Resource Library

5 Tough Wedding Day Questions Answered

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You’re planning your wedding, minding your own business and then from out of left field you come across something that doesn’t seem quite right. Or even better, you’re asked a question by a well meaning family member or guest and you aren’t sure how to respond. Sweet I Do’s has been doing this wedding thing for almost 10 years and we have the answers to 5 of the toughest wedding day questions, ever!

Can we bring our kids to your wedding (and you don’t want them to be there)?

The answer is simply, no. But nothing is simple in this minefield of a question. You don’t want to be the bad guy and tell everyone, no or get flak from actually daring to say you want an adults only wedding.

It’s okay, just say that due to venue restrictions you just can’t have any children at the reception. No one needs to know that those venue restrictions are coming from your personal preferences.

If you continue to get pressure to allow the kiddos, then state that your event insurance doesn’t allow for children at an event where alcohol will be served (this one only works if your wedding will actually have alcohol served).

If you are having your own kids or immediate family member kids only, then tell inquiring minds just that. The only children at the wedding will be immediate family.

Compromise - If you can swing it in your budget, you can offer to have a licensed and insured sitting service provide on-site care in a different area of the venue.

Is it okay to only serve beer and wine?

The answer is, yes, it is perfectly okay to only serve beer and wine at your wedding. We understand that alcohol can be expensive and having 100+ people drink for a few hours can cost big $$$$. Just don’t try and pull one over on your guests and have a secret stash of a little something for just you and your partner. It tough on the bartenders to have to tell people over and over that that particular thing is only for you.

We want all the money!! Can we just tell guests to bring cold, hard cash for our gift?

No! No, you may not. First, you never get to assume that someone will bring a gift to your wedding (they should, but you know abut that whole assuming thing). Second, while we have changed a lot of traditions with regards to weddings, asking for cash is just rude in any situation. People aren’t stupid. Create a small registry for the die hard gift givers and everyone else will get the idea - no honey fund or cute poem needed.

Plus ones, yay or nay?

This one is really hard for me. I’m of the opinion that no one should get to define another persons relationship status, level of commitment or ability to handle social situations. Trying to draw the line at married or not, number of years in a relationship, playboy or playgirl tendencies or how well they know and will interact with other people at your wedding is stressful and not something I think you should do. Just speaking from the heart here. Plan your guest list to give everyone a plus one. While I know it isn’t ideal to have potential strangers at your wedding, I promise unless it is a super intimate wedding, you won’t have time (or eyes) for anyone but the love of your life.

I’m not really close with my (insert family member here). Do I have to do the traditional wedding “things” with them?

No, you don’t HAVE to do anything. It is your wedding day. If you have talked about it with your partner and you both are on the same page, then do things your way. Having a wedding planner or wedding day manager will help make this situation go smoothly and no one will be the wiser. Our goal is to make sure that your day fits your vision and that you have all the best memories!

Have a question that we missed? Let us know!

4 Wedding Day Emergency Items You'll Forget To Pack

We know it will happen. It has happened before and it will happen again. My team and I are putting the final touches on a beautiful wedding and an embarrassed member of the wedding party comes up and says, do you have __________, we forgot to bring it. While we have yet to be stumped on a request (well there was that one time that the couple wanted special toasting flutes, but forgot to actually order them, but that’s a story for another day) we do want to tell you about the most forgotten items and remind you to put them in the bag, in the car.

Black Socks

We actually have 5 pairs of mens black socks in our wedding day emergency kit because this is the number one item that is forgotten. I know it’s weird, especially since more than likely the guys are renting their shoes with their suit or tux, but socks aren’t included. And no, your white knee high socks just won’t cut it.

Phone Chargers

We have chargers for both Apple and Android phones in our emergency kit because, while you may think about charging your phone at the end of the night, those babies are getting a workout on wedding day and you may need to charge them before the wedding to ensure they last all night long. Remember to pack the cords with the wall plug because finding a USB port is hard and no the DJ won’t let you plug into their laptop for just a few minutes.

Tampons

Yes, we said it. Pack some just in case. Again, we have some in our kit, but our brand may not be your brand. And nerves have a way of wrecking havoc on Mother Nature and her schedule.

