As my wedding date drew nearer, I realized there were a ton of details that I had forgotten. Then, all of sudden, I needed to have decisions made that I had no ideas for! So, to avoid you feeling the panic and overwhelming stress that I felt those last couple weeks before my wedding, here are some of the unexpected wedding plans you may have forgotten!
10 Unexpected Wedding Plans you Forgot
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1. Table Linens
It sounds ridiculous, I know, but for some reason I had completely forgotten that table linens. Apparently they were a thing I should have been thinking about! So for me it ranks as the first of many unexpected wedding plans.
I had been so preoccupied on what would go on the linens that I had not thought about the linens themselves. In addition, when it came time for me to decide, my wedding coordinator handed me a gigantic book that I had to choose from!
So if you haven’t thought about linens yet (even if you are nowhere close to thinking about linens), take a look through Instagram and Pinterest to find table settings whose linen colors and designs you like. It’ll save you from panicking in the future!
2. The order people will walk into the ceremony
Again, it probably sounds stupid that I had no idea what order I wanted people to walk in for the ceremony. In fact, I assumed that the coordinators at the venue would tell me. Hence why it’s one of my unexpected wedding plans. The reality is that there are so many ways in which a wedding procession can happen that the coordinators were waiting for me to tell them. At the rehearsal!
I panicked and got so worked up I felt tears well in my eyes. There I was the day before my wedding hoping someone would tell me what to do. Instead, they were coming to me asking me how I wanted it to look! To save you from the same panicked moments I experienced, here’s a tip for you:
Plan out the way you want people to enter your ceremony.
Seriously, there are so many things to consider it’s ridiculous. No wonder it’s one of those unexpected wedding plans! Just save yourself the stress now and start talking to your families, wedding party, and significant other to determine what you like best.
Have a plan of action. And check out An In-Depth Look at Your Wedding Procession for many processional ideas!
3. Transportation for You
In hindsight, most of these details feel silly to have on this list. Who hasn’t thought about transportation for themselves/their wedding party? Why on Earth would would transportation rank in the unexpected wedding plans?
I know it sounds crazy, but I really had no set transportation plans for several reasons. I’m guessing (or hoping) there are plenty of other people for whom transportation was an unexpected wedding plan. My only transportation concern for myself was whether or not I got where I needed to be when I needed to be there. I had a perfectly good car that I could drive, and so for most of the day leading up to my wedding, I drove myself.
However, I didn’t think too much into how I wanted to get to my photography site, how my bridesmaids would get to our reception, and heck, how my husband and I would get to our reception! Unfortunately, for lack of foresight, transportation decisions were made last minute.
Did everything work out? Yes.
Do I recommend anyone else leave transportation plans to the last second? Absolutely not.
4. Where is your Car
I mentioned earlier that I transported myself the day-of. Not a big deal. What was a big deal, though, was that my husband and I were staying in a hotel downtown. Not only that, we needed my car the next morning to head out on our honeymoon. The last issue? We were chauffeured to the hotel at the end of the reception, leaving my car behind.
So how did we get my car?
Before we left for the hotel we ended up giving my keys to my maid-of-honor. She ended up with the task of getting my car to the hotel and somehow getting back to the other bridesmaids. I’m assuming there was some sort of carpooling going on, but to this day, I’m honestly not sure how my car made it to the hotel.
In addition, my moh had to leave the car with valet in order for us to get it in the morning. Well, wouldn’t you know it? That just put another set of issues into motion. For instance, I was getting texts half the night trying to explain the car situation. But despite that, I still had no idea if the car was in my maiden name or my married name the next morning.
Bottom line – there was a lot of confusion. If you need your car at your hotel, try to get it there yourself. At least make sure there is a set plan that you are in-the-know for. And don’t
5. Transportation for Guests
You can’t plan everything for your guests. No, siree. Neither can you be prepared for whatever transportation issues they might encounter. Enter more, unexpected wedding plans.
However, there are a couple things you can, and I recommend, you do account for. At the very least, they can alleviate the stress of the potential unknown.
First off, if you know the hotels where guests are staying, look into a shuttle service. If you have alcohol at all at your reception, people will be drinking. If they’re drinking, they should not be driving. Ask people to come prepared with designated drivers if you cannot provide shuttle services. Better yet, use Uber coupons and free rides to help everyone get home safe.
I heard horror stories about people actually breaking accelerators trying to leave my reception. So to hopefully prevent that for you, make an agreement with someone beforehand to act as designated driver or decision maker for guests. I didn’t think to do that and thankfully my sister and brother-in-law took the responsibility.
If you know someone good at navigating those types of situations, don’t feel afraid to ask them for their help!
6. What to do with Children
Before you sent out invites, you probably discussed with your fiancée about whether or not you wanted cousin Joan to bring her entire brood of children under the age of 12. My husband and I love children, so we included almost all of them on our invites. However, if you have included children, you may want to think about what to do with the kiddos while the adults are enjoying adult socialization.
