What Wedding Problems Drive Planners Crazy?

Biz Bash, an event industry trade paper, recently ran a piece on what drives PR and corporate planners crazy at parties they attend.  Amy Sacco, founding partner and creative director, LDV Hospitality Nightlife, listed four points, three of which translated so well into wedding world, I had to share. Today, we cover Amy Sacco’s irritant number one* in the next few days, on to the next two.

When events are pitched as intimate or exclusive and then you find guests’ assistants there

 It doesn’t take a lot of creativity to translate this one into the wedding experience.

A couple explains their tiny, intimate wedding and matching brutally small head count. The venue only holds so many people, or there are budget issues, and that’s why the guest list is so lean, and you can’t bring your fiancé. Apologies are made, and tears are shed.

Who's coming?

Who’s coming?

Your tears dry pretty quickly, though, on wedding day when you’re seated with the bride’s sister’s boyfriend’s mother.  You think I’m kidding don’t you?  This happened to me.  The bride’s sister-in-law’s brother and her parents were there too.  My boyfriend of three years sat at home.  The upshot? I had a crappy time at that wedding, and remember it as an unpleasant experience to this day.

Wedding Paper Divas Wedding Day Needs - Programs, Menus, and more

The Fix:

Guest List Diplomacy. Think a little before you cross someone off or decide on your “plus ones.”  You could be changing a dear friend or relative’s experience of your wedding completely for the benefit of your father’s chiropractor.  This is your day, but do you want people to remember it as a miserable one?  Probably not.

Stay tuned for Amy’s next pet peeve, how it pertains to wedding planning, and how to avoid it!

Live well, and love well.

-Dinah

*Note. Amy’s Biz Bash quote started with this:

“I loathe the following, in no particular order…”  ergo this party fail is no more or less loathed than the others we will cover in the days to come.

The 4th of July Non-Weekend. Bad for Brides? Good for Guests? You decide.

Ah the calendar.  Tomorrow, the 4th of July falls on a WEDNESDAY for the first time in many years.  For those with office jobs whose vacation days are comparable to certain rare truffles in the food world, this is a big deal. There are calculations by which you can take only a few days off, and yet stretch your vacation and/or wedding weekend to five days, all with the aid of a well placed Monday or Friday out of the office.  Thanksgiving is the ultimate centerpiece to the art of stretching PTO: you can take a full seven days and only “spend” three.

But this year (darned Gregorians) Fourth of July isn’t participating.  And some are breathing a sigh of relief.  Hint: it’s not the brides.  People who might have attended weddings this holiday, are attending barbeques.  And parades.  And celebrating Independence Day well, independently.  There are many people who don’t want to have their summer plans set for them by receiving a “save the date” in February and being expected to clear their calendars.

As a bride, it’s hard to see outside the bubble where your wedding is the Most Important Thing In The World, but sometimes people have fun things scheduled at the same time or want to have that option.  And that’s OK. (Well your sister really ought to keep her schedule open, but let the rest of your list plan their own vacations, and lead their own lives. It’s not anybody’s fault, and there shouldn’t be any lasting drama or upset about who had something else going on that day ).

All thoughts running through my head on a summer’s day… enjoy your barbeques tomorrow.  And the weddings that are happening this weekend!  Remember, you can always have sparklers no matter what time of year it is*  And no matter who comes, or what the season, your wedding will light up with joy and memories for everyone.

Live well, and love well.

Dinah

 

* please check the fire regulations in your area and at your venue!

Healthy Eating Advice For Wedding Guests: Weight Watchers Weighs In

So did you think Weight Watchers only had an article with ideas for the bride? Oh no. They’ve got guests’ backs too. Here’s the skinny on staying skinny AND enjoying yourself at all those summer weddings.  And remember – the Chicken Dance burns LOTS of calories, especially when danced with your Uncle Lou.
reposted from Weight Watchers.com
Article By: Vicki Salemi
Wedding Guest Survival Guide

It’s that time of year again. Brides and grooms are in full bloom — and so are the buffets, Viennese tables and wedding cake pieces with a PointsPlus® value of 10. But weddings are also ripe with opportunities for socializing, dancing the night away, and having a fabulous time.

