Advice on Catering your Wedding Reception

Outdoor Weddings: Tips To Keep Guests Comfortable

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By Andrew Stratton

Outdoor weddings can be beautiful events, especially when they take place in the right location. They are especially wonderful for outdoor enthusiasts, those who spend their spare time in nature, and those who enjoy to garden. However, there can be a number of things to think about when considering this type of event. A number of things could go wrong, from bad weather events to issues with pests. Without proper planning and preparation, what should be a fairy tale day could end up being a disaster with unhappy guests. The following are some tips to keep in mind when planning outdoor weddings:

Choosing a Location

When deciding on where to get married, it is incredibly important to choose the location very carefully. Always try to find a location that has an indoor option in the event of inclement weather. While the hope is that an indoor venue will not be needed, the extra insurance of having it will ease the mind of everyone involved. For wine enthusiasts, vineyards can provide a beautiful backdrop outside while still having weather protected area like a gazebo in the event of rain.

A hotel can also provide an ideal option for a location. There are some gorgeous hotels in lovely areas of the country, and they almost always have a conference room to use if needed. For those who are on a smaller budget and may be using a friend’s large yard, be sure to budget for a tent to protect guests.

Be Prepared With Protective Equipment

In the budget, be sure to include some room for protective items to keep the guests comfortable. Heating lamps are one item to think about if the event is going to be held during a cooler time of year. Also, think about bathrooms if the event is in a remote area. Portable toilets will have to be brought in if there are no other options for guests. Also, make sure there is a working power source at the location. Otherwise, a generator will need to be secured to ensure there are lights and electricity for the big day.

Prepare For Any Potential Weather Events

The topic of weather has come up many times, but it bears repeating that the bride and groom need to be fully prepared for any weather that can affect their big day. In addition to rain, there are also extreme heat and humidity to think about. Sudden cold spells in the fall can also be an issue. Make sure the guests know that the wedding will be outside so they can prepare themselves. If it is especially hot, provide some water bottles and fans to cool the guests down. For colder outdoor weddings, consider providing some fleece blankets as one of the favors so guests can cover themselves.

Outdoor weddings are beautiful, but they do take a lot of planning. Always have an indoor option available just in case. Also have anything necessary on hand to make sure guests are comfortable as possible. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the big day!

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December 29, 2016 |

Tips for Planning Your Wedding Reception by aabadie

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When it comes to planning a wedding, you need to make sure that you don’t get too focused on finding the perfect dress and getting the right venue. An important aspect that often gets overlooked is the actual wedding reception itself. If you are on a budget or in need of ideas to help you plan the perfect event, take a few suggestions into consideration.

One common mistake that most brides-to-be’s make is waiting until the last minute to get started. The longer it takes you to get started, the more pressure you are going to feel as you go about trying to get the right arrangements in order. Getting a head start will allow you more time to find better deals. Since weddings are very popular, you need to start planning early so that you don’t have to worry about any establishment being overbooked. Instead of being forced to pay a certain price because you didn’t provide enough notice to any caterers or seamstress, you can reduce your costs and have an easier time of staying within your budget.

When it comes to getting together a guest list for your wedding reception, keep in mind that you have to pay for everyone that is in attendance. When you make your guest list, try to keep it simple. Invite people that you really want to attend. Friends and acquaintances that you barely know don’t necessarily need an invite. To help keep your budget reasonable, invite only those who are important and whose presence will really make your day.

Even if you plan on having a big wedding, you don’t have to overdo it by picking the biggest venue for your wedding reception. The bigger the establishment, the more it is going to cost you. Consider having your wedding reception outdoors in a garden or a park. You can always purchase decorations or use some of the scenery to add a unique and personal touch to your special day.

Keep in mind that no matter how much you feel like panicking or how stressed you feel, being cordial can go a long way. You may have seen those reality shows where the bride-to-be’s are rude and mean to all of the business owners and staff they encounter while trying to plan the perfect day. You may end up getting charged more and being denied service. This can further complicate your plans. You never know who you are dealing with and you don’t want to embarrass yourself or anyone else.

If you are having a professional bakery make your cake, think about what flavors you want for your cake beforehand. This will make it much easier for you to select a cake and focus more on the type of cake you want. If there are a few flavors you are torn between, don’t be afraid to ask for samples. Remember, your wedding reception is a part of your special day and if you start your planning early, there is no reason why you can’t have it planned the way you have always dreamed of.

