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!

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.

 

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!

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.

Real Talk About Your Wedding Planning

beautiful-1846171_1280As you begin the process of planning your wedding, it can be easy to get hearts in your eyes and big dreams in your head. There’s nothing wrong with that! Wedding planning is a time for dreaming, a time for following your heart. With that said, it’s also important to stay grounded, and focused on the practical dimensions of wedding planning.

In that spirit, we want to offer a little bit of real talk today—debunking some of the misconceptions that exist about the wedding planning process. We hope you’ll find this to be helpful.

You can’t do it all by yourself. Some brides want to be the maestros who pull every string of their perfect wedding—but if you micromanage every single detail, you’re going to find yourself frazzled, and probably won’t enjoy the process much. People are going to offer to help you, and you should take them up on it. That doesn’t mean you have to relinquish control of the big picture. It just means that, if you have an aunt who wants to help you find the right tablecloths, maybe it’s not a bad idea to let her.

The DIY route comes with risks. With that said, you should also be realistic about your own abilities, and the abilities of your friends and family members. You don’t want to end up with a horrible-looking wedding cake because you asked a friend to make it, and it turned out to be something she’s never done before. Some tasks of wedding preparation are better farmed out to professionals, plain and simple.

You don’t have to invite everyone you know. And, you also don’t have to let everyone bring a date. Yes, the more the merrier, and you don’t want to turn people down, but you do have a budget to consider. There’s nothing wrong with drawing a line in the sand when you need to.

It’s okay to say no. When your florist tries to talk you into a big and expensive arrangement that you just don’t like, it’s alright to put your foot down and ask to see something different. That doesn’t make you mean. That doesn’t make you Bridezilla.

Your wedding doesn’t have to be unique. Should it reflect your taste and your personality? Absolutely! But weddings are, by their nature, fairly formulaic. There’s nothing wrong with treading the beaten path.

Want some real talk about your wedding venue? We’d love to tell you about the perks of Mosteller Mansion, and help you determine whether it’s right for you. Contact us today to learn more!

What to Ask Before Hiring a Wedding Photographer

camera-820018_1280As with any wedding vendor, it’s important to be judicious in selecting your photographer—interviewing several different professionals and comparing their rates and their credentials before you make a final decision. If you’ve never done this before—which most brides probably haven’t—then you may not know exactly what to ask. Allow us to share a few things you should always inquire about before landing on a wedding photographer.

Do you have my date available? Obviously, if the answer is no, then it’s time to simply move on to the next photographer—unless you’re flexible on your wedding date.

How far in advance do you need to be booked? There’s probably going to be a ticking clock on when you can make your decision, and you’ll want to know it up front.

What’s your experience like? Feel free to ask these variants: How long have you been in business? How many weddings have you shot? And have you shot weddings similar in size/scope to mine?

How would you describe your style? Some photographers are more traditional; others, out-of-the-box. You’ll obviously want to know what you’re getting into!

Do you have a portfolio I can view? Ask to see some recent work.

Will you accept a list of specific shots that we’d like? Most photographers will say yes, but it’s still wise to ask.

May I have a list of references? A good, professional photographer shouldn’t hesitate to provide you with this.

What information should I provide you with before the wedding day? You’ll have better things to do than to answer a thousand questions from your photographer on the big day, so get everything out in the open right from the get-go.

What are your rates? Of course, you can and should inquire about pricing.

These questions will hopefully guide you to choosing a photographer whose work you love, whose rates you can afford, and whose style you enjoy. To learn more about wedding planning basics, we welcome you to check out the Mosteller Events blog!

Things You Shouldn’t Say to Your Family During Wedding Planning

family-216825_1280The wedding planning period can be a little stressful from time to time, and your family members won’t always help things. They are well-intentioned, to be sure, but let’s face it: Nobody knows how to push your buttons and get under your skin better than the people in your family!

As such, it can be tempting to speak to them a little too candidly, in ways that could hurt feelings or even burn bridges. What we’d advise is trying your best to be thoughtful. You can start by excising some of these phrases from your vocabulary:

I really don’t need your help.

You are perfectly entitled to feel this way, but it’s probably best not to speak it aloud—and if your family members really want to be involved, try to find a way to let them. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Just get them to help assemble gift bags, or maybe help you narrow down some minor decisions between two color schemes or floral arrangements. Your family members just want to feel like they are part of the process, and helpful to you in some way.

That’s a HORRIBLE idea!

It may be—but why hurt your poor grandmother’s feelings by telling her so? Try to fake an open mind, and just let everyone know that you’ll seriously consider their suggestions, but that ultimately you’ve got to do what you and your fiancée think are best.

Well, if our budget was a little bigger…

If your folks are footing the bill for your wedding, the last thing you want to do is come across as ungrateful—or like you are trying to guilt them into giving you more money.

You have such bad taste!

Again, you’re welcome to think it, and it may even be true—but this is the kind of comment that could lead to hurt feelings between mother and daughter, or between sisters. That’s not what you want during your wedding planning.

This day is all about ME!

The day can mostly be about you, but remember that you have a lot of friends and family members who want to come alongside you, support you, and show you how much they care. Why not let them do so?

Remember: During wedding planning, diplomacy goes a long way. Keep it in mind, but also don’t hesitate to reach out for the help you need. Contact us at Mosteller Events any time!

How to Save Money on Your Wedding Florist

floristEvery bride has a budget, and the wedding planning process often involves looking for some areas to save a few bucks. You may not want to risk scrimping on your caterer or your DJ, so where does that leave you? Try looking to your florist’s services as one potential place to reduce wedding costs.

