The other 'I do's' (or maybe 'I don'ts')

Some ideas to consider when planning your wedding

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Host a hometown party

If Taos is your destination wedding, think about hosting a reception in your hometown for family and friends who cannot travel. It’s a considerate way to include as many people as humanly possible in your celebration.

Know venue restrictions

Use of candles or open flames is often non-negotiable. Inquire with staff at your ceremony and reception locations to learn of any restrictions regarding flower arrangements or other decorations.

Explore the trends

Rustic-chic and elegant appointments are the trends of last year's and this year's wedding seasons (May through October in Taos), said Celebrations Event Rentals owner Liz Walsh Gilroy. Detail elements such as burlap table covers, wood, lace, succulents and barn-themed ceremonies are catching brides' eyes.

Cha cha cha

Take dance lessons with your soon-to-be spouse and learn a choreographed number for your first dance. It will likely surprise and impress your guests, and be a fun pre-wedding activity for you and your partner.

Reach out to friends and family

Don’t think twice about reaching out to friends and family for assistance. Correspond their proficiencies with your needs, and watch your to-do list dwindle. Never forget: these people love you and want to participate in your special day. Plus, delegating tasks will reduce your stress and that's always a good thing.

Ponder a no-phone wedding

A smartphone can be found in just about everyone's hand these days. While well-intentioned, many guests may not hesitate to jockey for a good position in which to take a picture or video during a memorable ceremony moment. More active shutters may provide a varied stockpile of images and videos, however, too many "photographers" in the room can backfire when a guest inadvertently steps in front of the professional photographer to capture a one-chance candid moment. And recognize how many photos might end up on social media sites before you've had a chance to look at them. Also, consider asking your guests to refrain from using their cameras altogether or at certain times. Include this request in your invitation or ask your officiant to make an announcement at the beginning of the ceremony.

Share guest photos with a unique hashtag

On the flip side of an "unplugged" ceremony, if you don’t mind your guests capturing photos or videos with their phones, create a unique hashtag and share it with them. They can then upload images using your custom hashtag for followers to view. Be sure to make your hashtag easy to remember and original.

Think about the children

If you know there will be children at your wedding reception, consider offering a special buffet or menu with kid-friendly food, drinks and desserts. Some tabletop activities at the ready like coloring books, puzzles or games will help keep them content and occupied, and parents will no doubt be appreciative of your efforts.

Avoid liquor sticker shock

Celebration and liquor often go hand in hand. But it's easy for the bar budget to reach its maximum faster than anticipated. Ask the caterer to stop serving liquor once your budget limit has peaked. Request that your caterer check with you (or someone you designate) about continuing a free bar — if you are okay with spending more money than originally allotted.

Request a midnight snack

As the bride and groom, bride and bride or groom and groom, you will be very busy socializing at your wedding reception and may not get much to eat. Ask your caterer to prepare a special to-go box of reception food that you can enjoy later.

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