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!

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.

5 Things to Remember As You Plan Your Wedding Menu

wedding-reception-1967373_1920What will your guests remember the most about your wedding day? Well, they’ll remember the music. They’ll remember the happy couple, smiling and glowing. And they’ll remember the food. What that means for you is that it’s vital that you plan a really appealing menu—one that will provide plenty of fond memories both for you and your guests.

Of course, planning a menu for such a large group of people can be daunting. Here are five pointers we’d recommend you keep in mind as you brainstorm your wedding day menu—five pointers that we hope will provide clarity and confidence.

Guidelines for Your Wedding Menu

It’s Not Just About You

Yes, this is your big day—but it’s also a big party, and you’re hosting it. You need to think about your guests, and create a menu that the people on your guest list will like. This might mean some kid-friendly options, and it might mean some crowd pleasers—like surf and turf, for example—to make sure everyone can find something they love.

The Timeline Counts

How do you envision your wedding reception progressing? A two-course meal, with a quick speech or two, will probably last about an hour and a half. Use that as a baseline, and either shorten or lengthen your dinner service to accommodate the rest of your reception events.

Consider the Cocktails

Your cocktail hour can also have an impact on the meal itself; if you have a longer cocktail hour with a lot of appetizers served, that means you can probably get away with fewer courses in the meal itself.

Don’t Neglect Your Budget

Food will probably be one of the bigger chunks of your wedding budget, but even so, you can make choices here to either splurge or cut back a little, just depending on what your priorities are.

Think Seasonally

Finally, think in terms of the time and place where you’ll be getting married, as that can dictate what you ultimately want to serve. Opt for seasonal ingredients, and food selections that make sense for the time of year.

Talk to the Pros

Here’s a bonus thought: You can call the Mosteller Events catering team any time to talk more about the available options. We’d love to be part of your wedding day planning—so contact us any time!

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Three Types of Signage You Need for Your Wedding

married-1937005_1920If you want to ensure a smooth wedding ceremony and reception, it’s important to make sure the layout and logistical flow are both crystal clear to your guests. Where should they go? Where should they sit? These are questions you can answer easily by employing the right kind of signage.

The signs you make for your wedding can come in pretty much any style you like; we’ll leave that decision to you. For now, we want to highlight three basics types of signage that you’ll want to consider for your big day.

Sweetheart Table Signage

This is a trend we love: At the wedding reception, a small table is set up just for the bride and groom, with two chairs facing each other and allowing the happy couple to receive well wishes and congratulations from all the guests. We recommend you identify this table with a sign; there are plenty of ways to do so:

  • Mr. & Mrs.
  • Bride & Groom
  • His & Hers
  • Come say hi to the happy couple!
  • For the newlyweds

You can use your imagination to think of variations, of course—but these are the most common ways of labeling the sweetheart table.

Directions

On a more practical level, you may or may not need signage for the ceremony, reception area, and bar—just depending on the size and layout of your venue.

Some options to consider include:

  • For the ceremony:
    • Tie the knot
    • The big day is here!
    • I Do’s this way!
  • For the reception:
    • Party over here!
    • Dancing and drinks
    • Celebrate!
  • For the bar:
    • Time to Toast!
    • Raise a Glass!
    • Cheers!

Again, you can brainstorm variants of your own!

Signs for Seating

Finally, you may wish to consider signs for seating—that is, unless you have opted for an open seating arrangement. So, you may have a sign showing that friends of the bride go on one side, friends of the room on the other—but you can also have a sign telling people that you’re all one big happy family, that there’s no need to pick a side, that they can sit wherever they want, etc.

If you’re having your wedding here at Mosteller Mansion, we invite you to ask us about possible signage needs and options; and of course, we’re happy to address any other questions, as well! Contact us today to learn more.

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!

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!

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!

Should You Have a Sit-down Meal at Your Wedding Reception?

69381_124479814273679_121080851280242_126997_1641265_nYour wedding guests are going to expect something in the way of food. There’s just no getting around it. What and how you serve them, though, is entirely up to you—not just the menu itself but the very nature of the meal. In particular, brides and grooms have to make a choice about having a sit-down meal served for their guests, or simply having a buffet of finger foods and the like.

But which option is best? You probably know our answer already: It just depends on your personal preference. What one couple likes, the next couple might not—and that’s fine!

There are, however, some pros and cons to consider if a sit-down meal is on your agenda.

First, consider some of the benefits of serving a sit-down meal:

  • For one thing, everyone at a given table will receive food at the same time, which can make the meal more conducive to conversation and real fellowship.
  • Because meals will be pre-selected in advance, your caterer will know exactly how much food to purchase, which can actually lower your catering costs somewhat.
  • A sit-down meal also allows you to space out events—dances, toasts, and the like—between courses, which ensures that the whole evening has an energy and a momentum to it.

Then again… some cons:

  • While you’ll likely save on food costs, you’ll pay a bit more for servers, as there will be a need not only for waiters but also for people to plate food in the kitchen. So it’s really sort of a toss-up.
  • For your guests, a buffet is going to offer more liberty. With sit-down meals, your guests will be served things that some of them might not like as much, which means they may not eat everything on their plate.

But again, this is really a matter of taste and style. Buffets are informal. Sit-down meals are a little more elegant. What you want for your wedding is totally your call; just make sure you think it through from all angles, and call our catering team if you have any further questions!