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September 29, 2014 |

Tipping at Your Wedding by Jason Hennessey

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So your wedding is just around the corner and your mind is everywhere. From planning to budgetary considerations to guest invitations to gifts and wedding favors, all this are all yours to handle. But you can always enlist the services of a professional wedding planner to help you hack through some of the stuff. Your wedding definitely involves a lot of people and at some point in time you will have to show some kind of gratitude or thank you to those whose services are invaluable to the success of the day. But to whom do you tip and to whom do you not?

Tipping is a common wedding practice and tips are a necessary priority in your budgetary allocations. Tipping is most common when you have chosen to have a private company be in charge of reception conveniences like catering, parking for vehicles, music and entertainment and the like, or when you are using hotel facilities should you choose to hold the reception in a hotel. Though tipping is an act of absolute voluntary, it is deeply embedded in wedding ceremony culture that wedding vendors more often than not expecting it.

But in your wedding the cardinal rule is that you call the shots. It is only you who can decide whether or not to tip or not. And you also get to choose who to tip and who not to. Remember to ascertain whether the wedding company is including vendor charges in the agreement you sign for their services. This is to guard against double tipping and thus stretching your budget. And always give your tips at the conclusion of the reception. This will give you a clear view of who did what and then you can tip them accordingly and proportionately. Below are some the people that you consider for tipping on your big day.

The music DJ plays an important part in the entertainment of your guests. You tip the DJ if he is an employee of a company providing for the entertainment. But if he is the owner there is no need because you pay him the contractual fee. Other people that you consider for tipping are bartenders, hair makeup and stylists, restroom attendants, waiting staff, drivers, and valet parking attendants among others. Some people go as far as tipping photographers and wedding planners and coordinators.

These are people that we tend to look down upon but the truth of the matter is that without them you can say goodbye to that perfect wedding that you have always envisioned. But no one should hold you hostage on who to tip and the amount to give. Carefully put tips in envelopes for each individual and have them delivered personally to them. Evaluate the services of each of them and the amount of cash you give to them should correspond to the work that you see them do. Tipping should be a discreet voluntary act and you should never take it as a debt you owe someone, just give it in a warm respectful manner and let it be clear that it is just a way of saying thank you.

Jason Hennessey is the President of 1WeddingSource, today’s leading wedding social networking planning site. He also founded an online store that host a collection of wedding favors and wedding gifts to make your wedding day an event to be cherished for a lifetime.

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September 29, 2014 |

Wedding Planning: Tipping Wedding Vendors by Sarah Simmons

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Planning a wedding can be an exciting, frightening, fun, stressful, happy, invigorating experience. Once you actually get to your wedding you just want to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor – but you’re not done yet! The many different fabulous vendors at your wedding ceremony and reception need tips. But how do you know how much to tip, and to whom? Read on for some basic wedding tipping tips that any bride can use.

Is tipping mandatory?

Short answer: no. Long answer: there are three different ways to look at it. Unlike a waitress or a bartender, who generally does not get an hourly wage and depends on your tips to earn a living, your vendors have already been paid for their services. Some couples think that they have paid their vendor the required fee, and that should be enough. Other couples decide to tip their vendors a set amount ahead of time, no matter what the service is like. The third type of couple will wait to see the type of service they receive, and then tip (or not tip) accordingly.

In general, although vendors are already being paid for their services, there is often a very small margin of profit, so they expect tips and depend on that money. Tipping is always recommended if your vendor has gone above and beyond what was expected or if they worked with your smaller budget or gave you discounts.


The only thing you want to do on your wedding day is sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’ve done lots of work leading up to this, so don’t worry about tipping – you’ll have plenty of other things taking up your time. Pick a member of your wedding party, your wedding coordinator or another trusted friend or family member to act as a designated tipper.

Give your designated tipper clear and concise rules or guidelines ahead of time on how much to tip each vendor, and provide the tipper with envelopes clearly marked with the vendor’s name (and possibly their service, i.e. John Smith – photographer, to avoid any confusion) to put the tip in, because no one wants to keep track of a handful of cash.

Tight Budget?

