Posted by: Marvin Hanashiro
Finding the right elements to add to your San Diego wedding or private event can be tricky, since it can be a constant battle between selecting something that is unique, fits your vision, and doesn’t break the bank. Here are some ideas that may be silly and even a little flamboyant, but are sure to wow your guests:
• Instead of a DJ or band, hire a choir or chorus to provide some entertainment for your wedding. What could be more grand or campy than that? They could provide music for everything from the pre-ceremony to your first dance. Here’s a visual: think of Stanford and Anthony’s wedding in the movie, “Sex & The City 2″.
• At a wedding, the sound of glasses clinking is always the cue for the newlyweds to kiss. Why not even the playing field a bit by calling out other married couples throughout the dinner to kiss in front of everyone as well?
• When you’re sending out your wedding invitations, ask guests to write a song that will get them out of their seat to dance. At the right time, play those songs and make the guests get on the dance floor and break out their best moves.
• Station a search light outside your venue to bring attention to the wedding or private event, like a big Hollywood movie premiere. That will definitely bring attention to your event and have passersby wondering, “What’s going on there and why wasn’t I invited?”
• Although it may be more appropriate during a cocktail party, organize a scavenger hunt at a rehearsal dinner or corporate function to provide an interactive element and encourage guests to mingle. Some of the items on the scavenger hunt should encourage people to talk to one another, like having to find three people with the same initial as your first name or revealing people’s special or odd talents. Get creative and have with it!
• Finding the perfect wedding favor may seem impossible, but what do you get those VIP wedding guests, like your best man or maid of honor? Depending on their taste, consider gifting them a monthly subscription to a book, beer, or wine club, or go with a subscription with companies like Birchbox (http://www.birchbox.com). With every monthly Birchbox, your friend will receive a selection of beauty, grooming, and lifestyle-related samples from various companies. As a Birchbox member myself, I always look forward to what my box is going to contain each month. This month, I received everything from lip balm to a canvas grilling apron.
Posted by: Jo Anne
CNN did an amazing exert on wedding etiquette questions and asked them to some famous wedding planners. Here are some of the best questions asked:
CNN: When it comes to weddings, it seems like everyone has an opinion, from mothers to mothers-in-law to friends and sisters. Unfortunately, those “brilliant” ideas often do not fit in with the type of celebration that the bride and groom envision. How do you suggest that couples politely decline well-meaning suggestions about what they “must do” or “must have” to make their wedding perfect?
Steven Petrow: Make sure both members of the couple are on the same page. It’s called “the power of two” and makes it much easier for a bride to say to her mother, “James and I had another idea for the centerpieces.” It can also be helpful to assign specific tasks especially to a mother-in-law and mother-of-the-bride to help them feel a part of the planning and yet keep their focus narrow.
Remember, very few brides will get away without accepting some well-meaning suggestions. It’s the art of compromise, and it will get you off to a good start with your new family.
Interestingly, for same-sex couples this is much less of a problem since a large majority (86% according to a recent Advocate survey) of gay couples plan and pay for their own nuptials. Family members are also less likely to be as involved in the wedding as a result. That’s one way to tame a Bridezilla MOB to be.
Southern Weddings: Smile sweetly, and thank them graciously. Perhaps try this line: “Well, bless your heart — thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. We’ll definitely take that into consideration.”
CNN: Managing the guest list is typically one of the most challenging aspects of wedding planning. What is the best way to inform guests that they are not welcome to bring a plus-one or their children to your reception?
Lizzie Post: If you don’t speak up, you run the risk of upsetting others who did follow the rules. When you get the RSVP, call them and say, “Jane, there might have been some confusion — the invitation was for you and Bob only. We chose to have this be an adults only reception; I hope this doesn’t cause too much inconvenience.”
Think ahead of time about the people you are inviting. Should you have a babysitter at the wedding for guests with young children so their parents can travel with them? It is really important for guests to respect that “no kids” means no kids, not even infants.
If guests are unsure about whether it is OK to bring their baby, they can call and say that they are not yet comfortable traveling without the baby. That gives the host a chance to either say that it is OK to bring the baby or to say “We understand; we will miss you at the wedding.
