RALEIGH -- Is your calendar quickly filling up with weddings this year? There's no question there are a lot of them, nearly 2.18 million in the U.S. in 2017 to be exact, according to data from The Wedding Report.

It's considered to be one of the most special moments in couple's lives, but experts say big dreams can often lead to forgotten details leading up to the big day.

Wedding planning expert Diane Tighe of the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and JB Duke Hotel, sat down with Spectrum News anchor Caroline Blair to share three last minute tips to help plan the perfect wedding. Over her 20 year career, Tighe has learned a lot of great tricks to help pull off the perfect wedding, but it’s not easy. She says it doesn't matter if you have three years or three months to plan your big day, wedding planning can be very stressful. So she's offering 3 tips that will help make your day run smooth and extra special for your guests.  

1.      Surprise guests with welcome bags. Attendees travel near and far to share the excitement of your nuptials and celebrate your journey. Acknowledge their effort with a welcome gift and personalized note in their hotel rooms to make guests feel extra special. These small tokens can consist of small goodies like snacks, but also serve as a go-to source for logistical details surrounding events, such as time and location. In addition, include these particulars on your wedding website so need-to-know information is always readily available via mobile. This will not only keep guests feeling confident and informed, but will alleviate the wedding party and family members from an inundation of questions.

2.      House a readily available safety kit. After all the planning and money that goes into a wedding, the last thing couples need is a red wine spill or broken shoe to ruin the moment. Build a backup safety kit and designate a close friend to oversee it so what would have been a full-blown crisis is simply a momentary set back. This kit could include a backup pair of shoes, perfume, mouthwash, band aids, gum, bobby pins and deodorant. As an added layer, this person can also be responsible for bustling your dress after the ceremony if your gown does not have a built-in feature so you can easily dance and move around.

3.      Identify and communicate reception seating arrangements. While menu decisions may seem like the largest consideration of the seated dinner, place cards are also one of the most important and surprisingly time-consuming elements of a wedding day. After identifying the flow of the reception, work with your planner to determine how to best group guests and share seating arrangements. If you select a buffet or one-option menu, you can offer guests to seat themselves, but need to acknowledge with signage. If a more formal layout is present, include signage that outlines assignments so guests can see who else will be dining at their table. Either way, it is important to set these plans weeks before the wedding, and will prevent major stress as the wedding approaches.

Courtesy: Diane Tighe 

Tighe says no matter what, make sure and personalize your wedding and reception to make it your own, and remember to relax and enjoy the special day!   Visit the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club or JB Duke Hotel, for more information.

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