Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Get the Reception Started!

Well, the hard part (the ceremony) is over, now it is time for the fun part!  Get your reception off to a great start.

First, you want to pick a really good song to play as the bridal party and parents are introduced.  It should be something meaningful (and clean) and something that is just too fast to be your first dance.  Introduction order should happen in this order.

Parents of the Groom
Parents of the Bride
Flower Girls and Ring Bearers
Bridesmaids and Ushers (paired off)
Maid (Matron) of Honor and Best Man
Bride and Groom

All the members of the Bridal Party should go directly to their seats, so that the toasts can begin.  Please make sure with your coordinator that everyone has a glass of champagne prior to the introduction of the Bridal Party.  The suggested toast order is.

Father (Parents) of the Bride
Father (Parents) of the Groom
Best Man
Maid (Matron) of Honor  
Siblings - Other Bridal Party Members (if they wish to speak)
Others (Grandparents, Aunts/Uncles)
Bride and Groom

The Father of the Bride should welcome and thank the guests and the Bride and Groom should also end with thanking the guests.  After the toasts the Bride and Groom should move right to cutting the cake so that it can be served with dinner.  The cake should be wheeled (if possible) to the middle of the dance floor so that all the guests can view.  Right after the cake cutting, dinner should be served, starting with the Bride and Groom, Bridal Party, and then the families.

After dinner, the coordinator will let you know when, it's time to dance!!  The suggested order is.

Bride and Groom
Bride and Father - Groom with Mother
Bridal Party (including parents)
Couples Dance
Something fast to get everyone moving!

I love the idea of the couples dance, because it will bring a large number of guests to the dance floor.  If you then move into something fast more people are likely to stick around and really get things going.  I would wait for about an hour before doing the garter and bouquet toss, just to give alittle break.


Happy Planning!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ask CW: Reader Mailbag - Wedding Questions Answered

Each week I receive emails from brides all over the country for answers to their most stressful wedding questions.  Here are a couple I thought I would share.

Dear Cyn:  We are hosting a wedding where the majority of the our guests are from out of town.  I feel like we should invite as many of them as possible to the our rehearsal dinner so they will not feel left out and not be stuck in the hotel with nothing to do.  What are the rules on who should be invited?


Dear HG:  The rule is this, you can invite whoever you want to the dinner following your Wedding rehearsal. Do you need to, not necessarily. I've written in the past on who needs to be invited, after them you can invite whoever you would like. Your guests might be excited to explore a new area or town while the bridal party and immediate families are at the rehearsal and the dinner following.  Provide a list of activities and restaurants for them check out.   

Dear Cyn:  My parents and I are fighting over having a cash bar at my reception.  They are completely opposed to it and I think that it would be a great way to save money in the budget, who is right?


Dear DB:  I hate to tell you this, but your parents are right.  Never fear there are ways to save some money here.   By limiting the bar and the contents you can still save.

-Create a signature drink, and limit the alcohol behind the bar to what is required to make it.
-Close the bar during dinner.  Most venues give you the option to serve wine only during dinner.

For other money saving tips please see my 10 Favorite Ways to Save $$$ on your Wedding 

If you have any questions I would love to help you answer them, please feel free to reach out to my at

Happy Planning!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Your Wedding Coordinator v. The Venue Coordinator

I will never forget when I was getting married and I told my Mom about the venue and the coordinator, "His name is Frank" and she said "Frank as in Franc..." (in the movie Father of the Bride, they hire a Wedding coordinator who goes by Franc, and it is played by Martin Sheen and it is hilarious - it is a must see for those planning a Wedding - it will make you feel better). Needless to say, it became an on-going joke that revealed ALOT of stress at times.

Many think that because your venue has provided a coordinator and therefore there is no need to hire one of their own, and nothing could be farther from the truth.  The venue's coordinator is just that, they simply coordinate activities that have to with the venue.  When the ceremony starts, when cocktail hour begins, and when to start dinner (the one really nice thing - they make sure your drink is ALWAYS full)

Here are the things they will not take care of.

  • Creating and Making sure welcome bags are distributed to the hotel guests
  • Establishing a timeline for your Wedding Day
  • Directing the Wedding Rehearsal 
  • Calling the Florist when they are late
  • Reminding the Bridal Party that people are waiting to eat, and to speeches do                           not need to be 10 mins (nicely, of course)
  • Making sure that Aunt Sue is in the family picture

The list goes on, your Wedding Coordinator will work closely with the venue coordinator to make sure that that the timeline and events go smoothly and they will work on any issues together with the venue.

Happy Planning