Randy Fenoli: It should be clearly stated on the invitation: This invite is for one guest only and we love children, but we have decided to have a grown-ups only wedding. You should always be polite, but firm.
CNN: What advice do you give to a couple whose relatives do not support their union — whether it is a same-sex union, a matter of religious differences or some other issue?
Randy Fenoli: Every family situation is different and should be approached accordingly. For me, if someone didn’t support me, or the partner I choose to be with, why would I want him or her at my wedding? Invite people who genuinely love and support you. It’s far better to have an intimate wedding than a huge wedding filled with people who aren’t supportive.
Steven Petrow: Because weddings are about new beginnings I generally urge gay couples to take the high road and invite family members, even if they don’t support your relationship because you’re a same-sex couple.
One of the most effective things is to talk directly with any disapproving relatives, as a couple, about your love for each other, the commitment you’re making and your ceremony plans. Take the time to explain why marriage matters to you: because it makes for stronger families, that you’ll become eligible for federal and/or state benefits or that you want to affirm your relationship before your loved ones.
It takes an awfully cold-hearted person to sit through a wedding ceremony and not be moved — if not to tears, at least to acceptance. Consider this a unique opportunity to change some hearts and minds.
CNN: One of the most commonly asked wedding etiquette questions is: “How can we politely request cash gifts?” What’s your advice to the couple who already has all the toasters they could ever need?
Southern Weddings: It’s never considered in good taste for the couple themselves to offer gift preferences, unless asked directly, so make sure your closest friends and family know your wishes. Guests are more willing to give cash when they know what it’s going toward, as in: “Emily and John are saving for a down payment on a house, and would be so grateful to have your help.”
Steven Petrow: ”High manners” still generally frowns on the notion of “pay for play” weddings, even though it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for and receive a cash gift in some communities and ethnic groups. Still, plenty of workarounds exist to avoid getting an excess of toasters.
Feel free to tell those in your wedding party or other close relatives that you prefer dollars to doilies and that, if asked, they should relay your wishes. There are also honeymoon registries, which make it possible for guests to contribute to a fund; their gift might be one night at the hotel or an adventure outing (sea kayaking, anyone?)
Many same-sex couples, marrying after many years together and with too much stuff, are forgoing gifts altogether and politely suggesting to their guests that donations be made to a marriage equality organization, like Freedom to Marry.
CNN: Who should get the most say in which wedding gown to buy — the bride or her mother? And does that change depending on which one of them is paying for the dress?
Randy Fenoli: I work for the bride, so when this problem arises, I ask the mother, “Who picked out your wedding dress?” If she did, then I tell her it’s time to let her daughter pick out hers. If her mother did, I ask her how she felt about that.
If this doesn’t work, I ask her who is choosing her mother of the bride gown, or how would she feel wearing a garment she didn’t like on the most important day of her life.
If all these tactics fail, I simply turn to the mother with a smile on my face and say, “I’m sure like any parent, all you truly want is for your daughter to be happy.”
Lizzie Post: It is a discussion you need to have before you go shopping. If your ideas are too far apart, thank you mother for her offer to pay for the dress, and then say that you have decided to take care of it yourself. You may still wish to invite her to come shopping for the wedding gown with you.
CNN: What is your best advice for couples about choosing the people who will stand up with them at their wedding?
Lizzie Post: Take everything into account. Who is really important to you? Look at family first. Also reach across the aisle to the family you are going to be joining; you may wish to invite your future sisters-in-law to be bridesmaids.
Do not get carried away choosing your bridal party; keep it simple and remember that you can always find other special jobs and other ways to include friends who are not bridesmaids. Sometimes it is best to limit your bridal party to just family to keep the size reasonable. It is also OK not to have attendants at all.
Southern Weddings: Think about your past, present and future. It’s tempting to choose your childhood friends for sentimental reasons, even if you’re not close to them anymore, but a newer friend might be a more meaningful choice if you can see them standing beside you long into the future.
For any tips or advice ask us at The Abbey Catering & Event Design!
