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.

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!

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!

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!

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.

Plan Your Wedding—With Minimal Stress

Wedding planning can be a lot of fun. It can be a sweet, special season in your life. Then again, it can also be a nightmare. What makes the difference is stress. Brides who try to do too much on their own often end up overwhelmed, burned out, and completely unable to enjoy wedding planning. Learning some healthy ways to minimize stress is key—and we’ve got a few tips for you right here.

How to Avoid Wedding Planning Stress

Stay connected with your fiancée. Don’t let the hustle and bustle prevent you from being close with your beloved. Guard the time you have together. Make plans to spend time with one another, and keep them. Let that be the thing that grounds you through the wedding planning process.

Take care of yourself. Maintaining physical health will help you keep your stress in check. Get those eight hours of sleep each night. Work out—running, walking, dancing, yoga, or whatever. Spend time outside, as well, soaking up plenty of Vitamin D.

Meditate. Learning some breathing exercises or some mantras can really help you to cope with stressful situations as they arise. Don’t just laugh this off; it can really be a helpful way to control your emotions and your anxieties.

Don’t try to stifle your own emotions. While you don’t necessarily need to be having panic attacks, it’s okay to have some jitters sometimes. Wedding planning should be fun, but it’s okay for it to be a little daunting, as well.

Ask for help. Remember, in the end, that you don’t have to do everything—and that there are plenty of people in your life to whom you can delegate. And every little bit of delegation helps!

Our catering team, for instance, can take all the guesswork out of your wedding menu planning. Reach out to our team at Mosteller Events to learn more!

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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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!