An economical way of dressing up your ceremony is to place close attention to the details of your aisle runner. It’s the easiest way to transform the church or ceremony site into something that looks like a “wedding”.
Now the impulse might be to run out to the local store that has allocated one aisle to the theme of “weddings” and purchase a rolled up, aisle runner that is around $20. It’s made of paper, kind of like interfacing. One step on it with girls heels and it rips. It also looks like it’s worth about a buck twenty. STOP. Resist the urge to buy any paper product to walk float down the aisle to your groom.
Above are a few alternatives to your typical aisle runner. The first photo was a wedding we coordinated outside, the most challenging situation to have an aisle runner. Instead the designer laid down white dance floor. It was spectacular looking fabulous as well as comfortable for the girls in heels. Cloth aisle runners have a hard time staying on grass, that’s why you see so many outdoor weddings with flower petals as the aisle runner. Just be sure to have your planner put the roses petals down just before you walk through, wind tends to blow them away.
The second photos is an aisle runner made of white carpet! Such an interesting twist and we like to use this technique in venues that might have hardwood floors, so when the girls walk down they don’t sound like a herd of elephants.
The last photo is the an aisle runner at one of our weddings, Jenny + Adam. We didn’t do too much decor at the church, instead concentrated on the aisle. As always, we used cloth!
As you know, many things can go wrong at weddings. MANY things. In the past years we have had many crazy mishaps that have happened, here’s just a few to mention:
- Recently we had a wedding party introduction that was done to a meticulously timed music intro. The groom was pretty proud of putting it together in advance. One of the bridesmaids introduced unfortunately FELL during the intro and dislocated her knee. When I say dislocated, her knee was facing the WRONG direction. She laid their screaming in pain (don’t blame her a bit) and there was a guest that is a chiropractor, he came and popped her knee back in place. The 2nd photographer shooter however, was totally grossed out and she fainted and hit her head. Update: the bridesmaid has to have surgery to fix her knee.
- A 2 year old flower girl walked down the aisle and then was taken outside by her father, because obviously she wasn’t going to be quiet during the ceremony. She was given a piece of candy, which she promptly started choking on. After about 45 seconds of her not breathing, which seems like an eternity, the candy popped out. Paramedics came to make sure she was okay. Bride never found out until the next morning.
- A bride, MOMENTS before she was to walk down the aisle, had her beaded trim along her veil break. The sound of beads hitting the floor was like a BB gun shooting off. A bridesmaid quickly grabbed it to stop the slew of beads falling and we sewed it up so she could make her wedding without her veil coming undone down the aisle.
- At the same wedding (bride with the veil), a groomsman was standing at the front of the altar and apparently locked his knees. While it didn’t seem overly warm in the church, his body temperature shot up. He fainted. Like a tree, straight over during the ring exchange.
- We planned a beautiful outdoor reception at a private residence. The bride, abhorred tents, it was not a money issue. After the guests sat down and was served salad, we check the Doppler radar system and realized that we would be seeing rain … like soon. At this point, there is no rain plan, it’s too late. I alerted the groom and we moved up the toasts and the first dances. The skies opened up and we had “sky to ground” lightening with quarter size hail. Needless to say, the guests took cover. The rain did stop and we ate, only to have the skies open up again with a good steady stream. The band’s cords were submerged under water, however, we gave the band’s “tip money” to the sound engineer and he stayed and played his personal iPod. The evening was so much fun with impromptu dancing and a sing-a-long by a guest playing the piano.
- On the eve of one of our weddings, our DJ’s establishment caught fire. The DJ was working late inside the building but made it out okay. He called the fire department, his boss and then us. We had another DJ lined up within one hour and only told the mother of the bride. The outcome was the DJ was able to make the wedding with all his equipment and the reception took place without anyone knowing the wiser. Including the bride, who was told at the very end of the evening.
Oh there is a lot more… perhaps a follow up post at a later date?
Moral of the story? No matter how much you plan, no matter how many times you call a vendor to confirm, no matter how much you want your day to go (ahem) “perfect”… life has a plan of its own. Roll with the punches and enjoy your wedding day.