Original link to post: http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/19/living/matrimony-etiquette-experts
Posted by: Marvin Hanashiro
I am routinely asked by brides and grooms for words of wisdom when it comes to planning their wedding day. Although I have several tips to share, one of the major points I always stress is the importance of hiring a wedding coordinator to manage the day’s events. With all of the blood, sweat and tears one pours into wedding planning, the last thing any bride or groom wants to do is direct their own wedding when they should be enjoying the fruits of their labor. Here are some other roles a wedding coordinator plays prior to and on the day of your wedding:
• Normally the coordinator will contact all of your wedding vendors, like the photographer and florist, before the wedding date to verify details of their services. They will, or at least should, be your champion when dealing with your vendors’ bills. They should have your best interest in mind and try to negotiate the lowest rates while keeping everyone on the same financial page.
• The coordinator will organize your wedding rehearsal, helping the whole wedding party with proper processional and recessional etiquette. They may also create and distribute a wedding day itinerary to all of the wedding rehearsal guests.
• On your wedding day, the coordinator will manage your wedding vendors per your instructions and expectations. They will also assist the vendors with any problems or questions that may arise, so you can enjoy the whole day stress-free.
• The coordinator will manage the setup with the vendors as well as any decor you have provided for the ceremony and reception venues, like table numbers, place cards, and wedding favors. They will also help vendors adhere to any venue rules, since many places in San Diego have strict policies.
• The coordinator is normally prepared with a bridal emergency kit, stocked with items like aspirin, energy bars, sewing kits, and even duct tape (you never know when you might need it).
• The coordinator will facilitate the ceremony, helping to ensure your wedding party is ready and the ceremony plays out seamlessly to your expectations.
• During the reception, they will coordinate any entertainment and all planned announcements and traditional events (i.e. toasts, bouquet toss, etc.)
• At the end of the night, the coordinator will ensure all of your vendors have been paid in full and distribute any tips. They will also collect and return any personal items back to their rightful owners (i.e. cake toppers, toasting glasses, decor, etc.)
Getting a coordinator is something I always recommend to my clients. It is your special day, and trying to make everything run smoothly impedes you celebrating your new lives together. Allow yourselves to enjoy your day, not work on it!
Posted by: D
Every aspect of wedding planning is important. But what good is it if you are not completely prepared? For those of you looking to have a wedding in the rainy or cold months you should always turn to you wedding planner for their guidance and knowledge, especially when there is bad weather forecasted. I had a wedding over the weekend at the La Jolla Cove Bridge Club that was stunning. It did however take a little finessing with the elements for the week. I had mentioned to my bride when we first had our meeting to consider a couple of things.
· To have a backup plan in case of rain since she was getting married in the rainier months of the year:
· To consider having a tent on standby in case of rain
· To have space heaters to keep the guests warm since cold weather is likely during the season
Fortunately my couple and I had a backup plan for moments such as this. The day of the wedding did up end up very cold with a lot of rain. Thanks to our back up plan the guests where protected from the elements. The tent was the saving grace for the most beautiful wedding. A tent also adds elegance to any event, especially with Italian string lights. We had planned for the case of rain and the tent and heaters were accounted in to the budget so there was no surprises and no stress, a recipe for a great day!
Posted by: Marvin Hanashiro
Social media outlets, like Facebook and Twitter, are a great way to catch up with and keep tabs on friends and associates, as well as kill time when you’re procrastinating at the office. They can also be a great wedding planning resource for ideas, advice, and referrals. Whether some of these are yesterday’s news or brand new to you, here is a small list of social media sites full of wedding info:
Facebook: Many wedding vendors have business pages potential clients can peruse for ideas, event photos, and even reviews. Look through the business’ news feed and pay particular attention to the “Recommendations” section.
Google: Although everyone knows how to use a search engine when researching possible vendors (and admittedly not necessarily a social media outlet), some of the search results on Google will also yield a “Google review” link embedded within the description which you can reference as an additional source of reviews.
Pinterest: Whether you’re searching for the perfect food recipe, style ideas, or random photos, Pinterest is a great way to connect with others who are also wedding planning and to see what they have “pinned” to their wedding boards as inspiration.
Spotify: Music is one of the keys to a great party, so use this social media and streaming music site mixed-into-one to find full versions of the songs you may choose for your first dance or intend to dance to during the reception.
