October 26, 2012

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Amina Michele is a wedding planner and entertainment & style expert sharing all her knowledge with you. Ask her anything.


Photo by: Hagerty Photography