Prescriptions

This includes all drugs as well as prescription glasses/sunglasses/contacts. While we do have some over-the-counter medications in our wedding emergency kit, we don’t care prescription anything with us and there are times when we’re in remote locations that don’t have a pharmacy around the corner.

A great wedding day manager will have a pretty extensive wedding emergency kit, but it won’t have everything. If you normally take it with you on an overnight trip, pack it and thank us later!

What Is In Our Wedding Day Emergency Kit

Let’s chat about wedding day emergency kits! So, I know that most couples when planning their wedding use Pinterest to help keep track of all the ideas and visions of things they like or want to have for their wedding. Inevitably there are pins on emergency kits that contain things to make sure your wedding day emergencies are covered. I thought it would be fun to talk about what a wedding day manager includes in her kit and the why behind it.

My kit is huge, for real, it is a four case rolling makeup kit plus side bag full of all the things you can think of (and a few I bet you can’t) that have been needed at a wedding or event. Take a peak…

Huge, right!?!?!

So what’s inside my Mary Poppins bottomless kit of all things wedding?

Typical Stuff

Yes, we have a ton of the typical stuff you’d expect to be in an emergency kit - Tylenol, Advil, Imodium AD, Pepto, Midol, Shout wipes, a Tide pen, tampons, pads, nail glue, eyelash glue, super glue, tape, envelopes, note cards, SO MANY PENS, lighters, scissors and on and on. Probably half of the kit is filled with things that are in your bathroom medicine cabinet and your kitchen junk drawer.

No So Typical Stuff

Then we get into the kinda unusual, but once you think about it it makes sense stuff - zip ties, s-hooks, t-pins, fabric glue, double sided fashion tape, a sewing kit, boutonniere pins, tweezers, hand sanitizer and so many more things. This would be the odds and ends in your laundry room and household repair kits.

Strange and Unusual

Finally we get to those things that just don’t seem to have a rhyme or reason - extra black socks, fake rings, garters, shoelaces, extension cords, umbrellas, bug spray, a cake cutting set, table numbers, batteries (every size imaginable), flashlights, chalk (a wedding dress’ best friend), cash, phone chargers (all brands), bungee cords, a complete tool set, a hatchet, garbage bags, toilet paper and that is just the tip of the kits goodness.

Everything in the kit has been needed at at least one wedding or event. And sometimes the emergencies just keep happening and the kit keeps giving up all its treasures. I can’t remember a time that I was asked for something and was unable to make it happen (thank goodness for over prepared wedding day managers).

If you’re a wedding vendor, what is the most unusual thing in your kit? If you’re getting married, what is the one thing you hope your wedding day manager or wedding planner has in their kit? Just married, what did you need to use from your kit (or your manager or planners kit)

4 Things You Should Expect From Your Wedding Day Manager

We understand! Planning your wedding is hard. This is probably the first time you have planned something this large, with this many moving pieces and to be frank, this expensive. You want to know that you have made all the right decisions and spent your hard earned money well. So you hire a wedding day manager (day of coordinator, planner, wedding manager, etc.) to help with the stress and to ensure your hard earned money and all your tough decisions play out perfectly. How do you know you’ve put your trust in the right person? Take a look at 4 things you should expect from your wedding day manager.

Involvement

Your wedding day manager should be involved before the week of or day of your wedding. While not a full or partial planner, they are still responsible for knowing your vendors, venue and your vision for your wedding day which they can’t reasonably do if they don’t get involved sometime between 2 and 3 months prior.

We are passively involved from the moment you sign our contract - gathering documents, reviewing contracts, offering referrals and being available to answer questions. We become actively involved 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding - working on your timeline, floorpan, reaching out to your vendors gathering needed day of information and working with you to put all the little details together.

Availability

Like any business your wedding day manager may have office hours and may have even limited communication based on the package that you purchased with them. Totally understandable, we have them too! However, their availability to you should not be completely cut off until a certain date passes. Not being available to you before a certain date means that they have to go into potential crisis management mode and play catch up, plus they can’t advise you on decisions that may have consequences that you are unaware of.

We want to know all about your wedding! Talk to us as much as you would like!! We are available to answer questions during our business hours via email starting the day you sign your contract. We want to know what is going, what you are thinking and how your wedding day vision is evolving. Knowledge is power and we want all the information!

