Expert Wedding Planner Tips- Part II

We have all seen the images from wedding after wedding under the stars with nothing overhead aside from strings of lights. Just so dreamy and it is on my bucket list to pull off one day.  However, in New Jersey, we are not blessed with sunny blue skies nearly ever day. Cue the tent.  The beautiful compromise to an outdoor backyard wedding.  Many people are apprehensive about hosting a tented wedding due to the unpredictability of the weather or overwhelmed at the prospect at starting from ground zero.  Hopefully, through my experience, I can share some expert wedding planner tips to help you navigated the tented backyard wedding.

Schedule a walk-through

If you are thinking about having a backyard tented wedding but don’t know where to start, simply give your favorite local tent company a call to come survey the space.  They will be able to tell you what size tent will fit comfortably, if the ground is level enough, what size dance floor works, and talk to you about lighting, power, climate control, staging and more.

Lights, Camera, Power

Speaking of lighting and power, make sure you have enough of both. Of course, your tent will be lit well, but consider the path that your guests will be taking to the restroom or to their cars at the end of the night. Pathways lights and uplighting will be areas that you should budget for to keep your guests safe.  When it comes to power, do your research. Find out from your caterer and band or DJ how much power they will each need. You may even need to rent fans, air conditioning or heaters to regulate the climate the best you can.  My suggestion is always to splurge for the generator since nothing kills the party quite like when the music stops.

Know the costs

Tented weddings can be expensive so know the costs and what is a comfortable budget before committing. A wedding planner can help you with estimated costs for each area including rentals which, not surprisingly, will add up quickly.  I also recommend leaving some wiggle room in your budget for your Plan B. If the weather is looking iffy, you can add a ceremony or cocktail tent or walkways where needed to make sure that guests stay warm and dry. Although there are many perks of having a raw space that will conform to any style wedding you wish to have, you are creating a space from nothing and everything will need to be brought in to create an inviting and whimsical venue and that is not cheap, yet completely worth it.

Hire good help

My ultimate recommendation is to hire a wedding planner with tented wedding experience. They will be paramount in anticipating what you need to create the ultimate experience for you and your guests. At the very least, a day of coordinator will save you from running around the morning of your wedding just before jumping in the chair for hair and makeup like I did on my wedding day. A caterer with experience with tented wedding or unconventional venues is also a great idea. They will be working in small quarters and braving the elements, so a bit of practical knowledge is invaluable in making sure the event goes off without a hitch.

 

Are you thinking of hosting a backyard wedding and need help? Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below. I would love to help you have your dream wedding.

Vendor Credits

Photography: Christina Lilly Photography

Tent: Sperry Tents NJ

Caterer: et al Fine Foods

Florist: Devon & Pinkett

Architectural sketch: Todd Schmeling Portraits

VW Photobooth: VW Booth Bus

 

 

 

 

Groomsmen Gift Guide

In our wedding industry, much of the emphasis is placed on the bride and their bridesmaids. Every Instagram post, Pinterest pin and magazine article usually focuses on the girls. Rightfully so, yet we can not forget the men, after all they are your husband’s best friends. Today, my post goes out to them. I am rounding up some great gift ideas for your groom’s guys in this groomsmen gift guide.

For starters, take note of your guys’ interests. You may want to consider personalizing your gift to their personality.

For the sophisticate

Nothing impresses houseguests like personalized barware. Groovy Guy Gifts has some great options including this glass and wood decanter. I recently received this decanter engraved with a masculine “V” for my brother-in-law who is getting married next year (yay a family wedding!).  I chose not to have the ball engraved, but that might be a great way to make each gift as unique as the guys you want to honor. It is really a handsome piece and would make a nice addition to any bar cart. I also love the look and shape of this golf themed decanter as well as the idea of personalized whiskey stones to complete the gift.

For the working man

Whether he is working behind a desk or with his hands, there are some great gift ideas to be shared.  One of my favorite items might be this waxed canvas apron with leather details. I love how versatile it is depending on your friend’s hobby.

For the jet setter

Traveling for business or for pleasure, you can still travel in style with one of these masculine and fashionable gifts. I am clearly a fan of waxed canvas and this dopp kit is another fave.  Uber hopping is hard work, so make things easy with a simplified wallet like this minimalist leather number.

Whatever you choose to gift them is just the icing on the cake of your friendship, but it sure is nice to thank them for standing by you for all those years as well as on your wedding day.

Photo credit: Love & Light Photographs

Florals: Reynold’s Garden Shop

Venue: Mallard Island Yacht Club