When it comes to the cocktail hour, Weight Watchers member Lauri Carbone, North Wales, PA, has it down to a science. She should know — as a wedding photographer, she is surrounded by reception food temptations every weekend.

“I always keep a healthy snack in my camera bag like carrots so I can munch during down time and try to fill up as much as possible before the crab cakes and mashed potatoes come out,” she says. “I also try to keep my hands busy with my camera around the food, so instead of grabbing for some cheese, I take a photo of it. And then I look at it later, longingly, but proud that I didn’t succumb to the deliciousness that is cheese.”

Another strategy, according to Weight Watchers member Janice Litvin of Walnut Creek, CA, is not so much what she does at the wedding, but rather what she does beforehand.

“I don’t go to an event hungry,” she says. “I always eat a snack like a big piece of fruit before I go and make sure to save PointsPlus values from that day by eating a lighter lunch so I can consume extra PointsPlus values at the wedding.”

Size up the skewers
For Lifetime Member Ellen Pulda from Needham, MA, her survival toolkit is all about scoping out the situation. “Don’t go for the first stuffed mushroom you see,” she advises. “Watch the hors d’ouevres parade pass by, then make your decision. Stick to the sushi, skewered chicken and avoid the wrapped (i.e., egg rolls, pigs in a blanket) items.”

When it’s time for the sit-down meal, Pulda relies on her husband to help her through the meal. She suggests, “Sit next to a dinner companion who’s happy to take half your meal. My husband typically gets my starches and half my entrée. Pass up the bread basket. At functions — unless it’s a fancy French restaurant — it’s usually not worth it.”

Dinner, drinks and dancing, oh my!
“Seltzer is your friend,” says Rita Smircich (Westport, CT), Lifetime Member, wedding planner, and author of To Do Before “I Do” (Lulu, 2007). “Although this might sound drab, it’s amazing what you can do with seltzer! Even if a bit of liquor was added, it won’t make for many calories. A variety of juices, such as cranberry or pineapple, can be added for a refreshing drink.”

Judith Lederman from Scarsdale, NY, editor of Westchester Weddings Magazine and author of Joining the Thin Club: Tips for Toning Your Mind AFTER You’ve Trimmed Your Body (Three Rivers Press, 2007), reminds us that weddings are not about the food. “Remember, you can get food anywhere, anytime, but the opportunity to mix and mingle and see people you haven’t seen in ages — that only comes about on rare occasions!”

She adds, “Dancing burns calories — stay on the dance floor and get aerobic. I danced at my son’s wedding last night and didn’t even stop to eat the wedding food. I had a protein shake tucked away in the bridal room and drank it between dances.”

DIY desserts
Some guests prefer the do-it-yourself treat. Ranae Whitmore lost weight over the past two years by making healthy food choices, implementing moderate exercise and changing her thought processes. The Des Moines, IA native explains, “Rather than being tempted by the lovely wedding cake, I bring my own 100-calorie pack of Hostess cupcakes or a frozen Weight Watchers dessert and ask the servers if they will kindly plate it for me on the same fancy plates the wedding cake is being served on. It makes me feel special to be ‘good to me’ and at the same time feel like everyone else being served on fine china!”

Linda Lockett Brown, RD, from Orange Park, FL, says it’s important to be kind to yourself if you indulge. “Don’t become riddled with guilt because you chose to eat a piece of cake,” she says.

Treat yourself well
As you’re enjoying the celebration, it’s important to remember it’s just one night, one meal and one piece of rich cake. Author Smircich adds, “When people are going to a wedding, they know that there is going to be good food and plenty of it. If they want to eat buttercream wedding cake, then they may need to save their PointsPlusvalues during the week. [Then] at the wedding, eat the salad without dressing, avoid the heavy cream sauce, [don’t] eat the bread on the table and [don’t] ask for a second piece of cake.”

Above all, Litvin notes, “If you want to eat something, eat it. If you say no to yourself for too long, you are more likely to [break down]. So try that piece of cake or piece of candy — just remember to write it down. As my Leader always says, ‘Just get right up the next morning, wipe off the crumbs, and begin your day anew.'”

About the Writer
Vicki Salemi is a freelance writer based in New York.

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