Photos from a Marathoners’ Wedding

May 25th, 2015

I coordinated a small wedding recently where the couple were both marathon runners.  They included a lot of cute touches in the wedding to reflect their passion in life:  long distance running.  Check out the photos by clicking on the picture.  Peter Coombs took all these fabulous photos.

Photo by Peter Coombs.

Photo by Peter Coombs.

Planning for Wedding Toasts

May 18th, 2015
A toast at the head table.

A toast at the head table.

One place where I see my clients struggling is with the question of toasts at the reception.  How many should there be?  How much time will they take?  Who should make them?  When should you do them?  (And let’s not even get into what the toasters should and should not say!)

The first thing to know is that every single toast that is made at a wedding reception is likely to be five minutes long (and at least one will be longer).  You can tell people they only have two minutes each, but no one will listen.  I’ve listened to too many toasts to believe otherwise.  So, if you have eight people giving toasts, be sure to allow 40 minutes in the schedule.  You’ll need it.

That alone is the reason that I generally advise my clients not to do toasts before dinner.  A single toast before dinner is not a bad idea, but more than one and the guests will get restless as they wait for their dinner.  It’s better to wait until at least after the first course, if not until after dinner and before dessert.

I also recommend doing a minimum number of toasts.  They are a nice way to honor people, but if you have too many, you may risk boring your guests.  Parent(s) of the bride, parent(s) of the groom, best man, and maid/matron of honor are all excellent choices for toasts.  Sometimes it is also appropriate to ask a sibling to give a toast if they are not best man/maid of honor, or to ask a grandparent or other relative, if there is a special relationship.

One final bit of advice is to remind your toasters (especially groomsmen, for some reason) to remember that this is a toast, not a roast.  After a bit of drink, sometimes this fact is forgotten.

Photos from International Wedding

May 11th, 2015

Remember that wedding I coordinated on short notice for the international couple?  I have photos!  Many thanks to Hughes Photography for the beautiful images.  Click on the photo to go to the full gallery.

Photo by T & S Hughes Photography.

Eco-Friendly Planning Tip: Gifts

May 4th, 2015
How can you make your gift table more sustainable? Image by

How can you make your gift table more sustainable? Image by

Any time you throw a party–birthday, wedding, anniversary, whatever–people will bring gifts.  If you want to steer your guests to gifts that are green or sustainable in some way, there is more than one option.

One way is to ask people to make donations to a cause, possibly even an environmental cause.  If you want to do a formal donation gift registry, organizations such as the I Do Foundation can create a Charity Registry for you.  You can also let your guests know your preferences in a more informal way, if you prefer.  (But Miss Manners insists that there should be no mention of gifts with the invitation.  That’s one thing your wedding website is for.)

Some people will give you tangible gifts, and I’m not going to discourage them.  If you want to reduce the amount of garbage that goes to the landfill, however, you can suggest to your guests that they use recycled wrapping paper to wrap it.  You can also steer them to less wasteful gifts, such as things you really need or gift certificates for services you enjoy.

Finally, you can make a point of recycling or reusing as much packaging as possible from your gifts.  Cardboard boxes, most wrapping paper, and some kinds of plastic packaging can all be recycled.  It’s a little thing, but it all adds up.