June 2016

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

If you’re planning a wedding, or even if you know anybody who’s ever gotten married, then I’m sure you’ve heard people talk about how the wedding day flies by so quickly that you hardly even realize it happened. And you know what? It’s so true! The adrenaline and the nonstop nature of wedding days combine to create a blur of activity for most couples.

After putting so much time and love into planning your wedding day, of course you want to remember every last minute of it. So how do you avoid falling victim to the Wedding Day Memory Blur? We tell our couples to take mental snapshots throughout the day, and we also like to work with them to create memorable moments they and their guests won’t easily forget.

Creating Memorable Wedding Day Moments

You might want plan a beautiful wedding trip at a gorgeous honeymoon destination that you remember with lots of pictures, but here are ten of our favorite ideas for creating memorable wedding day moments:

Wedding party photo booth

Have a photobooth

Photobooths at weddings add so much: They give guests something fun to do besides dance and chat, they create wedding favors people actually love, and they capture awesome pics of your guests for you to enjoy later. Much better than table pictures! Plus, photobooths aren’t that expensive, so you can probably afford to add one to your plans.

Make the day your own

There’s only one couple exactly like you, so why have a wedding exactly like everybody else’s? Sit down and think about your love story: Where did you meet? What do you enjoy doing together? What made you fall in love? Then find ways to incorporate those details into your wedding day. You don’t have to go full-on theme wedding; it might be as simple as an ice cream bar featuring the flavors you shared on your first date. Whatever it is, share the significance with your guests and you’ll have an unforgettable Awwwww¦ moment going on.

Guests playing guests

Play with your guests

If your reception venue offers outdoor lawn space, then set up some games and a serve-yourself lemonade bar! You and your guests will have a great time playing croquet, badminton, or whatever else you can think up. And how often do you have the opportunity to get photos of you and your friends dressed to the nines for a sophisticated game of lawn bowling? It’ll be the wedding moment of the season.

Cut a rug

Whether you’re already dancers or not, your guests will be delighted by watching you and your new spouse having a Ginger and Fred moment for your first dance, and wow! What a great photo op! You can have a dance choreographed or just take some lessons in swing dancing or another social dance. Bonus: Pre-wedding dance lessons mean built-in date nights!

Bride & Vintage Mustang

Surprise your spouse

Is there something your sweetheart really loves but would never expect at your wedding? Maybe serenading her with her favorite song, or renting his dream car for your getaway? Make it happen! Your wedding will be one of the most romantic occasions ever for the two of you, so what better time to go all out? Your new spouse will literally never stop bragging about your thoughtfulness, and neither will your guests.

Go out with a sparkle

End the night with a brilliant sparkler sendoff. Guests love it because they get to play such a fun part (who doesn’t love sparklers?); you’ll love saying your goodbyes in such a festive way. And sparkler exit photos are always gorgeous and romantic! It’ll be a bright moment in more ways than one.

Have your guests sing you down the aisle

This is a new one we’ve only seen a couple of times, but I love it: Instead of having musicians perform your processional or recessional, have your guests sing you down the aisle! Choose a favorite hymn or song and have it printed in your program, then give one or two people the responsibility of getting the singing going. You’ll be surrounded and lifted up by the voices of those you love. Does imagining that moment give you chills? Me too!

Group shot

Get a group shot

Plan to get a group photo of you with your wedding party and all of your guests sometime during the wedding day. The easiest time to do this is right after your ceremony, before guests start drifting off to the cocktail hour. You might never have all of these people together in one place with you again, so get a picture and save the moment! It’ll be one of your favorite wedding photos for years to come.

Take some time for you

At some point in your wedding day, schedule a few minutes to spend together with no interruptions. If you’re doing a first look, maybe you can carve out a few minutes after the photographer’s done with your couple’s portraits. Another great option is planning to head to a quiet spot together right after the ceremony. However you do it, it’ll give you a chance to reflect together on this amazing day before it’s all over.

3 Flower Girls

Hire the best photographer you can afford

Ideally you’d remember every last detail of your wedding day, but the reality is that you simply won’t. In fact, there’ll be moments you don’t even experience, because you’re only able to be in one place at a time. That’s why it’s super important to find the best photographer your budget will accommodate. The images you get back will help you remember all the little things you remember but might forget years down the road, and they’ll also introduce you to sweet moments you didn’t even know were happening. The day you get your pictures back is like living your wedding day all over again! Good photography is an expense we’ve never heard a couple regret after the wedding’s over.

