Monthly Archives: August 2012

Keeping Kids Entertained During A Wedding

When planning a wedding, some of the guests you have to keep in mind that tend to demand a good bit of attention are kids, of all ages. Usually they require special meals, special seating, and of course something to keep them busy so that they do not crash into your cake, do cartwheels on the dancefloor, spill a drink all over the floor or become a 30 minute crying “serenade”.

If your venue can spare it, and your pocket can afford it, have some space set up for children to keep them busy, preferably in an adjacent room. The simplest of things such as coloring books, easy board games, or even a TV set with a popular movie can keep a child busy for some time and interacting with other children in their age group. Obviously you do not want them completely excluded from your reception, but once the dinner portion is over, it will give them something to do if they do not want to hang out with the grown ups or be confined to a seat. At least they will have the option to not stay in the same room for the whole time. The most important part not to forget: you HAVE to have someone in that room to supervise. Preferably not a guest so that they do not feel left out of the ceremonies, but someone with babysitting or nanny experience is always recommended.

Speak with your caterer. Sometimes, if you are having a buffet for dinner, they can create a custom child friendly buffet for them so they have food that most children like to choose from and remain happy during their meal.

When planning all of this out, keep in mind the parents of these children. If they are the type of parents that want to have an eye on their children at all times, then a seat next to them is always the perfect place for their child, no matter what. However, if some parents are more comfortable with letting their children go and do their own activities for a few hours, they will be glad that to have some usually much needed one on one time with their spouse, even if it is just for a few dances and some socializing.

It is hard to please everyone, but that last thing you want to happen is some part of your day be ruined from a misbehaving child. The crying tantrums and unruly behavior are the two things to try to avoid, so always look for ideas to help and do not always assume that everything will be great. As the saying goes, plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Wedding Week Checklist

  • Gather all the items that need to go to the ceremony location and designate someone to put them in their proper place (i.e. ceremony programs, unity candle, pew bows, etc.)
  • Gather all items that need to go to the reception location and designate someone to put them in their proper place (i.e. favors, guest book & pen, toasting flutes)
  • Designate someone to be in charge of the gift table and be sure to give them some scotch tape. By the time the gifts are transported to and from the reception, the cards can get misplaced.
  • Give final head count to the caterer and be sure to count meals for your DJ, band or entertainer, photographer and wedding coordinator.
  • Give the counts for adults, children under 12, and your wedding vendors separately because your caterer may charge less for children and meals for the wedding vendors.
  • Put together an emergency kit. You never know what items you or your bridesmaids may need; extra nylons, breath mints, or clear nail polish.
  • Finish the wedding favors and the wedding program if you haven’t already!
  • Clean engagement ring.
  • Make sure you have your wedding rings and they fit properly.
  • Pick up wedding attire and make sure everything fits properly and you have everything you need.
  • Break in wedding shoes.
  • Contact wedding guests that have not responded.
  • Finalize seating chart.
  • Alphabetize seating place cards.
  • Buy Champagne, or other beverages, for the limo if not provided.
  • Decide who will be bringing home the gifts and gift envelopes after the wedding.
  • If you are having a receiving line, review the guest list with your finance to help you both remember the names of all those relatives you haven’t seen in awhile.
  • Pick up marriage license. Designate someone to take license to the ceremony to give to Officiant.
  • Confirm details for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
  • Have rehearsal with attendants and make sure everyone knows their “duties” for the wedding day; who is going to hold the rings, where do they stand, who lines up first, second, third to walk down aisle, etc.
  • Create a Wedding Day Itinerary for yourself and your attendants, it will help everyone know where to be and when!
  • Pack for the honeymoon!
  • Confirm EVERY DETAIL with EVERY VENDOR for the wedding day
  • Transportation Company: Confirm pick up time, location & directions.
  • Florist: Confirm flower order, drop off time and discuss any last minute details.
  • Caterer: Confirm head counts and any last minute details.
  • Entertainer: Confirm, time, location and special song selections for special dances.
  • Baker: Confirm cake order, drop-off time & location.
  • Photographer: Confirm start time and location.
  • Videographer: Confirm start time and location.
  • Officiant: Confirm rehearsal time and marriage license.
  • Organist or Ceremony Musicians: Confirm music selections.
  • Honeymoon: Confirm reservations with travel agent.

