From favors to the playlist, wedding planners reveal why you can rest easy.
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When you're planning a wedding, even the finest of details can wind up seeming monumental. It's normal to want every aspect of the event to be so flawless it redefines perfection, but that urge can also lead to major stress. "Details are certainly are important, since they are what gives a wedding its signature personality," says Chandra Keel, owner of Chandra Keel Events, a Phoenix-based wedding planning company. "But it's a slippery slope when brides get caught up in perfecting those details," she says. Here, wedding planners officially give you permission to relax about the following elements of your big day.
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"I can't tell you the number of wedding favors that are left on tables at the end of the night because guests 'forgot' to take them home," says Keel. Instead of fretting that your favor idea has been done before, accept that it doesn't have to be revolutionary to be lovely.
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People won't think any less of your wedding because of slight color variations. "The same color can read somewhat differently when executed in different materials," says Stephanie Aspinwall, a wedding and event planner with Pretty Entertaining in Washington, D.C. That's actually a good thing! "Variations in hue, tone, and saturation bring depth to the appearance of the room, which makes everything look richer and better overall," says Aspinwall.
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"I've seen brides get stressed wondering if they need more to keep guests entertained," says Amy Nichols, lead planner of Amy Nichols Special Events, based in San Francisco. Don't feel the need to whip out a new surprise every 30 minutes—as long as you have a well thought-out general timeline, you're good to go.
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Directing guests via signs is usually an essential part of making a wedding run smoothly, but they don't all need to be Pinterest-worthy. "There's no need to have a cutesy sign with a cutesy saying at every turn," says Keel. If it's what you're into, go for it, she says. If you're already too stressed, you can let this one go.
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Springing for the bubbly can rack up additional money. "It is totally OK for you and your guests to toast with whatever beverage is in front of you," says Nichols. Chances are no one will bat an eye if you just serve beer and wine, either for financial reasons or because you're not big on Champagne.
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You might know the exact order of music you'd like at the reception, but it's a smart idea to give your DJ leeway to go with the flow. "A good DJ tailors his or her playlist to the crowd," says Aspinwall. "Give them your do-not-play and must-play guidelines, then let them do their job."
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It's not necessary to go for every upgrade that comes your way. "There are so many options out there, like more expensive chairs, fancier linens, specialty napkins, and vintage china," says Nichols. Instead of saying sayonara to your budget and opting for each one, choose just a few. "Zone in on the things that are most important and have those be your statement pieces," says Nichols.
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It's wonderful if your day-of flowers match up exactly with the ones in the trial pieces, but it's not a huge deal if they don't. "Flowers are living things, and each specimen is unique," says Aspinwall. "A good floral designer knows this and knows how to use each bloom to its best advantage." Even if they're not exactly what you expected, Aspinwall says to remember one thing: your guests are there to celebrate you, not your décor! "You only get to have your wedding day once," she says. "Enjoy the celebration you've worked so hard to create rather than getting bogged down in worry over the little things."