Archive for the ‘Wedding planning’ Category

5 Concessions to Make for Your Littlest Guests

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

She looks happy enough!

Children at weddings is one of those topics that’s been debated half to death, here and elsewhere, among couples and families and wedding guests. Some people maintain that children simply do not belong at weddings, while others counter that weddings ought to be family affairs where children are absolutely welcome. The simplest solution, of course, is to defer to the wishes of brides and grooms. If children are invited, then they’re welcome at that particular wedding. If children are not invited, then that particular wedding is an adults-only affair. Simple, no?

The same goes for infants. When La Paloma was very young, The Beard and I were invited to a wedding – our invitation said ‘The Terrys’ – and I made a point of getting in touch with the bride to ask if babies were invited. Because I was not going to inflict an unpredictable 8-month-old on someone’s special day unless she was definitely going to be welcome. She was, we went, and there were no difficulties with the exception of my trying and failing to nurse in the confines of my automobile.

Which brings me to the topic of this post, the concessions brides and grooms can make for their littlest wedding guests. I don’t mean the toddler+ set that can amuse themselves by sticking their fingers in the backside of the wedding cake and crawling under tables, but rather those wedding guests confined to strollers or bucket car seats, the guests who sup from breasts and bottles, and yes, the guests who may not only cry during your ceremony, but actually scream. Babies at weddings aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, that’s for sure. But if they’re yours, then here are 5 things you can do to make your littlest guests (and their mamas and papas) more comfortable in an unfamiliar situation.

1. Make sure that parents of infants know that the infants are invited. Not every invitee with a wee one is going to take the initiative like I did, which means that some may decline simply because childcare isn’t an option. The easiest way to ensure that babies’ mamas and papas know that the whole family will be welcome at your ceremony and reception is to include the little one’s name on their invitation. That doesn’t leave much room for confusion – though don’t be surprised if people are still confused since wedding invitation etiquette is not something taught in school these days.

(more…)

Cheers to the Involved Grooms!

Monday, June 20th, 2011

As more couples pay for all or part of their own weddings, changes are happening in the way ceremonies and receptions are planned. My favorite change? The emergence of the involved, helpful groom who has an opinion about his upcoming wedding and is exciting to shoulder his share of the wedding planning work. In my dad’s day – as I’ve been led to believe – grooms mainly tried to stay out of the way of brides who had the final say when it came to just about everything. But now that grooms are footing some of the bill? They’re folding invitations that they helped pick out, assembling favors that they actually like, and more.

Let's hear it for those helpful grooms!

Some of these involved grooms-to-be are even blogging, though admittedly they tend to give it up after they tie the knot unlike some people – hello! – who just keep on going on about wedding planning like nothing happened. There are even wedding planning guides for grooms! Unfortunately, some parts of the wedding industry have yet to catch up to the trend of the helpful groom and continue to focus only on brides-to-be and their desires. I’ve even heard stories of wedding vendors who, when meeting hetero couples, talked only to the bride and all but ignored the presence of a groom. Uncool, vendors, uncool. Was The Beard as involved as he could have been? I plead the fifth on that one and state for the record that I can be a a force of nature when it comes to party planning.

How about you? Is your other half – if your other half happens to be a groom – pulling his weight? If not, and you want him to (some brides don’t), then TELL HIM THAT. Don’t just stew in a sauce of resentment until you explode. Your groom, like many, may have been told by a well-meaning male relative that he shouldn’t participate in wedding planning. Inside many an uninvolved groom is a helpful groom waiting to come out.

Image: Peacock Photography

Wedding Maps and Getting to the Church (or Whatever) On Time

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Even if you’ve planned everything perfectly down to the tiniest detail, your wedding day isn’t going to go smoothly if you can’t actually get to the ceremony or the reception. Some locales have more complicated layouts than others, construction and road closures can screw up the best laid plans, and some addresses are just plain difficult to find. You may be surprised at how difficult your venues are to find for your wedding guests – or even your limo driver! Knowing where you’re going and what’s local can make your wedding day that much less stressful for you and your guests.

How can they have closed every road leading to the chapel?!

Wedding Directions Aren’t Just for Guests
Maybe you’re getting married in your hometown, but lots of couples don’t. And to those brides and grooms I say do a few test runs so you know the lay of the land. Do you know how to get to your ceremony venue? Can you navigate from the ceremony space to the reception venue? Even in the event of a road closure? If you needed to send out your MOH for emergency, last minute supplies, could you tell her how to get to an ATM, a drug store, or a florist’s shop? Unless you just can’t get there prior to the big day – because you’re having a destination wedding, etc. – drive around the locale you’re getting married in until you no longer need a map.

Will Your Wedding Maps Be Accurate?
Speaking of maps, have you actually driven the routes you’re suggesting your wedding guests take from the ceremony to the reception? As mentioned above, if you can, get in the car and check the accuracy of your directions before printing them up and putting them in your wedding invitations. When that isn’t possible, is there someone local who can do it for you? Couples having destination weddings may be able to call their venues to confirm the accuracy of directions. Don’t assume that your limo driver will be 100% sure where your wedding venue is – your knowing how to get there may make all the difference!

