5 Wedding Menu Mistakes All Brides Should Avoid

We say this all the time, but it’s really true: When people look back on your wedding day, the food is one of the things they’ll remember most. Having a good menu is one of the best things you can do to ensure a fun and memorable time is had by all; this means knowing and avoiding some of the most common wedding menu mistakes.

We’ll show you what we mean, listing five common ways in which wedding meal planning can come up short.

Offering too many options.

There is a marketing principle called the paradox of choice, which basically means that, the more options you give people, the harder it is for them to actually land on one. It’s good to offer your wedding guests a few options, but too many can actually be daunting—to say nothing of expensive.

Forgetting dietary needs.

You can’t necessarily know each and every guest’s dietary needs, and it’s probably unwise to try covering all the bases. With that said, you probably do know if you have a number of relatives who are vegans, or an entire side of your family that keeps kosher, or if your mom and dad are lactose intolerant. Make sure you are reasonable in making some dietary accommodations.

Neglecting the kids.

Surf and turf may be exciting for the grown-ups in your family, but will it be exciting for your five-year-old niece? Having a kid-friendly option or two—even if it’s just mac and cheese—can really be a helpful thing for parents.

Not thinking seasonally.

Fresh strawberries make a lot of sense if you’re having a summer wedding, and a lot less sense if you’re getting married close to Christmas. To ensure quality and to keep costs down, make sure you think in terms of the season. You can always ask your caterer for guidance here, of course.

Mismatching menu and mood.

If you’re aiming for a low-key, casual, outdoor reception with a country theme, barbecue sandwiches may be perfect—but they wouldn’t necessarily make sense if you’re eating in a fancy dining room. Make sure you pair your food to the type of reception you’re holding.

With any additional questions, or to ask for our help in planning the perfect menu, don’t hesitate to reach out to our catering team directly. Contact the crew at Mosteller Events today!

Before Your Wedding Tasting…

It’s not uncommon for chefs and caterers to offer full tasting menus before your big day—allowing you and your fiancée to gather, get a feel for what the menu will be like, and make some important decisions about what you do and do not want to be included. The wedding tasting can be a lot of fun, but more importantly, it can help you ensure that your wedding day catering is exactly what you want it to be.

But how do you get the most out of your tasting? There are a few things you should do before the tasting even begins, ensuring that it’s a productive experience. Here some of our tips.

What to Do Before Your Wedding Tasting

Give plenty of clear instructions to your caterer. Are you 100 percent sure you want a steak dish on your menu? Do you absolutely hate tilapia? Are you convinced that an Indian- or Italian-themed menu is what you’re after? Let your caterer know, with as much specificity as possible.

Remember, it’s not just about you. Veal might sound tasty to you, but what if only a small handful of your guests would enjoy it? Be sure you pick your menu based on the guest list, not purely your own tastes and preferences.

Come prepared to discuss dietary needs. If you already know that vegan or gluten-free options will be necessary, let your caterer know as soon as possible.

Think in terms of the whole day. Do you plan on serving appetizers during cocktail hour? If so, you probably don’t need to serve them during the meal, too.

Invite other key decision makers to your tasting. If your mom or sister is helping you arrange the catering, and if you trust their taste buds, ask them to come along with you! Their input can be helpful.

Schedule Your Tasting Today

One more thing: Schedule your tasting sooner rather than later, and get your wedding menu all squared away. We’d love to tell you more about the catering services we can provide here at Mosteller Events. Connect with us today to set up a consultation!

6 Things No Bridesmaid Should Do

The bridesmaid’s role on the wedding day is an important one. Even if your responsibility is just to walk down the aisle, stand beside the bride, and offer love and support, you’re playing an integral part in the festivities. Of course, it is important for bridesmaids to know all the things they’re supposed to do—to be able to hit their marks and take their cues—but it’s just as critical to know what not to do.

Certainly, there are some bridesmaid behaviors that, however well-intentioned, can actually be taxing on the bride. We’ll offer a few examples of some things bridesmaids should avoid.

Complaining About How You Look

We understand that, wearing a dress and a hairstyle you may not have picked out, you don’t feel totally confident—but remember that this is the bride’s day, and she’s asked you to dress in a certain way. Let her enjoy herself!

Complaining About Costs

Buying a dress, traveling to the wedding destination… being a bridesmaid can add up. But if you’re going to harp on the cost, maybe it’s better just to decline the offer to be in the wedding party. Again, complaints just impede the bride from relishing her day.

