WARSAW—With summer wedding season quickly approaching, the upcoming months tend to be when the engaged couple and their families become the busiest. Grace Whalen of Whalen Creative Group, Warsaw, offers advice, tricks and tips for the bride and groom after planning weddings for the past nine years.
Most importantly the bride and groom should remember the real purpose behind the wedding — love and marriage. Whalen suggested surrounding themselves with people who will remind them of this fact and be supportive and positive when things get stressful.
For her clients, Whalen creates a priority list outlining which aspects of the wedding are most important. This can help the couple decide what to spend their money and time on. This can also help the couple to “not get bogged down in all the little details.”
Couples shouldn’t try to overdo it on their wedding day. Simply keeping with their own style and not putting pressure on themselves to make all of their guests happy can go a long way. After all, as Whalen said, the guests are there to celebrate the couple so if the bride and groom are happy, the guests will be happy.
The couple also shouldn’t be afraid to celebrate their important relationships with others including grandparents, parents, siblings and friends. Honoring the relationship they have with key members in their life can create priceless memories they may not have otherwise.
The top two common complaints from weddings guests are not having food, particularly if the reception is around a meal time, and waiting for long periods of time. Whalen suggested these are the two areas where guests should be taken into account. Her tip, therefore, is to make sure to keep cocktail hour to just that — one hour or less.
When it comes to guests the newlyweds should also make a point of greeting every guest. There are three main options to ensure each one gets a few minutes with the couple. The couple can work with their wedding planner, if they have one, along with their officiant to decide which will work the best. The options for the newlyweds are to greet the guests as they dismiss each of the rows, have the guests form a receiving line or go table to table at the reception.
One of the most important tasks for a couple is choosing the right vendors. Whalen believes choosing and booking the vendors is the foundation of wedding planning. Details will be worked out during the necessary phases of wedding planning. It is also important to spend the extra money on quality vendors who will work with the couple, keep to their budget and take care of them throughout the wedding day.
One trick Whalen shared is to make sure the RSVP cards have a date on them and to choose the date as one month and one week before the wedding. According to Whalen many vendors need to know exact counts one month before the wedding and changing counts can become costly for the couple. Therefore, the couple can use that extra week to call anyone who has not yet returned an RSVP card.
Although it is Whalen’s job to make sure the bride and groom do not forget anything on their special day, some common things couples overlook are sometimes the most simple. For example, it is important for the bride to have the correct undergarments and shoes when going to the first dress alteration. While transportation to the wedding and reception are important, transportation from the reception back home is equally important. Also, couples shouldn’t overlook the personal portions of the day such as presenting their parents with gifts.
As difficult as it may be, Whalen said the key is to try to relax. Brides and grooms should learn their key stress triggers and attempt to avoid them when possible. Particularly on the day of the wedding, there should also be someone trustworthy to help take that stress away from the newlyweds and keep everything on track.
The greatest bit of advice Whalen gives is to simply enjoy the special day because it is a day no one can ever get back.