Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Seating Chart Stress? Try These Ideas!

:: Seating Chart Stress? Try These Ideas! ::

Yup. Creating a seating chart can be one of the most, if not THE MOST, stressful part of your wedding. You can’t put Richard next to Sara because they greatly dislike (aka hate) each other, but if you move Richard, then where can you put Aunt Joan and Uncle Sal? Even if you have a wedding planner (and I hope you do), this is something you pretty much have to do on your own because your planner doesn’t know your guests and could wind up putting Richard next to Sara, which could lead to a genuine calamity. So, let’s make this simple and start with you and your partner.

:: Table Placement :: There are quite a few variables that need to be considered and your venue should be able to assist with the table layout. If you are having a sit-down dinner with round or rectangular tables, consider placing your table in the center of the room with your most cherished people at hand, or have a smaller table just for the two of you if you don’t have enough room for all your favorite friends and relatives, and/or the wedding party (which is assumed to be your favorite people).

:: Mix It Up :: With the exception of a small number of wedding guests (say around 50 or so), you should assign guests to specific tables – Table 1, Table 2, and etc. Assigning guests to specific tables should take into consideration their relationship to one another. Also, it can be fun to mix people who know each other with people who don’t for the sake of added interest, instead of for instance, putting all the “old buddies” at a table. Mix it up a little.

Wedding Place Cards

Photography :: Largo Photography

:: An Exception To The Rule :: One exception to the place card rule is if you have one long table for all your guests at a smaller wedding (50 people or so), in which case you will probably want certain people near you or across from you. If that is the case, you will need to be super sensitive to your guests and hope you’ll keep everybody happy. You’ll need to ask yourselves who are truly the most important people in your lives and create a seating chart accordingly, remembering that ALL your guests are important to you, otherwise they wouldn’t have been invited.

:: Get Crafty :: There are seating charts online that can help you plan who goes where if you need one. Otherwise, if you’re assigning  guests to tables, have your guest list handy and some paper and small sticky notes as well. Write the names of your guests on the sticky notes, and label each piece of paper Table One, Table Two, Table Three, and so forth. Get yourselves a bottle of wine (or whatever else helps to relax the two of you) and start thinking who of your guests would be comfortable seated together. If you’re going the “one long table” or “extra formal” way, you can still accomplish the job in a similar way, although it might take a bit more thought. Try to make it a fun thing to do. You’ll feel FABULOUS once you’ve accomplished the task.

Have you discovered an innovative way to create your wedding seating chart?! We would LOVE to hear from you!!

Boulder, COLORADO :: Melissa & Eric :: Vintage Vibe // Real Wedding

:: Vintage Vibe ::

Submitted & photographed by :: Amanda Baker Photography

Melissa & Eric shared an intimate day with close friends and family at the Rembrandt Yard in Boulder, Colorado. Melissa wore her Grandmother’s wedding dress, that had had a few alterations to make it a touch more modern. Her wedding party wore simple lavender dresses and the gentlemen were dressed simply in a nice button-up and slacks.

I would describe the wedding as boho-chic with a flare of a vintage vibe. The art gallery was adorned in vintage place settings, with mismatched plates and glassware for the reception. The gallery served as their ceremony site, and reception site. They had a simple dinner and an AMAZING dessert bar.

While we ran into some weather, their spirits never faltered.They laughed, smiled, and got the party started by taking shots of whiskey and vodka!

I felt like part of the family by the end of the wedding.

DISTINCTIONS

Boho-Chic. Vintage Vibe. Grandmother’s Wedding Dress.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Amanda Baker Photography
Day of Coordinator :: Kimberly Rose Events
Catering :: Greens Point Catering
Venue :: Rembrandt Yard
DJ :: DJ Perry
Apparel :: Re-designed by Donna Beth Creations

LOCATION

Boulder, Colorado, USA.

COLORS

  

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Wedding Traditions You Can Pass Along in Your Family

:: Top 5 Wedding Traditions You Can Pass Along in Your Family ::

Didya ever see Fiddler on the Roof”? It’s a musical that focuses on the importance of tradition, and happens to take place in pre-revolutionary Russia. To me, it’s another reminder that we, as human beings, are more alike than we are different – by a long shot!

