Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wednesday Wanderlust

We know the middle of the week can be tough, so we wanted to brighten it up a little bit with our new Wednesday Wanderlust blog posts.  Here you will find everything from honeymoon hotspots to mini stay-cations to luxurious getaways.  A little spice and excitement in the middle of the mundane parts of your week; specially from us to you :) Enjoy!

The Knot will start us off with the 10 most romantic honeymoon destinations...

Monday, September 28, 2015


Imagine it: You have met with your day-of coordinator and the subject of a reception-seating plan comes up. You know you have to do it, but the thought of doing a reception seating plan makes you cringe inside. For many couples, tackling this project is one of the most dreaded and stressful parts of wedding planning. It usually starts off easy, but can quickly become complicated (and emotional!) once it is underway. On top of it all, you have to wait for all of the RSVP’s to come in before you can start working on the seating plan. That often means you're juggling this gigantic project along with dozens of other last minute tasks.  Though many venues give you the option of using a seating chart, here at the Alexander Homestead we do request that you take the time to make one. So we decided to take some time to write down our best advice and most useful tips (because hey, we are the professionals!) to help make the seating-plan process a whole lot easier!

Yes, you should assign tables.
Some brides may feel like skipping a seating plan. However, if you've ever attended a reception without one, then you'll know how anxiety-inducing it can be when it comes time to find your seat. Taking the time to develop a thoughtful seating plan will save guests from experiencing high-school cafeteria flashbacks and ensure that everyone feels welcome and comfortable. It gives the effect that your reception is well planned and organized. Take it from us, the receptions with seating plans are more efficient with keeping the timeline, guests are much happier and can hit the beverage bar earlier instead of scrambling for a table.

Assigning specific seats is not necessary
A common misconception about reception seating is you have to assign a guest to a specific seat at a table.  That adds a lot of extra work that really isn’t necessary. At the Homestead, we suggest you assign your guests to a table and let them choose where they want to sit at that particular table. We do give you a layout of the barn with how our tables are numbered and we make it very easy for you to assign your guests to tables.  Don’t be afraid to have some fun with your seating chart; use an old windowpane or use old shutters to hang place cards.  You can also have a chalkboard chart printed very inexpensively!  We loved this seating plan from Amanda, one of our August brides.  She numbered her tables with numbers that reflected her relationship with her groom.  For example, she used the number 14 because that is the day that her fiancé proposed; she used the number 29 because that is the day they got married, etc.

Another thing to think about is if you have given your guests a meal option in your RSVP cards. If so, it would be helpful to have an indicator on the place card for the wait staff to be able to serve your guests without asking them what they chose for dinner. We like this option from Kelly’s wedding, with the beautiful centerpiece and the place cards arranged in a circle.  The place cards had their entrée selection printed on the front to make dinner service go smoothly and our wait staff didn’t have to interrupt dinner conversations!!  BONUS!!

Why we think reception seating is best
If you have spent any time with us at Alexander Homestead you know that we are dedicated to making sure you have an amazing wedding. Additionally, we want to make sure your guests have an amazing experience.  We want them to walk out of the reception saying “That was the BEST wedding I have ever been to!” We firmly believe that reception seating is one way to ensure that your guests are talking about all the highlights of your wedding vs. talking about your chaotic reception due to the fact they couldn’t find a seat with their loved ones. Spend time, do the seating plan, we promise it will be worth it!   

 Some tips to help you get started:
 *Begin by grouping guests according to how you know them: family members and friends from different aspects of life (childhood, high school, college, work, etc.).

*Seat younger guests closer to the dance floor and older guests a little further away. Away from the DJ’s speaker or band.

*Use your seating plan to introduce people with similar interests and backgrounds. Try to make everyone feel comfortable by offering a mix of familiar and new faces at each table.
*Be tactful: Avoid seating people together who have a history they wish they could forget.

*Skip the "singles" table: If you've been dying to fix your old co-worker up with your cousin, you might take this opportunity to discreetly seat them next to each other. But resist the urge to create a separate "singles" table, which might embarrass your guests. Also, don't seat your unmarried friend at a table full of married couples—use your best judgement and try to be sensitive to guests' feelings.

*Make the seating chart large enough so that your guests aren’t squinting trying to find their names

*If you are doing place cards, have them pre folded and in alphabetical order, so that guests can find their names quickly and keep the line into the reception moving quickly.

*Talk to your day of coordinator if you start to feel stressed.  That’s what we are here for, and we always have tips and tricks to help.

By, Christi West

Event Manager 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Weddings at the Homestead
(We love this video by the way!!) 
Click the link below the picture