LATENESS: I reiterate to all my couples, especially my brides, as do many other vendors, namely photographers, venues, etc. to be sure you are on time, and when I say on time, I mean at least an hour earlier (if you are doing first looks, even earlier than that). I have a confession to make, I was late to my own wedding. My wedding ceremony was supposed to start at 5:30pm. We weren't doing first looks, but I was supposed to do many before shots along the grounds during the daylight hours with my bridal party and my family. Maybe even sit down in my suite and enjoy a few moments and maybe a few drinks...what time did I arrive? I arrived 5:45pm. Needless to say, we got some bridal picture shots (because we pushed my ceremony time back to 6pm), some family shots and some of my personal shots. My sister in law took a few pictures seperate of the photographer and caught a different version of the events as they were unfolding...in one picture, I'm posing (without my veil, because it would have gotten crumpled in the car) and to my left is my officiant, getting ready to ask me..."Where is the license?" and in another picture, you see me getting ready to sign off on the documents. Guests saw me taking pictures, so it kind of ruined the allure of mystery I wanted to bring. Why was I late? Traffic on a considerably warm, Saturday in October. I decided to get ready at my new apartment..in Brooklyn. I was married at Douglaston Manor...
Which leads me to this next tidbit...
IF YOU CAN GET READY AT THE VENUE WELL BEFORE HAND: You do it. Especially if there are no weddings before yours. I should have never stood in Brooklyn. I should have rode out to Queens, met up with my wedding party out there and with my MUA/Hair person. I may have been locked away, but I would've been there...ON TIME. Inquire with your venue or location to see if you can get ready there or atleast get dressed on location. Or you have to pick a hotel nearby and no more than a half hour away.
Go ahead, ask me in your head....ask me what time makeup and hair were started...it was started reasonably early enough..BUT it could have started about an hour earlier if...
ALL BRIDAL ITEMS (DRESS and ACCESORIES) SHOULD BE PICKED UP THE DAY BEFORE or: You have someone (a bridesmaid, and/or a coordinator) pick it up for you. And if you have to leave anything for the last minute, let it be a veil, let it be something that isn't your wedding gown or anything that is directly related to it (bra, petitcoat, etc). Without that, you can't even get the dress on. If you are waiting on a veil, you can still get shots in without it if necessary and make up for it later.
And while I've heard bridezilla's (on television) say, the wedding is about me and can't start without me, I must say, yes it can't start without you, but show some courtesy to those vendors on a schedule who may have another wedding later on. And marraige is between two people, so its not just about you, its about you and your fiance. If he's there, you should be too...ON TIME.
THE EFFECTS OF LATENESS AT YOUR WEDDING:
YOUR MONEY: You are now a half hour late to your ceremony. This means your ceremony time will trickle into your cocktail hour/ reception. So you are losing time, because there may be another wedding after yours they have to set up for. And even if your wedding is the last of the night, some venues may not give you the extra half hour you lost at the beginning. Check with your venue about overtime charges (same thing applies with DJ's, bands, videography, photo). Not only are you eating up the clock on your party, but your eating up possibly travel time for the officiant to get to their next ceremony. In short, time is money. And there will be a late charge.
FOOD QUALITY: The venue's chef and staff were there early enough, or the caterers are there well before and have had this ready for awhile. Things sometimes tend to dry up if its on the heat too long and its not their fault because they have a specific timing to do things...
PHOTOGRAPHS: Expect to lose out on certain pictures because of this lateness. Sure you can ask to have these photos taken later...but nix the outside idea if its dark and more importantly, do you want to be pulled away for long periods of time so you can miss that one song you wanted the DJ to play for you?
As my anniversary comes to a close tonight and I look back, I find myself saying, I wish could have done many things differently. The first thing has to be my lateness and switching my locations. There are so many pictures that are normally done with other brides, that I missed out on.
I was incredibly stressed because my veil was picked up the minute the store openeed the same day and I think at a certain point I became numb, in the "oh my, I'm getting married...did I do everything I needed to?"
Which is why I encourage..
And no it doesn't have to be me...but a coordinator or planner can work wonders. Trust me.
The Blissful Bride
PS: We will be back at Douglaston Manor on October 17th! Come and See us and our fellow vendors!