Category Archives: blog series

8 Considerations When Creating the Wedding Guest List

 

Committed to each other, and to making your wedding day a special event, you have likely begun to assemble a short list of attendees for your event. Many couples find themselves arguing over the appropriate number of guests, or the control that parents try to have over the invitation list. You and your significant other are in complete control over the guest list, and will likely want to approach the task with a little know-how in your back pocket. Before you let emotion take over, consider the following points.

Budget

Before doing anything else with your guest list decide on your overall wedding budget. While it might seem nice to invite friends from kindergarten you haven’t seen in a decade, or family members who you know by name only, it may not be practical or feasible. Venue costs and catered food are charged on a per person basis. In addition, wedding favors and wedding party welcome bags are costly and may put a dent in your anticipated budget. Set your maximum budget for the festivities and begin your list accordingly.

Vision & Style

You and your partner likely have a vision for your wedding day. When you think of your ceremony and reception, how do you picture it? Longing for a small intimate soiree? Hoping for a family affair? Desperately longing for a large dance floor and plenty of space to cut loose? It’s your special day, so incorporate all of the elements that speak to who you and your partner are as individuals and as a couple. The key is to plan ahead for a successful event.

Venue Restrictions and Capacity

Whether you choose a traditional venue (such as a hotel or country club), a restored barn, treasured historical building, have it beachside or in the backyard under a tent, be mindful of the maximum capacity. Confirm that capacity will not change with the addition of a dance floor, live entertainment, custom decorative elements (such as an arbor) or photo booth. Adding large scale items may decrease the number of people the space can hold.

Target Guest Count

Once you know your limit for the venue or tent size, you can determine your invitee number. If you are seriously limited in capacity, you may choose to only invite immediate family and close friends. If you have more leeway then it may be appropriate to include more extended family, college roommates and co-workers. The best thing to do is for each of you to make a list of the “must-haves”, then the “nice-to-haves” and spend time paring the list down to meet your target number.  Do not invite more people than you have room for based on the venue regulations or the tent size. This can backfire and leave you scrambling just weeks before the wedding.

Parental Rules

Often, parents want input on the guest list. Unless your parents are paying for the entire wedding and reception, you will need to set some ground rules. You may decide to limit the number of guests that parents can request to a fraction of the total invited. Have a conversation with each set of parents and set the expectation. Perhaps you are only inviting people that you keep in touch with on an annual basis. Decide what is right for you as the guests of honor, and stick to the rules that will keep you on track.

Children included

This can be a difficult decision. Do you allow children at the ceremony, the reception or both? Many couples fear the potential disruption and chaos that the addition of kids may cause. Perhaps a compromise is to allow older children, twelve to eighteen years of age as an example, but exclude the younger ones as they tend to have a shorter attention span and may need more direction from parents and other adults. Keep in mind that some people may view a wedding as a family affair and take offense to the “no child” rule. Still others may simply have babysitting challenges that keep them from attending. Whatever you decide, stick to the final decision, as making even one exception to the rule will certainly upset those that were on the wrong side of that omission.

Family, Friends & Co-workers

Assuming you have already planned to include extended family, casual friends and colleagues, you will inevitably need to draw the proverbial line somewhere. Choosing those that make the cut is often harder than it seems.  Unlike your decision to rule the attendance of children in or out, the rest of your guest list should be considered on a situational basis. For example, you may have a great aunt who is extremely important to you, while your significant other has 30 first-cousins that they haven’t visited in years. You may both opt to leave out the cousins and invite a set of close friends instead. Just remember, this is your special day and you will want those people who have held significant roles in your life to be present. It’s perfectly fine to trim the list to meet this need.

Plus-Ones

The addition of plus-one guests can really skew your number quickly. Make it clear from the beginning what the expectation is with add-ons. If you have invitees who have been serious with their significant other for years, or rely on an aid for mobility and transportation, then you would include their names on the invitation. A tip to ensure no write-ins are added to the return card is to have them pre-printed with the expected invitees’ names. This helps to eliminate the guess work, and allows you to track the reply card, since ultimately several guests will forget to write their names in.

