24 May 18
Planning your big day can be just as exhilarating and exciting as it is exhausting and exasperating. It’s the same as saying that there is good stress and there is bad stress, and in the wedding event planning business, we’ve seen it all.
Whether your wedding day is just around the corner, or 6 - 12 months from now, you need to arm yourself with advice from the professionals who manage weddings as a specialty. We recently sat down with Pacific Yacht Charters’ expert event planner, Carisa Didoshak, to get her advice on how brides can enjoy more of the good stress.
Carisa, what would you say are the common things that couples forget about when planning their wedding?
Great question. There are always things that slip through the cracks. Typically these are things that are essential, yet tend to live on on the periphery.
When budgeting, couples can forget about the little things such as stamps for invitations, gifts for the bridal party and gratuity for vendors. Transportation for the bridal party to the ceremony and reception, to photo locations, etc. is also a big one.
Smaller, yet important items are including vendors in their final guest count to the venue and thinking about guest allergies and dietary restrictions.
Planning for your wedding also needs to include the days leading up to the big day such as sleeping arrangements / guest accommodations, as well as morning of details such as breakfast / meal planning for yourself and the wedding party.
What are tasks that couples tend to put off to the last minute that ultimately cause a great deal of stress?
Well there are 3 important tasks that really are central to the guest and wedding experience that somehow always get left to the last minute.
1. Vows and Speeches
Every couple I’ve worked with has left the most significant portions of the ceremony and reception to the week of the wedding and then they feel like their preparation efforts were rushed. Getting your vows and speech done in one sitting is tough. I always suggest when something comes to mind, write it down, and then by the week of the wedding, all your feelings are there, you just need to put them into sentences.
2. Dinner Time Coordination
When having a plated dinner, organizing place cards with symbols and getting food orders to the caterer/venue. This is a larger task than most couples realize, so the earlier you ask for RSVP’s from guests, the easier it will be to get organized. Of course there will always be changes or last minute requests.
3. Dance Music
Another big task is preparing a ‘play’ and ‘do not play’ list for the DJ. Most couples let this slide because they are caught up managing several other last minute duties (such as their vows, speeches, food orders, etc). Remember music is a huge part of the party and guest enjoyment. Just like the tip for writing your vows and speeches, keep a running list of songs that will get everyone off their feet.
How do you host a dream wedding on a yacht when you are on a limited budget? Can you splurge and save at the same time to create an amazing experience for your guests?
Well, hosting a wedding on a yacht in Vancouver’s harbour is a totally unique experience. I tell all of my couples that the views of the ocean and the city are your décor and minimum decor is needed.
Having a wedding on a yacht is all about the experience. Yes, you can rent an inexpensive hall, but you’ll end up spending a lot of money on décor trying to make the reception area easier on the eyes.
An example of a classy event on a budget: do a cocktail style menu instead of a sit down dinner.
You will save on time and money because you won’t need as many centrepieces, or go to the effort of creating place cards or seating charts.
How do you recommend handling wedding photographers and videographers? How do you keep them from being a major distraction during an event while ensuring they get the best shots?
Always hire a professional, and hopefully someone who has been on board before. Photographers like Hayley Rae Photography or Butter Studios are experienced with shooting on board the yacht. They understand that we are a moving venue with fixed dimensions, and that shooting our venue is about capturing the epic backdrop.
Which yacht wedding ideas, from ceremony to reception, have been the most memorable over the last few years?
Personally I love cocktail style weddings. It allows for your guests to really enjoy the experience of being on board and when it’s a beautiful day, everyone naturally migrates to be up on the Sky Deck to take in the view.
Consider having the ceremony while out on the water, rather than staying dockside. The backdrop of the ocean is breathtaking. Saying “I DO” while cruising under the Lion’s Gate Bridge is unlike anything most people have experienced.
From start to finish, music can make such a difference. The most memorable weddings I’ve had a part in planning have included deliberate playlists and live performances for pre / post ceremony, reception and the dance party. Music sets the tone and adds to the ambiance of a wedding. There isn’t anything better than dancing under the stars to a live band.
Get the most out of the Sky Deck by adding lounge furniture, lighting or stools to the cocktail tables. This invites guests to enjoy the area, and be a part of the dance portion of the evening, even if they don’t dance.
Any last words of advice?
Whether your wedding is coming up quick, or several months from now, make sure you don’t put off tasks that are truly central to making the wedding day a success. Make your ‘to do list’ early and delegate as much as possible. And of course, hiring a wedding planner is always a great idea.
Image Credits in order of appearance: Evelina Friman, Fernanda Méndez, Alexandra Gorn, Aneta Ivanova, TT Lui Photography...