Potential Bad Bridesmaid? – 7 Telltale Signs to Look For

If you are planning your wedding, you might be already looking for candidates to be your bridesmaid.

There are so many things to arrange for your weddings, such as the venue, photographer, dress, band/dj, decorations, the cake, and the people who will be standing by your side.

Picking the wrong bridesmaid can, however, have disastrous consequences. While you might not be a mind reader, you can pay attention to the person’s behavior and look out for the telling signs of a bad bridesmaid to avoid disappointment. Find out below how to spot a potential bad bridesmaid.

1. She Can’t Keep Her Mouth Shut

A bridesmaid needs to be chatty and good with people, but she also must listen. If you are planning your wedding and all you hear about is someone else’s marriage or her relationship issues, you should think twice before you ask her to be your bridesmaid. If she loves gossip, it’s likely that you too could soon find yourself in the spotlight (and not in a good way), and every guest will know more about your wedding plans (including disasters) than you.

A bridesmaid needs to be discreet, especially if you are planning a surprise for some of the guests. Look out for girls who talk too much: they don’t make good bridesmaids.

Bridesmaids!
“Bridesmaids!” by Joseph Novak is licensed under CC BY 2.0

2. She Has The Green Eyes

No, I don’t mean her eye color, but the jealous “green eyed monster.” We often feel obligated to ask our childhood friend to be a bridesmaid. Sometimes it’s not such a good idea.

If you used to go out partying and she’d get upset when you had a boyfriend to go with and she didn’t, or she didn’t feel comfortable joining you and your partner for dinner if she was single, you might have a problem. Even if she doesn’t show it, she might have the green eyed monster eating away all her goodwill, and she could end up sabotaging your wedding, even unintentionally. Pay close attention to her attitude and check again to make sure that you are on the same page and she is really happy for you.

3. She Is A Party Animal

Bridesmaids who love partying and drink too much can ruin your wedding reception. Before you ask your friend to be your bridesmaid, you need to do a reality check. You don’t want your wedding getting ruined by her after a night of heavy drinking. Make sure that she knows when to stop, and she doesn’t get overly argumentative when she had a few glasses of wine.

You don’t want your bridesmaid to cause drama and run off in the middle of the night to get drunk and forget about her important role. The last thing you want to do on your wedding day is have to search for her and find her blacked out in the toilet.

4. She Is Constantly Late

If she turns up late all the time without a good reason, you might be heading towards a disaster if you ask her to be your bridesmaid. Constantly being late is a sign of a lack of organizational and planning skills. A bridesmaid needs to keep deadlines you have for your wedding. If she is in charge of ordering the flowers and she forgets about it, your wedding can be ruined.

Make sure you can trust and depend on her with simple tasks and she can turn up for meetings on time, or you will have to spend extra time and energy picking up the pieces after her.

5. She Is Disorganized And Messy

If she cannot keep her own place in order, how can you expect your future bridesmaid to check the arrangements of flowers, tables, and adjust the dresses of flower girls? What if she misplaces her dress and can’t find it on your special day? You don’t want your bridesmaid to create chaos on your wedding by losing accessories, leaving her makeup around to stain the white dress, or burn a hole on a shirt because she forgot that the iron is on.

6. She Loves The Spotlight

One of the worst types of bridesmaids is the one that wants to be the center of attention all the time. Just imagine that you’re having photos taken by your professional photographer, such as Kortni Ellett Wedding Photographer, before the wedding, and your bridesmaid photobombs each picture.

A self-centered bridesmaid loves hearing her own voice and will become bossy. She will want to be in charge, and forget to ask you for permission before ordering flowers or other decorations. She will praise her skills in front of everyone, belittling your efforts, and take credit for everything done right. She will brag about her choice of dress, and pose for hours instead of helping out. She might even post the pictures on social media out of pure vanity before your wedding day.

7. She Is Overly Competitive

Bride With Bridesmaids
“Bride With Bridesmaids” by Eden, Janine and Jim is licensed under CC BY 2.0

While being competitive can be a good thing, it’s not the best if you are trying to work as a team. She has to have the best ideas, and doesn’t want to listen to the other bridesmaids. She’ll constantly seek attention and confirmation, and in the end, cause more headache than you can imagine. She might want to pick the one dress that suits her but looks like a potato sack on the rest of your bridesmaids so she’ll look better than others. She might even want to outshine you and have extraordinary makeup on your wedding day, so people look at her instead of you.