Make sure when creating your guest list, that you remember it should be a collaborative effort between the two of you. The bottom line is, both you and your significant other need to feel happy and confident in those you have selected to attend. Do not make it about family politics or one-up-man ship. Instead focus on those people who have an impact on you or your significant other individually, and those that have supported you as a couple. This day is about your commitment to each other, and that is what matters most!

Inspired to bring your BIG IDEAS to Life!

Wedding services, event design and detail coordination

The ring is on your finger, the date has been chosen and the venue booked. Now on to the details. What if someone else could handle those details so that you could enjoy being the “guest of honor” at your own wedding? Inked Events provides more than just “Day of Wedding” coordination services. From full wedding planning and execution, to the planning and deployment of your bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner and wedding party gift bags. Our expertise can be your peace of mind.

Full Planning

From booking venues and caterers following your spectacular engagement to delivering payment to the final vendors as they pack up after an amazing reception (and everything in between) our full planning service leaves you free to dream and enjoy. We bring our ideas and experiences to help you to make the best selections for your big day. Th day is all about YOU, but the work of planning doesn’t have to be!

Partial Planning

You’ve booked the venue and met with a few vendors. The big stuff is out of the way – but wow, it’s way too much work to do alone! We assist with selecting the final vendors and making suggestions for detailed items, based on your preferences and vision for your special day.

Wedding “Day of” Coordination

The hard work of planning the wedding is taken care of, but all those pieces need to be pulled together on event day. Every couple should be able to enjoy the guests and activities, but coordinating vendor arrivals, last minute set-ups and the handful of snafus that are bound to occur can take away from the fun. Let us handle those headaches so you can be stress free.

Social Events & Celebrations

Maybe you are too focused on the wedding day to let the other tasks like engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, post wedding brunch, guest activities, welcome bags, or showers slow you down. Luckily, our willing and able staff can help with all of that. We’ll meet to share your vision then, based on your direction, create the perfect pairings to your wedding celebration.

Decorations, Décor and Giveaways

Looking for that special centerpiece or magical element to highlight your theme? We can help. Our vendor partners never let us down, and can make even the most unique bloom request a reality.  Tying it all together, our linen rental program will provide the perfect match.

That’s why you need us

Our mission is to provide you with a worry-free and enjoyable experience – from beginning to end. We get to know you personally, understand your vision and your needs, providing the wedding you dreamed up yourself, without all the work and preparation it takes to execute it alone. No two weddings are ever alike, and we pride ourselves on customizing our services to fit your needs.  Contact us to see if your wedding date is available.

Selecting the Right Musical Entertainment for Your Wedding

The pros and cons of Live Music versus Disc Jockey for your reception

Before you choose a DJ or select that perfect band for your wedding celebration, reflect on the thoughts and visions you have for the ceremony, reception and beyond. Specific consideration to your own musical tastes, theme or style of the wedding and of course your budget are critical first thoughts. Once you have that figured out Consider the following:

Atmosphere

The type of music you select should complement the intended ambiance of your wedding. For example, if you want a subtle, yet romantic atmosphere, then a harpist or string quartet might be a consideration. Maybe you are having a toes-in-the-sand beach-side wedding where a calypso band would fit right in! Whatever your intention, set the mood with the right kind of music, but remember this is one of the things most people will remember about your reception.

Audience

Everyone is there to help you celebrate your big day, but they have expectations too! Carefully review your guest list to better understand who will be in attendance for your wedding. Based on the demographic, you will want to consider the type of music that will keep them entertained and enjoying the festivities. If your affair will be mostly family, with a high number of them being over 50 then the latest alternative rock band may not be the best choice.

Space

There are some very unique spaces which make great venues for your special day. Consider the space you have available to work with. If the space is segmented and chopped up, or if there is not ample space to house a band then a DJ may be the best way to go.

Variety

When your wedding guests are multi-generational assume that music requests will be wide and deep. Assuring that a vast selection across genres and time-periods are available. If your attendees are all similar in age and musical taste, then you can consider a music selection more targeted for those expected to be in attendance.

Bands

Pros

  • Live music is entertaining, even to non-dancers.
  • Great bands can bring a lot of energy and excitement to an event

Cons

  • Bands tend to be more expensive than DJs.
  • Bands are also unable to provide the variety of music you receive with a DJ.
  • If space is limited it might be tough to squeeze the entire band into one area.