10 Things To Avoid During Wedding Planning

  1. When planning your special day, many brides tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves, and everyone involved, to make the day absolutely perfect. What you need to remember is that even though your wedding is one of the most important days of your life, it’s just ONE day. Savor the days leading up to your wedding as well. Your engagement is a very special time. Don’t spend it stressed out and anxious! Besides, stressing leads to overeating, which is never good for a bride-to-be.
  2. A lot of brides tend to overspend in a big way. I have seen wedding budgets double over the course of a long engagement. Remember, you do NOT want to start your marriage off broke. Think ahead, and make sure you won’t need the money to buy a house, car, or pay your bills before you spend it.
  3. We hate to say this, but it needs to be said. Too many brides buy dresses that are a size too small. A lot of times, wedding dresses tend to run small, so if you wear an 8, you might need a 10. I know that it would boost your confidence to squeeze into a smaller size, but your fat pockets hanging out just aren’t flattering. You will feel better about yourself if you look good– who cares about a number on your dress. (Just cut out the tag!) Plus, you want to be able to dance the night away with your new hubby without feeling too sucked in!
  4. Once you get your mother and mother-in-law involved, they will have you inviting everyone you’ve ever met and never cared to see again to your wedding! Brides tend to go crazy inviting too many people, which is a bad idea for several reasons. First of all, you will end up spending too much on invitations and postage… especially when you invite those people that you know have no intention of coming. Secondly, you are paying for a plate of food for each person you invite. Third, you don’t want to waste an hour of your reception (especially if you are limited on time) greeting people whose names you don’t even remember!
  5. Sometimes, stress causes a bride-to-be to start obsessing over the small details– the color of the napkins, the font on the placeholder cards, or whether to throw rice or birdseed. Before you start going crazy on the details, ask yourself these question: Does this specific thing really matter to you? Will you remember it in 5 years? Will it make or break your wedding day? If you answer no, then let it slide.
  6. One of the most common mistakes of wedding planning is when brides-to-be become too controlling. Remember– it is your fiance’s wedding day too! Men act like they don’t care, but they do– and they SHOULD! They most likely won’t care about flower colors or whether or not you curl your hair, but there are certain things that they will want. And they should be at least partly involved in the wedding planning process.
  7. When people get overwhelmed, they tend to put things off. And that is why many brides procrastinate! Take advantage of your engagement to get things done a little bit at a time. Plan ahead, and take care of the major things way in advance so that if there is a problem, you will have plenty of time to deal with it!
  8. A classic mistake brides-to-be make is ticking people off who are involved in the wedding planning. Your wedding planner, mother, sisters, and bridesmaids are there to help you, but don’t let the power go to your head. Remember—you can catch more bees with honey than you can with vinegar!
  9. Some brides will never admit to this mistake… but it happens all the time! They choose ugly bridesmaids’ dresses to make themselves stand out! DON’T LIE… you know it’s tempting! But the only person it really makes look bad is you… and if you don’t want them to steal the show, don’t give people a reason to gossip about them.
  10. It is CRITICAL that you do not make this last mistake… Don’t get so involved about planning your wedding day that it makes you forget what this day means. This is the beginning of your life together. Make this time exciting and memorable; you won’t regret it.

Timelines & Making It Flow

Quite possibly the most important detail to your wedding is the flow of events – in what order things take place and what the guests are directed to do next. You can hire the best vendors out there, pay the most amount of money to have what you want, the perfect place, the best food, the most energetic DJ and the most dynamic photographer, but unless everyone knows what is taking place from one thing to the next, your wedding day is not going to go right at all.

The timeline is something that you need to put together as you are discussing with some of the vendors.

  • ask your venue contact for input on how things have taken place at that location before.
  • speak with your coordinator on what flows better based on what they have seen and done previously
  • discuss with your photographer when pictures should take place as to make sure that enough time is planned for you to receive all the photos that you want from your wedding.
  • plan with your DJ when the introductions, dances, cake cutting, toasts, bouquet and garter toss take place since the DJ can get everyone’s attention and keep things moving for you
  • coordinate with your caterer on when dinner and hors d’oeuvres should be served and be ready, or when cake should be ready to be cut and served

Part of putting the timeline together involves making sure that the order you decide to have things take place will work for all your vendors and also all your guests. For example, you do not want to make your guests wait for an hour and a half after your ceremony into your reception before they can get a chance to eat anything.

  • Try to take as many photos as you can before the wedding. That’s less time that you will have to make your guests wait and more time you will get to spend with them.
  • If you anticipate more than a 15-20 minute wait between your ceremony and reception, consider having some passed hors d’oeuvres, especially if your reception is close to dinner time.
  • Make sure you allow enough time for dinner for you and your guests, especially if you are having a plated dinner instead of a buffet.
  • Whether you do your special dances right after you get introduced or after dinner should depend on how long you make your guests wait between your ceremony and reception. If your guests have been waiting on you for an hour, making them wait an additional 10-15 minutes for you to dance may make your guests even more uncomfortable.
  • Some of your guests will leave before the night is over, no matter how good the food is, no matter how great and entertaining your DJ is. Make sure that you do not push your cake cutting and bouquet and garter toss too late in the evening. You want your guests to enjoy every part of your wedding with you so if you wait too long, they will not be able to.

When planning your perfect day, look at everything that will take place from someone else’s perspective. How would a guest view what is taking place? How would a family member look at what is taking place. Even though ultimately this day is about you as the bride and your groom, you have invited other people to share in the day with you so you have to take their feelings in consideration when deciding on how you make your wedding flow.