Some of you may already know this, but back in November I got married. I am also a wedding planner, so you can only imagine how much effort I put into planning my wedding. I knew exactly what I wanted and how I wanted it to be done. There are two things I tell all my clients especially my brides. First, never ever go without a wedding planner, and if you decide to go without a planner in the very least get a day of wedding coordinator.
So naturally did I take my own advice? Of course not. Here’s a quick synopsis of what happened: My poor sister (and bridesmaid) didn’t get to enjoy my wedding. NOT one bit.
This mistake is what I reiterate to all my brides, that someone must run the show. No matter the size of the wedding, it can feel as though it is a live production on Broadway. There are so many moving pieces from start to finish that unless a coordinator is doing it, your family is running around like a chicken with their heads chopped off.
The second main piece I give my brides is to hire not a good but a GREAT photographer. I know this sounds easy enough to do. Well duh, of course hire a good photographer, but have you actually thought about what makes a good photographer? I’m here to tell you there are plenty of good to mediocre photographers out there taking wedding photos. So when choosing your photography think about how you like to be photographed. I believe that there are two types of people in this world, photogenic and non-photogenic. My younger sister looks good in every SINGLE photo. She yells out things like “that’s not my good angle!” or “tongue to the roof of your mouth!” and every time she looks good!
I believe I fall into the latter category. I knew that I was going to feel awkward and most likely have a weird smile. I highly encourage you to pick a photographer that makes you feel gorgeous, relaxed, and will cut it to you straight when you look a hot ass mess. Luckily for me Jules and Conrad are those kind of photographers. Not only can they photograph the photogenic with ease, they also give an extra push to those feeling slightly more awkward, so that you can be feeling like Beyoncé on your wedding day. If you need a little more help to find that right angle—I promise you Jules and Conrad are your people. They are magical people that captured the most special moments throughout my day, and to be honest moments I fear other photographers would have missed. Jules and Conrad truly took the time to get know me as a bride and they figured out what was the most important to me in my special day. I am thankful to have a time stamp of genuine moments that I get to look at every day.
Your guests come from near and far, but the ones that make that extra trip ( like your Aunt Susan who just spent 5 hours smashed in a plane) you want to welcome them with something special and what is more special than local?! Here are 6 tips of things you can put in your bag that will no doubt be awesome!
The welcome gift
The term welcome bag is cool and all, but it doesn’t have to be a bag. It can be a basket, crate, bucket or yeah……. a bag. You can order bags from several places with your names and the date or you can mix it up and do a themed basket and still add a personal touch. No matter how you display your gifts, your guests will be delighted that you took the time to put something together.
Basket from A signature Welcome
Bag from Tea and Becky paper co
Add a wedding weekend itinerary
I love a plan; no, I mean I really love a plan. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside when I know what to expect. Giving your guests an outline of when they have to be a social butterfly or when they can hide in their room for some downtime lets them know what to mentally prepare for. This is also helpful as a parent, does little Suzy get to take her nap at 3:00 pm ??? Nope she is on her way to rehearsal dinner. All the parents WILL THANK YOU.
Welcome itinerary by Zazzle.com
Include a map
All towns have awesome maps, some highlight restaurants, breweries or local attractions. This is not only helpful for your out of towners, but it is something nice for them to take home. You can even personalize it by putting a symbol near your venue. Let’s face it, everyone is going to use their cell phone to get around so find a map from a local artist or something they could hang at home.
Everybody likes drinks
You have just gotten off a flight or a 7-hour car ride with your two kids, nothing says welcome like a drink. you can get a local wine, beer or specialty nonalcoholic drink. If none of those fit your guests needs, you can add in waters. Always good to keep your guests hydrated!
Wine Biltmore estate Asheville, NC
Need I say more? Every town has that hidden gem of a chocolate store and nothing says thanks for being here like a truffle. You can get them in a box of 4 or 6 and it pairs well if you go with the wine option.
French Broad chocolates Asheville, NC
Include a local gift
This one is so fun and has so many options. It really could be anything from a local soap, chap stick, honey or even hot sauce! A small token that says, “we're here, you’re here, support local and lets party!!” Your local farmers market, craft fair or specialty boutique is a great place to find these items.
Product Craggy Mountain Asheville, NC
The most important thing is that you have fun and get creative!