Picking the right bridesmaid can be a challenging task. Make sure that you look out for these telltale signs and choose somebody who is reliable, a good team player, and organized.

You want everything to go smoothly on your wedding, and a good bridesmaid can help you with this. Pick the wrong friend, and disaster is practically guaranteed.

* This is a contributed post

I hope you found this information useful!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding call or text me at 937-581-3647, or email me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

3 Ways To Keep Your Wedding From Emptying Your Bank Account

Money-Saving Tips - 3 Ways To Keep Your Wedding From Emptying Your Bank Account

When it comes to the big purchases that you expect to make in your lifetime, there are few that spring to mind faster than your wedding day. With many weddings costing in the tens of thousands, many couples worry about how it’s going to affect their finances from the moment they start planning.

Which begs the question: does it have to be that way? Does a wedding have to be something that completely drains your bank account?

Of course not! The truth is that weddings have so many details and “moving parts” (ex. special decor, food, entertainment, photographers, etc.) a great deal of money is often spent. However, if you have a lower budget in mind, there are plenty of ways to help keep costs down for your big day. Here are 3 money-saving tips to help from emptying your bank account.

1. Keep things simple

One of the major things that causes weddings to be so expensive is when couples (and their parents) insist on inviting everyone – the co-workers, the second (and third) cousins they haven’t seen in years, the neighbor whose wedding they attended 5 years ago . . .

By keeping things simple and small with your wedding, you can save huge amounts of money. You don’t need to invite everyone you’ve ever known (the bigger the guest list, the bigger the price tag). Instead, just include the people that you really care about.

Another thing that can quickly cause a wedding budget to get out of hand is when couples go overboard on the endless details that they really don’t need.

Things like complex flower arrangements with imported flowers, an unusual venue, pricy favors, elaborate paper goods (such as menu cards and individual escort cards for each guest), and all kinds of decorations might be nice, but they don’t necessarily add to the specialness of your wedding when you get right down to it.

2. Try something different

Of course, if you want to get married without having to spend huge amounts of money then you could try something a bit different. Eloping is never going to be the most common or popular style of wedding but going away and having a quiet ceremony without too much fuss can be incredibly exciting as well as being easier on the wallet.

Think what you want about the stereotype around Vegas weddings, but places like the Little Church of the West offer lovely, intimate ceremonies that aren’t going to cost an arm and a leg. It’s certainly not going to be for everyone, but if you want a wedding that won’t be too expensive, then it’s at least worth considering.

3. Go the homemade route

Of course, if you really want lots of detailed decorations, food, and place settings, there is one thing that you can do instead of spending money on buying them or hiring someone to do them: make them yourself.

Taking a homemade route with your wedding can save you huge amounts of money. Just be careful that you aren’t planning on too many DIY wedding projects, which can end up making life more stressful and gives you a lot more work to do. Get your friends and family involved to help so that you’re not dealing with all of the work by yourself (you can “pay” them with a pizza lunch or dinner).

A lot of couples don’t like the idea of having to make compromises on their wedding plans because they feel like they won’t have a “real wedding” unless it has all of the bells and whistles. It’s important to remember that the most important part of any wedding is getting to promise yourself to the person you love most in this world. That’s what makes it a “real wedding.” As long as you have that, just about everything else is optional.

* This is a contributed post

I hope you found this information useful!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding call or text me at 937-581-3647, or email me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

5 Things That Wedding Planners Love

What Wedding Planners Love - Weddings From The Heart
Wedding planners love getting to work with amazing brides and grooms . . . Providing vendor referrals and decor suggestions that are a perfect fit for the couples vision . . . Figuring out wedding day logistics so the day flows smoothly . . .

Yes, it’s a “labor of love.”

Here are 5 things that wedding planners particularly love.

1. When you have a vision for your wedding day
Believe me, we want to help you create your ideal wedding, but when our questions and suggestions are met with, “Um, I don’t know,” we have nothing to work with. You don’t have to have every single little detail figured out, because yes, we love to have some creative input. Also, some ideas sound good “on paper” but just aren’t practical in real life. But when you have some idea of what you’d like, the pieces can be pulled together so much easier.

