Is there such a thing as overplanning? Well…yes. But not when it comes to a wedding. You only get one shot at this (riiiight?!). You’ve been planning for months, if not over a year – in some places, 2 years.
You have taken precautions. Followed all the advice from your magazines and gifted planners. You have a rain-plan, touch-up makeup at the ready, extra hair pins and hair spray, and a back-up notecard of your vows hidden in your Maid of Honor’s handbag.
If a wedding were an invasion, you’d put Eisenhower and his D-Day to shame. Or so you think.
Here are the top six things you didn’t think of, things that few guests might notice, but may haunt you every time you watch your wedding video or browse through your album. You’ve already come this far and spent countless hours on minutiae; another hour or two won’t kill you.
Planning a wedding means having to spend a lot of time thinking about your guests. Not just considering them, but thinking about them. As a herd. Will most of them show up to the wedding on time if you put the actual start time on the invitation? Will they follow the attire instructions, or will you have a family in jeans and sundresses? Will they remember that the reception is dessert only?
It may not be science, but ask any professional event organizer and they’ll tell you: people get dumber as their numbers increase. But you’ll count yourself lucky if you hear grumbling at the reception, because at least you won’t have lost them to the asphalt rivers.
Try putting someone from out of town – even if it’s just a few miles – on a road, with a crude map and directions to from ceremony site to reception site, and you’ll get a lesson in panic. A group that starts out at the same time will arrive at destination B over the course of an hour, easily. You can’t prevent this, but what you can do is have a groomsman or relative make the drive the morning of the wedding, just to make sure there are no roadblocks, detours or confusing construction signs. It might help to check Sigalert just before the ceremony starts, too.
Too thin runner.
Did you ever have those dreams where you got up in front of the whole class to deliver a speech or accept an award, only to realize you’re naked? That’s how it feels to realize, three feet down the aisle, that your runner is too small.
Most runners come in sizes between three and four feet wide. Go too small, and you (and your escort) run the risk of walking half off the runner. Or worse: walking slightly ahead or behind your escort. Consider your size, your escort’s size, and the size of your gown’s skirt before choosing a runner.
Actually, this would be a good thing to consider when looking at venues, too.
To get it right, stand next to your escort, leaving about six inches between you. Have another person measure the distance between your combined outer shoulders. That is how wide your runner should be.
Too short candles
Few things are as romantic and easy to use as candles. Stick a bunch together in virtually any configuration and BAM: instant atmosphere and flattering light.
But…what if you’re planning to have those babies lit for several hours? Are you sure they’ll last all through the reception?
When buying or ordering candles, make sure you know how long they are meant to burn. Then factor in considerations that might shorten that time: an outdoor wedding, for instance. There is almost always some kind of wind or breeze in the evening, and can cause guttering, fast burning and extinguishing of candles. Don’t be caught halfway through the reception without light or table decor!
Lack of sleep
The best prep before the wedding is a good night’s sleep. Too bad it’s nearly impossible, without help. Check out a couple options to help relax you and let you get your rest: melatonin, natural phosphorus, or keep a really boring textbook on your bedside for bedtime reading. Try to keep the over-the-counter drugs as a last resort. And if you have to take a Tylenol PM, don’t over do it! The only thing worse than being a slightly tired bride is a hung-over bride.