Wedding Planning Tips

Don’t Forget These Details When Planning Your Wedding | From a Michigan Wedding Planner

Important details that always get missed on a wedding day!

– From a pro wedding planner –

It is SO important to have open communication with your photographer about how you want your day captured. Most people only think about the group portrait list or that one shoe photo. However, if your wedding is FULL of beautiful little details like cute place card holders, make sure you let them know, “Hey, I really want a lot of detail shots of the wedding day!” In addition, make sure to build this into your days timeline to make sure they have time to capture it all. Your wedding planner, coordinator, or photographer will work with you on creating the perfect timeline to capture the details!

I (Lynette) take a moment to reflect after every. single. wedding. This is a time for me to cover what worked well, what didn’t work, and what I can add to my workflow to make sure that “mishap” never happens again. Even though I have closed out on year 7 and almost 100 total events planned, I continue to learn something new every wedding. You are never done learning! Here are a few details that I make sure happen every wedding that are easily forgotten!

It’s all about the details:

As a couple and/or a wedding designer, you have probably spent over a year planning all the beautiful details. You made sure to select the perfect charger plate, guest menu, and linen to enhance the design. It is SO important to reserve time during the day to capture the full reception room and detail shots! You want photos of all of your hard work before guests head in and get comfortable laying their jackets over chairs, setting their drinks on tables, and filling that beautiful welcome table with gifts.

  1. Have your photographer send their second shooter (yes, pay for a second shooter!) to the reception early to capture the details just before those doors open.
  2. If the ceremony is at the same venue as the reception, have both photographers head to the reception space during that half-hour when guests are arriving at the ceremony. Don’t forget to ask any staff to exit the space so they don’t get caught in the background! During this time, the couple is usually tucked away, relaxing before walking down the aisle. This is the perfect time to capture those details. You won’t regret having these photos, but you will regret not having them!

Michigan Wedding Planner Wedding Reception Room

The Ridge At Verterra Wedding

Bride and Groom Place Cards

The Timeline:

I could do a wedding timeline in my sleep. However, most couples are doing this for the first time! When you are building your timeline, factor in 2-5 extra minutes for big moments. For example, hair and makeup end time, bride getting dressed, travel time, first look, toasts, etc. This builds in extra buffer time throughout the day that can be used during other moments that may be running behind. (that bustle that no one can get that everyone spent 20 minutes on.) This way, that dinner should be served hot and everything stays on target! I like to play a little personal game on wedding days of, “How accurate am I with my timeline.” (down to the minute!) Answer: Always on time and a major source of pride.

Flatlay + Details:

One of the many items that get overlooked are photos of those beautifully designed Save The Dates, Invitation suite along with the day of stationery (ceremony programs, guest table menus, place cards, etc.) Have your invitation designer send extra copies of each item and toss those in a box. Also, check with the photographer if they plan on bringing a styling kit with them. If not, toss some ribbon, wax seals, a ring box, or any other goodies for them to style with. Place the box next to the wedding dress so they can capture those details at the same time. These details really tell a story about the whole day!

For the items below, I provided the photographer an extra velvet linen for her to use for flatlay items. This way, the linen matched the colors of the wedding and tied right into what was used at the wedding. Samatha James Photography always shows up on the wedding day with a stocked styling kit, so I knew she would have items such as ribbon and other goodies!

wedding invitation flat lay

Your Hotel Welcome Box:

You spent all that time and money picking out all the perfect items for your guest welcome box. Don’t forget to save one for photos! This welcome box below featured all of the couple’s favorite northern Michigan items as this was a destination wedding!

The Bustle:

Picture this: 2 Bridesmaids, 1 mother of the bride, 1 planner, and 1 photographer all attempting to bustle the bridal gown moments before the grand entrance and that hot dinner plate (and chef!) getting cold and impatient. Even if you have a video recording of your seamstress doing it, it’s always a challenge when it comes down to it. Factor in 15 minutes of bustle time before heading into the reception. This might mean having to extend the cocktail hour a bit or shortening the wedding party photos, but you don’t want to keep your hungry guests waiting at their seats or run the risk of your dinner being cold!

The Look:

There are pros and cons of doing a first look with your partner. (That’s a whole other blog post for a different day!) However, don’t forget that first look with your parents! Brides, schedule time in for your father (or mother!) to see you for the first time all dolled up in your dress. Guys, add time into the schedule to do the same with your mother! You can also look to schedule first looks with grandparents as well. Don’t forget, grab the tissues. You will need them!

the ridge at verterra

Michigan Wedding Planner

A few bonus items!

  1. When setting the dessert table, make sure the caterer adds a napkin, cake plate, and two forks! Nothing ruins the infamous cake cutting like not having a plate to set the slice on or fork to eat it!
  2. Provide your bartenders with your favorite drink of choice and make sure they set it out at your seat just before the grand entrance. This way you have something to toast with (if you are not doing champagne) and something for dinner! Everyone else will have had time to get themselves a drink during cocktail hour.
  3. Have a signature drink? Add that to the list of items to have your photographer capture. The one below was an Apple Cider Margharita and the guests went crazy for it!
  4. If you are short on time in between the ceremony and reception and you have a personal family member or friend as your officiant, skip signing that marriage license until after dinner. It takes about 15 minutes to sign the license and sometimes that is valuable family photo time. Don’t forget a pretty pen and ask your photographer on the perfect location for this.

Michigan Wedding Planner

Signature Drink at The Ridge of Verterra Wedding



Photography:  Samantha James Photography

Planning and Design: All Grand Events + Floral

Floral: Bloom Floral Design

Linens, Flatware, Chargers: Specials Occasions

Rentals: 307 events + tents

Venue: The Ridge at Verterra

Cake: Top Tier Cakery

Beauty: Caidy Marie Beauty

Invitations: Danielle Bleuse

Day of Stationery/Seating Chart: Lief Designs

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2233 W Grand River Ave. Okemos, MI 48864

All Grand Events + Floral is a luxury wedding planner in Michigan offering floral, event design, and full service wedding + event planning. Based in Okemos and serving Michigan from Grand Rapids to Metro Detroit.