Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Don't Tell the Guests; The Final Countdown!

Wow, I can not believe that it's only 11 days until our wedding and what a journey it has been! It's crazy to think that there's so many decisions to be made when it comes to planning your big day that I have been able to write a weekly segment for a whole year!

Planning your big day is such an emotional roller coaster, and to be honest, I'm not one to sugar coat the experience!

There's definitely been some pretty tense times, and times when we find ourselves saying 'we're over it', 'hurry up already so that we can move on with our lives' and 'boy oh boy not more money!' I know this probably makes us sound ungrateful and like horrible people, but the truth is, it's a hell of a lot of energy, time and money, for one day!!!

So where are we at 11 days out?

The logistics (all together now yay!!!)

These are the things that brides certainly never tell you, or maybe we were just completely naive to the final countdown craziness.

Some nights I can't sleep as I lay there thinking about how special and exciting it is going to be to wear my gorgeous dress down the aisle as I walk hand in hand with my mum and dad and I look into the faces of those closest to us, as I greet my future husband at the alter.

Other days I find myself in tears from exhaustion trying to juggle full time work, life and keeping up with the emails, running sheets, whose getting what where and whose letting who in and where does such and such have to meet at exactly what time!!!

So the things you need to think about in the final stages;

Just how everything is going to actually come together. We've discussed in this segment over time the different elements to a wedding from florists to celebrants, videographers, decorators, cake makers, chefs, musicians, hairdressers, make up artists, dress makers, suit stylers, car drivers, invite designers, waitresses, venue coordinators, photographers, bar tenders and so much more and now you have to work out how to coordinate everyone so that the day runs smoothly.

We quickly realised just how important running sheets were!

The photographer and videographer need to know;
Where the bride and bridesmaids are getting ready for pre wedding shots.
Where the groom and groomsmen are getting ready for pre wedding shots.
Where the ceremony is and what angles you want shot.
Where your post ceremony photos will be.
Where the reception is and what you'd like to be shot.
For the videographer specifically; what the names of all of the wedding party are, what your music is for walking down the aisle, the signing, entering the reception, leaving the reception, first dance, father and daughter music etc

For the caterer;
How many people are attending.
If there are any dietary requirements.
When you would like entree, mains and desserts served.

For the musicians;
Your entrance music to the reception.
The style of music you'd like.
How you are staggering the reception to know how many sets to play.
Whether you'll need microphones for speeches.
Whether you'll need an iPod plugged in between sets.
Whether you have a table organised for them to sit and eat at.
Dinner and drinks for the band members.

Finalise the ceremony.
Work out where they are going to stand.
Work out how to position the bridal party and the bride and groom.
Sound and music.

Do you need to use their sound systems?
Are you bringing food to the site and do you need a refrigerator/ to use cutlery and crockery.
How would you like the venue set up.
Where are you going to position the guests.

Where and when would you like the drivers of the cars to meet and pick up the bridal party?
How are you going to get the cars to these pick up points?
Who is going to drive?
Where do you leave the keys?
(The last 3 are for if you are borrowing friends cars)

Master of Ceremonies (MC)
What is the plan for the night?
Speeches; who and when during the night?
Is there a microphone and sound system?
Running sheet.

When do you have access to the venue to decorate?
How many tables and chairs are there?
How many people can sit at a table?
How are you going to lay out the room?
Who is sitting where?
Do candles need to be light? If you have candle lighters and back up candles?
Who do you need to get the key off to get into the venue?
When can you drop off the alcohol (if you can byo)
Where does the cake table go?
Where will the bridal table be positioned?
Where will the presents table be situated?
Are you needing extension cords?

Where do they have to be when?
When do they need to contribute during the ceremony?

Hairdressers and Make Up Artists
Where do they have to meet you or you meet them?
What time will you start getting ready?
When do you have photos?
What colours and styles?
How many people?

The night before the wedding; where will you have tea? Will you need to reserve a place or are you ordering in take away?
The morning of the wedding; what are you doing for breakfast? Fruit and crossant platters?
Lunch; do you have lunch before or after the ceremony?
Do you order platters ie subway or just make rolls?
Are you having an afternoon tea?
Who is bringing what?
Is there a fridge or esky available to keep things cool?
Is there an oven or a microwave to heat things up?
Are there crockery, cutlery and napkins?
When should the cake be dropped off at the reception?

If byo, when can you drop not at the venue?
Is there a corkage fee?

Who is going to pick up the fresh flowers on the morning of the wedding (luckily we're having fake!!!)

Flower Girl and Paige Boy
Will they meet you at the ceremony or will they come with you in the car?
Are they going to throw petals or hold a sign?

Who is doing a speech?
When are they needing to speak?
For how long?
About what topics?

Wow, I'm sure there are things that I have missed, but as you can see there's lots to organise!

As a bride I think you just 'wing it' and you learn what needs to be done as people remind or ask you ie the musicians reminded us that we needed a table for them o sit at between sets and to provide meals and drinks (5 extra seats and meals to add into the plans!) Whoops!

It can be overwhelming when everyone fires questions at you, particulary when you haven't even thought about it or don't really mind!

We had no idea about the music for our reception as far as the entrance song, bridal dance, exit song etc, so we've kind of left it in the hands of our musicians and we're still yet to choose a first dance song!

I think one of the things that I have definitely found the hardest is the balance between reminding yourself to enjoy the process as you only do it once, and it should be fun, versus the stress, constant questioning, thinking and correspondence to coordinate everyone.

As with every wedding we've had a few hiccups with different opinions, but I guess you grow a tough skin and realise that you can't please everyone!

We're just so fortunate to have so many friends and family who are willing to help out and to make our special time come to life and represent us as a couple.

We seriously wouldn't be able to do it all without their help, especially when we both work full time!

My biggest tips would be;
To have the week off before your wedding just to mellow, organise the last minute things with time and not cramming them in on lunch breaks and late at night after a long day.

To try and keep the information and decisions between you and your partner because at the end of the day it's your day.

To realise early in the piece that in this whole wedding process you are probably going to offend someone, so try and take their comments and opinions as lightly as possible, because it's not worth worrying over.

Yes organising a wedding is full on, tiring, exciting, exhilarating, nerve racking, at times scary but the majority of the time, when you forget about all of the little details and think about the reason for the day, to become husband and wife, then it all becomes much more bareable and exciting!

Try to never lose focus of the true meaning of the day.

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

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