Monday, September 26, 2011

Fun Reception Ideas | Perrysburg Wedding Planner | Your Perfect Day | Toledo Wedding Planner

Here are a few tips on how to make your reception unique and fun!

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Short Wedding Dress

Change Into Something Comfortable

Let's put it this way: You won't have a good time at your reception if you can't breathe, right? So after the first dance, swap your veil and train for a little white dress. (This applies to grooms too -- depending on the formality of the wedding, guys can change out of a restricting tux into a more relaxed suit.) If you and your new spouse are comfortable enough to move freely, you'll dance more, chat more and laugh more, and that'll rub off on your guests.

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Wedding DJ

Play Danceable Music

Whether you've hired a band or a DJ, if you want to keep the dance floor packed (and we're guessing you do), plan a playlist of songs that will please the crowd, not just you two. You may love obscure indie rock, but now isn't the time to show off your discerning taste in music. People love dancing to Lady Gaga and Madonna -- so let them!

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Small Wedding Plate Food Ideas

Serve a Leisurely Dinner

Instead of a quick, three-course menu of salad, entree and dessert, stretch out dinner over four or five smaller courses. Then, plan small surprises in between, like a short toast from your hilarious aunt or a professional dance performance. It'll give your guests the experience of a fun night out on the town, complete with dinner and a show.

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First Dance

Jazz Up Your First Dance

All eyes will be on you during your first dance, which means it's the perfect opportunity to shock your guests. Imagine starting with a slow dance to “At Last” and then suddenly switching to a fast, sexy Latin dance or a jazzy swing step. It'll totally throw your guests for a loop and set the tone for a lively dance party.

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Grilled Cheese Station

Plan an Interactive Food Station

Great food makes great celebrations, but customizable food (so that everyone gets exactly what they like) is even better. A risotto station, pasta bar or grilled cheese station where people can choose their own toppings and sauces will leave you with happy, well-fed guests ready to have a good time.

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Wedding Reception Seating Arrangements

Create Zones

The key to a lively celebration? Movement. The best parties encourage lots of dancing, with mini breaks for mingling and snacking -- not just sitting. So divide your reception into distinct areas for dancing, sipping drinks and chatting, and getting coffee or bites to eat. So arrange a few cocktail tables near the bar, provide an outdoor seating option or set up a dessert table of bite-size sweets.

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Wedding Drink Ideas

Bring in an Expert Tasting Station

A full bar is a must-have for a great reception, but amp it up a notch with an interactive drinking experience. We're talking about a wine, beer or whiskey tasting, where guests can sample different drinks and learn a few tasting notes. A hand-rolled cigar station also fits the bill, as does a choose-your-flavor margarita bar (yum!).

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Wedding Chalkboards

Put on a Welcome Dinner

Okay, so this tip isn't for your reception, but it will end up making the party more fun. Why? A casual event where all of your guests can meet and mingle the day before the wedding means that by the time your reception rolls around, everyone will have already gotten to know one another. That way, your guests can skip the pleasantries and get right down to celebrating.

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Wedding Exit Ideas

Plan an End-of-the-Night Treat

Nothing stops a party in its tracks faster than guests heading for the door early. Take out an insurance policy against a skimpy crowd and plan a treat for the end of the night that people will look forward to: You and your new spouse can perform a song with the band for the last dance, or you can plan a reception getaway that'll gets guests excited, like a fireworks show or an exit with sparklers.

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Wedding Seating Ideas

Arrange Seating Assignments Thoughtfully

It sounds obvious, but it belongs on the list: Seat guests with people they'll know and get along with. A well-thought-out seating chart leads to great conversation, which leads to a great dance party, which leads to…well, you get the idea! So seat your high school track teammates near your college running buddies, and put your tween cousins with other kids their age rather than their parents (and keep track of it all with our seating chart tool).

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Hire a Day-of Coordinator

You may have a ton of fun ideas for your reception lined up -- say, a rockin' entrance, an amazing band, and surprise late-night snacks -- but the truth is it's much harder than you'd think to keep each of those plans in check. If you already have an event planner, genius. If not, look into booking a day-of coordinator to oversee the details (trust us, it's worth it).
> Find wedding planners in your area

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Order Good Food (That's Not Stuffy)

Just ask yourself: What would you want to eat? If you're not the meat-and-potatoes type, consider doing something more to your liking -- maybe Spanish tapas, Mexican fajitas, or a big Italian dinner. Or skip the sit-down altogether and opt for a heavy hors d'oeuvres reception. Think mini sliders, bite-size vegetable quiches or a cheese table.

