By Wedding Consultant, Nikki Hilaire
The ceremony (and reception) is running an hour (or two!) late? What do you do?
Identify the cause and remedy. For instance, if lateness is due to a missing but replaceable item (such as a ring pillow or bouquet) I’d grab a substitute from my emergency kit, and get the wedding started.
Otherwise, I’d inform vendors of the situation and enlist their cooperation in making changes to the programme. For example, a late wedding may necessitate serving dinner earlier and allowing speeches during the meal, or having the caterer serve hors d’oeuvres to waiting guests (if possible).
There is an interruption in water supply?
I make it a point to drive around the venue neighbourhood and map out the nearest automated teller machines and convenience stores. I also keep handy the phone numbers for water trucking services.
I discuss any potential water problems with the venue contact closer to the date and on the morning of the wedding. In the unlikely event that the venue is unable to meet water requirements on the day (think sinks running dry) I’d approach neighbours about the possibility of using their supply. There is also the option to purchase water by the gallon from the nearest convenience stores whilst waiting for water trucks to arrive.
It’s raining at your outdoor wedding?
You need to establish a back-up plan in advance. Consider reserving tent walls to be used if necessary; if the venue is not tented there should be at least one covered area.
I often change the reception schedule or program when this happens. For instance, if pelting rain forces guests to run for shelter, the “waiting” period can be turned into the “first dance” item followed by a soca dance party. Guests would be having such a good time that they may not notice that the banquet style dinner was turned into a casual buffet.
The entertainment does not show up?
I keep varied music discs in my car as back-up; the DJ usually does a sound check with me, or someone from my team, at least two hours prior to the reception, so that they can always transition if a musician does not show.
For instance, if your live saxophonist cancels, the DJ can substitute instrumental music, without guests even knowing that something went wrong. It’s all about having that relationship with your vendors.
We have several friends attending our reception, who don’t know our family and who may not know any of our guests. How should we seat them? Should we create a singles table?
Resist the urge to banish friends to a “singles” table, unless they all know each other. It makes more sense to put singles with trusted family members or persons that they’re familiar with. This would make them feel less self-aware and more included and at ease.
If your singles don’t know anyone at the event, and family members are not up to entertaining them on the day, mix them into your close circle of friends. You can accomplish this by splitting your friends into two or more groups and fitting these new faces into each group. Ask one friend to keep an eye on your “singles” to make sure they’re having fun.
Consider strategically placing “singles” amongst more outgoing and gregarious friends or guests, or persons they may have something in common with, or can warm up to.
Resist the urge to seat people together because you think they would be romantically compatible, unless you have the expressed permission of both parties beforehand. No one wants to be on a date they didn’t signed up for.
The couple met online through a mutual friend while they were still teens. Their first date was a movie “lime” at Alydia’s house. Luckily, their parents knew each other and consented.
Brad planned a vacation in St. Lucia which included an all day catamaran cruise. The couple had a lovely trip to the sulphur springs, went snorkeling and had lunch at a plantation. When they got back to land Brad started talking about how lovely the sunset at the hotel was (he had been there before on a boys’ lime); he was worried they were going to miss it as the shuttle was dropping off at their locale last.
When they got back to the resort Alydia opted to refresh before going onto the beach. As soon as she was dressed, Brad literally dragged her out of the hotel room and onto the beach, got down on one knee, and asked her to marry him. Alydia responded, “Are you serious?”The look of sheer terror on Brad’s face told her that he was.
Alydia was totally surprised because Brad always rolled his eyes and shrugged off any mention of marriage. Brad gave her the ring his grandfather used to propose to his grandmother and his dad to his mom.
Alydia wanted her wedding to be soft, yet elegant, with a hint of romance. Pink, she says, is the colour of true, sweet, innocent love.
The reception venue was adorned with flowers in light pink and fuchsia gerberas, star-gazer lilies, white spider mums, white asters, light pink and fuchsia spray roses, purple chrysanthemums, leather leaf and rice fern.
Cake (and cake table decor)
The couple opted for an ivory and cream cake with decorative sugar flowers and a light dusting of iridescent glitter on the detail. The cake stood on an etched glass stand and was accented with flowers such as pink and fuchsia gerberas.
The bride wore an Alfred Angelo Piccione Bridal Gown in diamond white. The gown is silk taffeta with a ruched base, metallic embroidery, crystal beadings and a semi-cathedral train. The dress was originally a halter but was altered into a sweetheart neck. It was French bustled for the reception.
Accents included an Alfred Angelo ivory veil, pearl and diamante silver earrings, and a keepsake tri-string pearl wristlet with diamante detail.
