Wedding Wednesday Q&A #005

Welcome back to our wedding Q&A series where I answer wedding planning questions I find online or you send to me. If you'd like me to answer your question send it to and include Q&A in the subject line.

Is it weird to not have the bride or bridesmaids carry a bouquet? What are some alternatives that aren’t super expensive, because fresh flowers are a little too pricey and I don’t love the look of fake flowers?

I don’t think it’s strange at all! People probably won’t even notice. However, if you do want them to carrying something, there are plenty of alternatives. They can carry pretty much anything bouquet sized. I’ve seen weddings where they have a single flower, matching clutches, lanterns, books, and even puppies.

When do you know looking at more vendors does more harm than good. I’m having a hard time narrowing down my photographer and videographer. I have been in contact with 11 and from those I’ve had phone calls with three of them. All three that I have spoken with have similar packages and prices. When would be a good stopping point as far as looking for others with different packages and price points? What is a good deciding factor for you to settle with one?

This is actually a pretty common problem that most brides and grooms run into at some point in the planning process. Sometimes couples feel like there is this one best vendor for them out there and typically that just isn’t the case. Usually, there are lots of great vendors that will make your wedding day beautiful and easy. If you have a vendor you love and fits all your needs, book them and be done with it.

As far as being stuck between similar vendors, I’d recommend looking over their contracts closely and seeing if there are differences in cancellation policies, back-up plans, or general expectations. If even those elements are nearly identical, ask if you could reach out to previous clients. People that have worked with them in the past may have some notes on how they work that may sway you. Then you’ve just got to pick! If you’ve done your research and truly love all your options, know that there isn’t a wrong choice.

How do you present your sheet cake? We definitely want a sheet cake for cost purposes. We’re going to have a small cut. Should we leave the sheet cake out like a traditional cake or only bring it out when it’s cake time?

Typically sheet cakes are left in the back and then brought out already cut and plated to serve. Even you are DIYing the cake serving (not having the catering team cut the cake), I’d recommend assigning someone to cut the cake and plate it.

We are having a cocktail hour, short reception, and a tasting menu with a local wine pairing ending with cake and a toast. Is it rude to send people home with a nice bottle of wine instead of sending a thank you note at a later date? Does anyone really care about getting a card three months later?

Yes, you need to write thank-you notes. People will love the bottle of wine. That is such a nice gift, but it serves a different purpose than thank you notes. The bottle of wine is part of the celebration of your day and allows your guests to bring a little piece of that celebration home with them. Thank-you notes express gratitude for their presence at your day and their gift. Thank you notes are a must, always!

We had initially hoped to get married in October. Our family and friends are spread all over, so we were going to have a ceremony in a centrally located city. Now with the coronavirus, we doubt that things will be ‘normal’ by October. One of the most important aspects of the wedding for my fiancé was gathering our family and friends and feeling that a new family was being forges and recognized. Any creative ideas on how to capture that feeling? We are willing to think outside the box and have some financial and travel flexibility. Ideas?

With my answer, I’m going to assume you don’t want to postpone because I think that is the most obvious way to achieve getting everyone together. While I (and everyone else) cannot predict what our world will look like in October, I imagine travel will be difficult and large gatherings still limited.

I don’t know if you and your fiancé are healthy and willing to do a bit of traveling yourselves, but I assume you are (if not I still think you could adapt this to be entirely digital). I’m going to give you my wild and out there suggestion first and then the more traditional option. I think you should do a progressive wedding, like a progressive dinner party, where your wedding lasts a few days to a week and you travel from your different family and friend groups. For example, you’d start the journey in your town with your local friends and host a “rehearsal dinner” with a small dinner party and some speeches. Then the next day you’d travel to your family and do the wedding ceremony, then head to your fiancé’s family for a reception with toasts and the cake cutting, and then head to your college friends’ town to end the week with drinks and dancing. I’d also recommend live streaming all the events, so everyone can participate in all of the days of celebration. Also, make sure you have a guestbook that you bring from destination to destination to gather all the well wishes from every part of your wedding journey.

If that idea sounds a bit too outlandish, I think your best bet is a virtual wedding. I’d encourage you to find ways to get people involved. I think live streaming can sometimes feel disconnected and the best way to combat this is to encourage participation. Plan for people to virtually give toasts, virtually share readings or even join in on the dancing.