10 awful mistakes brides make

No wedding day is completely perfect (unless it is) and there are bound to be some flubs or forgotten details. Here are 10 common mistakes brides make leading up to and on their wedding day:

  1. Don’t carve out enough time for hair and makeup

It is imperative that you consider how large your bridal party is, this should include your mother and mother in law and any flower girls you may have. If you have more than 4 ladies to do hair and makeup for, you should consider hiring two makeup artists and two hair stylists. Make sure they have both met, have pictures of the makeup and hair looks so they can get everyone done on time!

  1.  Drink the night before

Monica drunkTry to refrain from excessive drinking the night before the wedding. Alcohol can make you puffy the next day, if you are sensitive you may even get a mild headache. Trade in a cocktail or glass of wine with some sparkling water and lemon, you’ll thank us.

  1. Rule out a wedding planner

Even if you have managed to plan everything yourself, the week before your wedding is the most stressful. If you had hired a planner for the week of you could have been spending time with your family and friends. Instead, you are left running around keeping track of final payments to vendors, confirming floral deliveries, giving directions…need I continue? Hire a planner.

  1. Don’t account for hidden costs

This is a big one that gets overlooked far too often. Tipping your vendors is a must unless it’s already included in their contract.  Also ensuring they are fed at dinner time if they are present is also important. Marriage license is another hidden cost, postage for “Thank you” cards, meals on wedding day and then there is the “other” category. This is for when the power goes out and you have to buy 200 candles, or the groom forgets to pack his shoes and needs to hail a cab!

  1. Take time with parentsbride with parents

The day of your wedding you are the center of attention and everyone wants to say a word or give a hug. Don’t forget to take a few quiet moments with your parents outside of pictures. It will be a welcome break from the hustle and bustle and it will give you some one on one time with them, they will appreciate it.

6. You forget to eat

Yes, we know you need to fit into your wedding dress as snug as a bug the day of, however, we don’t need a dramatic Scarlett O’Hara fainting moment because you didn’t eat anything. A light breakfast with a few carbs for energy is suffice, lots of water and some snacks while getting ready and during pictures.

  1. Sunless tanning

Anne's gone orange!

Have some practice sessions please! I can’t stress this enough. Sunless tanning can work if you find the right place to go. Be sure to go for a shade that isn’t so far off your natural skin tone, aim for a pre- wedding glow. If you overdo it or go too dark…you will be in your bathroom 2 days before your wedding with half a cup of lemon juice, a quarter cup of sugar…and a loofah sponge.

  1. Don’t feed vendors

Your vendors work hard and rightly so; this is what they do! However, if you have hired a band to entertain your guests, a planner running around behind the scenes, a photographer or videographer- they need to eat. This is customary and likely in the contract you signed when you hired them. Perhaps not what the guests are eating but feed them with something!

  1. Skimp on bridal party gifts

Take into consideration your bridal party (guys too) have spend a ton of money over the past year or so helping you plan your wedding. From wedding gifts, bachelor/bachelorette parties, outfits, dinners, to helping you solve problems, they’ve done so much. Be sure to budget a decent amount (consider how large your bridal party is) so they can feel the love and appreciation you have for all they have done.

  1. Mistreat Single friends

I’ve been one of the single gals at a table, where I don’t know anyone and most of the people I am sitting with are couples. Thankfully I have an outgoing personality and I can talk to anyone but not all your guests are going to find this situation ideal. To ease the pressure or even nerves, try to put them with at least one person at the same table that they know. Please, please have mercy!

4 Ways to mortify your wedding guests

We are not foolish enough to think that your wedding day will be completely flawless; you are bound to run into a snag here or there. However, there are a few things that can really upset your guests on your special day. Now, keeping in mind that you cannot please everyone, these 4 grievances go across the entire spectrum of your guest list and for the most part can be prevented…pay attention couples!

