7 Easy Ways to Ensure Your Wedding Will be a Blast! by Kristen Bradley

While you’ve planned for the drinks to be flowing and the music to be bumping all night long, there are a few other key components to hosting a wedding that’s anything but boring.  Check out some of our favorite ways to deliver a great guest experience without breaking the bank. 

Scottsdale Arizona Wedding Planner

Make introductions before the wedding

A wedding brings two sets of families and two sets of friends, and the result can be lots of small talk and other awkward attempts at socializing during the reception.  Our advice is to be a great connector at events leading up to the wedding, such as the bridal shower, engagement party, family brunch, or at the rehearsal dinner. Your guests will feel immediately at ease if they recognize a large handful of people who they’d be otherwise meeting for the first time, making for a more relaxed and fun atmosphere at your wedding.

Stick to your wedding timeline

As some of our readers know, we help our clients create a timeline for their wedding day that will help set expectations for when certain events will happen.  Of course nobody expects things to run to the second, but adhering to your timeline will ensure guests aren’t idly waiting for things to start, checking their phones every two minutes.  Cocktail hour is a great opportunity to help guests entertain themselves while you are taking your formal wedding portraits.  Make sure there are lots of tasty treats, shade or if held indoors or at night, the right ambient lighting, and places to grab a quick seat to keep the atmosphere positively charged.  

Scottsdale Arizona Wedding Planner

Keep guests satiated

It can be tempting to skip serving hors d’oeuvres to save a few bucks if you plan on serving a full dinner at your reception, but in our experience, it’s a good idea to have a few yummy bites for your guests to nosh on while they await your grand entrance as newly weds.  Plus, giving them a few nibbles now will ensure that they patiently listen through some of the wedding toasts that may begin before food arrives at each seat.  

Have options available for transportation home

Communicate with your guest what the options are for getting home safely for those who opt to dance and drink the night away.  Not only will this give you peace of mind for everyone’s safe journey home, but it will give guests the freedom to linger a little longer on the dance floor and let their hair down without worrying about their exit strategy.  

Be strategic about your seating chart

We’ve all been there - the one person or couple at a table where you know no one.  This is a big bummer when the energy falls flat at your table, or worse, when you see all of your friends at a neighboring table.  Creating a well thought out seating chart will help naturally elevate the energy of the evening, and it’s free!  If you’re finding that you have one or two couples left out of a table of eight or ten, why not opt to mix up the sizes of the tables for your reception?  Farm tables or feasting style tables can seat significantly more than traditional round tables, and you can even mix and match these if your venue will allow for this.  This will give you the ability to size up or size down based off of that friends or family group.  

Scottsdale Arizona Wedding Planner
Scottsdale Arizona Wedding Planner
Scottsdale Arizona Wedding Planner

Limit the toasts

There is a fine line between a perfectly timed sentimental toast and one that seems to continue into the next week.  Our advice is to keep the toasts to parents, the maid of honor, and best man.  You can loosely suggest that they keep their speeches within a few minutes, (they will be relieved), and let everyone else get back to the party.  It’s also a good idea to time the toasts so that guests are already seated with their meals and aren’t fighting through grumbling tummies while the last person is wrapping up.  

Scottsdale Arizona Wedding Planner

Relax

The most important aspect of throwing a wedding is to truly enjoy the day yourselves!  Don't stress over little mishaps, (in our experience wedding planning, a perfect wedding day doesn’t exist).  Get out on the dance floor, and have fun!  When the guests see the bride(s) and groom(s) spectacularly enjoying themselves, it will elevate the evening’s energy.

Scottsdale Arizona Wedding Planner
All photos of Kathleen and Rick's Wedding by Trevor Dayley

All photos of Kathleen and Rick's Wedding by Trevor Dayley

Sip and Twirl is a passionate, (and might we add fun!), group of wedding planners.  We are located in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Whether you have just started envisioning your dream wedding day, or are in the thick of planning, we'd love to hear from you!  We plan for both small and large scale weddings, and genuinely love what we do.  Reach out to us at (480) 648-0663 or email us at info@sipandtwirl.com.  

