Newlyweds Reflect on Their Best Decisions

No one can offer you better wedding planning advice than someone who has been through it, and knows what worked and what didn’t. Here are some words to the wise from newlyweds themselves.

1.      Get a jump on your planning. Do as much stuff early as possible. Get your “pillars” in place – ceremony site, venue, officiant, caterer, DJ, florist – and the rest will fall into place much more easily.

2.       Don’t get hung up on minute details. You’re getting married because you’ve found the love of your life, not because you want an excuse to throw the most perfect party the world has ever known. Perfection is elusive, and those unplanned, unscripted moments — and yes, mistakes — always have a way of becoming the happiest and most enduring memories.  

3.       Chose great vendors. Get lots of reviews with words like “helpful,” “patient,” “flexible” and so forth. A vendor who’s been around the block a few thousand times will usually have a simple solution to a problem that might otherwise leave you exhausted with stress. And when you know you can count on your experts for the big things, it’s easier to enjoy doing the little things yourselves.

4.       Expect conflicting advice. You’re going to get lots of ideas from well-meaning friends and relatives. But if you have a clear vision of how you want your wedding to go, it’s easier to say no to advice that doesn’t fit into your plans. Just tell people, “Don’t worry, we’ve already handled it.”

5.       Lean on each other. When you’ve developed a game plan for your wedding that both of you embrace enthusiastically, then it’s harder for people to throw out ideas that divide you against each other.

6.       Share your gratitude. Remember how lucky you are to have so many loving friends and relatives who want to share in your big moment. Never miss an opportunity to thank them for being a part of your special day.

7.       Create a timeline and follow it – Part 1.  Sites like Wedding Wire and The Knot have wedding planning timelines that tell you what you need to do, and when, as your wedding draws closer and closer. Wedding planners have the same timelines. There is great peace of mind in knowing you’ve done what you needed to do, and you can just enjoy your big evening.

8.       Create a timeline and follow it – Part 2. You also need a timeline for your wedding day – perhaps a chart with times at the top and each attendant, relative and vendor down the side. Every participant needs to know where to be, what to do, and when.

9.       Put together a phone and email list of your vendors. You want to be able to reach them instantly in case of emergency on your big day. Have one of your attendants hang onto the list.

10.   Get away. Find times in the middle of your wedding day to break away from the crowd for a few minutes at a time, and just savor the moment with your new spouse.

11.   Don’t forget to eat. You’re going to be meeting and greeting your loved ones all day; and if you’re not careful, you’ll suddenly realize that you skipped lunch or dinner. Don’t let that happen!

12.   Make your wedding your own. Let you own personalities dictate your music, your vows, your décor, your speeches, everything about your special day. You want your guests to tell you, “This party was so you!”  

13.   Consider a professional wedding day coordinator. If you truly want to relax with your friends, a day-of planning expert can pull together all the little nit-picky details that could easily swallow up your time. If your budget doesn’t allow a full wedding planner, then a one-day coordinator is a desirable option.

14.   Remember, it’s just a party. Glamour Magazine published this great quote from Fourth Estate Audio:  “Never lose sight of the fact that, even if the cake collapses, and your Uncle Todd gets drunk and makes a pass at the minister’s wife, and the sprinklers go off in the middle of the ceremony, at the end of the evening you’re still married… so you win!”

Now get to work. And don’t dread your planning experience; embrace it, and enjoy every wonderful moment. You deserve the best.

To learn more about Fourth Estate Audio’s incomparable service, call me at 630.654.4440. I’m here to help.

© 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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