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5 Ways To Avoid A 'Hot Mess' Wedding
On 2012-02-02 By Karen

There's one thing I hear from brides ALL THE TIME: "I don't want my wedding to be a hot mess!"

Everyone's been to a wedding (or at least seen one on YouTube) that falls into this category. After you spend all of the time and money planning the big day, you absolutely do not want a wedding that falls into the "hot mess" category. Here are some tips to avoid this wedding nightmare:

Lie To Your Wedding Party -- I'm not normally a fan of lying to people, but sometimes it's necessary with your wedding party. This group usually contributes to unnecessary stress for the bride. So, lie to them. If you want them at the ceremony site at 1pm, tell them 12:30. If you know that your group has notoriously tardy individuals, you may want to tell them 12pm, just to be safe.

Start Your Wedding Pics EARLY -- Wedding pictures can often hold up the big day. To avoid hours of picture-taking after the ceremony, start pictures early. As a planner, I like to start photos TWO HOURS before the ceremony. I start with the guys and do all of their pictures first. This consists of the groom by himself, with his groomsmen and with his family. Then, I send them to their holding area. At that point, we'll do the bride's photos with all of her attendants, family, etc. This way, you only have to do group photos after the ceremony.

Call The People Who Haven't Sent Their RSVP -- A big mistake is to not contact the people who haven't responded to your wedding invitation. If you don't follow-up with these people, you could be presented with the uncomfortable situation of having guests show up and not having a seat for them. At that point, you'll need to figure out if you want to turn them away (yikes!) or if you want to squeeze them into your seating plan. Avoid all of this by calling the guest at least twice to inquire about their attendance. If they don't respond, make a final call and indicate (in a nice way) that you won't be saving a seat for them at the reception.

Don't Rely On Your DJ To Tell You When He's Going To Setup -- As a wedding planner, I can be a bit of a control freak. With that said, I like to tell vendors what time I want them to show up. I've attended weddings as a guest where the DJ is still setting up as guests enter the reception site. Don't let your DJ tell you what time he'll be there. You need to tell him. I suggest that the DJ have everything setup by the time your ceremony begins. That way, if there are any issues with equipment, he's got extra time to solve those issues. And indicate in the contract that the DJ can't leave the reception site once he has everything setup. You don't want guests arriving and your DJ has decided to kill time by running errands...and isn't there as guests arrive. He needs to set everything up and STAY PUT. Put it in the contract.

Have Place Cards -- Brides will often opt not to have place cards at their reception because they don't want people to feel tied to a table, or they don't want to manage a seating chart. Trust me, it's worth it to have place cards. By nature, people are used to being told where to go, where to sit, etc. You don't want guests wandering around your reception wondering, "Can I sit here?" Make it simple. Tell them where to sit. Also, it's confusing if you don't have place cards, but you do have "reserved" signs on some tables. In your mind, those reserved signs might be for close family. But if people don't have clear direction, guests don't know EXACTLY who those tables are for. And it's not fun to have a bride tell a family member, "Oh...these tables are for family, but I didn't mean third cousins. Sorry, you'll have to move." Avoid all of this nonsense and tell people where they should sit.

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Karen Clark is a celebrity wedding planner who publishes the "Perfect On A Penny" weekly e-zine. Get your FREE audio seminar: "5 Super Secret Tips That Will Save You $5000 On Your Wedding" at www.PerfectOnAPenny.com

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Thank You Sooo Much!!! I'm getting married in four months and I am going insane,I do want to avoid A "Hot Mess" wedding and your tip really and truly helped. Thank You! I do not want to do place cards but I'm reconsidering it. All these tips were very helpful :) God Bless!
By valerie
Dated 03 February , 2012