Creating your wedding registry is an exciting time because it’s all about planning out your new life together! Just with every other aspect of wedding planning, there are helpful do’s and do not’s that we’d like to share to help keep you on track and organized! First, decide whether you lean towards being a traditional or modern-registry couple. It will help you decide which stores or alternate types of registry outlets are best suited for you. For instance, there are wedding trends showing an increase in the number of couples taking an alternate route and deciding against the traditional wedding registry gifts like bed sheets or pots and pans. Instead, listed among some of the more popular registry outlets made by couples:

One-Stop Shop for all things registry

Honeymooning & Travel Gifts

Charitable Donations

Unique and One-of-a-Kind Finds

If going the more traditional route, ask your selected registry stores if they have a completion program. Often times, stores will give you a discount for items remaining on your registry after your wedding date. This percentage can range anywhere from 10% – 15% and can help you purchase those items on your wedding registry you really wanted but didn’t receive. Those that made the cut for being the top wedding registry stores were:

Store Collage

Here are a few tips to keep you on track and organized when creating your perfect wedding registry:

Have a wedding registry at more than one place – preferably at two to three stores. It gives your guests options and versatility in their shopping experience.

  Maintain a balanced wedding registry with various price points and types of items.

 Register for what you want and need! Who cares if it’s non-traditional! Want new outdoor equipment, hobby items, or board games? Register for it! Some guests are looking for these fun, unique items on your registry and want to give you something more enjoyable than typical wedding registry necessities like a stand mixer or measuring spoons.

 There is no harm in registering early on in your engagement. Some guests will want to take a glance at your registry as soon as they receive your Save The Date. The worst thing you can do is register too close to the wedding and make things hectic for your guests.

 Don’t limit yourself – see the future! Are you like me and still live off of your college mismatched dishes or have towels that have seen better days? Eventually your college items need to be upgraded and now is the time to do so! In the future, you may want to host family get-togethers or dinner parties so being prepared to do so now, and registering for those items will help out in the long run!

Prepare Yourself! When heading to the store to create your wedding registry, go in with an idea of the items you for sure what to register for. It’ll make things go smoother, be more organized, and often is a time-saver so you aren’t in the store for hours on end.

  Don’t forget to write your thank you’s! It’s one of our most important tips for you regarding your registry! Make sure they are personal and given to your guests promptly!

 

Want to learn more? Reach out to us so we can chat! Hope these tips help you when registering! Happy Planning, and shall I say shopping too!

 

✿ Danielle

 

Are you busy looking for ways to have a personalized wedding ceremony? Just like the wedding reception, you should make the wedding ceremony your very own and seek to represent who you are as a couple. We have seen a real turn on the way ceremonies are performed and the personal touches that are constantly being infused. Here are some quick tips on what we’ve seen our couples do to get your imagination going!

1. Write your own personalized vows to read aloud at the wedding ceremony.

2. Consider having a booklet waiting at the guests’ chairs that tells your love story while they wait for the ceremony to begin.

Personalized Ceremony Program

3. Add your four-legged friend to the bridal party to add a personal touch.

4. Infuse how you met and your journey together as a couple into the wedding.

5. Select a unique, one-of-a-kind alter backdrop to create a personalized wedding ceremony.

 

Ceremony Backdrop

6. Consider an officiant whom you’ve known.

7. Personalize your programs to speak to your personality.

8. Arrange the ceremony chairs in a semi-circle so that all of your loved ones surround you.

Ceremony Setup

9. Have your ceremony musician be a close family member or friend.

10. Choose your music carefully – maybe put a spin on the traditional processional or recessional music.

 

Hope these few ideas get you started on ways to have a personalized wedding ceremony of your own!

 

Want to hear more from 1928 Planning Co? Contact us!