DJs

Pros

  • DJs tend to be more budget friendly
  • DJs come prepared with special requests and can have all your favorite songs in queue.
  • Charismatic DJs can also act as emcee and keep the event rolling along
  • DJs require less space for set-up and performance than most bands.

Cons

  • For guests who don’t dance a DJ can be a bit underwhelming
  • A DJ with little personality, or who fails to click with the vibe of the audience, can bring the event down quickly.

This 18th century Barn is nestled in Jackson NH and provides accommodations for 85 to 200 person weddings.

Selecting your wedding venue is one of the first things you will do in planning your big day. Many couples are looking for something unique and memorable. Whether rustic charm, vintage elegance or modern chic, the location of your wedding will need to align with your vision of decor, budget, number of attendees, food styling and service, etc.

Beginning to plan a wedding is exciting and can be very emotional. Often a couple might feel the need to choose a wedding site on the spot without considering all of the other details of the wedding. While you might love what you see at each venue be cautious of jumping in without considering how all of your other plans might fit into that space and the flow of the event.

We have assembled the Top 25 unique NH venues to assist in your decision-making process. Of course, we are also available to answer other questions for you regarding planning and day-of management.

 

Top 10 Exciting Wedding Trends

 

Image Mapping on cakes is only one of the elements trending in wedding events right now.

Weddings have long been a day to celebrate the couple. Ceremonies involving family and friends are as important today as they were fifty years ago. But, don’t think that the same wedding styles, venues and traditions apply to the modern nuptials of today. Couples are more focused on incorporating their own special touches into the big day; including their childhood memories and family traditions; and also another important element is providing each guest with an “experience.”

Regardless of budget, couples are more conscious of their guest’s comforts and needs, providing options in meals, parting gifts and comfortable spaces / atmosphere. Still there are trends guiding the industry sure to influence wedding trends for the next year.

  1. Vintage glamour

    There is some debate as to what makes a wedding truly vintage, but suffice it to say that many couples are incorporating items and elements from bygone eras. Add antique or vintage tableware, accessories and even wedding dresses, paired with glamorous detail and elegant touches. This combo classifies it as “vintage glamour” a hot new trend in 2017.

  2. Neutral color palette

    Wedding planners in 2017 have made great use of the neutral earth-tones, and palettes marked with beige, taupe, ivory and muted greens, blues and yellows. Calming and comfortable, these colors and tones provide the perfect backdrop for other surprise elements. Best of all, they do not compete with the sprinkling of brilliant color bursts becoming popular again this season.

  3. Surprise Settings (venue)

    From art galleries and rooftop patios, to historic buildings and local breweries, couples are opting for the non-traditional space. Modern couples seem to be moving away from the conventional hotels and function halls and selecting sites that are better representations of their personality and interests.

  4. Unique Invitations

    According to Wedding Wire and The Knot, the hottest trends for invites are deep dark colors, metallics, both paper and imprint, watercolors and geometric shapes. Regardless of your preference, the theme seems to be attention grabbing and fun.

  5. Interactive food stations

    Make your food memorable without breaking the bank. Offer guests an experience they will remember through food stations that allow for each person to customize their selections. Whether a mashed potato bar where hand-selected toppings are available or fondue station offering several items for dipping, and a variety of “dips.” For other ideas…

  6. Image mapping

    A new method of decorating your venue, this image projecting technology allows you to transform a space with lighting and moving pictures. Ever wanted a destination wedding? Maybe budget prohibits it, but with this technology you could literally bring the “destination” to you. This is also a very popular technique for blinging out your wedding cake. Check it out.

  7. Metallic dresses

    From shimmering highlights, sheer overlays or full-bodied metallics, this season’s dresses are including the glamour of precious metals. A great way to incorporate eye-catching elements to a bride’s gown and – and you can even carry it over the bridal party’s dresses and suit ties and vests.

  8. Gift lounges

    It’s not often that popular trends in weddings equals less work for the couple and her planner, but here is one. The Guest Gift Lounge provides a variety of favors that your guests can choose for themselves. This concept can also be used for welcome bags at destination wedding or for out of town guests. Simply provide an assortment of snacks, beverages and local goodies and let each person fill a customized bag of their own choosing.

