I think it’s a sign you’re getting older and you’ve hit your adult life when, there’s a notification about someone getting engaged or married on Facebook EVERY SINGLE DAY. Ok, I might be a little bitter or annoyed…but that’s beside the point! I am truly happy for all of my friends that have gotten married or engaged recently, especially for one of my best friends, Amanda.
I was offered the privilege of being a bridesmaid in her wedding and I answered instantaneously with a YES! Now, putting my bias opinions aside…. but Amanda had the best wedding of all time. Honestly, it was one of the most gorgeous weddings I’ve attended and I didn’t even help with most of it! It was elegant and classy, yet had the personal and comical touches that made the wedding just perfect for Amanda and Chris.
I have attended and helped with a handful of weddings with Aviva Events and I was able to help Amanda with pieces of her wedding as well. Below is a list of highly important items that need to be on a wedding checklist.
-The Time & Date:
There’s not much to it; just pick a date! The date could be sentimental or you may just want to get married in a certain season. Be mindful of whether you would like an indoor or outdoor wedding. You or your guests may not appreciate an outdoor wedding in December. If you’re looking to not break the bank, try to plan for a Friday; most venues offer a lower price as opposed to Saturdays. Amanda and Chris were married in September and had an outdoor ceremony. There was a bit of a rain scare, but it held off until the end of the reception!
Some people have their ceremony and reception in separate places and some have them in the same place. In all of the weddings I’ve recently worked and attended, it’s been more popular to have them at the same place. Either way, make sure you’re booking the venue well in advance. The sooner you book the venue, the more likely you’ll be able to get your ideal date.
Amanda and Chris had their ceremony and reception at the Savannah Center, one of the best wedding venues in our area. Their outside set up with a gazebo and lake was perfect for their outdoor ceremony.
-Dining & Dessert
Who doesn’t love food? I’ve always said, choose what you like! After all, it IS your day and you’ll be eating the food eventually. It’s always good to have options for your guests as well. You never know if there is someone who has special food requests. Then there’s dessert. Cake shopping is such a big deal these days! Pick something that looks good AND tastes good. A beautiful cake is nothing if it tastes like crap. I like the idea of serving ice cream with the cake. Not everyone is a cake person…just a thought!
Amanda and Chris had amazing food selections. The food was absolutely delicious (we had 2 choices) and was accompanied with an open bar, can’t complain about that! The cake was magnificent. It was both eye-catching and delicious.
Every wedding has a color theme that can be seen through the clothing of the bridal party, flowers, and decorations. Decide what kind of feel you want your ceremony // reception to have. Whimsical? Antique? Classy? Earthy? Establish what you want and build your decorations around that. This usually includes: table cloths, seat covers, and centerpieces!
Amanda had the most beautiful flowers, orchids, as center pieces. They were absolutely breathtaking with their purple color. The tables were draped in black, but the room was lit up with purple lights on the walls.
Besides love and matrimony, we all know this is a major factor in a wedding. A girl dreams about her wedding dress, probably at the start of her conception. Don’t just go for “what’s in”, but go for what’s you and what flatters you.
Also, please be nice to your bridesmaids. Take them along to pick out the dresses. Pick out something you like and also something they could wear again. Think,” Do unto others as you would have them do to you,” when shopping for dresses.
Amanda picked out a gorgeous black Vera Wang dress. I’ve already worn it, besides her wedding and plan on wearing it again.
-Music & Photography
If you don’t book this section correctly, you’re going to regret it for the rest of your life. Music sets the scene for both the ceremony and the reception, so do some research before you book something/someone.I’ve noticed that many people have booked a live jazz band for dinner or cocktail hour and then switched to a DJ for after dinner. I think the transition works well.
During the ceremony, Amanda and Chris had a Live string quartet and a DJ during the reception.
-Guest List & Invitations
The guest list can be a little tricky. Don’t go overboard and invite anyone you and your fiancé have ever met, but don’t forget the important people in your life either. Start out by making a list of the people you absolutely want at your wedding. From here, it will be easier to set a number not to exceed by too much. As for invitations, get them out no later than 3 months ahead.
Amanda had beautiful white, black, and purple invitations to match the wedding colors. Amanda and Chris invited just the right amount of people; All the people they cared about were there and it wasn’t too little or too much.
Dun Dun DUN! I feel as though the seating chart is what brings out the Bridezilla in a woman. My advice is deep breaths and don’t stress! Once people scarf down their delicious dinner, they’ll move around anyways! Just don’t sit great grandpa next to the speakers.
I thought Amanda did a great job with this. Right when you walked in, there was a sign with the seating arrangements. Since I was in the bridal party, I sat with the bridal party, which left my boyfriend at another table. She sat him at the table directly behind me with people he had met before, so it worked out great.
This isn’t a MUST, however it’s always fun for your guests. There are tons of websites to pick from with wedding favors. My favorite wedding favor is a personalized mixed CD and a photo booth (Amanda had both!). The Cd is meaningful and heartfelt. Photo booths are always super fun and it captures the moment for your guests for forever. Majority of the time, the newlyweds will receive a copy of all the photos taken in the booth, which adds to your wedding photo collection!