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5 Tips To The Perfect Long Island Brunch Wedding Reception

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5 Tips To The Perfect Long Island Brunch Wedding Reception

5 Brunch Wedding Reception Tips That Will Make Your Wedding Day Unforgettable

Brunch wedding receptions are becoming increasingly popular on Long Island, especially among couples looking to stretch their budgets. Reception halls often charge less for morning and midday events and breakfast foods generally cost less than dinner. If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to cut costs while still having a fabulous experience, check out our top five tips to ensure that you have the brunch wedding reception of your dreams.

1. Timing is everything.

Even if you and your husband-to-be are both chipper and cheerful morning people, not everyone else necessarily is. With that in mind, don’t plan your brunch wedding reception for any earlier than 10am at the absolute earliest. Most people consider 11am to be the ideal brunch hour, so plan accordingly.

2. Awaken their appetite gently.

Try not to jump right into the meal too quickly; you may have spent hours getting dolled up, but keep in mind that most of your guests just got out of bed. Allow your guests an opportunity to mingle and sip a glass of juice, a cup of coffee or a mimosa while nibbling on some fresh fruit before they sit for a meal. It will set a nice, leisurely pace for your brunch wedding reception without killing your budget.

3.  Choices, choices, choices.

There’s something about an array of fresh juices and light cocktails at a brunch wedding reception that feels – and looks – so elegant. Consider incorporating a juice bar of freshly-squeezed beverages, or a cocktail station with mimosas, bellinis and champagne.

4. Embrace the season.

An outdoor brunch wedding reception in the spring, summer or fall on Long Island is beautiful, especially if it’s a waterfront venue or a reception hall with a view. If you’re getting married in the winter, a roaring fire makes for a nice, cozy setting.

5. Choose a variety of foods.

There will be guests who are egg and sausage people, and there will be guests who prefer a small plate of fresh fruit and a bite of toast. For this reason, you might find that it’s easiest to have a buffet that offers something for everyone. No matter what, don’t forget to make sure that your brunch wedding reception has some vegetarian options.

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Inviting guests to your wedding

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So you’re in the process of choosing your Long Island wedding venue. It’s the biggest job you have, yet there are still many decisions to make. The people you invite is one of the most important things to consider. The amount of people you invite will be determined by your budget, your venue, and really, who you actually want there vs. who you’re obligated to invite. The guest list is usually one of the most stressful aspects to planning your wedding. There can be a lot of friction and difficulty caused by deciding the guest list, so do your best to handle this with as much sensitivity and thought as possible.  Here are a few points to mull over when deciding the guest list.

Size of your wedding

This is the first thing to consider. When you picture your wedding, do you envision a huge event with all the pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding? Or do you picture a more intimate setting with just you and a small guest list of just the special people in your life. Chances are, if this is the first wedding for both of your families, you have a pretty good idea already that this is going to be a larger scale wedding whether you like that or not. Make sure to set your budget and then figure out your guest list. If you do it in the opposite order, you are almost assured to go to over budget.

Remember, It’s your wedding!

Make the most of this opportunity. You are going to want to have the people who matter the most be there for your special day. Be prepared, your parents will want their friends to attend, maybe their boss, and other various people you don’t know at all. Make sure to remember that it is your wedding, so you have the right to share your reservations to your dad inviting his accountant or your mom inviting the organist from church. Keep in mind, your parents will have some “must have” guests. But there are some areas where you can take a stand. And if you are flexible with them, they’ll understand why you’re inviting someone who seems random to them. Check the budget, handle your parents with sensitivity, but always remember it’s your wedding.

Who is paying for your Long Island wedding?

This is a huge factor when determining the guest list. If your parents are paying for most or all of this, then chances are they will feel entitled to invite who they want. If you and your future spouse are paying, then you have complete say in who’s coming or not. If your parents are paying, then let them invite anyone they want. Unless you are having an intimate wedding. However, if they are paying for an intimate wedding, they should have good sense on who to invite and who to leave off the list.

Creating the guest list

As stated before, the Long Island wedding venue you choose, as well as your budget determines the size of your guestlist. You always want to plan for a few more, but don’t go overboard because all of a sudden you’ll outgrow your budget and your venue!  Here are some additional tips to follow when choosing your guest list.

  1. Generally the total number of guests you can have will be halved and the bride’s side accorded half the number and the groom’s the other half.
  2. If you and your spouse have a common circle of friends , you may want to give your parents a little more leeway with their invitees.
  3. Keep in mind none of this is set in stone. If the groom doesn’t have as many people to invite, it’s not necessary for him to start thinking up people to bring so that the parties are even. it makes more sense to let the bride invite more if she has more she’d like to be there. Or vice versa.
  4. The bride and groom should come up with their own lists separately, then meet up and go through the sifting process together.

