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July 29, 2013

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TheWrightHouse.com

TheWrightHouse.com

Phoenix, Arizona, known as the Valley of the Sun, has some of the best weather in the United States year round!  The daily high temperatures from October to April generally remain in the ideal range of 65°F to 85°F.  Phoenix normally has 296 days of sunshine a year.    In the summer, when the weather is hotter, because we have low humidity,  since it is a “dry heat,” even at 100°F, it doesn’t feel as hot since other parts of the country with higher humidity.

Phoenix Average Monthly Temperatures

Month Average High Average Low
January                67

46

February

71

49

March

77

54

April

85

60

May

95

69

June

104

78

July

106

83

August

104

83

September

100

77

October

89

65

November

76

53

December

66

45

Few settings are as gorgeous as the views in Arizona of Camelback Mountain, South Mountain, Desert Botanical Gardens, Sedona, the Grand Canyon, plus there are many more!

The Wright House (gorgeous photo above, right) has both indoor and outdoor capability with an English Garden or a Country French Inn, call 480.833.0902 today to schedule a tour!  Check them out at http://www.TheWrightHouse.com

Here are some tips when planning your outdoor wedding in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Gilbert, Fountain Hills, Surprise, Glendale, Avondale, or other cities in Arizona.

Create shade.  Sometimes sunny days in Phoenix may be too much of a good thing.  Provide shade for guests who prefer to stay out of the sun.  You may get umbrellas from your venue included, otherwise you may rent some.  Keep in mind the umbrellas may block views of some of your guests.  You may want to opt for a canopy to cover the top with elevation for everyone instead.  Renting a tent would give you coverage on all sides vs. just the top.  Your photographer will need shade for your wedding photography too.

Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate!  Make sure you, your wedding party, and guests stay hydrated, especially if the weather is warm.  Have your caterer set up a water station with filtered water, ice, and a fruit garnish which would match the color or theme of your wedding (lemons for yellow, orange for tangerine, strawberries for red, etc.).

Have a Plan B which is as good as your Plan A.  When you choose your outdoor venue, make sure you have a Plan B for inclement weather which is functional.  Make sure your Plan B option is in writing in your agreement, since when the weather changes, all the events at your outdoor venue of choice will be looking for Plan B.  Your wedding planner and wedding venue can get up-to-the-minute weather reports and forecasts via apps like those offered at weather.com.  Make sure you know if you have a right to make a decision on Plan B, (some properties make the decision for you).  Have in writing in your agreement when you must make the FINAL decision before incurring extra setup costs.

Rent a Tent.  If your Plan B is the same space, regardless of inclement weather, would recommend reserving a tent.  These may be used year round, and allow for heating and air-conditioning units to be mounted on the outside.  This will cover you, your friends, and your family, and will be a wise investment.  Make sure you put a deposit down and order the tent, since you will need a tent permit.  Make sure you have a heating/air-conditioning technician on hand several hours before your wedding is scheduled to start.  If it is too hot, your flowers will not handle this well.  If it is too cold, the musicians when setting up will not be able to tune.

Determine what type of permits you need.  You may need city permits (depending on your location) for tents, noise ordinances, parking, fire marshall inspections, and more.

Be Courteous of Your Neighbors.  If you are having a home wedding, your neighbors may or may not be your BFF.  They may be planning to host an event the same night as yours.  Let them know about your festivities, and it may be easier to invite them to attend.  Make sure no one is mowing their lawn during your ceremony.  You don’t want someone cutting tile for their remodel during your ceremony either.  Be aware of when there is trash and recycling pickup so you don’t hear garbage trucks clanking.  You may want to hire valet parking, or hire a shuttle/bus for round-trip transportation for your guests to park at a local church or school (with permission from the location).

Determine your Insurance Options.  Make sure you take out special event insurance for the time the vendors and your guests will be on your property (if you are having a home wedding).  Check with your homeowner’s insurance to see what they will cover, and you may need to get a recommendation from someone who writes Special Event Insurance to get you the coverage you need.

