I sat down with @_socialsav who is a venue manager at @easterngraceevents. We talked about all the things you want to know before planning your wedding! Are you curious about first looks, games, receiving lines, seating, toasts, using social media to find vendors, and splurging?
Then this post was made just for you!
Here it goes…. The first look talk! Brides always ask me if they should do a first look or not and my answer is yes! You may not think it but first looks can have such a big impact on the rest of your wedding day and provide so many benefits. First, they provide you with an intimate moment between you and your spouse, you’re able to feel your real emotions and reactions towards eachother and your photographer will be able to capture those pure moments. If you and your spouse aren’t the type that are comfortable expressing emotions around a crowd of people then first looks are for you!
They also determine the rest of the timeline for the day. When you do a first look you are able to get all the bride and groom pictures, bridal portraits, groom pictures, AND wedding party pictures done before the ceremony. After the ceremony you’re hungry and ready to relax and have some fun, so a first look provides you with more time to relax, slow down, and enjoy the rest of the night sooner.
BUT for my brides who choose not to do a first look, that’s okay!! This is your day, do what makes YOU happy! If you are not doing a first look I highly recommend having a cocktail hour. Cocktail hours take place directly after the ceremony and include small finger foods and sometimes drinks. Cocktail hours keep guests entertained while the bride, groom, wedding party, and family take pictures.
Games are a great way to bring some fun and personality into your reception. One popular game at weddings today is “longest married game.” All the couples go out on the dance floor while a slow song plays. The couples will leave the floor based on how long they’ve been married. The dj will announce who’s been married 5 years or more, 10 years or more, and the last couple standing on the dance floor wins. This is a great photo opportunity to capture the new bride and groom and the longest married couple.
If you’re looking for an upbeat game then consider scavenger hunt musical chairs. This game is so much fun and brings a fun vibe to the night. There are 10 chairs set out and either the wedding party or guests fill the chairs. The dj will then play music and announce an item that they have to retrieve and bring back to the chairs, each time they go to get an item a chair is removed. This continues until there is only one person standing.
Seating for your guests may be the one of the first things you plan but have you thought about where you and your groom will sit? Savannah and I highly recommend sitting at a table alone with your spouse. This allows you to better connect with one another, talk about the day, and take in the moment of being surrounded by everyone together. Plus, if the members of the wedding party have a SO that came for them, they probably want to sit with them so they don’t have to be alone!
I get this question all the time… who is supposed to give the toasts? Normally the maid of honor and the best man give the toasts. These toasts normally include how long they’ve known eachother for, a sweet message to their new bride or groom, and sometimes even an embarrassing story. Sometimes a family member will also give a short speech thanking everybody for coming and being a part of the day. Tip: you want to make sure that you don’t have too many speakers and that they don’t last too long for your guests.
Social media can be a great tool for finding wedding vendors. You can start by looking at the venues you like or the venue you have booked. Going to the pages “tagged photos” will provide you with numerous pictures of other brides and their vendors, you can then go through these and see what you like/don’t like and locate the vendors through the tagged photos!
Another thing to keep in mind after your wedding is to tag your vendors!! This not only helps other brides when they’re wedding planning but also provides and extra layer of gratitude to your vendors. As a photographer I spend so much time making sure the pictures are perfect for my brides, brides sharing my work and tagging me means the world to me!
You can also use key words on social media such as “elegant wedding venue” or “simple wedding makeup”. This will help you locate the right vendor for you!
Brides, I get it! Weddings are expensive and you’re on a budget. One thing to keep in mind when allocating this budget is your photographer. Memories and pictures are two things you’re going to cherish after your wedding day. If you’re going to splurge on anything, splurge on your photographer! The last thing you want is to feel rushed because you booked a couple of hours with your photographer and you’re trying to cram everything into a short amount of time. This puts stress on you and doesn’t allow you to relax and take the day in!
I hope this was helpful! Being a part of your day is such an honor! It wasn’t enough for me to just be there for my brides day of, that’s why I created my podcast and blog to provide behind the scenes advice you can’t get anywhere else to help brides planning their wedding. If you want to be the first to hear about all things wedding make sure to subscribe to my podcast Up to Date with Kate!
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Here’s a pic of both of us for fun 🙂