If you're planning a wedding, you may feel that you've thought of everything. But by adding simple, special details, the day will flow more peacefully, your guests will feel more welcome and relaxed, and you'll know that you haven't forgotten a thing.
If you make your lists ahead of time, these special details will be all taken care of before the special day arrives. Everything will go smoothly and everyone will enjoy the occasion.
Welcome Your Guests From Out of Town
- Make a list of all your guests who are coming from out of town. Prepare a gift basket or gift bag with goodies that they can enjoy in their hotel room. You can deliver the gift bags to the front desk at the hotel ahead of their arrival or present it to them the first time you see them. Buy bulk bags of candy, nuts, crackers, and cookies and divide the goodies into celophane bags. Add bottled water or cider, a schedule of the festivities, and a map to the wedding and reception sites. Put a pretty, hand-written personal welcome note on the top of the basket or bag.
Mementos for the Guests
- It's not uncommon for a bridal couple to have a small (or not so small) gift for all the guests to take home as a reminder of this special day. It can be as simple as a long-stemmed rose for each lady, given at either the wedding or reception site. Or a small silver frame with a photo of the bridal couple. One couple had a friend cut a CD of all their favorite songs with a picture of the happy couple on the cover. If it's going to be a sunny day for an outdoor wedding, offer inexpensive sunglasses, paper fans, or bottles of water with a photo of the bride and groom. Favors on the reception tables can include a small votive candle at each setting, a nosegay of flowers tied around the napkin, heart-shaped chocolates wrapped in silver or gold, or individual cookies wrapped in a cello bag with ribbon.
Pre-Wedding Snacks for the Bridal Party
- With so much going on on wedding day, it's easy to forget to eat. Have a platter of small sandwiches, fresh fruit, cheese and crackers, and cookies available in the rooms where the bridesmaids and groomsmen will dress. And always have plenty of fresh, bottled water.
No Gum Chewing
- Be sure that no one in the bridal party chews gum during the taking of photos, the ceremony, or the reception. It's just tacky! You might provide a tiny tin of mints instead.
Trim the Shoes
- Add crystals, silk flowers, pearls, or fresh flower buds to bridesmaids' shoes for a special touch. Do the same with any purses that might be carried throught the ceremony. It's not a bad idea for the ladies to carry an extra, more comfortable pair of shoes for dancing later.
A Small Purse for the Bride
- Ask a relative or close friend not in the bridal party to carry a small purse for the bride. In it, put a hair brush and hair spray, cologne, a small cosmetic bag with necessities, pins, and tissue. The bride will have everything handy but she won't have to carry it. Place the bag under the bride's table at the reception.
Take Care of the Necessities
- Put togehter a basket of touch-up items in the Lounge areas. In the men's restroom, provide combs, pins, a shoe buffer, tissue, and breath mints. For the ladies, have small cosmetic items such as mascara, erase, lipstick, vials of perfume testers, tissue, combs, hairspray, a sewing kit, and breath mints. Remember a small floral arrangement or planted basket. Your guests will be blown away!
- If the wedding day is hot and sunny, move the bridal party to a shady area for photos. You'll still have good natural light, but no one will have to be squinting through all the photos. Flowers and makeup will look fresher too!
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Don't Try to Do It All Yourself
It may feel as though you should be able to do everything, but don't even try. Delegate some simple jobs to your friends and the wedding and reception will run more smoothly. Some things you can ask friends to do are. . .
- Attend the gift table to receive gifts brought to the ceremony or reception. Have a car parked close by and put the gifts in the trunk during the ceremony and reception.
- Act as an "usher" at the entrance, and direct guests to the gift table, guest book, restrooms, ceremony, and reception. Your guests will appreciate the ease with which they can find their way.
- Arrange the reception table cards. If they're in alphabetical order, they'll be easily found. Table numbers should be printed on the cards if you're assigning seats for your guests.
- Hand out wedding programs, bags with rice or seeds for tossing as the couple leaves, or wedding programs at the ceremony.
- Make plans to keep, give away, or remove floral centerpieces at the end of the day. If you're renting vases, they'll need to be collected.
- Gather any left over food or cake that you want to keep. Be sure that you bring food containers or bags if the reception site does not provide them.
- Check for personal items that are left after the occasion. Collect the guest book, mementos, candles, printed napkins, or menu cards.
With all the planning, hard work, and anticipation that goes into a wedding celebration, you'll want to have photos right away. Here's how:
OUR BEST WEDDING TIP
- Locate a one-hour photo processing store near the reception site and confirm that they'll be open when you need them. Ask a friend to take snapshots of the pre-wedding activities and wedding ceremony. When the wedding is over and the reception starts, have the friend take the rolls of film to the store. Ask for 3 sets of prints. Request that the finished sets of prints be delivered to the reception site, or have the friend go back to pick them up. Quickly place one set of prints into a beautiful small box or small photo album. Give the photos to the bride and groom as they leave the party to go off on their honeymoon. Give the other sets of prints to the parents of the bride and groom. Everyone will treasure the extra effort and the instant reminder of the special day.
Get Tips for Do-It-Yourself Flowers.