One of our main methodologies when working with couples on their Wedding plans is customization. This goes from the location, to signage and even down to their Wedding Ceremony plans. There are many different variations you can apply to the processional and recessional process as there is no one size fits all. Some that are based off religious traditions, some based off logistics, and some based purely off which side the Bride prefers to be photographed from. We are walking you through all of your options and how to put together the best plan for you. Putting a plan in place now will prevent any confusion and anxiety when you get to the rehearsal, and you can feel confident going into your Wedding day.
First of all, Processional and Recessional are likely terms you are not familiar with unless you happen to have been in a lot of Weddings. These are terms used to describe the entry and exit of the Bridal Party. Processional being entry and Recessional being the exit.
Who is Involved?
Before you think about how people will be walking in and out, think about who you want to be included in this process. “Traditionally” the below are included:
Where Will They Stand/Sit?
Before you can think about how people will walk in and walk out, think about where they are going to be during the ceremony. Traditionally the Bridal Party (Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Best Man and Maid of Honor) stand, lined up behind the Bride and Groom. However, various religious ceremonies require that the Bridal Party sit in the front row instead. For example, if you are hosting a Christian mass with your ceremony, they will be asked to sit as they cannot be up at the altar for the duration of a mass. Similarly, some Jewish ceremonies require the parents to stand up with the Bride and Groom and have the Bridal Party sit. Speak with whomever is conducting your ceremony to see if they have a religious or personal preference that works best for the content of your ceremony.
Their standing or seating order can be arranged in personal preference or height, always starting with the Best Man and Maid of Honor standing closest to the couple.
As far as sides for the Bride and Groom, traditionally the Bride is on the left side and the Groom is on the right side. If you are not having a formal or religious ceremony, you of course can switch this up however you’d like.
What's the Proper Order?
CHRISTIAN WEDDING CEREMONY:
Now, let’s talk about order. Traditionally, at a birds-eye view, the order should be:
JEWISH WEDDING CEREMONY:
Couples having a non-religious ceremony can choose any order they want. We recommend keeping the birds-eye view order while making your preference for the Groom, Bridesmaids and Groomsmen.
Same sex couple can select orders that reflect any religions, traditions or personal preferences they would like. Some same-sex wedding ceremony traditions we have seen and recommend:
APPLIES TO ALL:
Everyone exists essentially in the opposite order as how they walked in. The Bride and Groom of course lead the way, followed by the Maid of Honor and Best Man, the rest of the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, Parents of the Bride and Groom, Grandparents of the Bride and Groom and then the Officiant. The rest of the guests will follow suit.
We love getting to know all of our clients and developing personal long lasting relationships with them. Especially with Weddings, we spend a lot of time learning about our client's backgrounds, lifestyles, families and ensuring everything about their day is personal to them!
Part of our consultation process when getting to know new clients is telling them about us and our story. It's very important that they feel we are experienced in the Wedding industry, but also that we have similar personalities to make the process as fun as possible!
Ashley has been working for Kelly Elizabeth Events for over 1 year and continues to dazzle clients with her positive attitude and attention to details. She can always be counted on to execute every logistic with a passion and expertise that allows her clients to enjoy their day without a worry. We love having her on the team and here's little bit more about her!
Ashley Auger - Wedding Coordinator
What type of Weddings are your favorite?
For me, the most special and meaningful Weddings are the ones that are unique and truly reflect the couple and what is important to them. There are so many creative ways to add small personal touches to your Wedding and I enjoy getting to learn about our couples through the planning process and trying to find ways to incorporate the things they love into their Wedding day. My favorite Weddings are the ones a little outside the norm and I love the challenge of making these visions a reality for our couples.
What’s a dream venue or destination where you’d love to plan a Wedding?
This one is tough! There are so many places in the world I would love to plan a Wedding, but my number one is The Boston Public Library. The outdoor courtyard is gorgeous, and I’m obsessed with Reed Hall. Someday hopefully!
What’s your biggest piece of advice for Bride’s planning their Wedding?
Focus on the bigger picture. When couples are planning their Wedding it can be easy to get caught up in all the little decisions. Your Wedding day is supposed to celebrate you two as a couple and the love you share! While picking out flowers and décor can be fun, that’s not the most important part. It can be tough when dealing with pressure from friends and family, but this day should reflect who you are, so don’t forget that!