  1. Omitting Important Information

Nothing is more disrespectful than not informing your guests of things they will have to pay for dinner and or drinks at your wedding. If dinner is a 4 course meal that is not being covered by the bride and groom but only the wine, you need to indicate this clearly on the invitations you send out. These meals can be very expensive and if most of your guests are married, that means two meals will need to be paid for at the same price! Likewise, if you intend to have a cash bar and do not tell your guests in advance, you will have a lot of people unprepared and upset.

  1. Preparation for outdoor ceremonies and pictures

Rain or shine, the ceremony will go on! Keeping close tabs on the weather will be 0921-04_wedding_horror_story_unhappy_guests_liimportant right up until the morning of the wedding. Aside from wanting to avoid a soggy bride in a ruined white dress, you have guests to think of. It may be a good idea to indicate on the invite for people to bring umbrellas just in case while you supply some cute fans in case it gets hot! Overcooked or damp guests in silk dresses and black suits aren’t a pretty sight, nor is it comfortable for them. Those are the clothes they have to wear for the duration of the wedding celebration. So take into consideration the weather and prepare them or be prepared for them!

3.  One of the most frustrating problems for a guest to face and have to solve it quickly is the issue of accessible transportation and or parking. If the wedding takes place in the city and guests plan to drink, they may opt to take public transit. This becomes problematic if the wedding venue is located in a remote area or where multiple lines of transit need to be taken. Try to have an “easy access” venue for the sake of your guests. Likewise, for those who are driving, they need to find parking and know how to pay for it without hassles. Driving up and down the 5 blocks surrounding the venue is tiresome and agitating. Have mercy…when considering you venue, ask about public transit and parking spaces and then inform your RSVP’s.

  1. Bad Dinner Experience

miseryNot that everyone goes to the wedding for the food but let’s face it, dinner is definitely a subject of discussion after a wedding. Now not everything can be controlled or timed perfectly and most wedding guests who have been to weddings know this. However, a friend of mine did a wedding earlier this year and the dinner was a disaster. Firstly, the head table missed their cue to go to the food stations to get their dinner. That held up the other 12 tables, the MC then started asking tables by number to go up…massive mistake as the head table had not gone yet! To make it worse there were no servers at the food stations to ensure everyone essentially received equal portions. This resulted in the last 2-3 tables almost not getting any dinner because the tables before them were greedy and didn’t consider anyone else. Upset, hungry guests? Absolutely! There had been plenty of food but the catering staff didn’t control the stations…disaster. Ensure your catering company has a plan of execution and that everyone knows where they are to be and what their responsibilities are.

So if the flower girl screams the whole walk down the aisle or someone’s watch gets dropped in the toilet…not much you can do. But ensuring that your guests have been well informed in advance and have been considered in these areas will surely have them buzzing with excitement well after your big day!

Bridesmaid takeover or takedown?

bridesmaidsAs a wedding planner you deal with many different personalities and a TON of women…and as a woman, you know what women are like. Aside from potentially having a “bridezilla” or a “mother of the bridezilla”, you can end up with bridesmaids who think they run the show on the wedding day.

Now of course, it’s natural a bridesmaid wants her bestie to have a perfect wedding, who wouldn’t want everything to run perfectly? Here is the thing- it never does. Not even the best of the best planners can prevent the best man from getting food poisoning the night before. There are things we just cannot control and as difficult as it is- we have to accept it.

That being said, having a bossy bridesmaid can be an added stress to any planner or bride, though it’s wise to anticipate it. The tricky part is handling it in a professional manner that will not backfire. The last thing a planner wants is to have to talk with her and then have the bride return to you with a different story. At the end of the day, planners are there to make things run smoothly so everyone enjoys themselves as much as possible. But what to do when a bridesmaid attempts to take over on the day of the wedding?