Tips should be included in your budget to avoid overspending, but if you are tight on money there are other ways to show your appreciation. Most vendors require a meal, and have it written into their contracts, but you could provide them with beverages as well (just take it easy on the alcoholic beverages when they still have to work). You should also include them in your thank you notes, and if your vendor did an exceptionally outstanding job, write a formal letter of reference that they can show to other brides and grooms interested in their services.

Last but not least, remember that this is your big day. Don’t sweat the small stuff – just enjoy your wedding. You deserve it! Vendors should be tipped the day of, but don’t worry if you forget. They can always be tipped afterwards if everyone gets too caught up in the wedding celebration. helps Brides and Grooms through the sometimes challenging, but always exciting process of planning a wedding and honeymoon. Any wedding planner or bride can benefit from the unique wedding guide tips, trends, and helpful wedding planning tools at

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September 29, 2014 |

Wedding Catering Disasters and How to Avoid Them by Aarthur

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A catering disaster may not seem as bad as rain at an outdoor wedding, but when you consider that most people are thinking about what dinner will be like from the moment they receive the invitation, you had better deliver. You can’t always control all possible mistakes. A server might spill some red wine down your mother-in-law’s silk blouse, but hey, as long as the desert is good people can ignore a few faux pas. Here are some examples of (mostly) avoidable wedding catering disasters.

Bad Food

The most common catering mistake couples make when planning their special day is choosing bland, boring food. There are more memories of bad dishes than good, which means standing out as offering one of the better wedding dinners isn’t too much of a challenge. The problem doesn’t really lie in the type of dish served, but rather how fresh it is. Nobody wants a congealed gravy moat surrounding their cold steak. The problem is that most dishes need to be served directly after having been cooked. Buffets are one way around this conundrum, but another method is smarter menu choices. Pick food that won’t become unappetizing between cooking and delivery.

Ignoring Requests

When sending out invitations, it is important to have an area where people can fill out allergies or special dietary needs. Unless you know all of your guests that intimately, there are likely a few that may be allergic to pine nuts, have gluten intolerance, or are a vegetarian. You don’t want to be insensitive and leave these guests to starve or fill up on crackers. Check requests carefully, and if you’re not sure, call up and ask. Provisions can always be made, and nothing will put a damper on your wedding day faster than someone going into anaphylactic shock.


The best catering companies get booked out up to a year in advance. You could get lucky and snag a cancellation, but otherwise, the longer you wait the less likely are you to get what you want. You may even have to resort to local restaurants to get you through the day if it’s really last minute. It isn’t just your menu that might suffer, but bad servers can ruin your night with rude behavior, sloppy appearance, or poor work ethics. Booking the caterers should be one of your first priorities once you’ve set the date so you have ample time to check them out. Your guests will be grateful.

No Instructions

Most couples have a vision of their wedding in their head. It would be nice to share this vision with the caterers. They need to be given clear instruction on how to behave, when to serve, and even how to clean up if you’re that exacting. If you expect them to be wandering around with pitchers of water or wine, refreshing glasses constantly, make sure this is clear. If you are having a buffet, but want dishes regularly cleared from tables, let them know. If you don’t set rules, they will operate in default mode.

The right New Jersey catering service can make the difference between your big event being a delicious success or a nauseating flop. Don’t trust it to chance: for more information, visit

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September 29, 2014 |

Finding the Perfect Wedding Reception Venue by Sarah Simmons

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Finding the perfect location is a key factor in setting the tone and feel of your wedding day. Even though it is just one day, this is the “first day of the rest of your lives.” Cheesy as it may sound – it’s true! Your wedding day will be a lasting memory for you and your guests, and now it’s time to find the perfect backdrop for that memory! Here are some top tips on finding the perfect wedding reception venue for your big day.

When planning your wedding, the very first thing you should do is find your wedding reception venue. It may be tempting to start on other things first, but you need to put down the wedding planning books, cancel your dress fitting, and start looking for your venue now – no really – now! Why is the venue so important? Because you need to ensure all of your vendors can provide their services on the same day. If you book other vendors before your venue, and the venue of your dreams doesn’t have your preferred wedding date, you may have to call all the vendors you have already booked over again and ensure they are all still available on a different day. Do not do anything until you have set a date and signed on the dotted line with your wedding reception venue. That being said, how do you find the perfect wedding reception venue?

