How Smart Couples Turn Good Weddings into Great Weddings

Building your dream wedding means going beyond the basics of finding a venue and vendors. Here are 10 secret tips that’ll make your wedding really stand out.
Prepare for bad weather. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, ask your venue to show you exactly where your ceremony will be held — and how it will look — in case rain drives you indoors.
Create a special wedding email address. You don’t need to have all your wedding emails cluttering up your personal inbox. You can always have those emails forwarded if you like; but they’re easier to sort when they’re kept in a separate folder.
Book one vendor for several services. A DJ who also offers uplighting, monogram lighting, photo booth and photography will simplify your planning. BUT… read separate online reviews of EACH SERVICE. Don’t just assume that a great DJ will also be great at lighting or photography. Quite often, a vendor will try to extend his brand by bundling second-rate services that he doesn’t do well. 

Consider hiring an on-site coordinator. If your budget has no room for a professional wedding planner, the next best thing is a go-to person who can show up, handle your wedding day phone calls, manage your small details and ensure that your décor, your meal, your entertainment and all your other wedding essentials are executed smoothly. You don’t need the stress of trying to micromanage your own wedding for six hours.
Arrange for someone to proofread speeches. Make sure your Best Man, Maid of Honor and other toasters print out their speeches, and designate someone to read them, and if necessary, rewrite them. Then, you won’t be subjected to any offensive remarks, or long-winded stories that go nowhere.

Don’t just read vendor testimonials. READ them.  A review that says, “Vendor X did a good job” isn’t very helpful. Look for reviews with specific examples of how a vendor went the extra mile to be especially helpful, and reviews about the vendor’s demeanor and responsiveness. You want vendors who can roll with last-minute changes without freaking out.
Gather your inanimate objects for your photographer. If he or she can shoot your rings, your bouquet, your menu, a centerpiece, your ceremony program, etc. all in one place, it’ll save a lot of time, and leave your photog more time to shoot those great candid photos of your guests.
Give your youngest guests little activity packets. Small children who are entertaining themselves with coloring books, puzzles, small toys and treats won’t be looking for ways to disrupt your ceremony or reception.
Serve a late night treat. Whether it’s popcorn, pizza, hot dogs or whatever, your guests will appreciate something to renew their strength after a couple hours of non-stop dancing. The Lodge at McDonald’s world headquarters serves late night cheeseburgers, and the servers wear cute “cheeseburger” hats. That’s something guests remember!
How to save a fortune on flowers. Use a single type and color of flower for your ceremony blooms, your bouquets, your centerpieces and so forth. It makes a very dramatic statement, and it’s a lot cheaper and faster for your florist to build arrangements with only one flower.

Follow these tips, and you’ll virtually eliminate more than 95 percent of the stress from your wedding.  

© Fourth Estate Audio, 2015 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company.   

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