Planning a wedding is a huge undertaking. While you may have a checklist of vendors to book, appointments to organize, and finances to arrange, the less obvious details are what actually make your wedding successful and deserve your focus. Here are a few planning secrets that will help make your wedding a smash.
Thoughtful Date Planning
You may have an ideal time of year to tie the knot but be thoughtful to your guests before mailing save-the-dates. Perhaps you want to get married over the holidays. Consider family events and tricky travel dates first. While a Christmas wedding seems romantic to you, your guests may feel disappointed when your event falls on the same weekend as their annual family gathering.
Black-out dates can also cause concern when your guests need to book a hotel room. Investigate events taking place over your desired weekend to see if room blocks or separate reservations will be hard to come by. Some months are busier than others, just be mindful of those who will need a place to stay.
Allow Plenty of Space
Ask your wedding coordinator how many guests you can comfortably fit in your venue. If that number is less than the amount of people on your guest list, it is time to consider other options. Even if this is your dream location, it’s not a good idea to pack people in like sardines. The rule of thumb is between 25-30 square feet per person so there is space to move comfortably.
Timing is Everything
If you want to include certain traditions in your ceremony, understand that some guests may have a hard time sitting for an extended time. Try to keep the ceremony capped at the thirty-minute mark. After you say your vows, don’t let your guests wait too long for you to take photos, even if there is entertainment and food available. Guests can get frustrated if they wait too long for the reception to begin.
At your reception, you also need to balance your time well. Try to say hello to each of your guests and thank them for attending. Most people will be respectful of your time and understand they cannot hold a long conversation. Remember to focus time on your new spouse and have fun with your wedding party. You are the host!
Timing your wedding reception is key to keeping your guests engaged and having a good time. While there is a typical order of events, when you serve dessert will determine how the rest of the evening will flow. Here are some tips to helping you plan ahead.
Let it flow
If you are hosting a sit-down meal, let the courses flow naturally and offer your sweet treats once the main course is complete and the dirty plates have been removed. At this point, direct everyone’s attention to the cake display and begin serving slices as soon as you finalize the cutting celebration. If you are hosting an open buffet, let your wedding coordinator determine when your guests are wrapping up their final course. Then you can cut the cake and set out dessert alternatives. Find great options for a sweets table here.
Some guests will be ready to leave after dinner is served, yet they will want to see the newlyweds cut their cake. While dinner should not be rushed, do not delay for too long! Timing your dessert will allow these guests to fully enjoy your celebration and head home before the party and dancing takes over. You can leave the sweets on display and available for your long-term party guests to enjoy throughout the evening.
Setting the party mood
Cutting the cake is a great way to direct the attention of your guests away from their table members and towards the happy couple. This can lead smoothly to toasting and first dances. It is understood to be the finality of your meal and the introduction to the reception party. Have fun with it and allow the DJ to take the floor. It’s only fun from here!
Did you know that the key to elegance is simplicity? The fewer details you incorporate, the more upscale your wedding reception will feel. Here are a few other tips that are sure to help you create a more sophisticated vibe.
Color choice alone speaks volumes when creating an ambiance for your wedding reception. According to www.colorpsychology.org, shades of white are associated with “goodness, perfection, and purity”. When mixed with black which represents “elegance and formality” the blend creates a simple, fashionable, and classy setting. If you integrate a few soft or neutral colors into the mix you can also retain a sense of calmness and harmony. Imagine yourself walking into a wedding reception full of detail and color in comparison to a simpler arrangement. For most, the reception with less detail and bright color choices will have a more sophisticated feel. Other elegant color choices are: silver, gold, and soft shades of green.
Adding some sparkle is one of the most fun and beautiful ways to create exquisiteness and elegance. If you are having an outdoor reception, string lighting is a great table accent. For an indoor reception, lanterns and candles are a beautiful way to incorporate soft and upscale illumination. Whether indoors or out, the right lighting can add such a beautiful tone for your reception. Be sure to spend some time selecting the best lighting choice for your party!
It is understood that evening receptions lean on the side of elegant. Guests may arrive more formally dressed and ready for cocktails and appetizers. Typically, at an evening reception, dinner is also served and guests plan to stay for the duration. It is less likely for guests to sneak out early for other obligations, which in turn creates a less casual atmosphere. Mixed with your brilliant lighting choices, an evening wedding can look stunning and maintain that intimate and upscale vibe.
If an elegant wedding reception is what you are shooting for, remember to still have fun! Smiles and laughter never go out of style, no matter what setting you desire.