How Big Should Your Wedding Be?

Of course, you may have your heart set on something small and intimate; or, conversely, on something big and boisterous. Regardless of where you lean, take a minute to consider some of these quick points.

Small Weddings (50 guests max)

If you’re having a destination or a small civil ceremony, this may be the size you’re thinking—and frankly, 50 people may sound like a lot. But wait: Say you’re inviting both sets of parents, both sets of grandparents, all your siblings and aunts and uncles… how many people is that? Obviously, wedding guests can add up quickly, so while a smaller wedding means more intimacy and more time with each guest, it also means you’ll have to leave some people out. That’s the big con to consider here: The people you want to invite, and who may expect to be invited, but who just don’t quite make the cut.

Medium Weddings (50-175 guests)

For many, this is the “just right” zone—but be aware that your wedding may end up feeling fairly small or fairly large, just depending on which end of the spectrum you end up on. For many brides and grooms, a medium wedding can allow you to invite everyone you like while still keeping your budget under control—though it may involve some sacrifices or cut corners here and here.

Large Weddings (More than 175 guests)

If you want your wedding to be a massive party, well, the sky’s the limit! Just make sure you can find a venue to fit everyone, and a budget that will accommodate everyone. And, be aware that you may not get face time with all or even many of your guests.

The ultimate decision is up to you, of course—so think it through, and if you have questions about holding your wedding as Mosteller Mansion, let us know!

Keep a Gratitude Journal—Especially if You’re Wedding Planning

We’re now in the season of thanksgiving—and as such, it’s important to remember that gratitude is more than those few little words you say around the dinner table on Thanksgiving Day. Gratitude is a daily practice. Gratitude is a way of life. And for those who are in the thick of wedding planning, we recommend active gratitude.

Why Practice Gratitude?

Why? Simply put, wedding planning is challenging. It can be filled with joy, but there are also days when it feels stressful and hectic. Gratitude is how you keep your head on straight. It provides you with the optimism you need to tackle challenges, and it gives you a sense of being grounded and calm. As an all-natural mood-booster and energy-giver, active gratitude just can’t be beat.

But how do you turn gratitude into a daily practice? One of the best ways is to keep a gratitude journal. It doesn’t have to be anything eloquent, elaborate, or fancy, and you don’t ever have to share your gratitude journal with anyone else. Just devote a few minutes daily—either at the start of your day or just before bedtime—to jot down a few things you’re thankful for.

These could be anything—things about your spouse-to-be; things about your family; or something as ephemeral as a new song you discovered, or a good meal you had that day. You can also think big-picture—your health, the natural world, spirituality, etc.

Carry it Through Marriage

You may find the process to be so beneficial—so therapeutic—that you continue it into marriage, perhaps even getting your spouse to practice gratitude journaling with you. Certainly, it’s something we recommend for anyone who’s feeling even a little bit jittery or blue about their daily grind.

We’re in the season of thanks—and Mosteller Events recommends you incorporate that into your wedding planning. To learn more about how we can assist with your wedding plans, reach out to Mosteller Events directly!

Enjoy Your Honeymoon (And Keep It On Budget)

Many newlyweds face a tough decision about honeymooning. While they know they want to go somewhere fun and enjoy the start of their new life together, they also have finances to think about. Certainly, if you’re planning to buy a home together or simply to get your married life started on the right foot, you don’t want a honeymoon to wipe out the budget.

The question is, what can you do to ensure that your honeymoon is affordable without scrimping on fun? Here are a few tips you might keep in mind.

Keep Your Honeymoon on Budget

Save throughout the engagement. If you’re going to be engaged for 18 months, and you can each tuck away $100 each month for the honeymoon, you’ll have a decent little vacation fund once the time comes—certainly enough to mitigate a lot of those financial worries.

Work out a budget together. Before you get too far in the planning process, make a budget together. Include travel, accommodations, getting around (car rentals, etc.), food, visas, vaccinations, etc.  Have a realistic financial framework in place.

Get the right cards. Judicious credit card use can be beneficial when you have a card that offers travel rewards.

Set up a honeymoon fund. Another good approach is to set up a fund where wedding guests can contribute to your honeymoon fund; even if everyone pitches in ten bucks, that can end up being a solid amount of money.

Make compromises where you can. You want your trip to be just perfect, but for some couples, perfect doesn’t have to include a fancy honeymoon suite. A nice room in a mid-level resort hotel can be perfectly lovely. Just make sure you and your spouse-to-be are on the same page here!