Prepare in advance, and have something for her to be in charge of and for only her to do. This way you are killing several birds with one stone. By giving her a task (and make sure it’s a lengthy one or an ongoing one) it will keep her occupied, while making her feel helpful and minimizing your stress all at once. Yes, you will have a team there who is more than capable of looking after everything but no one needs a bridesmaid coming into the kitchen and barking at the catering staff while you are dealing with a wardrobe malfunction with the bride.Bridesmaidzilla-ZeeRailed

On the more “preventive” side of things, have a chat with the entire bridal party at the rehearsal dinner. This way you can voice your expectations of them and let them know that unless their assistance is solicited by you, all they need to do is enjoy themselves. Reassure them that you have plenty of experience and you have everything covered so they can help by making memories with the bride and groom.

The big day…are you ready?

One of my favorite scenes of The Wedding Planner starring Jennifer Lopez was the first 10 minutes of the film.  She is giving the bride the “You’re timeless” speech, telling the minister “nature must call back later we are starting soon.”  She then gets her assistant Penny to demolish the “dark tower choking the AV” and then asks for the FOB (Father of the Bride) to be sent over…wait…Penny sent him over 2 minutes ago. In wedding planner code she says to Penny: “cover me up front the FOB is MIA” then, in a calm, elegant fashion she stops the flower girl from walking down the aisle and tells her “Count to 100 then start again ok?” She then finds the FOB slightly intoxicated, sitting on the stairwell and is talking to himself.  Jennifer Lopez opens her jacket and has EVERYTHING down to crazy glue, q-tips and mineral water spray for his face!! Then when he asks who she is, she smiles pleasantly and says “I’m the Wedding Planner.”The Wedding Planner

I would watch this with stars in my eyes and think to myself… I want to be like that. Of course Hollywood has a knack for making it look that easy and glamorous but I’m sure my fellow planners can relate.  It is so important to be ready, whether you realize it or not how smoothly the entire day runs…is all on you.  One of the most important life-saving tools you will need if the wedding is of reasonable size, is an assistant. It doesn’t make you look inadequate but the truth of the matter is: there is one venue, one if not many picture taking sites, one reception hall and one you.  So unless you want to be crazy gluing your heel back together from running and spraying your face the mineral water because you are sweating-have another pair of hands and divide and conquer that wedding like a boss!  Another detrimental thing to not only have memorized but have a hard copy of for you and your assistant is the “Day of Itinerary”. Consider this to be your Bible for all intents and purposes.  For the “day of” you are: commander of the troops, time keeper, problem solver, possibly but hopefully not the Dr. Phil/Referee and the Queen of “plan B” and you better have one! Itinerary; have it, know it, breathe it, live it, love it- become “one” with it.

Another essential thing as a wedding planner that you should have for every day of is a “Wedding First Aid Kit”.  This kit should include a few things such as pins- safety and bobby, sewing kit, Tide stick, breath mints and band aids.  A more extensive list can be found at the bottom of this post- I hope you find it useful in solving saving dresses, shoes, freshly manicured nails and mishaps during the day!

Lastly and probably just as important- stay composed at all times. Everyone and their “friend’s brother’s godmother” will be looking for you, calling you and relying on you at all times and if you aren’t collected- it comes crashing down.  A few days before the wedding do your best to try and foresee any potential road blocks or possible problems that could arise and formulate your back up plan. Be sure to discuss things over with the bride and groom so they are aware and can help you determine what is feasible or the best course of action to take.   Communication is essential before hand as the bride and groom will be occupied with family, friends and enjoying their special day so it’s up to you to be ready see that it’s as happy and as stress free as possible!

Wedding First Aid Kit:

  • feminine products
  • clear deodorant
  • clear nail polish (in case the panty hose gets a run),
  • nail polish remover
  • safety pins (in case the groom’s pants get a bust),
  • tissue (in case you get teary),
  • gum and mints (for in-close hugs and kisses),
  • case of water
  • bandaids/ Polysporin
  • sewing kit
  • refreshing face spray
  • superglue
  • double sided tape
  • Stress Tabs- any drug store
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tide stain removal
  • Comb
  • Bobbie pins
  • Eye lash glue
  • Boob padding
  • Nail clippers/File
  • Wet naps (for sticky fingers)
  • Face blotting tissues
  • Q-Tips
  • Tweezers
  • Razor