Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beach Weddings....Helpful Hints!

Pictured Left to Right...
(Renee, Marjorie, Deb and me, Carrell...all with 'Beach Hair'...LOL!)

After having spent 3 gloriously fun days in 'Half Moon Bay' with 2 girlfriends and my business partner (and bestie), hit me.  I need to do a blog post on 'Beach Weddings'.  And, while I'm no expert on these, our three wild and wonderful days left me realizing there were a few things that need to be taken into consideration if you're planning your soiree at the beach.  I mean, seriously, what kind of wedding planner would I be if I overlooked the obvious...right?   Hee hee!

So, here we go...

On any given day in the summer, you can expect any one of these lovelies to  possibly impact your 'Big Day'!  So, let's be prepared!

Those of us who have spent any time in California understand all too well the phenomenons known as 'May Grey' and 'June Gloom'.  You wake up in the morning and the skies are overcast, and sometimes drippy, and they don't clear up until about 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon...if at all!

So, to prevent 'May Grey' and 'June Gloom' from ruining your big day, make sure you meander down to the beach at your ceremony time several days in a row to check out the skies.  And if it looks like it's going to be overcast, you might even want to provide wraps, or 'pashminas', for your guests, just in case.

Oh my, fog can really put a damper on a big event...I'm sorry to say!  Remember, fog is unpredictable...very, very unpredictable.  One moment the sky above can be a glorious, sparkling blue with not a cloud in the sky...and then all of a sudden...BAM...the fog starts rolling in.  And depending upon where you are, it can either roll in and out...or it can roll in to stay... :(   

So heading down to the beach to check for fog several days in a row before your wedding is a great idea.  And if fog seems to be a 'given', again, provide wraps for your guests.  There is nothing worse than sitting in the cold, and damp, at the beach, believe me.  And remember too that many guests may assume because your wedding is at the beach it's going to be sunny, warm and gorgeous, and may dress for warm weather.

Ok...this is the exact opposite of fog and overcast...but still needs to be taken into consideration.  Yes, sunshine is what everyone wants on their wedding day, however, sitting in the sun for long periods of time, especially at the beach can be problematic.  

So, provide sunscreen for your guests, and if you think there will be some guests who will be overly sensitive to the sunshine, you might want to provide paper umbrellas as well, just in case.  You can get these pretty cheaply on a couple of websites.  'OrientalTradingCompany' is one.  And how cute is it to have a basket full of these beauties sitting by your ceremony site!

Oh the dreaded wind!  It too can come on 'just like that'.  And while a beach breeze can be a blessing in disguise, it can also turn into a 'gale' in a matter of moments.  Here again, a little planning can make all the difference.  Check out your location several days in a row to check out the wind patterns, and if need be, work with your planner to find a location that is somewhat blocked from the wind...because not only is wind in the hair a bother, it will also impact your decor, and blow sand everywhere.  And no one likes sand in their food!

And speaking of Sand...
We all love the feel of sand between our toes...but not so much in our food, our eyes and in our mouths.  So, here again, remember to check for blowing sand. 

And since some guests may not realize that your ceremony, and or reception, is actually on the sand, you might want to provide a basket of flip flop for the ladies to wear so they don't ruin their heels. 

Ok...there you have suggestions for beach weddings.  However, I recommend, first and foremost, that you work with a planner who specializes in beach weddings.  They're the experts who are well versed on the weather conditions, and will be able to steer you to the right day and time for your glorious celebration.  Then once you have everything in place, and are feeling secure, you'll be able to truly enjoy your dream wedding at the beach...

Until Next Time...

Making YOUR wedding InnCredible!
'InnCredible Events'

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

'Friendor Failure'...not fun!

Imagine yourself, seated at a great restaurant with family and friends.  You have eaten a great meal, and are now sitting, chatting, enjoying the ambiance and the company.  In front of you remains the debris of your meal - - - dirty plates, an empty water glass, used napkins.  You’ve sat now for over a half an hour; no service is in sight, and the table waste seems to be growing.