What is inclement weather?  Typically “inclement weather” means the weather is going to do, or has done something bad, such as excessive rain, wind, or temperatures.   Try to get a definition of “inclement weather” from your venue so you have a common terminology.  Try to get their definition in writing in your agreement.  As an expert wedding planner, my definition of inclement weather would be:

a).  temperatures lower than ____

b).  temperatures higher than ____

c).  wind higher than _____

d).  rain estimated at %_____

Why do I need a tent early, instead of waiting until right before the wedding?  The ground at your wedding may not be level, and you want to make sure your centerpieces and chairs aren’t tipping over.  Had an October bride many years ago who I recommended to rent a tent for her Plan B, (she was having a home wedding at her parent’s home, which was the size of a mansion, with tennis courts, basketball courts, and guest houses).  The only flat location for the size of tent she required for her guest count was on their tennis courts.  The bride did NOT want the tent, saying she didn’t want her dinner/dance on a tennis court.  Told the bride if it rains on the day of your wedding, no one will care about the tennis courts, they will be happy to be dry!  The bride cancelled the tent rental 1 month out, and didn’t tell me.  The rental company called me immediately, and I told them to NOT cancel it, and to hold the tent under my account.  10 days before the wedding I emailed the weather forecast to the bride.  The bride called me in tears, letting me know she made a huge mistake, and she didn’t know what to do.  She thanked me for the weather update (which said RAIN), and confessed to me she had cancelled the tent.  Once she received my email on the weather forecast, she had called every rental company and no one has a tent!  Listened to her story, and then told her I wasn’t worried at all.  She frantically screamed, “How can you not be worried, my wedding is going to be a disaster.”  Then I told her about the rental company calling me, and I already knew about she DID have her tent!  Another reason why an experienced wedding planner is worth every penny!

Keep your wedding at an acceptable temperature.  With heating and cooling in a tent, you will be able to maintain an acceptable temperature.  You may also want to get a mist system, or fans.  For your outdoor wedding ceremony, you may want to have the servers hand out chilled, scented towels during the event.   Another idea for your wedding ceremony is to have your ceremony program double as a fan for each guest.

Do you need to rent power and lighting?  What time is sunset on the day of your wedding?  When and where do you need additional lighting (parking, restrooms, bar, dance floor, guest tables, just to name a few locations)?  How much power do you need for lighting?  You will want to make sure your vendors have the power they need to perform/provide their service/product.  Ask your wedding planner and caterer to get a complete list for your type of event for power needs.  Make sure you have enough power, or order generators.  Make sure your guests have lighting (since they may not be familiar with the area) to get comfortably from one place to another at your wedding.  You will want the DJ and band to make sure they can read their song list.  You will want lighting at the table so your guests will see what they are eating.

Insects may be an uninvited guest to your wedding.  Mosquitoes, ants, bees, and flies are a part of nature, yet you don’t need them to be part of your outdoor wedding.  You may want to use decorative citronella tiki torches or candles (normally available at Lowes.com) to discourage insects.

How many Bathrooms are there, and Are they Clean?  Nothing ruins an event worse than a not enough bathrooms, or the bathrooms you have being dirty, or out of toilet paper.  If your venue has restrooms, great, yet if they don’t have something in close proximity, you may want to rent a posh bathroom for your guests.  Check with local rental companies like ClassicPartyRentals.com for options on flushing toilets, running faucets, soap dispensers, built-in trash receptacles, and indoor/outdoor carpeting.

Sprinklers need to be shut off during setup, during the event, and during strike (take down of your event).  Imagine the heels of your shoes sinking in the grass, since someone forgot to shut off the sprinklers, and “just watered” the grass.  Make sure the sprinklers are shut off so the lawn is not damp from the start of setup through the end of strike (take down of your event).  Discuss this with your wedding planner and your wedding venue.

Sunset times and positioning of the sun’s angle.  For an outdoor wedding ceremony, the last thing you want is the sun in the eyes of your guests.  Position chairs and the front of your ceremony to be in a functional direction.