Communicative

This one should go without saying, but your wedding day manager should communicate with you on a semi regular basis, from the time you contract until your wedding day (monthly communication at a minimum) just to check in and make sure everything is still proceeding on schedule. What shouldn’t happen is that you send them some money and then not hear from them until your official “start work date” occurs.

We talk to you about how often you want to hear from us. If you want us to check in every couple of months, we will. If you want monthly check-in’s we’re happy to do that as well. Our open door policy truly encourages you to reach out to us as well!

Friendliness (and TBH controlling, too)

Your wedding day will be one of the most emotional days of your life. You will experience high highs and low lows. You need a friendly face around and you also need to know they are in control of the entire day. Your wedding day manager should be friendly but in control at all times. At no point in the time leading up to your wedding should you feel like a burden, like you aren’t important or that they aren’t in control.

One of the reasons we like to talk face to face before you hire us is so you can get to know who we are as people. What you see is truly what you get. We want to ensure that we click and that you trust us absolutely. On your wedding day we are your cheerleader, your advocate, your director and yes, occasionally your bouncer.

If at any point in your planning process you don’t feel that your wedding day manager is fulfilling your expectations, have a sit down chat with them. You need them to be in your corner every single step of the way.

Haven’t hired someone yet? Reach out and schedule a FREE consultation so we can get to know each other, let’s see if we click!

Wedding Hot Button Topic - Venue Coordinators versus Wedding Day Coordinators - Is there really a difference???

We exhibit at a bridal show a couple of times a year. We love meeting all the newly engaged couples that are looking for ideas and of course are looking for vendors like us to help make their wedding day amazing! One of the things that we have noticed lately, more so than other years, is the influx of people commenting that they don’t need a wedding coordinator, their venue has a day of coordinator included in their price. When we ask what specifically is included, the answer is - “They say they do everything you do, so to not waste our money.” This makes me sad on so many levels because 99% of the time it just isn’t true. And by the time the client figures it out (if they ever do) it is way too late to do anything about it. Keep reading to learn more about what they typical venue coordinator does and what we do.

Venue Coordinator

Also known as a venue manager, and can be merged with a maitre d’ or banquet captain, venue coordinators are working for the venue. That is who is signing their paychecks and who they must keep happy in the end. They handle all of the details specific to the venue - tours, bookings, contracts, communicating with set up staff, banquet staff and housekeeping/maintenance.

Some venue coordinators will do some minor set up of client provided items. Some will do a little more. They will more likely than not leave before the end of your wedding reception and hand you over to someone you have never met before and knows nothing about you or your wedding beyond what their BEO states. Venue coordinators have a high turnover rate so the person you starts with may not be the person you finish with. If there is a dispute or issue that concerns the venue, they will focus on the best outcome for the venue and not you.

Wedding Day Management Specialist

Also known as a wedding coordinator or day of/month of coordinator, wedding day management specialists are working for you, the couple. You are the one signing their paycheck and you are who they must keep happy. They handle ALL of the details for ALL of the vendors including the venue - meeting vendors, reviewing contracts, creating and maintaining the timeline, assisting with all aspects of the wedding day from the minute you wake up until you leave the reception.

Most wedding day management specialists will set up client provided items. The majority of them will stay until the end of the night. If they are working multiple events, you will know in advance and will know and have worked with your lead coordinator prior to the day of. If you have a dispute or issue with the venue they will be your advocate and have your best interests at heart. They know you, know your wedding details and your vision. They know all the things that are the most important to you.

Big Picture

There are some AMAZING venue coordinators out there. They work well with all the vendors, they care for their couples and do way more than the average.

We love working with most of the local venue coordinators!!!! But they don’t do everything we do.

The great ones will welcome an outside coordinator with open arms because they know that they can’t focus all of their attention on the client and they can’t handle all of the details, especially if they are trying to handle multiple events at the same time. They know that by working as a team, nothing will be left to chance, that all the bases will be covered and that any issues will be dealt with quickly and with little to no disruption of the wedding.

If your venue coordinator tells you that you don’t need an outside coordinator, please stop and ask them why. Ask them to provide you a list of duties they execute, in writing. Then use our handy guide to compare what they do versus what we (and most coordinators) do.

