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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Outdoor Wedding Reception

One of the most practical choices of a wedding reception venue is outdoor. Beach side, lake side, backyard, botanical garden or even a suburban curve road.
Outdoor reception is not only practical but it also signifies coziness and fun, it lessens the stiff, stressful style of a formal wedding in a hotel or fancy restaurant. It allows couple to loosen up after undergoing an insurmountable amount of pressure during the preparation stage. It relaxes everyone and provides a beautiful atmosphere of happiness and unity with both families and friends.
It does not cost you a fortune unlike indoor reception because you don't need to spruce up the venue with decorations, the natural scenery of the surrounding, garden, plants and flowers are enough to adorn the place.
Outdoor reception is always special and very relaxing, and depends on the couple's lifestyle and preferences, the breathtaking beauty of nature in the countryside or the romantic botanical garden always adds warmth to the celebration.
However, as with most venue choices and organizing styles, an outdoor reception poses a significant amount of coordination and preparation to get things done. 
Here are some tips and guide how to pull off an outdoor wedding reception without blunders.
Decide on the venue
Deciding a venue is often based on budget, the size of invited guests, the time of the event and the couple's choice of a kind of celebration. Some of the most practical and popular outdoor wedding receptions are beach side, countryside garden, backyard and lakeside. To avoid creating another trouble in transportation, choose a venue that is closer to the church where the wedding will be celebrated.

Marquee or just a bare space

Whether your wedding is a formal with more than 100 guests or just a casual, exclusive gathering for closest friends and family members, the venue must have its own style and design to go with the affair. If you are deciding on erecting marquees or tents, these entail another cost since you still have to rent for tables, chairs and covers. Work with your organizers (if you have one) or closest friends, to scout for tent rentals, where to look for the sizes, shapes and designs that would fit in the venue or your vision of a beautiful celebration.

Consider the Season

It's always important to consider the season when planning your wedding especially if you decide for an outdoor reception. Are you marrying during the rainy days where storm might be possible to strike? Or are you marrying during the intense summer heat?

Contingency Plan

Always create a contingency plan when deciding for an outdoor reception because anything can happen during the day. Choose a venue where you can set up a campsite or has a pavilion as alternative during rain showers.

Instruct your organizers to secure covers of chairs and tables before the start of the event in case of heavy wind.

Just an Open Space

If you decide to just use tables and chairs in an open space with no tents to cover the guests, make sure this area is not directly hit by the extreme harsh rays of the sun or else your guests will bear the agony of being roasted under the sun. Look for an area where it provides a cooler atmosphere at the time of your wedding reception.

Create a Stylish Venue

Spruce up the area with pastel and soft fabric to make it more relaxing, put scented candles if possible on each table to calm the senses of your guests and make the celebration even more cozy and cool.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

How to Handle Wedding Dilemmas

Although each wedding is unique, some of the slip-ups and dilemmas involved are universal: costly, expenses overboard, bloopers at the ceremony, show-off guests, obsolete wedding rituals like throwing a bouquet, garter, prosperity dance and gate crashers.

Here are some practical tips shared by taken from the wedding planning experts:

"The most common wedding dilemma that most couple encounters is managing the guest list. Just how many guests the couple should invite? What is the best way to inform the guests that they are not suppose to bring uninvited or unspecified guest to the reception? How to react if someone comes up and laments why she or he is not included in the guest list?"

The Etiquette:

Uninvited Guests: Remember this sacred rule in a social event: Do not come to the party if you did not receive any invitation officially, it is always rude to ask the couple or the party hosts why you are not included in the celebration. It's a wedding and not a town feast, the bride and groom are setting a specific budget and we must respect that.

Couple: If you are not very specific with your preferences, you run the risk of having too many excess heads at the ceremony and ruining your budget and your day. There are many ways how to control the number of guests and how to tell them they are not suppose to bring unspecified guests to the reception. At the invitation, put something like "Adult reception only" (in this case, guests will know bringing children are not welcome), "we have reserved one seat for you at the reception" (in this case guests will have an idea that bringing an uninvited companion is off limit). You can create a wedding site and specify your preferences. 

