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!

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!

 

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!

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!

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.

7 Tips for DIY Wedding Planners

reception-1470687_1280Planning a wedding requires you to juggle about a thousand different things while investing yourself in a lot of small decisions every single day—decisions about venue, colors, cake, videographers, and on down the list. It’s little wonder that many brides and grooms outsource some of the nitty-gritty work to wedding planners. Not every budget has room in it for a pro, however—so what about those who are left to wedding plan on a DIY basis?

This can be hard but also rewarding. Here are some tips to make sure it’s more the latter than the former!

  1. Consider hiring a professional planner on a limited basis. You may not be able to hire a planner to do everything, but maybe you can enlist someone to help you arrange a few vendors. Planners can often get vendors at sharply discounted rates, so this could actually save you money in the scheme of things.
  2. Know where to start. Diving head-first into wedding planning can be overwhelming. You may not know where even to begin. Our advice? Have a baseline. Start with budget and guest list, and work from there.
  3. Be cautious about hiring family members and friends. You may have an uncle who’s a great photographer or a sister who makes beautiful cakes—but enlisting someone with a big emotional investment in the wedding can bring as much complication as ease. Be careful about going down this road.
  4. Be flexible. Remember that, in seeking vendors and venues, you’re essentially competing against everyone else who got engaged when you did. Not everything will work out exactly as you hope, and you’ve got to be willing to roll with the punches. Have backup dates and a plan B in mind, just in case.
  5. Stay organized! Use the right tools to keep up with important information, dates, and documentation. Something like Google Docs can be great if you’re working on the wedding plans with your fiancée, your mom, your best friend, etc.
  6. Put some time into screening your vendors. Don’t hire a band until you’ve heard them play. Don’t hire a caterer until you’ve tasted the food. These people will charge you a lot of money, so make sure you know what you are getting into. Don’t cut corners here!
  7. Keep things in perspective. Not everything will go perfectly on your big day, and that’s okay. You’ll be married, you’ll be together with friends and family, and you’ll have fun. Don’t get bogged down in the little stuff. Keep your eye on the big picture!

Also: Let us help you! We’re happy to show you what our catering team can do, or to give you a tour of Mosteller Mansion. Contact us today to see how we can fit into your wedding plans.

 

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 Do Before Touring a Wedding Venue

No bride will ever select her wedding venue sight unseen—nor should she. It’s important to actually visit the place, to walk around and get a feel for it first-hand before you sign on to host your big day there. More likely than not, you’ll tour a few different venues before settling on the one that’s best for you.

You can save yourself some time by doing a few simple things upfront—before you ever set foot on a particular wedding site. Here are five basic preparations we recommend you make before you go touring.

  1. Get a rough estimate of how many people you plan to invite. Sit down with your fiancée and really think through the guest list, as not every venue will be willing or able to accommodate a wide number of wedding sizes. All of them will have an upper limit, while some will have a minimum. There’s no need to waste time with a venue that is simply way too big or way too small for your dream wedding.
  2. Figure out your wedding budget. If a particular venue is simply too much for you to afford, it’s best to know that up front. Note that you never want to spend more than 50 percent of your wedding budget on the actual venue. You can likely find out the cost of a particular place without needing to tour it, too.
  3. Look at some photos of the venue in use. To really get an idea of what the venue might feel like on your wedding day, it can be helpful to see some photos of it fully staged, which it probably won’t be on your tour. You can search for images on local wedding photographers’ blogs, or simply e-mail the venue staff and ask for some snapshots.
  4. Choose your wedding date. Settle on the day you want to get married before you pick the place, remembering that off-season dates may let you save some money on the venue.
  5. Call the venue and confirm the availability of your date before you set up a tour. Remember that wedding dates can book up quickly, and far in advance, so it never hurts to verify this over the phone.

Are you considering Mosteller Mansion as the venue for your ceremony? We’d love to give you a tour, but also to answer any questions you may have over the phone. Contact us today to learn more.

5 Key Questions About Your Wedding Invitations

rings-877936_1280Though it may be just a small slip of paper, your wedding invitation is ultimately one of the key components of your big day, as it provides your guests with valuable information about attendance. As such, it’s only natural to wonder about some of the particulars of the invitation process. Here, we have some quick answers to the five most common inquiries about wedding invitations.

How Early Should You Send Out Invitations?

The rule of thumb is six to eight weeks, which should give guests ample opportunity to clear their schedules; you may want to send a save-the-date, as well, which you can do a full six to eight months in advance. Note also that for destination weddings, some extra warning is key, and you may want to send invitations a full three months in advance.

How Long Should You Give Guests to RSVP?

Give your guests until two to three weeks before the wedding day to send in their RSVP—time enough for you to get a final headcount and do all the last-minute planning.

Should You Include Your Registry Information on Invitations and Save-the-Dates?

Doing so is still considered to be a bit impolite, as it basically comes across like you’re asking for presents; what you can and should do is include your wedding website link on the invitation, and make sure the website has registry links.

Should Your Wedding Invitation Include Dress Code?

If you think it necessary to specify black-tie apparel or cocktail casual, then by all means do so. The lower right-hand corner of the invitation is traditionally reserved for just this purpose.

Is It Okay to Invite Everyone to the Wedding, But Not to the Reception?

You may like the idea of having a large ceremony followed by a smaller, intimate reception, but this frankly isn’t very polite or very kind. Anyone who comes to the ceremony should be invited to the reception!

For further tips about planning your dream wedding, we welcome you to contact us directly. Reach out to Mosteller Events today!