Your Wedding Maps Are Here – Double Check Them
You’ve driven around the city or town where your wedding will be held. You’ve driven the routes that make up your wedding directions. And now your wedding maps have finally arrived! Time to assemble your wedding invitations? Not quite. First, you need to proof your wedding map one last time. Mistakes happen! For example, my wedding invitation proof were error-free, but my wedding invitations arrived in the mail with a really lame typo. Your wedding maps may contain some slight oops, and reputable companies will replace them for free as long as you catch the error.

What steps are you taking (or did you take) to ensure your wedding guests can find your ceremony and reception?

9 Things Wedding Planners Will Never, Ever Tell You

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

She looks honest enough...

Wedding planners are great. Fantastic. From consultants to full-time planners, they can make it a lot easier to plan a wedding. Had I been able to afford one, you bet you tush that I would have hired one and had a better, less chaotic wedding as a result. But I didn’t know then what I know now, so I can’t exactly beat myself up over who I did and didn’t hire, right? If you can afford to hire a wedding planner and the idea of assembling favors doesn’t sound like the best way to spend a Saturday night, then go for it!

Just remember that, as in all bunches, the wedding planner bunch has a few bad apples, so you need to be careful when hiring one. Below are nine things that most wedding planners don’t publicize – not all of which are true for all planners. As you’re hiring a wedding planner, keep these possibilities in the back in your mind and, above all, make sure the planner you hire is someone you feel comfortable with!

1. Wedding planning requires no formal training. There are certification programs and classes, but there is no formal licensing scheme in place. Anyone can decide to start calling themselves a wedding planner, so when you hire a wedding consultant or planner, get those references and follow up with them.

2. Not all wedding planners are full-service wedding planners, especially when it comes to wedding planners and wedding coordinators at resorts or in-house planners at venues. Consequently, it’s important to have all of the services your planning professional will be providing outlined in a wedding planner contract.

(more…)

Getting to Know You: Tell Us About Your Reception Meal

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

I'll take one of those... and, ooh, one of those!

I don’t have to be invited to a wedding to be interested in the wedding reception menu. There are so many ways to feed your wedding guests, which means that a reception meal might be anything from champagne and cake (with a fruit salad) to, like one wedding I attended while in college, a full sit down dinner in addition to hours of buffet station and passed appetizers that were basically dinner. I’m talking multiple carving stations, pasta stations, bacon-wrapped everything… it was actually kind of surreal.

You may not be serving the kind of American outsized tasting menu consisting of full meals, one right after the other, but I am still curious! What are you serving at your wedding reception – or did you serve once upon a time – and why?

Seven Reasons to Have Your Wedding At Home

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

An oh so familiar backdrop

Oh, sure, I know the wedding at home isn’t for everyone. And I’m not even talking about backyard weddings, but rather weddings that take place inside. Your house. Or maybe your parents’ house if you’re still living in a triple-decker in a town where parking is all but impossible. Why have your wedding at home? Here are seven reasons that might just push you over the edge if you’re considering having your wedding at home:

1. A small wedding that takes place right in the place where you live can be easy to plan and execute – if you have the space, that is. One thing to consider is that you may need to rent amenities – seating, linens, etc. – if you even suspect you won’t have enough to go around.

2. Getting married at home can save you a lot of money. First, there’s the fact that venue rental tends to eat up a ton of the standard wedding budget. And second, getting married at home often means a less complicated spread of refreshments, perhaps even provided by loved ones instead of a professional caterer.

(more…)

Unexpected Wedding Guests: How Common Are They Really?

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Is everyone in this photo on the guest list?

So, unexpected wedding guests. Word on the street is that there are more of them than people thing. And I’m not talking about professional wedding crashers who are just looking for a good time. I mean friends and relatives who RSVP’ed no but decided to come anyway, invitees who never bothered to send back the stamped reply postcard, and wedding guests who arrived at the reception with one, two, or more people in tow. As far as I know, there was no one at our wedding who wasn’t supposed to be there, but since ours was a backyard family affair, I didn’t pay all that much attention once the day got rolling.

If unexpected wedding guests are more common than I assumed, are people taking them into consideration when giving wedding vendors those precious final headcounts? Is it better to pay for a few more chairs, entrees, and slices of wedding cake than to have one to few of any of these things? It’s a question I have trouble wrapping my brain around because I’d never in a million years attend a wedding to which I had not RSVPed or switch my entree choice at the last moment or *gasp* bring a few cronies with me to the reception so everyone could get boozed up on the cheap. But I know not everyone is as polite as I am, hence the poll. I want to know how you’re handling the possibility of unexpected wedding guests and, I suppose, whether you’re anticipating any!

Image: djprybyl