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!

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!

Finding the Sweet Spot: Five Wedding Cake Alternatives

cupcakes-1208234_1280It goes without saying that wedding cake has been the traditional centerpiece of any wedding reception—not just a crowd-pleasing dessert but also a key component in post-wedding rituals. While the wedding cake may be traditional, there is no law saying that you have to have one, and in fact many couples are eschewing the wedding cake altogether. Maybe you don’t like cake, or maybe you just want to do something a little different. Either way, there are some alternatives available that you might consider.

Cupcakes

Cupcakes are similar enough to traditional wedding cakes that you’re not likely to get any complaints, and in fact there are some significant advantages to picking cupcakes—namely, you can mix and match several different flavors, allowing your guests a lot of great options for their dessert course. Plus, cupcake towers can make for truly eye-catching centerpieces, just as much as any traditional cake can.

Ice Cream

Giving your guests the chance to mix and match ice cream flavors or even make their own sundaes can add a spirit of whimsy to your reception—just the thing to ensure that your get-together is fun and casual, not stuffy. The only caveat here: Ice cream is hard to pull off in an outdoor, summer ceremony.

Pie

Though not as fancy or as elegant as wedding cake, pie can be just as tasty—plus, with a fall wedding reception, an apple or pumpkin pie can add just the right dash of seasonal flavor.

Mini-Desserts

If you really want to provide your guests some fun, tasty options, you can offer them with an array of smaller desserts to choose from—dessert shots, macaroons, cream puffs, and cookies. Ideally, you’ll have at least four or five options for people to pick from as they fill up their plates.

Donuts

Believe it or not, many couples create donut towers as their reception centerpieces, allowing their guests to choose from an assortment of elegantly decorated donuts. Just ask yourself: Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t like donuts?

The bottom line: You can make your wedding treats whatever you like, so don’t hesitate to give us a call to inquire more about what our catering and event planning teams can do for you!

Answering Some Common Questions About Wedding Etiquette

weddingcakeWhen it comes to planning your perfect wedding, so much of the process boils down to your own personal vision, taste, and creativity. With that said, there are some issues that are a bit more black-and-white—which is not to say straightforward or obvious! These bits of wedding etiquette can be tricky to maneuver, so we’ve listed a few of the more common questions below, along with some quick tips and tidbits.

In what order should you tell people about your engagement?

The general rule of thumb here is to tell your kids first, if you have them; from there, tell parents and family members and then close friends before making any general announcement. The big thing here is just to make sure you don’t post it to social media before you tell everyone you need to tell in person.

Does my father have to be the one to walk me down the aisle?

Depending on your family situation and your personal preference, you may wish to have mom, dad, both parents, or someone else altogether walk you down the aisle, or even to walk all by yourself. There is now wrong answer here, but do communicate with the people impacted by this decision—and don’t put it off to the last minute.

How long should guests have to RSVP?

Provide at least 15 days between the arrival of the invitation and the RSVP due date.

Should you send an invitation to people you know cannot attend?

If someone tells you they have a conflict, and you know for a fact they cannot attend, then it’s polite not to send an invitation – as the invitation presumes that your guest will send a gift.

Is it alright to skip the cake-cutting part of the reception?

The wedding cake is definitely a tradition that is alright to skip, especially if you have a preferred sweet—pie, cookies, cupcakes, or whatever else—in its place.

Is it alright to use a phone to upload pictures of the wedding during the wedding?

This answer may not be popular with some, but it’s really best to ask the couple’s permission before broadcasting any details that they may not want shared online; plus, sharing photos takes you out of the ceremony and keeps you from really engaging in it fully!

Hopefully these pointers are helpful; we’ll answer some more common questions at a later date. For now, if you have any questions about planning a wedding at Mosteller Mansion, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Don’t Forget Your Wedding Day Signage!

marriage-923660_1280There are many aspects of planning a wedding, from the really big and obvious items down to the little flourishes and small touches. One thing you don’t want to forget about is signs. Your wedding day is going to spill out over several rooms or areas at your chosen venue, and it’s important to provide your guests with some sense of navigation—some signs pointing them in the direction they want to go.

As you think about having wedding signs made ahead of time, you obviously want to make sure they’re designed in a style that you like and that fits with the rest of your wedding décor—whether that means playful or formal. It’s also smart to check with your venue to see if there are any rules or limitations placed on signage, or if the venue itself has some signs they can provide.

You also want to make sure you have all the right kinds of signs—including these:

Welcome signs, simply greeting your guests upon their arrival, confirming that they are in the right place, and setting a warm tone for the day.

Navigation signs, pointing your guests toward the ceremony, the reception, the dance floor, event space, etc.

Bride and groom signs, making it clear where you and your beloved will sit during the reception. (This is usually pretty obvious, but making these signs can still be fun!)

Food and drink signs, which can make it clear where guests can find different cuisines, specialty drinks, beverages for the kids, etc.

A Just Married sign—for pictures, of course!

Making signs can be a fun, crafty project to handle with your family members or bridesmaids, and they can add a real splash of flavor to your big day. Don’t forget ‘em—and don’t hesitate to contact Mosteller Events with any questions you might have!

How to Finalize Your Wedding Guest List

wedding-979931_640Some aspects of wedding planning are a lot of fun—trying on dresses, tasting cakes, perhaps even auditioning different bands or DJs. Making the guest list is, generally speaking, not a lot of fun. It can even be tense—but it doesn’t have to be, not if you do it right.

Here’s what we recommend from the outset: Traditionally, the couple gets 50 percent of the guest list for themselves. So if your venue can hold 200 people, the bride and groom should be allowed to pick 100. The remainder of the list is divided up amongst parents—so, another 50 people for the bride’s mom and dad, 50 people for the groom’s.

We recommend this division, but with one caveat: Divvy up the list before you accept any financial help from anyone—or else, you may feel like you “owe” one set of parents more slots to fill, which can lead to awkwardness or tension.

Of course, it’s important to know how many people you actually can invite—which requires you to know your venue before you make the guest list, but also to have some estimates from your caterer. Make sure you don’t invite more people than you actually have seats and meals for.

Before you make your real, official guest list, you might try this exercise: Make a dream list. Write down everyone you would want to invite if money and space were not issues. You may have to whittle it down some, but it at least gives you a good starting place—and later, if you suddenly think of someone and want to invite them, you can consult your dream list. If so-and-so didn’t make the dream list, maybe they’re really not that worthy of an invite?

You and your spouse-to-be may also want to put some rules into place before you start making the list. It doesn’t matter what the rules are, so long as you agree to them. Examples: No children. No one who neither of you have ever met or heard spoken about. No one neither of you has seen in three years or more, excepting blood relations.

Once you make those rules, it’s important to stick with them—which may mean being bold and assertive to your parents or soon-to-be in-laws. But stand your ground, preferably with a face-to-face conversation. Remind them that it’s your wedding and explain that you have a methodology in place and that you need it to be followed—simple as that.