Ten Tips to Planning a Successful Wedding Your Friends Will admire.

Are you worried about your wedding day? Will your guests enjoy themselves? Most importantly, will you enjoy yourself? After all, it is your day! Whether you have the next year or a limited time for your wedding, your Special Day can be very stressful to plan. Here are 10 planning tips that will be very helpful in planning your Special Day.

1. HAVE A THEME

 

When a bride comes to me, one of the first questions I ask is "What is your theme?" When they say they don't have one, I must admit, part of me knows this will be an uphill battle. The theme doesn't have to be big a "look at who you and your fiancé are." The possibilities are endless! And just to simplify it, yes, your colors can be a theme. However, you must be consistent. If your "theme" is going to be green and pink, decide on what shades and stick to it. No forest, chartreuse, lime and mint all over the place. Should you pick colors, try to pick a maximum of three and make sure that they complement each other. Try to pick "in-season" colors. Your theme will pull your whole event together from food to favors, everything will coordinate in style.

2. REMEMBER YOUR GUESTS

 

Your family and friends will have gone to some expense to enjoy your nuptials with you. Make sure that you show your appreciation and include them. Guests like to feel like they belong. If you have a lot of out of town guests, maybe provide them with a welcome basket in their rooms. This can be done on your own (or you can buy pre-made) by adding inexpensive staples and mementos of your host city or supply them with an itinerary. Guests who come to another city for a weekend for only one event will want to see more of you and share in your wedding events. Inviting them to your rehearsal dinner or a postwedding brunch is a very kind and generous gesture.

3. DECOR

 

Even if your place is low on the totem pole of venues, you can still make it look like a million bucks. Pay attention to lines, textures and silhouettes. How do they make you feel? Is that what you want to convey at your wedding? Implement things like flowers, candles, sashes, seashells, etc. into your décor. You will save money but also give your theme some authenticity. Find out from your venue what type of restrictions you are working under (i.e., no open flame, etc.). If you have some money to play around with, invest in some props to go with your theme or a lighting and staging company to help bring it all together.

4. ADD A SPECIAL TOUCH

 

Being unique definitely sets you apart in the minds of your guests. Step out of the ordinary with something my sister did at her wedding. Have the DJ invite all the married couples out to dance to a classic slow song. Then have the DJ ask all couples that have been married for 1 day please leave the dance floor, which would be you. Then 5 years or less please leave the dance floor. then you ask 10 years, etc... You keep doing this till you get to the last couple dancing and give them your bouquet (be sure to have an extra bouquet made). Let them know how much you appreciate marriage and commitment.

5. TRY NOT TO SKIP COCKTAIL HOUR

 

While you are off being in love and grasping the concept that you are a "Mrs.", your guests are left at your reception site awaiting your arrival. Be generous and have sumptuous treats to greet them. Create an environment conducive to mingling and conversation with soft music playing in the background. You want people to get to know each other and talk so don't blast it. Request Jazz classics or smooth guitar songs to create an intimate setting. Another thing you should consider is extra wait staff. It is quite a hassle to have to repeatedly go to the bar, and once there wait in line. Here is a chance to incorporate your personality by having a signature drink passed and available at the bar. Put up a little sign in a silver plated frame explaining the significance. Your guests will feel included and also get the chance to try something new!

6. DON'T SKIMP ON THE FOOD

 

Good Food, music and drinks make the event. I understand that budgets are limited, but there is no need to have  your 300 guests fighting over Ritz crackers and spray cheese at your 7:00 p.m. reception. The reception, (including food), should take a big chunk out of your budget and it should show. Who wants to stay at a party hungry? If your choices and funds are tight, ask your caterer what they can do to help you out. Fruit is always a favorite & you could add fresh flowers or candles here.

7. BE SURE TO HAVE ASSIGNED SEATING

 

I know a lot of planners are against this, but it does work out better for your guests. Of course keep your couples together, but do encourage single guests to get to know others at the reception. I have seen where there has not been assigned seating, a single guest finds his/her way back to their seat to find someone's coat or purse in their seat with five people talking that all know each other.

8. THE ENTERTAINMENT IS VERY IMPORTANT

 

Whatever you choose a band or a DJ, make sure that they mesh with you and your personality. You also want them to reflect the overall theme and formality of the group. When interviewing a DJ, ask to see pictures from prior events, if available. What does their guest pool look like? Is it similar to the one that will be at your own wedding? What does their selection of music consist of? You will need someone who is not too low-key that they put everyone to sleep, and not so over-the-top that your guests want to rush to the nearest exit. You need a professional to gauge and be into the crowd. Definitely make sure that you keep music playing through their breaks. Dead air will definitely murder the fun.

9. LET'S GET THE PARTY STARTED

 

Nobody likes to be the first on the dance floor. But it is your party! You will be the center of attention, as you should be, and everyone will follow your lead. If you get up and dance, your guests will too. While your DJ may be fantastic, your guests know you. Your excitement will be contagious and they will not be able to resist joining in. Make sure that you are social. Instead of the boring receiving line, you and your new husband can go from table to table to say your "hellos" and "thank yous"

10. MORE HELP, LESS STRESS

 

It is always fun to meet someone who wants to hear about your wedding-all the time. Get your creative juices flowing, take advantage of vendor discounts and learn secrets of the industry by using the help of a professional wedding planner. Everyone will have a job to do at your wedding. Yours will be to be the bride and to enjoy the first few hours of married life with your family and friends. While you may think you can handle an emergency during your wedding, more likely you cannot. I DEFINITELY recommend hiring our wedding planner, Joleen, to handle your Day of coordination.

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