Monthly Archives: August 2018

Should you host an adults-only wedding?

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wedding venue with centerpiece lights and guests at wedding receptionHosting an adults-only wedding is a new trend among couples, and one that comes with a lot of opinions (a LOT of opinions!). A bride recently wrote about her views and experience planning a hosting a wedding sans kids. One guest recently voiced her opinion that an adults-only wedding was a selfish idea.

So is an adults-only wedding right for you? You can come to an answer by asking yourself these questions:

  • What kind of wedding do we want (a big party with lots of adults-only beverages, a late evening affair, or a family celebration)?
  • What time do we want to hold our reception? (A later reception may be more appropriate for adults-only.)
  • Do our friends and family have a lot of kids?
  • Are we having kids in our wedding party? (You can still host an adults-only reception, but may need to address the presence of kids at some point.)
  • Does our budget allow for kids? (Depending on your budget, you can cut the guest list with an adults-only list or have an adults-only reception by providing babysitting in a kid zone away from the reception.)
  • Is our venue a kid-friendly venue? Do they allow kids? (Don’t be afraid to ask the venue staff when you first contact them.)

If you do decide that an adults-only wedding is right for you, use these tips for successful wedding planning and an awesome reception.

Decide where you want to draw the line. Be firm about who is considered a kid and who is not. Don’t “un-invite” one teen while inviting another. Try to be as consistent as possible, and don’t be afraid to tell your guests how decisions were made.

Be clear about your expectations. If you want an adults-only wedding reception, be clear with guests. Address the envelopes accordingly (no “plus family”) and put the names of only the guests invited on the response card (Mr. & Mrs. John Doe). Add a line to your wedding invitations and website that is clear about your no kids policy. A simple “Please join us for an adults-only wedding reception” will do. If a limited budget is involved, a clearly worded “We have limited seating available; therefore our dinner and reception is an adult affair” should provide a clear explanation. (More ideas for adults-only invitation wording can be found here.)

Know that it’s okay to contact some parents. If you have a close friend or a guest you know is going to have questions, it’s all right to reach out to them. Don’t feel you have to give you a huge explanation for your decision; however, it’s better to answer questions upfront and offer any assistance to guests (i.e. babysitter numbers, answer questions about your wedding “kid zone).

Expect some negative feedback. Don’t be surprised if there is some less-than-thrilled feedback from guests. When confronted, be clear with your intentions and, though tempting, don’t make exceptions. You are going to cause far more drama and get more unpleasantness when allowing some guests to bring kids while others are not. Instead, offer to connect parents with responsible babysitters or, when the budget allows, offer to assist with the financial cost of child care.

6 Tips for an Autumn Wedding You’ll Fall in Love With

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welcoming wedding venue foyer with warm fireplaceBeautiful fall colors. Yummy hot chocolate. A cozy autumn evening. Fun Halloween antics. No doubt, you’ve chosen a fall wedding date for one or all of those reasons (and more!). Now it’s time to pull all your favorite parts into a wedding day that completely you; we’ve given you a few tips to make your fall wedding vision reality.

Don’t count on beautiful fall weather.

Autumn weather is unpredictable; in some ways, it can be more unpredictable than any of our other Midwestern seasons. One day it’ll be 70 with sunshine, the next 50 and rainy. Plan accordingly, both for your sake and for the comfort of your guests. Choose an indoor venue with air conditioning for those hot fall weekends and heat for the cooler days in September, October, and November. For great photo opps, look for a venue with details and locations great for your wedding photos. You might not get the chance to head outside if the weather is cool and wet.

Decide on your fall theme—and indulge it.

birch containers with elegant wedding centerpieceAs much as you love every aspect of fall, make sure you choose one detail as your focus and carry it throughout your décor. A fall wedding with a little bit of leaves, a little bit of Halloween, and a little bit of every other autumn detail can feel make the reception feel disjointed and scattered. For example, for a Halloween wedding, plan a reception full of Halloween details and schedule a murder mystery for your main stage entertainment. If you need help focusing your wedding reception details, choose a venue with an experienced planner to assist you with connecting the dots (i.e. décor, entertainment, menu, etc.).

Bring the outdoors in.

If a beautiful fall day is one of your favorite parts of the season, create an atmosphere that exudes it. Choose table décor that exudes the outdoors, such as antlers, birch logs, and fall logs. To add formality, add candles and lighting that give your reception the right feel.

Embrace seasonal flavors.

Hot chocolate. Apple cider. Pies. Pumpkin dishes. The scent of these delectable autumn dishes can make your guests’ mouths water and add an ambiance that screams autumn. Incorporate your favorite dishes strategically as you plan your wedding menu and add food stations to your wedding reception plans. An interactive apple cider area with all the fixings can be a big hit with guests. For a more adult-only autumn flavor, add a beer or wine tasting to the evening’s events. Stock the tasting with beverages created just for your favorite wedding season.

Make your reception feel cozy and warm.

There are very few people who don’t appreciate a warm fall evening by the fire—especially on a cool autumn day. Take steps to warm your attendants and your guests. Provide shawls and fashionable sweaters for your attendants (the more fashionable, the cuter the photo opp!). For your guests, welcome your guests with touches that exude cozy (like a warm fireplace and lighting).

Add a favorite fall favor to your plans.

After going to great lengths to create a wonderful seasonal atmosphere, don’t leave your guests out in the cold. Choose a fall favor that warms and emanate the season: mittens, jellies, miniature pies, apple cider (or mixes), caramel apples, candles with fall scents.