Here’s How to Say “No” with Grace While Wedding Planning by Kristen Bradley

Let’s face it - others are going to have lots of opinions and suggestions about every detail regarding your wedding day.  Some you will love; most you will, ehem, not love. You’ll soon discover that learning how to say no… without actually saying “no”, is a skill that will come in handy during your engagement.  Here are some of our tips for politely acknowledging other’s suggestions and enthusiasm without both committing to something you don’t love, or negatively impacting your relationships.  

Photo by Trevor Dayley

Photo by Trevor Dayley

Expect all kinds of requests

There’s something about a wedding announcement that can make even the most laid back family members go bananas.  People tend to voice their wants and expectations for your big day at some point, and you’ll have the daunting task of filtering the good ideas from the lousy ones.  Start by acknowledging that most brides endure this part of the planning process.  Your mom may want you to wear an heirloom piece of jewelry that just doesn’t match your dress; your aunt wants to bake your wedding cake, or your good friend has recently adopted a photography hobby and is sharing her enthusiasm with you to shoot your wedding as a gift.  At this point you have a few options.

Photo by Bradford Jones

Photo by Bradford Jones

Tweak the request.  If your mom is rather sentimental about a particular piece of jewelry, for example, you may be able to find another way to wear it that still honors her wishes, and your desires as well.  Possibly it is something you can wear to your rehearsal dinner or in your engagement photos.  Another option is reworking the piece with a jeweler and creating a hair pin, or other accessory, like this boutonniere in the photo above.  

Repurpose the request.  If you auntie is known for her pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving but hasn’t baked a wedding cake once in her life, it’s totally normal to be hesitant about her abilities.  Instead of taking her up on making your wedding cake, ask her to put her baking skills to work for the dessert served at your rehearsal dinner.  She will still feel honored that her talents are being used to make your wedding week special, and will likely understand that you’d prefer to hire someone who is a cake baking expert.

Photo by Bradford Jones

Photo by Bradford Jones

Swap for a less important day. Your friend may have a pretty impressive Instagram profile, but wedding photography requires much more knowledge about the pace of the day, the lighting, equipment, and all of the other details for capturing that once in a lifetime moment.  If you think your friend does have a fair bit of talent, and you’d like to find a way to take him or her up on their kind offer, consider asking them to shoot your engagement photos, or your rehearsal dinner.  This way you can still gracefully accept your friend’s gift, but will not risk losing cherished memories from your wedding day.  

Photo by Jane in the Woods

Photo by Jane in the Woods

Compromise.  Compromising doesn’t mean that you become a doormat and let others walk over your desires for your own wedding day.  Rather, compromising is a great opportunity to step back and evaluate what is important to you for your big day.  We like self-reflecting by asking, “Will this be important to me in a week or a year after my wedding?” …if your answer is no, it’s a chance to honor a friend or a relative’s wishes without it impacting what’s most important to you.

Just say no.  While compromising may be appropriate for some suggestions, there will undoubtedly be other requests that you feel do not align with your values.  Let’s say for example your fiancé’s parents have a strong wish for you to be married in a church, but neither you or your fiancé ascribe to or follow that particular faith.  Or let’s say that one of your values is to keep your wedding within a strict budget, but that you parents have an extensive guest list.  This is where you will need to stand your ground and let these other people know how you and your partner feel, and why it impacts your wedding.  Others may not like your response, but if it’s a decision that you feel is best, then it’s the right course of action.

Delegate your “nos”.  The great news is that not all nos need to come from you!  This is where a wedding planner can step in and add tremendous value to the planning process.  Some relationships, such as your future mother-in-law, or possibly a parent who is footing the entire bill, may be more sensitive to hearing a no from you.  A wedding planner is a more objective third party and can explain some of the reasoning behind the decisions without it feeling critical of other people’s ideas.  A great planner will not only handle these situations with poise, but will be able to anticipate conversations arising in advance, and will help a couple diffuse something that may have otherwise boiled over.  

If you're looking for a little, (or a lot!), of help with all types of decisions during your engagement, we'd love to hear from you!  We are a passionate group of wedding planning professionals, based out of Scottsdale, Arizona.  We can be reached at (480) 648-0663, or you can drop us a line at info@sipandtwirl.com.  

Healthy Habits to Adopt During your Engagement by Kristen Bradley

If you’re in the process of planning your wedding already, you’ve probably encountered at least a few moments where you felt overwhelmed, misunderstood, or may have even faced some self-pressure.  By adopting a few healthy habits now during your engagement, you will not only rock your planning, but you will also feel amazing pre and post wedding.  Read on for our top healthy habit tips!

