Make This Day the Party of Your Life-But, Don’t Forget Your Guests

I believe in keeping current with all the latest and greatest trends to insure that the Brides that I come in contact with feel a certain comfort level with me-they know that I have their best interest at heart and want them to have the “Party of their lifetime”!

Colors, flowers, dresses all change; but the one thing that doesn’t change is the importance of having that special rapport with the person that has booked you into their venue. When I do a site tour with a bride and her fiance, I paint the picture of what I feel would be the best way to layout the venue, because I am a firm believer that everyone should feel a part of the event in every aspect.

I feel that the Bride and Groom should be the center of attention (literally) for the entire event and being surrounded by family and friends is what this day is all about. Your guests want to feel that you appreciate their being there to celebrate your union. From the ceremony (in the round is really cool) down to the bouquet/garter toss; make sure to include them in the festive mood that will make your event memorable for everyone attending. It isn’t all about the food and beverage (even though that is a key factor)-it is about the atmosphere that you create. It doesn’t cost a fortune to create this atmosphere (almost every bride I come in contact with is trying to save some money), but it is the attitude, ambiance, and surprises that you have thought about during your planning stages. Remember that this is a once in a lifetime event; so make it the “PARTY OF YOUR LIFE” and always keep the FUN FACTOR in the forefront of your planning stages.

Your guests will not remember the flowers on the table or even the food that you serve; they will remember that they also had the “party of your life” and will leave saying that your wedding was the best one they have ever attended.

The Relationship Between You and Your Venue

I have taken off from work due to unexpected surgery for (2)two weeks and it has only been (1)one week and frankly, I am going nuts. Do you think that I can relax? No, and that is a definite NO! With all of the events that I have planned that are upcoming and with all of the events that I am working on for the future, my mind does not and can not stop thinking about my clients and how things are transpiring for them.

Now I know that sounds crazy. Yes, I should be recuperating in a quiet and calm atmosphere; but what is calm for some, is therapy for others. That includes me! I am not just a venue that you rent and then once the contract is signed, I am done with you. I could and would never be that way. I want every event that takes place at Weston Centre to be the best that it can be and if that means my expertise and suggestions, then that is free advice that I will gladly give.

Developing that sort of bond and relationship with your venue director can save you a great deal of let down and heartache in the end. You want to choose a venue where the person you are working with is enthusiastic, not only about their venue, but about you. You want a person that has a wealth of knowledge in their field and utilize their years in the event planning business. You want someone to give you the best advice on the best possible setup, flow, vendor information and cost saving tips possible. You may think that you are simply a signed contract, but in my eyes, I am here for you and truly love my profession. The rapport I develop with all of my clients is very important because I have earned trust and that is what I believe is the most important feeling you should have, before you sign your contract.

So, now you know why I worry about taking the time off. Silly as it may seem, that is what sets me apart from some of my competitors. Caring…Knowledge…Trust!

Fairy Tale Wedding Touches

Even the most down to earth people click into fairy tale mode for their weddings.  So many future brides come to me and say that they “have dreaming about their wedding day their whole Lives”.

Fairy tale touches can be as elaborate as the bride arriving in a flower be-decked carriage with a tuxedoed coachman or as simple as shining pinlights on your wedding cake.  You don’t have to follow anyone’s rules; weddings today are much more creative and personalized. 

Make It Personal, Colorful

Couples are giving guests personal notes with their favors, dressing bridesmaids in different colors and styles to flatter each woman, even providing their catering Chef with a personal family recipe that they want to incorporate into the menu.  Men are becoming more active participants in just about every aspect of the planning process, from finding the venue for the ceremony and reception, to locating a caterer, getting a wedding cake, and even consulting on the table settings and seating arrangements.  Overall, couples are following fewer traditions and individualizing the experience.

Everyone wants their wedding to be unique.  You may want to serve a signature drink that matches your colors or use unusual plate shapes.

Here are just a few examples of  More Fairy Tale Touches:

  • arrive and depart by river barge, trolley, horse-drawn carriage, golf cart, horseback or helicopter!
  • include beautifully dressed/costumed children in the bridal procession
  • release butterflies or doves after the ceremony
  • open the reception with a traditional dance troupe of salsa dancers, a jazz trumpet soloist, talented vocalist or mariachis (an old-time standby for San Antonio); bagpipes are always original
  • Candles, candles, candles and did I say candles!  You can never have too many.
  • Beautiful back and up lighting and don’t forget your personalized gobo on the dance floor or shining on a wall.  Dramatic lighting adds so much to the fairy tale and romance of the reception.
  • fruits or vegetables in centerpieces, such as scooped out pumpkins for vases or citrus slices lining your vases
  • tables accented with grape vines or other greenery instead of the traditional rose petals
  • decorate with objects that reflect your interests, such as seashells.
  • crystals to catch-all of the candlelight reflection
  • fogger to create mist on the dance floor
  • ice carvings; maybe an ice castle
  • feathers, shells, crystallized fruit and other unique items in bouquets and centerpieces

What is your unique idea to make your event stand out and become that fairy tale wedding that you have always dreamt about? 

The Party of Your Lifetime

I don’t mean to make light of a wedding reception; but times are changing and so are the dreams of the bride and groom for the day that they will hold dear to their heart for the rest of their lives.  Couples in this generation are getting married at a more mature age, so their focus is different.  Many of the traditions that have been in existence for ages are going away and more creative, innovative ideas are coming together to make their reception stand out from the ordinary. 

