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  • Writer's pictureDana Hookanson, Owner | Lead Event Planner

Attn Couples: Things I want you to know from a wedding planner

Are you planning a wedding? 2023 couples, this is YOUR year! Congrats!

Photo by Jennifer Manville (@Jennifer.manville)

It is definitely booking season, and I have had the pleasure to connect with some very lovely couples over the last few weeks. What I love about these calls is that I have learned some things along the way. One of them being that things that may be second nature to me, are the things that are simply overlooked to most planning an entire wedding day, which a lot of couples have never done before.

Outside the idea that I do strongly believe that everyone needs a wedding coordinator on their wedding day, I do understand that not everyone decides to hire one. With that being said, that is why I personally created our Consultation service. Our Consultation service allows couples to still work with a wedding professional if they are stuck or need some pointers on certain components of their wedding day, and it is billed at an hourly rate (so this is for the budget friendly couple as well). This has also allowed me to work with some super sweet clients, even if we are already currently booked for their date because there is nothing I hate more than having to turn away potential clients.

Below is my list of things that I have found to be commonly overlooked when planning out the details of your entire wedding day. Feel free to share this with someone you know getting married this year, newly engaged, or planning to get married in the future:

1. Do NOT forget to feed yourself and your wedding party the morning of

Getting ready can take a good amount of time on your wedding day, especially if you have a larger wedding party. Be sure to pre-order some breakfast or lunch items that are light, easy to eat, and won’t mess up your makeup or get on your cute getting ready pjs.


This is especially important for summer weddings, but please, please, please be sure to drink enough water throughout the day. Starting off your wedding day hydrated will set you up for success the rest of the day.

3. Assign someone you trust at the end of the night to be responsible for cards & physical gifts

Someone trustworthy should be designated to collect all of your gifts at the end of the night so you do not need to worry about it. We highly suggest someone who either has their own vehicle on property, or someone staying at a nearby hotel room that has a safe. Cards and gifts are very important and should always leave the venue that night.

Photo by Move Mountains (@movemountainsco)

4. Be prepared for getting ready photos

If you have a photo/video team that will be coming by your Airbnb, hotel, or wherever you're getting ready that morning, set them up for success. We usually suggest our clients gather all their smaller, detail items and tuck them away in a shoe box. So jewelry, wedding shoes, perfume, invites, save the dates, sentimental items, vow books, etc. Anything you want detail shots of, get that all prepared and set aside the week leading up to the wedding. That way when photo/video arrives, they don’t need to pull you or any of your wedding party away from the hair and makeup chair.

5. Touch-ups

Allow at least 30 minutes for touch-ups at the conclusion of HMU services. Again, most hair and makeup artists will work this into their schedule, but be sure to set aside some time for touch-ups. Remember, the girls that got their makeup done at 8:30am, will likely need some touch-ups by 1pm.

6. Allow time to slipping into your gown

You will not want this to feel rushed! Allow for some additional time to use the restroom before getting into your gown, getting all your jewelry on, having some really special photos taken during this time, and not feeling pressed for time. This is a really special moment of the day and you don't want to look back and feel like you blinked and the moment was over

Photo by Jennifer Manville (@Jennifer.manville)

7. Room Reveal

Photo by Colton Simmons (@coltonsimmonsphotography)

Add a room reveal to your wedding day timeline. So you spend all this time and money on designing the reception space of your dreams; linens, florals, rentals, the perfect floor plan, all to walk in after all your guests have already seated themselves?

No way. This is something we are making sure all our clients take time to do this year. Take a moment, just a minute or two, before your guests are invited to take their seats for dinner, and go into the room. See how everything came together so perfectly, and enjoy that moment. Take it all in!

8. Last dance of the night

This might be one of my favorite parts of the night. The entire wedding day flies by in a blink of an eye. Take a moment to share one last song of the night with your new husband or wife. Take a moment to just connect again, one last time on the dance floor before everything comes to a close and you begin your new journey together in this life.

9. Provide your photographer with a shot list

This! Most photogaphers will request one. But, just so you don't have to think of photo combos in the moment with all the craziness of the day, be sure to provide your photographer with this list. It keeps things moving, organized, and ensures you don’t look back on the day and say, “Ah I wish we got a photo with so -and-so”.

10. Don’t skip the ceremony rehearsal

Photo by Catherine Band (@catherinemband)

I feel strongly about this one. The ceremony rehearsal might seem like it is such a pain to get everyone in town for, especially if it is a destination wedding and everyone is traveling into town the days prior. But do not skip this. It may seem simple, walking down an aisle, everyone can do it, right? Wrong. The

order of things is so important for the ceremony. Promise me, you will feel way better and more comfortable on the actual day having practiced.

11. Ties and Bowties

Make sure someone in the wedding party knows how to tie a tie or bowtie. This one is a funny one. It might seem like common sense and this is something you might not think about until you are literally in the moment. Please make sure at least one person in the wedding party knows what they're doing. If not, make sure you have a coordinator who does. The last thing you want is to be late because of an oopsie like this.

12. Lastly, don’t feel pressured into doing any traditional wedding formalities that don’t speak to you as a couple!

Don’t be afraid to say you don’t want to include something into your wedding day timeline if it isn’t something that brings you both joy. Do not do things on your wedding day that someone else wants you to do. Your day is about you and your partner so if you would rather do a pie cutting "ceremony” off to the side for a cute photo op instead of having a wedding cake... do it!

I hope this helps someone and these pointers make someone's wedding day go just that much smoother.

Remember, cheers & happy planning,


Photo by Move Mountains (@movemountainsco)

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