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Those Little, Important Things to Remember at Your Wedding

Things_to_Remember__Wedding"Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue." When it comes to minor wedding details, that's about all most brides have time to think of: their head's already swimming with concerns about sending off invitations, getting the right dress, booking the church and reception hall, and so many other things that it's hard to worry about the details. But when it comes down to it, the littlest thing -- like sitting your cousin next to her ex-husband -- can have a negative effect on what's supposed to be your special day. Worse, the affects of all the little things going wrong can pile together to cause a Big Thing indeed, something that could well be the talk of your friends and family for years -- so it's best to keep the little problems to a minimum.

Here's an extremely important "little thing" you should keep in mind as you're working your way through your wedding plans. If you don't have a wedding planner you can count on to do this, then several weeks before the Big Day, call every single one of your third-party vendors and confirm your bookings. That means the florist, the owner of the reception hall, the caterer, the photographer, the reception band manager, the wedding officiant, the organ player -- everybody. Then call them all again to confirm several days before the big event. You can't be too careful; though it would seem unconscionable that anyone should forget such a thing, you have to remember that 1) your wedding isn't as important to them as it is to you; and 2) human memories are fallible. Some people are just terrible at scheduling things, and computer scheduling is a finicky thing at best -- since, after all, you need to remember to look at the schedule for it to work.

Another minor detail to consider while you're setting the date is this: check to be sure that nothing major is happening in or near your proposed wedding location at that time. It probably wouldn't be a good idea to plan a spur-of-the moment, jazzy New Orleans wedding, only to find out you'll be sharing the street with the Krewe of Bacchus during Mardi Gras (might be fun, though). Nor would a Boston wedding be advisable on the day of the Boston Marathon. Other events, like big concerts or major sporting events, would also be something you'd want to avoid. You don't want to have to compete with Britney or Kobe for attention, now would you?

Something you've got less lead-time on is road work. It's hard to find out in advance if your lovable local municipality has decided it's time to tear up the streets along your wedding route for the fourth time in two years (they have to spend that money somewhere), but you can make an effort to drive the proposed route to the wedding location and from there to the reception location several days prior to the wedding. Even if nothing's going on at the time, many local governments have a habit of installing temporary lighted signs warning you of the dates when a route might be shut down or diverted. It's not going to help you any (or ease tempers which might already be frayed) if everyone is late to your wedding ceremony. It goes without saying, of course, that you should always schedule your wedding to avoid rush hours, and that you should always test-drive the routes just to see how heavy the traffic is on a normal day.

Speaking of frayed tempers, let's get back to the human factor -- with a focus on your guests, this time. Unfortunately, you may have some relatives or friends who are perfectly willing to let their personal animosities override common courtesy, driving them to fight verbally or physically at your wedding. You need to head this off from the very beginning, by taking a long, hard look at your wedding's guest list before you send out the invitations. You may find a few names that you want to red-flag: maybe they don't mix well with other guests, or maybe they don't mix well with alcohol. You may want to juggle things so that people who don't get along won't be seated next to each other at the reception, or politely ask some people to drink only ginger ale at the reception or to maintain a low profile during the entire event. You may even be forced to weed people out. If they complain because they weren't invited, tough -- it's your wedding, and it's your privilege to invite whoever you want. If they insist, point out why they weren't invited, and let it go. Stand firm on this. You don't want some yahoo to guilt you into appearing at their wedding, and then cause trouble when they're there.
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