How to Have Happy Wedding Guests (With 5 Super Easy Tips)

11229839_10206380169797323_821285514982644025_oPhoto by Jack Hoying

You’ve invited friends and family to help you celebrate your wedding. If you are like most couples, you plan to feed them, entertain them, and thank them for being a part of your special day.

While the quality of the food and music can definitely make or break their level of enjoyment (no doubt about that), don’t forget the little things that can impact your guests’ experience.

1. Keep your guests informed (before the wedding day).

Wedding guests appreciate being informed of what to expect. Your invitation will give them some clue, but a wedding website is a wonderful, inexpensive (and even free), convenient place to provide further information your guests will want or need.

Look at it from their perspective. Having clear info – locations, directions, time schedule, hotel accommodations, gift registry options, etc. – easily at their fingertips makes it easier for them to participate.

Many couples include a page for guests to conveniently RSVP, and leave comments or questions they may have.

2. Keep your guests informed (on the wedding day).

You’ve shared plenty of info prior to your wedding day. On the big day itself, make sure guests understand what you want them to do with appropriate signage at your ceremony and reception sites.

Guests tend to err on the side of caution. They need that gentle guidance to let them know what we want them to do, such as: yes, please sign the guest book; yes, please take a favor; and don’t forget to turn off your cell phone (you don’t want someone’s phone to start ringing in the middle of your ceremony!).

It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to create signs that are memorable and in keeping with the theme of your event.

3. Plan for a variety of foods available.

Think of your reception dinner as Sunday dinner only amped up a few notches. You don’t have to stick with the tried-and-true – it’s ok to be adventurous – but keep it familiar. Consider guests’ dietary needs, perhaps offer a vegetarian and gluten free options there are any dietary restrictions.

If you are adding a regional specialty or a nationality dish that may be unfamiliar to your guests, explain what it is with elegant tent cards, (remember #2 from above?)

4. Add a little pampering.

Your venue will have some sort of restrooms (either with running water, or hand sanitizer station). Pamper your guests with a few extra amenities like hair spray, hand lotion, tissues, band aids, breath mints, and a mini a sewing kit.

5. Smile, and really enjoy your day!

Make sure that on your wedding day you wear a happy face. You have planned a great event, it’s now time to relax and let the good times roll. You’ve done your best, and you have helpers (family, friends, wedding coordinator) to handle the details. So smile and enjoy what you’ve planned.

Smiling and being happy is contagious. It has a “trickle down effect.” If you are happy and enjoying yourself, your guests will feel it and also be happy and have fun.

On the other hand, if your are grumpy and complaining, your guests are going to feel that negativity. They are less likely to have fun, and will probably leave early.

Weddings From The Heart can make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way you want. Contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net and schedule your free, initial appointment!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Want Happy Wedding Guests? Here Are the Top 5 Things to Avoid.

11218244_10206380177437514_8387486570021473394_o

Photo by Jack Hoying

Your wedding guests have taken the time to come to your wedding to witness your wedding vows, and many have probably travelled great distances.. They want to enjoy themselves, have a good time, and celebrate your first day as newlyweds .

To make their experience more pleasant and memorable (for the right reasons!) the following is a list of the top 5 things wedding guests hate.

1. A long gap between the ceremony and the reception
Try to have the reception start as close to the end of the ceremony as possible. If the ceremony and reception are at the same location this is super easy. If at different locations just figure out the end time of the ceremony and the drive time from there to the reception.

If a long gap between ceremony and reception can’t be avoided, provide something for your guests to do. A list of local sights to see, area shopping, A hospitality room at the hotel where your guests are staying is a simple, yet inexpensive touch. Light snacks (chips and soda) are all that’s needed. Maybe a friend or family member who lives nearby can invite guests over for cookies and light beverages.

2. A ceremony that doesn’t start on time

untitled-354pp_w850_h566Photo by Zac Fisher

A delay of a minute or two is fine. Making them wait 20 minutes or more is not.

3. Slow dinner service
Your guests have already sat through your ceremony, and although you may have provided some yummy appetizers and cocktails, by the time dinner is served they will be hungry. And when your tummy is on the verge of growling, nothing is worse than long buffet lines that take forever, or seeing another table get their dinners served but having to wait for what can seem like an eternity for them to get around to your table.

