Thursday, July 03, 2014

Your Big, Fat, Backyard Wedding - Los Angeles Wedding Planner

I've said it before, every wedding is a big wedding, especially the small ones. And backyard weddings, as intimate, convenient, and savings-friendly as they are? Can also be a lot of work.

Here are some things you need to keep in mind about your backyard weddings, or about having your wedding at what I call a "backyard venue," which has no catering, no rentals, except whatever you choose to bring in.

1. Guest tables - the goal should be to re-create a restaurant environment. What do I mean by that? Everything should flow smoothly and be conveniently placed, both for your guests and for food and beverage service. If you're serving water or wine at the tables, you need the glasses at each place setting, plus silverware. If you are serving a buffet, it's better to leave the plates at the buffet table. That way your guests are not carrying their plate with them while they're waiting in line, and they can grab a clean plate for a second serving.

2. Better to have too much ,than not enough - Glasses, Plates, knives, forks and napkins fall to the ground or break. Or, as I pointed out above, they get dirty and guests won't want to re-use them. Either way, you're going to need more than the exact number of guests that you have.Think about your menu think about the flow of the food. I suggest at least 15% more on the silverware, and 3 glasses per person. Three plates for a buffet (one of those plates can be for dessert) two for a sit-down dinner. Again, you're playing the expectation game with your guests - no one will expect to re-use their glass. And 30% of the time, they forget where they put it, anyway!

3. Music. DJ vs.  Ipod? If you don't have a DJ, you still have to re-create the DJ experience. Someone needs to start the ceremony music, and then end it (Hint: Think "radio" - Don't shut it off abruptly - lower the volume all the way down at and THEN turn it off). Are you making any announcements during the wedding for the first dance, cake cutting, opening the buffet...? And someone definitely, DEFINITELY, needs to be in charge of monitoring the music! You can make as many playlists as you want, but at some point, you'll want to switch to another song. If you hear yourself thinking, "I can do all that myself," Stop. Get someone else to do it. Finding a DJ you can afford is the best choice, finding a willing volunteer is the only second option.

4. The buffet. Call individual tables to the buffet. Don't just open it and have a free for all, it causes confusion and consternation. We are a people who are used to having to stand in line and wait our turn. Go with that.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

It's a wedding weekend, so follow me on Instagram for all the pics @lizcharm

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