No matter what type of reception you’d like to have, there’s a location that’s right for you. Most likely, you already have a sense of the style and setting for your reception location. Imagine, for a moment, your dream wedding. Are you in a large ballroom with chandeliers and low lights with guests seated at round tables enjoying their plated meal? Or do you see a garden wedding with a pastel color palette, parasols, and lemonade? Maybe you want something completely out of the ordinary like a carnival themed wedding? These ideas, and your wedding venue, should ultimately reflect your personal style as a couple.

Larger facilities, like hotels and country clubs, are often a popular choice for wedding reception venues as almost everything you need is in one place. They can provide everything from the catering and staffing, to the linen rentals and bar set up. If this type of venue is not your cup of tea, there are so many amazing and unique options out there – art museums, historic mansions, botanical gardens, amusement parks – just take your pick! These are all great options, but be aware that these venues are typically just that, a venue. For those of you who enjoy the planning aspect, this may be your route as you will be responsible for a considerable amount of legwork, including catering, tables, chairs, linens, lighting, etc.

If you have always dreamed of an outdoor wedding, you are not alone! Many engaged couples love the great outdoors, whether it is at the beach or on a farm, and plan their weddings accordingly; however, keep in mind, Mother Nature may have her own plans for your big day. You should always have a backup plan in case she makes an appearance – especially if you’re planning an off-season wedding, or if you live in an area known for its volatile weather patterns.

Before making a decision, make an appointment with the Event Manager at your potential venues to visit the site and to ask questions about miscellaneous fees (such as wedding insurance or an alcohol permit) and any restrictions they may have for capacity. Restrictions could include other wedding vendors, decor, noise, parking, begin/end times, linen, tables, chairs, etc. Everything should be spelled out in the agreement, so be sure to read the fine print!

There is a lot to consider as you choose your wedding venue, but take comfort in knowing that the right venue for you is out there and you will have a beautiful backdrop for your perfect wedding!

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September 29, 2014 |

Some tips to organize a wedding reception by Michele De Capitani

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The wedding day is not only the moment when two people seal their union, it is also a chance to celebrate. Certainly the ceremony, be that religious or civil, is the solemnest moment of the day, we might say that it is the climactic moment, the core of each wedding day, but the lunch or dinner with relatives and friends is definitely the moment when bride and groom release their tension and can really have fun with their guests. No matter if you organize your reception in a restaurant or if you choose a different location, perhaps a villa in a picturesque place: in any case the reception is an essential feature of your wedding, and it has to be organized paying attention to many different things.

First of all, you need to consider the budget you have at your disposal. A sumptuous reception can really fleece you, especially if you have extended the invitation to many people. According to Eurispes, which has carried out a survey about wedding costs in Italy, the reception is the part that most affects the total costs of the wedding day: the reception in Italy costs on average 6,000 euro, and in general we can say that in the south of Italy receptions are usually more expensive than in the north. The average price of receptions in Italy is so high also because only few couples choose a reception for few people: according to Eurispes, indeed, over 55% of couples invite more than 100 people. Thus if you have a limited budget you might want to consider the idea of a less sumptuous reception, with a smaller number of people, and choose a standing buffet or, if you would like to do something unusual, you can offer an informal reception, organizing a barbecue or a picnic.

If you want to choose something more traditional, spending a bit more money, you can organize the reception in a restaurant. The choice of the restaurant is to be done after considering different factors. First of all, the style of the restaurant: before you book have a look at the room where the reception is supposed to take place and discuss the table arrangement with the person in charge of this. If you want to be sure that food and service are good, you can have a dinner in the restaurant before you book. Secondly, if you do not have an alternative location where to take photos, be sure that the restaurant has a garden or other nice places. Last but not least, consider the distance to the restaurant from the church or the town hall, which should not be too long, especially if some of your guests come from far away. All these variables are to be kept into consideration also if you choose another location, like an ancient villa or a castle, the perfect places if you want your wedding to be a fairytale one.

Another important choice is that of the reception time: it usually depends on the time when the ceremony takes place, and the most popular moments are dinner and lunch. But if you want to try something new, you can organize a breakfast, a brunch or a drink in the aperitif time.

This article was written by Francesca Tessarollo with help from banchetto nozze Milano. For more information, please visit location matrimoni Lombardia or matrimoni Milano.