Copyright 2013, Kim Horn, MBC™

Hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale Wedding Planner | Paradise Valley Wedding Planner | Chandler Wedding Planner | Phoenix Wedding Planner | Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

2010 Annual Conference Chair (worked with David Tutera) – Assoc. of Bridal Consultants

 

O 480.921.7891

M 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

 

 

 

 

 

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September 2, 2012

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DulceCreative.com - Jamie Denke Portfolio

DulceCreative.com - Jamie Denke Portfolio

As a bride or groom, your Wedding Guest List may be easy to compile, or may be your worst nightmare.  This is the first time you will be combining both of your families for multiple events, and everyone has their own opinion on what is appropriate or inappropriate.  Trimming the guest list may turn into a heated debate, yet this blog (since you cannot be with me 24/7) will fast track you to realistic solutions which work best for you!  Your guest list WILL dictate how much you spend and your ceremony and reception location.  If you invite 150 couples, this may easily translate into 300 guests.

The Ultimate Guest List.  A magical number of family and friends which fits the size and style of your ceremony and reception sites, while staying within your wedding budget.

Invite Your Inner Circle of Family and Friends to Reduce Expenses.  Your wedding guest list should be your closest, most intimate friends and family members.   Focus on people who matter to you most.  Who was your priority to announce personally you just got engaged?  Although you may have an enormous family and circle of friends, it is important to trim the size of your wedding guest list to reduce expenses.  Trimming your wedding guest list is the number one way to save money!  If you haven’t seen or talked to them in a few years, they may be the easiest to cut first.

Make an Extensive List.  Ask your parents, your fiancé, and his parents to compile a wedding guest list including everyone they would imagine inviting.  Have them include and list their people in categories so it is easier when you are making table arrangements (i.e., wedding party, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family, friends, neighbors, bosses, co-workers, business acquaintances, college friends, high school friends, and distant relatives).  Make sure everyone knows this is the “Fantasy Wish List”, and cuts will need to be made to stay within your budget.

Be Respectful.  Count on one thing when deciding on your wedding guest list, disagreement.  Everyone will have an opinion about your wedding, and especially about who should be invited.  When you get your red pen to trim your list, make sure you are respectful to your fiancé, your parents, and his parents.

Who is Paying, Divide Equally, and Apply Rules Fairly.  If you are running into conflicts when trimming your list, consider who will be paying the bill.  Budgeting for the wedding is something you must discuss at the beginning of your wedding planning.  If your parents are paying for most of the wedding, they will obviously have more control of your guest list.  Try to divide the guest list evenly.  Make across-the-board, and clear-cut decisions on who to cut, (i.e., invite all aunts and uncles, yet eliminate third generation cousins).

Make Your MUST Have  List.  This is your “A List” of who you MUST have at your wedding.  This may be your parents, siblings, grandparents, and wedding party.  The ones left on your list which did not make it to your “A List”, will be your “B List”.

Who Should be Easier to Cut?  When you start making cuts, your colleagues, out-of-touch friends, and distant relatives you haven’t seen or talked to in over one year should understand if you want to keep your wedding guest list to your closest family and friends.  Don’t feel obligated to invite neighbors or other brides which have recently invited you to their wedding.

Limit Your Plus Ones.  It is up to you if you will allow a friend to bring a date.  Common courtesy dictates if your friend lives with, or is in a serious relationship with someone, this “plus one” should be invited to the wedding.  If your friend has a different person each month, this doesn’t mean they should be invited.  Talk with your friend first before assuming, and this is an easy way to get the name of their guest.  If they can’t give you a name, probably a good candidate for “no plus one”!

Realistic Guest Counts, Holidays, and Special Events.  On an average, 15% to 20% of your invited guests will not be able to attend.  They may have prior commitments, may not be able to take time off from work, or have other obstacles.  Your wedding date selection is important.  Holiday weekends are when airlines are extremely busy, and airfares will be more expensive.  If you plan your wedding during a major sporting event like Super Bowl weekend, your guests may have a difficult time finding hotel rooms, especially if the Super Bowl is in the same city as your wedding.

