Wedding Tips

Our wedding expert Ron does about 200 wedding cake consultations per season. He is very well known and has had the experience of not only doing well over 1,000 wedding cake consultations but has also been a best man or groomsman over 14 times (he’s lost count) and has MC’ed over 40 weddings. Through his experience, he offers the following tips and advice:

  • Bring a camera with you when you are planning your wedding. Capture your wedding preparations to complete your scrapbook. After all, 99% of your wedding is done before your wedding day but very few people record all of your efforts to making your day a treasured one.
  • When shopping for wedding vendors be sure you find one that suits your style and budget. Do not make hasty decisions. A quick and easy way to gauge whether or not you are dealing with a reliable and honest wedding vendor is that reputable vendors seldom ask for a commitment or deposit on the first consultation while bad ones always try to get you to commit right away (because if you shop around, you will probably not chose them). Do not feel pressured to leave a deposit immediately. If you were to come back the next day and pay them cash, I am certain that they would still take it.
  • Assign a wedding day coordinator (if you are not hiring one). This person will deal with all of your problems that day so you can enjoy the day as much as possible. Make sure your coordinator knows your tastes and understands your priorities.
  • If you are hiring a wedding planner, make sure you know exactly what they are offering and for how much. Some planners do only whole weddings while others do only the day-of. Chose the best one to suit your needs and budget. Just as important or even more importantly, make sure that they suit your style. Do not hire a formal wedding planner when you are planning a celebratory (wild and fun) wedding. A good way to see if you have the right planner is to ask vendors about their style. To check their professionalism call the planner and pretend you are a vendor and see how long it takes them to respond. As a paying customer, they usually call back right away especially if  you are new client. Seeing how quickly they reply to their vendors truly tells how they generally run their operation. This will be a true representation on their professionalism.We have waited up to 17 days to hear back from some wedding coordinators. How good of a job do you think they are doing for their client after they collect their deposit?
  • One or two days before your wedding, forward all your calls to your coordinator. Give your coordinator $500-$5,000 (whatever you feel comfortable with – 2% is a good estimate) and let him/her deal with all of the little things that come up just before your wedding. Use the final days before your wedding to rest and get ready to enjoy the day. A day at the spa or playing a round of golf will help you relax (unless you play golf like me).
  • If you are taking pictures in a park on a hot summer day, pack a cooler in the trunk of your car containing drinks for the wedding party. Be sure to include bottled water for the bride as grape drink on a wedding dress (although colourful) can be disastrous. Straws would be helpful for preventing spills too. Throw in some moistened face cloths for the guys too.
  • Groom or Groomsmen should carry some tissue paper packs in case someone starts to cry at the alter. They haven’t started making formal dresses with pockets yet!
  • Carry around throat lozenges or cough candies to take when your throat becomes dry or your voice starts to go hoarse. Remember to drink water throughout the day.
  • A plant sprayer for the bride’s bouquet can help keep her flowers fresh all day. If you have budget, I have seen some brides use 2 bouquets during the day.
  • Pack a sewing kit, make-up kit, white chalk (for lipstick or pen marks on white clothing), safety pins, rubber bands, hair pins, plastic bags, band aids and paper towels for emergencies.
  • Pack crackers, cookies, buns, candy bars, energy bars,  muffins or light food in case you get hungry and do not get a chance to eat or or in case your stomach feels upset (anti-acids are a good idea too for the nervous types)
  • Cell phones or 2 way radios (FSR’s) can keep wedding coordinators, family and the wedding party well organized
  • Add Half an Hour to every location you plan on moving to on your schedule. This way you will be realistically on time and you won’t be rushing to the next event to make up time.
  • If you are doing a dress change, make sure you have cut the wedding cake in your wedding dress for your pictures first. Some traditions imply that changing back into your wedding dress on your wedding night is bad luck not to mention very time consuming.
  • Make a list of who is being driven in what car on your wedding day. This is one item that (although not critical) is often overlooked.
  • Bring extra film and batteries (someone will forget or run out)
  • Charge any batteries you may need for the day (Video Recorders, Phones, etc…) the night or day before
  • Bride’s: remember to wear (or bring) a garter that day if you’re doing a garter toss.
  • Bring extra cash (small bills) and Coins for unexpected expenses (Parking, Tipping, etc…)
  • Visit your Caterer, Restaurant Chef, Maitre De, Banquet Captain et al, and present them with a small token gift BEFORE the wedding day to thank them in advance. You would be surprised how much extra effort they give when you show them you are thinking of them.
  • When your helpers are receiving gifts, provide them with a felt pen to mark on the gift who is presenting the gift so you can thank them personally for the item they have given you. Cards often fall off the gifts if they are taped on the outside.
  • Security: If you are expecting a lot of gifts or cash at the church or reception, set up a procedure where some is in charge of making sure the gifts are secure. This is especially important if your wedding is high profile. Do not leave them in your car!!! Ferry the gifts home or some where safe if you have to. If you are getting a lot of cash, make 1 person responsible. If everyone collects cash for you, it is easier to mis-place.
  • If tape sticks to your car and leaves residue after removing car decorations, first try dousing it with water and then wipe as much off as possible. You can wet a paper towel and stick it on top of the tape residue to help dissolve the glue. If residue still remains, try polishing it off with light wax. If after waxing it still sticks, try buffing them out with some cut polish or polishing compound. Follow the instructions of the polishes as they could discolour or remove your paint if you are not careful.
  • Gas up all of the cars the day before.
  • Make back up plans. What are your plans if it rains (or snows)? Ask all of your vendors what their back up plans are (back up cameras, spare wedding cakes, blown speakers, what flowers are second choice if not available that day, dresses not ready, tux doesn’t fit, not enough parking at reception, etc)
  • Go over everything everyone is responsible for on your wedding day. Make it  clear in Black and White what they need to do.Try not to give one person too much as it will be easier for them to forget. Most people can do 2 or 3 things well without too much trouble but asking them to do 7 or 8 may bring disappointment
  • For fun and to give more incentive for bachelors to catch the garter, I have found that attaching $10 to $50 to the garter before tossing it creates more enthusiasm.
  • Get your MC to announce all of the events to maximize the exposure. For instance the cake cutting ceremony only takes about 2 to 5 minutes to do. If the guests aren’t aware that you are doing it, it will be over by the time they find their camera and walk over to the cake table. Announcing toasts and reminding guests to stand for the toasts are often over-looked. This is not critical but does look better on video and pictures when it is done properly.If you are doing something special, announcing it will get you more pictures.
  • For brain-storming ideas for the wedding, I recommend having everyone involved gather their ideas separately and to write them down. Then at a meeting, everyone should circulate a copy of their ideas to everyone else. The reason for this is that everyone’s view will be present. I have seen a lot of good ideas not get presented due to some “dominant” figures present at wedding planning meetings. The most important thing is that the Bride and Groom should ultimately decide what they want to do on their wedding day.