Look for free attractions. Beaches, parks, and even some museums are free, and can make for great daytime activities that won’t eat into your budget at all.

The bottom line: You can have an enjoyable and romantic honeymoon without breaking the bank—and these tips can lead you in that direction.

If you have any additional questions about cost-effective wedding planning—and catering, in particular—we’d love to talk. Contact us at Mosteller Events today.

Three Ways to Ensure an Inclusive Office Holiday Party

We haven’t even reached Halloween yet, but in HR departments across the country, plans are already underway for end-of-the-year holiday gatherings. Christmas and New Year’s will be here before you know it, and the time to start plotting out a wonderful office holiday gathering is now.

As you plan your event, you obviously want to make it fun and festive—yet it’s also important to make it inclusive. Simply put, not everyone on your team celebrates the same holidays in the same ways. Your office gathering can’t leave anyone out, however; after all, you want the party to bring your team together, not drive its members apart.

So what can you do to ensure your gathering is truly inclusive, welcoming to everybody? Here are three brief considerations.

The Name

Though at times this has been the object of controversy in our culture, the simple reality is that not everyone on your team celebrates Christmas—and even if they do, most office holiday gatherings don’t have much connection to spiritual or religious traditions. As such, it just makes sense to call your gathering a Holiday Party or a Festive Party. Make it clear that the whole point of the event is to get your team together for fun and fellowship—nothing more, nothing less.

The Menu

Make sure the food you serve at your gathering doesn’t exclude anyone; accommodate team members who may have unique dietary restrictions. You might even survey employees in advance to determine what kind of vegan, gluten-free, or lactose-free items you should serve. Work with your catering company on a menu that offers something for everyone.

Alcohol

Not everyone drinks, and a party that is focused on alcohol is going to turn some people off. By all means serve alcohol if you wish to, but also ensure that you have activities that include everyone, and offer some fun for people who may not wish to drink.

Your office holiday party can be a big hit—with all of its attendees. Hopefully, these quick guidelines will help. If you have any questions, reach out to Mosteller Events today.

10 Things to Do on the Morning of Your Wedding Day

When you wake up on the morning of your wedding day, it’s perfectly natural to feel a little jittery; to feel exquisitely happy; to be bouncing off the walls with anticipation. More likely than not, you’ll experience all three emotions at the same time.

Try not to get too swept along by them, though—because there are a few things you should do to make it the best day it can be. By all means, enjoy the morning, and look forward to the big event—but also take a few minutes for these important steps.

What to Do to Kickstart Your Wedding Day

  1. Make sure you get enough sleep. Going to bed early the night before is ideal—and if you can avoid waking up at the crack of dawn, that’s nice too.
  2. Take your clothes out of their bag. Allow your dress some room to breathe.
  3. Eat breakfast. There’s a reason people call it the most important meal of the day. Aim for something light but energizing—fruit, a handful of nuts, a cup of coffee, some water.
  4. Work out. Whether it’s a jog, a stroll through the park, or some yoga, a good workout session will give you energy for the day—to say nothing of a sense of confidence!
  5. Grab a light snack before putting on your dress. Nobody wants to get married on an empty tummy.
  6. Make sure you have an emergency kit. Pack it the night before, but have it ready to go on the morning of.
  7. Take time to be pampered. If you’ve got the time for it, a wedding day mani/pedi or massage can really have a soothing effect.
  8. Take plenty of candids! Allow your bridesmaids to snap plenty of behind-the-scenes shots throughout the day. Appoint someone to take pictures so you don’t have to. That way, you can simply be in the moment.
  9. Make sure there’s a family member or bridesmaid who has all the vendor contact info. Just make sure you know who to call, should anything not go according to schedule.
  10. Don’t forget all your “getting ready” tasks! You’d be amazed how easy it is to forget something as basic as brushing your teeth or putting on deodorant.

Be intentional in how you spend your wedding morning. Plan a routine that will put you in the right headspace. And if you need more tips for planning your big day, check out our other posts here on the Mosteller Events blog!

How to Pick the Perfect Wedding Date

Some couples pick their wedding venue first, then plan everything else around that. Others may start with a theme, a color, or a destination. For most brides and grooms, however, the preliminary consideration is the date. You pick when you’re going to tie the knot, then everything else fits around that.

