Archive for June, 2011

Ann + Kyle: 06.18.11 (Sneak Peek!)

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

We traveled out to Zanesville last weekend to help with Ann and Kyle’s wedding. When Ann and her lovely mom first came to see me last year, the plans sounded wild: over 400 people invited, 20 bridal party members and the promise of square dancing at the reception! We had 350 guests, 9 bridesmaids, 11 groomsmen, square dancing, a rap for the groom, a skit from the bridal party and a party that didn’t end until 1:30 am! Lots more fun pictures and details to share but for now here are a few of my favorites from Jared at Lotz Studios.

See that laugh? They did that all day long – it was awesome! Thanks to Jared for sharing and to Ann and Kyle for letting me a part of it all – can’t wait to share more pictures soon!

Quick Tip: RSVP %

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Standard rule of thumb for the industry says that about 75-80% of your guests will RSVP yes to your wedding.  I used to use the same rule of thumb but now insist that if a guest is invited, there will be room for them – i.e. no inviting 200 people to a wedding venue that can only hold 160.

Why do I insist on this for my couples?  Because of Lindsay and Nick’s wedding.

Lindsay and Nick were married on private property under a gorgeous tent overlooking Bass Lake in Cleveland in July of 2006.  The invited guest list numbered 184.  We reserved a tent that would hold 160 plus a dance floor – a generous cushion or so I thought.  Lindsay began to get a little worried about 5 weeks before the wedding when literally every one of their RSVPs were yes.  I assured her that most of the time the yes responses come first with the no responses coming in later and not to worry – the nos would be coming!

I was wrong.  I was so very wrong.

When all was said and done and all the RSVPs were in they had 179 guests attending.  They had a 97.3% positive RSVP rate.  5 people said no.  FIVE.  Our planned for tent wasn’t large enough, we had to order more tables and chairs and a bigger tent!  We also just had to hope it didn’t rain because the property barely had enough room for the bigger tent unless we wanted to seat guests on an embankment and there was no nice wide aisle if we had to seat people at their tables for the ceremony!

On wedding day, it rained (and a mini tornado came through the day before during set up – that’s a story I only tell over drinks!) so the ceremony had to be held inside that tent with guests seated at their tables – it was cramped and the aisle wound through the guest tables and it was humid and muddy but everyone had a GREAT time which in the end is all that matters!  I was thankful that we were at a location that allowed us to up-size everything at the very last minute.

Go ahead and plan on 75-80% of your invited guests attending but remember Lindsay and Nick and budget and space plan for 100% to be on the safe side – you just never know what could happen!

Featured in 614 Magazine!

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

I was tickled pink when the editor of 614 Magazine called me and asked me to contribute to their special wedding themed section in the June issue.  I am quoted in two different articles:

The Big Twist and Green with Envy

Although I do have one tiny correction, I’ve actually been a wedding planner for 7-1/2 years.  If you want to see pictures from the pirate wedding referenced in The Big Twist, just click here or search for pirate on the Emilie Duncan Event Planning blog.  Yes, it was as much fun as it looks like in the pictures!

Big thanks for 614 Magazine for featuring me!  If you want to grab a printed copy, they are all over the place and free!

Quick Tip: Receiving Line

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

The vast majority of my clients don’t do a receiving line but occasionally a bride and groom either want to have a traditional receiving line at the church or their parents insist on it.

Truth be told, I try to talk people out of receiving lines or releasing rows for the simple reason that they are a huge time monopolizer and tend to be impersonal. Most of my brides and grooms realize they will have more meaningful interactions with their guests if they circulate at the cocktail hour or go from table to table after dinner to greet their guests. The conversations are not as rushed, your guests don’t feel like cattle and you can say more than “thanks for coming” which is all that a receiving line allows because there are 180 or more other guests staring you down, standing in uncomfy heels and too tight suit coats to shake your hand!

Obviously, my advice is to skip the receiving line but if you really want one or a parent is insisting, make sure you allocate enough time for it in the timeline! My rule of thumb is assume it will take on average 10 seconds per person for each guest to move through the line. 250 guests? That receiving line is going to take just under 45 minutes. See why I recommend greeting guests at other times?