 

 Danielle

Oh the woes of seating arrangements! I bet you’re asking yourself, “Should I do a seating chart? How do I tackle this? Where do I start?” First things first: Decide what type of feel you are going for at your reception. Are you looking for a traditional, formal reception or more of a casual, mingle reception? What type of food is being served? If you’re doing heavy appetizers you can get away with open seating but a plated dinner requires assigned tables, and maybe even assigned seats! What is your guest count looking like? Anything over 50 people needs some sort of seating arrangement. Answering these questions will help determine whether open seating, assigned tables, or assigned seats will be best. From our experience, we’ve seen a little bit of everything. Here are some general seating arrangement ideas to help guide you in creating the best atmosphere for guests to relax and enjoy themselves!

Our Tips!

Make the place card table visible!

There is nothing worse than guests having awkward first moments in the venue. Provide guests with an easy to find table near the entrance of the venue that is quick to read and comprehend.

Place cards should always be organized alphabetically!

Do NOT organize your seating arrangement presentation by table #’s. It will lengthen the searching process – especially when you have a large guest count and 200 names to filter through! Doing it alphabetically will keep the line moving and guests will be satisfied with its ease.

Make sure the table numbers are visible!

Make sure table numbers are large, easy to see, read and find! Also be sure they are facing the direction guests will be walking in at.

Table Numbers

Table conversation is key!

Try and put atleast a few people who know each other together at a guest table to jumpstart convo. Mixing a few familiar faces and a few new ones will create a great mingling environment throughout the reception.

Obtain a layout from the venue

Before making seating arrangements, be sure to ask your venue for a layout of the reception space. Getting a feel for how many tables will fit comfortably in a given area early will help you plan out seating decisions later on.

Elderly vs. DJ Speakers

Who would have thought – Elders and loud, bumping music speakers don’t go together! Think through your layout and try to keep the elders on the opposite end of the DJ’s speakers so the sound doesn’t overwhelm them. You’ll want all guests to be comfortable; this is just another thing to think about!

Have a kid’s table at the reception!

Have a separate table just for the kids if you have several children over the age of 7. Be sure to check out one of my previous posts giving you the best insight on how to tackle kids at your reception!

Be sure to mix the families!

Especially if you decide to have a dance floor in the middle of the venue that separates the guests, be sure to mix his and her’s families to create more of a celebration and togetherness among the different families.

 

Contact us for more advice on more seating arrangement tips! It’s something you’ll want to take the time on and have it be just right!

 

Happy planning!

 

❀ Danielle

 

Reception timelines are a big deal – and really control the feel of the wedding celebration and the flow of events. It’s all about keeping the reception at a good pace, not too rushed and definitely not moving too slow. Many of you I’m sure turn to the web to look at sample wedding reception timelines. Just remember these are just a guide to help you get organized – not a set of rules to abide by! While there is flexibility as to how a reception can be organized and ordered, it’s important to be practical. Her are 10 helpful reception timeline tips that will help make your day flow just as you want it to!

 1. Decide if you want to have a traditional timeline or a trendy one.

First things first, decide if you’ll want the usual reception customs like cake cutting, the dollar dance, bouquet and garter toss, etc. or if you’d rather take a spin and go for a more trendy approach.

2. Make sure everyone involved knows what’s going on.

One of my biggest reception timeline tips: Everything should be planned and scheduled with your DJ, photographer, caterer, coordinator and other key vendors well in advance of your big day. Make sure every vendor has the same grand entrance time, first dance and cake cutting time, as well as dinner start time. Doing this ensures a smooth wedding reception from start to finish. 

First Dance

Photo Credit: Ben Pancoast Photography 

3. Do your formal photos right away!

Have an organized list to give to the photographer about who you’d like in what photos. Inform your family and friends in these formal pictures where to meet and when. This will keep the movement from one set of photos to the next.

4. Don’t keep guests waiting!

Try and stick to a 45 minute cocktail hour (1.25 hour MAX).  Keeping your guests waiting too long will have them wondering about the timeline of events and when things are going to get underway. 

5. Allow time to get ready for the grand entrance.

Plan to bustle your dress before you get announced? Have a large bridal party to round up? Allow a few extra minutes between arriving at the reception venue and getting announced so you can stick to your timeline as much as possible.