"Wedding, especially in the Philippines, is almost like a family affair , all members seem like have an opinion, unfortunately not all the suggestions they offer fit the taste and preferences of the couple and the kind of celebration they envision"

The etiquette:

Couple: This can be a very difficult situation especially if the suggestions come from the future in-laws. Maintain politeness and avoid acting like you detested their opinions. Assign a specific task for mothers, sisters and everyone in the family to make them feel they are part of the event and keep their focus narrow.

Guests: Unless you have something to contribute financially, you must know your place in the ceremony--just an invited guest, therefore have no right to offer outrageous suggestions. 

Family: Respect the couple's preferences. The bride and groom might not refuse the suggestions to avoid offending anyone but the situation might also the culprit of their wedding stress and anxiety, so it's better to minimize your involvement unless it's necessary, allow the couple to pick their choices.

"Gift giving is part of the wedding tradition, but it has lots of dilemmas involved: The horror of receiving duplicate items (4 electric fans, 3 oven toasters, 6 rice cookers), the couple's preference of receiving cash instead of guests".

The Etiquette:

Couple: It is always rude and bad manner to ask guests for a gift, it's a personal choice to give one. The guests are coming, you invited them but it doesn't mean they are obliged to bring a gift. You are inviting them to share the joy of the celebration and not to collect home appliances and household items. If you don't want to receive a duplicate item, try to create a bridal registry and announce it to your wedding site. Do not attach a bridal registry in the wedding invitation, wedding experts maintain it's impolite. If you prefer to receive cash gifts rather than items, specify it at your wedding site or let some friends and relatives spread the word to guests that you are putting a wedding shop at the reception so bringing gifts is no longer necessary. 

Guests: Gift giving is part of the wedding tradition, it's one way of helping the newly weds start their own family. Know the taste and lifestyle of the couple when you plan to buy a wedding gift. Check their site if they set up a bridal registry. 

"Wedding rituals in the Philippines include prosperity dance, rounding something during the reception (selling puto, macaroons, etc). How to handle it without giving an impression you are asking too much monetary gifts from the guests?"

The Etiquette:

Couple: Avoid being too demanding to the guests. If you have a prosperity dance at the reception, scrap the selling of puto, it's too much for the guests. Remember they already spend on shoes, dress, make-up, hairstyle, gifts and not to mention the transportation expenses, the least to happen is another round of asking money from them. Although it's only an option whether they will give or not, the action alone suggests impropriety, so avoid it.

"Wedding tradition at the reception like throwing bouquet and garter, poking fun at the unfortunate guests who catch it and other form of stupid entertainment"

The Etiquette:

Couple: Remember that you are inviting your friends and relatives to share the joy of the celebration and not to embarrass them. Others find it entertaining and funny but others consider it offensive and downright ridiculous. Avoid this uncomfortable situation by checking the program before hand with the party host and tell him or her to scrap the unnecessary elements of poking fun with your guests.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ten Best Wedding Reminders and Manners

Too much excitement or the lack of it might bring disaster to your big day, why not try to relax and enjoy the planning? Make sure you avoid being too edgy and too focus and just let the excitement flows. Take the following reminders from Marie Claire:

1. Do not forget what the day is all about. It's your wedding and the best to make things work is to relish the moment of fun and celebration. Do not think too much how a slight mistake may ruin your big day.

2. Let your future better half share the task during the planning process. Do not take all the burden by yourself. Consult her or him most often. Ask opinion.

3. Prepare a contingency plan for your big day. If the reception will be held out door, what if there's a heavy downpour? What if a sudden strong winds blow off your table linen?

4. For the couple: Try to be considerate with your guests, never request anything from them, gifts, what to bring, etcetera. For the guests: Maintain good manners while attending a wedding, do not make unnecessary scene.

5. Go over with the details of the big day do not just entrust it to the organizer after all you never dream to be surprised in your own wedding day.