How likely are you to give that restaurant a positive review?  Has the pleasure of the evening been diminished by this lack of service?  I am sure that each of you would say a very strong and adamant, “YES!”

Well, just so you know, this doesn’t just happen at restaurants. Time and time again, we see this same occurrence at weddings and other special events.  Things have been planned to the “nth” detail, yet something this simple to prevent - guests sitting amongst dirty dishes - is overlooked, or the decision is made to use “friendors” and to not staff appropriately.  Remember, a 'friendor', is a friend you choose to use as a vendor...not a professionally trained vendor hired by you to perform a specific service.  And unfortunately, we tend to see couples fall short on wait staff and service people for their weddings time and time again.

The caterer below, 'Beth Sogaard Catering', is doing it right...notice her wait staff clearing the dirty dishes while guests enjoy their evening.

(Photo courtesy of 'Stellasweet Photography')

So first, some guidelines...

Buffet style:  This is your standard buffet table set-up and usually includes service staff.  You want to plan on one staff person per 20-30 guests with a minimum of 4 wait staff per 100 guests.

Modified buffet:  A buffet where the salad is plated.  This service requires more servers to get the salads to the tables, so plan on one staff person per 15-25 guests and a minimum 5 staff per 100 guests.

Family style:  Service where food is brought to your guests tables ready to be served, and guests pass the platters, plates or bowls and serve themselves.  Remember you have to plan on staff getting the food to all your tables, in addition to bussing,  so make sure you have one staff person per 15-20 guests, with no less than a minimum of 6 staff people per 100 guests.

Served meal:  A very labor intensive type of service...similar to eating in a nice restaurant.  You'll need one staff person per 10-15 guests, or two tables per server.

Drop and Go:  Here the caterer literally drops the food and leaves your venue.  No service...and certainly no clean-up.  So for 'Drop and Go', you want to plan on making sure you have enough wait staff to buss your tables after the meal is finished, so as with a buffet meal, plan on at least one staff person per 20-30 guests, and maybe more.  Here again, no less than 4 staff people per 100 guests.

(Photo courtesy of 'Stellasweet Photography')

Another important thing not to overlook - - - water on tables!  Either ensure water glasses are pre-filled and that staff is available to refill glasses, or put a water pitcher on each table - - - especially if you are outside and the day is warm!  Then make sure you have someone to walk around and monitor any water pitchers placed on guests tables.  Believe me, there is nothing worse than having a guest come to you to ask for more water.  Talk about embarrassing...yikes.

(Photo courtesy of 'Stellasweet Photography')

Another rule of thumb...

Hire professionals.  Please!  We know it is tempting to hire your friend’s teenaged children to help out, but our experience is that, for every good worker that comes with that course of action, there are 3-5 that just do not “get” it, and think they are there to look pretty or party themselves!  If you want to save money, then consider kids from a local FFA chapter or like group that is trying to raise money.  We saw this done recently, and it was highly successful.  Just ensure they come with supervision, and that there is complete understanding as to job responsibilities.

 (Coralee Barnes from 'A Taste To Dine For' catering)

Finally, have a back-up plan...   

The best planners will have discussed back-up plans in case of “friendor failure” well in advance to ensure your day is everything you want it to be.  Because trust me, planners would rather do what they were hired to do than 'buss' your guests tables.  I'm just sayin'!

Until next time...

Making YOUR wedding InnCredible!
'InnCredible Events'

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

'Tying the Knot'...

So I thought while I was researching where all our 'crazy wedding traditions' came from, I would also look into some of the terminology we use to describe getting married.  I had just posted on facebook that "Megan and Jason were 'Tying the Knot'", when it occurred to me that I had NO idea where that phrase actually came from.  So I thought, this will be easy, I'll do a wee bit of research, get the answer and share with you all.  NOT!  I had no idea that I was going to stumble upon so many different stories as to where this phrase originated...silly me!  

So, here you go...all the different tales as to why we say 'Tying the Knot' when a couple gets married.  And, yes, many have to do with knots!

