Renowned American designer Charles Earnes famously said, “The details are not the details. They make the design.” On your wedding day, all the little details that you selected and stressed over will be on full display. They set the tone, help tell your love story, and let guests know that they are not only welcome, but also wanted. Did you think of everything? We gathered some Atlanta wedding pros to spill their secrets about the details that can make or break your dream wedding.
How do you determine what details matter most in the grand scheme of the wedding weekend?
Think of these three things:
What is your goal for the event?
What is your passion?
What makes you happy?
If you keep those questions in mind when evaluating how to allocate your budget, which vendors to work with, and what your must-haves are, you'll be focused on the right things. Some brides and grooms are foodies, and care most that their guests are wowed by the menu. Others want to dance the night away to great music, so entertainment is their top priority. Still others may want it to be all about where you are - a beautiful, memorable setting or destination. Knowing what matters most to you as a couple ensures the wedding will be meaningful to you. And that also means it will be memorable.
Selecting a venue is an important detail! How do you know if it’s the right one?
Find the venue that speaks to you. What’s your aesthetic? Look for the services you need as well. Some venues can provide everything, including tables, linens, centerpieces, catering, and bar services. Some, you'll have to bring in multiple other vendors. If you want to bring in a specific caterer or décor partner, be sure to check whether that's possible before committing to a venue contract.
If your wedding style is romantic and ethereal, you're not likely to find a modern or industrial space pleasing. In contrast, a castle-like venue wouldn't fit a rustic or minimalist style.
Equally important, can the venue you're looking at accommodate your guests? This means not only that your guests can all fit in the event space, but is there room for them and the décor elements you plan to include, like a photo booth, escort card wall, or specific types of tables and lounge seating? If you have guests that can't climb stairs, does the venue have ramps and elevators? Is there plenty of parking? If not, is there an arrangement with valets to take care of vehicle placement?
If your venue has outdoor space that you intend to use, what's the rain plan? If it's very warm and sunny, how will you keep your guests and entertainers cool and hydrated? Will the venue provide shade, or do you need to order a tent?
Once you have found a venue that checks all your boxes and meets your needs, you can then partner with your planner and vendors to ensure the space that you've secured is reflecting your wedding style everywhere that guests will be and see. Yes, that also includes the entryways and restrooms!
Place amenity baskets in both restrooms and consider other fun touches, like mirror decals or signature room scent.
What details do you need to consider regarding music and entertainment?
Ceremony music is different than reception music, and you may need to contract two different entertainers to cover them both. Ceremony music is usually quieter, slower, and sets a formal tone. It lets guests know when they should take their seats, when the wedding party is starting down the aisle, and when the ceremony officially concludes. At the reception, an entertainer will play music that elevates the mood, but allows conversation to flow while guests eat their meal and socialize. When the meal winds down, the entertainment turns up! This is when your DJ or band should be getting everyone up and out of their seats, and onto the dance floor to stay. Make sure you communicate with your entertainment partner any special music you want to hear, songs that should be dedicated to special guests, and any music on the "absolutely not" list. These details are essential to enjoying your reception to its fullest
What elements of the ceremony and celebration décor that you find couples aren’t thinking about?
Think about the altar area for the ceremony. Many couples don’t think about this element and how you'll want it to be beautified, but it's an essential facet of great ceremony photos. Your décor partner can pull elements from one area of your venue and repurpose them elsewhere when they're no longer needed in their original space. Maybe altar florals move to the sweetheart table for the bride and groom, or they become a stunning entry arch.
Don't ignore the walls! There is no need for plain backdrops in any photos. Uplighting, signage, greenery, and other elements can create interest where there is none to start. And don't forget the ceiling, as well. If your party space doesn't have dazzling light fixtures or chandeliers, create intrigue with hanging candles, dangling florals, or gorgeous lighted balloons.
Chairs and linens may come with your venue, but will they coordinate or clash with your wedding design? Make sure to take into account all the decorative elements of your celebration space and determine if you need to swap anything out to help it look cohesive.
What kind of signage do you need?
The bride and groom may be familiar with the venue, but the guests are likely not. Create signage to guide guests to the ceremony, celebration, restrooms, and anywhere else they may need to find while attending your wedding.
These signs can be beautiful or rustic, printed or calligraphed to fit your style. Beyond directional signs, your guests will want to know where they're sitting (escort cards), what they're eating (menus) and drinking (signature cocktail and spirits list on bar), and you can even share a welcome or thank you message with each guest at their seat or attached to a take-home favor.
What details should the bride and groom focus on once the wedding planning is finished?
Day Before "Dos": Limit alcohol, drink plenty of water, get eight hours of sleep, and trust the process!
Day Before "Don'ts": Don’t stress about details, don’t try anything new (face cream, foods, etc.), don't skip your medications or regular exercise routine.
Wedding experts Alex Ahn Violin, Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau, Balloonacy ~ Flowers by Holland, Dede Adams Calligraphy, Luxe Event Loft, and Mitchell Event Planning contributed to this article.
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