The groom wore a black pinstripe suit (locally purchased); his tie was handmade by a family friend, from a David’s Bridal watermelon satin sash.
The bride opted for variegated fuchsia pink roses with leather leaf base, lightly dusted with silver glitter and embellished with silver based crystal drops and crystal string beads, and hand tied with sheer fuchsia ribbon.
The groom wore a variegated fuchsia pink rose and ivory tuberose with leather leaf base wrapped with light pink satin ribbon and embellished with crystal. His groomsmen wore mini spray roses in light pink and fuchsia.
Flower Girl and Ring Bearer
The flower girls wore Alfred Angelo dresses; the ring bearer wore a Lords and Lads suit with ring pillow from A Wedding Showcase and More. Previous Page: (clockwise from left to right): couple with wedding cake; Relate Studios photobooth; photobooth with props; little girl with photobooth props; fuchsia pink roses bridal bouquet; ivory table napkin folded into a simple star with a pink gerbera.
Photography: Juma Bannister, Relate Studios, relatestudios.com
Decor and Flowers: The Flower Garden Limited, (868) 653-1789
Cake: June Peters, (868) 798-0162
Accessories (baskets, ring pillow, unity candle): A Wedding Showcase and More, www.aweddingshowcase.com
Hair: Hair by Giovanni, (868) 657-3666
Make-up: Amy Webster (868) 350-6003
Bride running late? Photoshoot in overdrive before the reception? Here’s a cocktail blueprint for keeping your guests happy.
The cocktail hour is that time, right before the reception, that guests spend mingling, sipping and munching, and an important opportunity to set the tone and style of your wedding.
The cocktail hour was originally created to give guests something to do while the wedding party and new bride and groom took pictures or were otherwise occupied before the reception.
Keep an open floor plan. Walking out of a lovely ceremony to find yourself crowded by guests en route to the party room can be a quick mood killer. The trick is to make the cocktail venue as open and spacious as possible to facilitate fun and mingling.
Eliminate food bottlenecks. Supplement your main bar or snack station with one or two smaller bars at opposite corners of the room to prevent crowding.
It’s better to rely mainly on servers to get food to guests, and serve only “finger foods” so that plates are not required. Be sure to assign at least one server to every fifty guests.
Some tables and seats are needed. Be sure to have a few cocktail tables, some high, some low, so that guests can have a place to rest their drinks and sit down. A good strategy would be to place low tables with chairs along the wall, and high-tops without chairs toward the middle of the room.
Cater to all guests. Have seating for older guests and for those who may need seating (for example, those with medical conditions).
Be sure to have kid-appropriate munchies if children are invited; and include non-alcoholic drinks and perhaps a vegetable or non-meat item to satisfy various dietary requirements.
Time it. The cocktail hour should only last one hour. Guests standing on their feet, balancing food and drinks, can get tired and bored if the cocktail hour lingers.
Minimize the décor. During cocktails, guests are busy socializing, not focusing on decor. So don’t spend a fortune on large arrangements.
Keep it simple. A cocktail hour needn’t involve fancy cocktail tables, a bar, or even alcoholic drinks. To include a cocktail hour without breaking the bank consider serving drinks that you can make in bulk.
Leave out the alcohol. Consider leaving out the alcohol and just serving cheese and crackers, veggies or fruit, with smoothies, or an assortment of teas, and/or lemonade or another array of drinks that go with your theme.
That way, you not only save cost, but also get all the formal wedding items such as toasts, speeches and special dances out of the way before bringing out the booze.
MAKING IT SPECIAL?
Consider a photo booth. This is a fun, breezy way to get guests involved and entertained, prior to the reception. It’s also a good way to ensure that you get additional photos of your guests.
Musical inspiration. Single musicians such as guitarists, violinists, pianists and harpists are perfect. Adding more musicians to the combination is also a nice touch and these can include violin, guitar or a small string ensemble. Better yet, have the musicians stroll amongst your guests. (Note that you don’t have to bust the bank for good talent. Musicians can include a talented kid you know. Music teachers would be happy to facilitate exposure for students.)
Caricature artists. Hire local talent to draw/paint caricatures of your guests. The art becomes a fun filled favor that your guests can take home. Take inspiration from Bohemian Paris, and have artists available even whilst guests enjoy dinner and dessert.
Change of scenery. Depending on your location, cocktail hours can allow for guests to spend some time outdoors and enjoy the wonderful weather. Think outdoor patio or verandah, a picturesque garden, or the beach.