Twitter and Instagram: Maybe it’s just me, but seeing a constant barrage of hashtags on your friend’s status updates or photos can be borderline annoying. But doing a specific search for hashtags like #wedding, #weddinginfo, #weddingtips, and even #wedspiration can yield a useful and bountiful amount of tips, photos, and links to great wedding websites.
Yelp: Arguably the biggest and best source for business reviews and tips, Yelp should be one of the first places you visit for local wedding info. Also do a search for wedding info in “Fresh Lists”.
Posted by: Marvin Hanashiro
People are always searching for fun and interesting ways to help make their wedding more personal and unique. Besides using specific wedding themes, colors, or decor, consider incorporating culture and cultural activities into the day’s events to give you and your guests something extra!
If there is a long gap scheduled between the ceremony and reception, take advantage of this time and give your guests a short itinerary of activities to help keep them occupied. One idea is to organize a scavanger hunt that will give your guests the opportunity to explore some of your favorite sites, including personal tidbits along the way. If you’re in an area with museums and galleries, like Balboa Park, map out a walking tour for your guests or even pre-pay admission to some of your favorite venues.
Music is another great way to incorporate culture into your wedding. If you’re looking to pay homage to your cultural background, hire a relevant band to play during your wedding. One of my couple’s had an Irish bagpiper and drummer play during their cocktail hour, whereas other couples had a Mariachi band and Japanese drum circle perform during the reception.
Along the same lines of a band performing during your wedding, consider hiring a cultural dance troupe as a lavish spectacle for the reception.
Posted by: D
There are few things better than celebrating your wedding with a theme that ties into how the two of you met. We hosted a wedding over the weekend that had such a theme. Our happy couple met each other in Disneyland and fell in love, so they decided they decided to have a wedding themed around their Disneyland experience. Theme weddings built around personal milestones of your lives together or experience you have shared are wonderful because your special day becomes infinitely more unique and personal.
With any theme wedding you should always be careful to do it tastefully and not go overboard. Angela and Trevor found the perfect mix. Never go overboard with the decor to be all theme like. It should be a blend of the theme decor and a mixture of colors and flowers, having too much can make your event seem like a child’s party. Subtle hints everywhere hidden in the decor that you can bring to the attention of your guests for a fun surprise.
The Abbey Catering and Event Design were lucky enough to help be apart of their planning allowing us to facilitate any needs. The couple did an amazing job telling the story of their meeting with each center piece and the decor. If you ever need some help ask your coordinator for suggestions, we have many ideas and ways to help you and guide you.
Posted by: Marvin Hanashiro
After months and possibly years of planning for your special day (i.e. if the first words you ever spoke were “I do”), the last thing you want is some major malfunction that puts a dark cloud on the wedding day. Below are some common wedding disasters and tips to help ensure you avoid these blunders:
1). At one wedding I attended, the hired transportation failed to deliver the bride and groom to their ceremony on time, leaving the guests waiting impatiently. At another, the whole bridal party had a few too many cocktails and was unable to drive themselves home at the end of the night, leaving them scrambling for last minute and late night transportation arrangements.
Tip: Be sure to secure and confirm pre and post wedding transportation. On the day of the wedding, have your wedding coordinator or assigned person keep in touch with transportation periodically, so everyone gets to the ceremony on time and home safely.
2). Celebrations usually go hand-in-hand with copious amounts of alcohol intake, and I saw one wedding where the bride got embarrassingly drunk, and another where guests got so rowdy and out-of-control, they damaged property.
Tip: Due to all the stress and events of the day, many brides and grooms forget to eat, which leaves them drinking on an empty stomach. So be sure to eat, even if you have to step away from your guests for a little while to do so. Plus, no one likes a drunk bride. In regard to your guests, make sure you hire experienced bartenders to help manage and control the amount of alcohol they serve, and be willing to cut off guests that are close to being a danger to themselves and others.
3). Friends and family always want to make a congratulatory toast during the wedding, but things can go south quickly when those toasts become long-winded or offensive.
Tip: Limit the amount of toasts to only a select few people. If you know others want to contribute, let them do so during the rehearsal dinner rather than the reception.
4). Great music always helps get the crowd going, but bad song choices can put a damper in everyone’s mood. Playing songs like “Better Off Alone” by Alice Deejay or “Me So Horny” by 2 Live Crew may seem like a crowd pleaser at the time, but end up sending the wrong message.
