Archive for 'Ask Amina Michele'
Q: My Fiance and I are getting married in April of 2013 at my parent’s home. What are some of the most important things to think about when planning an outdoor wedding.
A: Outdoor weddings are indeed quite fabulous here in April. A few precautions to think about when planning your outdoor celebration:
Restrooms – Don’t forget your guests on this one. Sometimes the house is off limits (if it is, and you are a stickler, considering hiring security), so you may need to have a restroom company come and do portable restrooms – not the ugly blue plastic ones, but they have companies that have restrooms that are sometimes nicer than the ones inside the home. You may do a portable restroom in addition to home restrooms as well. Consider your guest size here.
Plan B – April is a beautiful time of year, but it is also a very temperamental month with weather. Consider your options – whether you have a rental company home out and mock up a tent option or move it in the house, keep it on your radar so you aren’t high stress if the weather is mentioning rain.
Hire a Planner – home weddings are often must more complicated than a wedding at a venue, you have to literally bring everything from rentals, to food, to staff into your home and making it all work cohesively can be a daunting task, planners are crucial for home weddings.
Valet – Don’t forget you are going to need help with parking, and your guests will definitely not walk in heels. Hire in valet to make your life and your guests experience pleasant.
Q: We have 2 photographers, 2 videographers, a DJ, and a wedding planner. Do we have to feed these people on our wedding night?
A: Rule of thumb, feed all of the vendors who are providing a service during dinner (minus the catering staff – there meals are provided at no charge to you through the catering company). The vendors that are there during dinner have either been there all day, or came early to setup (ie. Your DJ). That means at some point in the night they are going to get hungry. It’s a nice gesture for you to offer your vendors (who are there during this time) dinner. Vendors prefer hot meals – and it certainly doesn’t have to be the same meal your guests are getting, but if you don’t have it in your budget, lunches are will suffice for the evening. Also, it is nice to invite your Officiant as a guest, after all, they are marrying you. Most Officiants will decline, but always have a space for them if they don’t.
Q: My Grandparents are traveling from back East and will not arrive in time for rehearsal the day before my wedding. Do my Grandparents have to be in the ceremony?
A: Don’t cut anyone out if they can’t attend rehearsal. Especially Grandparents, they feel great honor being apart of your ceremony. If you have a great planner, the planner will fill them in prior to ceremony, let them know where to sit, when to walk, how to walk back, etc. Even if you have any wedding party member that may miss rehearsal, it’s ok if you have a planner to assist you. If not, consider putting your Maid of Honor in charge of the duty. It will be a great memory to have them in the ceremony as well.
WEDDING WORST CASE SCENARIO
As a wedding planner, we are hired to help with worst case scenarios on wedding day. Here are a few things to avoid on wedding day to make things flow really smooth.
BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU HANG YOUR DRESS
One of our Brides hung her dress on a ceiling sprinkler in her hotel room. When they went to gently take it off, the sprinkler broke and out came black water from the old pipes. Her dress was soaked in black water and the hotel room flooded. As planners, we called in the hotel dry cleaner (that wasn’t on property that day) because no other dry cleaner would take her dress day-of, 4 hours before ceremony, we also called her bridal salon and they were able to bring her a new dress just in case. Luckily, the dry cleaner was able to clean her dress, and she wore her white gown, on her big day.
WEDDING GUESTS ARE TOO DRUNK & SNEAK INTO YOUR HOUSE
You have a home wedding, and your wedding guests are sneaking into your rooms… yikes, call in security and kick them out. This scenario can be avoided if you hire security to begin with. Remember, your planner or catering company is not home security, so have an alternative option, because it may happen, especially if you have a young fun group. Also, plan on having transportation set-up for drunk guests or taxi cabs ready to be called. This way you can avoid any problems if guests want to leave because of intoxication. Also, keep your bartenders prepared to watch out for a rowdy group so guests don’t get over-served.
AN ENTIRE FAMILY CAME THAT DIDN’T RSVP
Sometimes people forget to RSVP (your wedding party may wait last minute on this too, so keep on them) or sometimes RSVPs were lost in the mail. To avoid these types of situations, RSVPs that didn’t come back, put in a phone call to your guests and make sure you know if they are attending or regretfully declining. If they do show up, tell your wedding planner or banquet manager right away to avoid seating issues.
Q: My fiance and I want a smaller wedding, but we both have hundreds of friends and a handful of childhood friends and over 15 couples have invited us to their wedding. How do we decide on who comes and who doesn’t make the cut?
A: It is completely appropriate to tell your friends that although you would love if everyone attended, you are keeping it to immediate family and your closest childhood friends. Keep in mind, even though you were invited to a friend’s wedding, it doesn’t mean they automatically get invited to yours. If you have it in your budget, host a celebration after the big day at your favorite restaurant or fun bar with those that weren’t able to attend – you don’t have to pick up the entire bill. Give drink tickets and pay for the first round.
Q: My venue has an on-site person already that has been helping with my wedding, but my Maid of Honor thinks I should get a wedding planner. What is the difference?
A: Your on-site coordinator is a wealth of knowledge and we love them, but they are not a wedding coordinator. Your on-site coordinator knows the venue inside and out. They can also provide you with a preferred vendor list that features their favorite vendors to work with as well as help with some of your setup basics on the day of. What they won’t do is review and negotiate savings with your wedding contracts, team you up with vendors that fit your style, budget and vision, assist you with your overall design, create a master timeline to send out to all of your vendors and family members, and help with last minute detail and design work. Wedding coordinators are like personal assistants. They can do everything from going to all your vendor meetings to post wedding services, like making sure all of your wedding items get returned to the appropriate place. On-site coordinators love wedding coordinators and vice versal. When you have both together you are guaranteed a flawless celebration.
Amina Michele is a wedding planner and entertainment & style expert sharing all her knowledge with you. Ask her anything at www.aminamichele.com.