• May 23, 2018, 03:52:58 PM

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Author Topic: Providing planning assistance and advice- best tips?  (Read 5872 times)

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Re: Providing planning assistance and advice- best tips?
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2017, 04:49:57 AM »
POD to the fact that things may not turn out exactly the way you think, but don't get upset about it.

A good friend went to a wedding where things went wrong in a major way.  Everyone was sitting in the dining room of the hotel where the wedding was being held. Starters had just been served when the fire alarms started ringing.  It turned out that there was a fire in the kitchen.  A big fire.  Everyone was evacuated and the Fire Service turned up to deal with the fire.  There was a lot of running around on the part of MoH, BM, HC and hotel management about what to do about the wedding party/food etc.  Another hotel and a nearby restaurant were contacted and were able to supply food for the rest of the dinner, and luckily it was a nice evening, so tables were set up quickly in the gardens.

Yes, things were delayed, and the dinner/decorations weren't as planned except for the first part of the evening.  However, in the long run?  The HC are proud of their extra wedding photos with the fire engines; all the guests say it was the most memorable wedding they have ever attended; and the three businesses involved have had huge numbers of recommendations due to the way they handled a difficult situation - the original hotel for calmly managing to organise a solution despite not having a working kitchen or dining room and the other two for stepping in to help with an emergency.

OK. I know that most weddings don't have such major problems, and I sincerely hope your friends don't.  However, I thought this story would illustrate how even the most horrible problems can turn out well in the end.


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Re: Providing planning assistance and advice- best tips?
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2017, 09:30:30 AM »
Don't try to save money by doing a major job yourself.  When I got married, we didn't hire a caterer but went with a place that supplied just the tubs of food.  That meant we had to do all the set up, clean up, and serving.  Fortunately, the "church ladies" intervened and between them and lots of (dependable and wonderful) teenagers, it was beautifully done but could have been a disaster because I wanted to save money  ::).


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Re: Providing planning assistance and advice- best tips?
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2017, 01:09:30 PM »
Echoing other posters as to priortizing, and thinking outside the box. I'd suggest choosing one priority for the ceremony, and one for the reception.

Our priority for the ceremony was family involvement, so we had friends and relatives provide the music, do the readings, and even perform the ceremony. (Being related to lots of clergy and professional church musicians helped!)

Our priority for the reception was dancing to a live swing band. In order to make the budget work, we scheduled it as an afternoon teatime party with heavy appetizers and a champagne toast, but no full meal or bar.

We also went straight into the reception and "opened the floor" with our first dance before doing our couple photos or cutting the cake. That way everyone was dancing and eating while we were off doing pictures.

Even our most traditional relatives & family friends said it was lots of fun, and just a super nice day.

I think that's a great goal, actually - just to make a really nice day. It gives you a lot more flexibility than trying to be perfect.


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Re: Providing planning assistance and advice- best tips?
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2017, 01:51:43 PM »
Our wedding was fairly small--about 60 guests. We had a sit-down meal, but no dancing or other entertainment other than a few speeches, and a lot of mingling. So, this may not work for everyone.

We had flower arrangements on each table. My florist suggested that we could save money by borrowing the vases, that is, giving her a refundable deposit for them. She also made one terrific suggestion. So we could give the arrangements to the guests, she recommended that we provide plastic bags. We hid a box of bags behind a table near the entrance doors. A coulpe of relatives agreed to mention the take-home flowers to the guests during the evening, and then stationed themselves near the door when it was over, to intercept the guests and trade them bags for the vases. One relative agreed to put all the vases in his car & return them for us. The bags were also useful for unloading--I mean providing--the uneaten portion of the very tasty cake to those who wanted another piece to take home.

I also went all spreadsheet-y.  My one for the guests included columns for gifts--description, date received, date the thank you was mailed. My original intent was so I wouldn't forget to thank someone, but it came in handy when someone who hadn't gotten a thank you note made one of those tactful inquiries about "did you get my gift?" No, it hadn't been received,and the person the took steps to get a replacement.

I am not sure how this would work for a huge wedding, but we set aside blocks of time several days a week to deal with gifts. Open gift, talk about it a bit, enter it on the spreadsheet, get out a card, write note, put in addressed and stamped envelope. We could only open the next gift when the thank you was recorded and written. That prevented a lot of worry that somehow we'd overlooked a gift or a thank you.

We also knew ahead of time exactly which children would be attending. Everyone who was old enough to read got their own personal invitation, in the formal manner with the actual invitation in a separate envelope inside the mailing envelope. They were thrilled.

The plural of anecdote is not data


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Re: Providing planning assistance and advice- best tips?
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2017, 07:00:16 PM »
Oh, and be prepared for wierdness. It seems like some folks are so mentally braced for bridezilla antics, that the more simple and easygoing you try to be, the more they flip out.
I sent my bridesmaids the color palette from my bouquet and asked them to get a knee-length dress that would coordinate. Good grief! So much back and forth over hair and dresses and shoes - I could not convince them that I didn't care. They were all over 30 and knew how to dress themselves - I trusted them. I didn't realize how much it would stress them out. If I had it to do over, I'd pick a range of styles from David's Bridal, or something, and say "get one of these in blue."

Same thing with kids. We have a lot of nieces and nephews, and wanted to include children. One of my cousins called me up and demanded that I not invite her kids. I said, "You're the mom. If you'd rather get a sitter, that's fine. But we're inviting all the kids and I don't want to micromanage or treat the families differently."
Again, in hindsight it probably would have been simpler just to agree, but I got the feeling I was getting dragged into somebody else's issue. (Still don't know what it was about.)

So just know tgat people will get wierd about stuff, even if you're not.