do not box in your wedding caterer :: part four

Part Four of our “don’t box us in” five part series about your wedding vendors!

Hmmmm….. good food. Hmmm…. good food at one of the biggest events of your LIFE, your wedding!

Sasha Souza once said that your guests will remember 3 things from your wedding: food, fun and service! Isn’t that true? If any of those things are sub par, then you will have problems.

Interestingly, your food costs could be one of your higher expenses depending on your taste palette and your guest count. So keep these things in mind…

Tips for the best outcome working with your wedding caterer:

1. Do not pack in 250 guests into a space challenged venue and expect your catering staff to serve a plated meal in a timely manner. This is where event planners can really help you with the floor plan and the real anticipated serving time (which can dramatically effect your timeline). There has to be enough space for the servers to walk around the table to set/pick up the plates.

2. Like with bartenders, do not skimp on the volume of servers that you are willing to pay for working at your wedding. It takes a lot of people to serve a large amount of guests. Most often there will be a line item on your catering proposal as to the number of servers they will bring. Look closely at that.

3. If you have guests that are suppose to have a specific plate, such as; vegetarian or vegan, make it easy for these people to be identified. Work with your wedding planner on where they will be seated so he/she can let them know.

4. Listen to your caterer when they talk about the best ways to serve the food. If they tell you it is difficult to keep your favorite dish hot and serve 200 people, then listen to them. Order that fave dish tonight for just to the two of you.

Trust your wedding caterer.

Featured photo credit: pfe iPhone

Tomorrow, part 5 and finale of this “don’t box us in” vendor series

plan on!



do not box in your wedding photographer :: part three

Part Three of our “don’t box us in” five part series about your wedding vendors!

If you have ever read this blog, you know how much we heart wedding photographers. We post about them often! We may be an intricate part of creating the memories but they are capturing them, forever!

Your wedding photographer will want to schedule a meeting with you to review the timeline, nuances and review the photos that you want to capture on your wedding day. This has evolved into creating a “shoot list” that your photographer will list all the photos you want, such as:

Bride and Groom at Altar

Bride and Groom with Bride’s Parents

Bride and Groom with Groom’s Parents

….and so on.

Not a bad idea, your photographer doesn’t want to miss an important photo that you want. However for your consideration, look at the points below.

Tips for the best outcome working with your wedding photographer:

1. Definitely have an important list for your photographer (you favorite Aunt that you haven’t seen in 20 years coming to see you), they will want to know that. But try not to make this ghastly long list that requires your photographer to be reading from a piece of paper instead of pointing and shooting your wedding.

2. If you are of the more traditional type and have a large wedding party and family, do not think that it is possible to shoot this long list of photos in 45 minutes. It’s not humanly possible, no matter how fast your photographer says they can shoot. You are setting them up for failure, stress on your wedding party and yourselves, especially when timing is tight.

3. If your wedding is later in the day or early evening and you do not want to see each other before you walk down the aisle (read our series on this issue), but adore those outdoor casual shots, understand that may not be impossible. We can’t stop the sun from going down, Mother Nature has a mind of her own. We’ve had many clients in this scenario (although we warned them) told us after their wedding day that they wished they had listened to us. Due to weather, timing, or the sun setting, they were never able to get those outdoor shots. There are no do-overs in weddings.

Trust your wedding photographer.

featured photo credit: pfe iPhone

Tomorrow, part 4 of this “don’t box us in” vendor series

plan on!



do not box in your wedding florist :: part two

Part Two of our “don’t box us in” five part series about your wedding vendors!

Choosing your design and decor is one of the most popular and fun tasks a bride can do for her wedding. Scouring through magazines, online photos and speaking with your friends is all part of the process.

So when the design/decor meeting happens with a wedding designer (we offer this service) and/or florist, brides can have some very specific ideas about the types of flowers and overall design concepts. This is great, because then we can know what to offer you and collaborate on creative concepts!

