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How to Host an Awesome Wedding

Illustration for article titled How to Host an Awesome Wedding

A few weeks ago I was married. It couldn't have gone better. For something that has as much volume of available reference material as weddings, some things are best done in your own way. Here's why I totally had the best wedding ever.


1. Dealing with decision fatigue

This is a tag team effort between your soon-to-be spouse and yourself. You need to start having an opinion on things that you should not and do not care about. There are things that you will remember and things you will not. What color the napkins should be will be a question that will be asked and you will have to answer. The most sanity saving question to ask yourself as soon as you get a twinge that you're making mistakes: "Is this something that you will notice on the day of the wedding and will it seriously affect everyone's enjoyment of the party?" Pick something that will work and run with it.


2. Doing Your Wedding

Traditions are great, except when you don't like doing them at other people's weddings or they're silly relics. Unless someone will be upset and would boycott the wedding, just go with what you were thinking. Modernize. Didn't know what to do for that awkward 2 hours between ceremony and reception at your friends wedding? Screw the whole "not seeing each other thing" and do pictures before. What, you didn't enjoy having to dance into the reception to a dumb song when you were a party member? Don't force your friends to, tell the DJ.


3. Letting Pros be Pros

Caterers, photographers, band/DJ. They all do this a lot more than you do. They probably know what they are doing if they have good reviews and understand some basic things about what kind of wedding you're shooting for. Here's what we said to our DJ: "here's a rough schedule for the reception, here are a few songs to use for the first/parent dances, what other info do you want from us?" He was great. He appreciated us not telling him how to do his job and we appreciated him bringing his marketed skill to bear on our dance-floor.


4. Saving Some Busy Work for Busy Workers

When entering delegation-land, some trust is needed; however, remember that question I talked about earlier: Is this something that you will notice on the day of the wedding and will it seriously affect everyone's enjoyment of the party?


Things easily delegated are personalized crafty stuff. Painted signs, minor flower arrangement, lightly decorated table jars/vases.

Things not easily delegated are things requiring lots of decisions.

5. Keeping Cost Down and Dealing With Not Being Able to Keep the Cost Down

  • Guest-list = SMALL shared Google spreadsheet. Fewer people means fewer mouths to feed. The caterer is the biggest bill of the evening, by a lot.
  • Venue = Shop around for places that don't primarily host weddings (and somewhere that you can rent for the whole weekend, not just 8 hours).
  • Be ready to spend more than you think you will need to. We had a rough budget, but it just adds up and you might forget that you have to tip the caterer 15-20%, which is a lot on a bill that's a lot. Unless you throw a pot-luck/kegger, you'll have to open your checkbook more than you probably think is comfortable. Let the folks you work with know that you're cost-conscious and they might offer areas where you can cut corners. We had the venue the day before so we set up the tables/picked up the tablecloths/set up the chairs ourselves before the rehearsal. It saved us the man hours that the caterers would have charged if they did it themselves. We also had very helpful families/bridal party members that had offered their assistance.

6. Enjoy

These are the things that I took away from the experience. It also helped that I chose a wonderful person to marry. I think that in the end, the biggest compliment of the evening was, "This wedding is so you guys."

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