I have two younger sisters, but I readily admit I always wanted a brother as well. I really wanted an older brother, but by the time I was 12, the brothers I got belonged to my mom’s best friend. They moved in down the road from us, three boys taller than I, which even in middle school was an accomplishment. For them.
I shoehorned right in between the youngest and the middle, and it’s been nearly 30 years since these three became parts of my life, and they’ve stuck. Their family is my family, and vice versa. Now the youngest, the one to which I’ve become closest, is getting married, and his fiancee has asked a group of friends and family for planning help. I couldn’t be more excited!
Helping friends plan weddings can be pretty stressful, but it can be a lot of fun, too. Adam and Annemarie (no, really!) are foodies, so they have that covered, but here’s how I hope to contribute to the decision-making process:
Lots of Photo Options
I know photographers. So many photographers. One of my closest friends is a professional photographer. She specializes in concert photography, taking pictures of some of the biggest musical acts to roll through our town. However, she has been known to shoot a wedding or two, and her style might be perfect for a wedding.
Choosing the right photographer entails choosing one whose style matches the style you want, which are top tips for getting the best wedding photos. Knowing my friends as I do, I will readily offer up photography recommendations from my concert photograph friend to another friend who’s more traditional.
My youngest sister actually used both these friends at her wedding, and she ended up with a great variety of color and black and white photos. Why? Because each friend specialized in one color. For my foodie friends Annemarie and Adam, I would recommend the friend who specializes in color. No one wants to see black and white wedding food.
Lots of Musical Options
I know a concert photographer, so it stands to reason that I know musicians and D.J.s, right? Right. I know a lot of them. I taught high school in the early 2000s. So many of my students became D.J.s in college and still play music on the side just for kicks.
At the same time, I wouldn’t recommend just any D.J. for my friends’ wedding. Every event has to have the perfect D.J. Their venue is a small restaurant, a favorite of both theirs and mine. It typically hosts live music nightly, so it can handle that. However, weddings require personal touches.
My younger sister got married on Memorial Day weekend over a decade ago. On a warm May evening, the D.J. played a very atypical father-daughter dance: Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. Why? Because that’s my sister’s favorite song, and it’s one both she and my father, who are great singers but not great dancers, could two-step to.
Since their venue is small, going the DIY route is also an option. There may not be room for a D.J. to set up shop in the restaurant, but there’s definitely room for speakers and Adam’s giant phablet. All they have to do is curate a playlist or two of their favorite songs. I would advocate for sneaking in some cheeky dancing options, like Can’t Touch This.
Lots of Wrangling
Both Adam and Annemarie are planners. They’re parents, so they’re used to organizing, scheduling, and shuttling people everywhere. On their wedding day, however, none of those should be their responsibilities.
Their jobs are to be the centers of attention, eat great food, and drink amazing beverages while celebrating their futures together. Someone else should be in charge of making sure the food doesn’t run out, the drinks keep flowing, and all the speeches happen on time.
In the words of Katniss, “I volunteer!” As a peripheral member of Adam’s family, I know nearly everyone, and that would help me with making sure that the ceremony starts on time, or only five minutes late instead of 30 like other weddings.
For the bulk of wedding planning, I can think of more than five reasons to hire a professional wedding planner over asking a friend like me. Yet Adam and Annemarie have planned out nearly every detail of their big day, and it’s not happening until late this year. They simply need someone to take their plans for the day and make sure those happen on time. I like my checklists. I’d stick to theirs.
Lots of Love
Even if my contributions end up being moral support, I know that in the end, that’s the most important thing. I can definitely suggest a drone photographer to video their honeymoon getaway. I do know a few hobbyists capable of doing so. My most valuable contribution, however, is my time. I will give it to help make decisions, keep people in check, and listen. That’s what you do for your brother-from-another-mother and his fiancee.
Photo is public domain from Unsplash
Guest Author Bio
H. E. James, MBA
Hattie is a writer and researcher living in Boise, Idaho. She has a varied background, including education and sports journalism. She is a former electronic content manager and analyst for a government agency. She recently completed her MBA and enjoys local ciders.