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Five Quick Tips with Bernadette Coveney Smith of 14 Stories

Wedding Planning Tips

Today’s 5 Quick Tips are from Bernadette Coveney Smith, the founder of 14 Stories, the country’s first gay wedding planning firm. They are based in Boston but work with couples from all over — visit Bernadette’s blog, 14 Stories Blog to learn about marriage equality updates, see some real wegaddings, and hear what’s on Bernadette’s mind . One of their cool service offerings includes small elopement/destination wedding planning for gay couples traveling to Boston to make their union official. If you’re a wedding vendor and interested in learning more about how you can work with gay couples, be sure to check out the newly launched Gay Wedding Institute — they recently announced that they’re offering a Gay Wedding Certification Course!

Thanks Bernadette for sharing your tips today!

Photo credit:  Closed Circle Photography

1. Don’t travel for hair and makeup! The last thing you want to do on your wedding day is run around and deal with traffic and parking. Have your hair and makeup done wherever you are getting ready.

2. Personalize your wedding ceremony. Everyone is there for your actual marriage, right? Well, make the marriage part just as important, meaningful and personal as the wedding/party part.

3. Take your formal photos before the ceremony so you can actually enjoy cocktail hour with your guests.

4. No more than 4 toasts, and no more than 3 minutes each. Two toasts should go after the first course and 2 should go after the second course.

5. Entertain your guests! Especially if it’s a sit down dinner and especially if you skip traditions like a garter and bouquet toss, your guests will be looking for something to see, experience or interact with so they don’t get bored. Don’t let there be more than 2.5 consecutive hours at the wedding without anything happening besides pure dancing. In our case, right after our cake cutting, we had a drag queen performance kick off the dancing part of the evening! People are still talking about it.

And a couple more questions for Bernadette…

What was your favorite thing about your wedding?
My favorite thing was walking down the aisles (we had 2 aisles) and seeing all the people who literally came from around the world to be with us. Even my 80 year old aunt from Scotland was there. It was amazing having all those people in the room at the same time, for our wedding, a gay wedding! I’ll never forget that.

If you could change one thing about your wedding, what would it be?
I would have upgraded my linens to make our dinner tables even more blingy!

Thanks, Bernadette for your fantastic tips!

If you would like to be featured in our Five Quick Tips column, please contact me at info AT amynichols DOT com. 

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