Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wedding Preparations

Awe!

Wedding preparations are in full gear. 

Times two. 

Wedding dresses bought. 

Bridal accessories bought. 

Venue reserved

Guest List Made. 

Mother of Bride dress bought. 

Hairstyles being discussed.

Wedding Invitations almost finalized.

Bridesmaid dresses 

Flower girls dress 

Flowers

Song List 

Food

Bridal Shower

Wedding Reception Favors 

Vows

First Dance

Thank yous

Centerpieces

Cake

Overnight Accommodations for guests

Photographer

The list can go on and on-- there is just so much to do. But it is all good. We are blessed. And we are learning so much along the way. 

However, I would love input on a few questions I have.

1. If you do not have a wedding coordinator, who normally steps in to shuffle the reception from one activity to the next?

2. Did you have assigned seating? Why? How did that go?

3. How long is a typical wedding reception? How did you wrap it up?

4. Did you have games/ things to do at the wedding for the kids?

5. Did you have leftover/extra food (meaning did everyone eat their serving)? How much extra did you plan for just in case?

6. Let me know if I am obviously missing something.

19 comments:

  1. 1. the DJ. or one of the moms could do it

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    1. I do not think we are having a DJ-- at least we do not have one planned as of yet. I was thinking of doing it or having a family member do it.

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    2. I'd suggest having one of your other (older) kids DJ. Gives them a task so they're not getting bored and they can keep things flowing.

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  2. 2. yes, because we had a small venue and had to make sure no one left spaces. we couldnt have 5 tables with 1 or 2 seats left and then a family of 5 show up with no where to sit. our family didnt love the idea, and it was a pain to figured out who to put where and fill every seat at the table while keeping family groups together as much as possible, but it was necessary. in the end, it worked out well.
    3. 3-4 hours is typical, although people seem to leave earlier now. most times it wraps up when the DJ stops. for us, we had the DJ announce the last dance (we chose a special slow song) and make a couple announcements like, take a centerpiece with you or take some food.
    4. we did not have anything for the kids. we didnt have room and they had fun dancing, playing with cousins and other family and friends and eating cake. if you have room and want to set up some simple games or activities, I am sure the kids would like it, but it is not needed. parents can bring entertainment for the kids if they think they will need it. most kids love to dance though.
    5. we did have leftover food without planning for it. we invited everyone over to my parents house the next day to eat leftovers and watch us open gifts.
    6. if the DJ, photographer etc. arent paid ahead of time, ask someone to take care of that so bride and groom dont have to. make a plate of food for bride and groom to take, they wont be thinking about it, but will be starving later. make plans for who is cleaning up, taking gifts or food home, etc. the money dance is nice because it gives you a good way to greet many of your guests, which is always a challenge. and it gets some people up to dance who otherwise might not. get the "traditional" things done early, some people wont dance when they are waiting for something else to happen first.

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    1. Love your reasons for having assigned seating. Makes total sense. Love the idea of opening presents the next day and making them plates of food.

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  3. I had a very small wedding at my parent's home so I can't answer your questions but I will encourage you to trust your intuition as you have a good head on your shoulders and so do your girls. It all sounds like so much fun. Enjoy!

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  4. Are their weddings combined?
    1. If you do not have a wedding coordinator, who normally steps in to shuffle the reception from one activity to the next?
    Father of the bride.

    2. Did you have assigned seating? Why? How did that go?
    Yes, it gives everyone a landing place and doesn't leave anyone awkwardly standing around.

    3. How long is a typical wedding reception? How did you wrap it up?
    4 hours introduction to last dance. Add an hour if bride and groom go take photos for an hour while guests are waiting in a cocktail style reception ( hors d'oeuvres and beverages). Wrap it up with an announcement before the last song, thanking them for coming.

    4. Did you have games/ things to do at the wedding for the kids?
    We did not have kids. But since your family has so many young kids, I definitely would. Is the wedding outside? Lawn games would be fun. Inside, coloring books/activities, cameras, make a mask or photo frame, etc.

    5. Did you have leftover/extra food (meaning did everyone eat their serving)? How much extra did you plan for just in case?
    N/A it was catered I have no idea if there were leftovers

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    1. Their weddings are not combined. One is in August and the other is in September. Thanks for your answers. Julia was thinking of having a table covered in butcher paper for the kids to draw on.

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  5. 4. I have a large extended family which meant a lot of kids at the reception (30+). We decided to have a "kids table" - it was full of kid friendly activities. Snacks (trail mix, gold fish, candies, etc...) coloring pages, bubbles, games, pin wheels, picture books, and a few other odds and ends (oriental trading company). The kids loved it. It kept them all well entertained for the entire event and many adults enjoyed it as well. It gave kids the option of interacting with one another at the table or taking the toys/treats back to their parents if they needed a secure base.

