What to accomplish at your wedding rehearsal

Traditionally wedding rehearsals are held the night before the wedding itself and is a great way for the two families and bridal party to get acquainted if they don’t already know each other. Another benefit to rehearsals is that it can help to alleviate any nerves; and make everyone invited feel comfortable. Whether it’s formal or an informal setting, really depends on the style of the couple, but it’s part of the wedding celebration altogether. However there are some things that need to be accomplished at the rehearsal, here is what you need to make sure happens!

  1. 20141229_181736Mix and Mingle

If the rehearsal dinner is a larger affair, there should be some time for the families and bridal party to meet and socialize. As previously mentioned, if the families have not yet had the opportunity to get to know each other, the rehearsal dinner is a great occasion to do so. Similarly, it member of the bridal party are not from the same group of friends, it’s nice for them to bond as well. This is also important for the soon to be newlyweds to spend time with everyone since the wedding day/night will be exhausting.

  1. The Toast

20141229_195446Wedding etiquette dictates that the host of the rehearsal dinner (usually the father of the groom or both parents) make a toast to the soon to be daughter in law and her family. Afterward, the groom then toasts to the hosts, guests and his bride. However it is quite common now that both the bride and groom decide to do the toast together.

  1. The Gift Exchange

Now is a great time for the bride and groom to gi20141229_174819ve the bridal party their gifts. This way it’s not in front of your entire guest list, you can have a few sentimental moments with them. As well, this is another opportune time if the bride and groom would like to give a little something to their parents or one another.

  1. The Ceremony Rehearsal

It’s not just about the dinner and wine surprise! This is pretty much the entire point of having the “rehearsal” anything…to rehearse! So at this point, the bridal party should know what order they are walking down the aisle in, which translates to the order they are standing in at the altar. From there, this should also coincide with who they are paired with to walk back up the aisle with and in what order! As well, if there are any cultural traditions to be incorporated into the ceremony, everyone will need to know when that happens, who is involved and what they need to do and where they need to stand. You want the ceremony to be executed flawlessly so…rehearse! Until it’s perfect!

Don’t forget to have a great time, enjoy your dinner and company and then get some sleep since the day after is the BIG day!

Feature Article in The Wedding Planner Magazine- Summer 2015 issue

I was so happy when I was asked to write an article for the magazine I currently work for. I really enjoyed writing this and am thankful for the opportunity! I’d like to applaud all of my amazingly talented and hard working colleagues who put so much time and dedication into this publication. Please go to our website and see all of their incredible work. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram  I hope you enjoy! AV.

Ash ArticleClick article to read.

Can Social Media Impact Your Event?

AVP was hired to manage the social media for this year’s highly anticipated TDot TV Lounge during the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival this September.  When TDot TV CEO Justin Edmead emailed me, I was beyond excited; I relish a new challenge as it was “unchartered waters” for AVP. I had never considered social media management for an event as something that was overly important…I ended up proving myself 100% wrong and learned something valuable in the process.  First thing I learned without a question is ensure your shoes are fabulous, snapshot worthy AND comfortable. Not only did everyone adore my shoes both days (booyah for me!) but standing and tweeting for 5 straight hours took a toll on my feet!  Okay now I will be serious…

In order to successfully manage social media for an event, it is important to sit down with the person hosting the event and find out how they want to use their social media platform.  Asking the event host what they hope to gain through the use of social media helps to clarify your direction.   We can tweet about the server wearing mismatching socks and if it’s not the direction the event host wants to take- efforts are wasted.  Other pertinent questions to consider asking would be “Are you comfortable with pictures being taken and used in the social media campaign?” “What sort of tone/voice would you like used for social media platform?”

So when I sat down with TDot TV Founder & CEO Justin Edmead, I asked him exactly what his goal was in hiring me to manage the social media for his celebrity gifting lounge his response was:

“Social Media is an essential component of any business strategy today.  Bringing in a dedicated social media manager will enable our staff to focus on hosting our celebrity guests at the TDot TV Lounge”

Many would consider it a wise idea to have one specific individual in charge of social media at an event; of course this will depend on the size of the event. If it is indeed a smaller scale event, one person could be enough. If you look at your guest list and realize that there will be too much taking place for it to be all captured, it may be beneficial to have a social media “team”.  They can all be in charge of live tweeting in a “divide and conquer” sort of manner- it is important that if it is more than one person to have someone in charge of the team and clear roles distinguished.  Also keep in mind that even though one person may have the exclusive responsibility of managing social media, you are bound to have attendees and others tweeting at the event itself.

Another crucial aspect of effectively managing the social media at an event no matter the scale is ensuring that you have accurate twitter handles of the individuals that are involved or attending as well as the proper hash tags.  There is absolutely no point in tweeting for 5 hours then to realize you don’t have the proper handles and guess what? No one replied or “re-tweeted”- again, waste of valuable time.  Make sure this is thoroughly discussed with the client holding the event as well as anyone they have hired to manage their PR as it is the responsibility of anyone in PR to have this information readily available and accurate.  There is no room for grammatical or spelling errors so I highly recommend that an accurate list is given to you via email so you can “follow” all of the handles and you have a back up print copy you take with you to the event.  Clearly you can tell I was a Brownie and a Girl Guide as I try to “always be prepared” for any possible situation.

It is equally important that while managing social media for an event that you make sure that you are focused. There are many things going on at once, crowds, perhaps you bump into colleagues or networks, music playing- remember you are working.  It is so easy to get caught up in the chaotic glamour and excitement of an event but if you forget to tweet about all of the sponsors, or tweet more about the food than the music or don’t get in the most important aspects of the event, you may not receive positive feedback.  Balance is the key and I think considering it was my first official event managing social media I didn’t do too badly.  I did run into many people I knew, had to chat with the sponsors to find out more about them (for tweeting purposes) enjoyed the music by doing a little two-step and cracked a few jokes- but essentially my face was glued to my phone!  Tweeting from my phone enabled more mobility, I was able to capture various things in a short span of time and take pictures.  It was a great experience and one that I would certainly welcome again- the result according to Justin Edmead?

By bringing in AVP to manage the TDot TV twitter stream, we netted more than 1.3 million impressions for the 2012 TDot TV Lounge.  This beat last year’s numbers by a factor of 5.   We are more than pleased with the job done by AVP”

Mind you I will not take all of the credit as the entire TDot TV family assisted very much with regards to social media and I was grateful for their support.  Many thanks to Justin Edmead and his VP of Marketing Kala Patel for their hard work, encouragement and allowing me to work alongside them!  I look forward to working together again in the future!