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Keep the Toasts Short (And Prep Your Toasters)

As meaningful and wonderful as toasts can be, it's important that you don't let those toasting to drone on and on. Quite frankly, it'll put a lull in the evening. When it comes to toasts, it's really all about quality over quantity. So direct anyone who is speaking in advance to keep their speeches to two minutes max and ask them to share any other long-drawn-out stories at a prewedding party like the rehearsal dinner.

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Have a Game Plan for Kids

To keep the little ones entertained throughout the night (and to give their parents an opportunity to hit the dance floor!), set up an area specifically for them. In a separate room, arrange for a babysitter who can set up movies for them to watch. Or designate a couple tables just for the kids and pack them with coloring books, crayons, and small toys.

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If You've Hired a Band, Make Sure There's Good "Break" Music

We've all been to that wedding before: Just when the dance floor starts to get packed, the band takes a break and the party dies. Don't let that happen to you. When you hire your band, ask specifically about how they plan to handle breaks. Some bands will take them in shifts and split off into a smaller 2- or 3-piece bands. Others will turn on filler music. If yours is planning to use filler music, ask whether you can provide the mix.

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If You've Hired a DJ, Make Sure You Share the Same Tastes

Okay, this is an obvious one, but it made the list because music is a major fun factor at the reception and it has a lot to do with how long your guests will stay. The last thing you want to see is your dance floor clear out when the "chicken dance" comes on. So, make sure to talk to your DJ about your do-not-play list.

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Add a Lounge to Your Reception

If at all possible, create a lounge-like area in your reception space. Why? People can get antsy. Instead of having your guests sit around the same dinner tables all night, a change of environment will promote conversation and keep even your nondancing guests entertained. Look into renting or borrowing couches, chairs, and other pieces of furniture that you can then stage with pillows and votive candles in your wedding colors.

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Give Out Party Favors

Don't forget that a reception is a party! Let your guests know that it's okay to cut loose after a formal ceremony by passing out crazy wedding favors at the reception. A few of our favorite ideas? Funky masks, noisemakers, or Silly String. We even know one couple who handed out neckties and encouraged their guests to tie them around their heads on the dance floor. Quirky, but definitely fun!

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Keep Your Guests Fueled

If you want to ensure an all-night crowd, arrange for your catering staff to bring out trays of late-night munchies like French fries or a self-serve taco bar. If you stick with low-key, comfort foods like those, they'll wish the party would never end. Another great idea: Offer a coffee bar complete with special syrups and toppings to keep them caffeinated.

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Plan a Surprise

Sometimes the best parts of a reception are the things guests don't see coming. Surprise your guests with unexpected entertainment during the cocktail hour or reception, like a belly dancer (a la Rachel Getting Married), a mariachi band, or even a salsa dancer.

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Your Perfect Day...because you deserve it!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wedding Ceremony FAQ's | Perrysburg Wedding Planner | Your Perfect Day | Toledo Wedding Planner

We are always asked about ceremony etiquette. Here are a few of the questions that we hear quite often:

Which side of the church do guests sit on?

  • Left side of the church is the bride's side
  • Right side of the church is the groom's side

* If the two sides look uneven it's perfectly acceptable for the ushers to escort guests to the side that has less people.
* If it’s a Jewish wedding, switch sides...bride on the right, groom on the left

What is the correct order for the attendants in the processional?

There are many variations to the processional, here is one.

  • The groom and best man are already at the altar
  • Groomsmen first
  • Bridesmaids follow
  • Maid of honour
  • Flower girl and ring bearer
  • Bride walks with her father, other escort or by herself.

* If you have a big wedding party your groomsmen and bridesmaids can walk in pairs

Which side of the church does the bride walk up the aisle with her father?

Traditionally, the bride walks on her father’s left side. If the bride has a long train, you might want to consider being on your father’s right side so that he doesn’t have to walk around your train to take his seat.

What is the order of the recessional?
  • Bride & Groom first
  • Flower girl & ring bearer next
  • Maid of honour & best man
  • Bridesmaids & ushers in couple pairs

* If you have an attendant without a partner they walk alone

What do I do with my veil at the ceremony?
  • Your maid of honour will help you put your veil over your face before you walk down the aisle.
  • After your father walks you down the aisle he will turn your veil up and give you a kiss
  • Your maid of honour will fix the veil so that it's in place and looks nice
What do I do with my engagement ring?
  • Before the ceremony put your engagement ring on your right hand
  • After the groom puts your wedding band on, you can slip on your engagement ring

* Your wedding band should be worn first so that it's closer to your heart

I'm wearing gloves ... what happens when we exchange rings?

