Archive for October, 2011

5 Tips To Select The Best Wedding Reception Location


Distance – If people have to drive a long way to get from the ceremony to the reception, some will get distracted or decide to do something else. Try to keep the reception within a 15 to 30 minute drive of your ceremony. If it is not possible to get a reception hall close to your ceremony, make a caravan. Have the Bride and Groom lead the parade, and people will follow you to your reception.



Time – Time is just like the distance issue. If your reception is several hours after the ceremony, people will get busy doing other things and not show up for the reception. Try to start the reception within an hour or two of the ceremony. If you don’t want to start your wedding dance at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, have a Meet and Greet mixer before your reception. Serve some punch and get people to mingle. This will be one of the few times that both families will be together. Encourage family members to share stories about your childhoods.


Size – People like their personal space, and they have most likely spent an hour packed into a church for your ceremony. If you let them spread out, they will enjoy themselves more. Make sure your reception hall has plenty of room for your guests. The people renting the location might tell you it holds 200 people, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will hold 200 people comfortably! Make sure to visit the venue before booking.


Climate Control – Having a summer wedding? Is your reception hall air conditioned? If people sweat while just sitting, they won’t dance. On the flip side, if they are cold they won’t dance either (who wants to dance in a parka?). Also make sure you know who has control of the thermostat so the temperature can be adjusted if needed. Chances are your reception will be warm and stuffy while all the guest are there, but as they trickle out during the night the room will begin to cool down.


Smoking – This is a hot button issue, but if your reception hall is non-smoking, you can fully expect smoker’s to leave your reception for 15-30 minutes every hour. If enough of them leave the reception area, you may find a large percentage of your guest just hanging out in the smoking area. This can be a big problem if you have many smokers in your wedding party. You don’t have to allow smoking, but it is something you should consider, especially if anyone has any health problems like asthma or allergies that could be triggered by smoke. If you decide not to allow smoking in the reception area, how close is the nearest place for a smoker to go? Is it close enough that you will be able to get needed wedding party members during events like the bouquet toss or garter auction?


Facility coordinators will no doubt bring up several other factors for you to consider when you interview them for your booking, but these are often missed items, especially if they don’t favor the potential venue. If you keep the overall picture in mind and work with your wedding planner or event coordinator on the decorating ideas, you will no doubt have an enjoyable and memorable wedding reception.


About Nicole Chireau  of  Memoires D’ Amour LLC


I have 10 years of event planning experience. I received my planning background in music and television industry and with the professional background friends and family were always requesting assistance with planning their event especially weddings. After many years of being the “unofficial” wedding planner I found my calling to start my own company. I absolutely love planning weddings.  My unique focus is serving busy career couples; and that includes students. I’m the perfect match for couples that are finding it difficult to get free time for all the specifics that go into planning  a fabulous wedding, yet don’t want to miss out on throwing the event of their life.


Because of my tremendous strengths in the area of organization and time management, I liberate in-demand brides and grooms from the worry and stress that can take away the fun of planning a wedding. I allow them to spend more time developing their tastes and preferences, while I handle the details that will make it all come together.


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Mistakes To Avoid When Planning A Bridal Shower

The wedding ceremony is a symbol and celebration of commitment. The reception is a big party to celebrate the marriage, but there are other events before the wedding that are as lively as any of these. Bridal showers may involve fewer people, but they concentrate a lot of fun in one event.


Bridal showers are usually planned and hosted by the maid of honor. Since she is involved only rarely in wedding planning, a little guidance is called for.


Most will want to select an overall theme for the party. It doesn’t have to be as elaborate or all encompassing as a reception or wedding theme. But decorations, gifts and more will go better when there is some integrating theme.


Gifts will cover a wide range. But giving the invited guests some idea of what the bride wants can hold off any embarrassing moments. The gift registry is one way to find out. One friend telling another always works.


Decorations need not be very extensive. But it is a party. A good host will want to give the location a festive air. Have some flowers around. Put out those aromatic candles. Leave enough space for everyone to move around without knocking anything over. That’s especially true when you plan to have a dozen chairs in the living room or other spot.


If you plan to have some entertainment, book well in advance. Most professionals are very busy these days. At least 2 months notice is usually required, and often more.


Have a backup plan, too. Accidents happen. People get ill. Make sure the company can handle that contingency. Make sure you have the phone numbers and some recommendations of more than one company. Word gets around, so most companies will do their best not to disappoint customers. It’s rare, but it does happen. Being prepared means less stress when something goes wrong.



Prepare the music and games or other activities. Sitting around staring at one another can lead to a very embarrassing situation. No need to rigidly control events moment by moment. But having an outline of how the event is supposed to go can up the odds of a successful party.


When you map those out, know your ‘audience’.


Don’t plan classical music for guests who only listen to heavy metal and vice versa. Since everyone has different tastes, even among the best of friends, some compromise is inevitable. In any case don’t overpower them with the music. It should be background. The prospective bride should be in the foreground.


Ditto on the games. Don’t force everyone (or anyone) to play a game they find stupid, boring or offensive. It’s a party. Let people enjoy themselves. To avoid that possibility, be creative. Find or dream up some that will hook anyone. Or, you can have none at all. They’re not required. They do help break the ice, though, if there are guests who don’t know one another.


One popular game can easily get everyone involved and makes the prospective bride the center of the party as she should be: Do You Know Your Groom?


Arrange beforehand to find out about the groom, what he likes, his funny habits, even where he grew up or early childhood events. Get at least two questions per guest (for a party of about 10-20). Make up some flash cards with the questions and answers and grill the bride. Her answers, right or wrong, can produce a lot of laughter when the game is carried out in the spirit of good fun.