Photo by Kenney Photo
I always try to follow up with our past brides each year to request photos, to follow up on whether they liked their vendors, and then also to ask a series of questions so that we can assess any needed improvements and such. One question that I also ask is, “If you had a do-over, is there anything that you would do differently?” Basically, I am looking for any tidbits of advice that our past brides can pass along to our new crop of brides. We are in a business where we are dealing with “bride novices” and to plan a wedding has many details. Hopefully some of these comments can be helpful.
Hair and Make-Up Vendors
There are many details involved in both the Hair and Make-Up Vendors. Ask many questions before you hire, before you show up so that you know that these vendors are well-staffed for your needs. If you have a bunch of bridesmaids and moms, it will take longer. Make sure you are very clear about your desired timeline. If these vendors put you behind schedule, it takes away from your photo opportunity time and may ultimately throw off your entire timeline. Good, thorough clear communication with them will go a long way.
Early Reveal/First Look
Many brides who did not do an early reveal or first look, wish that they had. This opens up the opportunity to take many/most bridal party and some family photos ahead of time which frees your timeline later to do whatever you want (more romantic photos, enjoy part of appetizer hour with your guests, shorten appetizer hour, etc.).
Early look does more than just saves your time. It gives you a special moment alone with your groom. When he sees you, if he was apt to tear up, he can do so knowing that he isn’t in front of all of the guests. It is a special loving moment in a long day where often you aren’t every alone with each other. So as you weigh this option, just know that there is more than one reason to consider it.
*Note: Many brides who did not do a first look were very glad that they did not.
High heels look beautiful but typically they are uncomfortable. Many brides suggested to consider flats for the whole day or at least to be prepared to change into flats after the ceremony. If you do opt for heels, bring some of those high heel protectors so you can walk through on the lawns without your heels sinking in the grass. Point is to consider being comfortable so you can enjoy the day without aching feet plus so you aren’t inhibited from meandering the farm for those amazing photo ops.
Shorten Appetizer/Cocktail Hour
Appetizer/Cocktail Hour is often a wonderful time for all here at the farm since we say that we are semi-entertaining. Bring those Ritz-type crackers for all of your animal lovers to feed to the goats at the fence line, provide drinks and a bit of appetizers, then your guests are pretty content for a while. Your guests can also play cornhole and horseshoes and meander our flower beds and such. This allows you to go off and take some of those romantic photographs because as your photographer will state, “this is the golden hour of photographer where the photos will look extra amazing” – so you will want to indulge. That said, do not push it. Thirty minutes is easy enough no matter what. Add another 15 minutes if you have adequate appetizers but don’t go past 45 minutes unless you have plenty of food, drink, and maybe some music and outdoor seating.
Have A Smaller Event
We hear this each year from a handful of brides who have the larger weddings (over 125) who say that a smaller event would’ve freed up their timeline plus it would’ve made an easier decision as the event moves on and a bride may want to go dance more or take more photos but they realize that they haven’t connect yet with quite a few of their guests. Reality is that it becomes more complicated and time consuming when there are a large number of guests; takes more time to even feed 200 guests their dinner (releasing tables gradually) then to feed them cake too. A smaller guest count helps to create a more intimate event which is an appealing goal.
Stay at the Treehouse
We had quite a few girls give us the response of “I should’ve stayed at the Treehouse.” I think why we heard this is that the Treehouse was one of our Winter 2019/2020 projects and many of our brides had already made honeymoon night plans by the time we revealed our treehouse to our audience. Many brides who did stay at the treehouse talked about how nice it was to just “retreat to the serenity of the treehouse” steps away from the venue making it a easy and uncomplicated way to end wedding day. It has been received well and that tickles us.
Wouldn’t Change a Single Thing
Many of our brides stated emphatically that they “wouldn’t change a single thing!” Rain or shine, large or small, heels or not, etc. that they had an awesome time and no thought of any change.