reception

Should You Have an Adult-Only Wedding?

One question I am asked from brides is whether or not they should have an adult-only wedding. For some couples, this can be a difficult answer while for others an easy one.  Here are some tips I give couples when it comes to making decisions on whether they should have an adult-only wedding or not. 

Tip #1: Is there room in your guest list for kids? Sometimes this question can easily be answered based on logistics.  Does your venue have room to include all of your guests plus their children?  

Tip #2: How many family members/friends have kids? If only a few of your guests have kids then it may be easier to have an adult-only wedding.  This allows your guests with kids to have a kid-free evening.  And as your invitation is sent out weeks, sometimes months in advance, that gives your guests plenty of time to find a sitter. But if the majority of your guests have kids, it may be easier to invite their kids and then you can plan activities to keep the kids entertained and still allow their parents to have a good time.

Tip #3: What kind of atmosphere do you want your reception to convey? If you want your guests to get dressed up and feel formal, then allowing guests to bring their kids, may detract from the classy reception you are hoping for.  If you want a party-celebration feeling, then inviting kids can definitely add to a more relaxed vibe. 

Tip #4: Do you have activities planned to keep the kids entertained? This isn't mandatory, but is always a nice gesture for parents of kids when activity books, coloring books, or even a play section is set up so that the kids can be entertained during the reception. 

Tip #5: Will your guests be offended if their kids are not invited? This doesn't come up often, but it does come up so I feel I should mention that sometimes, particularly among family, feelings can be hurt if kids are not invited.  To help navigate through this, you may want to ask a parent, a grandparent, or an elder of the family to make sure what the overall family feelings are regarding kids and not inviting them to weddings.

Overall, whether you choose to have a an adult-only wedding or not, you want to make sure you are creating the wedding of your dreams.  I hope these tips help you in making a decision.  Comment below and share with us if you have chosen to have an adult-only wedding or not!

 

 

6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Booking Your Reception Venue

You've decided what date you want to get married and you're ready to start looking at venues for your reception.  Here are 6 tips to keep in mind as you search for a venue:

Tip #1: Is location important?  Do you want it to be close to your home?  Or are you looking for a more central place near your parents, in-laws, friends, and relatives?  Is there a particular place you have in mind?  Or view you want to see?  I live in Southern California and a popular wedding location is near the beach; however, for many guests that live more inland to get to the beach will take an hour or two drive.  For SoCal residents, commuting is second nature and we don't usually blink an eye at the idea of driving an hour one-way, but for many people driving for 30 minutes or more isn't desirable.

Tip #2: Are you okay if other events are happening at the same time? It is more common to find hotels with ballrooms that are very affordable for your reception.  However, there may be several events happening at the same time as yours.  Will this bother you?  During wedding season (May-July) a hotel can have every ballroom booked, which means 2-3 events happening at the same time, some even being next door to your own.  Would you prefer to have your own venue where your wedding is the only event happening?  Single-event venues aren't as common as hotels with ballrooms so they tend to book quickly.  If you prefer a single-event venue, you may need to be flexible with your wedding day or plan on booking a year in advance. 

Tip #3: Are you flexible with your wedding date?  Your fiancé asked you out on the same date as he proposed and you want to get married on the same date.  If your wedding date is significant, you may need to be flexible to where your wedding reception is held.  Remember, single-event venues tend to book early. 

Tip #4: Are you open to a day other than Saturday? Maybe you want to have your reception be at a specific location or on a specific date and the only availability is mid-week or a Friday night or Sunday morning, would you take it?  Many weddings are usually held on a Saturday or Sunday night, but Friday, even Thursday nights should be considered as well.  Oftentimes you'll find more availability and booking the venue can be cheaper as well.  And when you have a day wedding, you can always have a get-together at your home or your parents home after for visiting relatives and friends.  It'll be a day long party celebrating your wedding!

Tip #5: Is the venue big enough to fit all your guests comfortably? You've invited 200 guests and the venue says they can fit that many people but there won't be much space in-between tables, are you okay with that? Or will you need to cut your guest list to accommodate the space in the venue?  Is it more important to be able to fit all of your guests or have the reception at a particular place?

Tip #6: Does the cost meet your budget?  It's not just the meal that can determine the cost of the venue, but the location as well.  A reception at a beach hotel will probably cost more than a reception at a hotel that's more inland.  Why is that?  Well, you're paying for the view and the popularity of the venue.  Make sure your budget will fit where you will have your reception.  

These six questions are just the starting off point for when you plan your wedding.  Many more questions can arise when it comes to your venue alone.  What questions do you have regarding your reception? Share with us below!

 

 

How to Organize Your Seating Chart

Photo by  Annie Spratt  on  Unsplash

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

You've decided on a sit down meal, you have all of your RSVP cards, and you've given your venue your final headcount.  Now it's time to assign seats, a task many couples dread.  Here are a couple of tips to help make your seat assignments as painless as possible:

Tip #1: Create a chart. Whether you do it through a spreadsheet or you create a model of your venue, put each table number and how many seats at each table. 

Tip #2: Prioritize your list.  Just like you created your A, B, and C guest list for your invitations, create a similar list but base it around your dance floor.  Your A list guest are immediate family and close friends.  People you want to be able to look out and see from your sweetheart table and people you want to have a good view of all the wedding activities. 

Tip #3: Group guests together. Within your main list, group coworkers, college friends, high school friends, close cousins, secondary cousins, etc.  You don't have to worry how many people will be at each table yet.  For now, you want to group individuals in each list together based on their commonalities. 

Tip #3: Create subcategories. Take the groups and create subcategories with your list.  So list A will have immediate family and close friends.  List B will have college friends and close cousins and Group C will have coworkers.  However many groups you have, start placing them into subcategories. 

Tip #4: Start placing groups at each table.  Whether you are placing 8, 10, or even 12 guests at a table, you want to start placing groups at tables.  This is where it can get tricky and you have to remember family dynamics and table positioning.  I can promise you for the most part, most guests won't mind where they are sitting.  However, we all have that one relative who is a little sensitive and and may take offense so don't forget to take that into account. 

Tip #5: Put away your guest list.  After spending a couple of hours trying to place each of your guest your head will start to spin and you may find yourself getting a headache.  At this point, save your work on your computer and turn it off or put your model away in the closet and don't look at it for a couple of days.  You need to clear your head and in a few days you can take it out and look at it again from a fresh perspective. 

Throughout all of this just remember that you want your guests to have a good time and try not to put too much stress and attention on your seating chart.  At the end of the day, everyone is here to celebrate you and your groom.  Comment below if you used a different technique in creating your seating chart!

Timing Your Reception

The wedding reception is one of the most memorable parts of a wedding.  However, depending on the time of your ceremony, guests can go for hours without eating, and we all know what happens when we get "hangry."  Watch the video below for a tip to keep in mind when planning the timeline for your wedding reception. 

What did you think of the video?  Comment below on how you plan to schedule your reception.