6. Avoid wasting money. Stick on the budget. Scrap unnecessary expenses.

7. Meet your wedding attendants three days before the big day, give them clear instructions what to do and how to exercise their roles, where to sit, what to expect from them and the errands they will be making.

8. Do not experiment strange make up or hairstyle a day before the wedding, it might be too dangerous for your appearance and it's too late to scramble for solutions should allergy creeps in or should a new haircut is not best for you.

9. Do not stay up late the night before the big day or get intoxicated, you don't want to walk down -the-aisle swaying because you lack sleep or you have hang over. Sleep early and anticipate a beautiful wedding day full of happiness.

10. And lastly. It's your wedding day, yes, but make sure you don't lose too much focus over it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Wedding Day

Usually, weddings are held in mid-morning or in the afternoon, so what will the bride and groom gonna do ahead of the time before they take their turn on the aisle?

Here's some useful guide from, a prominent site for manners, etiquette and royalty from UK, to help you get through on your big day without missing the point.

Customarily, bride and groom should never see each other the night before the wedding day. So everything they want to talk about should be accomplished two days before the big day. If there's any rush things to be attended to on the morning of the wedding or the night before, they must relay it to the chief organizer or to the best man and maid of honor.

The couple's present

High society figures always have a gift for each other to mark their wedding day, while it is okay to give the present a day before the wedding, the most touching and surprising gesture is to deliver the present, through the help of the maid of honor and best man, on the morning of the wedding day.

The Bride

The bride is expected to wake up early on the day of the wedding to get things done smoothly and to avoid getting nervous, a quick shower and a light meal are part of this routine. The only responsibility that the bride will take at this time is to relax and be comfortable with herself. Other things can be put off until the ceremony is done.

Maid of Honor

The main occupation of the maid of honor on the wedding day, aside from standing at the receiving line with the rest of the wedding attendants at the reception venue to welcome the guests, is to assist the bride and "carry everything the bride will need on that day, she must have a mobile to contact concerned people should an emergency arises" according to Debretts. Bride's maids should assist the maid of honor with other needs and errands such as checking the bride's accessories and other essentials. They must stay with the bride at the hotel and accompany her on her way to the church.

The Groom

While there are no elaborate preparations for the groom to do on his wedding day and no attire and make up to overtly fuss to, the groom still needs to get himself ready early for the big day. If he will be taking his route from the hotel to the church, he must come there early accompanied by his best man and male attendants. It's a sweet gesture for him to order a present for his and his bride's parents a day before the wedding and let his best man and attendants hand it over to them (parents) at the reception.

Best Man

No other people (other than the wedding organizer) busier on the wedding day except the best man and the maid of honor.They should not treat themselves as guests on the big day but as assistants so they must make sure the things needed by the couple are well prepared. The best man's primary role is to carry the wedding rings (and not by little boys or girls), normally the rings are safely put in a little box and tucked under the suit of the best man. He must carry a mobile to contact concerned people in case of an emergency or other errands and must coordinate with the maid of honor and the official organizer of the event.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Treating Guests at the Reception

Wedding is a social event which involves too many preparation details, the stress, tension and pressure that accompany the planning might too much for the future couple to bear, so they need a very good organizing scheme to get things done without glitches.

Usually, the horror and embarrassment of the newlyweds happened at the reception ceremony because of too many exaggerated portion and often less than fascinating.

Here is a useful guide how to  make a wedding day free from clutters and how to avoid  "disastrous" circumstances especially at the reception.

One of the most crucial part of the ceremony is at the reception, this moment sometimes is the "judging day" among guests and "gossipers", and many couples succumb to the pitfalls of bad etiquette due to unforeseen catastrophe.

Though no couples dreamed to get embarrassed at their own wedding, history tells us that the reception is often the defining moment how creative and prepared they are and how orderly the planning was carried out. 

