By Christopher Gellings, Banquet Manager, Highlawn Pavilion
Here at the Knowles restaurants in the New Jersey, New York metro area, we’re seeing more interest in all things “eco friendly” and “green” when it comes to wedding ceremonies and wedding receptions these days. These “green” trends range from choosing wedding and reception locations that minimize travel for guests, to selecting invitations made from recycled paper. Now we’re also seeing the green trend in the wedding favors the bride and groom bestow upon guests.
If you’re interested in giving guests an eco-type gift, here are a couple of recent examples from ceremonies hosted at the Highlawn Pavilion . One couple gave their guests potted saplings. We’ve seen other couples make charitable donations in their guests’ names to organizations from Greenpeace to the Environmental Defense Fund. You could also dispense with favors altogether and explain it’s part of your effort to minimize the footprint of your wedding celebration, and save yourself some green in the bargain. The things you can do to inject a green element into your wedding are almost limitless. However, we would draw the line at choosing recycled burlap for your wedding gown!
By Rolf Shick, Banquet Manager, The Manor
We want everything to be perfect on our wedding day. But sometimes things out of your control go wrong – for example, a vendor messes something up. Maybe the flowers are droopy, or the photographers or musicians are dressed sloppily. The possibility of a vendor faux pas is one reason why it’s important that a contract or contracts with vendors for all your wedding services stipulate the last check is due at the end of the wedding day. That gives you leverage to hold out on final payment if you are unsatisfied with the performance of any of your vendors. If you are unhappy with the way the flowers look or the musicians are dressed, for example, make sure someone you know takes photos of the culprits or offending items so you have visual documentation of what you are unsatisfied with. Even pictures from a camera phone can suffice, and almost everyone has one of those today. That way, even if your dream wedding isn’t completely picture perfect, you can help ensure vendors will make the proper financial adjustments to their fees.
By Roman Bienkiewicz, Banquet Manager, The Manor
The unthinkable has happened – no, your groom didn’t get cold feet. But you think this is almost as bad. You – or a now mortified guest – has spilled something on your wedding dress. The first rule of spills: Don’t panic. Making a scene won’t help. But there are a few simple steps that can. First of all, realize that you probably won’t get the stain out during the reception, but you can treat it so that it won’t set permanently. Chalk is great for covering stains on a wedding dress. For example, the bride traditionally takes photos outside, and sometimes nature leaves its mark on her dress. That’s the kind of fabric blemish simple white chalk can fix. Make sure you or one of your bride’s maids has some ready just in case. Red wine, lipstick and ink can also end up on a wedding dress. Here’s how to deal with each:
Red Wine: The chances of a red wine stain happening are quite high, so remember these basic steps. Dab the stain with a clean cloth. Club soda (or water in a pinch) can be poured generously on the stain. Dab again, but don’t rub vigorously.
Lipstick: Kissing is common at weddings. And some mothers-in-law wear more lipstick than others. If for some reason you get lipstick on your dress, ask the maitre d’ or your bridal assistant to get some baking soda from the kitchen. Apply it generously to cover the stain. It will mask the stain until your dry cleaner can carefully get it out.
Ink Stain: Though less likely than the lipstick or red wine stains, ink stains are possible nonetheless. Good news – the solution should be readily available in the bathroom! Hairspray does the trick. First test the hairspray on a nondescript part of your dress to make sure it doesn’t stain (some hairsprays don’t work well with certain fabrics). Then put a clean cloth behind the fabric where the stain is and spray the ink stain carefully. Wait a few minutes then dab gently with a damp cloth.
By Laura Madden, Senior Sales Manager, Pleasantdale Château
The ceremonial “First Dance” at a wedding reception often looks uncomfortably like its name implies: The newlyweds are usually nervous and hesitant, even if they took dance lessons a few weeks before their wedding day to be prepared for their pas de deux. We say don’t worry about it – just grin and bear it. First dance songs are usually a classic or traditional standard, and danced in relatively slow motion anyway, so there’s not much risk of embarrassing yourselves. But one trend that’s getting more popular at wedding receptions is the Second Dance.
The Second Dance can be a surprise the bride gives to the groom, a dance for the newly married couple to really enjoy themselves. It can be fun and fast or slower and romantic, but it’s a way that a bride can really show her new husband a good time on the dance floor. It’s also one more time where you two can steal the spotlight together, dancing. If the couple had trouble agreeing on what to play for the first dance, you can use the song that got passed over for the second dance. (In other words, the groom’s choice that he was gallant enough to defer in favor of the bride’s selection!) Whatever song you choose, the Second Dance is another good way for newlyweds to start off their new life together in step.
Have a great day!
By Rolf Shick, Banquet Manager, The Manor
By now we’ve all seen the crazy freestyle dance on YouTube, and again during The Office’s season finale when Pam and Jim got married. But that style of wild celebration clearly isn’t for everyone. That begs the question: How should the bride and groom, and the wedding party make their entrance to the wedding reception? One interesting way to introduce the bridal party is to use a song that builds up over the course of a minute or so, with the bride and groom coming into the reception at the highpoint of the musical build up. The Dave Matthew’s Band’s “Two Step” is an example of a song that works well as an entrance soundtrack. If you’re sports fans, you can use Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll (part 2)” or Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” both famous for being played during the intros of many professional sporting events. A simple announcement made by a member of the wedding party or event staff will also work for an entrance, but for couples who want something a little more, there’s nothing wrong with putting a little pizzazz into it.