Betrothal Knots...
Before couples started using rings to signify being married, it was believed that they used rope knotted and tied on to different body parts to show they had 'Tied the Knot'.  It is also believed that during the time it took to tie said knots, the 'Father of the Bride' could demand a higher price for his daughter...but once the knots were tied, she was legally bound to her beloved.  Oh my!


Lilies of the Nile...
In the Middle East, mainly Persia and Iran, when couples would enter into marriage, they would be separated by a curtain, or cloth, so they could not see each other, and then their wrists would be wrapped and then 'tied' with a piece of cloth.  Then yarn would be wrapped seven times around the couple and knotted seven times to show they were married.  No reasons are given as to why seven times...hmmmm!

Clans Unite...
Medieval Celts, my ancestors, would perform a 'Handfasted Ceremony' where the bride and groom would agree to live together as husband and wife for one year and a day...oh we Celts were so forward thinking...LOL.  Then, at the end of this year and a day, they could agree to part and go their separate ways, or partake in a marriage ceremony with a Priest who would then tie their hands and wrists with a cloth, or piece of each others tartan, to seal the marriage during a 'Handfasting Ceremony'.  Some reports claim the couple also had their wrists cut so that the blood from the bride and groom could be mixed proving the mixing of Clans.  Guess we weren't as forward thinking as I thought...ewww..

When in Rome...
Ancient Greek and Roman brides, it is reported, used to wear a woolen 'girdle' that was intricately tied with Herculean knots so that the groom, after the wedding ceremony, had to untie all the knots in order to consummate the marriage on their wedding night...praying all the time that the 'Gods' would bless him with lots of children. 

A Simple Explanation...
One other theory is that the phrase came from the custom of tying the hands of the bride and groom together during the ceremony and they were not allowed to untie the knots until the marriage had been consummated.

Sailors Knots...
In Sweden many many moons ago, illiterate sailors would send their loved ones a piece of rope while they were out at sea.  If the rope came back to them with a knot in it, it meant his gal agreed to the proposal...if not, well, I guess he was out of luck.  Some say that if a rope tied with a 'true-lovers' knot came back to the sailor tightened very tightly, then, and only then, would the marriage was on.

Shinto ...
In Japan, long ago, a rope would be tied around the wrists of the happy couple joining them together.  In more modern times, however, the rope has been replaced by a sash and is just placed over the couples wrists. 

Necklace of Flowers...
During a Hindu wedding ceremony, the priest tied a knot using the ends of the clothing worn by the bride and groom.during the 'Gathabandhan' portion of the ceremony to signify the tying them to sacred wedlock.  However, some theorize that the bride and groom tied a necklace of flowers around each others necks instead.

Viva Mexico...
And in Mexico, our neighbor to the south, a cord, usually of flowers, is draped over the shoulders of the bride and groom and fastened with a cross during the 'Lasso Ceremony' to show they are bound together and joined by God.

And finally, my favorite... 
Some people actually believe that the saying, 'Tying the Knot' came from the marriage bed.  Because way back in the day, beds frames were tied together with a threading of rope and, it was believed that the couple actually had to 'tie the knots' of their bed in order to consummate their marriage...LOL.  Love it!  There are no real reports to substantiate this story, but it sounds good, doesn't it...LOL!

Well, regardless of what theory you believe, the saying, 'Tying the Knot' has been around for centuries, since the year 1275, to be exact...and it appears it's here to stay...

Until next time...

Making YOUR wedding InnCredible
InnCredible Events

(Photo courtesy of 'Stellasweet Photography')

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

'Crazy Wedding Traditions...Rings and Things'

(Photo courtesy of 'Stellasweet Photography')

Wedding rings are one of our oldest wedding back to 2800 BC.  But where exactly did this tradition come from and how has it stood the test of time? rings have a very interesting, and somewhat mysterious, history.  So, let's take a look....