What is a tradition in your family? I remember at my aunt’s marriage, one big tradition in our Italian family was the money dance, where people danced with the bride and pinned cash to her veil. If you don’t have a family tradition, why not start one? In the meantime, here are MRSter’s Top Five Wedding Tradition ideas that are updated and easily passed on to your family.

1 :: Something old, something new something borrowed, something blue :: This tradition comes from the Victorian era, with old representing old friends, new representing the creation of a new family, borrowed representing something borrowed from a happily married friend, and blue representing purity and modesty. Make this tradition your own by borrowing a family heirloom to incorporate into your bouquet or wearing blue undies, for example. There are many, many ways you can use this tradition to make it uniquely yours.

2 :: Changing the “Bride’s” name to the last name of the “Groom” :: This tradition started because brides were considered the property of the groom back in the old days. Nowadays, people are often hyphenating names to demonstrate their partnership. Consider creating a brand new surname from the last name of each of you. In this way, you are both fairly represented in your new partnership and your love is reflected in your brand new name.

3 :: Tossing the garter :: Instead of tossing the garter, why not auction it off to the highest bidder with the proceeds going to your favorite charity? You can donate the proceeds in the name of the person who bid the highest. Sweet!

4 :: Throwing rice :: This tradition started because rice was considered to enhance fertility. The problem is getting a rice kernel In your eye! Instead of rice, consider using birdseed, bubbles, flower petals, confetti, glitter, streamers, or whatever other fun and safe throwable item you think of.

5 :: Readings :: Spice up your readings with words that carry special weight in your world. From Dr. Seuss to Shakespeare, from the Bible to the great poets, choose readings that have a special significance for the two of you.

Wedding Reading

Photography :: Berg Photography

Choose new traditions that resonate who you both are. Your wedding is all about the two of you, your love, and the joy you want to share with those that are close to you. Have you made any wedding traditions your own? We would love to hear about them!!

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Wedding Color Trends // 2016

:: Wedding Color Trends // 2016 ::

Personally, my favorite color is green. Green speaks of newness, regeneration and life. Green can come in many shades, from subtle to intense, but you know, I am also personally not the color trend setter. However, I say go with your gut. Choose colors that make YOU happy for your wedding. But, if you’d like to know what the trend setters are saying, here’s the scoop.

Perusing the web on the subject, everyone seems to have something a little different to say. One article promotes metallics and another promotes pastels. Some say pink and blue, while another suggests neutrals. Still, another suggests a concentration of various hues of one color. My conclusion is that there really isn’t a prominent trend. So it’s back to my original idea… Select colors that make you happy!

Wedding Color Trends

Photography :: Berg Photography

There are certain parameters that you should follow, however, and my artistic nature offers these ideas:

Step 1 :: Start by picking the color with which you’d like to work. Consult with your partner and settle on the main color you both love and agree upon.

Step 2 :: Give yourself a mini education on color theory. Think about harmony – how well colors compliment each other. Think in terms of primary colors, which are defined as red, yellow and blue: secondary colors, which are defined as green, orange and purple, which are made by mixing the primary colors; and tertiary colors, which are colors produced by mixing primary and secondary colors. You don’t need to be an expert of course, but it pays to have a basic idea of how colors go together.

Wedding Trends

Photography :: GSquared Weddings

Step 3 :: Consult a color wheel. These are readily available on the net and can give you ideas about parallel, monochromatic, complimentary, and other various shades and hues that are pleasing to the eye and create good vibes.

Step 4 :: Consider harmony. Harmony is found in things that go together, like you and your loved one! Visually, harmony is largely seen by the arrangement of color, creating balance, order and promoting a pleasing sense. A lack of harmony offers either a lack of pleasure due to blandness or on the other extreme, a feeling of disorder. I had a girlfriend years ago who painted her bedroom a super bright orange… I never felt comfortable in that room! Bedrooms are for relaxing, but the bright orange was overly stimulating and made me feel tense and irritable. I like the color orange, but not necessarily on bedroom walls.