As you choose your date, there are a lot of factors to keep in mind. Here’s a quick list to jog your memory.

Choosing Your Wedding Date: Some Considerations

Symbolism. Some couples may place a lot of value on picking a date infused with meaning—like, the anniversary of a first date, a first kiss, the proposal itself, the grandparents’ anniversary, etc. Even if you can’t get the exact date you want—perhaps it falls on a Wednesday this year, and you want your wedding in a weekend—you can try to get close.

Season. Weather is obviously a big factor for your wedding, especially if it’s outdoors, and it may even influence your choice in venue. There are also matters of personal preference here: Maybe you find sunny summer days to be especially magical, or maybe you prefer the backdrop of glistening snow.

Budget. Your venue of choice may be more or less expensive depending on when you want to get married; December may be pricey, but demand in January could be quite a bit lower.

Holidays. Have you always dreamed of a Christmasy wedding? A Valentine’s tie-in? Holiday weddings can be fun, but you also risk lower attendance, as not everyone will be willing to travel to a wedding on busy holidays.

Wrong dates. A final consideration: Some seasons may be especially bad for yourself or your fiancée; if one of you is a tax return preparer, for instance, then the weekend before Tax Day is probably not an ideal time for a wedding. Think through any red flags on your calendar before you commit to a final date.

When Will You Get Married?

There aren’t right or wrong answers here, of course—just some considerations to make as you consider the date that’s best for you. If you have questions about availability at Mosteller Mansion, contact us directly, as we’d love to talk with you!

Choosing a Wedding Caterer? Here are Five Things to Remember

When choosing a wedding caterer, you’re choosing the vendor who will provide you with one of the most important and memorable components of your big day. Indeed, if there’s one part of the reception that will stand out in the minds of your guests, it’s the food. But choosing a caterer isn’t just about picking food; there are actually a few different considerations you should make as you try to find the best caterer for your big day.

Here are five things we recommend you keep in mind.

Menu Flexibility

A lot of caterers have a few standard, pre-set options that they can provide—menu items they’ve perfected and found to be crowd-pleasers. That’s great, unless you have a family-favorite dish that you’re just dying to have at your wedding. Make sure your caterer can offer some flexibility—providing you not only with a nice variety of options, but also the chance to request your own spin on things.

Bar Services

Does your caterer provide a bar service—and if so, what options are available to you in terms of specialty cocktails? Make sure you know what you’re looking for by way of drinks, and ask your prospective caterer for a run-down of what they do.

Dishes, Etc.

Always ask whether your caterer provides things like plates, glassware, and utensils—and if so, what the fee is. This is a significant part of the catering cost, so it’s something you’ll want to be clear on before you make your decision.

Linens

Along the same lines, make sure you ask about linen provisions. You want to make sure the linens are good-quality—i.e., floor-length, in most cases. Ask about fees, too!

Experience and Customer Satisfaction

One final note: Menu options and linen prices aside, not all caterers are created equal—and to make sure your big day is special, it’s wise to seek someone with a proven track record and an excellent customer service mentality. Ask for credentials and referrals, but also listen to your gut instinct. If you simply don’t like working with a particular caterer, that’s all the reason you need to look elsewhere.

Of course, we are always happy to talk with you about our own catering services and our rich, long-lasting experience. Reach out to Mosteller Events today to start the conversation, or to request a quote.

10 Things Every Bride Should Do on the Eve of Her Wedding

By the time the eve of your wedding rolls around, you’ve (hopefully!) got all the planning done, everything put into its right place for your big day. That doesn’t mean there aren’t still things you can do to prepare, however. Allow us to show you what we mean, with a list of 10 things every bride might consider on the night before her wedding.

Getting Ready for the Big Day

  1. Eat a healthy meal. If you’re anxious or stressed, you may prefer a nice slice of pizza or a greasy burger—but then again, the last thing you want is to wake up the next morning feeling bloated, or struggling with a food hangover. Keep it light!
  2. Drink some water. You may still be running around attending to last-minute wedding planning items. Reduce stress and dehydration by drinking plenty of H2O.
  3. Sleep. Yeah, it’s tough—but getting into bed, turning off your phone and other devices, and just trying to calm yourself can be an important way to get ready for the big day.
  4. Give your phone to the Maid of Honor. One way to keep calm is to check out of Facebook and text for a night—perhaps by silencing your phone and handing it over to someone who can watch after it for you.
  5. Pack a clutch. Whatever you’ll need for the reception, pack it the night before.
  6. Get some cash. You may have a vendor or two you’ll want to tip, so stop by the ATM.
  7. Create a list of vendor information. Include names, contact info, and what time they’re supposed to arrive—then, pass that information off to whoever is your vendor point person on the big day.
  8. Watch something funny. A sitcom or a romantic comedy can make for a nice, soothing night’s entertainment.
  9. Thank the people who’ve helped you. It takes a village to plan a wedding. On the eve before the big day, pause to express your gratitude.
  10. Take some deep breaths. A Yoga breathing app can guide you through some truly soothing, mind-focusing exercises.

