Thursday, May 29, 2014

Plan ahead to make that outdoor wedding shine

As we approach summer wedding season, we know many couples are planning to hold some or all of their wedding outdoors. While having the sun shine down on the happy couple as they exchange vows is always beautiful, outdoor weddings have their own potential problems.

Most of all, have a backup plan. Whether you want all or part of your wedding outdoors, you need some sort of backup plan if the weather turns ugly on you. Here at the Heritage, we host many ceremonies outside in our Stone Garden. But we also have the ability to move that ceremony inside at a moment’s notice! Make sure you have some sort of option for your guests in case of bad weather – it could be as simple as umbrellas or as complex as a tented area.

Stone Garden wedding
The Stone Garden at the Heritage Hotel offers an outdoor venue with a built-in weather backup!

Watch the temperature. Even in June, the temperatures can spike quickly. Be sure you have plenty of water on hand for guests to stay hydrated. Many couples who plan to have a printed wedding program have them printed on a fan so guests can keep themselves cool during the ceremony. Also, if you are planning to have your reception outdoors as well, make sure your caterer has planned keeping cold food safe!

Help your guests plan ahead as well by letting them know ahead of time that your wedding is planned to be outdoors. Guests will be sure to dress appropriately for the weather, as long as they know ahead of time. A survival kit of things your guests may have forgotten like sunscreen or bug spray will come in handy!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

What to do when your significant other isn’t “into” wedding planning

You’re all excited – your wedding day is fast approaching, and you’ve got wedding planning fever. You know exactly down to the tiniest detail exactly how things are going to be. But your partner isn’t showing the same level of excitement you are. When you ask about color swatches, uplighting, or food choices he or she just doesn’t seem to be as interested.

First, don’t panic! Just because your partner isn’t interested in the tiny details doesn’t mean they don’t want to be married. It just means they aren’t into party planning.

But make sure their voices are being heard. If your partner doesn’t seem to care about one element of the planning, like color swatches, don’t assume they don’t have an opinion about something else, like food. Check in regularly to make sure you’re not steamrolling over all of their decisions.

Take a little time for each other. Sure, you’re planning possibly the biggest event you’ve ever planned, and you want it to be just right. But when you make every conversation about the wedding, you risk overloading your partner. Take some time for a regular date night, and promise “no wedding talk.” You’ll both be refreshed and ready to tackle the next wedding planning challenge.

Ask for help. It may sound like a great thing, being able to make all the decisions for your wedding day, but sometimes you need help. Let your significant other know you need help making some decisions. If you need more help than that, ask a trusted member of the wedding party or a family member. You don’t have to do it alone!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tips for making your wedding accessible

Whether it’s for you, your partner or a family member or friend, planning a wheelchair or other accessible wedding has its own challenges.

Keep accessibility needs in mind as you scout wedding locations. Depending on who needs the accessibility, you may need to have different options. If it’s a member of the wedding party, make sure your location has a plan for wheelchair access to the ceremony spot. If it’s for a guest, you may only need to be sure there is an accessible spot for them in the congregation where they can see the ceremony comfortably. During the reception, ensure tables are the correct height and that there will be no issues at the buffet.

Outdoor locations have their own requirements. Check for things like uneven pavement or rocky or marshy ground. Will you have a raised floor under a tent? You may need to add some ramps to help your guests onto the floor.

If you have sight-impaired guests, consider printing a few copies of your program in large print or braille.

You may want to ask a trusted member of the wedding party or family member to keep an eye out for potential trouble spots during the wedding. While you don’t want any of your guests to feel singled out, you will have a lot of things going on during the ceremony and reception. Having a second person whose job it is to keep accessibility issues running smoothly will be a help!

Work with your wedding venue to alert them of any accessibility issues ahead of time. They know their venue best and will be able to anticipate many of your needs before you do!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Things we wish you knew about booking your hotel room block

Here at the Heritage Hotel, we offer room blocks for couples, no matter where they’re having their wedding. Perhaps your ceremony is in a place of worship and you’re having your reception with us; or perhaps everything is happening off-site, and you just need a comfy place for your guests. While every hotel has its own specific details, here’s what we wish everyone knew about setting up their room blocks:

Know your check-in time. For us, guaranteed check-in is 4 p.m. If your wedding is at 6, it is unlikely you will be able to get into your room early. We most likely had a guest in that room the night before, and it’s simply not available until 4. We suggest getting the room the day before. Since we offer a free night to the couple on their wedding night, why not take advantage of an extra day? It takes one more level of stress away.

Take an extra night to enjoy your room!

That goes for your guests, too. Why not encourage your guests to make it a weekend getaway? Make your room block available for the whole weekend and that will give your guests time to get in and settled and have the whole next day to get ready.

Book early and know your deadlines. There is no downside to setting up your room block early – just be sure you know when your cut-off date is. Before your wedding, the hotel will want to be able to release your unsold rooms to other guests. You don’t want your guests missing out on the rooms, so make sure you make it clear on your wedding website or invitations when they need to call by.

When in doubt, ask. If you’re not sure about a detail, check with your wedding planner, sales person or contact at the hotel. We’re more than happy to answer any question you might have. Just like you, we want your guests to have a great time at your wedding!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Alternatives to the traditional wedding shower

Many couples enjoy the traditional wedding shower – all the ladies getting together for the afternoon, with games, gifts and food. For many reasons, though, other couples don’t like them. Perhaps you’re a non-traditional couple, or one or both of you are very shy and you hate opening gifts in front of people. You’ve got plenty of alternatives to the usual pre-wedding party!

An afternoon barbecue with all the guys and gals of the family is a much more casual get-together. And, taking the spotlight off just one of you, any gifts can be opened by both of you as a couple! Or, you can keep it just a celebration, with no gifts at all!

Keep it casual with a backyard barbecue!

If you want to stay more formal, keep the group co-ed, but have the party at a restaurant or nearby hotel. A party like this can double as an engagement party as well.

If you really don’t want a pre-wedding party at all, make sure you make that clear with both sides. Your family or your partner’s family may try to surprise you with one, thinking they are doing the right thing.  Usually, the surprise shower is done with the best of intentions. Be gentle, but firm, and make your position clear.

Have you been to an alternative to the traditional shower? Are you planning one? Tell us about it!