Caterer

The Offline Wedding Challenge... Can YOU Do It??

What if you were brave enough or crazy enough or loony enough or coo coo enough to take your wedding and your wedding planning offline? Like no online anything... No online planning. No finding your wedding vendors online, no Pinterest (yikes!), no free advice (including mine, and I’d fucking miss you, but sometimes you have to let go of the people you love), nothing. I mean holy shit, how would that even work? How would you manage to plan your wedding without these tools, these helpful tips, these “things” we’ve become so dependent on? Seriously, how the fuck did our parents do it? And well? Right? But, something tells me you’d find a way, and maybe, just maybe you’d even like it.

Bridey, I realize what I am asking you to do. And, frankly, I don’t know how possible it is because we’ve all become so accustom to finding anything, and pretty much everything we need, want and don’t want with a swipe of a finger. Myself included!! So, why am I asking you to make it harder on yourself? How could I possibly ask such a HUGE “ask” of you during such a stressful time in your life? I mean, planning a wedding is hard enough, right? So much to do, so many details, so many things…

Well, I’m 100% convinced that taking your wedding offline will bring the humanity back into planning. You will have the opportunity to really connect with your vendors, your family, your friends and even your sig other. We have become so disconnected because of the ease of gathering information, that even a friendly phone call to inquire about flowers or catering or wedding cake can make you feel good about your choices; good about people in general. You’ll get a feeling that you won’t get by filling out a questionnaire online. You’ll get to FEEL. And, hopefully that feeling will be one of excitement and joy. It’s amazing what a good conversation can do for your soul.

My birthday was a few weeks ago, and it was a fabulous day! I felt like a queen on FaceBook, my phone was blowing up with texts, I got some amazing presents, but my favorite part? My oldest friend, who lives across the country, called to wish me, “happy birthday”, and we chatted for over an hour. I have known her since I was six years old, and although we don’t talk often, she is somebody who will be in my life forever no matter how much time goes by… And, outside of it being a great day because it was my birthday, that phone call made me so happy. She absolutely could have texted me with birthday wishes, but actually talking? Amazing. Do I expect you to feel this kind of joy after you talk with a potential wedding venue? No, but it’s more likely that the person on the other end of the call will make you feel happy and excited about your wedding in a way that a questionnaire can’t. It’s more likely that you will make a connection on the phone instead of online. It’s more likely that you will feel joy from actually speaking with somebody about a pretty important day in your life as opposed to typing about it…

So, where do we go from here? How do we do this? Honestly? I have no fucking clue! Ask your mom! Somehow she managed to plan a wedding without Pinterest. Although, I think a great place to start is by picking up the phone and calling instead of picking up the phone and swiping, even if it’s only to one of your vendors. Or, call your friend and ask who did her gorgeous flowers instead of texting her. Allow yourself to get lost in great conversation. 

Bridey, is this whole offline wedding challenge logical? Doable? Manageable? I don’t know, but what I DO know is that taking a break from the continuous, endless web of choices might help connect you to your vendors, your family and your planning. Please, take this offline wedding challenge, and call it an opportunity to really connect instead of submit.

Has anybody taken this “old school” approach? How’d it go? Who’s willing to give it a try??

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Bridey, Don't Let the Bar Bill Drive You Ballistic... Budget Accordingly!

Bridey, if you know me at all, then you know that I'm a huge fan of open bar at weddings. Don't get me wrong, I totally respect your budgetary restraints, however if you are able to provide cocktails for your guests, then do it! Because, I'm not the only one who digs a few free cocktails (okay, maybe more than a few) in exchange for my presence at your wedding. But, I must warn you, bridey... Should you decide to have an open bar, then plan your budget accordingly. And, plan big! Actually, plan HUGE! Because, an open bar will undoubtedly cost more than you think!

Why? Why will the open bar cost more than you think? Well, bridey, people in general like all things that are free. And an open bar? It's like winning the free jackpot! Right? Do you think your guests give a shit that the bar is costing you money? Nope! As long as it's not costing them money, then they are going to drink their fucking faces off! Isn't that what you do while attending a wedding with an open bar? I do! And, I totally know better, but I can't help it. It's like there is a magnetic pull to the bar that is so powerful it cannot be stopped. 

Rule of thumb? The first hour is when your guests will drink the heaviest. I would estimate anywhere between 2-3 drinks per person. Some will drink less, and some will drink more, but either way, cocktail hour? Yeah, it's all about the cocktails! And, after that? Plan on a drink an hour per person. PERIOD. So, simple math for 100 guests? 5-6 drinks per person. Depending on where you are in the country, this could cost you anywhere between $50-75 per person plus tax and gratuity. No, I am not lying or exaggerating. The numbers are staggering, which is why I am telling you this before your wedding so that you can build it into your budget. 

Because the most annoying thing ever? Fighting with the venue/caterer (after the fact) about the bar bill. Seriously. It's not the fault of the venue that your guests drank more than you anticipated. It's your fault for not planning on it in advance. I mean, I've had clients go so far as to ask each and every guest how much they drank. REALLY? Yes. True story. And, do you think their guests told them they had 8 fucking drinks, puked their guts out, and couldn't get out of bed for two days? Of course not!! They told the bride that they only had 2-3, because people are assholes and people lie. And frankly, bridey, you shouldn't be such a cheap ass and ask your guests how much they drank at your wedding.

Moral of the story? Your guests have no morals. So, if you are planning on providing an open bar for the evening, then plan on your guests living on nothing except booze (and maybe some food) for five hours. Got it? Good! Now, go budget that open bar!

Image via Amanda Douglas Events