Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It’s all about your guests! Part 3-Receptions with manners and surprises for all!

So the spoiling and thoughtfulness shouldn't stop with your ceremony…you need to continue the kindness throughout the weekend and here are some tips for the reception!

Positano and wedding 304

Bar-(This is probably my #1 pet peeve)Your guests have spent a great amount of money and time coming to share in your day. I cannot stress enough how important your bar options are. DO NOT HAVE A CASH BAR BY ANY MEANS! This is tacky and unacceptable. If you cannot afford to have a full and open bar, opt for:

1. Beer and wine only

2. A signature drink or two for the entire reception along with non-alcoholic options

3. Offer a full bar for a limited number of hours and then switch to beer and wine

4. House brand liquors instead of the best of the best!

photobooth weddingHanger wedding  Pictures-If you have your photographer for a majority of the night, as him/her to go around to each table and offer to take a picture of their party. Photographers can only take so many pictures of people dancing, why not offer their services to give your guests a keepsake of your wedding for them!? They can have the option of buying the photo off of the photographers website, or you can send it with your “THANK YOU NOTE” after the wedding. These days a photobooth happens to be a fun and great alternative to this.

Personalized Attention-You must be a great host and take some time to personality thank each and every guest at your wedding. It takes all of 20 seconds to greet, thank and hug those people that love and care about you. If you have too many guests to make it around each table, when the toasts are happening, take the microphone and thank your guests along with all those important people that helped you through the planning and the day itself. After all, you

favor sarah Goodbye Gift/Favors- Favors are traditionally your thank you to your guests for coming. My rule of thumb: Give your guests something they can use or eat or be remembered by. No one wants a silver picture frame that only fits their passport photo. Seriously, they just get left or thrown away. Give something to them that is indicative of the area ( I did a great post on this a while back-find it under “Details”) For my own wedding, I gave wine charms of the areas attractions and had cigars for everyone to smoke or take with them. I go to my family and friends houses and I still see them using the wine charms. Make a donation in their name for a just cause…but be sure you can give them something to recognize this thoughtful deed. For example: The rubber bracelets with the cause on them like the Lance Armstrong bracelets, a pin, etc. Go the extra mile and have something your guests can take as they leave such as an evening treat to fill their tummies before bed, a morning tea, scone and aspirin, or a hangover kit! (see my blogpost on this under “Details” as well) When guests receive something from you that has thought behind it, it means so much more.

Personalized Note – If you are having assigned seating, take the time to write a personalized note with their seating card or on the back of their menu card for them to read when they go to sit down at their seat. Yes it might take a few extra minutes when you are planning your wedding, but this will leave an everlasting impression and convey your gratitude to your guests for their participation and travels.

Transportation – After a long day trolleys bethesdaof festivities and drinking, guests will need to get back to their hotels. If you have the means, employ the trolley to take guests back. This option has room for more guests and a number of trips throughout the night. It is probably the most cost effective option as well. If you aren't able to pay for this option, then have your wedding coordinator arrange to have cabs or Pedicabs waiting out front to take guests where they need to go at their leisure and expense. The last thing you want your guests to have to worry about is drinking and driving, or getting lost trying to maneuver their way back.

20090801-356 Activities Timeline-There is nothing worse than having to wait on the star of the show (you) for longer than an hour after the ceremony to start the party.  If you are choosing to take pictures after the  ceremony while they head onto the reception site, be sure to provide a cocktail hour for them with munchies and drinks. This will occupy their time and allow you the time to take your pictures without worry over your guests. The next thing to take into account is your timeline of activities. This would be your first dance, father/daughter dance, toasts, garter tosses, cake cutting and so forth. It is essential that you time these activities properly to ensure the comfort of your guests and yourself. For instance, if you spread your dances out and your guests are getting on the dance floor and having a good time and you interrupt them to do your mother/son dance, the likeliness of them returning to the floor and picking up where they left off will go down each time they are interrupted. This will also push the guests to leave earlier if they aren’t having fun and just sitting around watching activity after activity. By the time it comes to cut the cake or throw the bouquet, you will probably only have a small handful of guests. Trust me on this one…you will be upset…and take this personally…but put yourself in their shoes. I know it is your night, but no one wants to sit around for hours with nothing to do but wait for your next activity. Think about a wedding you attended that might have been like this.