Wedding Alcohol Calculator

Buying the alcohol for your wedding? Have no idea how much to buy? Let us help! Check out our guide below!

Tips

  • Buy in bulk and/or by the case. Most Sam's Club and Costco's will allow you to shop without a membership and will accept returns of unopened bottles/cases. Bevmo will ice and deliver your alcohol if you purchase more than $500.00 in products.
  • Make sure to get a licensed/insured bartender to serve your alcohol.
  • Get event/wedding insurance with an alcohol rider to protect yourself and your guests.
  • Ask your bartending service if they provide glasses, ice, napkins, mixers, etc.
  • Tip your bartender through their contract/personally and ask that they not put out a tip jar.

 

4 Things You Must Include in Your Wedding Invitations

You've got a fabulous fiancé, a gorgeous ring, a beautiful venue and the perfect date, now what? Time to choose your wedding invitations! But your wedding is not like a birthday party where you can just send one piece of paper with all the information on it and if people come great Happy Birthday!!!!, and if not oh well, more cake for me! There are 4 things that you must include in your wedding invitation set (and a couple of fun additions if your budget is a little more flexible).

 

1. The actual wedding invitation itself. Key information to include - your names, the date, time and location of the ceremony (and reception if at a different location).

2. The outer envelope - this should be addressed to the people that are invited to the wedding specifically. For example, if you are only inviting the adults in a family - only address the invitation to the parents  - Tom and Sally Anderson. If you are inviting a couple that aren't married yet, include, by name both people - David Jones and Anna Williams. If you are inviting someone over 18 that is allowed to bring a guest or companion indicate this by addressing it with their name and guest - Mr. John Smith and Guest. If you are inviting a family you can either address by name or by family name - Seth, Kim, Julie and Ryan Brown or The Brown Family.

3. The RSVP or response card. Key information to include - date to be returned, number of guests/seats invited, meal options (if needed), number of children's meals/dietary restrictions (if needed), line for their name. Planner tip - either number the RSVP card in pencil or black light pen to match with your guest list, just in case guests don't write their names (or you can't read the writing on the card).

4. The RSVP or response card envelope. This needs to be pre-stamped and addressed to come back to you or your wedding planner.

Bonus items - 

Directions or map card - if your location is difficult to find, the majority of your guests are from out of town or your ceremony and reception are in two different locations, you may want to consider adding this card. Planner tip - if your location is in a black hole or poor cell phone reception area consider adding a card.

Menu - if your guest list includes a number of people that have known allergies or if you are having a unique food style (all vegan, Thai, sushi stations only, etc.) you may want to consider adding a card with your menu.

Accommodations card - if you have a room block in a particularly busy location or your date is on a popular date you may want to include a card with the room block information. Planner tip - if you have a hard block (you will be charged if the block is not fully booked) or your wedding is in a location where accommodations are limited consider adding a card.

Need help with invitation wording or font selections? Check out our helpful infographics!


Sweet I Do's is a wedding planning company located in Surprise, AZ (a suburb of Phoenix). We specialize in wedding day management (also known as day of coordination). We help you create an amazing, unique and totally "you" wedding that allows you to be in the moments making the memories, not worrying about the details. From contract review and timeline creation to day of management, set up and tear down, we're focused on ensuring our couples, their families and friends experience a stress and worry free night to remember.

Where to Go and What to Do to Make it Legal in Maricopa County

While everyone loves a big party and a wedding it the epitome of a big party, you only need three things to get married, legally, in Maricopa County - an officially recognized officiant, two willing participants and a marriage license issued by the county.

Here is your quick, all in one place, guide to knowing where to go and what to do  to get that all important piece of paper (which is good for anywhere in the state of Arizona).

Who

Both of you must appear in person, with state issued photo ID's. 

You must both be over the age of 18. (If you are underage, you must be accompanied by your parents, legal guardian or have a notarized parental consent form.)

Cost

As of 5/17/2016, the cost of a marriage license is $76.00 payable in cash or money order, no personal checks will be accepted (some locations will take a credit card).

Your license is good for one year from date of purchase. It can be used the day it it issued.

Where

For a complete list of county locations that issue licenses and their hours of operations visit the Maricopa County Clerk of the Superior Court site.

