Selecting Wedding Guests -
Selecting the wedding venue is really the first stop in planning and budgeting a wedding. Venue choice revolves around guest count. So, really, before shopping for venues, wedding photographer, florist, etc. couples need to know their approximate guest count, based on their respective families and friends. I’ve heard of many couples who tally up the people in their lives and can easily add up to 300 people. Which is definitely doable if you have the venue space and the budget for that, and the catering, etc. to accommodate that many people. Most people don’t, and it’s not a reality. Most moderate / mid-priced wedding venues can house 100-150 people tops. The dollar figure goes way up for larger venues and per head food and drink, table and chair expenses, etc. Lots of people are inherently “yes people” who don’t want to have to explain to anyone why they weren’t invited, and are afraid of offending people. This is where careful selection is vital.
The priority goes to the closest family members, but the guest list should be made up of a good balance of family and friends for the best results and guest experience. Not all family is always sustainable because of distance, and in some cases, reliability. Obviously parents and siblings, and grandparents. When it comes to Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc. if it were my wedding, I would only invite the ones I talk to regularly and am closest to. And are sustainable. It may feel funny not being able to invite “everybody” but you’re the one paying for this. Family guilt? Fine, if you want to help with extra expenses to accommodate everyone, please feel free.
Suppose between both of you, you start with 150-200 friends alone, not including family, and your max guest count because of budget and venue choice is say 125-150, you obviously need to pare it down. The fastest way to do that is to ask yourself, do I know this person well enough to invite them, or are they Facebook friends and that’s it? Well…yea. Also, you can safely eliminate the ones you have not been in touch with in a year, or your lives have moved in different directions. I have many friends who I have wonderful memories of, and will never forget, but that happened. And the old version of them isn’t there anymore, inviting them to my wedding won’t bring them back. I have other friends I don’t see a lot, or talk to a lot, but we still love one another dearly, and when we do talk, we pick up where we left off. Those are the friends I would invite. Friends of friends and acquaintances need not apply. Some may need spouse allowances if you know the spouse. If any who don’t make the cut try to guilt trip you…again, they aren’t the ones paying for it. Simply explain you would have loved to be able to accommodate them and many others but due to budget and space constraints we were limited, and each of us had family that had to come, leaving limited room for friends, we did the best we could and their support and love is still appreciated. Chances are, if they aren’t close enough friends to be invited in the first place, they’re looking for free food and drinks more so than being a part of your day.
Don’t let the name fool you – it’s not just a rehearsal. Here’s everything you need to know: What it is? The rehearsal dinner is traditionally held the night before the wedding, most often a Friday, and usually starts about seven P.M. This leaves time for attendants who can’t take the day off to get out of work to attend the rehearsal itself at around 5:30 P.M., and get to the dinner. For a Sunday or holiday wedding, you have more options. Since the rehearsal dinner has become more of a celebration in its own...read more
Vendor Spotlight: DJ Tod Peavy with Peavy Entertainment The food will be great, the decorations incredible, but what everyone will remember is the entertainment. At Peavy Entertainment, we understand the Atlanta Disc Jockey sets the party tone and that you’re looking for much more than just someone to spin the discs. We are your Master of Ceremony and work closely with you to customize the entertainment to your specifications. This is your special event and everything should be perfect. Our goal is to be one less thing to worry about....read more
It is very important to have a timeline for your reception so that your DJ or Band, Photographer, Event Manager and Wedding Coordinator are all on the same page. Someone needs to be in charge to make sure that everyone stays on schedule, allowing the event to run smoothly. In other words…make sure you have a professional managing your event! I have witnessed many mistakes while I have been a guest at weddings, where it is obvious that a professional has not implemented a plan of action. Examples: Everyone is having a great time...read more
Helpful Venue Questions: You are engaged…now what? Your quest to find the perfect venue begins, one that best fits your taste, needs and budget for that special day. You will need to have your date set and venue in place before you can move forward with your wedding planning. Be sure to have an approximate guest count in mind before setting up meetings and/or calling to request pricing. Keep in mind that 20% of your guest list will most likely not be able to attend, per the national average....read more
Although we offer a cash bar option for weddings, it is not the most appropriate choice. When guests are invited to your home, do you have a cash bar out on your deck? Probably not. Many guests may not carry cash or credit cards with them, which creates an awkward situation for both your guests and the bartenders. In lieu of a cash bar for your wedding, I recommend offering a “light bar” with beer, wine and champagne. This option is much easier on the budget. Approximately 90% of weddings held at Olde Towne are beer and wine only....read more
Food quality is one of the most important aspects of any wedding reception. Here at Olde Towne our reputation is most important to building our business. Our brides happiness will not be compromised! Leading our kitchen staff is Executive Chef, Scott Murtha, who is a graduate of the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, New York. Scott is the only Executive Chef in the area with this prestigious degree. No bride wants to offer “rubber chicken” or shrimp bits instead of full-size shrimp at her wedding. Cutting corners is not acceptable....read more
Great food makes for great celebrations. Customized food stations offer more options ensuring that everyone gets exactly what they like. A Pasta Station, Martini Potato Bar or Carving Station where people can choose their own toppings and sauces will leave you with happy, well-fed guests ready to have a good time. Try to keep the food coming throughout the evening such as sliders and fries passed toward the end of the reception. If you are offering a full bar, the additional food offered at the end of the evening will help to keep people...read more
Toasts at the reception are meant to be personal and meaningful. It is important, however, that a toast is not drawn out too long. If it does, it can create a low point in the evening. Be sure to remind your Maid of Honor and Best Man to keep their words short and appropriate for all to hear. A two minute toast or less is best! Bobread more
Compile a guest list before you contact venues: Determine an approximate number of guests for your wedding. My experience in the past several years at Olde Towne is an average of 65-70% of the total number of invited guests will actually attend. Not everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy your special wedding day. You will need some idea of the number of guests you may have at your ceremony/reception. The number of guests will set the stage for your overall budget. Having an idea of how many guests will also give you the necessary...read more
Choosing a wedding venue can be one of the most agonizing steps in the event planning process. What kind of pricing are we looking at? Will it be on his turf or yours? Indoors or out? Before you throw your hands up and make your choice with a roll of the dice, examine what the possibilities entail. Think about weddings you’ve attended (or any event for that matter) and how much the setting influenced your experience. Getting married at an art gallery will have a different ambiance than a beach or cruise wedding. Many venues can be...read more