Tip: Communicate clear expectations to your DJ or band on your song choices or preferred music genres, and a list of songs not to play during the wedding.
5). There are so many details that need to be addressed leading up to and on the wedding day, which tends to overwhelm and stress out many couples, leaving them incapable of fully enjoying themselves on the special day.
Tip: Don’t sweat the small stuff. When everything is said and done, your guests aren’t going to remember the color of your napkins or the font you chose for the menu cards. Sit back, relax, and remember why you’re here in the first place: to be married to and celebrate with the one you love.
Posted by: Marvin Hanashiro
Recently, I had the honor of attending a friend’s wedding in Mississippi as a guest. It was my first trip to the South and I stress the word “guest” because as a member of the wedding industry, I’m commonly recruited to work someone’s wedding rather than simply enjoying it . With almost all of my wedding knowledge and experience gained from planning weddings in the West Coast, I found out it interesting and fun to see the differences in styles between weddings in each region. Although I only attended this one wedding in Mississippi, here is what I learned from my experience and education of others:
1. Bow ties aren’t trendy, they’re tradition: Although most of us in California find it fun and quirky to wear bow ties for different functions, many people in the South consider it the norm and commonplace for gentlemen to wear.
2. Hiring a band rather than a DJ is the norm: With the South being the birthplace of music genres like blues and jazz, people embrace the richness and cultural significance of live music and diversity in regional music styles.
3. Ceremonies are almost always at a church: Religion plays a significant role for many people in the South, so wedding ceremonies are almost always conducted in a church.
4. Guests were even asked to sing a hymn during the ceremony I attended.Receptions are mainly cocktail-style, with very few opting for a formal, sit down and plated dinner.
5. Family and friends say toasts for the happy couple at the rehearsal dinner, and keep the reception for partying!
Posted by: Jo Anne
When planning your special day, remember this one important thing. The color contrast can either make your special day as beautiful as you deserve, or make it into a decorative flop. This blog is to make sure your day is the former. So here are some great tips on contrasting colors through lighting, floral selections and venue selections.
1. Dream up the color palette for the vision of your day. This may seem the obvious, but a lot of brides can get overwhelmed with all the details, their theme changes and morphs into a hodgepodge of orange and blue. Get a color scheme in your vision and stick with it!
2. If you special day’s color scheme has very rich colors, try to find a venue with supporting colors rather than prominent or abrasive colors. An example of this would be a smooth white, or a tan; rather than a dark-wood brown or rich satin red. The smoother colors allow your special day’s palette to pop out instead of being absorbed into the richer colors. On the flip side, if your vision has a very light color palette then a rich venue color palette would be the best choice for you. Like the beautiful dark-wood finishes of Britt Scripps Inn.
3. The time of day your reception takes place also factor into the contrast. Having your reception take place in the daytime can limit how well your colors contrast with each other. For example, we had a client who’s original vision was to have pure white table linens and baby blue napkins. A beautiful choice. However, her reception was outdoors at midday, the sun was going to wash out the light colors of the baby blue and make her tables look a little plain. This was not a problem for the Abbey Catering, we set up a beautiful tent around the reception area, shading the tables and allowing the contrasting linens to pop once again!
4. Floral selection are a great way to make your color palette to really take hold. Depending on the season your special day is in, flowers can vary in cost. So try not to single a certain type of flower out over same colored flowers. Cost per stem can go up as much as five dollars according to season! Saying that, make sure to be open to different types of flowers with same colors. Just bring the vision of your color scheme and let the florist work.
5. Lighting. It is everything! Lighting can change moods and overall feeling of the entire reception. Too much light and the party can seem too dry. Too little and the party can seem like a cheap night club. However, just the right amount allows for the perfect temperature of the party, allowing people to unwind and celebrate your wonderful day! I highly recommend uplighting for any event. This will allow you to break off sections of rooms or add the extra special look your event deserves.
Color contrast allows you to emphasize your taste and personality. Choosing your colors shows your personality to all the loved ones and friends you invite to your special day. It allows you to add your unique flare to the day. If you ever need any help from venue selection to uplighting please contact us at the abbey catering.