Offering Unsolicited Wedding Opinions

The bride may ask for your honest opinion on colors, patterns, music, or whatever else—so by all means, offer it! But avoid weighing in when you haven’t been invited to. The bride may really feel strongly about a particular bridesmaid dress, so don’t spoil her fun by telling her how much you hate it.

Drinking Too Much

Certainly you should have fun, and enjoy the open bar—but also stay in control of yourself. Don’t get so tipsy that you start saying or doing things that might embarrass the bride, or that will impede you from carrying out your other bridesmaid duties.

Buying the Wrong Dress Size

A common faux pas is buying a too-small dress because you plan to lose weight—but what if you simply can’t lose weight in time? It’s better to but the right size, then worry about alterations when you do lose weight.

Planning the Bachelorette Party of Your Dreams

The problem with this? It’s not your party. It’s the bride’s. Make sure you take her preferences into consideration!

Above all: Be supportive. Help the bride to have the day she’s always dreamed of. And if you think we can help, whether with catering or venue needs, don’t hesitate to contact Mosteller Events today.

How to Be Truly Present on Your Wedding Day

Brides-to-be spend a lot of time thinking about their weddings, planning their weddings, dreaming about their weddings—but when the big day actually comes, all too many brides miss out on it completely. Oh, they’re present, of course, but they’re not always in the moment. It’s hard to blame them: The day can be such a blur of activity that truly pausing to savor things can seem all but impossible.

Even so, you don’t want to be one of the brides who looks back on her big day and scarcely remembers the details. You want to really be there for it. Here are just a few tips for making that happen.

How to Be Mindful on Your Big Day

Wear Something Comfortable.

Simply put, you’re going to struggle to be mindful if you’re literally struggling to breathe. Pick a wedding dress that you’ll feel comfortable in during the ceremony and the reception.

Disconnect from the Digital World

Turn your phone off—no, really. You don’t want all your wedding day memories to be texts or phone calls you received. Put your phone away and really enjoy what’s going on around you.

Make Sure Bridesmaids Are Snapping Candid Photos

You may fear that, by turning off your phone, you’ll miss out on some memorable behind-the-scenes photos. That’s what bridesmaids are for. Put one or two of them on picture duty.

Focus on the Senses

Here’s a little mindfulness exercise: Pause to consider all five of your senses, at various points during your wedding day. What are the smells? How does the air feel on your skin? Savor every sensual detail.

Have a Buffer

You may encounter some negative people on your wedding day. You’ll want to have someone who can serve as a buffer, protecting you from that negativity—a family member, perhaps, or even your wedding planner.

Just Breathe

Take time to do some deep breathing. You might even download a breathing exercise app to guide you. Really—it helps!

Enjoy Your Big Day

We want every bride to truly relish her big day. We’d love to play a part in that, too. Contact Mosteller Events to learn more about how we can help.

What to Bring on Your Wedding Day

Your wedding day will be one of the most significant milestones in your life—so the last thing you want is to be caught unprepared. Make sure you’re ready for anything with the following checklist.

Things to Bring to Your Big Day

Complete outfits. You’re obviously not going to forget the wedding dress, but it’s considerably easier to forget shoes, earrings, or—most likely—the shoes or clothes you plan to change into after the reception.

Wedding bands. You may task a groomsman with keeping up with these, but make sure somebody is on top of it!

Your wedding license. This is something you’ll sign with your minister/justice of the peace either just before or directly after the ceremony. Don’t leave it behind!

Printed copies of your wedding timeline. You may have it committed to memory, but not everyone in your wedding party will—so bring some copies just in case!

Payment/tips. The best way to handle this is to put vendor tips in an envelope and distribute them to relatives, who can ensure they get to the right people. If you have a wedding planner, he/she may also be of service here.

Your honeymoon luggage and/or overnight bag. Think about not just the big day itself, but the hours and days that come thereafter.

Snacks and water. Keep your energy level up throughout the day!

Your vows. If you’ve got ‘em written down, bring ‘em with you—just in case you need to refresh your memory.

Planning for Your Big Day

Now, this may seem like a lot to remember—and truthfully, it’s not a comprehensive list. One way to make things easier on yourself is to drop some of these things off at your venue the day before the wedding, if at all possible. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of delegating key tasks to trusted members of your wedding party. You should not have to keep up with all this stuff yourself!

We’d also recommend working with wedding vendors who make your life easy, and who instill confidence that they’ll make your big day go off without a hitch. We’d love to play that role, whether as venue providers or as your catering crew. Reach out to Mosteller Events to learn more about what we can do for you!

