By Laura Madden, Senior Sales Manager, Pleasantdale Chateau
Move over, Mom! The bride and groom are taking center stage in making wedding plans.
Mothers have traditionally taken a large hand in planning their daughter’s weddings. And Moms’ plans and those of their daughters haven’t always been in sync. But today, many mothers seem more comfortable deferring to the bride- and groom-to-be when it comes to making planning decisions, from what kind of wedding ceremony to have, to where to hold the reception.
Several factors are behind the change. Couples are getting married a little later, so they’re often more established and independent to begin with. Mothers themselves are more likely to be remarried or single, and be less concerned with reliving their own wedding through their daughter. And society as a whole has loosened up a little, so Moms are often less rigid about protocol or concerned with what other parts of the family may think if their daughter or future son-in-law wants to do something untraditional.
This is saving a lot of wear and tear on many mother-daughter relationships. Wedding planning can be a stressful time under any circumstances. Experts tell us that weddings represent a big change in the relationship between mother and daughter. After years of watching out for her little girl, mothers, consciously or subconsciously, can fear losing that relationship. And daughters can feel that their Moms are being too stifling, and are often eager to show their independence. Additionally, mothers and daughters often view what the wedding is about differently. For mothers, the wedding is a statement about the family, while to the daughter it’s a statement about the bride and groom.
Whatever the extent of their involvement in wedding planning, both Moms and daughters should remember that this can be an emotional time. Work together, and those emotions can be ones of joy. We should know. Our restaurants have been helping couples and families have joyous weddings since 1953.
By Roman Bienkiewicz, Banquet Manager, The Manor
Looking for a way to keep the cost of your wedding in check? Rethinking the plans for your reception dinner can provide some significant opportunities for savings, without skimping on the hospitality you offer guests. Consider a buffet instead of a formal sit-down meal. A multi-course sit down meal is more expensive than a buffet for two major reasons:
First, the server-to-guest ratio is much higher for a sit down meal: the wait staff has to be large enough to make sure everyone is served their courses almost simultaneously. Secondly, the food selections can be pricey for a sit down meal, if guests are offered choices like steak and lobster, seafood appetizers and other premium items. With a buffet, the size of the wait staff can be considerably smaller. That alone can save significantly on costs. If you want to save even more, you can choose a menu that provides lots of variety and ample quantities of food at a lower cost per person than a surf and turf meal, for example.
But buffet doesn’t have to mean “budget” in the menu department. For example, here at The Manor, we’re well known among regular customers for our Lobster Buffet evenings. And now the Lobster Buffet is becoming a popular choice at the wedding receptions we host. There are additional reasons beyond cost that can make a buffet a good choice. Your guests can serve themselves as much or as little as they want, unlike a sit down meal where all portions are the same size. It can also create a more informal ambiance. And by encouraging guests to move about the dining room and serve themselves, it can get guests to interact with each other more. And a buffet is also a festive display in its own right. Even though it costs less than a comparable sit down meal, a buffet looks impressive – and mouthwatering! So when it comes time to plan the menu for your reception, talk to your caterer about your buffet options, and you’ll have some tasteful, money saving ideas to consider.
By Christopher Gellings, Banquet Manager, Highlawn Pavilion
LED uplighting and projected monograms are one way more couples are making their special day even more special. Though it does add to the cost of a wedding reception, uplighting can dramatically change a room and make it look even more festive and exciting. Lighting at the perimeter of the room in a color relevant to your décor, for example, really will complete the space. And if you really want to put your individual stamp on the festivities, brides and grooms can personalize the space by projecting a monogram of their initials.
If this appeals to you, make sure that the venue where you’re having the reception is suitable for the display. The size of the room, the equipment needed for the projection, the availability of electrical outlets, all should be discussed with the vendor well in advance. As with any vendor you haven’t worked with before, getting references and calling people who have used the service to enquire about their experience is a good idea.
By Rolf Schick, Banquet Manager, The Manor
There’s a popular new color for weddings: Green. More couples are making their weddings eco-friendly. Just a few small changes to traditional nuptials can have a big impact on the green quotient of a wedding. And since many ingredients to a great wedding have green alternatives, couples can make their ceremony and reception whatever shade of green they want. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Flowers and centerpieces: Locally grown flowers don’t use as much energy to transport as those shipped from overseas. Talk to your florist about the availability of locally grown flowers. You’ll also be supporting local growers and plant nurseries.
2. Wedding invitations and stationery: Specifying recycled paper for your invitations is a great way to set the tone for an eco friendly wedding. Invitations can also be made from tree-free paper. Talk to whoever is handling your printing about your eco-options.
3. Donating Food: No one leaves a wedding hungry. There’s usually an abundance of leftover food that goes home with members of the wedding party. But you can donate the extra food to local food banks or other charities. Check with charities in your local area to learn about organizations you can help.
4. Wedding rings: Even wedding rings can be eco-friendly. Some jewelers now feature rings made from recycled stones and metals. And some couples are taking heirloom jewelry and having it restyled into a more contemporary design. Considering what it takes to mine metals and gems, this can be a giant eco step.
Another way to have a green wedding: get married outdoors, in a beautiful garden or other natural setting filled with greenery! The Manor has been hosting outdoor ceremonies in our formal gardens for years. And our other properties – the Ram’s Head Inn, the Pleasantdale Chateau and Highlawn Pavilion – also have beautiful outdoor areas for weddings and civil ceremonies. If we can help with your wedding, whatever shade of green you’re planning to make it, we look forward to hearing from you.