Grand Entrance

6. Consider doing toasts between dinner courses.

This is a newly popular piece to reception timelines. Consider having dinner right away and starting the toasts in between the salad and dinner course. It allows guests to finish up their first course while toasts begin and time for caterers to clear the tables of salad plates to prepare for the dinner entree.

7. Tame your talkers.

It’ll be impossible to predict how long someone can ramble for when they’re under the spotlight but inform your toasters to keep it to a minimum of a few minutes. You’ll want to keep your guests attention and taming your talkers is the way to go. 

8. Have a buffer of time for every activity

As mentioned in our #7, you’ll never know how much time your toasters may talk for when under the spotlight. Also, if doing other activities like a grand sparkler sendoff, make sure you build in time to prepare the sparklers, get them lit, and have your guests lined up. 

9. Don’t cut the cake too late!

A lot of couples are turning to cutting their cake upon arrival. If you’ve decided this is a little early for you, consider cutting the cake as soon as dinner is over. This will allow catering enough time to get the cake cut before guests begin to leave the reception.

10. Once you start open dancing, keep it that way!

Enough said! Once people find their way to the dance floor, don’t give them a reason to leave! Be sure to get all of the formalities taken care of before open dancing begins.    

 

Be okay with changes and don’t get too caught up in the timeline – enjoy your day (it’s going to go too fast regardless!) Keep in mind that you’re not orchestrating the wedding reception alone – you’ve got us to help guide you; just one of the many things we’re here for!

 

Contact us with questions! Happy planning!

 

Danielle

 

dots

 

1928 Planning Co. is a full-service Southwest Michigan wedding planning company, helping couples plan, create and experience their dream wedding!  We offer guidance with wedding planning for amazing destination weddings and Michigan beach weddings, wedding rentals, decor and more.  Our priority is creating a perfectly unique wedding that represents YOU, and making your big day that much more relaxing and memorable. Contact us to see how we can be a part of your celebration!

info@1928planning.com

269-332-1632

Deciding whether to give favors to guests and then choosing what the favor should be is often one of those small-scale back-burner decisions that may not be thought about much until all of the big wedding planning decisions are out of the way. Although this is often the case, it’s important to remember that creative favors are one of the easiest ways to put a little personal twist on the gift your guests will take home. Regardless of what you choose to give, it should always be something that represents you, and your relationship or personality. The gift of giving we’ve seen has remained constant, coming in two forms, either a physical item to give guests or in place of a favor, the couple giving a donation to an organization or association that has a special impact on them. This post is all about sharing some of the top creative favors for guests! Check it out!

 

Do It Yourself

Simply put, if you create the favor yourself, it’ll be personal, guaranteed! Let the creative gears spin on this one! We’ve seen a bunch of unique, DIY creative favors – anywhere from coasters, bookmarks, caramels and some of my personal favorites homemade jam and soap.

DIY Favors

 { Homemade Strawberry Jam }  { Homemade Vanilla Lavender Soap Bars }

 

Where You’re From

Have your guest favors be a shout out to where you’re from! These unique favors could be anywhere from Mackinac Island fudge, salt water taffy, or one of my favorites (and guilty pleasure) individual Garrett’s Popcorn snacks. Regardless of where you’re from, there will be plenty of ways to give recognition to your roots while having something creative to surprise guests with.

Wedding Favors

 { Salt Water Taffy }  { Garrett’s Popcorn Individual Snack Packs }

 

Where You Tie The Knot

Since so many of our couples travel to St Joe to tie the knot and have a mini-destination wedding, giving guests a regional treat as a favor is an easy way to keep your theme going.  Michigan mitten shaped chocolates, caramel apples from the Chocolate Cafe, we’ve seen it all! Give guests something to talk about! There are tons of resources to finding the perfect creative favor! Try out either Michigan Gourmet Travels or Purely Michigan for more great Michigan inspired ideas!

Wedding Favors

 { Individually Wrapped Caramel Apple Favors }

Important takeaway:: make sure the creative favor you’ve selected to give guests reflects who the two of you are! Hope this post gets your ideas flowing!

Looking for more brainstorming ideas? Contact us!

Happy planning!