Wedding Color Trends

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} Molly + Co

Step 5 :: Go with it. You can incorporate your color scheme into your clothing, your flowers, your table decorations and really everything to create a harmonious whole. It doesn’t have to be matchy-matchy, but you want to go for harmony. Harmonious colors will help set the mood for a joyous celebration.

What colors do you have planned for your upcoming wedding? Comb through our Brag Mag for inspiration from real weddings.

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Questions to Ask a Wedding Planner Before You Hire Them

:: Top 5 Questions to Ask a Wedding Planner Before You Hire Them ::

Hiring a wedding planner is a big deal. Some are great, some are not so great. Some are all about equality, some are, simply put, not! A place to start is right here on MRSter, which lists vendors that embrace high standards and treat all people with respect. Check out our awesome FABuLISTers here!

Before interviewing candidates, be sure of a few basics, for example: your budget, the date of your wedding, and how many guests you are expecting. In the meantime, here are the top five questions you need to ask a wedding planner before you hire them…

1 :: What is included in your services? Wedding planners have a multitude of services they can offer, so you need to be sure they can fulfill your needs. Can they fulfill your vision? Can the planner offer you a timeline of tasks? Will the planner provide a breakdown of dollars spent for each budget item? Ask to look at a typical contract. Be sure you get a breakdown of every service you require. There are planning checklists online that will help you determine what you need your planner to do and what you can do yourself. Take notes.

2 :: What is your level of experience? (and associated questions)? How long has the planner been in business. Does he or she have credentials or awards? Does he or she have a business license? How many weddings does the planner typically do in a year? Does he or she have the proper number of staff to run your event?

3 :: Which vendors do you work with? Are we only able to work with your vendors or can we choose our own? Note that wedding planners usually develop relationships with tried and true vendors who they know are reliable and will charge fair rates. But, if you have a friend who is an awesome photographer for instance, you might want to have the liberty of hiring that person.

4 :: Tell us about a really big complication you ran into in planning a wedding and how you solved it. This will give you some insight into the planner’s ability to problem solve.

5 :: Can you provide us with references? Experienced planners should easily be able to provide references. They should also have a portfolio of photos or videos of weddings they have done.  

After the interview, you need to ask yourself how you felt about the potential planner. Were they open and receptive to your ideas, or were the determined to sway you in their direction? Were they friendly or did you detect a distancing? Did you get the impression that the planner was hearing you? You will be working with this person very closely so you need to feel comfortable with the relationship and confident in the planner’s ability to create a beautiful event based on what you want to do. Be sure to interview several planners. Take a few days to decide. You’ll be glad you did.

What questions did you, or will you, be asking your wedding planner?

Chandler, ARIZONA :: Cody & Sian :: Long Distance Love // Real Wedding

:: Long Distance Love ::

Submitted by :: The Bride
Photographed by :: Poppy Seed Photography

Cody and I have a love story like no other.

The both of us actually met when we were toddlers; I was two years old and Cody was three years old. His dad was in the American Air Force and they were stationed in Oxfordshire in the UK (where I am originally from). Our siblings went to school together, and our families became friends because of this. After a while, Cody and his family moved back to the USA, and after that, our families unfortunately lost touch.

We had never forgotten about the Clark family, and in fact, my sister spent hours tirelessly searching the internet years later, trying to find them… Unfortunately not having any luck!

Almost twenty years later, totally out of the blue, Cody’s dad John, found my mum on Facebook… Pretty crazy! From there, Cody and I reconnected, and over time, both felt an undeniable connection that neither of us had experienced before. After almost a couple of years of doing the (extremely) long distance thing, travelling back and forth between Arizona and England to see each other (that’s over 5,000 miles away!), Cody proposed to me on Thousand Steps Beach in California on the 15th of March 2014.

I relocated to Arizona at the end of August 2014, so Cody and I could begin our life together. We then got married on the 26th of October that year! We chose to get married in an air hangar, and to have a vintage 1940’s theme; both symbolising our long distance love journey, and how we originally met by his dad being in the American Air Force. The smaller details were a fusion of British and American culture.

We had a very intimate ceremony with just our close family in attendance; some who had travelled from the UK to be there. We were also able to Skype in some of my other close family members from home who were unable to make it! The wonders of technology! Some of Cody’s closest friends joined us for the evening reception, which was nice and laid back; drinks flowing and a taco truck serving some delicious food!