This can be avoided by having enough wait staff. Rule of thumb is 1 to 2 wait staff per 10 to 12 guests for a served dinner, and 1 wait staff per 25 guests for a buffet. Another easy buffet trick is to have the buffet table(s) double sided instead of having it pushed up against a wall (this gets people through the line twice as quickly).

4. Long lines for the bar or restrooms
bar-50038108_s

Photo by kadmy / 123RF Stock Photo

You can’t celebrate when you’re stuck in a line. For bartenders, figure on having 1 bartender per 50 to 75 guests. For restrooms, 1 potty per 35 to 50 guests (with a minimum of 2 – 1 for the men and 1 for the ladies).

5. Sitting in the hot sun for an outdoor ceremony

violet-outdoor-ceremony-53136495_s

Photo by 279photo / 123RF Stock Photo

Yes, I’m a fan of readings and music during the ceremony, and love the symbolism of the unity candle. But these things take time.

If your wedding ceremony will take place outdoors on a hot, humid day with little or no shade, use the KISS method (keep it short and sweet). Provide hand fans (they are inexpensive, and will help make the heat more tolerable).

Consider providing something to drink before the ceremony. Bottled water or urns with iced water is inexpensive, yet refreshing. Having pre-poured beverages looks nice, will quickly attract little bugs.

Weddings From The Heart can make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way you want. Contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net and schedule your free, initial appointment!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Show Me The Diamond!

51892952 - celebration, friends, bachelorette party and holidays concept - happy woman showing engagement ring to her friends with champagne glasses at night club
Photo credit: dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo

Before the wedding you’ve got to get engaged!

Let’s face it, when someone gets engaged what’s the first thing we say? “Show me the diamond! We want to see the ring.”

But what is it about this above all other precious stones that garner the most oohs and aahs? Why do grooms choose this for their brides-to-be? Why a diamond?

At its most basic, a diamond is a mineral, a transparent form of pure carbon.

23419811 - rough, uncut diamonds in several colors
Photo credit: imfoto / 123RF Stock Photo

It is formed by the pressure of the Earth’s interior pressing the carbon molecules together into a substance so dense that it becomes the hardest known naturally occurring material. Diamonds are then brought to the earths’ surface through volcanic explosions.

Not only is it the hardest substance, but one of the oldest substances – many diamonds are three billion years old. In reference to the hardness of this gemstone, the name “diamond” is derived from the Greek word “adamas,” meaning untamable or unconquerable.

We can thank Archduke Maximillian of Austria way back in the 1400’s for starting the tradition of giving a diamond engagement ring when he presented one to Mary of Burgundy. But, because of the rarity of diamonds, only nobility could afford such a declaration of love. When abundant diamond deposits were discovered in South Africa another 400 years later, diamonds became accessible to the common man (lucky us!).

Other gem stones are used in engagement rings, sapphires, emeralds and rubies are popular choices. (Who can forget Kate Middleton’s sapphire engagement ring?) However, the diamond remains at the top of the list.

53456835 - collection of rings with colorful gems on black background
Photo credit: magryt / 123RF Stock Photo

Why a diamond?

What better to symbolize your love for each other than with something that is natural, enduring, pure, long-lasting, beautiful, unstoppable, strong, invincible and rare.

Looking for unique ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

3 Reasons You Need to Have a Real Bartender at Your Wedding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weddings can be expensive, and sometimes unanticipated expenses pop up. One unanticipated expense is for bartending services.

If you are lucky enough to have a venue that include a bartender, then you’re all set.

However, if your venue or caterer does not provide bartending services, please read on.

Most couples are on the lookout for areas to trim the budget, and forgoing a professional bartender may seem like a good way to save money.

You may be thinking of asking a friend or family member to take care of the bartending duties.

Or

You may be considering having your guests serve themselves.

Don’t do it.

Unless you are not serving alcohol, (or providing only a bottle of wine on each table), this is not the place to scrimp!

“Why not?” you ask.