Also, get a Day-of Wedding Coordinator! Even if you have the planning part down on your own, having someone there the day-of your Wedding to make sure your big day runs smoothly and is stress-free is priceless.
What do you like to do when you’re not planning Weddings?
I’m a bookworm (probably a reason I love the Boston Public Library so much) so in my free time I love reading, especially historical biographies. I also enjoy traveling and learning about different cultures and food of the world, cooking and spending time with my family.
Naturally since we are in the business of Weddings, Bachelorette parties are a common topic sourcing lots of questions from our clients (and let's be honest, friends and family). They are one of our favorite celebrations and they are such a fun way to gather all your gal pals and spoil the bride to be. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the work that goes into the planning them, especially when the group count can get pretty high, but take a breath! Here are some of our tips for throwing an unforgettable bachelorette party or weekend:
Talk to the Bride
When planning the Bachelorette party, remember it's all about your girl! While you may want to keep the specifics a surprise for the bride to be, it is important to talk to her and get an idea of what she is envisioning for her party before the party. Is she hoping for a wild weekend away in Vegas or a relaxing wine tasting followed by dinner at her favorite restaurant? This will not only ensure you plan something she will LOVE, but it's a great way to make her feel involved. Respect her wishes and aim to plain something within her vision and expectations.
PRO TIP: Have your Bride make a shared Pinterest board for her Bachelorette party! This is a great way for you to get a clear picture of what she wants and involve her in the fun party of planning - the ideas!
Bachelorette party costs can add up quickly and it is a must to stay on top of your budget! After talking to the bride and getting a feel for what she wants, discuss your plan with the rest of the bridal party to find a budget everyone is comfortable with. By setting a budget before you start planning, you can make sure that all the plans you are making are not going to break the bank and within everyone's means. It is totally possible to throw an amazing party without spending too much!
Once your budget is set and your planning is underway, collecting money and dividing costs can be a tricky task to tackle. We find the easiest way to accomplish this is to figure out all the anticipated costs for the weekend and have everyone pay ahead of time for the big group expenses. This allows you to have money to buy anything you need to ahead of time like tickets, hotel rooms, decorations etc.
PRO TIP: If you still have smaller expenses, i.e., Ubers, meals, drinks etc - we recommend the app Splitwise. It easily allows you to keep track of who pays for what throughout the weekend and who owes who - without you needing to do any of the math! At the end of the weekend it reconciles it all for you :)
Plan, Plan, Plan!
We recommend planning a few big group activities and always planning food! Finding a restaurant with availability for a large group last minute can be difficult, so to make sure you don’t end up with a group of hangry girls, research restaurants ahead of time and make a reservation for your group.
PRO TIP: If any of the activities you have planned are weather permitting it is always a good idea to have a back-up plan…just in case!
EXTRA PRO TIP: Make a shared playlist on Spotify that all the guests can add the bride’s favorite songs to. It will be the perfect soundtrack for the weekend!
Make it Personal!
It's always fun to make the bride to be feel extra special by getting some fun Bachelorette party décor! Pick a theme and spruce up your space with balloons and a fun garland. If you're having a night out, maybe deck out the car or party bus! If you're going away from a weekend - try to focus the décor in the shared areas of the house like the kitchen, living room or backyard. We also love making welcome bags or hangover kits to give the guests when they arrive. You can include anything from matching t-shirts or hats, mini bottles of champagne, sunglasses, water bottles, personalized tumblers, snacks, Tylenol…the options are endless! Etsy has an unlimited amount of ideas that let you personalize these items with the Brides name or the hashtag for the party.
PRO TIP: When it comes to NSFW décor - it's always best to respect the bride’s wishes. If she’s not into it, that’s ok! Remember this weekend is about celebrating her and you don’t want her to feel uncomfortable.
Keeping track of all the details for the Bachelorette party plans can be tough, but an excel spreadsheet can help keep you organized. You can keep a running RSVP list, outline your budget, gather all your décor and favor ideas in one place, make lists of activities and supplies you will need and keep a running list of to-do’s before the party. Trust us, this will be a lifesaver and avoid having 30 different lists. If you make it in Google Sheets, it's also something you can easily share with the rest of the bridal party!
