How to Be a Bride Everyone Will Love
— By Lorna Urwin
07 November 2016
Worrying about everyone else on your wedding day can be a recipe for stress and disappointment. Instead, plan ahead to build thoughtful touches into the fabric of your wedding. This way, you’ll have designated times set aside to ensure everyone is looked after and you’ll be set free to focus on your own happiness the rest of the time. Here are some attentive ideas to help win everybody’s heart on your big day!
1/ Plan for guests’ needs
Image by Sophie Epton Photography (thumbnail image by Perry Trotter Photography)
Anticipating guests’ needs can be tricky. The key is to ensure you’re well informed about what issues might arise from the circumstances of your own wedding.
Plan as early as possible for universal concerns like dietary requirements, protection against the elements or transport. Use invitation inserts to advise about anything guests should bring themselves (e.g. sunglasses, a warm layer), list useful information (like local taxi numbers) and request dietary information. Including these details won’t take too much effort on your part but could make a real difference to your guests’ experience!
2/ Treat your bridesmaids and attendants
Image by Fineline photography
Your bridesmaids and other attendants have no doubt put enormous amounts of effort and love into their roles in the lead-up to the big day (and will continue to do so on the day itself). Don’t miss the opportunity to thank them by arranging a fun and luxurious ‘getting ready’ session.
Leave ample time so no one’s worried or rushed, prepare a fab playlist to set the tone, provide water and nibbles so everyone’s hydrated and energized and – last but not least – champagne to keep things celebratory and relaxed! Tangible gifts won’t go amiss either and the morning-of is the ideal time to present your maids with a small token of your appreciation!
3/ Keep everyone in the loop
Images by Kayleigh Pope Photography and Lauren Carroll Photography
Your vendors and bridal party all have a vested interest in making your day awesome, but you can help make their day easier by maintaining great communication. This will ensure no one is left confused or in the dark, particularly with regards to expectations and scheduling. The last thing you want is to be ready for group photos and realise half the bridal party are nowhere to be found!
This really is as simple as sharing a wedding timeline with the relevant parties (the photographer, videographer, wedding coordinator, family etc.). Or give all your guests a heads up about the programme of events by presenting a schedule on a large display.
4/ A warm welcome
Image by Heather Payne
Go the extra mile by leaving a handwritten note at each place setting to welcome each guest personally and express how happy you are that they were able to join the celebration. As wonderful as a note is, you should always make time in the reception schedule to greet each guest in person too! The ‘receiving line’ is one option, but these days many couples prefer to make the rounds from table to table instead. Don’t worry! This doesn’t have to absorb a large amount of your time. Extending a brief but sincere thank you to guests for their attendance is all that’s required so you’re able to pay everyone equal attention.
5/ Give a VIP experience with little extras
Images by Lacie Hansen and Virgil Bunao
Above we mentioned helping guests prepare themselves for things like transport and weather-appropriate clothing. If you have the budget to do so, you might want to step in yourself and provide supplies for various scenarios. Cheap umbrellas, parasols or blankets for the relevant weather forecast are great examples, but other thoughtful supplies include handkerchiefs (for happy tears!), flip flops (a comfortable alternative to heels for dancing) and baskets of toiletries in the bathrooms (things like wet wipes, miniature deodorants, mints and blister plasters might be a lifesaver for your guests).
6/ Respect your vendors
Image by Grey Area Productions
Understand that your vendors are professionals who have worked a great number of weddings in the past. Of course, your wedding is unique, but trust that your vendors know what they are doing. This is particularly with regards to photographers. It is good to be in communication with your photographer so they know what you are looking for, but let them do their job on the day and you are guaranteed to get some amazing wedding pictures.
Show plenty of love for your vendors too. A meal should be provided for those working long hours on the day (including your wedding planner/coordinator, photographer, videographer, band/DJ and any assistants). Add their meals to your budget as part of their fee and liaise with caterers or the venue itself to organize some delicious food and a place for them to eat.
7/ Say thank you
Image by Heather Curiel Weddings
It may sound obvious, but don’t forget to be lavish with your gratitude to everyone involved in making your wedding the momentous occasion it’s sure to be! Be polite with all requests, say please and thank you often and consider whether you might like to offer a more formal thank you by addressing guests and vendors with a short speech and toast.
When the day is finished, a sincere and handwritten thank you note is incredibly important for guests and vendors alike (it should be received within three months of the wedding). For vendors, a glowing testimonial or a rating/review online goes one step further in expressing your thanks while also doing them a service by helping share their talents with potential clients.