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.

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!

 

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!

Before Your Wedding Tasting…

It’s not uncommon for chefs and caterers to offer full tasting menus before your big day—allowing you and your fiancée to gather, get a feel for what the menu will be like, and make some important decisions about what you do and do not want to be included. The wedding tasting can be a lot of fun, but more importantly, it can help you ensure that your wedding day catering is exactly what you want it to be.

But how do you get the most out of your tasting? There are a few things you should do before the tasting even begins, ensuring that it’s a productive experience. Here some of our tips.

What to Do Before Your Wedding Tasting

Give plenty of clear instructions to your caterer. Are you 100 percent sure you want a steak dish on your menu? Do you absolutely hate tilapia? Are you convinced that an Indian- or Italian-themed menu is what you’re after? Let your caterer know, with as much specificity as possible.

Remember, it’s not just about you. Veal might sound tasty to you, but what if only a small handful of your guests would enjoy it? Be sure you pick your menu based on the guest list, not purely your own tastes and preferences.

Come prepared to discuss dietary needs. If you already know that vegan or gluten-free options will be necessary, let your caterer know as soon as possible.

Think in terms of the whole day. Do you plan on serving appetizers during cocktail hour? If so, you probably don’t need to serve them during the meal, too.

Invite other key decision makers to your tasting. If your mom or sister is helping you arrange the catering, and if you trust their taste buds, ask them to come along with you! Their input can be helpful.

Schedule Your Tasting Today

One more thing: Schedule your tasting sooner rather than later, and get your wedding menu all squared away. We’d love to tell you more about the catering services we can provide here at Mosteller Events. Connect with us today to set up a consultation!

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.

How to Be Truly Present on Your Wedding Day

Brides-to-be spend a lot of time thinking about their weddings, planning their weddings, dreaming about their weddings—but when the big day actually comes, all too many brides miss out on it completely. Oh, they’re present, of course, but they’re not always in the moment. It’s hard to blame them: The day can be such a blur of activity that truly pausing to savor things can seem all but impossible.

Even so, you don’t want to be one of the brides who looks back on her big day and scarcely remembers the details. You want to really be there for it. Here are just a few tips for making that happen.

How to Be Mindful on Your Big Day

Wear Something Comfortable.

Simply put, you’re going to struggle to be mindful if you’re literally struggling to breathe. Pick a wedding dress that you’ll feel comfortable in during the ceremony and the reception.

Disconnect from the Digital World

Turn your phone off—no, really. You don’t want all your wedding day memories to be texts or phone calls you received. Put your phone away and really enjoy what’s going on around you.

Make Sure Bridesmaids Are Snapping Candid Photos

You may fear that, by turning off your phone, you’ll miss out on some memorable behind-the-scenes photos. That’s what bridesmaids are for. Put one or two of them on picture duty.

Focus on the Senses

Here’s a little mindfulness exercise: Pause to consider all five of your senses, at various points during your wedding day. What are the smells? How does the air feel on your skin? Savor every sensual detail.

Have a Buffer

You may encounter some negative people on your wedding day. You’ll want to have someone who can serve as a buffer, protecting you from that negativity—a family member, perhaps, or even your wedding planner.

Just Breathe

Take time to do some deep breathing. You might even download a breathing exercise app to guide you. Really—it helps!

Enjoy Your Big Day

We want every bride to truly relish her big day. We’d love to play a part in that, too. Contact Mosteller Events to learn more about how we can help.

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!