The 3 most important things to consider while planning your wedding
Weddings are a time of celebration, a time that not only bring two individuals together, but a time that brings families, and sometimes cultures and religions together. Regardless of which corner of the globe, there are 3 things that are very important to guests that brides, planners and coordinators need to keep in mind while planning.
Nothing brings people together more than food and I have yet to see or be at a wedding without food. Even sobering events still call for food. What food then should be served considering all the many choices? Mexican, Indian, Middle Eastern, African, Americana, a combination, a little bit of everything? Are cultures being merged? How about food from both cultures? What a great way to introduce both sides of the families to the other’s culture. I personally can’t stand bland, nothing to write home about dinners especially at weddings. Food of choice should be one that makes you smile. One that makes you feel good and tastes absolutely delicious. After all, weddings are special occasions.
Here are a few thing to consider when deciding on how to serve your guests. Should it be buffet, family style, or sit-down dinner? Regardless what kind of food is served, buffet is always going to be your cheapest option. If your budget will not go the distant for a sit-down dinner, buffet is a much better option than to have guests wait for long periods before being served their food in the name of sit-down dinner. Buffets, though, can still be a hassle when not set strategically and properly coordinated with careful attention to some of the following factors.
Servers to Guests Ratio: The number of guests to server ratio makes a huge difference in guest experience so it’s very important to have an accurate headcount of guests and make sure to communicate such with the catering or staffing company to ensure a memorable experience for guests. Below are some general guidelines.
- Buffet – 1 attendant per 75 guests; Plating and serving – 1 server per 15 guests, 1 busser per 50 guests; 1 manager/captain per 150 guests. How about 1:2 ratio? A friend attended a wedding like that. That’s total luxury!
- Adequate and sufficient kitchen or space is needed as serving statio
Ultimately, a lot depends on how far the service station is from the dining area and must be considered. Distance between kitchen, serving station or catering area and dining area can break or make a great dining experience for guests so it’s absolutely important that this information be shared and considered.
Bartenders to Guest Ratio: For the bar, below are the general guidelines to consider. If you want things to move even faster, reduce the ratio.
- Bartender for beer, wine and soda party: 1 bartender per 75 guests;
- Bartender for mixed drink party: 1 bartender per 50 guests.
Three hours of dancing and ouch feet later, I can still remember a 50th birthday celebration we were day of coordinators for and provided event staff for about two years ago. The entertainment was spot on. Both young and old and everyone in-between was on the dance floor. No celebration is complete without entertainment. DJ’s, musicians and entertainers must be chosen carefully or your guest will be counting down the clock or my favorite, be on their phone texting about how miserable they are.
Coordination and management on the wedding day. The day of Coordination is so critical to weddings, yet many brides spend their budget on a lot of things but not for a professional to do the leg work on their big day. What good is pretty stuff when there is no order for one to enjoy them? It blows my mind when brides choose to coordinate their own wedding when there is no way they can be available for the task on their wedding day or ask a friend at the last minute to take this on. Remember they are your guests too and should enjoy celebrating with you. Coordinating a wedding is no walk in the park! There are a lot of moving parts. An experienced and detailed planner saves time and headache. They’ve also built relationships with vendors and know the industry. Acquire one that is a great negotiator and you may have everything on your wish list and more. Okay, getting back on track! The way an event coordinator or wedding planner manages the day will affect the overall experience for guest as they are the glue between vendors, venue, brides, in-laws and the whole shabride. I know, I just made that up. It’s very important that there is a clear and honest communication between the bride and the coordinator and expectations are laid out. No assumptions! The coordinator cannot carry out expectations that are not clear and neither can she advise the bride and groom on what the best choices are for their particular circumstances for a great wedding experience.
Food, entertainment and awesome coordination are keys to a great wedding experience for brides, grooms and guests alike.
About the Author
An entrepreneur, philanthropist and visionary behind The A, Abla Doku is an events and wedding designer and planner extraordinaire. A self-proclaimed bride’s advocate, her savvy entrepreneurial spirit, negotiation skills and experience brings calm, savings, excitement and “A” wedding experience to both brides and their guests.
The A Wedding (http://theawedding.com/), a member of The A brand located in McLean, VA provides boutique wedding service for the sophisticated and brides. Abla is also the creator of RED TiE DC, a series of events that spotlight selected non-profits where all proceeds go to support the chosen non-profit. These cause-focused networking events allow attendees to connect, build their business or profession, and support a great cause, all while having a great time making new ties.