  • You can buy gloves with a pre-sewn slit on the ring finger or you can slit the seam of the glove yourself allowing easy access to your ring finger without having to remove your glove.
When do I give my bouquet to my maid of honour?
  • After your father has kissed you and your maid of honour fixes your veil, you can hand her your bouquet. Your maid of honour will bring your bouquet up to the altar with her when your marriage certificate is being signed and will hand it over to you after you have finished signing. Remember to place your bouquet with the heads of the flowers outwards for the photographer.
I have children, can I wear a white dress?
  • Etiquette states that you shouldn't wear white but choose off white or have colored accents sewn into your white dress.
  • Etiquette also states that you can't wear a veil, choose a tiara, floral head piece or hat.

* If you want to stick to etiquette those are the rules. If you don't care about rules then by all means wear whatever you want.

Who sits in reserved seats and how can I reserve seats/pews in the church?
  • Reserved seats are for immediate family and anyone else that is important to you. These seats are up seats in the house
  • Use bows, decorations or rope off the seats/pews that are reserved
  • Let your ushers know who will be sitting in the reserved sections.

* You can also in “Within the Ribbon” cards. These are little cards sent with the invitation to your VIP guests that will be seated up front. These guests will bring this card and show it to your ushers.

Who walks me down the aisle my father or my stepfather?

  • If you are very close to both men your father is the one who gets the privilege.
  • Emily Post says it’s a no-no to have both men walk with you but if they get along and you want it that way…go for it. We won’t tell.
Should I have a receiving line at the church?

If you are not having a reception or a receiving line at your reception location, then yes. Ask the church if they will allow you to have a receiving line on their property first. If there is another wedding immediately following yours, the church may require you to leave the premises.

What order do people stand in for the receiving line?

We will give you two examples of receiving line order.

Line Up Example #1
Line Up Example #2
  • Bride's Parents
  • Groom's Parents
  • The Bride
  • The Groom
  • Maid of Honour
  • Best man
  • Bridesmaid
  • Groomsmen
  • Bridesmaid
  • Groomsmen, etc.
  • Bride's Mother
  • Groom's Mother
  • The Bride
  • The Groom
  • Maid of Honour
  • Bridesmaids
  • Men can mingle *
* This same setup can be used for the receiving line at your reception
What happens if I forget what I'm supposed to do?

Not to worry, the Officiant will guide you through the ceremony. They will tell you where to stand, what to say and what to do. Making mistakes and forgetting is a normal occurrence at every wedding.

Thank you to eBrides for this info.

Your Perfect Day...because you deserve it!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sports Themed Weddings | Perrysburg Wedding Planner | Your Perfect Day | Toledo Wedding Planner

With the start of football season, we have a few brides that are coming to us with ideas of sports themed weddings! We LOVE the idea of that cause we know the groom will love it too! Here are a few ways to create your sport wedding but still keep it fun and modern!

Your Perfect Day....because you deserve it!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Unique Seating Charts | Toledo Wedding Planner | Your Perfect Day | Toledo Wedding Planner

One of the most fundamental facts of wedding and event planning is that people need to be told what to do - especially guests! Escort cards (the ones that tell guests which table they are sitting at) are an essential tool to herd the masses. But individual cards can be expensive once you tally the cost of stationery, design, and calligraphy - not to mention the escort card table display and cloth.

An alternative? Wedding reception seating charts. These are large poster-sized prints that have all guest names coordinated with table numbers in one, easy location. No need for an extra escort table; a wall or easel will do fine.

As charts become more popular, talented designers are taking them to the next aesthetic level. Here are a few of our favorites!

(Colorful seating chart and details by Steve Juliano via Behance)

(Seats for Two seating chart by Mem's Design Shop)

This one was actually created by the bride and groom; conveniently (and clearly) they are talented graphic designers!

(Love birds seating chart by Inkledoo)

Pretty cool, right? The best part is that these frame-worthy documents make for a lovely wedding memento for the couple; both a reminder of the day and an elegant archival record of the attendees.

Thank you to Sheffield for this great article!

Your Perfect Day...because you deserve it!