Make no mistake: You can get beautiful wedding arrangements without breaking the bank. Here are a few ways to do that.

Set a budget for your wedding flowers, and communicate it to your florist. Be clear in articulating the limits of what you are willing to spend in flowers. From there, give your florist some notes and direction, but also trust him or her to take your guidance and run with it.

Choose flowers that are both local and in-season. That’s the best way to get stunning flowers for the most reasonable prices. Blossoms that are available year-round, like roses, are also good options.

Choose flowers that have big blossoms. By picking blossoms that are really big and eye-catching, and incorporating them into your centerpieces, you can often get by with fewer of them.

Find cheaper alternatives to expensive flowers. Get some photos of arrangements you like, show them to your florist, and ask the florist to help you replicate that basic look and effect with some less expensive stems.

Be open to anything. You may have no interest in having roses in your wedding—but wait: Your florist may be able to find some truly stunning varieties that are available for a low, low price. At least be willing to look at them with an open mind.

Limit yourself to a couple of different kinds of flowers. If you’re alright with just a couple varieties of stem, your florist can buy them in bulk and get better prices. You may save money on labor, too.

Flowers are important to creating the right mood of elegance and beauty at your wedding—and you don’t want to compromise on their place in the ceremony. That doesn’t mean you can’t be smart in shopping for them, though, and ultimately save yourself some money.

To get more wedding planning tips, follow along with the Mosteller Events blog.

4 Common Wedding Reception Problems—And How to Avoid Them

weddingreceptionThe day of your wedding is supposed to be perfect—and it will be! Even if a few little things go wrong, you’ll be surrounded by your friends, your family, and, of course, the love of your life. Nothing’s going to ruin those good vibes! Even so, there are a few not-uncommon wedding reception problems that you might want to make yourself aware of—and to plan for, well in advance of your big day.

Here are four little things that can crop up during your wedding reception, along with our quick tips on heading them off at the pass.

Problem #1: You’ve got adorable children present at your wedding—a sweet little flower girl or a cuddly ring bearer, perhaps—but once they get a taste of that sugary wedding cake, they start bouncing off the walls!

You are always welcome to invite kids to your formal occasion, but you can’t actually force them to uphold that formal mood. It’s best not to even try. Instead, keep them engaged somehow—placing all the kids at their own table, perhaps with crayons and coloring pages for them to entertain themselves. You might also consider getting an extra hotel suite and hiring a sitter, who can hang with them and perhaps let them watch Frozen while you and your grown-up guests party.

Problem #2: As the wedding reception winds down, you have a lot of happy guests who have had a few drinks—perhaps a few too many to drive themselves home.

If you’re serving alcohol at your wedding, it’s both smart and courteous to hire a shuttle service (or just a couple of Uber drivers, maybe) to take tipsy guests back to their nearby hotels following the reception.

Problem #3: Your reception site boasts an amazing view—but the sun is so bright that it blinds your guests!

First of all, plan ahead. Arrange to tour your reception spot at the exact time of day that you plan to hold your reception. Also keep in mind that the season may change the lighting. One way to prevent your guests from being blinded is to get some sheer curtains or pieces of cloth that can be hung to block some of that sunlight.

Problem #4: You’re loving your romantic, candlelit reception—but the candles are about to run out, and leave you and your guests in the dark!

This one’s simple: Make sure you invest in a few extra candles of each type that you are using, and ask a member of the wedding party to be in charge of monitoring and changing out candles as needed.

Again, none of these issues are going to ruin your big day—especially not if you plan for them! To learn more about planning your dream wedding, keep tabs on the Mosteller Events blog!

5 Things to Know About Fall Weddings

tree-779827_1280Every bride wants her wedding day to be just so, so she puts a lot of time and effort into planning the big day and all its festivities. Not every bride’s plans are created equal, however. Different tastes and preferences account for different priorities. And that’s to say nothing of seasonality. For outdoor weddings, especially, the time of year when you hold your wedding is of critical importance. This is true whether you’re considering the high heat of summer, the frequent showers of spring, the hazards of winter—or even some of the idiosyncrasies of fall.

Maybe that’s the boat you’re in: You love the crisp air and the beautiful autumn foliage, so you’re planning to get hitched sometime between summer and Christmas. For those planning a fall wedding, there are a few particular points you’ll want to keep in mind.

Key Points About Fall Weddings

For many wedding vendors, fall is technically the off season. Summer remains the most popular time for tying the knot, so many wedding vendors will be willing to give you a discount for your fall wedding—but you don’t know unless you ask! The worst that can happen is you’ll get a no.

You’re free to use whatever color scheme you like. Don’t feel like you have to plan your wedding colors around fall foliage, unless you just want to. There’s no law or even etiquette rule that says you must adhere to autumnal colors.

You’re free to serve whatever food you like, too—but fall favorites are always a hit! Serve what you like at the wedding reception, but remember that seasonal flavors like pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, and other spices always sit well with people.

Outdoor weddings aren’t off limits. Just because the weather is chilly doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate outside—though it does mean you should check with your venue about heat lamps and other such features.

You need to let your guests know about the venue. The last thing you want is for people to show up to your wedding and shiver the whole time because they weren’t clear that the venue was outdoors. Make sure your guests know to bring coats, shawls, or whatever else they might need.

So what else do you need to know before planning your fall wedding? We’re all ears! Give us a call today to learn more about fall weddings at Mosteller Mansion.