The most common disasters at the reception are the following:
  • Couples arrive very late at the venue overshooting the timetable of the program.
  • Guests wandering around the venue because there's no available table to occupy.
  • Meals are serve too late with no welcome refreshment offered upon their arrival.
  • No one assigned at the receiving line to welcome the guests warmly.
  • The flow of the program bores everyone.
  • Hosts embarrass guests with ridiculous portion of the program. 
  • Uninteresting/uninspired flow of events.
The above pitfalls commonly occur in almost all weddings in the Philippines especially in the regional areas.  Maybe because the bride and groom are just focusing on the idea of getting married and let friends and relatives handle the organizing part. This is a big mistake, couples must take a closer look on how everything will turn out to avoid disasters and not delegate the job entirely to the people around, after all it's your big day, no one will pay the high prize getting embarrass except you. 

A good organizing skill is needed, this cannot be learned overnight, it takes dedication and wisdom to fully acquire that skill, but a little information how things get done will help a lot .

To avoid these pitfalls happen in your own wedding, the following suggestions are of great help:
  • Personally create a timetable for the reception.
  • Avoid assigning this task to your friends, relatives or organizer.
  • Make the program lively and entertaining for everyone to enjoy.
  • Avoid making guests nervous with a ridiculous program that might embarrass them.
  • Orient the host how you would like the program to be handled.
  • Orient the wedding party ahead of your big day and explain their individual task/assignment at the event from the church down to the reception.
  • Rehearsal dinner is very important so try inserting this in your busy schedule.
  • Let the wedding attendants stand at the receiving line to welcome the guests.
  • Visit the reception venue a day before the wedding to check the number of tables and chairs if it coincides with the expected guests. Request for extra tables and chairs in case of excess heads.
  • Prepare a welcome refreshment--canapes and drinks--for your guests to prevent them getting very hungry while they wait for your arrival.
  • Avoid too many "money-begging" portion at the reception.

Friday, February 1, 2013

How to Avoid Wedding Day Disasters!

Got an inspiration of this post from the Wedding Channel website.  

The following wedding disasters are very common and I, myself had witnessed it on several occasions I attended weddings! And in disbelief, I often cringed on the disasters that had just unfolded before my eyes. Just imagined the hysteria and anxieties that the newly weds experienced when they noticed that the most important event in their relationship suddenly turned into a big wobble of clutters!

Wedding day happens only once so everyone wants the best for their big day and disasters definitely is not part of their excitement. So here, I will share the tips how to avoid catastrophes in your wedding day.

Wedding Day Disaster One:
As the bridal entourage started taking their turn on the aisle, you noticed they became so hesitant with their walk, they stumbled, they were confused what to do where to sit, the flower girls and pages fought and cried , photographers were taking wrong, unimpressive shots, and during the picture taking at the end of the ceremony, hosts endlessly roll called everyone to come to the altar overshooting your time table of starting the reception. You and your spouse seemed clueless what to do in front of the altar and where to end the pictorials, when to take your steps leaving the church.

Prevent it:
Prepare a detailed wedding day script ( sometimes I called this an event skeletal script) one week before your big day. Have a rehearsal dinner two days before the wedding, invite everyone from wedding attendants, parents, sponsors, hosts, photographers, videographers, ushers, usherettes, and everyone who has a role to play on the ceremony and at the reception. Explain the detailed script of your wedding to the group. Orient them with their function/role on the big day. Instruct them what to do, where to position, when to leave their post, present the time table of each event including the pictorial session at the church. Take a general church rehearsal so that everyone will know, including yourself and your future spouse, what to do. Important: A rehearsal dinner is a must to avoid disaster on your wedding day!

Wedding Day Disaster Two:
The church ceremony took so long to finish, the guests obviously were hungry and you overshoot the time of the reception indicated in the wedding invitation. The reception started very late and everyone was so pissed off with the whole event, they were hungry and bored. The program was so dry and lacked enthusiasm and worst, the hosts were rude and talked nonsense.

