4 Elements For a Successful Wedding Day
There are tons and tons of elements that go into a successful wedding day, but for the sake of simplicity, I've decided to narrow it down to a list of four things because four is an easy, even number we can all get behind, right? It's funny, because this list is anything but revolutionary, but each of these tips are tried and true and will have guests raving about your wedding for years to come.
1) Never skimp on food.
Ever. ever ever ever. Think about it for a second. In most cultures, food plays a HUGE part in gatherings of people. It is a sign of welcoming and comfort and also of entertainment and festivity. That is why there are roughly 9 billion food documentary series on Netflix at any given time. Food plays a huge role in positive human interactions. I'm not saying you have to have steak and lobster at your wedding. In fact, I think the more creative you get with your menu options, the better. However, I want to (read: NEED to) emphasize that you must make sure you are accommodating and generous when it comes to serving your guests. This simply means make sure you take into account your guests' needs and supply them with delicious options. People love choice no matter how it is offered: buffet style, family style, formal sit down, stations, food trucks, you name it. Also, make sure you have enough food to properly qualify for a dinner--otherwise make sure it is very clearly stated on the invitation that this will be an hors d'oeuvres or small bites only reception.
2) Make sure you pace your wedding day appropriately.
If the reception starts too early, guests will leave early. If the reception starts too late, guests will get antsy and hangry. If you have a large gap between your ceremony and reception, be sure to pace your bridal party so the momentum doesn't die before the party even starts. Make sure you have gone over a timeline with your day of coordinator (or venue coordinator), and whomever your emcee is going to be so they can keep things flowing. If you are having stations or buffet style dining options, have a plan of dismissing tables so that certain tables aren't finished an hour before other tables have even been served. Your caterer should definitely have experience in properly pacing all dining options, but it's smart to go over the plan with him/her. Dinner should last about an hour fifteen to an hour and a half from start to finish and then transition right into dancing for 2.5-3 hours max. If you have five hours of dancing, you better have the best playlist of your life to keep all your guests interested on the dance floor. Even the most dedicated dancers will start to die off early with too much of a good thing. The pacing of your wedding will be a huge factor in how many guests are left tearing it up on the dance floor all the way to the end.
3) Put a LOT of thought into your band/DJ.
Music matters. It matters more than I can even begin to describe. Music and food set the tone for the entire party, and if you aren't much of a music person, please pass the job off to someone who is. From your ceremony music to cocktail hour to dinner to the dance floor, music plays a huge part in pacing the night. Music should create a sort of build up with a compilation of songs that will have your guests dying to get on the dance floor, and a good DJ/band knows the perfect combination of songs that will do just that. A truly talented DJ/band is worth their weight in wedding gold and can take your wedding to the next level. Do not skimp on your music and do not make the mistake of reducing a DJ to "someone who just presses play on a playlist" because a good DJ does so much more than that.
4) Pass the torch to a day of coordinator.
I am a broken record when it comes to this sentiment. Give up your day of responsibilities to a professional, and everyone, including yourself, will thank you for it. The saint that is the day of coordinator will see to it that all benchmarks of a successful wedding day are met and exceeded, and you will not have to lose sleep over making sure the pace of your day is good, bad or otherwise. Your day of coordinator keeps the pulse of the whole event and is constantly adjusting to ensure your day goes off without a hitch. Let your day of coordinator run between the DJ, chef, venue coordinator, florist, officiant, and so on and so forth to communicate what needs to be done to keep the day rolling, and you focus on those vows of yours. You've worked so hard to get to this moment, so enjoy it! And enjoy it full knowing that everyone else is smiling right there with you.
Any former brides out there with nuggets of advice for brides-to-be planning their wedding days?
What is the best food you have ever had at a wedding?
I shot a wedding that had fresh made chips and guac at every table instead of bread baskets. I died and went straight to heaven.
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