Plan Your Wedding—With Minimal Stress

Wedding planning can be a lot of fun. It can be a sweet, special season in your life. Then again, it can also be a nightmare. What makes the difference is stress. Brides who try to do too much on their own often end up overwhelmed, burned out, and completely unable to enjoy wedding planning. Learning some healthy ways to minimize stress is key—and we’ve got a few tips for you right here.

How to Avoid Wedding Planning Stress

Stay connected with your fiancée. Don’t let the hustle and bustle prevent you from being close with your beloved. Guard the time you have together. Make plans to spend time with one another, and keep them. Let that be the thing that grounds you through the wedding planning process.

Take care of yourself. Maintaining physical health will help you keep your stress in check. Get those eight hours of sleep each night. Work out—running, walking, dancing, yoga, or whatever. Spend time outside, as well, soaking up plenty of Vitamin D.

Meditate. Learning some breathing exercises or some mantras can really help you to cope with stressful situations as they arise. Don’t just laugh this off; it can really be a helpful way to control your emotions and your anxieties.

Don’t try to stifle your own emotions. While you don’t necessarily need to be having panic attacks, it’s okay to have some jitters sometimes. Wedding planning should be fun, but it’s okay for it to be a little daunting, as well.

Ask for help. Remember, in the end, that you don’t have to do everything—and that there are plenty of people in your life to whom you can delegate. And every little bit of delegation helps!

Our catering team, for instance, can take all the guesswork out of your wedding menu planning. Reach out to our team at Mosteller Events to learn more!

5 Things to Remember As You Plan Your Wedding Menu

wedding-reception-1967373_1920What will your guests remember the most about your wedding day? Well, they’ll remember the music. They’ll remember the happy couple, smiling and glowing. And they’ll remember the food. What that means for you is that it’s vital that you plan a really appealing menu—one that will provide plenty of fond memories both for you and your guests.

Of course, planning a menu for such a large group of people can be daunting. Here are five pointers we’d recommend you keep in mind as you brainstorm your wedding day menu—five pointers that we hope will provide clarity and confidence.

Guidelines for Your Wedding Menu

It’s Not Just About You

Yes, this is your big day—but it’s also a big party, and you’re hosting it. You need to think about your guests, and create a menu that the people on your guest list will like. This might mean some kid-friendly options, and it might mean some crowd pleasers—like surf and turf, for example—to make sure everyone can find something they love.

The Timeline Counts

How do you envision your wedding reception progressing? A two-course meal, with a quick speech or two, will probably last about an hour and a half. Use that as a baseline, and either shorten or lengthen your dinner service to accommodate the rest of your reception events.

Consider the Cocktails

Your cocktail hour can also have an impact on the meal itself; if you have a longer cocktail hour with a lot of appetizers served, that means you can probably get away with fewer courses in the meal itself.

Don’t Neglect Your Budget

Food will probably be one of the bigger chunks of your wedding budget, but even so, you can make choices here to either splurge or cut back a little, just depending on what your priorities are.

Think Seasonally

Finally, think in terms of the time and place where you’ll be getting married, as that can dictate what you ultimately want to serve. Opt for seasonal ingredients, and food selections that make sense for the time of year.

Talk to the Pros

Here’s a bonus thought: You can call the Mosteller Events catering team any time to talk more about the available options. We’d love to be part of your wedding day planning—so contact us any time!

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Three Types of Signage You Need for Your Wedding

married-1937005_1920If you want to ensure a smooth wedding ceremony and reception, it’s important to make sure the layout and logistical flow are both crystal clear to your guests. Where should they go? Where should they sit? These are questions you can answer easily by employing the right kind of signage.

The signs you make for your wedding can come in pretty much any style you like; we’ll leave that decision to you. For now, we want to highlight three basics types of signage that you’ll want to consider for your big day.

Sweetheart Table Signage

This is a trend we love: At the wedding reception, a small table is set up just for the bride and groom, with two chairs facing each other and allowing the happy couple to receive well wishes and congratulations from all the guests. We recommend you identify this table with a sign; there are plenty of ways to do so:

  • Mr. & Mrs.
  • Bride & Groom
  • His & Hers
  • Come say hi to the happy couple!
  • For the newlyweds

You can use your imagination to think of variations, of course—but these are the most common ways of labeling the sweetheart table.

Directions

On a more practical level, you may or may not need signage for the ceremony, reception area, and bar—just depending on the size and layout of your venue.

