This page goes with the 60 steps to successful wedding planning checklist. Click here to access the DOWNLOAD PAGE.
45. Doing the Hen party
46. Doing the Stag party
47. Check guest’s answers
48. Order drinks and alcohol
49. Create the seating plan
50. Order place cards
51. Doing repetitions in the domain
52. Order program cards and thank you cards
53. Confirm honeymoon reservation
54. Write speeches and greetings
45. Doing the hen party
IF YOUR WITNESSES HAVE WORKED WELL
If your witnesses did the job right, as we saw at 34. Delegating the Hen Party and stag party, All you have to do is let go. In any case, you don't have any cards in your hand, just let it happen 😊
46. Doing the Stag party
AS FOR THE PREVIOUS POINT
Leave it to the witnesses, enjoy and don't forget to come back and check this item off the list once it's done!
47. Checking guests' answers
IF YOU HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN ANYTHING
If you read correctly the points:
8. First list and verification of guests' addresses
23. Order the invitations
27. Finalize the guest list
28. Send the invitations and the wedding list
you should already have a lot of answers.
Now is the time to send reminders to those who haven't responded or to cross them off the list. If you've been forward thinking, you've entered all the responses you've received into an excel file with the number of people expected, allergies, accommodation needs etc.... If you haven't already, now is the time to do so 😊
With the negative responses you've received, you've got spots open for those you had to eliminate from your first guest list. This is going to be an opportunity to send out new applications, but in digital format this time, because you won't have time to get new cards reprinted unless you anticipated this. If so, I applaud you for that!
Don't take the negative responses personally, tell yourself that only the best will be there 😉
Group photo in the Tarn - mjphotographers.com
48. Ordering drinks and alcohol
If you are at this point, it is because you have checked beforehand that your caterer did not provide the drinks, as we saw in the point14. Choose the caterer.
HOW MUCH ?
Here is a link to a site that will help you figure out how much you will need: Drawyourbeer.
Here are the quantities needed for a wedding:
Red wine: 1 bottle for 2 to 3 people
White wine: 1 bottle for 3 to 4 people
Rosé wine: 1 bottle for 2 to 3 people
Champagne: 1 bottle for 3 people (for the aperitif)
Champagne: 1 bottle for 4 people (for dessert)
Know how to take into account the accord between the dishes chosen with your caterer and the wines, respecting some basic principles. The rest will depend on your taste and budget.
Think about pleasing your loved ones. Taste the selected wines with friends or family. This will take you a little time, as you need to find a vintage that suits each dish.
On some online wine sales sites, you will have the opportunity to receive samples of your chosen wines before confirming your order.
Your cavist will be able to be of great help in guiding your choices, even if his rates are a bit higher (not always it must be said). This is the price of personalized advice from a true connoisseur.
Second advantage of the wine shop: if you have planned too little, you can always take other bottles of the same vintage, contrary to supermarkets that sell out quickly.
For cocktails or as an aperitif, a light champagne full of finesse will be your best choice. Go for the Blancs de Blancs, the most refined and appreciated by fine connoisseurs. They are made exclusively from white grapes.
A windier, tangier, sweeter champagne will work for both appetizer and dessert. Then go for a mix of white and black grapes, in the brut category.
The big brands are more expensive, but their great advantage is that they offer a consistent taste and ancestral know-how. That won't stop you from finding very good bottles from lesser known producers.
Another useful tip: prefer champagnes known as première pression, that is, whose juice comes from the first pressing of the grape. They will always be of better quality and less acidic than second pressings.
Toast of the bride and groom at sunset
Les pins penchés (83) - mjphotographers.com
49. Creating the table plan
Now that you've called off the latecomers and invited the next people on the waiting list, it's time to tackle the task that will require the most diplomacy. If you've opted for a standing buffet, you're in luck, this question won't even arise.
Remember to leave enough room to move between the tables (otherwise the service will take a long time and it will not be pleasant for the guests either). The head table (the bride and groom's table in fact) usually occupies a central place, so that you can see your guests and be seen by them.
- It is customary not to separate couples and to seat them at the same table.
- Try to arrange tables with guests of similar ages or with common interests.
- At each table, put at least 2 people who already know each other. This will make it easier to talk to each other and make everyone feel comfortable.
- Try to mix personalities: don't make a table of shy people for example.
- Try to mix the 2 families.
- Concerning the head table, it is customary to seat the bride and groom, their respective parents as well as the witnesses and their spouses.
Things to avoid:
- Having a singles table is not recommended, your guests might be uncomfortable at the table.