Picture collage

Keep the memories going with a honeymoon made possible with a honeymoon registry!

Bio: Pretty Entertaining is a wedding and event planning company based just outside of Washington, D.C., where the suburbs turn into horse country. Known for our weddings, but we also design and coordinate social events of all kinds. Most of our wedding and event planning happens locally in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland, but we do occasionally travel to other locations on request. 

Planning a really big celebration is something most people don’t do everyday, and that’s where a professional event planner comes in. We know all the parts, how they move, and how they should fit together. We know lots of area vendors and, after we get to know you, we’ll be able to match you up with just the right ones for you and your event. We do our best to keep you on-track and relaxed, and on the big day, we’re with you every step of the way.

You know that picture you have in your head of the event you want? We’re here to make your vision a reality, and we strive to make it even better than you imagined. For ideas, visit us at http://www.prettyentertaining.com/. 

Cover photo credits: Copyright Aspinwall Photographics http://www.aspinwallphoto.com/

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This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

10 Easy Hacks to Slash your Wedding Stress

According to the Holmes Rahe Stress Inventory the potential stress of marriage (and we’re guessing they mean a wedding as opposed to every year that you are married!) is right up there with getting pregnant, being fired or a major personal injury. In other words, there is a good chance that you are going to experience some serious stress at some point.

It’s not entirely encouraging, is it?

At Bridechilla Club, much like the honeymoon registry site Honeyfund, we are in the business of making couple’s lives easier and less stressful in the lead up to their wedding day. We believe that a wedding is not just one day, but all of the days from the engagement to the honeymoon. Yep, all 200+ hours of it! We think that it should be fun experience and that you should come out the other side of it all the better for the journey.

But we also know that this is not the reality for many couples who are planning their own wedding. Life keeps happening, you still need to go to work, and your wedding planning happens on top of everything else that you normally have to deal with.

So how can you survive the rollercoaster of high emotion and expectation (followed closely by disillusionment) that many brides and grooms fall victim to along the way?

We’re glad you asked..

Sometimes preparing for a wedding is a bit too much to handle for couples.

TIP # 1. Lists are your friend

It all starts with your top 3 – the ultimate and unique measure of a successful wedding for YOU. Then you will create a list (or spreadsheet, or dedicated notebook, it needn’t be fancy) to record all of the info you find out as you’re comparing wedding suppliers. For each category, you should list and evaluate your top three suppliers. Then it will be your guest list and RSVPs.

The smartest part is how lists can help to get the anxiety, the feeling of being overwhelmed and little details out of your head and into more easily manageable categories and tasks. Feeling organised can give you a wonderful sense of calm and accomplishment.

TIP # 2. Delegate as much as you can

It is very common for a bride to want to do pretty much everything for her own wedding by herself. It is an exciting time and opportunity and you’re only doing this once, right? Let’s do this!

But what you need to acknowledge, as early on in your planning as possible, is that even wedding event professionals outsource their most time consuming/sensitive tasks. This means that as the day gets closer, the more you should be handing tasks over to others.

Guests arriving from out of town? Ask a family member to pick them up from the airport. Wedding rings need to be collected from the jeweler? Ask your best man to grab them for you. You get the idea.

There are no extra points for exhausting yourself and those who love you will be happy to help you out as long as you give them a reasonable amount of notice. So start writing that delegation list now!

TIP #3. Create a wedding website

While we’re on the delegation track, invest a little time early on to create a simple wedding website (or wedsite). Have a really good think about it; if you choose to communicate everything to all of your guests (I understand that Nanna Smith and Uncle Glen are not exactly tech-savvy, but you can always call them) in person, on the phone or via snail mail (save the dates, invitations, rehearsal dinner, RSVPs etc.) you are handing over a LOT of your precious time. Surely there are dozens of other things that you would rather be doing, yes?

Wedding websites are worth the investment.

Wedding websites are worth the investment.

