Anne-Sophie, Audrey & Fayda : thank you for your help !
You made the announcement congratulations ! You found the perfect venue and even made a pre-reservation. All you have to do is to confirm the booking or sign a contract and all what is left to do is organise the reception. But don't rush it.
Ideally you are one year ahead. Take the time to get as much complementary information as possible by asking your friends, searching on the internet or on social networks.
Think about the weddings you went to so you can determine what you may wish or not wish for the wedding you have to organize.
Make sure the City Hall and the religious organisations are available on your dates and times.
You will often hear that you'll generally be around 15% over your initial budget and that most of the time the reception counts for about 65% of your total budget. My experience shows that it is totally true. You'll always have last minute spendings that will had-up on some items and you may be temped to add a few little extras just for the pleasure.
So my advice here is to be on the same wavelength as your spouse thus to agree on a budget you will try not to go over. Then you can start enjoying this great event's organisation. If you have financial help from your families keep them informed of your choices and try to make it a pleasant event for everyone as organizing a wedding can bring out tensions and disagreements. Keep the communication flow going and be clear on when the payments are expected; you could even set an informal get together to make things out.
What is good to know :
The venue : did you make the right choice?
Before making a deposit or even creating your invitations ask yourself all the questions below. Once you have the answers go ahead with the organisation and enjoy every minute of it. This event is a joyful unique and very emotional feast.
-What is the reception rooms capacity? Consider both a sitting or a standing arrangement keep both options open as you may wish to change your option.
-Will you be allowed to use indoor as outdoor promises?
-Will you be allowed to party all night? What about neighbors? What are the terms?
-What are all the services included in the rental cost?
-Is there an area dedicated to the dancing floor?
-Will you have to move the tables at some point during the evening?
-Make sure you agree on all aspects before signing the contract...What are the business hours? The venue will be exclusively booked for you or would there be another party? Is there a cleaning service at the end and what are the overtime rates.
-Are candles allowed on site?
-Is throwing rice or confettis at the bride and groom allowed on the premisses
-What about soap bubbles?
-By what time the flowers the decoration and the gifts have to be removed after the reception is ended?
-Are all the safety rules and legal requirement met?
-Are children meals or special fares meals for contractors available at reasonable prices?
-Are there private rooms available for the bride and groom? Would they be separate also?
-Is there a cleaning service during the reception for the ladys and mens rooms?
-What is the parking situation for the guests?
-How large is the clock room?
-Will the reception rooms be heated or air conditioned?
-Check on the noise level for the reception rooms
-What about the lightnings at night? What is available?
-Where can the pictures be taken outdoor and indoor?
-Are microphones screens and podiums or stages available?
-How many waiters will be on board for the service?
-Would my guests like the venue?
-Is it in accordance with the style I wish my reception to have?
-Would it be possible to have a brunch at the same place the day after?
-When are the payments due in term of time frame?
-Are special insurances necessary?
This list is non exhaustive so if you have suggestions let me know.
Don't forget to check them all :
All the small details count...
Keep in mind that you cannot control every thing. You already have great memories of the wedding preparation with friends family members bridemaids and best men and now it's time to enjoy and relax.
-If something does not go according to plan there is a great chance that no-one will notice. More over this party will most probably be the most expensive in your entire life so just enjoy every minute of it.
-You'll have the chance to meet with friends and family you haven't seen for a long time. Take time to have a chat and spend some time with them. Ask your close friends or family to look after the guests who may not know anyone.
-Try to anticipate on which of your guests could be connected to some others; find a way to introduce them so you won't have any regrets on reconnections.
-Keep a list of the people you wish to have a little chat with : time flies you'll see.
-If you have asked a professional photographer on site see that his clothes atire fits with your guests style. It's important to set his working hours : set a time at which you expect him to leave.
-Have a camera on hand : you may be happy to capture some photos at some point.
-Ask some of your friends to record the speeches you'll see that you'll be happy to view them again later on.
-Think about taking an extra pair of confortable shoes...Believe me...You'll need them...
-A first aid kit is useful too. Allergies some bruises blisters can happen.
-If you want to take group pictures do plan them. Time flies and you need to think ahead to get the groups together. Make lists of friends you want together on a picture. Let them know in advance where and when to meet for the photo shoot.
-Ask some of your friends to help in gathering the groups. The newlyweds and their parents will be busy the whole evening enjoying their time entertaining all the guests. Close friends and family should stay aware and helpful if unexpected details need to be taken care of.
-Waiters and close friends should make sure that parents as well as the newlyweds have drinks and appetizers brought to them during the cocktail...Young marrieds can starve if no one pays attention...
-This is not mandatory but very often the newlyweds may wish to make an announcement to thank every one for being there. Give them the opportunity to get the microphone before the end of the party.
- In case of bad weather heatwave storm strikes or whatever always have a plan B.
Most important : remember to enjoy every minute of the evening : this is one of the happiest day of your life!