It was a perfect day for the both of us, and a huge step in our crazy journey of life together!

“It might take a year, it might take a day, but what’s meant to be will always find its way.” Unknown Author

PSSTT :: If you missed their engagement session, click here to take a peek!

DISTINCTIONS

Long Distance Love. American & British. Journey of Life.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Poppy Seed Photography
Venue {Ceremony & Reception} :: Chandler Air Service
Apparel {Bride} :: Beau Belles
Apparel {Groom} :: Rose Tuxedo
Apparel {Bridesmaids} :: JCPenney
Hair :: Hair By Rubi King {HRK}
Rentals {Tea Crockery} :: Tea Crockery
Rentals {Vintage Car} :: Roscoe & Louie
Floral :: {MRSter Approved} Butterfly Petals

LOCATION

Chandler, Arizona, USA.

COLORS

  

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Are Photo Booths Still Popular at Weddings?

:: Are Photo Booths Still Popular at Weddings? ::

Personally, I LOVE photo booths. However, our team at MRSter wondered if photo booths were perhaps starting to lose out to cell phones and selfie sticks, or whether they were in fact still a huge trend within the market. We connected with Andy DeLisle of {MRSter Approved} The Self Portrait Station to ask how he competes with today’s technology.

Andy states: 

We don’t compete directly with cell phones and selfie sticks. What we compete for is the attention of the guests. We offer an experience that doesn’t compare to cell phone selfies and is inclusive for all guests. We also offer social media uploads directly from our setup, where we post photos to Facebook and encourage the guests to tag themselves. We pride ourselves in producing a high quality produce; from the lighting we use to the high quality inkjet prints. This sets us apart from the competition and keeps people coming back.”

You know, it’s true! There is really a ton of difference between a selfie and a professional photo booth. Plus, they add so much fun! Andy adds, “Between our high quality prints and fashion lighting, which makes everyone look fabulous, we really stand out.”

Another professional photographer and photo booth owner Tammie Billey of {MRSter Approved} Social Station, had this to say on the subject: 

We are a selfie nation, we are the generation that loves to kiss our own reflection and make goofy faces to paste to social media. But what happens when someone is behind the camera? We tend to give far less of ourselves, we become much more conservative. It happens all the time. We can be free when we take our own photo, but as soon as someone is holding the camera trying to take a picture, all of those unspoken rules that your mom beat into your head take over: Stand up straight, don’t slouch, smile better, don’t be goofy, etc, etc… So why not get a Photo Booth and let your guests be who they are? You know those goofy sonsabeeches you always knew they were. Having a Photo Booth not only removes the middle man standing behind the camera, it encourages your guests to be comfortable and to be themselves. Free their spirit! It’s absolutely amazing because returning guests always choose their own partners in crime and drag them into the booth to spice up their experience and take it up a notch. Not only does it bring down the barriers, it kicks up the life of the party. The best part is that your guests get to have a keepsake, a physical tangible print that they can leave with from your event: memorabilia, and instant gratification. And in this day and age of social media, today’s photo booths can now instantly upload to that electronic cloud in the sky. Photo booth at an event? YES PLEASE!”

Photo booths are for sure, still very cool and great additions to events, including your wedding! What do you think? Please feel free to share your own photo booth experience with us in the comments below! 

Top Five Friday :: Cash Bar VS Open Bar // Pros & Cons

:: Cash Bar VS Open Bar // Pros & Cons ::

A common conundrum that couples face when planning their wedding is deciding to have a cash bar or an open bar. There are many differences of opinion as to what is the ‘best’ option to go for, and it can be a tough choice to make. Today, we will be discussing the pros and cons of both cash bars, and open bars.

A cash bar is defined as:

A bar at a social function at which guests buy drinks rather than having them provided free.”

An open bar is defined as:

“A bar at a special function at which the drinks have been paid for by the host.”

We consulted business owner Dave Foreman, of {MRSter Approved} Pour Masters Bar Service, for his professional take on cash vs an open bar.

