Words of Wisdom for the Bride and Groom
Cake Cutting and Tires – The Cost of Your Reception
Sometimes purchasing a wedding reception package is similar to buying a tire. Sure, the price of the tire is $59.95, but by the time you’re finished, the cost has somehow risen to $100.00! It’s all those extra charges for valve stems, balancing, disposing of the old tire, etc. – things you can’t possibly do without!
Well, the same thing can happen to you when shopping for a wedding reception. At many sites, you’ll run into all sorts of extra fees – for set-up, linens, clean-up, and of course, the famous cake cutting charge. This is the fee charged by most venues to slice and serve your party the cake that you bought elsewhere. We’ve heard tales of fees ranging from $1.25 to a whopping $8.00 per person.
At Waterford, we’re not fans of extra fees. You won’t ever see us charging you for linens, the dance floor, a riser for your head table or band, and especially not to cut the cake for which you’ve already paid.
Top Ten “Words of Wisdom” for Planning Your Wedding Day
10. Believe it or not, a wedding can be planned in as little as two months. True, you probably won’t get that ideal time at your church or reception site. On the other hand, you could luck into a great situation because of a cancellation or reduced price offer to fill the date!
9. Think through your wedding day’s schedule before finalizing the actual reservations. How long will the ceremony really take? Will your guests be lingering at the church after the ceremony for a receiving line or to see you off after you’ve taken pictures? If not, they may arrive at the reception site long before the staff is ready to open the bar, serve the hors d’oeuvres, etc. Having your guests milling around outside the cocktail room (or even the building) for an extended period because of poor planning can be awkward for everyone involved.
8. Don’t assume. For example, don’t assume the DJ with whom you spoke when booking will be your DJ at the party. That is often not the case. Another example is the sound system at your reception venue. Some reception sites have speakers in the ceilings; many do not. Most importantly, get everything about which you have agreed with every vendor confirmed in writing. This includes a signed Banquet Event Order (BEO) for your reception. Don’t risk being rudely surprised on your wedding day because you mistakenly assumed something would be provided that was not.
7. If possible, attend all or part of your cocktail party. Too often brides and grooms (and even the rest of the wedding party) artificially stay away from the cocktail hour in order to have their grand introductions into the ballroom. This is a mistake. First, you should enjoy what you paid for. Second, the cocktail hour enables you to get much of the obligatory greeting of your various relatives and other guests out of the way. In fact, your guests will come to you rather than the two of you having to traipse around a big ballroom tracking them down. That way you have lots more time to enjoy your meal and dancing during the reception! And guess what? You can still have the grand introductions into the ballroom.
6. Music (background from the DJ or live from musicians) during your cocktail hour can sometimes be a waste of money. Too often it is drowned out by the volume of the dozens of conversations between people who haven’t seen each other for years.
5. During your ceremony music, especially a meaningful solo sung by a professional, relative or close friend, can be a highlight. Keep in mind, however, that some selections can seem awfully long – even interminable – during what can also be a lengthy ceremony and/or service. Consider the idea of shortening the length of your musical selections to better fit into the rest of the program.
4. Surprisingly, the selection of a DJ will be among your most important decisions. The best DJ’s will not only meet with you ahead of time to go over your music choices and how the reception should flow, but will then also actually deliver what you ordered. Too many DJ’s (and some bands) dress inappropriately, ignore your song requests, mispronounce names during the introductions or blast the music so loud that half of your guests will be congregating outside the ballroom to escape the volume. At a bare minimum, ask your friends to tell you about DJ’s who they enjoyed. Your diligence will pay off in a more enjoyable party.
3. Consider purchasing event insurance, especially if your wedding is to take place during the winter months. If your wedding date happens to coincide with the “blizzard of the century”, you’ll be glad you did!
2. No matter how well you have planned, something will go wrong on your special day. This can range from the limo driver getting lost, being late or having a flat tire to your wedding cake collapsing to the minister mispronouncing a name to the champagne toast not being ready exactly on schedule. Too often, brides and/or their mothers let such events ruin the entire day. How crazy is that? DON’T let any such occurrences dampen your special day. Believe it or not, those are exactly the stories you’ll be laughing about in the months and years to come.
1. Your wedding day is about two people and two people only – you and your husband. Do your best to remember that. The time to worry about the details has passed. Today, it is not about the weather, your dress, the music or the food. It is not even about the relatives (not even your parents) or the other guests. It is about your love and commitment!
During the ceremony, shut everything else out and look into his eyes. Connect with each other throughout the day. Otherwise, you will be missing the true meaning of a day for which you have been planning and preparing for a long time.