Here are 5 wedding lessons I learned the hard way:
Always have a post event sober driver to collect your items!
Most event venues will not let you leave your decorations or flowers overnight. A lot of times the wedding family will arrange for transportation back to the hotel from the reception. But make sure you have an empty car with a sober driver behind the wheel to collect your things.
There will be a lot to pack up... trust me! 20+ centerpieces, cards & gifts, and anything custom (signage, candles, lanterns, etc). Also, the event venue typically only gives you 1 hour to clean up and get out. They may charge you an hourly fee if everything isn't done on time.
Wax on Wax off
Wax does not play well with linens. Did you know that rental companies will charge you the full amount of a table cloth to replace it if you get wax stains on them? If you are using open flamed candelabras as centerpieces, use a lipped decorative serving plate to catch any dripping wax. As much as the candlesticks say they are dripless, other factors such as humidity and wind (even the draft from ceiling fans) can cause the candlesticks to drip.
Never have a tent installed after the lawn is cut!
This one was painful! At this particular wedding, the venue was kind enough to cut the lawn prior to the tent company arriving. Then it rained. After they put the tent up, all of the grass clippings stuck to the ceiling of the tent. We were out there for several hours standing on tables with brooms to get the grass down prior to getting linens on the table. ... And there is only so far a broom will reach.
Even if it doesn't rain, there is always morning dew. So have the lawn mowed a few days in advance. If this does happen to you, a broom pool cleaner (with extended rod) and leaf blowers work well! Hopefully you won't have to use them!!
The most common problem I see is microphone issues. Sometimes a person's voice cuts in and out; maybe the batteries in the mic are old, or the person is standing too close to the speaker. Always do a mic check when using a microphone, and if possible, have the DJ do the mic check with the person who will be speaking. That way the DJ can show them where to stand, how far away they should hold the mic, and then they can have a backup mic ready to go. Prepare the speaker for the possibility that they have to use their 'outside voice' to project just in case the mic decides not to work.
Fast before a catering tasting
When I was planning my own wedding, I thought that they would make us one chicken dinner, one steak, one vegetarian, and we would all get a little taste. Nope! They will make a full plated dinner for every single person in attendance. PLUS appetizers PLUS extra sides!
You. Will. Have. To. Be. Rolled. Outta. There!
It is a super fun experience but I want you to be prepared for the amount of food you will be tasting! Think elastic pants :) If you plan on doing a tasting with a few different caterers, never schedule multiple tastings in one day. You will be too full.
Photo Credit: Iliasis Muniz Photography