❀ Danielle

Deciding whether to have an adult-only reception or a reception that welcomes all ages doesn’t have to be the tough decision its been tagged to be! Some view kids at the reception a daunting idea (insert screams, fits, and horseplay happening all night long). Take it from us who’ve coordinated tons of weddings – it doesn’t have to be like that! If you’re wanting to invite the kiddos to your reception, your attention should then turn to what to do with them – how to occupy them and make sure they are having a good time! Here are four tips to keeping the kids (and their parents for that matter) enjoying themselves during your wedding reception!

 

Kid-Friendly Meals

Kids will be more content if they are able to eat food they are used to, rather than the fancier meals typically served at weddings. This is one of the many reasons we love working with caterer, CK Catering! They are always willing to make a special dinner menu just for the kids, often including chicken fingers, mac n cheese, and a veggie. It will be much appreciated by the parents and they’ll be happy to see their kids eating dinner and not filling their tummies at the sweets table the whole night. Talking to your caterer about providing kids meals for those under a certain age is not only a great idea for the kids’ sake, but it’s usually easier on the pocket as well. Having young kids at your reception doesn’t need to be a challenge. Simplifying their menu will help to easily accommodate the young-ins. More often than not, the adults actually want to eat the kids food too because it brings them back to being kids themselves!

 

Creating a Kid’s Table

If having more than a small handful of kids at your reception, make sure you seat the kids with other kids. Both the adults and the children will have more fun this way. We tell our couples that children 7 years and older is a great starting point for a kids table. Just make sure they can be at a table without a parent – and definitely don’t seat one parent with a bunch of kids. Make sure that their parents are seated close enough to keep an eye out but still participate in adult conversation at their own table. If you decide to have kids at your reception, having a kid’s table will give them a place to stay and play. There’s no shame in admitting that it also allows you to have fun with their centerpiece arrangements and the entertainment found at their table. One of our 2012 brides said this was one of her favorite parts in the entire planning process!

kids at your reception

 

Kid Entertainment

As we all know, it doesn’t take much to keep kids entertained. Having the kids table filled with art supplies and craft projects, crayons with coloring books, glow sticks, puzzles, you name it, will allow them to have fun with people their own age. A unique kid activity we read up on from Love and Lavendar was providing an I-Spy game for the kids to complete throughout the night. Give them a list of things to find and a disposable camera and they’ll have a blast with each other and on this friendly competition.

kids at your reception

An idea for a reception with more than a handful of kids is to do like one of our awesome Veranda couples did. They decided to rent out a separate, supervised room at The Whitcomb where they had a Wii set up, boardgames, and a kid-friendly dance party. It gave the kids their own play area as well as a safe place for them to stay rather than running around the venue.

 

Kid Favors

Giving kids at your reception unique, kid-friendly favors will make them feel special and will get put to better use than an adult-focused favor. Providing them with goodie bags that have their name on them will not only make them feel special but also keep the young ones entertained during the reception.

kids at your reception

 

Hope this post makes you wanna be a kid again – I know it does for me!

 

If you’re in need of a few more tips and guidance with keeping the kids occupied, contact us!

 

 

Happy planning everyone!

 

Danielle

In the past, men have taken a back seat in being overly involved in the wedding planning process and have let the bride create their dream wedding. Well…. Step aside ladies! Men are beginning to take a much more active role in their involvement and presence in the wedding planning and big day! I love nothing more than meeting a groom who is not afraid to share his thoughts and opinions and sneak some masculine and quirky personality into what’s been pinned as a female-focused event. Because of this revelation of a groom’s eager involvement, here are some tips to infusing the perfect masculine wedding touch to help bring balance to your wedding.

 

Cigar & Whiskey Bar

There is nothing more manly than cigars and whiskey and having those items in a lounge atmosphere for guests to relax and have some fun is a perfect way to infuse a masculine touch into the reception. Having a cigar and whiskey bar also provides guests with some side entertainment if you were to hire a cigar roller and create cigars on the spot. Even if the groom isn’t big into cigars or whiskey, he will appreciate the meaning and tradition behind it.