2. Pinterest
Wedding Planners Love Seeing Our Bride & Grooms Pinterest Board
It’s a wonderful tool to find and save inspiration and ideas for your wedding. It helps in expressing your ideas and vision. Sometimes words can’t really express what you mean, but a photo – they’re not wrong when they say “a picture is worth a thousand words.” (Just don’t try to exactly recreate something you’ve seen – you want to inject your personalities into the decor and plans, not just re-do what someone else did).

3. When you do a First Look and do all of your photos (or as many as possible) before the ceremony
Wedding Planners Love When The Bride & Groom Share a First Look Before Their Wedding Ceremony

Photo credit: Prima Vista Photography

Why? For brides, your hair and makeup are at their freshest. Also, the more photos done before hand will make your after-ceremony photo session go much quicker. You’ll get to your reception sooner, and may actually get to enjoy some of your cocktail hour. You’ll get the party started on time, guests won’t have to wait.

4. When you have a reading or two during your wedding ceremony
Why? Readings add an extra bit of personalization to your ceremony without adding any cost, or a lot of time to your ceremony. Plus it gives us planners a brief 5 minute or so “breather.”

How I Got Started as a Wedding Planner

5. When you and your new husband/wife are smiling and enjoying yourselves
Wedding Planners Love When The Bride & Groom Are Smiling and Enjoying Themselves

Photo credit: Faye Sommer Photography

Why? Joy is contagious. If you’re enjoying yourself, your guests will feel it, and have an even better time at your reception. Also, if you’re happy, we know we’ve done our jobs.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Need planning help and unique ideas for your wedding? Contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

“I Take Thee… Erm…”: What Are You Forgetting About In Your Wedding Planning?

“I Take Thee... Erm...": What Are You Forgetting About In Your Wedding Planning?
Pixabay

Right from the moment he (or she) popped the question, there is a never-ending cavalcade of things to do, details to plan, and a constant feeling of “have I forgotten something?”

With an almost never-ending amount of things to have to remember while planning your perfect day, it can seem like this feeling never goes away. While you can draw up lists and plans and make sure that everything you have prepared is thoroughly in your control, there may be things that escape your thoughts, especially if you are blindsided by bigger issues at the time.

Here are some things that you may want to think about that can have a major impact leading up to your big day itself, and afterwards.

Include The Helpers

In other words, your vendors, from the people in the band, your photographer and videographer, as well as your wedding planner. These people need to be taken into account during the big day, and while you may have thought purely in terms of feeding your guests, these people who have worked so tirelessly to make your day so special need feeding too! A lot of caterers will consider your vendor meals at a price concession (couldn’t hurt to ask), so while it is a little bit extra on your budget, you want them to be working at full capacity, so make sure they are fed!

A Guestbook

You may want to make a trip to a local bookstore for a type of book that is characteristic of where you’re getting married. But there are also plenty of great guest book suppliers. Pure Invitation provides various designs, depending on your individual style. Also, you don’t want to forget the pens! Having a guest book for your guests to give you their well wishes when they arrive at the reception adds a lovely little touch and gives you a fantastic memento of your perfect day.

The Seating

If you are not doing assigned seating, you’ll need to think about the fact that people don’t sit next to each other naturally. So make sure that you get an extra few chairs than the amount on your guest list. In addition to this, it’s beneficial to get an extra set of chairs for the ceremony as well as the reception.

If you are getting married in the same venue as you are having the reception, it may be practical to reuse the same set of chairs for the ceremony and the reception.

You’ll also need to think about providing canapés (also called hors d’oeuvres or appetizers) for your guests, as well as the room layout/flow so there isn’t going to be caterers and helpers coming through destroying the ambience.

Your Marriage License

It depends on where you are in the world, but you will need to take your marriage license with you to the venue. Be sure to check for deadlines in applying for this license, and if there are any special documents needed so that your application is completed.

Also, make sure you have somewhere safe to keep your documents. Make sure they are in a secure folder, in a place that is out of the way of any pets or children, because without this piece of paper, you will not be able to get married! There are plenty of folders you can purchase that are nice and secure, but there are ones you can purchase from places like Abbey Stationery that do the job just fine. This folder is also a great place for you to put all your other relevant documentation, such as your ID and your passport, so when you are ready to jet off on honeymoon, it is all in one secure place.