Photo by Saje Photography

Photo by Saje Photography

Practice positive communication

Planning a wedding is the time where you and your partner need to bring your A-game when it comes to communicating with each other.  This will include everything from talking through wedding finances, to your guest list, to difficult family members as openly, and as non-judgmental as possible.  If certain aspects of your wedding planning are left unresolved, this can create resentment and anger that can put a huge downer on your relationship or your upcoming celebration.

Love yourself

A positive body image far outweighs any crash wedding diet that could be harmful to your physical or mental health in the long run.  With this being said, of course it’s always great to get in better shape or to clean up your diet.  Create a healthy fitness plan with a trainer at your gym, or with a certified nutritionist or dietician.  You shouldn’t look back on your wedding day photos and think about to what extreme you went to drop some extra pounds.  Instead, take the approach of making your health and self-love a priority. 

Photo by Saje Photography

Photo by Saje Photography

Plan your wedding hair six or more months in advance

If you envision having long, luscious locks on your wedding day, it’s time to cut back now on heat treatment, and keep consistent at deep conditioning your hair.  You'll also want to book in regular trims to keep the ends healthy.  Want to try a new style?  Go for it, but give yourself enough time to let it grow a little if it didn’t turn out exactly as you envisioned.  

Get that glow

Like your hair, you’ll want to start nurturing your skin at least six months from your wedding date.  Book an appointment with either a dermatologist, medical aesthetician, or someone who will be able to choose some quality products for your skin type.  It will take your skin time to adjust to a new regime, and if you decide to undergo some skin therapies or treatments, like a chemical peel or laser resurfacing, your skin will need the time to fully heal.

Keep balanced with meditation

Staying present in the moment will help ease stress and anxiety, and will create a deeper sense of inner peace.  By simply taking 3-10 minutes per day, (use your phone timer!) you can create a positive shift in the inner chatter that bounces around in your brain 24/7.  Start by focusing on your breathing, and be patient with quieting your mind.  There are lots of apps and books on this topic that will guide you if you are a novice.

Photo by Saje Photography

Photo by Saje Photography

Get comfy asking others for help

Whether you are working with a wedding planner or not, it’s important to realize that you will need help at some point leading up to your wedding day.  Plus, not only this, but your loved ones will likely be thrilled you asked for their opinions and helping hands.  

Photo by Saje Photography

Photo by Saje Photography

Need a little engagement help?  We’d love to hear from you!  Sip and Twirl is a full-service wedding planning company based in Scottsdale Arizona.  Reach out to us at info@sipandtwirl.com or 480-648-0663 to see if your date is available. 

Stay Organized on Your Wedding Day! by Kristen Bradley

Even if you’ve rocked wedding planning thus far, you will have plenty of other things to do when your big day arrives aside from tending to the large event details.  This is where your planner will add tremendous value. Take a look at these planning tips below that you can use alongside of your planner to help your wedding run smoothly all day long!  

Photo by Bradford Jones

Photo by Bradford Jones

Have a wedding day timeline

If there is one thing we love to use on wedding day to help us conduct a successful event, it’s a trusty wedding day timeline.  A timeline will help you coordinate vendors, keep time for some of the major moments of the day like first look, and it will help with the over all rhythm and pace of the day.  If you are working with a planner, they will help you with this, and if you’re not, it’s a great idea to create one with a designated point person (more below!), who will check-up on all details throughout the day to make sure everything is going smoothly.

Designate point people

Of course if you have hired a planning team, these experts will act as your designated point person/team.  If you don’t have a planner that you’re working with, it’s a great idea to assign specific people to specific responsibilities for the major pieces of the day.  For example, connect your maid of honor with your photographer so that she can text where something spontaneous might be happening that you’d love captured.  Make sure you brief your friends or family in advance of wedding day so that they thoroughly understand where they are needed and by what time, (point to your already created wedding day timeline!).  

Sip and Twirl Wedding Planner
Photos of the Sip and Twirl team by Bradford Jones

Photos of the Sip and Twirl team by Bradford Jones

Create a wedding week and wedding day checklist

You’ve got a ton of things swirling around in your head.  Even if you don’t check anything off of your list immediately, you will feel empowered after writing a master and a day-of checklist.  This exercise will help free your mental energy so that you can work through the tasks on hand with your team of helpers and planners.  Your planner will be a pro at this one.  Ask you planner if they have a basic checklist you can start with, and then you can add on any unique items for your special day.  

