by Curtis Zondag
You've spent months preparing for your big day. Everything is ordered, invitations are sent, and you have it all under control......or do you? Here are 5 tips to make your wedding a breeze:
5 - Rent a PA system
Declare your vows to the world, without needing to shout. Many couples have a ceremony outside or in a park. The beautiful settings come with an unwanted surprise, background noise. Plane, trains, and automobiles will interrupt your nuptials. There are always some older folks at your wedding that are hard of hearing. Having a PA system lets everybody enjoy listening to your ceremony. A wireless microphone is a must! Have the official hold it for you and be sure to have it lifted near your mouth. Many people hold the microphone too low near their stomach instead. Your guests want to hear your voice, not your breakfast.
There's no need to spend a lot of money on a rental. Go to your local music store. You can rent something for as low as $60. As a bonus it gives your videographer an additional audio source to record from. If you have a DJ booked for the entire day ask them to handle your ceremony audio.
4 - Book "The Big Three" ASAP
After the glee of being engaged has totally sunk in and you have chosen a wedding date there are three vendors to book first. Venue, Videographer, and Photographer. Before anything can really happen you need to lock down your location. Some venues book two years in advance. Bust out your browsers and bookmark everything available. Be aggressive in booking your venue. Book your room based on the number of guests. A palace is too large for 30 people and a cozy cottage is to small for 300. Many venues give you the room for "free" when you book their catering. Beware of up-charges for things like video projectors, microphones, and other electronic equipment. Most DJs will have all of these things included or at a cheaper price.
Of course we are going to discuss video since that is what we do. Put it in your budget. At the very least match your video and photo budgets. Both are equally important. Watching and hearing your wedding is priceless. The vows, speeches, little kids, and grandparents. Preserve this moment for future generations. Set aside $1000-$3000.
When it comes to photography choose your photographer based on the fact that you like their end product and that you can afford them. Expect to pay in the range from $1000-$3000. Ask questions. Get to know their personality.
When the big three are booked first. Everything else is easy.
3 - Buffets: More choices and keeps the party on time
Buffets are the perfect scenario. Multiple choices, people eat what they like, and everybody is happy. Why choose between chicken or fish when you can have both? You also get the best value out of the food.
Plated dinners ALWAYS run late. They will delay your timeline by 45 minutes. The slow deployment of dishes in multiple courses aggravates hungry guests. Many of them spent a fortune on flights and travelled a great distance to be there for you. Keep them fed, and they will love you even more.
Most importantly: Eat your dinner. Savour it. By loading up 2 plates at the buffet it saves you from needing to get up for seconds. The moment you get up, guests will want to talk to you. It's been a long day and you need to refuel.
2- Keep the Speeches Short
Family and friends will share their experiences and advice for you. It's an important part of the evening. On average you'll have a speech from 2 sets of parents, best man, maid of honour, a sibling from each side, and maybe an aunt or uncle. That's usually about 10 speeches. We all have an uncle that tells epic tales of yesterday........for 30 minutes. Many people giving speeches are nervous about public speaking. By keeping speeches short it helps ease some of those nerves, and keeps the night moving along.
There are always a few singers in the bunch. Suggesting they sing a single verse or chorus is perfectly acceptable. This is something that you can mention to all your speakers the week before. They won't need to rehearse as much, and it's more short and sweet rather than 6 minutes of off-key acapella.
1 - Open Dance Floor at 9pm
You've gotten hitched, and ate your dinner. There is a big list of things on the reception schedule: speeches, cake-cutting, first dance, parent dances, bouquet & garter toss, and more. We refer to this as "the business end" of the reception. During all of these events your guests are seated and need to get up and stretch. There's no better way than having the DJ kick off the party with an ice-breaking song.
Get the party started!!! You have all of your besties by your side.