Top 5 Wedding Planning Priorities
There are so many elements to consider when planning a wedding- from guest transportation to ceremony and reception timeline to the bar menu and dance party music… everything plays a critical role in the overall day-of experience. At Ellamae Productions, our #1 goal is to make sure our couples actually enjoy their wedding day, are present with their loved ones, and trust us to execute all the details of their once-in-a-lifetime celebration. Over the years, we have witnessed first hand the elements of a wedding that really enhance the guest experience and create lasting memories.
Here is a list of our top five (not in order of priority) wedding elements that EP believes couples should prioritize when making decisions for their wedding.
Parking + Transportation
The first guest experience is the convenience and accessibility of parking and transportation. While this is not the ‘most fun’ planning item, it is necessary to think through your guests’ first impression of the day ahead and the hospitality to be expected.
If guests are self-parking, make sure there is clear signage leading up to the parking structure and parking attendants (if necessary) directing cars.
If guests are valeting, make sure there are enough valet staff to accommodate the number of anticipated vehicles- your wedding planner should be able to advise on the number of cars to expect and he/she should have a conversation with the valet company to ensure the valet lot is not too far away. (No one likes to wait long for their vehicle at the end of the night!).
If you are providing shuttle transportation, have a conversation with the shuttle provider and your wedding planner to ensure there are enough shuttles and services to accommodate the rush of guests arriving 15-30 minutes before the wedding ceremony and the rush of guests leaving 30 minutes-1 hour towards the end of the evening.
Temperature is Everything
If your ceremony and reception are indoors, it is easier to control the environment with air conditioning and heating, but if you are having an outdoor ceremony and reception, the overall timeline of events greatly affect your guests’ comfort as you are likely reliant on weather and nature to cooperate with your grand plans.
Look ahead to whether there will be sun, wind, humidity, or rain forecasted on your wedding day and plan ahead. If there will be sun, consider if the sun will be burdensome or affect guest sightlines. If there will be wind and/or rain, order affordable blankets, pashminas, or umbrellas to have standing by (you can purchase these items cheap online and then donate to a homeless shelter or church afterward). If there will be humidity, paper hand fans available upon guest arrival are a sweet touch to help keep guests balmy and cool.
Who is Running the Show?
We’re not just saying this out of personal interest- having a competent, vigilant wedding planner guiding you through the wedding planning process and executing the wedding of your dreams is a priority. A wedding planner handles the design and coordination of many vendors, load-in/out schedules, overall reception flow, and technicalities to create your ceremony and reception, as well as guide you, your families, and the bridal party through the ceremony rehearsal. The goal of hiring a wedding planner is to execute the fine details and take the responsibility and stress off your radar.
A big misconception is having a wedding planner is a luxury rather than a must. Every couple needs someone thinking clearly and ahead of them on their wedding day, and we believe it’s important to find a company or person you trust and have a natural connection with for your wedding.
Disc Jockey + Emcee
By the time you’ve reached the reception, it’s time to unwind, have a couple drinks, kick off your wedding shoes, and hit the dance floor with your loved ones. A disc jockey (DJ) / emcee (MC) works closely with the wedding planner to guide your guests through the flow of the evening, set the mood, monitor volume levels, and hype up guests to let loose and be their free-est selves on the dance floor. We have found the best DJs to be those most comfortable in their skin, understand your vibe, and able to read the energy of the room.
Fluid Bar Service
We strongly advise clients to never skimp on bartenders and bar set-ups because no one enjoys waiting for a drink! We typically suggest 1 bartender per 50 guests with two bartenders per bar set-up (if there is also tray-passed beverage service). If there is not tray-pass service, we suggest 1 bartender per 25 guests.
The bar is a great wedding feature to add sweet personal touches. We suggest custom embossed cocktail napkins, eco-friendly personalized cocktail stirrers, creatively named signature cocktails, and custom stamped ice cubes. These personal touches go directly into guests’ hands and certainly worth the additional minimal budgeting!
We hope you found these wedding tips helpful and would love to work with you and your families to create the wedding of your dreams stress-free! Reach out to learn more about Ellamae Productions’ services.