Masculine Wedding Touch
 

His Accessories

Since accessories like his boutonniere, cufflinks, and dress socks are part of a man’s fashion on the big day, it’s important for these accessories to show his personality and more often than not, his humor! It’s all about letting the man choose his own wedding day accessories! In fact, one of our 2013 weddings wore superhero action figure boutonnieres. That’s correct, you heard me right! Also, in an unforgettable 2011 wedding, we had a groom choose quirky bottle-top cufflinks and socks that made a statement! Doing something as non-traditional as this allows opportunity for the groom’s input in having a unique masculine wedding touch to call his own.

Masculine Wedding Touch

Masculine Wedding Touch

Photo Credit: Jennifer Mayo Studios.

Groom’s Cake

Probably one of the most noticed additions in recent years for an easy and fun masculine wedding touch has been the groom’s cake. This cake should always reflect the groom and either his hobbies or personality. Boy have we seen some awesome ones! The look on the groom’s face when he realized you went the extra mile to get him a special treat is priceless! Check out the awesome (and yummy!) work of Dee’s Specialty Cakes!

Groom's Cakes

 

Reception Accent Color

One of the easiest ways to balance out the feminine vs. masculine feel of the reception is to consider adding a masculine tone accent color. Some of the trending masculine color selections for 2013 are slate, leather, denim, cotton and cognac. Another trend when infusing a masculine wedding touch is adding in a texture with the decor. Adding textures like leather, wood, metal and earthy details adds a perfect touch of sophistication. Check out the masculine color swatch below, what do you think?

Masculine Wedding Touch

 

Since the big day is all about the bride and groom getting married and becoming one, the reception shouldn’t reflect anything different. Infusing masculine wedding touches with feminine will create the balance you’re looking for and reflect the bride and groom perfectly.

 

Want to hear more from 1928 Planning Co.? Contact us!

 

 

Happy planning all!

 

 

❀  Danielle

 

Wedding Budget Infographic
Before you start planning the wedding of your dreams, most people wouldn’t have the slightest idea how much of your wedding budget vendors account for. Which brings me to a question I know all brides-to-be can relate… When meeting with potential wedding vendors and receiving pricing from them, how are you supposed to know what’s the average; the norm to spend on this stuff?

When I go shopping out on the town, I’m always looking for the best bang for my buck, and planning a wedding shouldn’t be any different! A few months back, we came across an awesome wedding blog post from Every Last Detail. We think it’s a great breakdown of professional vendor costs and traditionally which vendors require more of your wedding budget than others. Based on the chart, they say to break down your total wedding budget into the following vendor percentages:

Catering | 20.4% of your total wedding budget

Venue | 17.4%

Event Design + Décor | 15%

Photography | 10.3%

Florals | 9.4%

Event Planning | 8.5%

Cinematography | 8.2%

Entertainment | 5.1%

Paper Goods | 3.2%

Cakes & Sweets | 2.1%

 

No matter how big or small your wedding budget is, you don’t have to downsize on the number of professional wedding vendors you invite to be a part of the big day. It’s all about prioritizing which wedding vendors are most important to you in creating a ‘uniquely yours’ wedding reception and which takeaways you want your guests to have and remember long after the night is over.

Creating wedding budgets are said to be some of the most stressful, frustrating and hair-pulling moments in the planning process. The 1928 team is always looking to alleviate stress or concerns the couple may have during the planning process. As part of our Coordination Services, we’ll create a personalized budget for you that itemizes spending categories, forecasted vs. actual spending amounts as well as reminders on when payment installments and final balances are due with each vendor. As an experienced planner, I think this coordination service in particular is well worth the investment, to simply not have to worry about keeping a tedious organized wedding budget all on your own.

My tips for doing a budget breakdown yourself – take it stride by stride. Don’t let the costs get away from you! Plan ahead on what you’re looking to spend and know what your wedding budget will allow. These percentages are a great starting point and sticking with them will ensure a top-notch wedding with quality vendors without breaking the bank.

 

Contact us with questions and as always, happy planning!

 

 Danielle