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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Ice – How This Simple Household Staple Can Spice Up Your Wedding

A common kitchen staple can make your wedding sparkle!  Ice is something we take for granted. But it can add some pizzazz to your reception. Take a look at the frozen blocks below. They are designed to take the place of bags used for chilling beverages.  Interested?  Read one bride’s simple instructions below.

offbeat bride.com

“Months before the wedding my mother started collecting plastic bottles. She filled them with water and [fake] flowers and put them in the freezer. The morning of the wedding we cut off the plastic to reveal the blocks. They were both pretty and took the place of having to buy bags of ice for an outdoor summer wedding.”

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Interested in pretty EDIBLE cubes?  Martha Stewart has the recipe for that!

  1. “To suspend flowers in cubes, work in layers: Fill an ice tray (one that makes large cubes so it will last longer) a quarter of the way with water, add flowers facing down, and freeze. Add more water to fill halfway, and freeze. Fill to the top, and freeze again.

  2. For ice that’s especially clear, use distilled water that has been boiled and then cooled. This limits impurities and air bubbles, which make ice cloudy.

  3. Use only edible flowers, such as orchids, nasturtiums, pansies, and snapdragons, that have been grown to be eaten (to ensure they haven’t been treated with chemicals).”

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The rose above encased in it’s frozen world is a lovely and original centerpiece.

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Truly, could you find a more beautiful wine holder than the one above?  I love LOVE this!

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I am not sure where the photo above was taken, but it is spectacular! The photo is unique, beautiful and is the perfect setting for a winter wedding photo opp. I think it was brilliant that that bride chose a mauve colored dress to offset the starkness of the frozen backdrop.