What were your wedding mishaps?
photo credit: studio b photography
Like with many of the different aspects of the wedding business, there are some serious misconceptions of what type of people hire wedding planners. The idea that these people may not have minds of their own or are incredibly disorganized cannot be further from the truth.
In the past six years of running an event planning business, I can only count on one hand where we had a few brides that were “challenged” in being organized and understanding the whole process. For some people, managing the sheer volume of details is very over-whelming. That does not make them inept; we all have our strengths and weaknesses.
99%t of our clients are Type-A personalities. They understand what they want, highly organized, accomplished, driven people who want to be intimately involved in planning their wedding but also really love to have an unbiased, third party input to bounce ideas around.
They are not weak. They are not mindless. They are not ladies/men who want to be led around. Instead they look at their wedding day as a financial investment in beginning their life together. And so, while spending their hard-earned money on professional caterers, cake designers, florists, photographers, videographers, or entertainment, they also understand the need for an event professional to pull all of this together so they don’t have to work or worry on their big day.
We have services that are Wedding Day Management (you plan your wedding, we are involved the last month and on the wedding day), Partial and Full Service Planning (we help along the way and we are there on your wedding day). With all of these services, we are simply implementing THEIR plans. NOT “our” plans.
So far the series of “not boxing” in certain wedding vendors has probably made some sense to you, perhaps you it even made you think, aha?!
So I bet you’re wondering why we would talk about your bartenders and their needs? They just pour drinks, right?
You must recognize that a life-blood area at your reception is your bar. If service is slow due to the small ratio of bartenders to large quantity of guests or the setup is not correct, then your service will suffer. And your guests will be frustrated.
Tips for the best outcome working with your wedding bartenders:
1. If you have a down-time between your ceremony and wedding reception (ceremony starts at 1:30pm and reception starts at 5:30pm) then be sure your venue will not open their doors to your guests until 5:30pm. Guests will always come in and may go to the bar for a drink. Your bartenders have to decline them and your guests will perceive they are being rude.
2. Try not to come up with a complicated, well-intentioned cost-savings idea for your bar. You can thank ill-advised websites for publishing these crazy concepts. Such as:
Open Bar for Pre-Dinner
Bar Closes for Dinner
Bar reopens for Dancing but only serves hosted Beer, Wine, & Signature Drink until 9pm
Cash bar for the remaining wedding reception
Huh? You need a time grid to remember all of this. How do you expect your guests to react to your bartenders and vice-versa?
3. Do not try to squeeze your bartenders into the corner of the room with limited space and light. Sure they are tucked away, but there isn’t enough room to turn around 3x.
4. Please do not skimp and only hire 2 bartenders for 300 wedding guests. The ratio to keep service at its optimum is as follows:
1 Bartender per 75 guests (and some say 100)
But DON’T forget you need a bar back for multiple bars. This is a person who runs back and forth for ice, restocking etc. A very necessary position.
Trust your bartenders.
Hmmmm….. good food. Hmmm…. good food at one of the biggest events of your LIFE, your wedding!
Sasha Souza once said that your guests will remember 3 things from your wedding: food, fun and service! Isn’t that true? If any of those things are sub par, then you will have problems.
Interestingly, your food costs could be one of your higher expenses depending on your taste palette and your guest count. So keep these things in mind…
Tips for the best outcome working with your wedding caterer:
1. Do not pack in 250 guests into a space challenged venue and expect your catering staff to serve a plated meal in a timely manner. This is where event planners can really help you with the floor plan and the real anticipated serving time (which can dramatically effect your timeline). There has to be enough space for the servers to walk around the table to set/pick up the plates.
2. Like with bartenders, do not skimp on the volume of servers that you are willing to pay for working at your wedding. It takes a lot of people to serve a large amount of guests. Most often there will be a line item on your catering proposal as to the number of servers they will bring. Look closely at that.
3. If you have guests that are suppose to have a specific plate, such as; vegetarian or vegan, make it easy for these people to be identified. Work with your wedding planner on where they will be seated so he/she can let them know.
4. Listen to your caterer when they talk about the best ways to serve the food. If they tell you it is difficult to keep your favorite dish hot and serve 200 people, then listen to them. Order that fave dish tonight for just to the two of you.
Trust your wedding caterer.
Tomorrow, part 5 and finale of this “don’t box us in” vendor series …