Now, it is neither your place nor your job to tell parents how to prepare their kids for your event. That said, a few things you can do is make it clear what you expect the reception to be like. If they have a good grasp on how kid friendly/unfriendly cocktail hour or dinner is, then they can plan accordingly how to entertain their kids.
Another thing you can do is make sure you have an extra table or corner set up for kids to enjoy. If you can supply a couple coloring books and puzzles, I’m sure it’d be a huge help to parents to know there’s a safe space in sight for their kids while they get to enjoy the reception.
Also, please don’t forget…
Kids meals, high chairs, and changing facilities! The latter two only apply if babies are coming to your reception, but if you have any kids under the age of maybe 10 or 11, it wouldn’t hurt to supply them with a kids meal. Just ask your caterer if they have such a beast and discuss how many you need. Don’t be afraid to also discuss how and when you’d like them to be delivered to the tables. (Keep in mind that kids get hungry and grumpier quicker, so the sooner they get dinner, probably the better.)
7. Wedding Signage
You may have a venue where it’s obvious where your reception is. On the flip side, if you know the venue is going to be busy at the time of your wedding, make sure you have some sort of indication for your guests on where they need to go.
Another piece of signage you ought to have: one describing your bar. We went with a cash bar for our reception, but the first drink was free. The only problem? Our guests didn’t know it was a cash bar or that the first drink was free. Apparently the bartenders, from what I hear, were similarly confused. It would have been a huge help to our cocktail hour if we had left some sort of signage about our bar.
Unfortunately, my last minute decisions and planning led to last minute confusions. Avoid my mistakes!
So this one is a little weird. My husband and I both had bar drinks when it came time for all of the toasts, so we certainly were not at a loss for alcohol to share. However, we had bought a specific set of toasting glasses. They had gotten to the reception venue earlier that day and ended up on the table. I guess, though, that my wedding coordinator had no idea they were there.
It wasn’t until we started dinner that she came to us and realized we had champagne flutes with no champagne! It’s one of those things that’s such a small detail it got overlooked. She immediately brought us champagne to fill the glasses, but the scheduled toasts had already concluded.
I recommend that you hand whomever is in charge of running you day a list of items you think they ought to be aware of. Make sure it includes toasting flutes and cake serving sets!
9. Food Issues
For money’s sake, primarily, my husband and I offered one meal at our wedding. It was delicious food and no one had any complaints. (In fact, a couple guests managed to get their hands on extra plates!) However, our coordinator asked us a few times about food restrictions among guests. I had none on my side at all. My husband thought he didn’t, either.
Lo and behold, two or three days out from our wedding we found out one of the guests coming had stomach issues that prevented her from eating certain foods. Certain foods like the ones we were serving. Ygad!
We got it squared away with the venue as quickly as possible, but it was both stressful and embarrassing to go to my coordinator a few days before the big-day to ask her to fix the issue. (My coordinator was stellar – I still sing her praises! But I felt bad for the extra work I piled on her sometimes.)
Just make sure, even if you feel sure, that guests are able to eat the food your provide. I would have felt horrible if we couldn’t have provided this woman with a plate at our wedding!
10. Your Daily Meals/Snacks (and the Sobriety Caveat)
You’ll probably read this everywhere during your engagement, but make sure that you plan the meals you’re going to eat the day-of. It’s such a simple thing to do, but so easy to forget!
I had Panera delivered to my bridesmaids, my photographer, and myself for lunch. A few weeks before the wedding I had them all give me the menu items they wanted me to order. (I did it that soon because I knew it would be about 2 weeks before any of them answered!) That way I knew the price and I could place the order for a proper delivery time without interrupting everyone. For breakfast we made sure that the house had been stocked with the essentials. That allowed me to grab something on my own since I was (unsurprisingly) the first one up.
About that sobriety caveat…
There’s one little caveat to your meals, however. If you intend on drinking, be very careful how much and when you drink. This is totally one of those unexpected wedding plans!
I was psyched about having mimosas on the wedding morning, but settled on drinking them with my ladies the night before. Why? I was told that for legality and validity’s sake, I should not have a drink of alcohol before the wedding. Of course, one drink literal hours before your wedding is not going to inhibit your ability to think straight. Just make sure with your celebrant/whomever is officiating your wedding about the legality issues of alcohol. Some might not care, but some might have a specific opinion on it. Usually there are questions about your free will and sobriety when obtaining a wedding license, so please be sure to follow the rules you’re given.
It’d be awful if your wedding was considered invalid!
Don’t forget the unexpected wedding plans I did!
These are only 10 of the “little” things that may easily become unexpected wedding plans. Heaven knows these were the 10 biggest stressors for my own wedding day. I hope they can help you cross out more things on that endless to-do list without making you feel any more stressed than you already are!