- Avoid seating children and teenagers at the same table. While children don't mind, teenagers will prefer to be with slightly older people.
Once the list of tables is complete, you will have the choice between :
- You can choose to let your guests sit freely
- You can determine the location of each person on each table. If you choose the latter, try to alternate men and women. You will need to use place cards or a small guest gift labeled with their name.
If you are not sure where to start, ask your caterer. If he has already worked in this room, he will surely have had to deal with several different configurations (U-shaped, long, round tables...). This will give you a starting point.
If you want to set the mood, place tables of young people and partygoers as close to the dance floor as possible. Keep older people away from speakers and drafts.
For children: not too close to the kitchen if you don't want them to get in the way of the waiters and remember to provide them with something to occupy themselves if you want them to stay seated and even better: provide them with a babysitter or an animator.
WITH WHICH TOOLS?
To help you put it all down graphically, here is an online tool: Planning.wedding.
But you can also use an excel spreadsheet with different colors for each type of guest (family, friends, colleagues...)
You can also do it on a large board with small colored post-its.
Don't share your seating plan with your guests before the wedding, otherwise you run the risk of having to deal with dissatisfaction until the big day.
HOW TO PRESENT IT ?
Here are tons of ideas on Pinterest.
If you need to create a beautiful layout on paper, as usual, it is at Canva that I will send you with the search "table plan".
50. Order the place cards
If you did not opt for free seating at the table in the previous point, you will need place cards.
Remember that you can put personalized gifts with your guests' names on them instead of place cards.
Don't forget that you also need place cards for table names or numbers.
Here too, I'll send you to Pinterest to help you find some great ideas for your placemarks:
Wedding place cards Pinterest.
To print them yourself :
Wedding place cards Canva.
51. Doing repetitions in the domain
Having done dance demonstrations in my former life in many places, I can assure you that this is not to be taken lightly if you are planning to do a choreography.
Indeed, between your dining room and the big reception room, your reference points will be totally different and if you haven't danced there at least once, it's your concentration that will cause problems.
If you haven't decided what you're going to do yet, I suggest you read the points :
37. Repeat the ball opening
38. Decide on the music for the first dance.
52. Ordering programme cards and thank-you cards
WHAT TO PUT ON IT ?
In general we will find :
- the names of the bride and groom and possibly their parents and witnesses
- a few lines to welcome the guests
- the time and place of the different stages
- the address of the reception place, see the access map
- possibly the future address of the bride and groom so that their relatives and friends know where to send gifts and words of thanks
- If you have space, you can put the different stages of the ceremony so that the guests feel more involved.
WHEN TO DISTRIBUTE IT?
You can leave this task to the bridesmaids or witnesses. Another possibility is to leave this card on the seats before the beginning of the secular or religious ceremony.
WHERE TO FIND THEM?
I like the models with their personalized envelopes from Planet-cards.
The fan model with Cottonbird is also nice if you get married in the middle of summer.
Wedding program in fan format - mjphotographers.com
Very original models at Monfairepart.
To do it yourself, I send you as usual to Canva.
For even more ideas: the classic Pinterest.
THANK YOU CARDS
If you didn't think of killing two birds with one stone when you made your point 23. ORDER INVITATIONS, you will be able to do it now, but you may also want to wait for the first photos of your wedding to do so.
1- Keep a part of the card free or the back to write personal things to each person.
2- Use quotes or create one if you feel like it. Here is a link with quotes related to thank you: Lefigaro.
3- Why not send a photo of your wedding guest, taken by your favorite photographer ? 😉 Or a picture of you using the gift he gave you.
WHERE TO FIND THEM?
I really like magnetic thank you cards. They are much more likely to stay visible for a long time on the fridge, for example, than if they stay in an envelope.
Here are a few examples from Monfairepart.
Magnetized thanks - mjphotographers.com
The little link Canvas usual for those who are on their own. 😊
With Pinterest also.
53. Confirming the honeymoon booking
If you have been to the 29. Choosing and booking the honeymoon destination it is now time to proceed to the confirmation of everything you have been led to book.
Don't forget to pick up your new passport if you ordered one at the 40. Verify that passports are valid.
Couple session in Perpignan (66) - mjphotographers.com
54. Writing speeches and greetings
WHERE TO START?
There is so much to say about writing a speech: what to put in it, how to keep the guests' attention, how to get messages across that only your other half will understand, how not to lose the thread...
You'll find tons of articles on speech writing.
I'll just give you some links to sample speeches for inspiration. Just reading them will surely resonate with you and unlock your blank page.