Master Guest List.  Combine your personal guest list, your parents’ list, your fiance’s list, and your fiance’s parents’ list into one alphabetical master list.  Check out this free template google docs – Wedding Guest List Template.  Enter your data or download from your computer in a format which is easily sorted in a multitude of ways.  You will refer to this list repetitively to address invitations, check off RSVPs, keep track of RSVPs NOT received, for accurate guest counts, record gifts, mail thank-you notes, and much more.  Here are some categories to include when making your Master Guest List:

a).  Contact information.  Include each guest’s full name, address, city, state, zip, phone, and e-mail address.

b).  Communication Tracker.  Keep track of who you have sent the save-the-date, invitation, and thank-you cards to.

c).  RSVPs.  Use a check mark or a “X” when the guest has RSVPed, with how many family members will be attending.

d).  Record Gifts.  Write down gifts received.

e).  Out-of-Town Guests.  These guests will need information on guest rooms, and you may want to arrange for transportation to pick them from the airport, take them to the ceremony, and return them to their hotel at the conclusion of the reception.

f).  Multiple Events.  If they are invited to one event, by etiquette they must be invited to the wedding.  You may want to have various spreadsheets for multiple events such as your Engagement Party, Bridal Shower, Bachelor Party, Bachelorette Party, Rehearsal Dinner, Golf Outing, Spa Day, Ceremony /Reception, and Brunch the Day After.

g).  Dietary Restrictions.  Indicate if they are a vegetarian, gluten free, diabetic, and list dietary restrictions to share with your caterer.

h).  Children vs. Adult Count vs. Vendor Food Count.  Note the age range of children so when you give the final guest count to your caterer you know numbers for adults, children, and vendor meals.

i).  Guest Code by Relationship.   Make a code for each guest so you know who is issuing the invitation, is it the Bride (B), Parents of the Bride (POB), Groom (G), Parents of the Groom (POG), Sibling (SOB – sister of bride), Wedding Party (WP), Aunt (A), Uncle (U), etc.  This will help you with seating arrangements, and if RSVPs are missing, it will be easier at selecting who would be best to delegate to confirm their RSVP status.

j).  Table Numbers.  If you are having reserved seating to a table, it will be easier to group your guests before you alphabetize your list.

k).  Handicap Guests.  If you have anyone in a wheelchair, you may want to seat them closest to the exit door so they have easy entrance and exit options.

Copyright 2012, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

ABC 2010 Conference Chair worked with David Tutera

O 480.921.7891

M 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

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December 3, 2011

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Your RSVPs are in, what’s next? 

Deciding who sits with whom requires being tact, being considerate, having diplomacy, and having a sense of adventure.  This is similar to a jigsaw puzzle, where you will be putting all the pieces together, one by one.    

1).  Do I really need assigned seating?  Most guests prefer having assigned seating to a table.  Unassigned seating sounds great in theory, yet it rarely works out well. 

  • Do you like going to an event which is “general admission”?
  • There may be a “rush” for the best seats.
  • Couples may get split up.
  • If people turn up who did not RSVP, they may take seats intended for your RSVPed guests.

2).  Assigning tables or assigning seats?  Guests may be assigned to a table (where they may be choose any seat)  or assigned to a specific seat.  Assigning tables is more common in the United States, where assigning seats is more common in Europe. 

3).  Obtain a floor plan of your room from your reception site manager.  Make photocopies of the floor plan so you may work with the seating arrangements.  A few items are critical in the seating placement of your guests, such as placement of your:

  • band/DJ (not the best seating placement for your grandparents)
  • dance floor (next to your DJ/Band)
  • bar(s)
  • food tables (depending on the type of service you have chosen – sit-down/plated, action stations, or a buffet)
  • cake table
  • dessert bar or candy bar (not the best seating placement for children)
  • number/name your tables (make sure you place Table #1 next to Table #2; if you have “names” for your tables, make sure they are alphabetical beginning with the letter “A”)

4).  Know your tables sizes and how many guests fit at each table. 

  • 36” rounds seat 2-4 people
  • 48” rounds seat 4-6 people
  • 60” rounds seats 8-10 people
  • 66” rounds seat 10 people
  • 72” rounds seat 10–12 people
  • 4’ banquet seats 4–6 people
  • 6’ banquet seats 6–8 people
  • 8’ banquet seats 8–10 people
  • 36”  square seats 4 people
  • 48”  square seats 8 people
  • 60” square seats 10 people
  • 72” square seats 12 people

NOTE:  If you are having chargers/base plates, you may want to reduce the number of people at each table, since some charges are 13” in diameter.

