The Fall Wedding

The Fall Wedding… Summer is almost over.  It’s time to look ahead to the Fall Wedding.

There are some simple things you should remember to make the most of your special day, AND to save you money.

Choose your flowers wisely, I.e., make sure you are purchasing “in-season” flowers. Your florist can advise you on this.  Out of season flowers will cost you, sometimes, more than double.  Love the flowers below.

And don’t forget the natural beauty of your outdoor wedding venue.

If your wedding ceremony or reception will be outside, watch the weather carefully.  When I think of Fall, I think cooler weather.  But that might not be the case.  You might experience Indian Summer, and have a heat wave.  Either way, think of your guests.  Cool weather, make sure hot drinks are provided.  If you DO have that heatwave, make sure  you have cool beverages to keep your guests hydrated.

Ha ha!  The guests from the wedding in the photo above made good use of the water provided by their hosts.  This cute tub was a brilliant vessel.

It’s a good idea to keep a list of your guests’ emails, and send out a weather update, especially for those coming from out of town.  They will then be able to dress appropriately.  And help them out.  If the weather will be chilly, consider blankets for your guests’ use.  And don’t forget the bride and her attendants.  The gentlemen usually have jackets to keep them warm, but not the ladies.  Perhaps a lovey cashmere shall would be a considerate bridesmaid gift.  For hot weather, how about a personal fan?  🙂

Don’t neglect to factor in time the of day.  Maybe your wedding will be after we return to standard time vs. daylight savings.  You may wish to have a lovely sunset wedding photo.  If this is the case, plan the time of your wedding ceremony accordingly.

Special Wedding Dances

Special Wedding Dances…what do I mean by this?  Well, of course I mean the standard ones, the “Father/Daughter Dance” and the “Mother/Son Dance”. But there are other dances of significance you may want to consider.  Yes, they are a little old-fashioned, but they are not only crowd pleasers, but make cherished memories as well.

Above is a photo of my parents dancing and WINNING the “Anniversary Dance”. All married couples were invited to dance to a pre-chosen song. Then the DJ politely asked couples married less than 5 years, then 10 years, then 20 years to leave the dance floor.  This went on until only one couple remained, the longest married couple.  As I mentioned earlier, at my daughter Maggie and son-in-law Robert’s wedding, the winner of the “Anniversary Dance” was my parents – at 63 years.  I was very proud, and isn’t it a lovely photo?  It’s a picture I will always cherish.  My parents always could “cut a rug”!

Maggie and Robert also chose to recognize their parents.  They played our wedding song and Robert’s parents’ wedding song as well, and we all danced to them. Above you see Rob’s parents, Debbie and Bob, on the right of this picture.

The next photo doesn’t showcase any special dance, but I love the picture.  The little girl, (not so little anymore!), dancing with Rob, is his new sister-in-law, my youngest, Julia. They have a wonderful, big brother/little sister relationship, as I think is apparent in this picture.

The next captures a lovely moment during the “Mother/Son Dance”.  Debbie, mother of the groom, looks just beautiful – and so happy.

And what wedding reception could be complete without the “Father/Daughter Dance”? Above you see my lovely daughter and my husband dancing to James Taylor’s “Smiling Face”. It’s now a family tradition for our daughters to dance with their dad to this song at their wedding.  Both our older girls have so far… All four of our daughters know their dad thinks of them when he hears it.  🙂

So don’t be afraid to be a little “hooky”. You’ll love the results, and so will your guests.  This post is a nice segue into a “Guest Blog” post my oldest will be writing and sharing with you soon…

All Photos: Stephen Wang

The Vendor Table

What is a “Vendor Table” you may ask. Well, if you haven’t planned a formal event lately, you may not know.

A “Vendor Table” is a table set aside for the “Vendors” at your wedding: the photographer, the DJ, the videographer, etc.  They have a long day, and while it is not required to serve them a meal, all hosts do.  Where to sit?  It is a lovely, generous gesture to have a table set aside for your vendors.  But then that just may not be possible due to space issues.

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If an entire table is not possible, try to make sure there is a bench in front of a your venue building, or a picnic table, etc.  Anywhere for the professionals who are making your wedding a success to take a quick break will work.  Your vendors will not rest long.  There’s too much to do to keep your event running smoothly.  I have never worked a wedding where I have not had a place to rest, but talking to other vendors, it sometimes happens.

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As a wedding guest recently, I attended a reception where there were not even enough chairs for the guests, much less for the vendors.  A few chairs had to be borrowed form another venue location.  Being in the business myself, my heart went out to the vendors.  Some, I knew had been on their feet in excess of 10 hours.  I can not imagine standing that long without a break.

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For vendor or guest, some brides are renting lovely seating like the conversation group above.  I think it lends a cozy, yet sophisticated air.

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Your vendor table doesn’t have to be as lavishly decorated as the ones for your guests, just a cozy corner to take a break.

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A picnic table, such as the ones above, can make a nice respite for the weary, hard working vendor. These tables, however, are dressed so nicely, they could serve the guests!

 

Wedding Vendor Tipping Guide

Wedding Vendor Tipping Guide:  

This post will hopefully help clarify your role in the tipping process.  Our country, unlike most European countries, has a love/hate relationship with tipping.  But we do it, they don’t. The custom is a cause of wedding anxiety, and it is not inexpensive.  In fact, it is the number one “unexpected/unplanned expense of a wedding.”

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A big item to watch  for… do your catering, transportation, DJ, photography, contracts already include gratuities in your final price?  If so, you’ve already paid.

I know as a “Mother of the Bride” when I received my final bill for the photographer, and DJ, they included the gratuity in the bill. It was “optional”.  I had to have the bill reworked to reflect that I chose to tip on my own. But you may be of a mind to pay for your gratuity in your final bill.  That way, you have less cash to carry around the day of the wedding.  You may even be able to put it on your credit card.  Be forewarned, however… it takes away your option of tipping on performance. By pre-paying vendors’ tips, they have their gratuity before even showing up.

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Your catering contract almost ALWAYS doesn’t give you that option.  The gratuity is included and part of the bill, period!  The same is true for many, but not all, limo services.  Most include the “gratuity” in your bill. It is built in and you must pay it.

If you choose to pay tips in cash at the end of the wedding, have a responsible party hold and distribute the tips.  I suggest having cash ready, counted and placed in sealed envelopes with vendors’ names attached, at least one day before the wedding.

But how much to tip?  The chart below is one of the best I’ve found.  Hopefully, it will be helpful!

Bartenders: 10 percent of the total liquor bill  (to be split among them)
Bathroom attendants: $1 to $2 per guest
Catering manager: $200+ or a personal gift
Chef: $100+
Coat check attendants: $1 to $2 per guest
Hairstylist: 15 to 20 percent
Hotel chambermaids: $2 to $5 per room; $10 to $15 if you used a suite as your dressing room
Limo or bus drivers: 15 percent
Maitre d’hotel or headwaiter: 1 to 3 percent of food and beverage fees
Makeup artist: 15 to 20 percent
Musicians: 15 percent of fee for ceremony musicians; $25 to $50 per musician for reception
Photographer/videographer: If you’re paying a flat fee with no overtime, $100
Valet or parking attendants: $1 to $2 per car; 15 percent for valet parking
Waiters: $20 and up each (distributed by the catering manager or maitre d’)
Wedding planner: 15 percent of fee or a personal gift

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And remember…it is always appropriate to recognize someone’s excellent service.  Keep a little extra cash on hand in case you’ve forgotten someone, or a vendor has gone above and beyond and you wish to recognize him.

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