If you’ll need to renew your driver’s license or passport before heading off, try and do this at least 8 weeks before the wedding.

Get Someone To Corral People

It is always helpful to have someone who is able to wrangle people together for photos. Remember, the photographer doesn’t know who the important members of the family are, (and neither does your wedding planner), so it may be worth assigning a member of the family this duty so they can get the desired people quickly. That way, you are able to get through all of the photos you need, without the photographer running over time, and therefore you running over budget.

Check For Food Allergies

While you may love barbecue chicken sticky ribs, your gluten-free vegan guest may not take so kindly to it! So, it’s important to make a note early on in the proceedings of who has food allergies, intolerances, or are vegetarian or vegan. A handy little tip, if you can get a list to your caterer that states where these people are sitting, it is going to be a godsend for them, and makes your day that much smoother.

Thank You Notes

You are obviously grateful that people have come to spend your big day with you, but it’s a thoughtful little touch to send everybody a thank you note, especially for those that bought you gifts. Make sure these notes don’t go out any later than two months after your wedding day.

It can be overwhelming to write personalized and heartfelt thank you notes, especially if you have more than 200 guests in attendance, but be sure to allocate a little bit of time each day to writing these notes, maybe 30 minutes. And, not just your guests, be sure to thank your bridal party, your family, and your parents.

We can get so overwhelmed by the whole process that we will inevitably forget about something, but the important thing in this respect is to plan and to allow sufficient time to think about what you really want for your big day. Little details mean a lot in your wedding, and you want your guests to feel like they have been looked after, so take a few of these ideas into account, and use them in your planning to make their day, as well as yours, extra special.

* This is a contributed post

I hope you found this information useful!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

19 Popular Marriage Proposal Locations and How Much They Cost

There are so many potential marriage proposal locations! You may have purchased the ring months ago and stashed it somewhere safe, but have you thought about where you’ll get down on one knee?

This iconic moment will become a story you’ll tell for years to come and the location will certainly go down in history as your landmark of love.

Whether the two of you spend your nights at the stadiums celebrating America’s favorite pastime or would rather opt for a more lavish night out on the town, there’s a perfect proposal spot for the two of you.

To help you narrow your selection and determine where you might pop the question, ProFlowers is putting a price tag on some of the best places to propose including popular baseball stadiums, Disney Theme Parks and iconic spots such as The Empire State Building and Maui, Hawaii.

Browse the lists below to discover surprising figures and find the perfect for you to get down on one knee.

Baseball:


https://www.proflowers.com - cost of proposing at baseball stadiums

You’ve Got To Say “Yes” Before You Say “I Do” – Marriage Proposal Ideas

Disney:

https://www.proflowers.com - cost of proposing at baseball stadiums

Adventure:

https://www.proflowers.com - cost of proposing at baseball stadiums

Marriage proposals are exciting, but always remember that this moment should be special and memorable, so choose a location that will be personal and meaningful.

Thank you to ProFlowers and Taylor Poppmeier for sharing these informative and inspiring infographics showing the cost of proposing at 19 popular locations.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

If you have questions or are looking for unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

The Bouquet Toss – How To Catch The Bouquet

Bouquet Toss - Tossing The Bouquet - Wedding Customs
The bouquet toss, you know that fun custom during the wedding reception when the bride throws a bouquet to all the single ladies, didn’t start out so jovial and fun.

The practice of the bride tossing her bouquet originated in 14th century Europe. At that time, the belief was that all brides and everything they touched was lucky. By merely touching a bride, or getting a piece of something she touched, wore, or carried would give a person a little bit of that luck.

A very unromantic concept – as the bride was often aggressively chased, guests tearing at her dress and bouquet in the hopes of obtaining some of her luck. Eventually brides began throwing bits of their bouquets to the crazy crowd.

This new practice of tearing apart her own bouquet to throw to several people eventually transformed to the bouquet toss practice we know today. Bride’s used to toss their own bouquet, but this eventually turned into a small toss bouquet, allowing the bride to keep hers. Instead of getting some of the bride’s luck, whoever catches it will be the next to marry.

Tossing the bouquet is the easy part. Just be wary of low ceilings or the bouquet will be bounced directly down to the floor instead of reaching the intended target – the single ladies.

