Sipping cocktails (okay, mostly mocktails, it is a Wednesday night after all), dishing out advice on keeping the fun in wedding planning and making stellar memories on your big day – needless to say we had a blast at our first Wedding Planning Happy Hour held virtually on Zoom January 26 from 7-8pm EST. We couldn’t have done it without our amazing panelists. As promised, here is a recap along with all of their info below.
Our guest panel included the founder of Guestie, Jessica Lamarre; therapist and AisleTalk owner Landis Bejar; international wedding photographer, Rachel L’Antigua; and Susan Moran, wedding planner and owner of That’s It Wedding Concepts.
Enjoy these highlights from our discussion, follow our panelists on Instagram, and sign up for Guestie to spark amazing celebration energy and bring all of your social circles together. You can also read the full transcripts with Part 1 all about planning with joy and Part 2, filled with tips about fully enjoying the moments of your special day. Thanks to everyone who joined. Best wishes on your wedding planning and look for more fun events coming soon!
Navigating and Enjoying the Planning Process
Here’s some of what our experts shared about making the most of the wedding planning process.
Figure out the parts of the wedding that mean the most to you both.
Jessica shared the story of her own wedding and how important it was for her husband to work on creating a special choreographed dance for their wedding day. Although she was a bit nervous about the idea, it became an extra-special moment for them both.
Make the most of the planning parts you love and get the other parts done.
Landis reminded us that we don’t need to LOVE every part of the wedding planning process. She suggests going all in on the fun parts, like cake tasting, wedding venue touring, and then making the more intense parts like guest list trimming and budget planning a part of your to-do list that you can reward yourself for accomplishing.
Figure our the vibe for the big day and articulate that with your photographer
What’s most important to you about your wedding day? Rachel suggests asking those questions early on in the wedding planning process. Share your thoughts with your photographer. Rachel said it’s super helpful for her to know the family dynamics and style you want to create. What special people do you want photographed? Do you like a documentary style or more formal pics? Are candid family shots important or are you trying to create a specific aesthetic?
Create ways for your guests to break the ice before your wedding day.
Jessica shared how she created Guestie first for her own wedding. With her event created on the website and guest list uploaded, her guests were able to browse the guest gallery and get to know a bit about everyone attending, see their photo and learn how they were connected.
Focus on people and emotions over things.
Rachel pointed out that based on her experience, the things her couples want to remember most are the heartfelt interactions with guests and good times. The little details that can sometimes cause so much stress for couples generally don’t matter as much in the moment and after the event.
Manage your expectations from day one.
Whether it’s internal expectations that we’ve carried for many years or family expectations (and ahem, demands) Landis suggests having some honest conversations at the beginning of the planning process to understand what’s important to you and what matters most. She wants us all to feel that we have permission to acknowledge our feelings, so they can be processed rather than potentially pop-up later in negative ways.
Begin your planning by thinking about your honeymoon.
Wait what? Here’s Susan’s advice. Imagine you’re on your honeymoon (even if you don’t plan to take one!) You’re sitting on the beach together, it’s a few weeks since your wedding day. What are the moments you most want to be reliving together? Who is there? What are you doing? Those are the elements to prioritize in your planning.
Ensuring Magic Moments on Your Wedding Day
It’s a lot more fun to party together as friends than strangers.
Guestie is here to help you do just that by introducing all of your guests in advance. Think of it as your digital party starter. It’s a virtual way to break the ice in advance of all of your different sides and social circles coming together.
Take your planner hat off.
Landis said she counsels all of her couple clients to at a very specific moment make the switch from ‘couple planning a wedding’ to ‘bride or groom.’ This is a deliberate signal to your brain to stop planning and begin celebrating. She suggests marking the occasion the day of your wedding rehearsal or other pre-wedding milestone.
Prioritize the moments that matter most
Jessica explained that at her wedding, she and her husband wanted two things: to spend time with friends they hadn’t seen in a while and to have a packed, lively dance floor. To make those moments happen they chose to sit with their friends during the wedding reception dinner and made sure to get guest song suggestions, to ensure people wanted to dance. She did this by using Guestie, where she designed in a function to allow guests to add song suggestions that automatically synced with her Spotify wedding playlist. Now you can do the same using Guestie!
Steal away alone time.
Susan makes sure she buffers in time for the couple to have time to themselves, particularly before the reception begins. It can be a quiet time to look at the setting and marvel at what they have accomplished together, to slow down and take in the day, and be fully present to appreciate everything.
Have fun with posting on social media.
If you don’t want to wait for your professional photos to come back to start sharing on your social media accounts, delegate someone you know will do a great job capturing candid photos and video with their phone. Rachel says this is a fun way to get pictures posted in more real time and can make others in the wedding party feel included and important.
Wedding Planning Happy Hour Panelist Resources