The truth is, that anything goes and each couple is different; but whenever I ask a bride what the most important thing to them for their reception, generally, the 1st word to come out of their mouths is “FUN” for everyone.  That is the key word that I love to hear.  After all, your guests have taken an entire day out of their busy schedules to honor your union as husband and wife.  The payback to them is great drink, food and non-stop fun!

Step out of your comfort zone and get creative.  Ask your venue or wedding coordinator for ideas on what they have researched in trends and unique ideas to truly make this “THE PARTY OF YOUR LIFE“.

What are some of the different and exciting ideas do you have planned for your party? 

Favors For Your Guests

Brides seem to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about favors, especially considering the fact that most guests either devour them in 2 seconds or leave them behind at the end of the night.  Favors can be wonderful if they are something that has unique meaning to you or is a personal reflection of you and your fiance.  Otherwise, they are just meaningless trinkets that take up room on your dining tables. 

 Creative food favors:

  • A bag of the bride or groom’s favorite cookies with the recipe printed on a card for the guest to take.
  • A favorite among guests is a candy bar.  You can even color coordinate all of the different types of candy with the colors of your wedding.  Make sure to have plenty of goody bags or Chinese take-out boxes for guests to fill.
  • A box of petits fours (small iced and decorated cake pieces) decorated in your colors or with your initials on the icing.
  • A mini version of the wedding cake, boxed up for each guest.  This is not an option for a bride on a budget.
  • Jordan almonds are a great favor if you are into the traditional style of wedding.
  • Breakfast to go.  A great idea if you have a lot of out-of-town guests attending.  Small bags of donuts or bagels with a small package of cream cheese (don’t forget the knife!).

Creative Keepsake ideas:

  • Personalized bottles of champagne or wine.
  • Place card holders.
  • Picture frames and if you don’t put your name on these, the guest can re-use them.
  • CDs with your favorite songs.
  • Digital portraits.  Have guests’ pictures taken when they arrive and then send them home with a print.
  • Utilize a photobooth for fun and immediate gratification.  They get to take that memento home.

Double-Duty Ideas:

  • Place a votive candle with each guests’ name on it at their place.  This tells them where to sit and they can take the candle with them when they depart.
  • Tie tags around splits of champagne with each guests’ name and table assignment, and display them in alphabetical order on the escort card table.
  • Utilizing something from your local region is always a big hit.  Tie their name around the product and use them as escort cards for table assignments.

Wedding favors are not required, but if you are going to give each guest a favor, let it reflect your personality.  Putting a Hershey kiss in a box is not worth your time putting them together and will leave the guest wondering…what was she thinking!!!

What are some of your favorite ideas for favors?  We would love to pass them on.

Wedding Day Emergencies

When it comes to a wedding day, the potential for a disaster to happen is pretty great.  Grooms can rip their tuxedos, brides get stains on their dresses or flower girls fall down and scuff their knees.  It always pays to be prepared with an emergency kit.  The kit should contain almost anything you would need to fix a wedding day mishap and can get you through some potential crisis.  Stock the bare essentials in a bag and give it to your mother of bridesmaid to take care of.

What To Stock in a Wedding Day Emergency Kit

  • extra pantyhose
  • bobby pins, safety pins, straight pins, and corsage pins
  • fake rings (for the ring bearer’s pillow or an emergency)
  • clear nail polish and nail files
  • band-aids
  • breath mints and cough drops
  • butane lighter and matches
  • dental floss
  • comb, brush and hairspray
  • scissors
  • spot remover and static guard
  • super glue
  • visine
  • and most important, kleenex
  • make-up sponges, cotton balls and q-tips
  • pocket mirror
  • YOUR MAKEUP
  • lint brush
  • toothpicks
  • moist towelettes
  • tampons and pads
  • mini sewing kit
  • lotion
  • toothpaste

You may not need all of these items, but be sure to carry the basics- the pins, sewing kit, breath mints, scissors, stain remover, and your makeup for touch-ups.

How many of you have planned to carry an emergency kit, and if so, are there items that you include that are not on my list of essentials? 

Stuffing and Mailing

Before you rush off to the post office, take a few moments to prepare and stuff your invitations properly. If your invitation comes with tissue, place that directly on top of the invitation (touching the ink). Then stack the other enclosures in ascending size order (biggest card on the bottom) and tuck all of them inside your fold-over invitation or on top of your invitation, if it is a card. All this goes in your inner envelope (if your invitation comes with one), which gets tucked (unsealed) into the main envelope so the name written on the inner envelope shows as the guest pulls it out.

Mail invitations between 4 to 8 weeks before the wedding. If you have invitations going overseas, you may send these out at 10 weeks to give ample time. It is a good idea to take a sample invitation with all the enclosures to the post office and have it weighed before you buy stamps. Oversized invitations take more postage, and extras such as enclosures and envelope liners increase the overall weight. Remember to buy stamps for the response card envelope and pre-stamp them.

If you can get your post office to hand-cancel your invitations, by all means, go for it. It will create less wear and tear on your invitations.

DO:

  • Consider the cost and timing of your printing options.
  • Send save-the-date cards so guests can mark their calendars.
  • Be Careful when wording your invitations.
  • Save several for yourself for framing or placing in a scrapbook.

Don’t:

  • Order enclosures you don’t need.
  • Think your save-the-date cards must match your invitations.
  • Follow strict etiquette rules if they will cause hurt feelings.

Do Try this trick:

Make a numbered, alphabetical list of everyone invited to the wedding. Then, as you’re stuffing the invitations, write the guest’s number on the back of the response card in pencil. This way if a guest forgets to write their name on the card (and this happens all the time), you won’t be stuck trying to guess who they are!

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