Catching it takes some finesse.

Check out this entertaining infographic from our friends at Larson Jewelers which gives the single ladies an easy (and amusing) how-to and tips to increase their odds of a successful bouquet catch.


The Ultimate Guide to Catching the Bouquet Like a Lady - LarsonJewelers.com - Infographic

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

It’s Time To Get Silly – National Mad Hatter Day

Alice In Wonderland - Mad Hatter Day - Weddings From The Heart
This post may include affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission for products purchased, at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own, and I only share products that I love. Please read my full disclaimer if you are interested to know more.

It’s Time To Get Silly – National Mad Hatter Day (Alice In Wonderland)

October 6 is a day to get silly. Why? It’s National Mad Hatter Day, a day to celebrate the Hatter, an eccentric milliner for whom time is forever stuck at a tea party with his friends the March Hare and Dormouse in Lewis Carroll’s classic book Alice in Wonderland.

Why October 6th, you wonder?

This date was selected based on the original drawing by John Tenniel of the Hatter in the book Alice in Wonderland. Take a close look at his hat. You’ll see a piece of paper with “In This Style 10/6” written on it. This is actually a price tag – 10 shillings and 6 pence.

Alice In Wonderland - Mad Hatter Day - Weddings From The Heart

How to Celebrate?

• Read Alice in Wonderland
• Watch the movies based on the novel
• Wear a hat the whole day
• Host an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party


• Read riddles to each other
• Write your own riddles – they can be real, or nonsensical like the Hatter’s (“Why is a raven like a writing desk?”)
• Be silly

Alice In Wonderland - Mad Hatter Day - Weddings From The Heart

Are you a fan of Lewis Carroll’s famous work who’s planning a wedding? Here are some fun Alice in Wonderland wedding ideas:

• Of course you can incorporate your Alice in Wonderland theme into any color scheme, but red, black, and white are popular Alice in Wonderland colors.
• Direct guests to the ceremony and reception areas with fun signage (“down the rabbit hole,” “turn around,” “this way”).
• Don’t forget playing cards. You can use cards that match your color scheme, or use a deck of Alice in Wonderland cards.
• Forget about plain vases. Use teapots and tea cups.
• Dance the night away on a black and white checkerboard dance floor.
• Place “Eat Me” and “Drink Me” signs and tags on the bar and food tables.
• White rabbits, time pieces, and hearts are a must.

Alice In Wonderland - Mad Hatter Day - Weddings From The Heart

Here are some décor pics from an Alice in Wonderland inspired wedding we had the pleasure of planning and designing.

A Mad Hatter Hat Atop The Gift Card Box
Mad Hatter Day - Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter's Hat Wedding Card Box

Custom “We’re All Mad Here!” Cake Topper and Wedding Cake with Clock Faces (Cake by The Cakery)
Mad Hatter Day - Alice in Wonderland We're All Mad Here Wedding Cake Topper

Sweetheart Table “Just Married” Swag Made Out of Pages from Alice In Wonderland, with Cheshire Cat Smiles, and Butterflies (a nod to the caterpillar after his transformation)
Mad Hatter Day - Alice in Wonderland inspired just married swag

“Who Are You?” Mirrored Guest Book Sign
Alice in Wonderland Who Are You Guestbook Sign

Groom’s Pocket Watch and Key Boutonniere (designed and created by the bride)
mad Hatter Day - Alice in Wonderland Pocket Watch Key Groom's Goutonniere
Photo credit (groom’s boutonniere): Prima Vista Photography

Did You Know…

    • …that even though this holiday is called Mad Hatter Day and that the Hatter is commonly known as the Mad Hatter, Lewis Carroll never refers to the character as the Mad Hatter? He refers to him simply as The Hatter.

Alice In Wonderland - Mad Hatter Day - Weddings From The Heart

  • The origin of the phrase, it’s believed, is that hatters really did go mad. In Victorian England, chemicals used by hatmakers included mercurous nitrate. Prolonged exposure caused mercury poisoning, and was referred to as Mad Hatter Disease and Mad Hatter Syndrome.
  • “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” The Hatter asks this of Alice. But when Alice gave up and asked him what the answer was, his reply was, “I haven’t the slightest idea.” He didn’t know because, as Lewis Carroll admitted, there was no answer.

