Ask Amy | Wedding Planning Advice from Boutique Wedding Planning Company, Unmistakably You, in London Ontario

Amy McNall of boutique wedding planning company, Unmistakably You, (unmistakablyyou.com) (read review) has been asked just about every wedding planning question under the sun. Here’s a couple of questions that Amy believes every couple should have the answer to…

Dear Amy,

I’m in the process of booking my wedding photographer, but they all package their services differently! How do I choose?

– First, ask yourself how important photography is to you? Where would it rank?? Ie. Do your priorities go; food, then party atmosphere, then décor, then photography? Or do they go photography/memories, then décor?

– Secondly, never trade quality for quantity. Trust me, you’d rather splurge on a few hours with a great photographer than have a whole day’s worth of cheap, low quality photos.
– Take a good look at your photographer’s add-ons. Do you want an album? Prints? Engagement session? It’s usually cheaper to purchase these up front rather than later. FYI: I highly recommend an e-shoot.

Dear Amy,

Ask Amy | Photo: Brent Foster Photography
Ask Amy | Photo: Brent Foster Photography

I know traditions are important, but do I really have to devote two hours of my reception to speeches, first dances, receiving lines and other stuff I don’t really even care about? What can I get out of?? 

This is one of my favourite questions. Traditions include receiving lines, cocktail hours, making a grand entrance, an Emcee intro, kissing games, saying grace, giving speeches, doing the first dance, cutting the cake, throwing the garter and tossing the bouquet. And no, you don’t have to do any of them! In fact, want to change it up? Here’s 10 ideas to get you started…

1. Consider a Sunday brunch without a dance at all.
2. Try an evening wedding with photos before the ceremony and a dessert reception after.
3. Consider self-serve cupcakes instead of a wedding cake. No cake cutting required. Just let guests treat themselves.
4. Do the speeches at the rehearsal dinner instead of the wedding reception. Or, have them between courses to break up the reception timeline. (Check with venue. Some WILL NOT allow speeches before entree for reasons of food prep time)
5. Forgo the official Emcee and instead, print ‘house rules’ on the back of your table number signs. Then, let your DJ make the announcements as required instead.
6. Throw your bouquet to the oldest guest during an ‘Anniversary dance’
7. Toss candy or lottery tickets instead of a real bouquet for something different.
8. Lose the garter toss altogether. Many couples are doing this. If you don’t mention it, no one will even notice.
9. Have the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dances at the same time.
10. Have a “snowball” first dance, meaning there’s just one song which starts the bride and groom dancing. Then they grab parents about 30 seconds in, then the wedding party joins after another 30 seconds, and finally, all guests are invited to join. Then lead into a a fun party-starting song!

“Bottom line: I promise, there are no wedding police. It’s YOUR day, and (within the limits of good etiquette), you are allowed to do what YOU want… Happy planning!” – Amy McNall, Unmistakably You

Have a wedding planning question? Email brides@theweddingring.ca!

Brent Foster, Expert Tips, Unmistakably You