The big to do’s come easy when you first get engaged — set a date, find a place to get married, and book someone to feed everyone — but what most people don’t realize is that the minor details they forget to mention to their wedding day team can actually make or break your celebration.
Don’t Assume Your Vendors Are in the Loop
It’s somewhat of a misconception that all vendors can singlehandedly run the show without much guidance. If any detail changes, no matter how minor you think it might be, you’ll definitely want to make sure you communicate this between all of your vendors on your big day.
1. Share Inclement Weather Plans
Shannon Tarrant of WeddingVenueMap.com says that this is especially true in the case of inclement weather. “Couples often forget to tell their vendors about the weather backup plan. Everyone needs to be on the same page if a rain call has been made. When vendors know in advance what the Plan B is, they can plan accordingly for both options. It makes the changes the week of the wedding a lot easier to manage.”
2. Create and Share a Wedding Day Timeline
Keep in mind that your vendors still require a timeline from you for logistics on the day-of. Chances are that they aren’t coordinating amongst each other, so you do need to make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to setup.
Lauren Lemke of Amy Abbott Events says, “Coordinating vendor set up time and the overall flow throughout the day is crucial for a productive and efficient installation. For example, the lighting company may want to come in first to set up the string lights, then the rental company to deliver the tables and chairs and set them under the lights, followed by the florist to place the centerpieces and candles.”
Avoid Food & Beverage Snafus
Conflicts with food and beverage go beyond simply ironing out details of when you and your guests are going to be dining at the reception. Allergies and dietary restrictions should be communicated across the board.
3. Communicate Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions
According to Heather Jones of Wente Vineyards, “From a caterer’s standpoint, we can pre-plan on how to execute the food without any surprises. Also let us know what table your guests are at that have those allergies or dietary concerns. With the advance knowledge, the server or lead manager can visit the table prior to service to let the guests know that we have a special meal arriving for them. This eliminates any confusion and prevents the guest from taking a plate that may contain hidden allergies.” This includes any items that may be restricted due to religious or cultural beliefs.
Alex Hickman, owner of Chalet View Lodge gentle reminds couples that with all of the to do’s floating around, that it’s not expected for them to simply know who can have what. “Work with your stationer to create RSVP cards that clearly give guests the option to note any restrictions, be it allergies, gluten intolerance, or otherwise. Your venue will appreciate the heads up and it takes one less thing off of your list, which you’ll come to appreciate!”
Notify Vendors of Family Dynamics
4. Let Your Planner and Photographer Know If Family Members Need to Stay Apart
You might be well-aware of how your families get along (or don’t!), but your vendors don’t have a clue. Leah Weinberg of Color Pop Events says that it’s important to relay this information to your vendors in order to avoid awkward or potentially hostile interactions. “For example, if two family members absolutely don't get along and need to keep a healthy distance at your wedding, you don't want your photographer inadvertently asking them to pose for a photo together.”
“As a planner, I tell my couples that I would love to hear about family dynamics and I tell them that it would be super helpful to meet and spend time with parents (or other significant family members) in advance of the wedding. That gives me an opportunity to interact with the parents and other family members and get a read on their expectations and what they'll be like on the wedding day,” Weinberg continues. “Hiring a wedding planner will actually take all of these things off of your plate.”
5. Communicate Family Dynamics to Your DJ or Emcee
DJ Martin Ramirez of Historic Mankin Mansion agrees. “The family dynamics are essential and will impact entertainment for the evening,” he shares. “We never want to assume that you absolutely are going to do a father/daughter dance, or a song dedicated to the moms. Walk us through what your preferences are so that we can customize an evening that keeps everyone happy.”
6. Tell Your DJ or Emcee How You Want to Be Announced at the Reception
Ramirez went on to note that you should be very clear on how you want to be announced in. “These days, couples have so many options when it comes to their names and what they plan to do after the wedding. Make sure your DJ or emcee understands how you want the first announcement as a married couple to play out.”
7. Be Clear About Who Should and Shouldn't Get Personal Flowers
Bron Hansboro of The Flower Guy Bron adds that family dynamics equally impacts florals. “Weddings are so emotionally charged,” he says. “I specifically ask for the name and relationship of each person receiving personal flowers. The last thing I want to happen is reference the wrong person, or give a corsage or boutonnière to someone that the couple didn’t intend to have them.”
Some of these details may seem like no-brainers for you, but they mean a lot in terms of your big day. Having an open line of communication with your vendors to prep them on the unexpected could save the day, and take the stress off of you!