Dave states:

You have 2 scenarios to consider. Licensed and unlicensed locations. Usually when there is a cash bar, there is a liquor license on property. This can get expensive for the [happy couple] if they have an open bar since the bottle prices are very high. If it’s a cash bar then you will have more of a variety and a lower invoice.”

Please see his further comments as indicated in our Top 5 Pros and Cons list as follows:

:: Pros // Cash (No Host) Bar ::

  • 1 :: Less risk of guests over-indulging. Dave adds, “The bartenders will always have control over how the guests drink, so it’s a small variable between a hosted and non-hosted bar.”
  • 2 :: Less expensive for the hosts
  • 3 :: Easier for controlling costs
  • 4 :: Less liability
  • 5 :: May be considered acceptable in your area

:: Cons // Cash (No Host) Bar ::

  • 1 :: Worry over what guests will think about having to pay for their own beverages
  • 2 :: Guests may not have thought about bringing cash for drinks
  • 3 :: The drinks may be too expensive
  • 4 :: Guests may leave earlier
  • 5 :: You may be perceived as a party-pooper

:: Pros // Open (Hosted) Bar ::

  • 1 :: Many guests will expect an open bar
  • 2 :: It’s widely considered classier
  • 3 :: It’s a way of giving back to your friends and family
  • 4 :: People will loosen up and enjoy the party even more
  • 5 :: Guests will generally have more drink choices

:: Cons // Open (Hosted) Bar ::

  • 1 :: Some guests may take advantage of your hospitality
  • 2 :: It may yield some unruly guests if people feel free to drink too much
  • 3 :: You may run a greater risk of people driving home drunk
  • 4 :: It may act as a distraction (hanging out at the bar) and keep people from watching or participating in other activities
  • 5 :: It’s expensive. However, Dave tells us that, “When you have a open bar at a non-licensed site, you can control your costs better and choose the brands you would like to serve.”

MRSter thanks Dave Foreman, who has been serving in the bartending industry for over nineteen years. Dave believes that bartending is not just preparing drinks, but also the customer service given. Way to go, Dave!

What are your thoughts on cash bars VS open bars? We would love to hear your opinions in the comments below!

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: How To Minimize Last-Minute Emergencies On Your Wedding Day

:: How To Minimize Last-Minute Emergencies On Your Wedding Day ::

Yippee! Hooray! Your big day is almost here! It’s perfectly natural to have a case of the jitters. You’ve been planning (with or without help) to have a perfect day, but you know that things can go awry. To reduce worry, there are ways to minimize last-minute emergencies. Here are MRSter’s suggestions to help you address problems that may come up.

:: Prepare an emergency kit :: This kit should contain such items as needle and thread, tape, safety pins, breath mints, brush, comb, hairpins, hairspray, nausea tablets, bottle of water, aspirin or other pain reliever,  spot remover, chapstick, twine, matches or lighter, hosiery, earring backs, tissues, wet wipes, scissors, makeup, small lint brush, tampons, band aids, nail polish, and glue. You may think of some other items, specific to your situation. These items should minimize difficulties for you and your wedding party, and is actually a good kit to carry with you anytime you travel. Place all items in a plastic container or tote bag and you are good to go.

Wedding Day Emergency Kit

Wedding Day Emergency Kit‘ by Emily is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

:: Bring an extension cord and a variety of batteries :: It would be a shame if no one can hear your music because your PA system was too far away from the outlet or your officiant had to practically scream because the mic went dead.

:: Flash drive and computer :: Bring a flash drive with all your important documents such as your vows, schedules, vendor phone numbers, song lists, and speeches. In this way, if anyone forgets their hard copies, presto! You have them at the ready. A computer can also substitute in a pinch for a failed music system if you can rig up speakers.

:: Prepare for rain :: If you’re having an outdoor wedding, make arrangements with a tent vendor ahead of time to deliver to your location in the event of rain.

:: Double-check with all your vendors :: This should be done a few days before your big day. Make sure they are on top of their tasks. If you have hired a reputable wedding planning firm, all of the above falls to them to accomplish and will relieve your stress level immensely! We happen to know a bunch of professional experts in the field. Check our FABuLIST for MRSter approved vendors who are LGBT and straight friendly.

Did you have any emergencies on your big day?!