Planning Tips: Buffet Design
Space planning and decor for the food-set-out space is often overlooked as couples plan for their big day. Designing a buffet space for beauty and efficiency will deliver a memorable experience for all. Some things to consider…
1. Flowers. Just a couple of floral arrangements in the catering hall bring beauty to the space, while demonstrating care and attention to detail.
2. Color. Crisp white linens with silver runners will set off warming trays nicely, especially when accompanied by a table-garnish of eucalyptus branches.
3. Layout. Planning with your caterer should include whether you can “mirror” your buffet line (which is perfect for a “T” configuration) vs. one long row, an “L” configuration, or horse-shoe layout. Talk with your caterer and the venue about how to a maximize layout and reduce wait-times for your guests.
4. Heights. Variations in surface-heights can deliver a more dynamic space. Consider placing a cocktail table or wine barrel to support menus or a bouquet of flowers.
Planning Tips: N.O.B.'s (Non-Alcoholic Beverages)
The “N.O.B.” setup is an often overlooked necessity at too many wedding events. With a little thought, and almost no cost, well-done NOBs can be the difference between ordinary and exceptional. ‘Some tips for your beverage stations...
1. Waters. In lieu of water bottles on ice, consider using a glass beverage dispenser with fruit-infused water. Cucumber, apples, citrus, mint, and mixes are easy to prepare, beautiful to display, and a refreshing treat for your guests.
2. Traditionals. Ice tea and lemonade can be made from scratch or simply purchased in your favorite brand. When placed in a glass dispenser with some ice and mint leaves, beverages adopt the appearance of homemade elegance.
3. Hot Spiced Cider. Marionfield is now offering hot spiced cider, made fresh on your wedding day, and presented for the event just after dinner. Everyone asks for our recipe, but it’s top-secret!! Please inquire for details.
The Importance of Working with a Licensed Venue
Each year, Marionfield hosts several events for couples who had previously booked elsewhere, but had their weddings canceled because their venue was shut-down for operating without a license.
As couples search for their ideal venue, many do not realize the importance of whether or not the venue is licensed. Licensing is one of the ways that a venue proves their worthiness to host your big day. Local and State requirements cover important matters ranging from life-safety to sanitation. Will there be enough parking? Is the building structurally sound? How well will guests with disabilities be accommodated?
Working with a licensed (legal) venue ensures that your guests will be safe, your event size is well-served, and that your venue will not be shut down. As you shop for your perfect venue, ask whether or not they are licensed, and ask to see a copy of their Certificate of Occupancy.
Planning Tips: Success with your DJ
DJ’s play an important role throughout your wedding day, and planning well can help make the event more successful and better tailored to your personal style. ‘Some tips:
1. Talk with your DJ about how much “MC work” you’d like, and in what style. A good DJ will deliver the experience that you’re looking for, but couples need to prepare their DJ for success.
2. Be sure that your DJ has downloaded specific songs that you want ahead of time. Many DJ’s are equipped with a hot-spot for downloading on-site, but preparing ahead is always best.
3. Coordinate specialty dance lighting options. Many DJ’s have lighting options, so be sure to plan for the dance that you’ve envisioned.
4. Coordinate for your DJ to arrive at least one hour before your guests. This allows them time to set up, test equipment, and have music playing in advance of guest-arrival. Help your DJ to be successful by requiring an hour to get ready on-site.
Planning Tips: Lining Up Your Linens
There is no shortage of misinformation on the internet when it comes to linens. We have witnessed many disappointments, and offer some simple tips to help you get the look that you'll love!
1. Size. For the nicest overall appearance, consider “full-drop” linens, which will kiss the floor on all sides. For cocktail tables, both a full-drop (120 inches round) and the next larger size are beautiful. The advantage to going slightly larger is that the gather on the ground will help keep your linens from blowing away in outdoor settings.
2. Count. Be sure to count all of your tables for linens—don’t miss the ones that you’ll be using for food service, beverage service, gifts, DJ, desserts, etc.
3. Color. Especially for larger receptions, consider changing up the tone of your color palette a bit. Dressing your round tables in a lighter tone than your banquet tables for example, will deliver a more rich and dynamic feel without growing your budget.
4. Wrinkles. Steaming is definitively less work and time than ironing. Renting pre-pressed linens will save you the most time. Pre-pressed linens still have creases, but creases say “clean,” while wrinkles say “sloppy.”
Planning Tips: Messaging with Purpose and Elegance
Using signs for messaging is a popular wedding trend. Signs can serve fruitful purposes, but they can also be overdone. For example, signs presenting times for highlight-activities or food menu items can serve your event very well, because they inform your guests with desired information. How does one ‘sign’ an event with elegance? ‘Some tips:
1. Place a simple leaf-vine or floret at the top or bottom of your sign. This helps to connect signage with your overall event presentation.
2. Be intentional with your signage (try not to over-sign).
3. Personalize your signage rather than buying mass-produced décor-signs.
4. Present your signs – an easel is good for messaging, whereas leaning signs against a wall or fixture has the appearance of décor.