It's possible that you've had Pinterest boards stored for years with ideas and inspiration that you love, but did you work on those together with your fiancé? Most likely not.
One of the first things that I encourage my clients to do is to sit down together and dream up your ideal wedding day. Even if one of you prefers to handle more of the planning than the other, it's important that both of your voices are heard and that the big day is a reflection of you as a couple.
Here at Alexandria Catherine Events, we have a trusty list that we use to help you get the conversation going.
When addressing the questions on this list, don't start making plans. I know, I know, it's so hard! Instead, just listen to one another and take notes.
In the wedding planning world, it feels like the word compromise is dirty, but it needs to come into play here because there's a very real chance that you won't have the same answers to all of these questions about your wedding vision. If this is the case, you'll need to decide which items are priorities and which are worth sacrificing.
The easiest way to do this exercise, is to each have a copy of this and then answer it individually and then coming together to discuss the results of that.
Assistance provided by Spring 2018 Interns Taylor Trimble & Jackie Furia
Let's face it ... deciding to entertain on a whim is a real thing and it can sometimes cause unnecessary stress. Why? When you decide nearly last-minute to host a group of people you're cutting short the amount of time you'd usually have to prepare. I'm a firm believer in details. If you pay attention to small details, nobody would have any clue that you didn't spend weeks throwing your party together.
That being said, if you're thinking about having friends and family over tomorrow for the Derby there are a few fun, and most importantly easy, ideas that we wanted to be sure to share.
Spruce Up Florals
Y'all, we literally took grocery store flowers, put them in a vase and added an equestrian ribbon. How easy is that, and how cute did it turn out? Make it even easier by cutting some fresh spring blooms from the yard and save yourself a trip!
You should be able to order similar ribbons online (can we get an amen for Amazon Prime?) or ask around in your social circles to see who might have some legitimate ribbons of their own that you can borrow.
Polish the Silver
You know the silver pieces you only pull out for very special occasions and meals? Allow them to make an appearance tomorrow too! Silver will add a classic touch to the theme and can be used in plenty of unique ways. Whether it's holding food or flowers, it's going to make a statement.
Use a Color Palette
We went with red, greens and blues for our arrangements and ribbon selections. Cohesive color palettes mimicked throughout the decor will bring it all together.
A Signature Drink
Mint Juleps are the classic Derby beverage of choice, but serve what your crowd enjoys! A Moscow Mule in a copper mug can add just as much of a festive touch. Have a beer crowd? Set them out on a mirrored surface or silver tray and it'll give your go-to drink a more elegant vibe.
By Taylor Trimble | Spring 2018 Intern
Your ceremony is finished and your guests are ready to celebrate your marriage! While this day is all about the couple, cocktail hour is definitely all about the guests and their experience. Your cocktail hour is the perfect transition into your reception and can set the tone for the rest of the event. There are a few elements to keep in mind while planning your cocktail hour in order to create the best experience possible for your friends and family!
Food & Drink
One of the most important elements of a cocktail hour is the food and drink. Your guests are going to be getting hungrier and will be anxious to start the celebration. It's important to take a few things into consideration prior to creating your menu(s).
First, remember to keep it simple. You don't want to overwhelm your guests with a million options during a cocktail hour. Narrow down food choices to three or four appetizers. Second, have fun with it! Simple doesn't have to be boring. Create a fun signature drink with the bartender or your caterer. Additionally, you want to make cocktail hour interactive to keep guests engaged. It sounds intimidating ... interactive food!? Think about how much fun a cheese and wine pairing station could be, or a create-your-own taco bar!
Lastly, make sure your selections fit with your guests. Taking your guests and their dietary restrictions or preferences into consideration will help to tailor your selections to accommodate them and ensure that there is something for everyone.
The same way that we discussed keeping guests interactive with food, we recommend you keep guests entertained generally during cocktail hour. Guests may get antsy after a while, so it's important to provide some form of entertainment or engagement. An easy way to do this is to rent a photo booth or create a fun backdrop for them to take pictures in front of. If you have an outdoor venue, you could provide lawn games, such as cornhole or giant Jenga.
Having children at your wedding? Create a kid-friendly zone with activities for them as well so that they are occupied and having fun too. Finally, make sure you've got music! Whether you decide to bring in a live band or create your own playlist, music is essential to your cocktail hour. It will help to set the vibe and get the party started!
Cocktail hour is the perfect way to incorporate the theme or vibe that you are putting into place for your big day! You don't necessarily need to have a themed-wedding to create cohesiveness throughout the day. You can simply include your color scheme into your cocktail hour to maintain the connection between your ceremony and reception. Take it a step further by creating seasonal signature drinks or festive food. For example, if you're having a summer wedding you could create a signature margarita or bring in an ice cream station. If you do have a theme, you can easily tie it into your cocktail hour through the decor that you use, the food and drink that are served, and the activities that guests will partake in.
Whether you decide to have a laid-back celebration or a fully-themed extravaganza, tailoring your cocktail hour to your guests is what's most important. Remember to provide a good selection of food and drink as well as entertainment. Keep it simple, but have fun with it! There are countless ways to get creative and fit your theme into your cocktail hour. If you keep your guests in mind, you can't go wrong!