It’s officially been over one year now since mine and Dan’s wedding- the biggest and best party we’ve ever thrown with so many of our loved ones- and I’m still not over how lucky we are to have gotten to experience this kind of moment in life. It truly was so freaking special. And, even with how special it was, this does not mean everything went perfectly. In fact, many things surrounding the day went wrong. But I’ve gotta tell you- in the end, none of that mattered. As prepared as I thought I was, and as much planning as I put into avoiding all possible mistakes, real life still has a way of reminding you that humans and the world we live in are innately, and unavoidably, imperfect- even on your wedding day. And with that knowledge, along with all the other knowledge I’ve accumulated this past year working as a wedding planner, I thought I’d share a few things to help your wedding day run smoothly:
CHARGE AND HAVE BACKUP BATTERIES
On the day of our wedding, our polaroid battery died. After having it for 4 years and never having this issue, it decided to crap out on my wedding day. Lol, go figure. Unfortunately it required a special kind of battery, so my planner asked her daughter to pick up some film and bring her polaroid camera, so we could still get photos for our guest book.
Seriously above and beyond of her to do, and so greatly appreciated, but just in case this isn’t an option for your planner, order some backup batteries (especially any specialty ones!) and make sure everything is charged up and ready to go beforehand.
GET SIGNAGE FOR GUESTBOOK
I really didn’t give signage much thought when I planned our wedding. I went about as far as a seating chart and that was it. Luckily the bar provided a bar sign, but I didn’t have a cute welcome or guestbook sign.
And while I don’t think the welcome sign is necessary at all, if you have a guestbook that requires some extra steps beyond signing, it’s nice to provide some instructions. It’s also a good idea to assign someone as the welcome table attendant, to make sure film is stocked, people know how to work the camera, etc.
TRY TO STAY IN ONE PLACE DAY OF
It’s not the end of the world if you have to travel a little on your wedding day, but it sure is nice to wake up in the exact place where all activities will be happening that day. This way you don’t have to worry about packing up everything you’ll need and figuring out a way to get from point A to point B.
Instead, you can wake up in the morning, turn on some music, pour some mimosas, and chill all day while you get ready, with no worries about when you need to head to the venue- you’re already there! And, if this option isn’t realistic for the venue you’ve chosen, make sure you…
This was one I REALLY didn’t think about lol. I just planned to Uber and, while there’s nothing wrong with that, it can be a bit inconvenient (and if you’re in a more remote place, forget it!). You never know for sure if one will be available when you need it/that it won’t cancel on you. Hiring a transportation company and setting up pickup and drop-off times, whether its for just you and your wedding party or all of your guests as well, it’s nice to know you’ve got a ride waiting for you when you’re ready and that you won’t have to wait around for an Uber later on.
PRACTICE YOUR FIRST DANCE
Dan and I didn’t talk one second about how our first dance would go, until the night before the wedding. And while our sweet friends attempted to give us dance lessons, neither of us were in a headspace to really soak in the material. So our first dance was simple, sweet and incredibly uncoordinated LOL.
And if this is something you’re okay with at your own wedding, then read no further. But if it’s something you think might help the two of you ease your nerves when the moment comes, then I definitely think it’s worth at least learning some sort of beginners moves off Youtube or something.
I will say though that I loved our first dance and that now, after working as a planner, the uncoordinated ones are my favorites 🙂 The coordinated ones are super fun, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something about a couple getting up together to go feel awkward as hell in front of a bunch of people, and doing it willingly and giggling at themselves and each other throughout. Not sure about you, but I find that moment super sweet.
HIRE A PLANNER
I’m not just saying this because I am one, the best advice I got when planning my wedding was to hire, at the very least, a day of coordinator. Ours was incredible and our day would not have been what it was without her.
You don’t need to go full force with a full on planner, coordinators are more affordable and will still be there day of to execute the timeline you two make together, so this job doesn’t fall on anyone else like your mom, MOH, or worst of all… YOU.
Don’t think these tips will erase all possible opportunities for something to go haywire- they won’t. If it’s not these things that go wrong, it’ll be something else, but that’s okay. The greatest advice I could give anyone on their wedding day is to go along for the ride. I know it can be difficult releasing control on the day you’ve been planning for the last year or however long, but all that planning will have been in vain if you can’t switch gears to relax and enjoy it all when it’s finally here.
Besides, you’re never going to remember the color of your table linens or how the table numbers fit in with your aesthetic- what you WILL remember are all the imperfectly perfect human moments. The ones where something makes you laugh, maybe makes you cry, and gets you to look around the room to take it all in- so many people you love. All in one place. To celebrate you, your partner, and this next journey you’ve chosen to embark on together.
And added bonus- those little things that did go wrong? Well, they’ll just create even more of those human moments and make for fun stories later on- about how people stepped up to fix it, about how everyone laughed because something was just that funny, and about how much sweeter the day became because you were open to the raw vulnerability of it all. Now THAT’s what I call the good stuff. And good stuff makes for REAL good weddings 😉
Did something go wrong at your wedding that you can look back on now and laugh? What’s something you would add to this list from lessons learned on your big day? Share your stories and tips!
If you liked this post, you might also enjoy: Wedding Recap Part 1
Find more photos from our wedding here.