You are probably going to go through several versions of your guest list until coming to the final list. More than anything it will help to determine the ball park number of guests you’ll be looking at. This will help you determine which Long Island wedding venue you will choose. Once you choose the best wedding venue on Long Island, you can focus in on the maximum number of guests.

Tips for drawing up a guest list

Make two columns, one for the name of the family, the other for the number expected. Thus you will have a row comprising entries such as –  Mr. & Mrs. Parker (and family) and the corresponding entry – 2 (or 4 as is the case). And so on. After due modifications and fine tuning, this list helps you arrive at two things simultaneously – the first column total will indicate the number of invitations you will require and the total of the second column will indicate your total number of guests.

  1. Start with the people closest to you i.e. your immediate family – parents, the couple’s own children (if any), siblings, nieces and nephews, grandparents.
  2. Next is the extended family i.e. aunts, uncles, cousins, their children (if necessary)
  3. Then come the close family friends and the couple’s friends, both individual and common
  4. Finally come the couple’s colleagues/ co-workers, employers and the parent’s colleagues

If your’s is a very intimate wedding or you have a very large family (immediate and extended), you may want to stick exclusively to the first two categories. If you’re planning a larger wedding, feel ‘the more the merrier’ and you have the budget to accommodate it, then you will be able to go the whole hog.

It is also possible, especially if your wedding is on a weekday, that not all whom you invite will be able to attend, either due to work or other commitments. If they reply sufficiently in advance, letting you know, you could have a reserve invitation list handy. As long as you don’t leave it too late to mail, thereby drawing attention to the fact that they are a second choice, the recipients will be happy to oblige.

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What to include in your wedding checklist

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Complete Wedding Reception Package

Whether you are naturally organized or not, wedding checklists will help you keep everything in order for your wedding day. This is most likely the biggest event you’ll ever plan. Without a plan, it will be impossible to get everything done. There are many different lists you might need for your wedding day, but keep in mind, that your wedding planning process and wedding day might look a little different from these checklists. They’re here to give you an idea of what you need to do to prepare for your wedding day.

Spend some time looking over and editing these lists. Take out things that are irrelevant for you. Change the timelines if you need to and make sure your wedding checklists are customized for your wedding day.
Here are a few of the wedding checklists you may want to consider using:

First, your overall planning checklist. This is probably the most important checklist. It’s so easy to forget the little details when you’re planning. This list will help you get everything in order and do it all with perfect timing. From your Long Island wedding venue to your dress to your photographer, this list has got it all laid out for you.
You can also find this checklist in our free wedding planner spreadsheet which is available as a free download when you sign up to the newsletter.

Second, the bride and groom should have their own wedding day checklists. It is so easy to forget the important things on your wedding day. Important things like, getting to your hair appointment on time. Before your wedding day, make a checklist for yourself and your fiancé. It will include things like items you need to bring, last minute checks to make with your vendors, and places you need to be at certain times.

Third, have a wedding day timeline. This may feel like micromanaging, but it really is one of the most important wedding checklists there is. If you don’t have a timeline for everything from your hair appointment to the last dance of the reception, things are more likely to go wrong. Your timeline doesn’t have to be too detailed, but it should at least give your wedding party, your long island wedding venue, vendors and other people involved in your wedding day an idea of where they need to be and at what times.

Forth, a photography checklist. As a bride, you probably already know a bit about the photographs you want of your wedding day. It’s a really good idea to have a list of all the shots you want ready for your photographer. Things will go even more smoothly if you organise this list by the order you want photographs taken. For instance, which photos will you take before the ceremony and which will come afterwards? What are the areas you love about your long island wedding venue that you want to make sure are captured? No matter how good your photographer is, don’t just assume they will take the pictures you want.

And finally, Personalize the checklists. When you’re looking over our wedding checklists, remember that they’re generic. They’re especially useful for brides who are dealing with all the elements of a traditional wedding, but will work best for you if they are tailored to your wedding day. Make sure everyone that needs a checklist, has one that applies to their responsibilities. You’re friends and family want this to be an amazing day for you, and will be happy to help wherever they can. Give them a personalized checklist and they’ll accomplish everything on that list for you.

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5 Tips To Choosing The Perfect Long Island Wedding Venue

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5 Tips To Choosing The Perfect Long Island Wedding Venue

5 Things to Consider
when choosing your perfect
Long Island 
Wedding Venue:

Wondering what makes a Long Island wedding venue perfect? We’ve created a list of the 5 most important factors to picking your wedding venue.

