Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Common mistakes and some reminders for weddings

For those who personally know me, I have an interest on event management since the time I can think. I have always been the busy bee and need to feel special moments happening. So events management seem to be the perfect "thing" for me. Last January 4, 2014 I was invited by Sarah Abalos (event stylist and coordinator) to assist her in coordinating her friend's wedding. I gladly accepted. So here are just some insights of the things I have learned in this wedding, hopefully it also helps you. If you want help with your events, feel free to drop me a note.

1. Do not book a church or event place that has a event prior or after your ceremony, as it will "rush" you.

2. Always keep the church door and reception door <as applicable> closed. People tend to eavesdrop or other people from the previous or succeeding wedding will come in.

3. Create wedding vows before the big day, just modify or pretend to write it as needed by the photographers.

4. If possible, do rehearsals for the ceremonies prior to the ceremony commencement. This way the entourage will not be dependent on the coordinator's queuing.

5. Do not request for item deliveries for cake, flowers, and other "time sensitive" products too early. Ensure that they get delivered at most 2 hours before the event. Ensure that they are properly moisturized, refrigerated, and packaged as needed.

6. All supplier transactions need to be documented and someone needs to be accountable for both sides. Ensure that even phone calls have the corresponding logs and capture the name of the person you are talking to. Especially take note of the amount to be paid, when to pay, and who to pay it to.

7. Ensure that everyone in the "team" (entourage and organizers) get enough rest so that on the big day everyone is smiling.

8. Hair and makeup are preferably done in batches if you have 1 hair and 1 makeup artist. Allot an hour per person. If you can afford to get more stylists the better, its best if everyone is being styled at the same time to save time and be more efficient. More stylists are better. The room should not be cramped to facilitate movement and wardrobe changing.

9. Maid of Honor is a title given to an unmarried friend; Matron of Honor is a title given to a married friend.

10. Prepare all materials like the missalette, favors, programme, scripts, etc.. before the big day. This will minimize the risk of you from missing things on the day.

11. Ensure everything that you purchased or borrowed is accounted for. At the end of the event, make sure to re-account everything.

12. If you are on a tight budget, you can opt to hire a DJ instead of live bands for entertainment. Ensure that the final playlist is given to the DJ prior to the wedding day. Having a DJ gives you flexibility to have different genre's of music incorporated without "excess in instrument space". You can easily switch music as wanted. The most important skill to look for are passion and creativity, luckily I know of a DJ/Photographer Ed New - djednew.wordpress.com. Feel free to drop him a note.

13.  Flowers are very nice tablepieces and make good accessories, but reality is they are expensive and wilt easily. I personally prefer mixing some fresh flowers and some paper art that way you will not spend as much for flowers. Plus the paper art can be a good bonding activity between the bride and her girls.

14. Favors are good appreciation tokens to your guests, but they can be costly and impractical sometimes. This is not a mandatory thing you need to provide. You can integrate your favors with something that can be used during the wedding like sparklers, slippers, bubbles, poppers, fans, etc... You can also look into buying favors/gifts in bulk, get small nifty things in wholesale and just get it labelled. A lot of sites online do this, I personally like to canvass at 2 sites: alibaba.com and theknot.com.

15. People are used to seat their principal sponsors on a presidential table. But you may also opt to let your sponsors seat with their friends and/or relatives, this way they are more relaxed and can enjoy the programme better.

16. White comes in different colors. The bride can actually play up to all colors as she wants. No strict rule in clothing.

17. Having seat plans printed on a wall or making it readily accessible is smart. By making the table list available for all guests to see, guests no longer have to fall in line and ask the receptionist where he/she seats. By having published seat plans, you no longer need dedicated receptionists.

18. Reception games are meant to engage people to discussion or learn more about the couple. Make games as interactive as possible. Grouping guests by tables are actually smart as they get to talk to one another. A suggested game is the "BRIDE or GROOM game" wherein statements will be given and people will decide as a table whether its about the bride or groom.

19. Ensure that the church and reception venue have enough parking for your guests or at least provide a map where the parking is at. Also make sure that the church and reception is not too small or too big for the number of guests. Get your guests to RSVP at least 6-3 months before the wedding date so that you can properly estimate if there are adjustments that need to be done with the layouting and food allocation.


20. There is not strict rule or standard when it comes to events. Even the programme/layout is not a standard, it is just a guideline. So ultimately at the end of the day, do what makes you happy and don't stress on the details. I read in one article before, "Don't plan for your wedding day, instead plan for your marriage." The world doesn't stop at the wedding day, the bigger preparation comes with the commitments and actual changes that need to be done in effect of the vows given. Ensure that you love your partner and vice versa, there is no room for doubts.

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