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blocking hotel rooms for your wedding guests…

You are planning a wedding and anticipate a lot of out of town guests. As a host of your wedding, it’s nice to be able to “block rooms” with local hotels so that your guests will: 1. Know where to stay that is convenient to the location of your wedding reception and 2. Take advantage of a reduced rate.

Great.

The challenge arises that most people do not know how hotels operate. They are in it to make money. Blocking TOO MANY rooms thinking that all your out of town guests will come, does not help the hotel … make money. They frown upon that idea.

So here are few quick tips when blocking rooms:

  • Do not over estimate the amount of rooms you may need. You can always go over the block, but it can get sticky when you go way under.
  • Negotiate the cut off date for the room block. Some hotels it is 30 days in advance (period). This is because they can fill ALL their rooms every single weekend at a full rate.
  • Tell your family to book their rooms early. Don’t want to miss the reduced rate you negotiated.
  • Read the contract carefully. Does it say that YOU have to pay for rooms that aren’t booked by guests? It shouldn’t.
  • Do not expect the hotel to be able to block all the rooms on the same floor. I understand that this is convenient for you, but with so many other public people booking rooms, this is often a request that a hotel cannot guarantee.
  • Talk to someone LOCALLY at the specific hotel. Do not leave it up to a customer service representative from a 800 number. The information will not trickle down. Seriously. NOT trickle down to the local hotel.
  • Check, Double Check and then Check again. Again, statistically with so many employees of the hotel, it is very likely there will be confusion and mistakes. So always, always … double check.

I learned of a horror story of a wedding that my favorite hair stylist was a part of in Louisville. While there were many problems along the way, the short story is: on the day of the wedding (while the family was AT THE RECEPTION), their rooms were booked to the public. The hotel staff took all their belongings, dumped them into trash bags and left their stuff at the front desk. Thinking, they simply did not “check out”. They strolled in at midnight with no rooms, wadded up clothing and feeling helpless.

*sigh*

Should I mention this wedding did not have a wedding planner? I suppose there is no need.

feature image photo credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!

ps You can see more about this subject and about how increased gas prices may effect your wedding on today’s Fox 7 Wedding Planner. Do you watch? It’s on every Wednesday at 6:55 am!

 

 

common guest faux pas at weddings

Today on Fox 7 AM Evansville we talked about common guest faux pas that happen at weddings. As planners, we see A LOT of them, but here are the highlights…

1. Arriving late to the ceremony. If the ceremony starts at 1:30pm you should be arriving NO LATER than 1:20pm. Seriously, I see people give more attention to arriving at a movie theater early than they do at weddings. But let’s say something happens beyond your control and you are strolling in at 1:34. If you see pretty girls lined up and a bride at the front of the church, kindly step to the side and wait. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, scoot by the wedding party and enter the church. If you wanted to see the bride’s face as she walks down the aisle, you should of arrived on time.

All of the guests will be focusing on the entrance of the church as the processional has already begun, so you’ll be seen by EVERYONE. Also you ruin the video and let’s face it, you’ve drawn attention to yourself at someone’s wedding. Instead, wait to the side until the bride has walked down the aisle and is at the altar. The guests will be turned around and you can slide on in, unseen.

2. Manage your children. Everyone should know that if your child starts to cry during the ceremony, please get up with crying child and leave as to not disturb all the guests. Most parents will do this. But I’d like to add, do not forget about your children at the reception. For some reason, I see parents completely relax and let their children run everywhere. And when I say run, I mean the 100 yard dash sprint. And fingers poking into the cake is not cute, nor sanitary. So please watch your child(ren). It may even mean leaving the reception to take them home.

3. You forget the gift. This is easy. Don’t say anything. Do not apologize to the parents of the bride, do not mention anything to the bride and groom. Just send the gift immediately when you get home. There is no need to draw negative attention to yourself.