Have fun and BE SILLY!

What do you think of our Alice in Wonderland inspired wedding décor?

Alice In Wonderland - Mad Hatter Day - Weddings From The Heart

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Need planning help or looking for unique ideas for your wedding? Contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

You’ve Got To Say “Yes” Before You Say “I Do” – Marriage Proposal Ideas

So you’ve found the one you want to share your life with, you may even have purchased the ring. But have you thought about where you’ll get down on one knee?

Take a knee on the waterfront of a historic landmark
Why not take a knee on the waterfront of a historic landmark?

A marriage proposal is a life-changing milestone in any relationship. Whether you’ve purchased the ring or not, you know that planning a proposal is an exciting yet nerve wracking time. You’ll want this moment to be memorable and one-of-a-kind.

For a simple proposal idea recreate your first date
For a simple proposal idea, recreate your first date!

So, how can you make it yours? To help you find inspiration, ProFlowers has put together a generator featuring some of the best marriage proposal ideas.

Use the Proposal Ideas Sharable Guide below for quick inspiration, then browse through their entire collection of over 60 swoon-worthy proposals. You can scroll through them all, or use the helpful filters like ‘creative,’ ‘simple,’ ‘beach,’ and ‘city’ to easily find the ideal proposal idea that fits your style.

proposal ideas

A big Thank You to Taylor Poppmeier with ProFlowers for this fun, and inspirational, Marriage Proposal Ideas Interactive .

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

If you have questions or are looking for unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credits:
(historic landmark): Samonot Photography
(recreate first date): Sarah Olfelt Photo

Catering ‘Service Charge’ Explained

This weeks blog, “Catering ‘Service Charge’ Explained,” comes from Chef Doug Brown with Beyond the Box Catering and Wedbites

catering service charge explained by Chef Doug Brown

It is the most commonly asked question – what DOES the service charge include? It doesn’t always mean servers, which we know can be confusing. Most catering companies (and venues) have a lot of odds and ends that cost them money to make your event happen, and in turn, will apply a percentage to your event in order to cover those costs. In lieu of sending you a 4-page breakdown of every single item they are charging you for, the end result is the service charge line on your invoice. Typically this percentage ranges between 18–20% for offsite catering, and 21–23% for exclusive catering at a venue.

Your service charge includes the following:

• Serving Items
This includes things like chafers to keep the food hot, large salad platters, bowls for dressings, large serving spoons and other items at the buffet line. Some caterers will also bring stands to elevate displayed food – not only does it look cool, but it is actually practical in making the most of the table’s space. Passed hors d’oeuvres need something to be set on when they are moving around, such as platters and trays. All of these extra items can really add up, so instead of listing every single spoon, tray, and pan, they are included under the umbrella of the service charge.

• Large Equipment & Delivery Vehicles
When your food is prepped at the catering kitchen it still has to travel to you and most times your event isn’t around the corner. Large warmers/ovens and refrigerated trucks keep your food at the appropriate temperature so it tastes just as fresh as it did the second it came out of the oven. This equipment requires purchasing and maintenance, just like your daily driver, our trucks need gas and routine oil changes/maintenance. The service charge contributes to these costs, ensuring your caterer is able to afford to properly execute your event. No one wants to eat a wilted salad or ice cold chicken parmesan!

• Behind the Scenes Staff
Before your event, operations staff prep and load the trucks with all the rentals and equipment needed to execute your event. They are loading dishes that were cleaned by dishwashers and food prepped by prep cooks. It takes 6–8 hours of pre-production before your caterer even arrives at your event. Before you, your family or your wedding planner see the caterer set foot at your venue, there have been at least 10 people already involved in the making of your event that day. Once the event is over, staff unloads the equipment, sends the dishes, silverware, and glassware to the dishwasher area and it starts all over again the next day. These staff members receive a wage just like any other job and the service charge contributes towards these pre and post event production costs.