  • In Buckeye visit the White Tank Justice Court located at 21749 W. Yuma Rd. Buckeye, AZ 85326 (Monday-Friday 8 am to 5 pm).
  • In Chandler visit either the San Marcos Justice Court located at 201 E. Chicago St. Suite 103 Chandler, AZ 85225 (Monday-Friday 10 am to 3 pm money order only) or the San Tan Justice Court located at 201 E. Chicago St. Suite 102 Chandler, AZ 85225 (Monday-Friday 10 am to 3 pm money order only).
  • In Gila Bend visit Ironwood Justice Court located at 209 E. Pima Gila Bend, AZ 85337 (Monday-Friday 8 am to 5 pm).
  • In Gilbert visit the Highland Justice Court located at 55 E. Civic Center Dr. Suite 55 Gilbert, AZ 85296 (Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 3:30 pm).
  • In Mesa visit the Southeast Court Complex located at 222 E. Javelina Mesa, AZ 85210 (Monday-Friday 8 am to 5 pm).
  • In downtown Phoenix visit the Phoenix Downtown Customer Service Center located at 601 W. Jackson Phoenix, AZ 85003 (Monday-Friday 8 am to 5 pm).
  • In northeast Phoenix visit the Northeast Regional Court Center located at 18380 N. 40th St. Suite 120 Phoenix, AZ 85032 (Monday-Friday 8 am to 5 pm).
  • In west Phoenix visit the Maryvale Justice Court locate at 4622 W. Indian School Suite 10 Phoenix, AZ 85031 (Monday 8 am to 4 pm, closed on Tuesday, Wednesday from 8 am to 12 pm, Thursday and Friday from 8 am to 4 pm).
  • In Surprise visit the Northwest Regional Court Center located at 14264 W. Tierra Buena Ln. Surprise, AZ 85374 (Monday-Friday 8 am to 5 pm).
  • In Tolleson visit the Agua Fria Justice Court located at 9550 W. Van Buren Suite 6 Tolleson, AZ 85353 (Monday-Friday 8 am to 5 pm).
  • In Youngtown visit the Youngtown City Court located at 12033 Clubhouse Square Youngtown, AZ 85363 (Monday-Friday 8 am to 4 pm).

Sweet I Do's is a wedding planning company located in Surprise, AZ (a suburb of Phoenix). We specialize in wedding day management (also known as day of coordination). We help you create an amazing, unique and totally "you" wedding that allows you to be in the moments making the memories, not worrying about the details. From contract review and timeline creation to day of management, set up and tear down, we're focused on ensuring our couples, their families and friends experience a stress and worry free night to remember.

Don't Make This Wedding Budget Mistake - Plan For Gratuities, Thank You Gifts and/or Tips!

When creating a wedding budget it is so easy to remember to account for all the big ticket items – venue, dress, photographer, flowers. But, it is easy to forget all the little things that can quickly add up. One of those little things that is usually forgotten is the gratuity or tip for your service providers. Should you tip every single person that provides a service? Not necessarily. But knowing who and how much ensures that your budget doesn’t take an unnecessary and unpleasant hit in the last few days leading up to your wedding. To help you make a more accurate budget and to navigate the tricky waters of tipping, we’ve created a handy checklist and provided a little bit of insight into the murky waters.

While no one should ever expect a tip or gratuity, certain service providers are almost always tipped, while others only receive one if they have done and amazing job and have went above and beyond what they were contracted to provide.

I am going to fly in the face of tradition on aspect of tipping – if a service provider (be they the owner of the company or just a hired employee) go above and beyond what they are contracted to provide, if they make everything more amazing than you ever felt possible, or provide you with those few extras that you wanted but couldn’t get, tip them. Going above and beyond their contract means that they didn’t include it in the cost of their original services and are not getting any money for doing it.

Wedding Planner –

Your wedding planner has been there from the beginning. They organized all of your hopes, dreams and ideas and kept you grounded when you needed it. They don’t expect a tip, but if they went above and beyond what you contracted them to do, show them you appreciate it. Send a heartfelt thank you card when you get back from your honeymoon (or before if you aren’t leaving right away) and include a tip or personal gift. If you can, include a few pictures that they can use in their portfolio of them in action.

