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Archive for May 2013

Popping the Question: Buffet vs. Plated Dinner at the Wedding?

We know, we know.  When you read “popping the question” in the title of this article, the issue of serving your guests dinner at your reception didn’t exactly spring to mind.  In fact, you probably got swept away in thoughts about your sweetheart’s romantic proposal, where he bent down on one knee and presented you with the sparkling diamond that you’ve got on right now.

But when it comes to wedding planning, one of the most crucial questions you can ask yourself will pertain to what type of dinner you’ll be serving your guests at the reception.  The two options – buffet and plated dinner – each have their own proponents and naysayers, which might make this a complicated issue for you to dive into.

If you’re on the fence about either dinner option, don’t fret: here are some great ways to decide between serving your guests a buffet or a plated dinner:

  • First, consider the type of wedding that you’ll be holding.  The dinner plays a crucial role in maintaining the atmosphere of your reception, be it an elegant black-tie affair or a casual backyard wedding.  Think about it this way: the more elegant the wedding, the more likely it is that you’ll need to serve a plated dinner.  While every couple is free to set their own rules, keep the comfort and expectations of your guest in mind: if they spend several hundred dollars on outfits and gifts for a black-tie affair, they’re probably expecting a similar gesture in the form of a lovely plated dinner.
  • If your wedding isn’t a black-tie event, take a careful look at your budget to see what you can afford.  You may be surprised at which option is the most affordable for you and your sweetheart.  For example, many venues often include the price of plated dinners within the overall fee, while some caterers will charge a great deal of money in addition to the venue fee to serve a buffet.  Keep an open mind, and don’t be afraid to explore both options.
  • If you love the casual atmosphere of a buffet but want to keep things elegant, consider food “bars.”  Each bar will have a specific theme, like a steak bar, a sushi bar, or a mashed potato bar.  This adds a fun and unique twist without sacrificing the fun of a buffet setting.

No matter which option you pick, make sure it’s the right one for you and your sweetheart.  After all, no one wants to start their married lives in debt due to the food served at the wedding.

The Ultimate Wedding Question: Hire a DJ or a Band?

Let’s face it: you don’t want to have just any wedding – you want to have the party of the year.  You want to throw the kind of wedding that’s so fun and exciting, your friends will be talking about it for years to come.  You’ve got the food in place, the perfect venue booked, and a dress that will stun and amaze…

Now all you need to do is hire a DJ or a band.

Not surprisingly, this can be one of the biggest dilemmas couples face when planning a wedding.  The music at a reception can set a critical tone in determining the events of the night: play the right music, and the wedding’s a blast.  Play the wrong music, however, and the reception quickly becomes a letdown.

You want your guests to have the time of their lives, which is why you’re taking this question so seriously.  So if you’re still on the fence as to whether you should hire a DJ or a wedding band, keep the following advice in mind:

  • Think about the type of bride you are and your musical tastes.  If you and your sweetheart love an eclectic array of music that many bands won’t know about, you might want to consider hiring a DJ.  If, however, you love nothing more than getting down to the latest hits and the classics of yesteryear, a wedding band can be a viable option.
  • Consider your budget.  While a wedding band and DJ can both run at similar price ranges, you’ll be expected to feed your band while they’re at the reception.  This could end up costing you a few extra hundred dollars in costs, depending on the size of the band and the price of the plates.  However, don’t emphasize cost over quality – the DJ or the wedding band singer is going to be the one introducing you and your sweetheart as a newly married couple.  If someone has a wonderful vibe and truly “gets” you as a DJ or wedding band, you should go with your gut instinct.
  • Read customer reviews before hiring any DJ or wedding band.  You don’t want to discover any nasty surprises on the night of your wedding – like your DJ likes to go to gigs drunk or the wedding singer who loves to play every Whitney Houston song known to man.

If you’re still confused about the issue, outsource it to your future husband; one of the traditional tasks of the groom is to pick the music for the wedding.  It’s a great way to check another task off your growing wedding to-do list!