Label your decor

Label your decor well in advance, and you’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief the couple of days before your wedding as guests begin arriving and things get next level busy.  If each box is labeled before your decor items arrive at your venue, it will save you having to answer questions about the placement of each individual centerpiece, your photos, signs, or other location specific pieces.  

Photo of the Four Seasons Resort by Bradford Jones

Photo of the Four Seasons Resort by Bradford Jones

Make packing lists

Ok, enough with the lists, right?!  Actually, a packing list will really come in handy not only for wedding items, but for things you will need at your venue you might not think about in the rush of your big day.  Some of these items could be the items in your wedding day emergency kit, an extra pair of shoes if your feet feel like they are going to fall off, your written vows, the rings, etc….  Do this well in advance to achieve peace of mind the days leading up to your wedding. 

We'd love to hear from you!

If you're looking for a little, (or a lot!), of help during your engagement, we'd love to hear from you!  We are a passionate group of wedding planning professionals, based out of Scottsdale, Arizona.  We can be reached at (480) 648-0663, or you can drop us a line at info@sipandtwirl.com.  

Don't Overlook these Details for Your Big Day by Kristen Bradley

Your wedding day is just around the corner, and you nearly have everything confirmed; however, there is a niggling feeling in the back of your mind that you may be overlooking something significant, or forgetting an important detail.  You can rest assured that with the major details booked, your venue, officiant, and caterer, to name a few, your wedding day will be a great success, but if you want to add those final touches to your big day, here are some commonly missed details to take your wedding to next level fab.  

Essentials for under your dress

Now that you’ve pick out your dress, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to wear under your gown.  Not only is there nothing worse that trying to find the exact right bra for a specific dress under a time crunch, but you’ll want to be wearing it during your alterations.  Take an afternoon before your final fitting to get your under garments sorted to avoid unnecessary errand-running within weeks of your wedding.

Photo by Bradford Jones

Photo by Bradford Jones

Personal touches that reflect you and your fiancé’s style

There’s nothing wrong with keeping it traditional at your wedding, but some of the small details are the perfect way to add your personal touch.  For example, your caterer will probably offer ivory or black linen napkins with your meal, but ordering custom ones with your initials intertwined is way more fun.  You can also create a signature cocktail, or you can really get creative like this groom did with his boutonniere by including a photo of his parents.

Photo by Bradford Jones

Photo by Bradford Jones

Bridal party getting ready outfits

You probably have your favorite oversized tee-shirt and get-ready sweats, but you’ll want to have something else on hand as your getting glam for your big day.  There are tons of options on Etsy for bridal party robes, (check out these adorable ones below), or you can even organize a shopping day with your crew for some cute comfies.  

Photo by Bradford Jones

Photo by Bradford Jones

Photo by Bradford Jones

Photo by Bradford Jones

Powder room products for your guests

These extra touches in the bathrooms will score you some serious hospitality points, and it will go a long way to help your guests feel welcome.  Some items that guests may not have thought about bringing include bug spray for outdoor weddings, spray deodorant for those extra enthusiastic dancers, bobby pins, and feminine products if Aunty Flow arrives earlier than expected.

Emergency kit

The emergency kit is a must!  Stuck zippers, a badly-timed headache, a stain on your dress (why!?!), or other mini-bummers can usually be resolved with a well-stocked kit.  Search Pinterest for some ideas on emergency kit essentials.

Gifts for your parents and your partner

With all of the wedding planning kicked into high gear as your wedding day approaches, it’s easy to overlook these important gifts, especially for parents.  It’s possible your parents are helping plan your wedding, (both showing financial and emotional support), and recognizing them with a thoughtful gift, or even a simple card on your wedding day will go miles.  If you’re stuck on either your parent or your partner’s gift, framing one of your favorite engagement or wedding day photos is always a great option.

Photo by Bradford Jones

Photo by Bradford Jones

Need more wedding advice?  We’d love to hear from you!  Sip and Twirl is a full-service wedding planning company based in Scottsdale Arizona.  Reach out to us at info@sipandtwirl.com or 480-648-0663 to see if your date is available.