Hair Stylist and Make Up Artist –

Your team of beauty experts has made you picture perfect for the day that you are the center of attention. You will have more pictures taken of you this day than you have since the day you were born and they are the ones that made sure that your look came together. Just as you would tip your salon stylist, tip your beauty team. Have a few blank thank you cards with you and jot down a quick note as your team is cleaning up to leave. Have a big bridal party utilizing their services? Have everyone write a few words in the card. When your photographer arrives, have him take a few pictures of the team in action and a few close ups of the amazing job they did and send them along when you get a chance.

Officiant –

Without your officiant, your wedding is just a wonderful party for you and your family. If your officiant has done an extraordinary job in telling your story, created an amazing and unique ceremony that is just for you, added elements that require research or additional work or have just done an outstanding job in performing your ceremony thank them by giving them a token of your appreciation. Ask in advance what the guidelines are for tipping your officiant. Church pastors, priests and rabbis may be prohibited from taking a personal cash gift, but you can make a donation to their personal fund or church.

Ceremony and Cocktail Musicians –

Ceremony musicians lend ambiance to your ceremony, they set the mood, may have to learn new songs and add that certain something to your wedding. Tip them if they have had to learn all new songs for your ceremony or if they have created something custom and unique just for you.

Photographer/Videographer –

These are the two vendors that give you lasting, concrete items from your wedding. They will spend hours on site with you and even more hours editing and putting together amazing albums and DVD’s for your viewing pleasure. Definitely tip any second shooters, as they are more than likely not getting an equal portion of the original contracted amount. Consider sending along a tip when you see your final products, or send your thank you cards, especially if they deliver their final product sooner than expected or if they throw in a few extras like prints or a teaser video.

Reception Staff –

Includes your venue coordinator, maître d’, banquet managers and servers. Check your contract and ask if the included service charge is a gratuity that will be split among the day of staff or if it is an additional fee. Also check if there is a gratuity line, to whom does it go to and how is it split. If anyone goes above and beyond, please tip them a little something extra, and offer any left over cake, food or favors to the staff. The same with any fresh flowers, who doesn’t love a little something pretty to take home?

Reception Attendants –

By attendants I don’t mean your bridal party, but the people that attend to the needs and wants of you and your guests – bartenders, wait-staff, parking attendants, bathroom attendants and coat-room attendants.  As with reception staff, check the contract for included service charges or gratuities and ask who will receive a portion and how the portion will be split. If there is no provision for these attendants, ask for a head count and plan accordingly.

Reception Band/DJ –

Responsible for so much more than just pushing play on a computer your reception band and DJ guide the flow of the party and assist your coordinator on keeping the reception on track and on time. Be especially aware of tipping this pro if you have asked for a number of obscure songs, have an extensive must play/do not play list or have a complicated reception that requires a large amount of emcee work. Make sure you take care of any sound technicians or other assistants that help with making your reception the party you wanted it to be.

Transportation –

Check your contract to see if this is included, but be prepared to tip your driver. Be generous if you ask for additional stops, run late, or have a mishap in the vehicle. Make sure to budget for guest transportation gratuities, as well as your own transportation. Generally be prepared to tip, in cash, after the last guest has been dropped off or you are safely ensconced in your hotel at the end of the night.

Optional vendors to tip – once again flying in the face of convention, there are a number of vendors that other resources will tell you not to tip, that I feel, if they have gone above and beyond, deserve a little note of appreciation.

Bridal Salon –

If the salon goes out of the way to ensure your clothing and accessories are to you by arranging for special delivery, adjusting their hours or fitting you in to a last minute appointment, send a note and some yummy cookies or flowers to the staff. The smaller bridal salons will also love reviews and a few professional pictures of their lovely gown and accessories as well.

Cake Baker –

Again if the baker goes above and beyond what they are contracted to do such as changing the cake and frosting flavors the night before, repairing a cake that has been damaged or working around a difficult delivery situation, send a note along with a tip and some amazing professional pictures for use in their advertising.


Sweet I Do's is a wedding planning company located in Surprise, AZ (a suburb of Phoenix). We specialize in wedding day management (also known as day of coordination). We help you create an amazing, unique and totally "you" wedding that allows you to be in the moments making the memories, not worrying about the details. From contract review and timeline creation to day of management, set up and tear down, we're focused on ensuring our couples, their families and friends experience a stress and worry free night to remember.