9 Expert Tips for Planning the Perfect Wedding
Sponsored by Royal Golf Club
As director of catering and event operations for the Royal Golf Club, Samantha Bristol helps couples plan for their big day. She's the first to admit there's an incredible range of decisions a couple must face. "There are so many unique spaces and locations, within the Twin Cities alone, that offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Combing through all the options can become overwhelming for even the most organized person," says Bristol, who has helped dozens of couples plan their wedding receptions throughout the course of her career.
Over the years, she's learned that what matters most when planning a wedding is listening closely to the couple. That’s because at the end of day, her job is to ensure the couple, surrounded by their closest friends and family, leave feeling inspired and ready to begin their new life together.
Based on her extensive experience, she's sharing nine tips for planning the perfect wedding:
1. Do it together.
This is your wedding. Leverage your strengths to host a day that is not only memorable for you, but for those you’re counting on for support. To make it work, you’re going to need to communicate clearly and often. Schedule a time each week to focus on wedding planning. Avoid turning it into a mind-numbing experience by keeping your conversation to no more than an hour, assign your tasks, and then go do it.
2. Don’t break the bank.
The wedding is often one of the first big joint purchases a couple makes together. Be careful not to go into debt to pay for your wedding. If you have loans and you’re thinking about buying a home, you don’t need to add more stress to your finances. Use your wedding planning as an opportunity to build a budget and stick to it. Meet weekly to talk it through. Learn to be transparent and prioritize your expenses.
3. Decrease stress by adding extra planning time.
When you’re balancing work with other life priorities, and then add wedding planning to the mix, something’s got to give. That’s why it’s important to add extra time to your planning to make the entire process less stressful.
4. Involve your support system.
Involve the people you can really count on in your wedding planning. The people who will have your back and help keep your marriage strong. Ask for their help. Ask for their loving thoughts. Ask them to show up and be there for you.
Photo: The Royal Golf Club
5. Encourage natural connections.
Look for a reception space that allows you to take advantage of natural light and beautiful scenery. Allowing people to connect with the outdoors reduces stress and inspires positive thoughts for your day.
6. Focus on making memories.
If you’ve attended weddings for friends or family, think back on what made those weddings memorable. Was it the food? The music? The incredible location? The cake? The best-man and maid-of-honor speeches? Every wedding is unique. Focus on what you want to emphasize for your wedding.
7. Facilitate personal connections.
To bring about a spirit of togetherness, create opportunities for people to meet each other. Even cliché ice breakers, such as “introduce yourself to the person on your right,” are helpful. Remember these two rules: 1. People like to hear and see their names; and 2. People like to know what they have in common.
8. Have some healthy fun.
If you’re going to incorporate an activity in your pre- or post wedding plans, such as golf, go the extra mile to make sure everyone feels included, and more importantly, confident and empowered. Think about offering lessons to your guests, and making good equipment available to those who are new to the game. You can never go wrong with bringing out the best in people.
9. Make time for each other.
Last but not least. Some couples get so caught up in the planning that they stop making time to go on dates, spending quiet time together, or just having fun. Yes, wedding planning can be stressful, but it should never derail the quality time you need to strengthen your relationship.
The Royal Golf Club, located in Lake Elmo, Minn., in the Twin Cities’ East Metro is a new 18-hole championship golf course designed by Arnold Palmer and Annika Sörenstam. The course, located about 25-minutes from Mpls.-St. Paul International Airport, features a newly renovated clubhouse that can accommodate wedding receptions for up to 300 participants. Meals and appetizers can be customized to your event through Arnie’s, the club’s on-site restaurant and bar. Our team of experienced wedding planners will help you create an inspirational and memorable event.