Oops! Almost Forgot These Wedding Day Details

Here are some wedding planning arrangements you may have missed while putting together your perfect day. Having contingency plans for them will ensure a smooth and stress-free day.

Weather and Climate

  • Plan for rain.  If you’re doing anything outdoors, your venue and all of your vendors need a “plan B” in case it rains. Ask them all what they’re prepared to do if the weather goes sour.
  • Know the temperature.  Planning an early April or late October wedding outdoors requires a lot of faith that the temperature will be much warmer than normal for your date. Weather.com can tell you the average annual temperature for your date in your city. Remember, it may also be cooler than average. It’s smart to make shawls and blankets available to your guests for spring or autumn weddings, and sunglasses, fans and bottled water for hot summer days.
  • Know the sunset time for your wedding day. Sunset provides some spectacular photo opportunities; so plan your ceremony, cocktail and reception times accordingly, to allow you and your bridal party to slip away for some quality time with your photographer.


  • Hire a limo for your bridal party.  Chances are, they’ll leave the ceremony for the reception at a different time than the rest of the guests. Don’t make them scramble for their own transportation. If your ceremony and reception are in the same place, you can skip this step.
  • Appoint a transportation coordinator – or 2 or 3. If you’re using several vehicles to shuttle guests from the ceremony to the reception, be sure there’s someone on each vehicle who knows the way. Don’t assume that your driver knows.

Create a Wedding Web Site

This is an especially good idea if you have a lot of guests coming in from out of town. Your web site can include recommended hotels and restaurants near your venue, plus directions on how to get to both your ceremony and reception. You may also choose to include some recommended tourist attractions for guests who are staying for several days.  Reserve your site before you print your Save the Date cards, and include the site’s URL on the cards, to make it easy for your guests to plan.

Allow for Dietary Deviations

Some guests may have dietary restrictions. Have a place on your RSVP cards for them to say so; then tell your caterer, so everyone with a special meal knows exactly where to sit, and the caterer knows where to serve them.

 Special Helpers

  • A photo coordinator.  If you have a list of individual and group shots that you absolutely want to include in your wedding album, ask a friend or relative to work with the photographer to get everyone in the right place at the right time.
  • A gift table supervisor.  Ask someone to be in charge of gathering up all the gifts and cards at the end of the evening, and loading them into the proper vehicle. You’ll be too busy saying goodbye to your guests, so having someone to help will take the stress off you.

What if your reception goes TOO well?

Have you prepared for the possibility that the party may be rocking so well at your original closing time that you want to extend it by an extra hour or more? Your venue and vendors charge extra for overtime. Ask in advance how much an extra hour of music, open bar and photography cost, and be prepared with enough cash to approve that extra hour of overtime. You only get one wedding night (if you’re lucky); and you don’t want to cut it short while you and your friends are having such a great time.

© 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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