There’s always something that you will forget for your wedding; the hope is to keep it to a minimum. That’s why you turn to expert advice. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, or maybe second… or third… or… but it’s STILL better to get help from professionals in the event business who have LEARNED from their mistakes and those of others.
The obvious choice is to turn to the Wedding Planner to take care of everything so you don’t have to. They have a big job with many details and timelines to oversee and as good as they may be, they are still human and until Apple makes a better app for it, things can get overlooked.
My advice? Read on for ideas that might help you help them to help you.
KIDS: Recent comments I’ve heard about a wedding were: “It was so perfect, but those kids were out of CONTROL!” They wouldn’t sit at the table, kept complaining that they were bored and, even worse, were getting into trouble. Their parents may have been distracted by what so-and-so was wearing or this novel drink they had… Meanwhile, the kids have left the table and are exploring in potentially dangerous situations under hot catering dishes or tangled in high-wattage DJ or band gear. Believe me, I have averted near disasters.
Solution: Entertain them. That is an ever-growing challenge in the days of high-tech media/game saturation for kids and you can spend as much as you like in this area, but there are inexpensive alternatives too.
Something as low tech as a kids’ entertainer with great games for them to play. How about a mystery for the older kids to solve or a scavenger hunt for little tykes.
WEATHER: There once was a bride who swore to me that her wonderful plan for an outdoor ceremony was just fine because it would never rain on her parade, but I convinced her to let me create an alternative. Her site was a plain hotel ballroom that opened to a beautiful adjacent outdoor area with a gazebo. But on that day, the rainstorm created a lake.
Solution: Backup plan. Luckily, inside I had created a lit-up, decorative set piece in the shape of a church roof line which they used for the ceremony instead. I was not responsible for the rainbow that appeared outside afterward, but that could probably be done with decorative lighting!
LIGHTING: This often-overlooked element really has a big effect on setting the mood of a room or church. Is it a happy place or a dungeon? Is it amber and mellow or fluorescent like the office? Photographers and videographers can often try to compensate for bad lighting, but in the fast pace of all the locations involved, they won’t have time to redo the lighting everywhere if at all.
Solution: If you like a location but it is lacking in this area, hire a pro to bring in some discreet and even entertaining temporary lighting. Mood means much.
THE MUSIC OFFENDS SOMEONE … and it may even be you. With played music or karaoke, a good DJ knows how to judge a situation and knows what is appropriate when, but they don’t know the guests. What song is going to make someone leave early or make Grandma call for the preacher? One experience I had that came out of left field was when I played “Sweet Caroline” at a reception as a request. To my surprise, there was only one person on the dance floor and many unhappy faces otherwise. Too late I realized that every Red Sox baseball game played this song, and this wedding was full of New York Yankee fans. BIG mistake.
Solution: It is always helpful to have a DO NOT PLAY list of everything you can think of and have that conversation with the DJ about Grandma.
OTHER GREAT IDEAS:
A mini-video made from the kids point of view! A music video made with the performers singing along with the karaoke! A separate kids area complete with a kids’ DJ! Playing a pre-filmed movie at the reception serves as an icebreaker for families just getting to know each other. Wouldn’t that be cool to have someone on guitar playing your favorite songs during the cocktail hour?
How about SAVING MONEY! You hire many different people for all of the things that go on at a wedding; the more people, the more to keep track of. There are event professionals out there that do more than one thing. If they can provide combination packages for you, that can save time and money. In fact I know a good one. Please talk with me about fun ideas and how to avoid being remembered as “that wedding.”