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Did you get engaged over the Christmas, New Year’s or Valentine’s Day?

Congratulations if you did! Now the daunting task of deciding what to do next. Just remember the wedding is for the two of you the reception is for your family and friends.The people that love you and care about you. Your support system for your life together as a married couple. Do whatever you do from the heart and have fun doing it. Don’t feel that you both have to choose everything together or even agree on everything. Pick and choose what is really important to you and agree to allow the other to choose if you really don’t care.

I have been planning weddings here in the valley for 27 years. I will never forget the first wedding I catered. Larry and Tammy, a couple I met at Joe Weider Gym. It was a lot of people in a backyard in Mountain park ranch. My father helped me make the food. I had no idea about quantities back then. We made so much food; what a waste. I remember mixing potato salad in a kids plastic swimming pool because I didn’t have a bowl big enough. We have learned a lot since then about how to do it right, where to do it and what the outcome will be. We have thousands of weddings behind us now.

Whether you have the dream of a big wedding with all your family and friends or something small and intimate, make sure you understand what you are getting into before you get started. If you have a $5000 budget, you could have nice casual backyard wedding at $50 a person for 100 people, or a very nice backyard wedding at $100 a person for 50 people. Or something even more simple like cake, fresh fruit, punch and wine at 2:00 in the afternoon. Set the time to meet the style of reception. You can't serve cake and fruit at dinner time.

Either way, once you determine how much the type of wedding and reception you want is going to cost per person invite the number of guest you can afford. Some things are a flat rate regardless of the number of guests such as a DJ, Photographer, and the officiant.

By having the wedding in a backyard, a local outdoor space or someplace nontraditional, you will save the enormous venue fees associated with Wedding venues. Backyard weddings are personal, custom, and the in thing for 2019! There are rental homes with nice yards if you don’t have the space. There are also some great nontraditional spaces that are great for the Reception. I have a plethora of ideas for you.

The $5000 to $12000 that you save on the wedding venue can be put into landscaping that you will have afterward. Consider plants that can go in the ground afterward instead of cut flowers on the tables. Consider a pergola or arch that you can keep in the garden afterward. You will always think of your wedding day when you look at it.

Plan the type of event that is right for the space. It is not always necessary to have everyone seated for the ceremony. They are usually only 10 to 15 minutes anyway. If there isn’t enough space for seated tables for all the guest have a cocktail party style of reception. In which case you only plan seating at any given time for one third of the guest. Some standing height tables, some lounge groups, some round tables and chairs. Remember if you set for dinner, you need to serve dinner. If you want to serve Hors D Oeuvres and grazing stations don’t set tables with linens and chairs like you would for a plated or buffet dinner.

Don’t try to do it yourself. Spend your time making guest favors, online invitations, or doing your landscaping. Don’t do anything yourself that requires your attention within seven days of the wedding. That is your time to enjoy your family, the spa day, and put yourself in the right frame of mind for the wedding. Going into a marriage stressed out is probably not a good way to start out.

Hire a professional to bring it all in and coordinate it for you. Here at HEC, we do it all for you so a wedding planner is not necessary. Some caterers are not so all inclusive. You may need to contract rentals, DJ, photograph, cake and hire someone to organize it all for you. Our Event Specialist's do it all and at no additional charge!