Tips for the best outcome working with your wedding designer/florist:

1. Do not be OVERLY picky/stringent on all your flowers. We want to be sure your favorites are in your bouquet. But flowers are living things and sometimes, during the shipping process, the flowers wilt or are not sturdy enough to put into a bride’s bouquet. Allow your florist some flexibility to do his/her job to make some subtle substitutions so the integrity of your personal flowers achieve the best results.

2. Listen to their advice on using certain flowers during certain seasons. For instance, August in our area is oppressively hot. We refuse to use some delicate flowers such as stephanotis during this month. It’s an expensive flower, we could make money. But a flower wilting on a groom’s jacket 2 hours into the wedding day is not worth it. So listen to your florist’s expertise.

3. Allow for some subtle changes to room design. We can develop strategies, draw, and prototype designs, but sometimes changes have to be made during implementation. It’s the nature of the beast. As long as the end-result is beautiful, no one but you and your designer will know.

Trust your florist/designer.

featured photo credit: pfe iPhone

Tomorrow, part 3 of this “don’t box us in” vendor series

plan on!



do not box in your wedding DJ :: part one

Welcome to our “don’t box us in” five part series about your wedding vendors!

Your DJ will want to know what kind of music you expect/like to have at your wedding. They don’t want to play gangster rap when the your favorite music and most of your guests are country lovers. The following is based on our experience at watching many wedding receptions and hearing input from guests, clients and DJ’s.

Before your wedding day, your DJ will discuss with you what kind of music that you like to listen to and determine your style (and what you anticipate your wedding guests liking as well). We encourage this meeting! Your DJ does not want to fail nor have an empty dance floor.

Often the bride and groom is encouraged to create a list of songs that they would like to hear and what they would not like to hear. This is NOT a bad idea, all by itself. But we have seen this morph into a bride and groom making a strict playlist for the DJ to play. This is not a good idea for many reasons, as you will read below.

Tips for the best outcome working with your wedding DJ:

1. Don’t tie your DJ’s hands. They are there to please you and your guests (you do want your guests to have a good time, right?).

2. Your strict playlist may be too darn long. There are so many minutes in an hour and hours at a reception. You cannot possibly give 60-80 songs and expect them all to be played within a 4-5 hour period.

3. Try not to create a strict DO NOT PLAY list. Such as, old classics such; Chicken Dance, the Polka, Electric Slide, etc. I understand, these songs do not motivate me personally to dance. However, what happens if approx 45 guests WANT to hear one of these songs (whatever the song may be). Why do you want to put your DJ in a difficult situation by having to tell your guests “No, I cannot play that song for you”. Really? What do you care if your dance floor is packed and your guests are enjoying themselves and you hate the song? Use this opportunity to go to the bathroom. Instead, tell your DJ that unless requested by your guests (and by more people than the sugar-induced 12 year old), then please don’t voluntarily play these songs.

Instead give general guidelines to your DJ. You’re hiring a professional, let them do their job by playing to the crowd, taking some requests and making everyone happy.

Your rented dance floor will thank you for being constantly used. Trust your DJ.

featured photo credit: pfe iPhone

Tomorrow, part 2 of this “don’t box us in” vendor series

plan on!



what wedding traditions should you keep? part five/finale

We’ll finish up our series with this finale… on which wedding traditions you should keep…or ditch?

#5 Wedding Tradition: Unity Candle

We are not suggestion removing this tradition, but to take a closer look at “wedding unity candles” (we’re talking the pillar candles that you keep after the wedding). Often when they are sold they are white, silver, and boooooring. Just because they have the word “wedding” on it doesn’t mean you have to use it!

Instead why not visit your favorite home decorating store and buy a beautiful candle that will match the decor of your new home. Even if it is scented. That way you can display your candle as it should be. Instead of something that stands out and doesn’t even match!!! Best point…it will probably be less expensive.

Traditions are fabulous…however if you take the time to take a closer look, you can still keep the tradition…but save a little moola at the same time.

featured photo credit: jordan barclay photography

THAT, is a good thing.