  1.     Location.

 Long Island is a beautiful place to have a wedding. From city, to waterfront,  to rustic wineries- there aren’t many setting Long Island doesn’t provide. But keep in mind, if your Long Island wedding venue isn’t local for all of your guests you will want to offer lodging. If lodging is off-site, ask your venue if they provide transportation for guests.

  1.      Size matters.

 It’s important to find a wedding venue that can accommodate the number of guests your invite or if you are having a small intimate affair- will provide you with the cozy atmosphere. You don’t want a party of 50-100 in a 400-person ballroom.

  1.    Food.

Choosing a menu that complements your wedding style is hard enough without having to worry about any cultural or religious dietary restrictions. Not to mention those one or two friends who are strictly vegan, Kosher or require gluten-free. Make sure that your Long Island wedding venue can make the appropriate accommodations so you don’t need to stress about it on the day of.

4.     Price.  

It’s important when you have a Long Island wedding budget that you ask your venue what is included in the venue price.  The little things add up very quickly and before you know it you will have a bill far larger than what you are prepared to spend.

5.     Your number one!

And you shouldn’t settle for anything less. So on the day of your affair you  may want to make sure that you are the main event at your Long Island wedding venue. There is nothing worse than trying to compete with the pounding bass from the wedding down the hall.

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The benefits to onsite catering

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catering image 2

 

If you are wondering whether to bring a caterer to your wedding venue, or use the in house catering provided, I would suggest using onsite catering. While you might feel bringing someone else in provides you with more options, onsite catering has many more cost efficient benefits that may not be realized right up front.

 

First and foremost, equipment. More times than not, the wedding venue, whether it be a country club, a restaurant, or any other Long Island wedding venue, will have all the proper equipment already for catering such a large event. This means that you won’t have to rent all the necessary equipment to prepare and serve the food at your wedding. If you were to go with an outside catering company, generally you will need to rent,  plates, glasses, flatware, serving utensils, a chafing dish, and linens. This unnecessary expense really adds up! Even if your local Long Island wedding venue charges you some sort of rental, or cleaning fee, it will be substantially less because they already have all this equipment in their restaurant.

 

Another benefit to onsite catering is the cost of food. Most weddings will have a head count, therefore there will be an exact amount of food provided for the wedding party. With in house catering, they can also keep a possible extra 5%-10% extra just in case a few extra guests show up. They can keep the food stored in their own facility, and don’t have to use different equipment to preserve the food for travel. This allows your wedding venue to keep costs down.

 

The final perk to keeping with in house catering is the staff. Depending on which Long Island wedding venue you choose, you may have the option to go with buffet style or there can be a wait staff hired for table service. Whichever route you choose, it will be less expensive, and more efficient with onsite catering. The staff will be familiar with the venue. Management will know just the amount of staff to hire for the evening. And most importantly because you are using onsite catering, you won’t be charged a travel fee for the staff to come to the venue. This saves so much money.
All in all, I couldn’t recommend using onsite catering more. It helps keep costs down, as well as allowing the cooks, servers, and other staff work well in their familiar environment. So when choosing your Long Island wedding venue, consider the benefits of onsite catering. It’ll be one less thing you’ll have to stress about. And, you can use the money you saved, on your honeymoon!

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Long Island Ethnic Wedding Traditions

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Long Island Ethnic Wedding Traditions

Is Your Long Island wedding venue
familiar with your ethnic wedding traditions?

If you’re planning to incorporate any ethnic wedding traditions into your big day, it’s important to choose a wedding venue that is experienced enough to deliver your vision in tradition, design, experience and a variety of ethnic foods!

 Feel free to share this article with unfamiliar friends and family who will be attending your ethnic wedding so they can get a basic understanding of what it’s all about and a glimpse into what to expect!

Jewish Wedding Traditions:

Traditional Jewish ceremonies take place under the chuppah, a special draped canopy, which represents God’s presence and symbolizes the home the couple will soon share. After the exchange of vows and reading of the marriage blessings, the groom steps on a glass, breaking it to symbolize the fragility of human happiness. Immediately after the ceremony, it is customary for the bride and groom to spend a few moments alone together. This tradition is called yichud.

Traditional Jewish wedding receptions are joyful and lively celebrations with lots of singing and dancing. It is at the reception that an Israeli dance called the Hora is performed. During the Hora, the bride and groom are lifted into the air and celebrated by their exuberant guests, while sitting on chairs and each holding one end of a handkerchief.

Also, does your wedding venue also offer Glatt Kosher foods or Kosher Style events to meet your traditions and your needs? This is a question to ask your venue before making a decision.