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September 29, 2014 |

7 Unique Ideas for Wedding Receptions by aabadie

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Are you getting married? Maybe it’s your own special occasion or, maybe you’re a professional planner, and you’ve just run out of ideas. If so, here are 7 unique ideas for wedding receptions:

– Develop a Theme. The right theme can make any occasion memorable. How about a masquerade ball? Themes are easy to coordinate throughout the entire event. Favors, paper products, music and even the way the guests are dressed can fit accordingly with the theme. Make sure you let them know ahead of time so they can join in the fun.

– Choose an Unforgettable Guest Book. How about a photo booth? Your guests can take their own pictures for a unique remembrance. Plus, the happy couple can take home duplicates to preserve in an album for many years of delight.

– Give Guests a Taste of the Town. Wherever you live, there’s always some food, which is native to that locale. Or, perhaps there’s a beverage that is made right in your town. This is such a unique idea; your guests will be talking about it for years.

– Plan a Dessert Buffet. How do chocolate-covered strawberries, miniature crème brulees and bananas foster sound? A mini dessert buffet is a guaranteed way to tantalize the tastebuds of every guest. Ask your caterer if they have ideas for decorating the table. And, a dessert buffet encourages mingling.

– Drink it up. Espresso and cappuccino bars have become an extremely popular choice nowadays. They’re both hot and a good accompaniment to dessert. As wedding receptions tend to die down after a certain hour, these bars will provide your guests with a little jolt to see them through the rest of the night.

– Hire a Watercolor Artist. Search online or ask at your local art museum for a watercolor artist who will draw various scenes from the event or any other art theme you desire. As they sit and draw, your guests will be quietly entertained as they mingle and talk about his or her work.

– Try Something New. This is probably the biggest tip of all and there’s no need to be afraid of it. The way to come up with unique ideas is to sit down with your significant other and look at your likes and dislikes and who you are as a couple. What brings you the most enjoyment in your spare time? What is your favorite season, music genre or history era? This is how to “unveil” the real you. This helps you to move on and develop one of the best wedding receptions ever. You’ll be surprised how many ideas develop.

Keep in mind that your planning doesn’t have to be so expensive or complex you feel the need to throw your budget out the window. With a little thoughtful planning and research, you’ll be able to come up with complementary theme accessories. Then, you’ll realize just how much fun planning wedding receptions can be.

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September 29, 2014 |

What To Look For In A Wedding Cake by Zach Doherty

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Wedding celebrations do vary. There are garden wedding, church wedding and even underwater wedding. Though, there are many wedding themes, wedding cakes are always present. Today, there are various styles of wedding cakes. Their prices differ as well. In this article, we will discuss the different components of wedding cakes and why their prices vary.

Wedding cakes are beautifully crafted to meet the taste of the groom and bride. A baker spends a lot of painstaking time and effort in decorating. It is very important to know that the cost of the wedding cakes will depend on several factors like choice of icing, cake decorations (such as cake decorating flowers, colored candies and sprinkles), size of the cake and the number of servings.

Essential Tips

1. Wedding cake icing – Soon to be bride or groom, can choose among these scrumptious cake ideas: Rolled fondant decorating icing, marzipan, chocolate icing, royal icing, chocolate and butter cream. The marzipan and rolled fondant are the most expensive among the frosting. This icing requires less labor and can provide a perfectly smooth and even canvas for the wedding cake.
2. Wedding cake decoration – Today, you can choose from a variety of cake decorations. For rolled fondants, the decorating ideas are limitless. On the other hand, if you like butter cream, your best choice for the decorations are silk flowers and fresh flowers. Bear in mind that butter cream melts fast. Do not choose butter cream if you are planning the big date during summer.
3. Wedding cake layer structures and tiers – The cake can become more expensive if you are choosing a cake with several tiers or layers. The size of the tier must also be considered in choosing. Why? The decorations that will be used for improving the cake’s appearance will be based on the size of the cake. In addition, the edible cake decorating flowers and ribbons and other stuffs are so intricate and scrupulous to work with. That is why bakers give higher prices to cakes that are delicate.

Wrapping up, planning a wedding can be overwhelming. Make sure that you organize everything including the prices of each wedding detail. Don’t spoil your best day because of overspending and distressful miscalculations.

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September 29, 2014 |
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