5).  Seating the bride and groom. 

  • together at a sweetheart table for two
  • together with your matron/maid of honor and best man
  • together with your matron/maid of honor, best man, and their spouse/guest
  • together with your wedding party
  • together with your wedding party and their spouse/guest
  • together with both sets of parents

6).  Seating parents.  Traditionally you would have one table for the bride’s family and close friends, and another for the groom’s family.  You may want to combine the two tables, yet normally there is an entourage of extended family and friends.  When the bride and/or groom’s parents are divorced, and all are in attendance, it is usually not the best idea to seat them together.  Hopefully they are amicable, yet the extended family of each may make it difficult logistically to seat them all at one table.

7).  The bridal party table.   Be creative with your wedding party.  Think of how you feel when you attend weddings or events.  You may your wedding party to sit with their spouse, guest, or family.  The bridal party table may be a rectangular table set against one side or end of the room.  The bride and groom sit at the center of the long side of the table, facing out so guests may see you.  No one is seated opposite of the bride and groom.  The bride sits on the groom’s right, with the best man on her right; the maid/matron of honor sits on the groom’s left, and the bridesmaids and groomsmen alternate along the same side of the table.  If you have a large wedding party, or if you want the spouses/guests of the wedding party to be seated with them, you may want a U-shape table with the bride and groom in the center.     

8).  Other guest tables.  Your basic objective is to make each table as congenial as possible.  For couples, try to mix and match while considering their personalities and interests.  Try to “fill the table”.  If you have a table for 10, try to fill it with 10 guests.  It will cost you more money on each table, linen, centerpiece, etc., if you do not fill your tables.  Trust your instincts and common sense.  If you do not personally know the guest, discuss with your fiancé or the parent which invited that person to assist you in the most logical positioning and grouping.  NOTE:  Seating a guest at a table where the other guests are close friends may leave the person feeling uncomfortable. 

9).  Seating children.  Younger children are usually seated with their parents.  Older children, tweens, or teens enjoy not being seated with their parents. 

10).  Seating disabled guests.  If you have a guest in a wheelchair, you may want to put them close to the entrance doors so they easily may get in and out of the room.  You may want to remove the chair for them if they will be seated in their wheelchair.  If they would like to be seated in their chair, you may want to move the wheelchair to the side of the room for them.  If someone has difficulty walking and has a cane or walker, normally it is easier to place them closer to the entrance doors.  A person with impaired hearing or impaired vision may enjoy being placed near the bridal party or near the band/DJ. 

11).  Seating charts, escort cards, tables numbers, and place cards.  Guests will need to know which table they are seated at so they don’t have to walk around to every table to find their place.  Place cards are recommended for seated dinners and formal buffets with more than twenty guests.  Table numbers with stanchions or frames are placed on each table to display the number or name of the table.  Table cards assign a guest to a specific table.  Place cards assign a guest to a specific seat at a specific table.  The table number of each guest’s table is written on his or her place card.  These place cards are in alphabetical order by last name at the reception entrance.  For assigned seating at the table, you will need to assign a direction in the room such as “the band is at 12 o’clock”, and seating is clockwise in the room.  Make sure you number your floor plan with the appropriate table number or table name, and make sure the reception site has table numbers and table number holders/frames (hopefully their selection will match your décor). 

12).  Alphabetical list by last name of guest with their table number or table name.  Make sure your wedding planner and head captain have your approved floor plan as well as an alphabetical list by last name of the guest with their assigned table number.   It is also helpful if you have a table number or table name list with the guests listed under this.  You will want to double and triple check this to make sure everyone has a seat.

13).  Open the doors.  Make sure at each entrance you have your wedding planner, a head captain, or a server with a detailed floor plan directing guests to their tables.

Copyright 2011, Kim Horn, MBC™

To you hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 59 in the World

Lead Arizona Wedding Planner – specializing in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix, and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – present

ABC 2010 Conference Chair worked with David Tutera

 O 480.921.7891

C 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

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