Wedding Planning in a Nutshell Pt. 3: Final Logistics

Happy Tuesday, friends!

We are back today with the final installment of our wedding planning in a nutshell series. In week 1, we shared a visual via our wedding planning cheat sheet. In the second part of the series, we talked you through the first three levels of wedding planning priorities including hiring a fab planner, choosing your venue, designing your day and hiring some of the bigger vendors. Last week we talked you through the middle three levels of priorities in the wedding planning process including booking the majority of your vendors. Now that you have the majority of your wedding day team and design in place, it is time to focus on the minute logistics to make sure everything goes as planned. Here are the final three levels of priorities to focus on in the last few months leading up to your wedding!

Photo Credit: Ronca Productions

Tier 7 – Officiant, Valet, & Bar

Now that you have the majority of your high costing vendors in place, you need to determine who will officiate the ceremony! The choice of an officiant varies between couples. Some couples choose a family friend to do the deed, while others hire a professional. If hiring a professional, you’ll want to find someone you connect with and feel comfortable around. The next thing to consider for your event is whether you have any outstanding parking or valet needs. We tend to need valets most frequently at urban venues or private estate weddings in a neighborhood. Venues like these tend to have limited parking options and hiring a valet will prevent your guests from worrying about having to find a place to park when arriving at your event. It will be one less stress for your guests and you won’t have to worry about any of your guests getting a ticket on your special day. Now is also the time to determine the details of your bar. From a beer and wine only bar to a partial bar with a few specialty cocktails, or a full bar to a full bar with specialty cocktails, whatever you decide to offer your guests, we always suggest offering a hosted bar (switching over to cash, just isn’t the classy thing to do). A beer and wine bar is the most cost effective way to go, while a full bar with specialty cocktails is the most costly. Keep your budget in mind and make the decision that is best for you and your party. Once you decide which way to go, touch base with your caterer or bar company for the type of bar needed and the drink quantities based on your guest count. Pad that number a bit, and make sure that everything you need for your bar is either on the bar or catering order (we often get mixers, ice and water through the caterer).  Just remember that for many venues, if you don’t bring it to the party, it won’t be there if you need it. Oh, and don’t forget to ask for the beer, wine and bubbly to be chilled for delivery (trust me on this one).

Photo Credit: Booth Photographics

Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather

Tier 8 – Day of Flow, Aesthetics & DIY Projects

One of most difficult projects to attack for a wedding, is crafting together a solid day of flow that outlines everything that happens on your wedding day, by whom and when. By now, you should have pretty much all of your vendors booked and your design nailed down. With the major details in place, you can switch gears to figuring out how this whole day will play out by putting pen to paper and creating a detailed day of timeline. This will indicate both specific times (such as vendor arrivals and bridal party call times) and specific tasks (such as items to be set-up and announcements to be made), all the way until you and your partner are back in your room at the end of the night as an official married couple. At this point, it is time to really flush out the overall design with some personalized touches and DIY projects. This can be as party favors for your guests or minor details just to add a little fun to your event with your “couple signature.” Personal details are the best way to make your event unique and memorable for your guests. For you Pinterest lovers, this will be your favorite part of the planning process. Get creative and have fun with your projects!

Photo Credit: Iris & Light

Photo Credit: Dennis Kwan

Tier 9 – Final Logistics: Lists, Seating Assignments, & Layout

This tier will be the last of your pre-wedding “to-dos”, yet most important part of your day. You will need to compile lists, seating assignments, and venue layouts to keep everything organized and how you want it on the day. First you will work with your venue, caterer and planner to get a good looking venue layout in place for each section of your wedding. This layout will show where all rentals, tables, chairs and structures will be placed so that everyone knows where to put things on the big day. From there, you can turn your focus to the many lists needs for your wedding. You will want to give your photographer a list of family/friend formal or posed photos that are important to you (be specific, list names!). You will also need to create a music list of specific songs and genres you’ll want your entertainment company to play at specific times throughout the wedding. We have also found it helpful to have a “packing list” of all the items that you are providing for the party (not through a vendor). This will help keep you organized on the crazy days leading up to your wedding to ensure that everything you planned to bring to the wedding is actually packed up and present on the day. It will also help your execution team get everything back to you at the end of the celebration. It may go without saying, but you should have a compiled vendor list with email addresses, special notes and day of emergency contact info in addition to the other lists. Finally, you will need to create a thorough guest list with table and meal indication in two forms: alphabetically and by table. If you choose to assign your guests to specific seats, you will need a map indicating this as well. These final logistics are absolutely essential for the production of your big day. Your lists and layouts will serve as aids for everyone working at your wedding so the whole day runs smoothly.

Photo Credit: Amanda McKinnon

Well, that’s all folks! That is pretty much a breakdown of how to plan a wedding Marisa Nicole Events the Marisa Nicole Events way. We hope you found our wedding planning cheat sheet helpful. Don’t hesitate to use this blog series as your guide to plan your perfect wedding day!

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