Hindu Wedding Traditions:

Traditional Hindu weddings emphasize three values: happiness, harmony and growth. The ceremony involves many different traditions, including the couple taking their symbolic first seven steps together, with each step representing a different marriage vow. After their seven steps, the parents of the bride and groom bless the wedded couple by dipping a rose in water and waving it over the pair, sprinkling them with water drops. The groom then draws a small mark on the bride’s forehead with vermillion, a red powdered lead, symbolically welcoming her as his partner for life.

Latino Wedding Traditions:

Hispanic weddings are traditionally deeply spiritual, often taking place following mass at a Roman Catholic Church. After exchanging vows, an extra long strand of rosary beads are strung around the necks of the couple in a figure eight shape, symbolizing their unity. Next, two members of their wedding party drape a white satin cord around their shoulders; the couple wears this for the rest of the service, symbolizing the love that will keep them together for the rest of their lives. The traditional Latino wedding reception is a lively celebration of family and love. For the couple’s first dance, guests gather in a heart-shaped ring around them in joyful celebration.

There are too many traditions to list from all the different cultures of the world. But the point is, each is unique in there own way and to ensure that your wedding is the best it can be, make sure your catering hall is experienced in  the type of wedding traditions you are looking to have.

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7 Questions to Help You Find The Perfect Long Island Wedding Venue

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7 Questions to Help You Find The Perfect Long Island Wedding Venue

Are you trying to find the perfect Long Island wedding venue but don’t know what questions to ask?

You are not alone. Many brides find wedding venue shopping to be very overwhelming. That why we’ve compiled a list of 7 key questions to help you sort through all of your venue options.

1. What kind of backdrop do I want at my venue?
Most brides have some sort of vision in mind when it comes to choosing a wedding venue. Whether it’s a waterfront view, a city skyline or an intimate, candlelit room, it’s important to establish what it is that best suits your wedding style.

2. Can the wedding venue accommodate my guest list?
It’s true: not everyone you invite will attend your big day. But even if you’re absolutely, positively sure that Aunt Edna in Alaska won’t be making the trip with all six of her kids, don’t make the mistake of booking a wedding venue that can’t handle 100% of your guest list.

3. What are my cocktail hour options?
If you’re thinking of doing a cocktail hour, see if the wedding venue has space to handle both an indoor and outdoor event. On a beautiful day, it’s lovely to sip your cocktail outside and admire the waterfront view; but if the weather turns, it’s important to have a backup location that’s warm and dry.

4. Can the wedding venue provide menu selections to accommodate my guests?
Putting together the perfect menu is tricky enough, but obliging guests with dietary restrictions adds a whole new element of difficulty. Will you need choices that are vegan, Kosher or gluten-free? Choose a wedding venue that has the ability to make the appropriate accommodations and you’ll have one less thing to stress over.

5. What extras are included in the venue price?
All the little things add up frighteningly fast when it comes to your wedding budget, so keep in mind that the right wedding venue may include extras, such as coat check, chair covers and valet service.

6. Can I have an onsite ceremony at the venue?
The beauty of having a ceremony and reception at the same wedding venue is that it streamlines the process – for both you and your guests. If an onsite ceremony appeals to you, choose a venue that has the capability to do so with style and ease.

7. Will my wedding be the main event for the day?
Your wedding day will be the most important one of your life, so make sure you choose a venue that is able to focus solely on your event. The last thing you want to be worried about is dodging golf balls as you walk down the aisle, or having to compete with the thumping bass from the other wedding reception down the hall. It’s your day; choose a wedding venue that will focus entirely on making it perfect.

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Choosing the Bridal Party for your Long Island Wedding

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Choosing the Bridal Party for your Long Island Wedding

Choosing your Bridal Party
may be the most difficult task
of your entire Long Island wedding.

Because you can’t ask your bridesmaids for advice when you don’t have any yet.

Back in the day choosing candidates was easy: your sister or best friend was your maid of honor, your fiancés sisters were your bridesmaid and you and your significant other always have an even amount of party participants! But the game has changed and these rules are becoming vanishing guidelines for today’s modern bride. More recent wedding trends show brides are opting for a very intimate bridal party and some even limiting it down to a maid of honor and a best man.

Being asked to participate in a bridal party is a huge honor, but it is also a huge responsibility so before you go inviting everyone you know keep these tips in mind:

1. Wedding experts suggest having one bridesmaid and one groomsman (or 2 groomsman/ 2 bridesmaids for same-sex couples) per every 50 guests.
2. If you expect your bridesmaids to be your personal wedding support system and hold your hand through every step you need to consider where they live and their schedules. If you want your out-of-state best friend to be your maid of honor, she won’t be able to be very active in helping pick your dress or plan your bridal shower or really anything that she needs to physically be with there for, so be prepared to make a lot of decisions solo.
3. BUT Don’t assume because they live out-of-state, are having financial difficulties, or have crazy hectic schedules that they won’t make the effort they need. Make sure if you choose to ask them that you approach it by letting them know that if they aren’t up for the challenge there are lots of other wedding aspects they can surly be a part of!
4. You DO NOT need to ask someone to be part of your party just because you were part of theirs. People grow apart, times change, and that okay. Maybe you don’t want as large a party or you simple don’t consider her as close as she considers you. Whatever the situation there is no need to feel obligated.
5. Last but not least make sure that your Long Island wedding venue can accommodate your bridal party size. Most brides over look is that a large party can take up a lot of space- and TIME. The bigger the bridal party the longer the introductions.

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What affects a Long Island Wedding Venue Cost?

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What affects a Long Island Wedding Venue Cost?

Lower your Long Island wedding venue costs by choosing the right time, date and season.

Long Island has come in second as the most expensive wedding locations in the US, with almost half the entire wedding budget spent on a Long Island wedding venue, according to TheKnot.com’s Annual Real Wedding Survey. But wearing white doesn’t have to cost all of your green! Here are a few insider tips on how choosing a day, month, and season can help you cut back on wedding venue costs.

Fact: The most popular months to wed are May through October (wedding venues call this time peak season), while the most popular time to exchange vows are Saturday nights.
Fact: You are going to pay top dollar to book a Saturday evening affair during peak season.
Fact: Being flexible about when you marry can save you tons of money.

Did you know that booking your wedding reception in the winter months could save you up to 50% or more at certain Long Island wedding venues? That means you can reduce your overall wedding cost by about 25% just by booking a winter wedding. Although there is no guarantee with weather, a snow-dusted landscape makes for beautiful pictures and a warm fireplace pairs perfectly with a passion-filled atmosphere.  And having an off-season wedding means you wont have to compete with as many couples for a Saturday night reception.

Not willing to budge on your outdoor wedding dreams? Good news is you don’t have to! There is still a way to celebrate your special day in the sun without breaking the bank. Have you considered a Friday night, Saturday morning, or a Sunday wedding? A Friday night affair still gives allows you to have an evening event without spending the extra dough. Champagne brunches are becoming a very popular as a way to save money on a Long Island wedding venue reception. Another popular wedding trend is weeknight cocktail receptions.  A shorter reception with less food means you can spend more money customizing your event instead of just renting a space for it.

By choosing alternative receptions you can reduce your Long Island wedding venue cost or use your savings to indulge in other aspects of your special wedding day. Whatever your reasons may be, having a Long Island wedding doesn’t have to mean spending your life savings.  By being a smart bride you won’t have to sacrifice and arm and a leg to  have the wedding of your dreams.

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Benefits of Bundling a Wedding Services Package

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Benefits of Bundling a Wedding Services Package

Do you know the benefits of an all-inclusive wedding services package?

Planning your wedding should be enjoyable- this is one of the biggest celebrations of your life! However, we don’t blame you for stressing out and trying to make sure everything is perfect. Did we mention that this is one of the biggest celebrations of your life?

What if we told you there is a way to achieve perfection while still being able to relax and enjoy preparing for your Long Island Wedding? Finding a wedding venue that offers a wedding coordinator and all-in-one wedding services packages can be the difference between having the time of your life and having no life during your planning process.

Bundling has tons of benefits. Other than the obvious peace of mind that a one-stop-shopping offers you, there are tons of other benefits you can receive from your Long Island venue wedding coordinator:

1. One contact.

One coordinator that will work with your needs and budget from the day you book your venue to your ride home from the reception. This person will keep you informed of your options, any changes and updates regarding your wedding services.

2. Volume pricing discounts.

Because event coordinators usually have a network of wedding services they work with frequently, they are able to get discounted prices. You wedding coordinator can offer you different all-in-one packages set at different price points and can customize packages based on your wedding budget.

3. One contract and one payment plan.

Forget about signing individual contracts. Your wedding coordinator will offer you one single contract to sign that encompasses all of your wedding services agreements. This also means one payment plan. With one easy-to-track payment plan you don’t have to worry about the numerous bills and makes keeping track of your finances simpler.

And the absolute best benefit of booking a Long Island Wedding venue that offers bundled wedding services and your own personal wedding coordinator? You actually get to have fun planning your wedding! So take it from us, if your venue offers a wedding coordinator and bundled services packages- use them! At the end of the day it’s not about the food or the music or the flowers, it’s about marrying your best friend.

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