It all boils down to a safety issue. Now I’m not trying to imply that your guests are all a bunch of lushes, or irresponsible. Not at all.

But, it only takes one or two seemingly minor occurrences to cause a BIG problem.

Think of it this way . . .

1. A friend/family member typically finds it hard not to serve a guest who has reached their limit, or will “look away” and slip a drink to someone who is underaged.

A professional bartender will stop serving someone who is intoxicated, and will card guests and refuse to serve a guest who isn’t old enough.

2. Friends/family members tend to be heavy handed when they pour. While this may make your guests happy, they’re going to be “too happy” when they end up inebriated. Also, since the drinks have more alcohol then necessary, it will ultimately cost you more, since you’re going through more alcohol.

A professional bartender will pour accurate amounts per glass, using standard bar measures, which moderates the amount of alcohol being served.

3. Self-serve bars also pose the issue of too much being served at a time, which can be a problem if there are heavy drinkers among your guests. Also, since there is no one there to regulate consumption, you may unknowingly serve alcohol to an underaged minor.

It’s becoming more common for venues to require an insured bartender if you are having alcohol. They have their property to protect, but it also protects you.

Be safe. Keep your guests safe.

This will help ensure you’ll only have happy memories from your wedding celebration, not ones of intoxicated guests, teens getting into the booze, or the worry of guests drinking and driving.

Weddings From The Heart can make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way you want. Contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net and schedule your free, initial appointment!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Photo credit: castenoid / 123RF Stock Photo

Not All Money Saving Ideas Are Good

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love saving money just as much as the next person. And I love it when the money I’m saving belongs to my brides and grooms. (Believe me, nothing is better than staying on, or under budget!)

But not all money saving ideas are good ones.

Recently read an article that suggested couples skip appetizers, since the guests would be filling up on dinner during the reception.

Bad idea!

These days, most couples have their wedding ceremony and reception at the same location, and schedule the reception to immediately follow the ceremony. This makes sense, as it would be rude to expect your guests to leave then come back.

Even if your ceremony and reception are at two different venues, most guests appreciate not having a lag time between the ceremony and reception.

Usually the happy couple and their wedding party will be busy with photos right after the ceremony, so a majority of wedding receptions start off with a cocktail hour, since the reception can’t “officially” start.

What does this have to do with skipping appetizers?

Think about this – what are guests to do while waiting for the bride and groom to arrive?

Enjoy some beverages and little nibbles during a cocktail hour. Offer a cocktail hour and your guests will happily stay occupied until you arrive (with DJ or band playing some light music in the background).

With nothing to drink or snack on, after about 10 minutes or so, they will become antsy and bored. Giving them alcohol to drink but nothing to eat, is a bad idea. Alcohol on an empty stomach is asking for trouble.

The only way that skipping appetizers will work is if there is no time lag between ceremony and reception.

Appetizers don’t have to be fancy. Inexpensive cheese and crackers, fruit and veggie trays, chips and dips will do nicely.

And no, you don’t have to serve alcohol during the cocktail hour if you prefer to have a dry wedding. Sodas, iced tea, lemonade, and flavored waters will work.

Have any questions or looking for fun ideas? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647 or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Photo credit: magryt / 123RF Stock Photo

National Chocolate Cupcake Day

 

 

 

 

 

It’s time for chocolate and dessert lovers to celebrate! Today is National Chocolate Cupcake Day.

Ways to observe this delicious holiday include:

* Mix up a batch of your favorite chocolate cupcakes – grab a friend or two and bake some together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: lenyvavsha / 123RF Stock Photo
* Go to your local bakery and pick up a variety – how about devil’s food, German chocolate, white chocolate, or turtle?

* Do you collect cookbooks? Add a couple cupcake books to your collection, maybe The Betty Crocker The Big Book of Cupcakes, or Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson.

Planning a wedding?

Consider serving cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake. You can still have a small tier for the cake cutting ceremony, or get a jumbo cupcake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Prima Vista Photography

Cupcakes can be as elegant or as whimsical as you want!

Photo credit: Weddings From The Heart

Photo credit: maximkabb / 123RF Stock Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: ruthblack / 123RF Stock Photo

For fun ideas for your wedding day, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean