Consider a Sunday Wedding
Sunday Fundays aren’t just for drinking anymore. Some couples are utilizing this day to forgo tradition and have their wedding on a Sunday. We used to see few of them, but now it’s common.
Traditionally, Saturday is the most popular day for weddings. But competition for sites and services is making so-called “off peak weddings” more attractive. Even if you don’t marry in June or October, traditionally the two most popular months, a Saturday wedding can be hard to arrange. Many wedding ceremony and reception sites are booked a year or more ahead of time. So, what are some of the reasons that more couples are choosing Sunday as their wedding day?
One, they may not be able to get their favorite wedding location on a Friday evening or Saturday because it is booked-up on their chosen wedding date. Popular locations do book up early. So if you are determined on a particular site for your wedding and its booked Friday and Saturday, there’s a chance you can get it for Sunday.
Of course, this might not be true if your favorite wedding site is a church. It’ll likely be difficult to use the church since church services will be taking place that day.
A second reason couples are choosing a Sunday wedding is because it’s often cheaper. Some wedding venues offer special packages on Sunday. Some photographers do the same. Not everyone will be able to give you a special rate for a Sunday wedding, but it never hurts to ask. The venue itself, if they offer a special price on Sunday, can mean a big savings.
To sum up, when you are deciding on a wedding day, don’t automatically nix Sunday. It could be a better alternative to a Friday evening wedding, or even a Saturday wedding. It could save you from the disappointment of not getting the place for your wedding you always dreamed of. And, maybe you’ll save enough money on the wedding to have a nicer honeymoon!
Wedding Guest List Tips
The wedding budget will dictate how many people you can invite to your big day. It is important to lay out an estimate for a sense of framework. Creating a rough idea can really be complete chaos. Should you invite your closest friend from work? Are your younger cousins under 18 invited if you weren’t considering inviting children? Are your parents closest friends allowed to come? I can almost guarantee that these questions WILL come up.
Here are five tips to stick with when creating your rough draft of the guest list:
1) Invite people who are important to your fiancé and you
Remember this day is about the two of you- not your mother-in-law playing out her fantasies of having a do-over of her wedding day. This is a special day and in that day you should surround yourself with the people who are the most near and dear to you. If that means inviting your third cousin on your Dad’s side because you two are very close, but not your cousin on your Mom’s side- then so be it.
2) Don’t let your parents or in-laws dictate your entire guest list (even if they are footing some or most of the bill)
In continuation of the statement above, remember this day is about the couple getting married. Even if your in-laws and parents are assisting with paying for the wedding that does not give them free reign to go buck wild and invite their long-lost coworker. Respectfully tell them that they cannot invite people without checking with either of you first.
3) Create “A Team” and “B Team” lists
If your wedding venue requires a minimum food and beverage amount it helps to have a back-up list of people so you can hit the minimum. Let’s say you want 200 people to attend. On average, statistics say that 10 to 20 percent of guests do not show. If you are counting on 200 people, it’s nice to have a back-up list to work from.
4) Divvy the list evenly between both sides
This should be self-explanatory. It’s not exactly fair if you have 124 people on your list, and your fiancé only has 76.
5) Skip your co-workers. If you don’t hang with your colleagues outside of the office, leave them off the list. If you can though, invite your boss or assistant.
My rule of thumb is if you have worked anywhere less than one year, you can disregard the rule about your boss or assistant.
This is isn’t the last time you will look or revise your list, but it’s a start. Hopefully these five tips will save you your sanity!
Wedding Venue Cheat Sheet
Finding the perfect wedding venue can be daunting. However, with the help of online search engines, wedding Websites and magazines, along with referrals (word of mouth) things are much easier nowadays. Sites like WeddingWire, The Knot, and Style Me Pretty offer pictures and lists of local venues that come highly recommended. Who doesn’t like to drool over gorgeous pictures of dreamy and whimsical weddings all while venue scouting?
Photo by Tom Nicol
Once you narrow down your list from online shopping and magazine scouting, it’s nice to visit these top locations in person to get a better idea. When you do visit these locations in person, please be prepared. The following questions are meant to be a guide for newly engaged couples:
- How does the place charge—per person, by the hour, or flat fee? What is the payment plan?
- Does the location provide everything we’ll need (tables, chairs, dinnerware, linens, stage for DJ or band, dance floor, tent, additional lighting, etc.)? Are there up charges for these items?
- How many people does it seat?
- Does the style of the space match the look we’re going for?
- Does the decor coordinate with our color scheme?
- Do we like the view and the surrounding area? Are their windows?
- Where does the band/entertainment set up?
- Is there an echo in the room? This will affect how the band/DJ will sound.
- Can we see sample floor plans and/or visit when the room is set up for a wedding, so we can see what everything looks like when it’s set up?
- Is in-house catering available? Can we bring in our own caterer?
- Does the site have a liquor license? Can we bring in our own alcohol? If so, what types of alcohol will be served, and is there any cap or limit?
- Is ours the only reception scheduled that day? If not, will there be another one during our reception?
- Will we be sharing cocktail hour space or bathrooms with the other guests? Will we be able to hear their music during our reception?
- Will the manager be present for our reception?
- What are the cancellation policies? Is the deposit refundable?
- What’s the staff to guest ratio?
- How many hours is the site available? Are there charges if the reception runs over?
- Is there free parking? If there is valet parking, what are the rates and expected gratuities?
- Is parking free for vendors?
- What is the charge for vendor meals?
- Will there be coatroom and restroom attendants? Servers? Bartenders? What are the charges for each?
Happy venue shopping! Make sure to ask plenty of questions, and to get everything in writing in your contract when you are ready to book the perfect site.
A Touch of Gold on Your Wedding Day
St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and it’s time to get your green outfits and enjoy the party! We’ve all heard the Irish tale that there’s a pot of gold waiting at the end of a rainbow, and whether you believe this or not, it never hurts to try and bring all the luck you can into your life, especially if you’re getting married!
SimplyBridal’s St. Patrick’s Day infographic is all about the color gold and how you can incorporate it into your big day, from selecting gold wedding bands to adding gold to your wedding reception… the options are endless! The trick is to try not to go too overboard and only add a few touches of gold, such as having gold centerpieces and candles. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!
Choosing the venue for your wedding ceremony and reception is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the wedding planning process. Not only does the location set the vibe for the entire wedding, it will also influence the date of your nuptials, the size of your wedding, and the decorative theme of the day. As a result, you should choose a venue carefully. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you set out to select the perfect setting for your I Do’s…
Home or Away? First and foremost, you have to settle on a city before you can choose a venue. Do you plan to get married in your hometown, your current city of residence, or do you want to plan a destination wedding?
Indoor or Outdoor? When you picture your magical day, are you dancing the night away under a canopy of stars or twirling around a marble dance floor under the dim glow of a chandelier? Are you beachside and barefoot or cozy and covered? Choosing between an indoor or outdoor wedding will instantly edit your options for possible rentals.
Large or Small? Is your heart set on an intimate gathering of close friends and family or a massive party of merry well-wishers? Before even considering a venue, think about whether your guests would even fit inside or if the size of the place would make your close-knit nuptials feel sparse and empty. Put together a rough idea of a guest list before previewing venues to ensure that you’re only considering places that are properly sized.
Ceremony, Reception, or Both? Choosing a locale that can accommodate your wedding ceremony and reception often saves time and money, but it can also eliminate several locations you might love. Figure out what’s most important to you before settling on a decision. Did you always dream of getting married in your family church? Do you envision yourself driving away from the ceremony with a lavish send-off? Or would you prefer to get the party started right away just a few steps from the ceremony? Whatever your desires, it’s important to know how you plan to use a venue before you start considering one.
Formal or Casual? When you picture your wedding day, is it all luxury and sophistication or comfort and charm? If you’ve got your heart set on fancy formality, scope out hotel ballrooms, lavish country clubs and resorts, or opulent historic homes. For a more relaxed atmosphere, consider local gardens or parks, a private residence, or an unexpected interactive locale, such as a museum, zoo, or art gallery.
Food trucks are a growing trend all over the nation and brides are beginning to take notice. An emerging trend in wedding culinary offerings is to call on a food truck to offer fare to guests at outdoor venues or to provide a late-night snack or sweet treat to guests beyond the doors of the reception hall. With mobile snack shops popping up all over Chicago, it’s becoming easier than ever to find a food truck to feature at your wedding. Here’s a sample of Chicago’s finest mobile restaurants…
Ethnic Fare: Celebrate your heritage or pay homage to your favorite foods with an ethnically inspired food truck. Chicago food trucks boast everything from Latin tacos as Taquero Fusion to Argentine empanadas at 5411 to Mediterranean “falafelwiches” at the soon-to-be-in-Chicago Falafelwich Wagon.
Sweet Treats: Skip the lavish wedding cake and let guests nibble on a variety of delectable desserts from a cute and kitschy food truck. Flirty Cupcakes, voted Best Food Truck in Chicago, satisfies sweet tooth cravings with a unique assortment of flavorful mini cakes, such as pineapple rum, peanut butter and chocolate, or s’mores varieties. Sweet Ride, a bakery on wheels, doles out whoopie pies, cake pops, and puddings, while Starfruit cools down guests with smoothies and sundaes made with frozen kefir.
Comfort Foods: Ditch the decadent buffet and give guests what they really want: classic comfort food. From gourmet sausages at Haute Sausages to creamy mac’ n cheese at Southern Mac & Cheese to mini sliders at the Slide Ride, Chicago food trucks boast a bevy of options for tickling taste buds and satisfying starving guests.
In an ideal world, every guest would RSVP on time, purchase a gift off the registry, and behave appropriately at the wedding and reception. In the real world, wedding guests make mistakes—a lot of them—and unfortunately, it’s up to you as the bride to fix them. Here are some surefire solutions for common guest mistakes:
WHAT TO DO IF A GUEST…
…Plans to bring an uninvited guest: As awkward as it might be, you need to contact the guest to let them know their guest isn’t invited (unless you have room to accommodate him/her). To avoid this problem, be sure to properly address every invitation so guests know whether or not their children, significant others, or dates are welcome.
…Contacts you with inane questions: Compile information, like hotel accommodations, maps/directions, and itineraries, to answer guests’ questions in one, easy location like a website or mailed package. When a guest contacts you, politely redirect them to the place where they can get the answers they need. You can also ask a friend or relative to serve as a wedding concierge to answer any questions from guests that you haven’t already covered.
…Buys a gift you didn’t register for: The only way to handle any gift is with graciousness and appreciation. If a guest included the receipt, feel free to return any unwanted presents, but you shouldn’t, under any circumstances, ask for a receipt if it wasn’t included.
…Is late for the wedding: Some ceremonies naturally start a few minutes late and many guests hope to avoid the pre-wedding hoopla by trying to arrive right on time or a few minutes late. Have an usher, friend, or relative stationed at the door to catch latecomers when they arrive and seat them at an appropriate, non-intrusive time during the ceremony.
…Gets drunk at the reception: If there’s an open bar, there’s always the chance that some irresponsible wedding guests may have too much to drink. Before the wedding, find a responsible friend or family member to offer rides or call taxis for guests who’ve indulged in too much alcohol.