PRO TIP: Print any confirmations, orders, etc that you may need for your plans ahead of time. This way you can avoid any issues brining something up on your.
Get Everyone Involved
This brings us to our next and last tip, planning a Bachelorette party can be a big task for one person..so delegate! Ask the others in the bridal party to help with specific tasks to help make the planning a little easier. One person can be in charge of making the favors, one person can research restaurants, one person can plan a fun game to play with the bride etc. By leaning on the rest of the bridal party for a little help you can focus on the other big stuff! Also - everyone likes to be involved and contribute - you all have one thing in common afterall, your love for the Bride!
Final Pro Tip - A Checklist to Get You Started!
Not sure where to start, here are 10 tasks to help you get started and organized when planning a Bachelorette party!
The Griffin Museum of Photography, located in Winchester, MA is a charming and serene Wedding Venue just outside of Boston. Located on Judkins Pond, this colonial style building houses stunning photography exhibits and offers the perfect backdrop for a small, intimate Wedding. Not only is the Main Gallery inside the museum available for your reception, but they also offer their outside patio on the waterfront for ceremonies. They also offer the opportunity to tent the patio if you think you may have a larger crowd.
Behind the main space is an an apartment style kitchen, two bathrooms and additional gallery that can be great back of house space for any vendor, bridal party prep etc. If you’re looking for a quaint picturesque New England Wedding Venue, this one could be for you!
One of our favorite features is an operating water wheel and the family of Swans that live on the pond. If you get lucky, they may just make an appearance for your Wedding. Throughout the whole property, there are countless spots for some great Wedding photos. We've been lucky enough to plan two Weddings at the venue which both have gone wonderfully with the support of the amazing Museum team.
Here are some of our favorite moments from Nora and George’s Wedding at The Griffin Museum of Photography in 2019!
All Photos by Alex Cole Photography
One of the first things couples do post-engagement is go down a Pinterest rabbit hole collecting ideas on a Wedding vision board start their planning and bring it all to life. We say rabbit hole because that's exactly how Pinterest works. One pin leads to another, to another, to another. Do not get us wrong. WE LOVE PINTEREST! It is perfect for collecting ideas and find what colors, textures, designs, locations etc all resonate with you for your Wedding and putting together a vision board that sparks excitement to jump in planning. From the ceremony to tablescapes, favors and thank you notes, you can find ideas for everything! It's also a great tool to collect you ideas to share with your florist, planner and photographer.
In our line of work, we have become very well-versed in Pinterest and love working with clients on putting together their perfect Wedding Vision Board through Pinterest. Here are some ideas for templates on how to keep your thoughts organized and how to avoid getting overwhelmed with Pinterest.
Use the Sections Feature
Pinterest recently added the opportunity to add sections to your Pinterest board. This has been extremely helpful and avoids the need to create 15 different boards for your Wedding. Before you start pinning, we recommend following a template for your vision board and setting up sections:
Focus on Big Picture
The Wedding Planning process ebbs and flows. So many things can affect what make sense for your Wedding. Venue, vendors, date, location etc all can affect whether that setup you're seeing on Pinterest can come to life. When you're pinning, we encourage you to get excited about the things you see, but keep an open mind and focus on different trends and ideas you like as opposed to specific pictures. The truth is, it's your Wedding and you want to put your interpretation and personal style on an idea, not completely replicate something already done.
Follow Local Vendors/Publications
Try searching for Pinterest accounts specifically in your area (or where you are going to get married) so you can see local vendors are doing. Why fall in love with a venue on the opposite coast as you if you are not going to have a destination Wedding?
Share it with your Friends and Family!
Make the board collaborative! Invite your friends and family to also share ideas that they find that may be helpful to you!
Look Outside Pinterest
You don't need to just find pins through Pinterest. Check out Instagram pages, Wedding Blogs, even vendor websites to find ideas you like! Portfolio pages for photographers, planners and venues are great sources for finding inspiration. When you start the planning process, using Pinterest to host all your ideas for venues and vendors can help you remember what you liked about each of them from their websites.
TIP: Adding the Pinterest Widget to your web browsers makes it really easy to add pins of things you find while browsing the internet.
Enjoy some of our favorite tips, tricks and select event highlights!