While planning a wedding is a very exciting venture, it’s also a great deal of work. For most couples, it’s the single most important and sentimental day of their entire lives, so making sure every last detail represents and symbolizes their love becomes essential. In this day and age, there is so much focus on fine-tuning every last perfect detail that often times the best part of planning the event – the FUN – goes to the wayside. From a professional event planner with a self-proclaimed expertise in F-U-N, here are some helpful tips in how to make some tedious tasks more enjoyable for all those involved:
TASK: Organizing the Invite List
FUN FACTOR: Break out the photo albums. Turn this arduous task into a night of story-telling. Gather all your photos keepsakes of the whole family, high school buddies, college groups, etc. As you add a name to the list, share a photo and funny story about the person if your beau has never met them. Come up with nicknames for guests (i.e. “Stanford Sallie” for your genius cousin or “Crazy Aunt Flo” for, well, you know) so your beau will more easily remember them on the big day.
TASK: Choosing a Venue
FUN FACTOR: Pick your top choices and make a night out of it. Once you have it narrowed down to a few selections, choose a weekend and plan a romantic getaway at each. Stay at the resort or nearby hotel, try out the catering at the restaurant and catch a glimpse of what it would be like to come back for your special day. This also helps you to check out the amenities for your guests, and if you’re lucky there may be wedding taking place that weekend that you can observe.
FUN FACTOR: Pick a spot with a cool twist. Choosing a venue with a great back-story for guests is a fun way to spice up your day. Find a unique spot that’s never hosted a wedding before, or a venue famous for a historic event. I once planned a wedding at a location where they shot a famous Guns n’ Roses music video, and the couple played the song intermittently throughout the night, re-enacting key parts of the performance. The crowd loved it!
TASK: Picking the Centerpieces, Favors, Linens, etc.
FUN FACTOR: Involve the Groom! Brides way too often declare decorating decisions their sole duty, and grooms too easily acquiesce their right to an opinion. But the happiest couples I’ve seen have made all the decisions mutually, and are proud to truly call the wedding “theirs”. Incorporate photos of the two of you into the centerpieces, or include fun anecdotes on the table number cards. Personalizing the details gives you a chance to showcase what makes your relationship unique, and reminds you of all the reasons you two are soul mates.
TASK: Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress
FUN FACTOR: Go Vintage. Start with your mom, aunt, grandmother. See if your perfect dress is already in their closet. Wearing a family heirloom dress saves on cost, makes the experience more sentimental, and provides an opportunity to bond.
FUN FACTOR: Create a custom design. Do you have a relative or family friend who can sew, or know someone with an eye for fashion design? Ask them to design a dress that’s as unique as you. I once knew a bride whose mother designed and hand-made her wedding gown, and it was the most beautiful dress I’ve seen to date. Or, if you have it in the budget, ask your favorite local designer to develop a custom look.
TASK: Choosing the Entertainment
FUN FACTOR: Hold tryouts at your engagement party. If you have a few bands or DJ’s in mind, ask them to play a set at your engagement party. Then you can poll your guests to see who jives best with the crowd.
FUN FACTOR: Have date nights at local clubs to hear potential bands or dj’s play. If your engagement party venue doesn’t lend itself to the above, use checking out entertainment as an excuse for a night on the town with your fiancé.
FUN FACTOR: Involve people you know. If your sister plays the piano, or you have a friend who rocks n the guitar, ask them to compose something especially for your wedding.