Some options to consider include:

  • For the ceremony:
    • Tie the knot
    • The big day is here!
    • I Do’s this way!
  • For the reception:
    • Party over here!
    • Dancing and drinks
    • Celebrate!
  • For the bar:
    • Time to Toast!
    • Raise a Glass!
    • Cheers!

Again, you can brainstorm variants of your own!

Signs for Seating

Finally, you may wish to consider signs for seating—that is, unless you have opted for an open seating arrangement. So, you may have a sign showing that friends of the bride go on one side, friends of the room on the other—but you can also have a sign telling people that you’re all one big happy family, that there’s no need to pick a side, that they can sit wherever they want, etc.

If you’re having your wedding here at Mosteller Mansion, we invite you to ask us about possible signage needs and options; and of course, we’re happy to address any other questions, as well! Contact us today to learn more.

How to Tackle Your Wedding Thank You Notes

thank-you-928217_1920Everyone loves getting gifts; most of us are less thrilled about writing thank you notes, especially when we have 100 or more of them to write. You can’t put if off forever, though. Once the honeymoon is over and you’re settled into your new life, you’ve got to start penning those short thank-yous for all the gifts you and your spouse received.

A daunting task? Sure—but hardly an impossible one, especially not when you follow our tips!

Get Going ASAP

Ideally, you’ll get started before the big day even happens. Using your guest list as a template, keep a running tally of the gifts you receive—at showers, at family dinners, in the mail, and at the wedding itself. You might even consider writing some thank you notes as you go; it’ll be that much less for you to do after the honeymoon.

Buy Custom Stationary

Have some fun picking out cards and envelopes that are personalized to fit your taste, your style, and your personality as a couple. This can interject some much-needed fun into the thank you note writing process! One word of warning: Don’t send out notes with your shared last name on them until after the wedding; that’s simply a matter of bad form and improper etiquette.

Make Yourself Comfy

You’re going to bang out more thank you notes—and have more fun doing so—if you find a comfortable place to camp out. Designate a thank you writing area in your home or apartment. You’ll need a hard surface, comfy seating, and—ideally—close access to wine or some other beverage. A speaker hooked up to your Spotify playlist or Pandora station can also be handy!

Write in Spurts

The decorum is to write a thank you note for every gift you receive—period. This means it’s probably not realistic to try to write all your notes in one sitting. Instead, devote just half an hour a night to writing. You’ll get them done soon enough, and without cramped hands!

You do have some time, after all; good manners dictate having your notes all sent out within a year of your wedding, which is perfectly reasonable. With these tips, you can probably get them done even sooner.

And as a PS: Remember, you can stay informed about all things wedding-related by connecting with our Mosteller Events blog.

7 Ways to Cut Costs for Your Wedding Dinner

exclusive-banquet-1812772_1280A couple of weeks ago, we offered seven ways for brides and grooms to reduce the cost of their wedding cocktail hour. Our argument then was that you can have a really nice, really pleasing, really special wedding food service while still being prudent and conservative.

The same holds true not only for the cocktail hour, but for dinner itself—and today, we’ll offer a few tips for reducing some of the cost of your wedding dinner service.

Don’t overdo it. If you’ve already served cocktails and appetizers, nobody is going to expect a seven-course feast. You can get by with three courses just fine. And make sure you’re not repeating yourself: If you had salad during your cocktail hours, there’s no need for salad with dinner, too.

Combine courses. On the other hand, you can save costs by rolling one course into another—for example, two shrimp served with some greens and veggies can be something of a salad and an appetizer, and it can be both satisfying and affordable.

Make less-exciting ingredients more noteworthy. You may not have the budget to spring for premium steaks, but something as simple as chicken can be delicious and memorable—as well as affordable—when you pair it with a fancy sauce.

Bring some life to your pasta dishes. A boring old pasta dish can turn into the star of your dinner service if you choose something just a little bit off the beaten path—like ravioli filled with goat cheese and spinach, or something served with pumpkin.

Plan seafood according to seasonality. Ask your caterer which fish will be in season—and thus affordable—for your big day.

Don’t assume that top-dollar cuts of meat are the best. You don’t need a costly filet, necessarily; braised short ribs can be just as delicious. Ask your caterer about the most affordable options for meat.

Offer enticing vegetarian entrees. You may be surprised by how many non-vegetarians choose these less-pricey options.

Your dinner service can make a big splash with your guests, without taking a huge chunk out of your budget. And we can help you achieve that balance: Just contact the Mosteller Events catering team to learn more!