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!

7 Ways to Cut Costs for Your Wedding Cocktail Hour

petit-fours-1566255_1280Catering is one of the most important ingredients of your big day; it’s one of the things that sets the stage for your reception, one of the things guests will remember the most. As such, it is perhaps unsurprising that food costs typically make up a big chunk of the total wedding budget. Of course, there are always ways to reduce these expenses, and one especially good one is to take a look at the cocktail hour. There may be some simple tweaks you can make to make the cocktail hour more cost-effective.

We’ll show you what we mean.

Pass out pricier appetizers by hand. Rather than allowing guests to serve themselves cocktail shrimp buffet-style, pass around a cup of shrimp to each guest; this is a great way to curb the amount that your guests consume without appearing chintzy or ungenerous.

Offer big salads and grilled vegetables. Vegetable spreads can be tasty, colorful, and vibrant—but also inexpensive. Again, you can offer your guests real generosity without breaking the bank.

Focus on the crowd-pleasers. Mac and cheese in martini glasses, mini grilled-cheese Panini sandwiches, small crab cakes… these are all enduringly popular items, and they don’t cost all that much. It’s a win-win!

Don’t get every type of seafood. Ask your caterer to help you land on one or two affordable options. You may find that shrimp costs half as much as scallops, for example—and if so, there’s not necessarily any need to have both.

Skip the cheese plate altogether. Your guests are familiar with cheese plates. They have them at every office party and holiday gathering. No need to spend a lot of money on this item.

Pass on the carving station, too. Ham and roast beef are too heavy to be considered appetizers anyway. Don’t let them add to your catering budget.

Serve food on interesting plates. Tapas-style dishes, for example, will allow you to add some style and flare to your cocktail hour without adding much to the budget.

You can have a really magical cocktail hour without ballooning your total catering costs. For more ideas, contact our catering team directly. Reach out to Mosteller Events today!

Planning for Dietary Restrictions at Your Catered Event

salad-374173_1280Any time you’re organizing a catered event, you obviously want to please as many people as possible. That’s why most catered meals come with different options, allowing each guest to pick and choose the things that sound most appealing. Of course, as you consider the different options you provide, it’s also important to take dietary restrictions into consideration.

Simply put, different people follow different guidelines for the food they consume. Sometimes, these are matters of preference, but in other cases they’re real health concerns. Regardless, your catered options should provide options that accommodate all of your guests.

If you’re aware of any specific dietary restrictions, it’s imperative to let the caterer know. In some instances, it might be wise to ask about dietary restrictions as you take reservations for the event. In other instances, you might simply instruct the caterer to ensure there are options for everyone, spanning as many dietary frameworks as possible.

Which Special Diets Should You Consider?

In terms of specific dietary needs, consider each of the following:

Gluten-free diets. Gluten-free isn’t just a health trend; for those with Celiac disease and other digestive conditions, it’s imperative.

Lactose intolerance. You’ll want to have some dining options that are dairy-free.

Nut allergies. It’s also important to cover those with hypersensitivity to various nuts. Note that Peanut Allergy is in a distinct category due to its severity.

Paleo. Those who follow the paleo lifestyle cannot consume dairy, grains, sugar, or alcohol.

Vegetarianism and Veganism. Both of these lifestyles are fairly common, enough so that you’ll definitely want to consider them at any catered event.

Handling Food Preferences

Remember that your guests, no matter their particular dietary choices, taken them seriously and expect you to take them seriously, too—which is why all of these food preferences should be treated as allergies. Don’t feel like you can fudge any of them; instead, be rigorous in ensuring that you have a caterer who will truly help guests with dietary needs and preferences feel comfortable and welcome.

That’s something the Mosteller Events catering team can assist you with. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help meet different dietary needs.

Plan a Catered Event That Will Impress Your Guests

cateringAre you familiar with the phrase rubber chicken circuit? It’s an expression used by busy professionals who travel frequently and attend a lot of networking events and catered meetings—and who find that, generally speaking, the quality of food at such events leaves something to be desired.

When you’re planning a catered event, whether professional or social, you don’t want people to describe your menu with such a dismal phrase—but how can you avoid it? How can you plan a catered event that will knock your guests’ socks off?

Know Your Guests

The first step is to come up with a basic profile of who’s attending your event. Will it be mostly young professionals? Older folks? People who attend many such events? Think in terms of the demographic breakdown of your guests’ age, ethnicity, and background.

From there, you can make some educated guesses about your guest preferences. Older folks might like a milder menu, while young people might prefer spicy and daring. If you know that many of your guests will be health-conscious, then some light and vegetarian options might be good.

Provide Choice

Something else we recommend is allowing your guests some options. This makes it more likely that everyone will get something they want. A few rules of thumb:

  • We recommend at least two options for entrée, ideally three.
  • For salads, offer multiple dressing options, on the side.
  • Serve all condiments on the side.
  • Offer a couple of dessert options, too—one that’s indulgent, one that’s comparatively light.

Also be aware of any dietary needs that might be represented at your event—food allergies, food intolerance, Paleo or Whole 30 lifestyles, etc. You may need to provide options that accommodate these dietary needs, as well.

Aim to Impress

A few additional tips we’d offer:

  • Ask your caterer to incorporate as many fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients as possible to give the menu a wow
  • Consider a regional or ethnic menu, if you want your food to really stand out from the more typical catered fare.
  • Also think in terms of event schedule: If your guests only have 30 minutes to eat, a box lunch makes a lot more sense than a full buffet.

Use these tips to guide you toward a truly memorable—and exciting—catered presentation. Also, enlist our help: Contact Mosteller Events today to learn more about our event catering services!

3 Considerations for Picking Wedding Invitations

wedding-1760024_1280If you want people to show up for your big day, you’re going to have to invite them—and of course that means sending formal invitations. Far from a minor or secondary part of the wedding planning process, choosing the right invitations can actually have a big impact on your overall theme and your budget.

As you look at different invitations and try to find the one that’s best for you, allow us to recommend three quick considerations.

Theme Matters—But It Isn’t Everything

Many brides sit down to look at wedding invitations already having some sense of the theme and colors they want—but once they see an invitation that really speaks to them, they may change their mind pretty quickly. And that’s fine. It’s good to have an idea of what you want, but we also recommend keeping an open mind. Maybe your invitation selection will prove the key to your broader choices about theme.

Price Can be Variable

We’ve seen brides pay anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars on invitations—with most falling somewhere between $300 and $750. That’s assuming you’re in the market for about 150 invitations, and that you’re sending save-the-dates, but a much larger or smaller wedding could change that number significantly. Also note that different paper stocks and finishes will influence pricing, so make sure you explore plenty of options.

What About the Design?

Design really comes down to personal preference, though we’ll say that invitations that have ribbons and/or rhinestones attached can be easily damaged in the mail, and can come across looking a little tacky. We will also note that photos of bride and groom are generally better for save the dates, not formal invitations.

Picking your invitations should be fun, and it should allow you to express your sense of style—hopefully while sticking to a budget, as well. Consider these quick tips, and don’t hesitate to contact Mosteller Events to learn more about our services in event planning and catering.