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To Do before "I do"

We all love a perfect wedding. We love the awe and ambience, we love the laughter and the lights, and everything else that makes a wedding memorable.

So here are some of the things we need to do before saying I DO:

1. Plan like an Architect.

Think of wedding planning like an architect. Draw out every detail. Plan out every activity. Break each session into smaller parts. Assign managers for each task. Don't leave anything to chance.

2. Plan what you know.

This goes without saying - plan for everything you know will happen.

If you're expecting 100 guests, plan each phase for the 100 guests. This includes seating at the Ceremony, appetizers at the Cocktail Hour, Dinner menu and seating for the guests to name a few.

3. Expect the unexpected.

Often times weddings go bad because couples least expect things to go wrong. Wishing that all things will be fine and hoping for the best may be okay if you are a risk-taker. Often times there is at least one thing that goes beyond the plans you have drawn out. So plan for the unexpected. Ask other couples what went wrong on their weddings. You'll be surprised to find that many of the things that went haywire fall into similar categories.

4. Plan your day to the last minute.

General tendency in wedding planning is to assign a block of time to Ceremony and another block for Reception.

My advice is always to plan for every little detail. Add buffer time to everything. Example: in the family photography session, plan for baby cousin Timmy to throw a tantrum, or for Auntie Suzy to take a bit too much time to freshen up, or even for Photographer to run out of battery and need to change his equipment.

In the Ceremony, expect the Minister to take longer time than he is allotted (if you are from my community, you'll be nodding in agreement as you read this); or Uncle John to extend his greetings to tangents you didnt want him to go on.

In the Reception, the DJ may be having a bad day with his system or the Maitre 'D may have some slow helpers.

In your plan, include everything possible to avoid issues but expect that somethings just go wrong on the day of the wedding. So include extra buffer time and alternate plans for such situations.

5. Get Help Early.

Most couples are not prepared for the enormous task of planning out a wedding. It requires the help of someone who has planned events before. It would be advantageous for you to plan early, get help early and entrust your event to an experienced planner. You'll thank yourselves on the day after the wedding when you look back and think of how smooth things went.

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