A sense of humour helps

Wedding planner Tara Tasco on rehearsal dinners, speeches and picking the right planner for you.

A sense of humour helps
Topher & Rae Studios
If table-dancing is one of your wedding day must-haves, go ahead and make it happen.

Are there any tips you can offer someone who is trying to find the right wedding planner?

The best advice we can offer couples is to meet with any prospective wedding planners in person. You will find out what services they specialize in, whether they're as excited as you about your wedding day vision and whether you think you can work with that individual or company. Ensure your wedding planner takes their business seriously: Do they have any relevant certifications and/or training? Are they a registered business? Do they have liability insurance?

What are the necessary basics that go into planning the perfect wedding?

Communicating and involving your fiance in the planning process, figuring out your top three must-haves for the big day, and setting a day and your budget. Be flexible, have a sense of humour and relax.

What do I need to know about rehearsal dinners?

Rehearsal dinners are a wonderful way to thank all of those lovely folks —the wedding party and their significant others, the couple's parents and the officiant—who stood by you during the process leading up to your big day. The dinners are traditionally hosted by the groom's parents, although many modern couples opt to cover this cost themselves. The dinners can be as casual as a family barbecue and as formal as reserving a restaurant. There are no specific etiquette rules, but it's always good to be clear on who's paying for the dinner, and who should be on the invitation list.

How can I make sure speeches don't go on and on?

As far as the speeches go, often the parents of the couple and other guests in attendance will want to toast the bride and groom. It's always nice for the bride or groom to reciprocate by saying thank you—something short and sweet works. If you anticipate a guest may be a little long-winded in their toast to you, it may be a good idea to designate a certain amount of time to the giving of toasts.