4. You’ve drank too much. The best advice is to not get to this point, but I know that sometimes it can happen, to the best of people. So if you have had too much, or the bartender has cut you off, realize that they are doing this for a reason. And if other guests or staff is taking your keys from you and calling a cab, do not argue. Know that your friends are looking out for your safety and others.

plan on!

ps Catch the TV version of this blog post with Saundra Hadley, Fox 7 Wedding Planner.

 

having a backup (heat) plan

We all know that for outdoor weddings, it is critical to have a backup rain plan.

But have you considered the other weather elements? Like oppressive, humid, glaring, blazing heat from the sun?

This year we have had an tremendous shift of venues for wedding selections. More people are choosing personal residences or outdoor venues for their wedding ceremony (and/or receptions).

It’s a fab idea, as bride and groom’s are looking for something different for their special day. The concern is mostly with the potential of rain, but you have to remember other weather elements. In southern Indiana, the humidity factor is a huge concern as it is oppressive to a woman in a beautiful, layered wedding dress and men in full tuxedos. This can lead to crabby attitudes, sweaty faces, heat exhaustion and fainting.

Keep these points in mind, when planning your outdoor extravaganza:

  1. Your elderly guests need to have shade and comfort.
  2. Outdoor musicians will not play in direct sunlight. It’s not the uncomfortably factor (although that should be a concern, imagine YOU trying to play a violin dripping of sweat and exhaustion for an hour), musicians WILL NOT expose their high dollar instruments to direct sunlight. It ruins them.
  3. Should you proceed with the outdoor, sunny plan; then make sure you are choosing garments to wear that will allow some coolness factor. This includes your wedding dress, groom/groomsmen attire, bridesmaids and parent attire.
  4. Prepare for helping the guests cool off: A shaded location to wait until the last minute to be seated for the ceremony, fans (electric and handheld), cool non-alcoholic drinks to refresh themsevles.
  5. Choose a short vow ceremony. Short…. very short.
  6. Have an inside backup plan to move the ceremony. You don’t want to think about this now, but once you step outside in full dress, you may change your mind.
  7. Do NOT choose a month that an outdoor wedding will almost 98% sure to be miserable. In this area, August is the worth month of the year with high humidity and heat.
  8. Encourage more casual dress for guests; open collar shirts and sundresses for the girls.
featured image photo credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!

 

jennifer + adam’s wedding

We had our first wedding in Jasper and Huntingburg, Indiana this weekend. What a fantastic area! It was such a great wedding with wonderful family (we heart Jenny’s mom, Cindy).

The new Huntingburg Event Center was fantastic! So excited to have a new venue that is up to code and is a wonderful facility. Cannot say enough good things about that venue and their staff.

Here’s a few photos from the iPhone just to capture the day. Jenny and Adam’s doggie/baby made a quick appearance after the wedding for formal photos. Too cute!

jennifer nicholson and adam martindale wedding

jennifer nicholson and adam martindale wedding

Finally a real professional photo,below of the happy wedding party in the RV transportation! CRAZY fun!

jennifer nicholson and adam martindale wedding by clarion creative

photo: Brian with Clarion Creative

plan on!

 

 

how to get your wedding guests out on the dance floor!

Let’s face it, your guests are looking forward to dancing at your wedding reception.  Some bride and groom’s are NOT dancers, but they want to watch their guests have a good time.

Here’s the trick to encouraging your wedding guests to get their groove on. Actually get on the dance floor with them!

It’s not that complicated. Your guests will be where ever you are. So if you are sitting in the back, outside drinking or mingling in a different room; that is where they will gravitate. Don’t blame your band or DJ. And don’t act like you are going to be judged like on “Dancing with the Stars”.  Have fun….shake your booty and enjoy yourself. And so will your guests.

For some inspiration; check out our clients Tara Brown and Max Axler at their wedding…and notice where the guests are!

wedding guests dancing and funhappy guests dancing at wedding reception

all images photo credit: jordan barclay photography

plan on!