Wedding Consulting and Event Planning in Portland, Oregon
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Portland Wedding Planning
Portland wedding planning
Tools and Tips

Wedding Tips by EJP Events

Facility Condition Clause – a useful addendum to your contract with a wedding site that obliges the facility to inform you of any construction or changes to the physical nature of the site. It also states that you have booked this site in the state it was on X date (the date of your site visit or contract signing) and should the site’s physical state fall below the standards on X date, you reserve the right to cancel without penalty and receive your deposit back. For more information on Facility Condition Clauses and how to get them added to your contracts, call EJP Events!

Make sure those who are to ride in the limousines are aware of it! Often, bridal party members are to be transported together by limousine in order to make sure pictures happen on time, etc., but no one mentions it to say, the fourth groomsman--who then catches a ride or drives himself, is then deemed “missing”, and causes stress to the bridal party.

Bringing your own liquor into the wedding facility? It can be a great way to save money, plus you get to keep the leftovers! However, make sure you have someone assigned to take home the leftover beer, wine, and liquor – and if the beer and wine were iced down, make sure that a cooler is available, since most likely the bottles will be wet and messy.

Here’s one extra service that can actually save you money: the “setup and takedown” option available from your rental company. If you are handling the rental of chairs and tables yourself (as opposed to your caterer), ALWAYS sign up for this option (unless you have 5 or more muscled friends who have nothing better to do than set up tables and chairs on a Saturday). The option may cost a little extra, but someone’s got to set up for the wedding, and if that someone is your caterer, it’s possible they will use $22-an-hour waiter labor to do this, rather than the less expensive rental company labor.

You and your new spouse will dash off at the end of the night towards wedded bliss – but make sure there is a plan for the end of the night: who takes home the cake top, flowers, gifts, props, tuxes, wedding dress (if you’re changing into a going-away outfit), and leftovers. Leaving these decisions to chance could result in what happened to one Houston couple, who came home from their two-week August honeymoon to find all of the wedding items neatly left in their garage, including the top layer of her buttercream wedding cake. That’s right. Two weeks. In August. In Houston.

You rehearsed what happens at the wedding ceremony, but did you know that there often is a protocol for the reception too? From the time you and your new spouse walk in the door, to the moment you dash out to your getaway vehicle, it’s nice to have a plan and timeline for the major events such as mix-and-mingle hour, announcement of the bride and groom (and possibly the bridesmaids), blessing of the meal, opening of the buffet (or seating for dinner), cake cutting, toasts, first dance, parent dances, and bouquet toss (if necessary). It’s not necessary to rehearse these things, or even to stringently stick to the timeline, but having an idea of what is going to happen can make you a more effortless host, and make your “party time” exactly that.

A charming tradition from the 1950’s is returning: the going-away outfit. The bride wears her wedding dress at the ceremony and most of the reception, but near the end (usually right before the bouquet toss and getaway), she changes into a smart suit, usually in a color and fabric more dressy than most business attire (think shantung, douppioni, or silk/wool crepe). Wearing a corsage, she tosses her bouquet as a farewell to her guests. The going-away outfit is now a new centerpiece of her special-occasion attire. If you plan to go this route, don’t forget to have your maid-of-honor bring the outfit to the reception!

It’s romantic to make a grand entrance into your wedding reception by being announced for the first time as husband and wife. Perhaps you’ll want to acknowledge your wedding party too. Just make sure that the emcee making the announcements has the a list of those to be announced, as well as the correct pronunciation of each name.

Pamper yourself at your wedding reception by asking the caterer to provide you with a waiter exclusively assigned to the bride and groom. That way, you’ll never lack for champagne at an important toasting moment, or an extra piece of cake if you lose track of your first one.

Don’t forget about security on your wedding day. In the excitement and confusion, it’s easy to want to stash a purse in an unlocked dressing room, or in a ballroom foyer. Unfortunately, situations like these invite theft. It’s much smarter to make sure you’re given the key to the dressing room, so you can come and go as necessary. Or, if the wedding is at a hotel, consider taking a safe-deposit box at the front desk and leaving valuables there. The purse you carry with you at the wedding should only contain cosmetics and a small amount of cash for gratuities. Checks, credit cards, and jewelry should be safely locked up.

Before making the map and directions page of your wedding invitation or save-the-date, make sure to have someone drive it and check the directions for accuracy. You may have lived several years in the town where the wedding is to be held, and a common name you use for a road may not be the one on the street or exit sign.

Getting married at a large complex such as a seminary with several chapels, or a hotel with several ballrooms? Make sure to find out in advance exactly where your event will be placed, and word your invitation accordingly, such as: "Multnomah Ballroom, Portland Central Hotel"; or "Schuyler Chapel, Western Presbyterian Seminary".

If you’re having a buffet, ask the caterer to create descriptive labels for the menu items. This creates excitement about the meal that you’ve chosen, and has the added value of alerting guests to the ingredients, in case anyone has allergies. The same goes for a plated meal; offer menu cards. This simple step adds to the special-occasion atmosphere.

Outdoor weddings are wonderful, but sometimes are plagued by insects. Have a bottle of bug repellent at the sign-in table just in case.

If you’ve never seen your ceremony site with the chairs set up for a wedding, make sure that your wedding coordinator or helper is there at the time chairs are set up for yours. This way they can make sure that the configuration matches what you had envisioned. Additionally, if you’re using an aisle runner, make sure that is placed FIRST, before any chairs are placed. The aisle runner should be centered and form a straight path to the ceremony focal point, just as the center aisle in a church.

Using valet parking? Ensure that the valets arrive at least one and one-half hours prior the ceremony, so they can cone off important driveways or through-ways before the majority of the guests arrive. Also, make sure they bring a tasteful sign that alerts guests that valet parking is available.

Flowers in large urns can be strikingly beautiful. If your wedding is outdoors, however, make sure that the floral arrangement is weighted at the base so a breeze can’t knock it over.

For more tips, just call EJP Events!

"No one could believe how smooth & flawless the wedding was ... The logistics of our wedding were perfect..." -- Holly Johnston Hall, April 27, 2002
EJP Events
Wedding Planning and Event Planning Location: 2808 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Suite 3, Portland, Oregon

Portland office: 503-284-6756
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Mobile: 503-957-6816
Fax: 1-888-682-0040

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