Now that you’ve all gotten a good idea of what our wedding day was like, I wanted to share the top ten decisions we made that helped make our wedding day exceptional.
All photos by Sarelle Photos (unless otherwise noted).
1) Having a destination wedding.
As I said before, this was the BEST decision we made for our wedding. Not only did it help initially cut down the guest list (which in turn saved us a ton of money), but it gave us a chance to spend even more time with our guests by extending the wedding festivities over a long weekend.
2) Choosing a boutique hotel for the wedding.
|Ceremony + Reception decor / Personal Photos|
The fact that we were able to have the ceremony, reception and room accommodations eliminated day-of transportation costs, thus saving us hundreds of dollars. We looked at six different hotel venues initially, but ended up choosing the Hotel Nelligan (as opposed to the Hyatt or Westin) because of it’s uniqueness to Old Montreal.
3) Hiring a wedding planner for day-of coordination services.
|Our wedding planner, Rachel, from An English Rose|
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have someone running the show the day of the wedding. Just having the weight of last minute dilemmas lifted off your shoulders is well worth the cost of hiring someone to make sure your day goes smoothly.
4) Creating a wedding website.
This was the perfect place for guests to get information about all things related to our wedding weekend, including travel info, FAQs and registry information. Plus, it was also a place where some guests could learn a bit more about us (i.e. the specifics of how we met, the proposal story, etc.)
5) First look and bridal party photos before the ceremony.
We decided on this solely because we didn’t want to miss cocktail hour (nor did we want our bridal party to miss it), but even if we didn’t have one, we would have done this to avoid a super long gap between the ceremony and reception.
6) Hiring a DJ instead of a band.
BM M and BM K with DJ Yo-C / Personal Photo
I think if you find the right wedding band, it could make the wedding a truly amazing and unique experience. However, because of all the different types of music we knew we’d have to play at the wedding, it was no question that we needed a DJ to fulfill our crazy musical needs.
7) Scheduling a seamless reception flow for an uninterrupted dance party.
What I mean by this is that the reception entrances were immediately followed by the special dances (First, Father/Daughter, Mother/Son, Anniversary dance), which were immediately followed by dinner with speeches sprinkled throughout. AFTER all this was taken care of, the dance floor was officially opened up for dancing and wasn’t interrupted for the rest of the night—we even cut the cake on the side of the dance floor just so we didn’t have to stop the party.
The takeaway here is that if having a packed dance floor is a priority, avoid interrupting the flow of the dance party as best you can. Depending on your crowd, it can be hard enough getting people on the dance floor, but if guests keep being told they can dance, then 30 minutes later have to sit back down for this dance or that speech, I can pretty much guarantee that you will not have a packed dance floor by the end of the night.
8) Renting a photo booth.
When have you ever not had fun in a photo booth?? Whether you DIY your “faux-to” booth or rent a traditional one, you’re guaranteed to get some awesome and silly shots of your guests. Don’t forget the props!
9) Using DIY technology to capture special wedding moments.
|Photo via WeddingMix|
Instead of hiring a videographer, we saved thousands of dollars by renting flip cameras from WeddingMix and having a select group of trusted friends and family record specific moments of the day. Afterwards, we mailed back the cameras to WeddingMix and in just a few short weeks, we got a full-length wedding DVD and a wedding trailer on YouTube. It’s genius!
|Photo via Wedding Party App|
We also told all our guests prior to the wedding to download Wedding Party App on their smartphones so they could share photos they take on our wedding day in real time. We also put a note in the welcome bags AND had a printed sign at each table. As a result, we had over 300 photos that guests added to the app. It was so great seeing the different shots that people took throughout the wedding weekend and best of all—the app is FREE!
10) A keepsake “guestbook” idea.
I am so thrilled with how our signed record albums came out and that we were able to use the albums afterwards as artwork in our living room. The days of the old traditional guestbook are over. Feel free to get creative or have guests sign something that’s meaningful to YOU as a couple (whether that be puzzle pieces, fabric swatches, a photo poster board or record albums).
What were your top wedding decisions? Were any of them on this list?