 (Medieval wedding bands)

The Ring...
The ring itself, being a circle, symbolizes eternity.  It has no beginning or end, and returns to itself.  Circles have been worshiped by cultures for eons of in the moon and it's the perfect symbol to define undying one's love.  

The hole in the center of the band had a purpose too it seems...according to historians, it symbolizes the gateway, or door, to thing unknown and yet to come.  Which translates into the life the newly married couple were beginning.


It is believed that way back in the day...and we're talking prehistoric times here...grooms would bind the ankles, and wrists, of their betrothed with grasses to keep her soul from escaping.  Although, truth be told, it was probably to keep her from running away...LOL!   This binding was moved to her finger once the wedding ceremony had taken place.   Later, prehistoric man moved away from grasses, to rope, then leather and finally to the ever popular metal band.  But, the ring was used to symbolize ownership of the woman by her man.

The first 'real' wedding bands can be traced back to ancient Egypt where rings were fashioned out of papyrus and other reeds found along the banks of the fertile Nile River.  Later, when precious metals were discovered, the 'well-to-do' Egyptians quickly switched to these ever-lasting materials.  These metal bands not only signified the grooms ranking in society, but they were also more practical than reed bands which would tend to break apart easily and need to be replaced more often than not.

(Egyptian engraved wedding ring)

Ancient Roman's used iron as their metal of choice because to them, iron symbolized strength and therefore proved a man's 'strong' love for his wife.  But, as you might have guessed, rust was a problem, and iron was eventually given up for other less popular metals like gold and silver...oh my!  Forward thinking renaissance Italians however, preferred silver...while other cultures chose copper.  Gold, it seems, would not become really popular until much later in history.  But whatever the metal, it seems wedding bands were here to stay.

Here's an interesting fact.  Many, many years ago, it was believed that by marrying, a man was trusting his wife with all his worldly possessions, so for several years, a ring in the shape of a key was given to the bride as her groom carried her over the threshold of his home. This key proved to the world that he trusted her beyond measure.

(Key wedding ring)

Engagement Rings...
According to folklore, the tradition of wearing an engagement ring sprang from a sanction from the Catholic Church when Pope Innocent III declared that anyone wanting to be married would be required to have a waiting period, or an 'engagement', before their marriage, and would need to wear an 'engagement' ring as a symbol of their promise to marry.  If either person, man or woman, broke this promise, they would either be excommunicated from the church or banished to a nunnery. Ouch...!

 (Pope Innocent III)

The first diamond engagement was reported to have been given in 1477 by the Archduke Maximilian of Austria when he proposed marriage to Mary of Burgundy.  But the tradition of using diamonds didn't really catch on until the late 1700's.  Then it took off like 'wild fire'...hence the expression, 'Diamonds are a girl's best friend'...thank you Marilyn Monroe!

 (Archduke Maximilian and Mary)

Men and Rings...
Interestingly, men didn't begin to wear wedding rings until World War II.  Remember, women were still considered to be the property of her 'man' so the ring was a marking of ownership.  However, when the war came along, many men began wearing rings to remind them of their loved one back home...and the tradition stuck.

So why the left hand...and the 'ring' finger?
Well, there are some interesting theories here too.  According to folklore, the choice of the third finger on the left hand dates back to ancient Rome when it was believed that this finger held the vein that lead directly to the heart...the 'Vena Amoris', or 'Vein of Love'

 (Photo courtesy of 'Turning Leaf Studios')

Others theorize it is because of an old religious tradition where the groom would slide the ring part way down each of this bride's fingers reciting, 'in the name of the father' on the thumb, 'the son' on the index finger, and 'the holy ghost' on the middle finger...and finally coming to rest on the third, or 'ring' finger.


And then there are others who strongly believe the left hand was chosen because as a groom was facing his bride, he would reach out with his right hand...and of course, it would be her left hand that was immediately in front of him.  Whichever theory you choose, the tradition remains...

So, there you have it...the history of the wedding ring.  

Until next time...

Making YOUR wedding InnCredible
InnCredible Events