TIP # 4. Create a realistic wedding day schedule

Create a realistic wedding day schedule/timeline in consultation with your key suppliers (venues, photographer, makeup artist/hairdresser, celebrant/officiant).

This means allowing time for Murphy’s Law (i.e. whatever can go wrong, will go wrong) by adding a ½ hour buffer to crucial points in the day – e.g. between when you are ready/have finished your getting ready photos and when the transport arrives to take you to your ceremony and between finishing your bridal party/family photos after the ceremony and making your entrance at the reception.

You are literally building in time to breathe. And when you prioritize and block out the time to breathe on your wedding day, you actually increase your ability to remember it years down the track.

Extra points if you actually distribute the timeline to your immediate family, bridal party and suppliers at least 48 hours prior to the big day.

TIP # 5. Make your final payments to your wedding suppliers/vendors well before they’re due

Weddings are expensive, but the only thing worse than forking over a small fortune for the bridal bouquet that you will only hold for 2 hours before leaving it on the bridal table, is stressing about how much it costs right up to the last minute.

Feeling cash-strapped and under the pump financially is one of the biggest killers of happy vibes in the last 2 weeks before a wedding. We would even suggest scheduling your payments with alerts in a calendar like iCal or Google calendar a full month before they’re due.

Make a list of gratuities that you plan to give each vendor and put the tip money into separate envelopes with their names on the front and give it to the person that you have designated (see hack #2) to distribute them at the end of the night.

Diet for teh wedding

TIP # 6. Eat for sustained energy

Think about eating for sustained energy, rather than weight loss. If you’re wanting to look and feel your best in the lead-up to your big day (and who isn’?), lowering the Glycaemic Index (GI) of your diet might be a good place to start.

Eating foods that keep you fuller for longer, i.e. those with a low GI, may help reduce cravings, improve your concentration and sustain your energy better than relying on a diet of highly processed, high GI foods.

TIP # 7. Invest in great music that takes you to your happy place and play it ALL THE TIME

Sure there’s the music for the ceremony and your reception, but what are you going to be listening to for the 12+ months leading up to the big day?

We love the idea of creating an awesome playlist of upbeat, medium tempo, singable songs, that you can enjoy as the soundtrack to your planning, but it all depends on what relaxes you most. If Metallica tunes cranked up to 11 gives you a Zen-like sense of calm, then that’s what you need to be aurally investing in.

TIP # 8. Get your wedding registry happening online with Honeyfund (seriously!)

For anything other than platters or toasters (and who in 2016 wants platters or toasters as a wedding gift anyway?) Honeyfund is your registry solution.

Whether it’s for your awesome o/s honeymoon, the down payment on the home of your dreams or the deposit on another big savings goal, Honeyfund can take the stress out of communicating it to your guests and collecting the money for you for free!

Honeymoon Travel

TIP # 9. Take some pointers from wedding experts

It is unlikely that you have ever had to organize an event as big, emotionally draining or as public as your wedding before (or that you ever will again). It is okay to not know exactly what to do and when, but what can sabotage your efforts on a massive scale and cause you to waste your valuable time, energy and money is seeking and accepting advice from well-meaning (but ultimately ill-informed) friends and family.

It’s fair to assume that almost everyone you know will have an opinion when it comes to your wedding, but to keep your stress levels in check –  it’s smart to seek out relevant and realistic tools and solutions from experienced industry professionals.

TIP # 10. Focus on your goal

You’ve found the love of your life, remember? Make the effort to prioritize your connection with your fiancee.

Are things getting crazy? Turn off the phone and the TV and snuggle together in bed. Remember what brought you together and indulge in time with each other.

Something as simple as taking a weekend off from wedding planning and getting outdoors can seriously recharge your batteries and make the annoying trials of organisation seem trivial compared to the big picture of your future with the one you love.

Bio: At Bridechilla Club, we believe that couples who have a positive attitude and seek informed and relevant advice have a better wedding experience.We are a dynamic team of wedding experts and wellness professionals committed to making the planning process (yes, all 200+ hours of it) fun and simple, with less stress.

Bridechilla Club has free tools and printables available on the blog and you can follow us on Facebook. If you are seeking a little extra support you can join us for our FREE 7-day ecourse .Get started today at the Bridechilla Club.

 

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