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.

 

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!

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.

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!

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!

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.