  9. Pet Friendly Ceremonies

    If you are a pet lover, or have been considering including your furry family member in your ceremony you are not alone! Many couples want their cherished critters to be present for the big day. There are many logistical items to consider, but more and more venues are making accommodations.

  10. Unusual Entertainment

    Couples are trying to be creative when it comes to keeping guests entertained during the cocktail hour  between the ceremony and reception, and even during the lulls throughout the evening. Many have taken to hiring unusual live entertainment, including magicians, acrobats, and even actors and impersonators.

If you love tradition, there is nothing wrong with a beautifully decorated hall, and classically elegant attire, but if you are feeling adventurous or creative, today’s couple are proving that the sky’s the limit. Go ahead and add your personal touch!

{Blog Series} The Day in the Life of a Coordinator — Part 2 – Desiree & Jacob

Behind the Scenes …. Look at Working with Inked Events as Your Day of Coordinator 

Wondering what happens behind the scenes when you work with a Day of Coordinator like Inked Events? In our last blog post, I shared the process of finding a Day of Coordinator to help plan a wedding. I left off with the exciting news I received that I’d be part of Desiree & Jacob’s wedding! I really do get all giddy with excitement when I have the honor of working with amazing people on one of the happiest days of their lives! 🙂

Now it’s crunch time for Desiree & Jacob’s upcoming September wedding. Their wedding is less than a week away now, so this is a great time to see what we’re up to!

The next step in the process of working with Inked Events is actually meeting. I try to accommodate everyone’s busy schedule and negotiate the contract via email and phone. When the couple is ready to move forward signing us on as one of their vendors, we coordinate a time and place to physically meet to chat.

Our meeting was scheduled for a Sunday afternoon in March. It was a rainy day, but that didn’t dampen our mood or take away from the cute, little cafe we met at. In preparation for that meeting, I asked Desiree and Jacob to fill out a client profile which provides the finer details of who’s who, contact information, vendors and all other types of information a Day of Coordinator needs to know. For my preparation, I researched the venue to see if there are any pictures of it or if there’s a downloadable floor plan to work with.

I was so excited to finally meet Desiree and Jacob in person! She and I had chatted a bit over email and text messaging beforehand, so when we finally met each other in person, I felt I was meeting an old friend.

During our first meeting with couples like Desiree and Jacob, we review everything, and I mean everything. This helps me get an idea of how the couple sees the day and how they want things to feel.

Next, as a Day of Coordinator, I create a timeline based upon everything we discuss. I always start with a draft based on how the couple envisions the wedding and reception, then, when I consult with the other vendors involved, I adjust the timeline to fit their time allowance and needs. I continually fine-tune the timeline over the course of the planning process.

After the couple reviews the timeline, we discuss any concerns, thoughts and ideas they have. During the course of our planning process, Desiree and Jacob expressed an interest in a few last minute vendors, so I recommended a few reliable, creative professionals I knew would fit their style and budget.

Desiree planned to create her centerpieces and bouquets herself. I’m all about DIY, but when it comes to floral arrangements, I highly recommend hiring a professional florist.

Why? As a Day of Coordinator, my role is to not only help with any last minute planning of the Big Day, but ultimately to relieve stress and worry for the couple on their Big Day. So, I asked her, “Do you really want to worry about making the centerpieces and bouquets days before your wedding and then have to worry about where to store them until the day of the wedding?”

I’m happy to report that Desiree took my advice and booked my florist after that brief conversation.

After meeting Desiree & Jacob, I sent out my introductory email to the vendors they had booked. This way all vendors would understand that I would be the point-of-contact on their wedding day and executing the timeline as the day’s playbook.

Since they brought me on early on in the planning process, Desiree and I have communicated over the last few months via email. It provided me an opportunity to answer questions, address any detail or updates, or just to touch base. She had a bridal shower back in June with her family and friends in Texas, {where she’s originally from} and then had an I Do BBQ Jack & Jill at Jacob’s family home for local family and friends. It warmed my heart to be invited to the Jack & Jill, but I could not attend.

On a beautiful summer day, back in July, we enjoyed our venue walk-thru. The walk-thru is key since it’s a time we’re all able to discuss the room set up, to ensure the day will flow properly. Based on our walk-thru, we adjusted the rooms set up, with particular attention to where certain personalized items will be better suited for the guests to see and have access. After the walk-thru, we went to Harvard Square for lunch and continued to review a few more details to be certain the day would flow seamlessly.