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  6. As a wedding photographer who has been to a lot of weddings, here is what Ive experienced, but take it however you want.... :)

    1. If you do not have a wedding coordinator, who normally steps in to shuffle the reception from one activity to the next?
    - I almost always did this because I was the one with the most experience, but normally the crowd will follow the bride and groom so once the b&g have fixed their plates, others will follow, once they have danced, others will follow, etc.... if you have a family member who wants to help but doesn't know what to do, assign them this task - just to keep everything moving


    2. Did you have assigned seating? Why? How did that go?
    - most of the weddings Ive been to, didn't have assigned seating, which always worked out fine - everyone sat by people they knew and avoided people they didn't get along with


    3. How long is a typical wedding reception? How did you wrap it up?
    a typical wedding church reception is normally about 2 hours - which is about how long it takes for the b&g to get congratulated by everyone, eat their meal, cut the wedding and the grooms cake, and maybe a dance or two... by about 2 hours, most people are finding their way out... if you want to definitely end it, start handing out the birdseed/flower petals/whatever you are going to throw and start moving people outside, and have the couple do their exit (if need be, they can always drive away, stay away for about 30 minutes and then come back to pick up whatever they need, the crowd will have dispersed by then)


    4. Did you have games/ things to do at the wedding for the kids?
    - I would definitely recommend this, otherwise, little ones get restless and into things... crayons and large rolls or paper, or a craft station, or lawn games are good choices

    5. Did you have leftover/extra food (meaning did everyone eat their serving)? How much extra did you plan for just in case?
    - usually most of the food gets eaten - some families like to pack a basket for the couple to take with them... sometimes if there is leftovers, you may want to ask the local shelters/nursing homes if they would like the extras

    6. Let me know if I am obviously missing something.
    - order the wedding cake for about 1/2 the people that are coming - some people will leave after the ceremony, some just don't like cake and others will only eat the grooms cake...and cake is not something you want a lot of leftovers of, especially if you are paying someone for that...

    Id be happy to answer anything else that I can... :)

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  7. Most of the questions gave been answered but I would let people sit where they want to. We had an MC at both our girls weddings........someone who knows the family well.....and they keep things moving along. Proposing the toasts, calling on those who are making a speech etc. Definitely have something for the kids to do...........and just have fun. It doesn't have to be perfect .......... 🤗

    Marilyn from Canada

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  8. Three weddings so far...three older daughters out of six, and two sons are young yet. Few children at one. Other two outdoor receptions. One was ice cream social. Simple. Gunny sack and three legged races, croquet, bubbles for kids, etc. Bride and groom racing in gunny sacks...priceless photos! Other outdoor reception was at the Bible camp where couple met. Rained, but meal under tent provided by camp. Yard games...rained out. But they'd planned corn hole..built by dads and monogrammed with couples initials by me. Lawn Yatzi...my husband cut up 4x4 into cubes, I painted the dots. Decorated two buckets to roll dice out of, with ribbons in bridal colors. Just some fun things both girls chose. Haven't used seating at any of the receptions, except those reserved for family members, wedding party center stage! All had host and hostesses at receptions...couples who were either relatives or friends. Daughters gave instructions ahead of time to their hosts, and chose responsible, confident people who directed guests to and/or at receptions. Creative signage helps to direct guests or give instructions. Most important, I believe is that the couple or bride make sure they've assigned others to "do their bidding" on their special day. Neither they, nor parents of couple need of to be busy with responsibilities...tho being informed yourself about major wishes of the couple and who they've appointed to do what is helpful, if questions arise. With your young children, if you can have someone overseeing them to the extent that you're able to enjoy the day and focus on the young couple that day, I'd suggest that. Aunts and uncles, older cousins, familiar adults. Not that your older kids can't do that, so whatever works for your family, Just thought of that in terms of your older kids also enjoying the day and not necessarily in charge of younger siblings specifically that day. But I'm sure they'll also love the family celebration and may not mind that at all...reading your blog for some time, I know how close they are! It probably depends on responsibilities the older kids each have that day.. One daughter helped a bride recently fill small gift/activity bags for young guests at the reception. They placed these on a table with a sign "For our young guests", or some wording to hint who they were aimed at. Included some extra treats, small bubbles, tiny decks of card games, cheap twisty straws, crayons and color pages. Butcher paper table sounds great! Our daughters all did most of their planning with their groom, with some of their ideas carried out by me, though it varied. You're well on your way!
    Nancy from the Midwest

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  9. You can choose someone to emcee the event. It's kind of honor for them and they can move things along. My son did this for my daughter's wedding. We had assigned tables, but not individual seats. I would say that makes everyone feel comfortable. We went to a wedding with no assigned tables and there was one table where people pulled chairs over to go from eight to twelve and another table with two people sitting by themselves. It's a service to your guests for them to not have to deal with where to sit.

    Receptions are normally 3-4 hours. It depends if you have a happy hour and if you have dancing. My little ones never used anything that people gave them because they were always excited to get out and dance! If you have music and a dance floor you won't need anything else for the littles.