Prevent it:
In your detailed wedding script, include the time table. Browse here my detailed wedding script. Stick on your time table. Work it with your future spouse and organizer if you hired one. Determine the gap minutes of each event, for example, the ceremony starts at 3:00 pm so it will surely finish at 4:30 pm. From there, allow 10 minutes for the signing of registry (with someone singing at the church) then allow 15 minutes for the picture taking. Hand over to the host(s) at the church the groupings of your picture taking. 

Avoid calling everyone for the pictorials, you will really overshoot your time. They can have it at the reception anyway. Tell the hosts that the picture taking at the altar should only take 15 minutes then make a cue to proceed to the exit of the entourage. 

Wedding attendants (bride's maids, groom's men, maid of honor, best man) and ushers and usherettes should work together. They will arrive first at the reception ahead of everyone. Wedding attendants should stand at the receiving line while ushers and usherettes should stand at their back and lead the guests to their respective seat. Upon their arrival, offer a welcome refreshment to the guests and have an entertainment (a song number or a dance number) to keep them excited and happy.

Personally prepare a program by yourself, check the flow to keep everyone interested. Scrap unnecessary portion that would embarrass guests, orient the host what to do and how to treat the program.

Wedding Day Disaster Three:
Your reception venue will supposed to have 15 tables with eight occupants each. So naturally, the table must have eight chairs. But suddenly at the reception, the people involved prepared only 12 tables!But you already made up the list of groupings, no one figured it until you noticed there were guests navigating around finding their tables, scratching their head because they could not find a place to sit!The staff at the venue scrambled to find additional tables, rolling it over before the presence of bewildered guests. The problem was solve but the circumstance was so embarrassing!So how to avoid this unfortunate event?

Prevent it:
Prepare by yourself a visual presentation of the venue, as much as possible draw and sketch the area so that you can visualized where to put tables. Double check your guest list and the late confirmation of other guests. Personally check the venue a day before the wedding. Meet the staff who will handle the event, give them the seating chart and the list of groupings to let them aware how many guests coming and how many excess you are expecting. Tell them to prepare at least three additional standby tables to accommodate excess heads. Assign ushers and usherettes to check the actual number of guests who come to the reception from the church.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

For Mothers of the Bride and Groom

This post is taken from Emily Post site, an expert in wedding etiquette and wedding organizing.

So many questions I've heard already regarding the proper dress code of the mothers of the bride and groom at the wedding ceremony. How should they look? What appropriate colors of dress they should be wearing?Are both mothers of the bride and groom should appear in the same color and style of dress?

So, to address these questions and confusion, I browse the site of Emily Post to get some information and tips...

The old tradition of mothers wearing beige is now gone, according to Emily Post. It's now considered gone-with-the-ages. Mothers are now free to choose what type and color of dress they feel wearing as long as it stays within the limit of good taste and matches the style of the wedding.

But mothers are admonished not to wear white because the shade reserved for the bride and her female attendants. Choose something pastel or soft tone that closely reflects the wedding motif or wedding theme.

But the tradition of mothers of the groom and bride wearing different colors stick until today. It goes with allowing the mother of the bride picks the color of her dress first before the mother of the groom decides what to wear.

It's always part of the wedding manners to let the mother of the bride picks her own color first and no one in the family should wear the same style and color of her dress. Both mothers should wear different colors to the ceremony. It is not necessary for them to wear beige, please!

Mothers do not necessarily look matronly on the wedding day. They are free to choose the length of their dress as long as it is dignitary and not too overtly bold and skimpy. Mothers too need to look fantastically great on the wedding of their children.

To emphasize the significance of this topic, here are some important notes:

  • Mothers should not necessarily wear beige and should not necessarily look matronly on the wedding day of their children.
  • Mother of the bride should pick first the color of her dress before the mother of the groom decide what to wear.
  • Both mothers should wear different colors and style of dress at the wedding of their children.
  • Both mothers should pick colors that match the style of the wedding.
  • They should choose pastel or soft tone colors for their attire.
There you solve the dilemma of mothers choosing colors and style of dress at the wedding of their children.