Make a list and check it twice!
It’s our first blog post, y’all! Or, shall I say, “Journal Post”. (I guess “Journal” sounds fancier than “Blog”.)
I’d like to start out by giving a very important disclaimer: I’m not a professional writer. I’m not a professional blogger. Anything I put out there is just little ol’ me – sharing my experiences in the event planning industry – with you.
When I sat down to write our first journal post for all the world to see, I made a list of wedding-related topics: How to book your caterer, current wedding trends, family dilemmas, and more. We will definitely get to those topics over the coming weeks & months during this blog-writing process. But for now, I mainly want to talk about something I think all of our “N” couples need: A post venue-booking checklist. This checklist definitely has a lot of “venue-centered” elements, but I think since the venue is one of the first vendors you book, sometimes the little venue details get lost in the mix when you start booking your other vendors. Here goes:
You’ve taken one of the first steps in this wedding planning adventure… You picked a date & booked a venue. Congrats!! Now what?
Here’s a checklist I put together to help guide you in the coming months as you book wedding vendors. I’ve heard so many couples, on their wedding day, think that certain things were being taken care of when in fact, they weren’t. Having a handle on these small details will ensure a smoother, less stressful wedding day – I promise.
- Will they need access to the venue’s kitchen? If so, let us know so we can send them our “Kitchen Usage Agreement”.
- How far in advance will they arrive before dinner service begins?
- Will they bring their own buffet tables? (The N has two 6’ long folding tables in storage. Just make sure to let us know how many they’ll need.)
- Will they provide their own table linens for the catering tables?
- Will their staff go around and clean up the plates, silverware/plasticware, etc. after the meal? This is normally the responsibility of the caterer. The N will not have adequate staff to take care of this. If this is something your caterer is not willing to provide, please get with us and we can possibly hire someone to do this.
- Will they leave a tea & water station up for the duration of the reception? Or will that go away when they leave?
- How long will it take the DJ to set-up for the ceremony and then the reception?
- How long will it take the DJ to break down their set and get loaded up after the reception? (Remember that all guests & vendors must be gone by 12 Midnight.)
- Will the DJ provide sound at the arbor for the ceremony? There is electricity they can utilize at the arbor, but there are no speakers.
- Will the DJ provide a microphone? What kind of microphone? A handheld one? A lapel mic to wear?
- Will the DJ bring their own table for their equipment? Or will they need to borrow one from The N? What size?
- Will they need a linen for their table(s)?
- Will the baker provide a container for the top tier to go in for saving? If not, make sure to bring one if you’d like to save the top tier for your anniversary.
- Who will cut the cake? Designate at least two people to serve your cake. (You may even want to include these two people when you purchase corsages for the wedding party.)
- Don’t forget cake plates, napkins, and forks.
- Bring some to-go containers if you’d like to box up any leftover cake for guests to take home at the end of the night.
Hair & Make-Up
- How long will it take to do each person’s hair and make-up before pictures? (I suggest scheduling enough time so that upon completion, you can make sure all your belongings are packed up in the bridal suite and ready to be loaded.)
Cups for beer and wine
If serving keg beer, don’t forget to buy plastic cups for the beer. Same thing with wine cups for wine. (The N offers real wine glasses for rent. Ask for pricing.)
How much alcohol to purchase
A good website for calculating how much alcohol to purchase: https://www.evite.com/pages/party/drink-calculator
Recommended # of Bartenders for your Reception:
Beer & Wine Only:
- Under 100 guests = 1 bartender.
- Over 100 guests = 2 bartenders.
Beer, Wine & Mixed Drinks:
- Under 50 guests = 1 bartender.
- Over 50 guests = 2 bartenders.
If you decide to do beer, wine, and a “Signature Cocktail”, please have the Signature Cocktail pre-mixed for the bartenders or leave detailed instructions on how you want the Signature Cocktail mixed before the bar opens.
At the end of the night, who will be in charge of gathering decorations, gifts, leftover alcohol, stuff from Bridal Suite & Groom’s Quarters, etc. and loading them into a designated vehicle?
We're here for you
I hope this insight helps our N couples while planning the celebration of their dreams. If you have any questions, let us know. We’re here.
Joanna Mills, Operations Manager for The N