Pro tips for your pro day


                                                                                           Courtesy Castle Marne

Weddings have a magic in them. After all, what could be better than taking a day to celebrate sincere love? But no matter the amount of heart, plans-gone-wrong can add stress to your otherwise perfect nuptials. Luckily, there’s plans—and planners—that know how to make the occasion as smooth as possible and fight the unwanted stress.

We asked Melissa Feher-Peiker, owner and day-of wedding planner at Castle Marne, for tips for day-of scheduling that can prepare any bride for unexpected happenings. Here’s her top five.

1 Plan pictures accordingly.

“Don’t let the photographer take over the whole ceremony, there’s a lot more than just the photographs that you want for your memories,” Feher-Peiker says. She advises couples to avoid an overwhelming amount of before-wedding photos with only an hour photo shoot—the last thing you want is the photographer monopolizing the wedding.

“Once the wedding starts, they can continue to take more casual, spontaneous photographs. Following the ceremony they can also do a more formalized shoot—if the couple chooses to continue,” Feher-Peiker says.

2 Timing is everything.

Before the big day, make sure you consider when you want your wedding photos done: before, in-between the wedding and reception or at the end. “I always ask the bride if she wants to be seen by the groom and the family before the ceremony, and if she’s comfortable with that then I recommend before, especially for an evening wedding because the light is going to be different,” Feher-Peiker says.

However, for those brides who want the complete look to be a surprise, you can still get those pre-wedding photographs. Feher-Peiker suggests the photographer captures the bride as she puts the final touches on hair, makeup and jewelry. Photos of the bride with her mother or made-of-honor beforehand can also give an intimate look into the bride getting ready for her wedding.

3 Keep it fun and relaxed.

Wedding day activities have become exceedingly popular, but as bride and groom you want to be wary of overdoing it. Feher-Peiker suggests keeping the activities minimal—like a luncheon, the ladies getting their hair done together or the men shooting some pre-wedding hoops.

“The couple is so nervous already, and I hate to recommend that they overwhelm themselves with too many planned activities. What they really need is time to get ready, take a breath and not feel rushed or allow everybody else’s excitement and nervousness to overwhelm them,” she says. Keep the activities simple and fun, it is your day after all!

4 Stick to the Schedule

Keeping the flow of the wedding is vital: Everything has to stay on schedule.

“I recommend meeting with the photographer, florist and caterer beforehand—and everybody needs to meet with the venue planner,” Feher-Peiker says. “Everything is on the clock. The kitchen or chef’s food needs to be served when it’s ready and hot (or when it’s ready and cold), not later because the photographer is still taking photographs or they’re in the midst of a game.”

Feher-Peiker says it’s still important to be flexible though for the small changes in the moment. But ultimately you want your wedding done on a professional schedule: “The wedding has to flow seamlessly.”

5 Raise your glass …

Toasts are the perfect time for friends and family to congratulate and commemorate the happy couple, but the timing of these speeches is important too. Feher-Peiker suggests couples keeps toasts to no more than four people, and around three minutes per person so that the speeches don’t drag.

Here’s to you, happy couple, and all your beautiful wedding day memories.