There Are No Rules

As a wedding planner, there are so many nuggets of information I pass on to my clients. Of all of them, I definitely have a favorite: There are no rules.

Some of the questions asked during the planning process have standard, solid answers. Questions such as "Should I have my makeup professionally done" and "Is a rain plan necessary" have very definitive answers in my book {both are a big resounding YES, by the way}. But not all questions I'm asked have standard answers like that. Here are a couple examples for you to understand what I mean.

Do I have to have a bouquet and garter toss?? If you don't feel comfortable doing a toss, skip it. If you think it could get awkward with your grandmother watching, don't do it. There are no rules that say you HAVE to do these things and, it turns out, a lot of your guests will thank you for skipping this one.

Do I have to have favors for my guests to take home? As someone who is responsible for collecting all the things left behind by guests at the end of the night, I can say, without a doubt, that guests do not find tremendous value in favors. So many of them are left behind on the tables after your guests have left the wedding. Favors are a really great way to try to incorporate something meaningful to the two of you, like your grandmother's jam or a donation to the local SPCA. But if you decide to forego the favors, I promise you a single guest will not notice.

In what order do we have to do our dances and speeches? If you want to go straight from cocktail hour into dancing, go for it! If you want to serve wedding cake before dinner, let them eat cake! Your guests are just excited to be there with you and as long as you feed them, they don't really care what order you do it in!

As their wedding planner, one of my primary jobs is to remind my couples to keep the wedding true to them. This exact wedding has never been done before. There is no rule saying that all weddings must have favors, or a late night snack, or formal speeches. And if those things don't fit into the couple's vision for their day, why force it on them?

Now don't be fooled into thinking I recommend my couples skip a whole bunch of aspects of their wedding day just because they don't want to do them. I've had so many couples ask if they are "allowed" to skip their first dance. I get it, I don't like to be the center of attention either. But when a couple asks me a question like this, I tell them that there are really no rules at all saying they have to have a first dance. And then I quickly follow that up with asking them to think ahead to a year, ten years, twenty years after the wedding....and figure out if they'll regret not having that first dance together {or best man speech, or a cake, or portraits after the ceremony}. If they think it's something that is going to be missed if they do without it, I find the best way to incorporate it while staying true to the couple. That balance is so important!

So when you're planning your wedding, please remember that there really are no rules at all. Don't feel limited by what you're "supposed" to do. Your wedding planner is there to help you make informed decisions and to keep you on track to having the wedding that best showcases your relationship.