Enjoy Your Wedding Day—Really

It’s more than possible for brides to let go of their stress and truly enjoy their wedding. We hope these tips provide some insight. Come back to the Mosteller Events blog for more wedding day guidance!

 

How to Communicate Effectively with Your Wedding Vendors

In the weeks and months leading up to your big day, there will be many issues you’ll want to discuss with your wedding vendors. Ensuring clear communication with them is key, but it’s not always easy. Here are a few tips that we hope will make things a little bit more efficient, and a little less stressful!

Tips for Communicating with Wedding Vendors

Keep things organized. Trying to communicate with some vendors from your work email, others from a personal email, and still others from an internal messaging service can be quite challenging. Try to streamline your communication efforts, and have one central way in which you connect with vendors.

Have the right expectations. Remember that your wedding vendors are people too, and many of them are small business owners, at that. Your big day is important to them, but they do have families, other clients, and outside interests. You should definitely expect prompt communication, but at the same time, you can’t rightly expect the email you send at 2 AM to be returned within five minutes!

Keep things simple and direct. If you have a problem to address or a request to make, it’s usually best to just get straight to the point. Be honest and succinct. You don’t need several paragraphs of build-up. Just tell your vendors what you want!

Put things in writing. It’s generally best to provide written requests whenever possible—if for no other reason than it minimizes the risk of your vendor missing some of the details. Written requests simply offer clarity.

Establish contact people. To take some of the work off your own plate, you might enlist a point of contact for each vendor—an aunt, a sister, a member of your bridal party. Get some buffers around you, and some people to help you keep track of all the goings on of your big day!

Keep Communication as a Top Priority

No matter what else you do, keep lines of communication open. Remember that your vendors want to make your day special, and to help them do so, you’ve just got to be honest and direct with them.

At Mosteller Events, we’re always excited to talk with brides and with event planers. To learn more about what we offer, we invite you to contact our team today!

 

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9 Wedding Planning Details You Might Forget

When you’re planning for your wedding, it can often seem like there are a million items on your to-do list—so many that the little things can easily slip through the cracks. Of course, you don’t want to neglect anything at all, so to help, here’s a list of nine important steps that are all too easily forgotten in the hustle and bustle of wedding plans.

Don’t Forget These Key Wedding Details

  1. Have plans for all weather. It might rain on your big day—and if that happens, how will it impact your festivities? Do you have a plan B if your outdoor venue is too damp?
  2. Know how you’ll transport the bridal party. Are you and your ladies staying in a hotel that’s a few miles away from the venue? You’ll need some way of shuttling yourselves to and fro.
  3. Set up a wedding website. Even if it’s just the bare-minimum basics of your wedding day, you’ll want to have info online before you send out your save-the-dates!
  4. Know when the sun will set. A lot of brides and grooms take “golden hour” photos during the most magical times of evening light. It’s important to know when that is, or else you’ll risk missing out!
  5. Find out roughly what temperatures you can expect. You may not know exactly how warm or how cool the Carolina mountains will be during September, but you can figure out the historic temperature and plan accordingly.
  6. Arrange for a bit of extra seating. Rule of thumb: Have 20-25 more seats than you have invited guests. The reason? People don’t always want to huddle so close to each other!
  7. Appoint someone to take behind the scene photos. You don’t need to be the one taking all the backstage candids. Ask a family member to tackle this job for you.
  8. Find out about food allergies. Ask your guests before you plan the catering!
  9. Designate someone to keep your gifts and cards safe. You don’t want to carry them around with you on your honeymoon, after all. Have someone take charge!

These are just some of the key steps that are all too easily swept under the rug. Keep them in mind, and don’t leave any wedding planning step unfinished! For more advice about catering, in particular, connect with the Mosteller Events team today.