Expert Advice: 18 Do's & Don'ts On Your Wedding Day

There are no rules when planning your wedding - this is YOUR DAY. But, this expert advice is worth taking note of …
Written by
Laura Cross

Planning for your big day can be as challenging as it is exciting. It is full of joyous events with your nearest and dearest, but can also include stress and an overwhelming amount of tasks. It’s important to remind yourself that as you and your fiancé venture on the wedding planning journey, as hard as you may try, nothing will ever be perfect. But that’s not to say that you can’t be properly prepared.

From finding your dream venue and the person who will help you execute this most important day, to making sure no detail gets forgotten, we’ve compiled a list of Wedding Day Do’s and Don’ts to help ensure you and your guests have the best possible experience ... from none other than a few of our own Seattle Wedding Industry Experts!


DO have a private last dance.
In a blink of an eye your wedding day will be wrapping up and this provides an intimate moment for you and your partner to absorb the day.
~ Grey Helmandollar, Lotte Hotel Seattle

DO treat your vendors with respect and trust that we want to do everything we can to ensure your wedding day is everything you dreamed of!
~ Desiree Jones, Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering, a DSquared Hospitality Company

DO trust your vendors.
You're going to get their best work when you trust them to bring your vision to life. Don't micro-manage.
~ Gina Thresher, From the Ground Up FloralDO base inspiration on color and textures.

DO be present.

When building your day-of timeline, create opportunities to be present & enjoy the moment with each other.  There is so much planning leading up to your big day, and so much happening during – don’t let it pass too quickly.
~ Lindsay Borkowski, Sunriver Resort

DO always put the DJ as close to the dancefloor as possible.
Shoving them off to the side or in the corner diminishes the overall performance and makes it difficult for the DJ to engage with their audience. If you put your DJ on the other side of the room from the dance floor, (which sounds crazy but happens more often than you think) they will have to increase the volume in order to compensate for the distance from the dancefloor. This means that not only will the sound quality on the dancefloor be diminished, it means that all the tables in between the DJ and the dancefloor will be subject to louder music throughout the evening and won't be able to carry on conversations comfortably. Place the dancefloor in the middle of your room, the DJ next to the dancefloor in the middle, and place your tables evenly around the room. This will result in the best sound for everyone at your wedding, wherever they are! 
~ David Schwartz, Orion Entertainment

DO eat right after the ceremony.
Ask your caterer to deliver a plate of appetizers and your drinks of choice to where you will be signing your marriage license after the ceremony so you can spend the first 15 minutes of the cocktail hour enjoying some alone time together before the chaos of greeting all your guests.
~ Desiree Jones, Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering, a DSquared Hospitality Company

Don't worry so much about the specific types of flowers...Mother nature can be rude, and the floral market is a crazy place nowadays. Trusting your florist will nail the colors and texture will win you a gorgeous cohesion of your overall theme.   
~ Gina Thresher, From the Ground Up Floral

DO get comfortable with the idea that your timeline is fluid.
Any number of factors could contribute to the schedule shifting up or down – from inclement weather, to late guests, to a ceremony wrapping up faster than expected. But don’t worry, experienced wedding vendors know how to absorb timeline shifts to keep the day flowing smoothly. That being said, make sure to thoroughly communicate times, directions, and other necessary details to your guests and vendors to minimize delays.
~ Desiree Jones, Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering, a DSquared Hospitality Company

DO u
se table names in lieu of table numbers (i.e. names of flowers).
This is influenced by Chinese traditions, as numbers can hold significant meanings and hierarchy. Using table names offers equity among guests.
~ Grey Helmandollar, Lotte Hotel Seattle

 what feels right to YOU.
There’s no such thing as perfect, just what’s perfect for you and your partner. If things aren’t going according to plan, don’t sweat it. Remember you are marrying your best friend.
~ Melanie Catanzano, The Belfry at Seabrook

DO hire a wedding planner!
This way your mom/best friend/Aunt Jane can enjoy being present on your big day, and not be responsible for gathering up your gifts at the end of the night. The peace of mind and extra assistance is priceless.
~ Amanda LeRoy, Edgewater Hotel

DO keep your dance party rockin'!
Stack your "special moments" beforehand so they don't intercept your dance party! Starting and stopping a dance party for things like cake cutting or a bouquet toss is the best way to kill the momentum. When you're planning your reception timeline, have your special moments, like your cake cutting, first dance, parent dances, bouquet toss, etc, take place one after another in a seamless segment before dancing while you have everyone's attention. Your photographer will appreciate the nicer lighting for these beautiful moments and your DJ will appreciate having these things done so they can start rockin' the party and get you all on the dance floor!
~ Jojo Dyckhoff, Bamboo Beats


DON'T do staged send offs!
It can be tempting if your photographer charges hourly to want to stage your send off early for a photo op. While this may seem like a good idea, it can really disrupt your party and confuse your guests. It is common that when a send off is staged at 9pm and the end time of your wedding is 10pm, that guests will assume the party is over when they see you leaving. Even if the DJ announces that dancing will continue after it is very common for a lot of guests to take this as a cue to leave and will do just that. 
~ David Schwartz, Orion Entertainment

DON’T sweat the small stuff.
Your big day should be focused around the love you have for each other. While the overall design and vision for your big day is important, the font on your table numbers isn’t going to make or break your wedding memories. Your guests will remember the overall experience - not the exact placement of your favors. Don’t let the tiny details stress you out.
~ Amanda LeRoy, Edgewater Hotel

DON'T hire based on deals and discounts.
Choose a florist (or any vendor for that matter) that you can communicate with well. 
~ Gina Thresher, From the Ground Up Floral

DON'T forget to indulge in a late night snack.
If you’ve been drinking (and dancing!) for 4+ hours, your body could use a little sustenance to help you make it to the post-wedding brunch the next morning.
~ Desiree Jones, Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering, a DSquared Hospitality Company

DON'T choose the conventional path.
Find what makes you both happy and do it! Everyone else will adjust.
~ Grey Helmandollar, Lotte Hotel Seattle

DON'T forget to pause and enjoy the moment.
Try to take a few minutes to breathe and take it all in with your partner. Your wedding day is the first day that you are starting your life together as one. The day will go by so quickly, try to soak in the moment and have fun!
~ Melanie Catanzano, The Belfry at Seabrook