Wedding Planning Guru Diann Valentine

Have you checked out Diann Valentine’s new show on WeTV, “I Do Over“? The premise of the series is great — giving deserving couples a chance to relive their once in a lifetime wedding day under of the direction of the talented Valentine. I’ve long admired the event planning diva’s work and her 2006 tome Weddings Valentine Style is one of my favorite coffee table books. While the show has an excellent concept, I know you nearlyweds are looking for as many ways to not be on it as possible. So, below are Valentine’s top 10 practices to avoid wedding day disasters. Enjoy this Triple B exclusive and above all else remember number 10!

1.    Keep It Tight Do not underestimate the value of schedules. It’s easy for time to escape you on your wedding day so keeping a tight schedule will allow you to enjoy your celebration and prevent your guests from hours of boredom waiting for the next activity to occur. I maintain the master schedule for my clients but also provide them with wedding day call sheets to handle the often long task of hair and make-up. Every sista knows how long the hair process can be for us.

2.    Listen To Mother Nature Sometimes even the best made plans cannot avoid rain. Any outdoor wedding should always have a contingency plan. It is wise to have an indoor location set and on hold with a cut-off time to make this final decision. I realize that this could be disappointing for a woman who had her heart set on a beautiful sunset affair but please don’t fool yourself into believing you can control the weather.

3.    Do Me A Favor Avoid the urge to ask your friends for favors. Even with the best intentions, favors cannot always be reliable because when something unexpected arises, your wedding will suffer. Dana Santini in our Striptease episode on “I Do Over” learned this lesson the hard way when a colleague promised to make her bridesmaid dresses. After delaying the ceremony by over two hours her bridesmaids walked down the aisle in a very conservative church wearing only the groomsmen’s tuxedo shirts.

4.    Make-up Forever Most women fill up with emotions on their wedding day and shed a tear or two. After hours of primping in the make-up chair the last thing you want are photos with smeared make-up. Consult with your make-up artist about waterproof options for foundation, eyeliner and mascara. And for another added bit of security ask him or her to finish you with a dab of all night make-up setting spray. When you get your photos, you can send me a thank you note!

5.    S*%t Happens! With the rush of emotions on wedding day there are bound to be a few minor mishaps that can easily be fixed. We always pack an emergency kit stocked with everything from safety pins, needle and thread, breath mints and an extra pair of Spanx. Be sure to pack your kit at least a week prior to your wedding and place it with all of your wedding attire so when those little life occurrences happen, you can take it all in stride.

Diann on her own wedding day on Lake Maggiore in Italy rockin' a FIERCE magenta gown! Don't you love?

6.    Who’s My Girl? Choosing your bridesmaids should be as carefully thought out as choosing your spouse. I’ve seen many friendships dissipate over the planning of a wedding. Be clear about what your expectations are and share them up front. Be considerate of your friends as well because agreeing to participate in your wedding will certainly be a costly experience for them.  Most importantly remember that it is your day and although your girlfriends are certainly happy for you – it is still your wedding and not theirs.

7.    If It Doesn’t Fit… Your weight will likely fluctuate during the planning of your wedding so be sure to schedule a final dress fitting as close to your wedding as possible. I suggest this fitting one week before your big day and make sure to wear all of your undergarments and shoes. After the fitting, have your gown pressed one last time and it’s not a bad idea to also pack a portable steamer in your emergency kit.

8.    Wedding Pro No-Show Although unfortunate, sometimes this happens. Your job is to make sure that you have confirmed all contracts and your vendors have accurate times, addresses and instructions. Designate someone to keep emergency phone numbers to contact all of your vendors and a well thought out plan to handle a professional MIA.

9.    Cake Caput You should never consider saving a few extra bucks by asking someone to pick-up your wedding cake. Let the pros handle it and don’t just stop there – assign someone from the catering staff to keep a close eye on the display table.  Kids have a way of sniffing out sweets in the most crowded rooms and given the chance they might decide to have an early bite.

10. Laugh Out Loud There is no such thing as a flawless wedding. What if you break your heel just before the ceremony? Maybe Uncle John has just a little too much to drink? Or you get stuck in a major traffic jam going from your ceremony to the reception? Keep in mind that you are marrying the person of your dreams and nothing could ever trump that. Relax, enjoy the journey and when needed…have yourself a big belly laugh.