We’re just a week to go! As the Day of Coordinator, the last few weeks have been spent finalizing details. I can’t believe their wedding day is just about here! I’ll be in full wedding mode this week!

I’m so excited to see everything come together, but I’m especially excited to see two of the sweetest people—and the most adorable couple—get married.

Here are a few inspiration ideas that will be at their wedding:

Sofreh Aghd {Persian Table}

Pie Table

Twinkle Lights

Are you just as excited as I am? Stay tuned for Part 3….THE WEDDING!

Are you considering, or interested in, hiring a Day Of Coordinator? Contact me via our Inked Events website form to find out if your date is available and how I can help you during the planning process.

Cheers!
~Tracy

{Blog Series} The Day in the Life of a Coordinator — Part 1 Desiree & Jacob

Happy Wednesday!

Now, that summer is officially over, our blogging summer vacation must come to an end too! I hope you enjoy the first of our new blog series. Grab a cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy….

Ever wonder what the process is when working with a Day of Coordinator?

I’m here to tell you I had an epiphany the other day. How about I take you along for the ride while I’m working with my clients before, during & after their wedding? You’ll see the process of working with a coordinator through my eyes.  And at the end of it, you’ll see the wonderful result and what the couple said about working with us.

There’s so much that goes into planning a wedding, and if you’re in the planning process right now, you can certainly relate. I wanted to give you a little insight when you become one of our clients and how it is when you work with a Day of Coordinator at Inked Events. You are more than a client to me— you become a friend. I want to know what’s going on beyond wedding-related things, I want to know what’s happening with you, your family, work, what you did over the weekend and anything else that’s going on.

I hope you enjoy the story of our soon-to-be-wed-in-September clients Desiree & Jacob! Thanks to Leise Jones Photography for these gorgeous engagement pictures!

Beginning the Process of Working with a Day of Coordinator

It was back in March when Desiree sent me an email to inquire about her wedding date availability. Desiree contacted me based on a recommendation from her photographer; Leise Jones Photography’s when she inquired about working with a Day Of Coordinator. Leise had just published a wonderful blog post about us & sent it along to her to read. {Leise & I met last year at a networking event and totally hit it off. We’ve been looking forward to working together ever since.}

After a few emails to get better acquainted, we found a Friday night to sit down & have a phone chat. We talked about her wedding, what she & Jacob do for a living, how they met, how he proposed and just a whole lot of other things.

During our conversation, I took notes about the wedding details and especially listened to what her concerns were. One of her biggest worries was regarding a rehearsal. Their venue isn’t available the day before their wedding due to another event, so she mentioned that she was going to have it on the day OF the wedding!

Now, picture this: you’re getting ready; hair and makeup is being done; it’s the middle of the afternoon on your wedding day and you stop and all leave to go to the rehearsal!

The Process of Working with a Day of Coordinator Eliminates Worries

I listened to her concerns, then suggested a few options:

  1. Scheduling the rehearsal on another day at their venue
  2. Holding a rehearsal at a completely different location the day before, or even a few days before
  3. Eliminating the rehearsal completely

I recommend #3 when a couple is working with a Day of Coordinator. I mentioned that if she were to hire us as their Day of Coordinator, we wouldn’t have to do a rehearsal. I’m confident in my abilities to get the wedding party down the aisle with no issues.

Let’s just say, she felt a weight lifted off her shoulders. 

I was happy to give her that peace of mind and that was before she even decided to work with us!

During our conversation, I instantly felt a great connection with Desiree. We chatted for just over an hour and I was so excited about her wedding details that I couldn’t wait to meet her and of course, work with her & fiancé Jacob. I sent off the proposal outlining what we discussed & what my services would entail.

A few days later, she contacted me to let me know they wanted to move forward. Excitement was in the air!!! 🙂 Love is in the air!

Want to hear what happens next? Stay tuned for the Part 2 in our series…..

Are you considering or interested in hiring a Day Of Coordinator? Contact me via our Inked Events website form to find out if your date is available and how I can help you during the planning process.

Cheers!
~Tracy