    If you are doing a buffet I would have quite a bit of extra food because you can bring it home to your large family. We had three children get married in 22 months, two of them daughters. Plus we had just adopted our two little ones a few months prior. No way was I going to deal with the food. We had it catered and they told us how much we would need. With all three weddings, there was plenty of food. If you are hiring they will know what to do.

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  10. I just love all this wedding planning talk! I'm 32, and have been to about 30 weddings the past couple years. Thankfully for my summer schedule and my wallet all my friends are married now. lol!

    1. If you do not have a wedding coordinator, who normally steps in to shuffle the reception from one activity to the next?

    This has always been either the DJ or the wedding coordinator! I totally think this would be an awesome job for one of your boys! What person doesn't like talking into a microphone!

    2. Did you have assigned seating? Why? How did that go?

    I have NEVER been to a wedding that didn't have assigned seating. Usually everyone's names are on a place card with their table numbers at the entrance of the reception. This makes the reception look so nice and orderly and there aren't random people sitting in random places. This also really helps when it comes time to eat.

    Typically the DJ or wedding coordinator announces its time to eat and then calls the tables by number to the buffet (if it isn't a plated restaurant style service). Never a rush to eat or get food.

    3. How long is a typical wedding reception? How did you wrap it up?
    They seem to usually be about 4 hours! The last wedding I was at, cocktail hour started at 5 and they shut it down about 10. I rarely stay to the end, but a couple I did...the DJ just announced that this was the last song! "you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here"

    I will say though, that a lot of times a photographer or even the reception venue are really knowledgeable about reception time lines.

    4. Did you have games/ things to do at the wedding for the kids?
    A kid's table! Butcher paper to draw on. Stickers. Crayons. Coloring sheets. Mazes. Activity Books.

    5. Did you have leftover/extra food (meaning did everyone eat their serving)? How much extra did you plan for just in case?

    At our wedding. We were not allowed to take the left overs; that is very common in our area. It all depends on who is catering and what your contract says.

    6. Let me know if I am obviously missing something.
    Definitely leave waaaaaaaaaaaay more time than you think you'll need for pictures. If you don't use it. Great. But if you don't have it in the schedule? You'll never get it back. Have all the pictures you (julia/annalyn) want written down ahead of time and given to your photographer.

    You'll need to tip all your vendors. Have those tips divided up and in envelopes ahead of time, and assign one person to hand them out.

    Assign one person to be the contact person for all your vendors. The "too many cooks in the kitchen" saying definitely applies here.

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  11. I just wrote a reply to this and forgot to check my login and then who knows what I did, but I think it's gone. So take 2.

    1. If you do not have a wedding coordinator, who normally steps in to shuffle the reception from one activity to the next?

    Most weddings I've been to there's been and MC. Someone who isn't a parent of the couple or in the bridal party. Usually a friend, uncle, family friend, etc. You have some wonderful people to choose from who would probably be honoured to be asked.

    2. Did you have assigned seating? Why? How did that go?

    Yep - all the weddings I've been to have had arranged seating. So families don't end up split up all over the place. And people like arriving and finding out who they're sitting with and looking for their placecard, etc.

    3. How long is a typical wedding reception? How did you wrap it up?

    The majority of weddings I've been to wrap up with the couple being farewelled. If it comes to guests starting to leave before the couple it probably means it's dragged on too long. I remember a wedding where the couple started opening gifts and I think most people started leaving at that point.

    4. Did you have games/ things to do at the wedding for the kids?

    We didn't have kids at our wedding - the youngest was 14. This could go either way. You could have a bunch of stuff for them, or take it as an opportunity to learn about formal settings and about not everything being about them, or somewhere in the middle. Perhaps if you're heading toward them learning about formal settings you could have a special "kid pack" for them to use where they are seated. It would make them feel special, give them something to do during the speeches, etc.

    5. Did you have leftover/extra food (meaning did everyone eat their serving)? How much extra did you plan for just in case?

    I don't recall going to a wedding that was a buffet. Ours have generally been alternate drop.

    6. Let me know if I am obviously missing something.

    You probably have, but it's unlikely to be anything that really matters. The really important bit is the actual wedding. And moreso the marriage. Are they doing some wedding prep?

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  12. I would definitely do assigned tables. Takes the pressure off of guests who want to rush and try to sit together and also the people who may not know a lot of other guests. I've been to weddings with kids and they had light up blinky necklaces and blow up guitars, etc that the DJ passed out. Helped gets people on the dance floor. Have fun planning!!!

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  13. At my sister's wedding my mom hired a babysitter for the kids. Folks who were in the wedding dropped their kids off with the babysitter and it was so appreciated!

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  14. my friend just went to a wedding where after the bridal table and parents tables were served, the DJ then played a song and the first table to guess the song correctly got to go up to eat next. He said it was fun to play and was a unique way to release each table to get food.

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I find your comments so inspiring! Thanks for visiting our family blog, and sharing your thoughts.