Photo by Shannon Hennessey of Shannon Hennessey Photography
I love my best friends (and bridesmaids), but they are major party girls ... and I’m super nervous about how they’ll behave on the wedding day! Any suggestions? —Lauren B.
Dear Lauren B.,
Sometimes, “Girls just wanna have fun!” But we all have a few of those girlfriends who go overboard. Here’s what I suggest: Make time for a Girl’s Night In before the wedding. Have some wine and snacks, relax and make it genuinely about thanking your friends for being a part of this special day with you. It costs a lot of time and money to be in a wedding party — and you want them to feel appreciated! Then let them know how important the wedding day is for you and that you really need them to be ultra-supportive during your wedding weekend —which means not getting totally crazy. Talk about how you envision the day and night going ... and how it does not include anyone being out of control.
It seems like everyone uses sparklers for their send-off. What are some other inventive suggestions? —Heather K.
Dear Heather K.,
I love this question; yes, the sparkler send-off is beautiful, but it is becoming the norm. Unique moments help make your wedding a night to remember for everyone, and the best way to brainstorm how to successfully achieve this is to look at examples. Find photos of send-offs with options like Chinese lanterns, ribbon wands, bubbles, rose petals, streamers and glow sticks. Not only will you get an idea of what it would look like in pictures, it may spark another thought!
I’m on a tight budget, and we are only inviting “plus ones” if they are in a relationship. How do we best communicate this to our friends when inviting them? —Betty H.
Dear Betty H.,
Budgets determine guest lists, which are always a tricky part of wedding planning. If you are inviting a guest who does not have a significant other, simply address the invitation to only him or her. For the guests who do have a significant other, use the “Plus Guest” verbiage. If unattached people add guests or ask to bring someone, gently tell them it’s not possible because your budget is limited. I think brides often put too much pressure on themselves with the guest list, as if they’re going to have to answer to someone. You won’t. You’re in charge here!
My mom’s friend is helping “coordinate” the wedding but is inexperienced. What are one or two day-of things that only a pro would know to watch out for and fix? —Allison D.
Dear Allison D.,
The only thing that makes me nervous as a wedding planner is when I hear “a friend (or mother) is helping coordinate.” I say this with all due respect, but planning a wedding is a big job and it’s best to leave it to professionals. Imagine building a house; instead of hiring a contractor, would you ask a friend who likes to draw to help design the plans?
If you have spent your budget and there’s no way to afford a day-of professional, here are two bits of advice for your volunteer coordinator: First, prepare a bag with a mini sewing kit, bobby pins, safety pins, Tylenol, breath mints ... you get the point. Second, have a printed timeline for the day. You can adjust it on the fly if necessary, but it will give concrete guidance about what’s happening next.
I’m having a destination wedding with few guests and I need some advice about planning events beyond our wedding. I feel inclined to coordinate some group activities, but still want some freedom to sneak away with my love. Any thoughts? —Juellisa G.
Dear Juellisa G.,
Destination weddings are so exciting and fun! I suggest you contact the venue where you are getting married and ask if they have an events coordinator. Most destination venues offer this service for an additional cost, but it will save you some sanity. Then be transparent with your guests about which events you plan to attend and encourage everyone to do as they please.
Editor's Note: Since publication, Heather Higgins has rebranded her wedding services as Heather Higgins Wedding & Event Planning. The Bougique store is still in business.