Archive for the 'Weddings/Receptions' Category

A Nearby Reception Site Makes One Less Problem For YOU

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Like most major cities, my town has some great downtown hotels and venues which are popular for wedding receptions. Unfortunately, they are a 30 to 45 minute drive from many of the suburban places of worship brides choose for their ceremonies.

In real terms, what this means is that guests from all over our metropolitan area must first trek out to the ‘burbs for the nuptials, then retrace their steps all the way back to the city center to be part of the reception. (And then afterwards, make yet another jaunt back home.)

Out-of-towners must bus from their host hotel to both sites, and then back again.

And time after time, I have seen that – the greater the distance between locations – the more chances there are for folks to get lost, delayed in traffic, or otherwise have their nerves frazzled.

For me, the solution is to keep the 3 key locations (ceremony site, reception site, and host hotel) as near to each other as possible.

If the ceremony site is crucial (a home church or college chapel, for instance), then I would suggest finding both a reception venue and host hotel nearby. And nothing is handier for your out-of-town guests than making their hotel and the reception site one and the same.

Conversely, if the reception site is most important, consider having the ceremony there as well.

Especially when one of your chosen sites is a considerable distance from where the majority of your guests will start and finish their day, I recommend moving them again as little as possible. (Take into account that – at most weddings – the guest list includes infants to elderly, as well some with mobility issues.)

How little? I can think of no circumstances where the driving time from hotel to ceremony, or ceremony to reception, should ever be more than 15 minutes. Even less is better.

If this requires compromising the bride’s vision of her special day, just remember: the only “perfect” wedding is one enjoyed by all the guests. Keeping their required relocations simple and quick makes them happy, giving you one less needless complication. And on your wedding day – that’s a really good thing.

Introducing The Wedding Party? Get Hooked On Phonics!

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

At many receptions, the entire wedding party is announced by an emcee who has never met those he is introducing. This is one of the few times in the entire evening when everyone is guaranteed to be paying attention, putting pressure on the announcer.

Which brings me to what I call “The Von Zell Effect” (named for Harry Von Zell, who introduced Herbert Hoover to a nationwide radio audience with these words: “Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States, Hoo-bert Hee-ver.”)

The Von Zell Effect states that – under pressure – any name which can be mispronounced, will be.

Now, if everyone in your bridal party has names like “Mike Smith,” you’re probably okay. But all it takes is one “Shanequia Levine” and you are guaranteed to break out in a cold sweat, just waiting to see if your emcee makes it through.

That is, you’ll be sweating it unless you have learned one very important fact: your emcee couldn’t care less how those names are spelled. He just needs to know how to pronounce them.

A few days before the event, determine which groomsmen and bridesmaids will be paired. Figure out your order of introduction. (Don’t forget the proud parents.)

Then, look at each and every name on the list. Simply put, is there any way to mispronounce some of the names? If so, write them phonetically. Be sure to also capitalize the dominant syllables, ie. shah-NEEK- kwee-yah and luh-VEEN (unless it’s luh-VINE.)

Type – don’t write – the list. Use a large size of type (16 or greater.) Afterwards, Email or fax the list to your emcee. By phone, go over the names – aloud – with him or her in advance of your event.

IMPORTANT: keep a copy of the list for yourself. Be sure that you line up everyone to be introduced in their proper order.

With a little advance preparation on your part, all of your guests will hear the names of your key players pronounced correctly. (Even Hoobert Heever!)