http://www.bchicevents.com/ ;)
1. Buy the dress you love. This bears repeating, buy the dress YOU love. This is your wedding day, and not getting the dress you wanted will forever be a regret.
2. Spend the money and hire a good photographer. I can’t stress this enough. Hardly anyone will remember in 10 years what kind of food you had or what centerpieces you used. But if the pictures are bad, you will never, ever be able to replace them. Your wedding is a day you will never get to relive again. Do yourself a favor and make this a priority.
3. Don’t pick your wedding colors from paint samples. I know, going to Home Depot and grabbing tons of paint samples to find that perfect shade seems like a great idea. But keep in mind, it will be almost impossible to find that exact color in a fabric.
4. Choose a smaller venue. I don’t care if you are sending out 1000 invitations, don’t have your reception in a stake center. Choose the smaller building (if you are in Colorado, the Stonegate building in Parker is ideal for receptions). A basic rule of thumb is, for as many people that you invite (and that are in state), cut that number in half, that’s maybe how many will show up. The thing to remember about Mormon weddings is that no one comes and stays for the whole time, they filter thru like an open house. If you expect 180 people and set up seating for that many, you will have maybe half of the tables sat at. This leaves a lot of unused space and makes the room look empty, plus you double your budget on centerpieces. Instead, set up seating for 80-100.
5. Rent colored table cloths!! Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t stand white table cloths. They make every wedding look like every church dinner I have ever been to. Not to mention, if you are borrowing them from the stake, they can be stained and take forever to get the wrinkles out. By renting, you can pick your colors and even different fabrics. This will change the whole look of your reception and will cost less than $200 (normally). Not to mention that they come pre-pressed, and at the end you just throw them in a bag and return them.
6. Don’t have any of the guys wear off white shirts. Even if your dress is cream colored, still have them wear white shirts. Off white dress shirts just look dirty (I actually heard someone make the comment once that it looked like the groom was wearing a shirt he'd had since the beginning of his mission). I promise, white will look better in photos and no one will notice it isn’t the same color as your dress.
7. Have a receiving line! I know, so many people hate the idea of a receiving line, but I still think it is a must, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. At Mormon wedding receptions, people come in and out throughout the whole time. If you are trying to go table to table, people will get missed. Maybe I am old fashioned, but if I am taking time out of my life, and buying you a present, I expect to at least personally say hello to you and tell you how happy I am for you.
8. Don’t put your wedding party in the receiving line. No one really cares who your bridesmaids are, and they don’t care about meeting the guests. Let’s make this less awkward for everyone and just let them enjoy the reception.
9. Have 2 receiving lines. My friends Michelle and Jaci both did this at their receptions, and I recommend it to everyone. Have a line when people first come in for just the parents. That way people can stand and talk as long as they like (because we all know that’s where the line gets backed up is at the parents). Then in a different spot, have just the bride and groom. Those of us from the singles ward could just bypass the traffic jam and go straight to the people we knew. I can’t tell you how great this worked!
10. Hire a wedding planner (I work for cheap, hint hint) or at the very least, have someone be the designated person to answer questions. A few days before every wedding, the bride and groom get what I call “wedding brain”. They literally stop being able to form a thought besides “I just want to get married”. Don’t expect them to be able to answer any questions or give opinions about anything, I promise, they just don’t care anymore. Have one person who everyone can go to with questions, and leave the couple alone to be in their zombie like state of love.
So there you go, some basic, but I think good advice :)