• Event Staff – MAYBE

This one depends on the caterer and venue to the fluctuation in venue layout, dinner style etc. The floor plan/number of floors at the venue, number of event hours, travel time, style of dinner, rentals, and other extras like wine service influence the off-site labor calculation. In this scenario, they charge on the lower end for service charge. When a venue has an in-house caterer, they may only charge for EXTRA staff, such as security guards, or additional chefs, bartenders or servers if the event’s menu or special services require it. A lot of venues include a certain time frame for your event time with your rental (ie: 4 hours of the event included in rental, $250 per additional hour). This helps them balance the costs of staff with the service charge alone and they don’t need to charge anything more than the 21- 23% service charge. When they are the exclusive caterer, they are able to store things at the venue as well, which eliminates the back and forth transport of many items that your offsite caterer has to bring every time.

So there you have it, the mysterious service charge line in your quote or invoice explained. Every caterer may do things slightly different so it never hurts to ask them about all they include in their catering quote. No matter what the case, there is A LOT that goes on behind the scenes of your event. We understand you don’t do this every day, and we expect questions so don’t be afraid to ask!

About Chef Doug Brown, the author:
After graduating from New York’s renowned Culinary Institute of America, I chose to further my education at Florida International University, where I attained a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. After finishing my education, I obtained my first Executive Chef Position at the age of 23. Since then, I have worked several Executive Chef Positions all over the United States until eventually making the decision to create my own business. In 2003, I opened Beyond the Box Café, which shortly after, was followed by Beyond the Box Catering Company. Thanks to the success of Beyond the Box Catering, I now also operate The Orion Ballroom, The Carlisle Room and The Pads at the Aloft Hotel in Dallas. These venues are used to each host hundreds of weddings a year. With over a decade of experience, I have decided to bring my knowledge to you in order to help make your wedding planning experience a little easier!

Photo credit: Rafael Serrano Photography
flourish

Hope you found this helpful.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Do you have a wedding dilemma or question you need answered? I’d love to help. Contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

3 Money Saving Tips Without Sacrificing Style for Your Wedding

wedding
Looking for ways to save money without sacrificing the overall feel of your wedding? Check out these tips.

Decor

Greenery and candles are still one of the best ways to save money on centerpieces. It’s elegant and cost effective.

Want something with big impact, but not the big price tag? How about a graceful candelabra,
Tall silver candelabra
or a large, elegant vase or candle holder? Gorgeous, but costs a fraction of a large floral arrangement.

You can also add some pizzazz by easily dressing up plain glass candle holders with adhesive rhinestones, ribbon, lace, glitter or paint.

Word of caution: If you do use real candles, get the unscented kind. When you get a room full of candles, a scent will get overpowering, can aggravate someone’s allergies, and (believe it or not) will affect the taste of the food.

Not All Money Saving Ideas Are Good

Dessert

Serve cupcakes or cake pops rather than a traditional tiered wedding cake.

Chocolate and pink wedding cake pops, wedding cake alternative, wedding dessert
You’ll save money per serving (cupcakes & cake pops are often .50 – $1 less per serving than cake). You won’t be paying a cake cutting fee (that most venues charge).

And you’ll be able to order just the amount you need.

For example, if you have 100 guests, you’ll want 100 servings. For a tiered cake, you’ll end up with at least 118 servings as an 8″ tier serves 24, a 10″ serves 38, and a 12″ serves 56. Not that there’s anything wrong with having extra leftover cake, some couples do so on purpose, but if you need to shave something off your budget, this is an easy way to do so.

Fun Stuff

Photo booths are still popular. And with good reason – they’re fun, a great activity for your guests, people can be silly or or serious . . .

However, many couples whose budget doesn’t allow for a traditional photo booth are changing it up.

Wedding photo booth

Ok, DIY Photo Booths are a bit more effort on your part than having a professional photo booth, (not to mention that there won’t be the fun extras that the pros offer, such as a custom logo, booth attendant, professional equipment, and on-site prints). However the DIY route can be relatively easy. Get a digital camera on a tripod, and guests can snap away. You’ll have to wait until after the event to load up all the photos online for you and your guests to see.

A relatively new service is perfect for use with a DIY photo booth. Veri is a photo and video sharing product which was created specifically for weddings. Before your wedding day, your guests will get a link for the Veri app. Then any photos and videos they take at your wedding will be shared instantly. Unlike a hashtag where the photo has to be uploaded, with this app your guests won’t have to do anything other than snap the picture. Be sure to check out www.veri.com for more details.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For more money saving tips, or unique ideas for your wedding, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!