Wedding Venues: Renting Versus Hosting a Backyard Wedding

July 12, 2018 by Grand Central Party

When planning your wedding, one of the biggest considerations is the venue. Your venue sets the scene for your big day, so you want to make sure that the venue you choose matches your vision. However, venues can be expensive and often have their own requirements when it comes to catering, beverages, rentals, etc. so you may find yourself considering a backyard wedding!

If you are considering a backyard wedding, either as a way to save money or due to the sentiment of getting married in the yard of your childhood home or the home you will be sharing together, a backyard wedding has its own list of factors to keep in mind.

While backyard weddings have a reputation of being more laid back and simple, they actually require a ton of extra planning and in many cases, extra money! While most venues aren’t cheap, many provide a lot of services that you would have to pay for separately if you choose to have a backyard wedding.

If you do plan on having a backyard wedding, here are some extra things that you’ll have to consider:

  • Talk to your rental and catering company before you make a final decision. They will be able to look at your space and help you decide if it is feasible for the number of people you plan on inviting!
  • The yard itself. To point out the obvious, you’ll want your backyard looking its absolute best on your wedding day! Start doing yard work and planting flowers well in advance, keeping your event layout and colors in mind.
  • Restrooms! Chances are, you don’t want 50-100 people inside your home using your restroom, so unless you have a smaller guest list you will most likely have to rent portable restrooms.
  • Parking. Even with a guest list on the smaller side, you’ll definitely want to have a plan in place for parking.

While there is a bit more thought that has to go into planning a backyard wedding, there are some great benefits as well! Unlike a venue, you don’t have to make sure to have all of your guests out by a certain time in order to avoid extra fees from your venue, so you are free to party all night long if you’d like. You can also save on alcohol, as you can provide your own without having to worry about venue fees or restrictions.

There are definitely pros and cons to both options. A wedding at a venue may require a bit less planning and figuring out logistics, but you do have to worry about things like venue restrictions, timing, whether or not your desired date is available, etc. A backyard wedding may not actually save you a ton with all of the extra things you will have to bring in, but it gives you more freedom to customize every single aspect of your wedding and really make it special and personal!


Wedding Weather: Preparing For All Possibilities, Rain or Shine!

July 5, 2018 by Grand Central Party

Planning a wedding is exciting, but it can also be stressful! There are so many different factors that you have to consider — date, vendor availability, budget, guest list, etc. If you choose to have an outdoor wedding, you add another variable to that list: the possibility of inclement weather on your wedding day. While this is something nobody wants to think about, it’s much better to be prepared with a plan in place than to keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best.

When planning an outdoor wedding, the first thing you’ll want to do is look up historic weather around your date and be sure to choose a date where the weather is typically mild with little precipitation and pleasant temperatures. While you definitely don’t want it to rain on your wedding day, you also don’t want to make your guests sit for an extended period of time in 100 degree heat!

Unfortunately, no matter what the weather report says, it’s not perfect. Even if you do find a date with historically great weather, there is always a chance for things to go wrong, so you’ll need to have a back-up plan in place.

Here are some steps you should take to make sure that you’re ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at you on your wedding day:

  1. Communicate with your venue: Even if you are planning to have your wedding outdoors, it is important to talk to your venue and discuss back-up plan options in the event of rain. Whether the back-up plan is moving the wedding to an indoor space or covering the area with a tent, you want to make sure that there is a Plan B, and that you’re happy with your Plan B in the event that you need to use it.
  2. Check with your rental company: Whether or not a tent is part of your Plan A, it is a good idea to check prices with your rental company to ensure that you can afford to rent one if needed. You’ll also need to find out how far in advance you need to book a tent in order to ensure its availability.
  3. Consider your wedding favors: Is your wedding day historically hot? Consider setting out water bottles or paper fans for guests to use at the entrance of your venue. This will not only keep your guests happy and comfortable in warm weather, it will also ensure that you’re spending money on favors guests will actually use. Because who wants to throw away money on something guests will just take and toss or throw in a drawer and forget about?
  4. Consider alternative routes to your venue: Even if you’re having an indoor wedding, it is a good idea to talk to your venue about alternative routes for your guests to take in the event of road closures (don’t forget, road closures can happen in good weather, too!)
  5. Get creative! Don’t let a little rain ruin your big day! Every cloud (pun intended) has a silver lining, and sometimes bad weather makes for a great story down the road and can lead to gorgeous pictures! Talk to your photographer to come up with a plan for both rainy weather and harsh sunlight. If you get closer to your date and see rain in the forecast, pick up a cute umbrella and or rain boots that match your color scheme and use the rain to your advantage in your wedding photos!

Just remember, the more prepared you are, the less of a problem you’ll have if the weather doesn’t cooperate on your big day!

Friday or Sunday Weddings Versus Saturday Weddings

June 28, 2018 by Grand Central Party

Photo courtesy of Abby Weeden Photography

Once you get engaged, one of the first steps in the wedding planning process is setting your date! A lot can go into choosing your wedding date — is there a date that has sentimental value, do you have your heart set on a specific venue with limited availability, are certain dates cheaper than others? While Saturday weddings tend to be the most popular, you may find yourself considering a Friday or Sunday wedding!

Though Friday and Sunday wedding dates are typically less expensive, many couples are hesitant because they worry their guests may not be able to make it. If you’re thinking about a Friday or Sunday wedding, here are some factors to take into consideration:

  • Sunday weddings will likely be easier for out of town guests to attend than Friday weddings. If you are planning on a destination wedding, or if many of your guests are coming from out of town, a Sunday wedding gives them Friday night and Saturday to travel and gives them a bit of time to unwind before the wedding festivities begin.
  • If your guests are local, a Friday wedding may be most convenient. If the majority of your guests are local, travel is not as much of a consideration. Therefore, a Friday wedding will likely be more convenient for many of your guests as they will have all weekend to recover before having to head back to work on Monday!
  • A Friday or Sunday wedding will likely help to keep costs down, but not always! Your venue may offer a reduced fee, or a lower minimum for food or drinks for non-Saturday weddings. However, depending on your guest count, a lower minimum may not be worth basing your dates around! If you have a higher guest count, you may already be exceeding the minimum, rendering a lower minimum useless. However, if your guest count is on the lower end, a lower minimum food and beverage requirement may make a big difference in the cost of your wedding!
  • Make sure your vendors are available! While a Friday or Sunday wedding often means more vendor availability, some vendors don’t take on multiple weddings in one weekend. This means that while they may not be booked on that Friday or Sunday, if they are booked that Saturday you might still be out of luck! Before deciding on a date, check with all of your key vendors to ensure your date works for them!

All in all, remember that your wedding day is your day! If a Friday or Sunday wedding works best for you, go for it! If you do decide that you want to have a Friday or Sunday wedding, just be sure to give your guests plenty of advanced notice to plan accordingly!

Guarantee a Beautiful Wedding Day, Rain or Shine

April 27, 2018 by Grand Central Party

The old maxim goes that April showers bring May flowers, but no one wants to wake up on their wedding day and find that storm clouds have rolled in. We have one way to guarantee a beautiful wedding day (read more), rain or shine: utilize tents to make your outdoor wedding a huge success, no matter what the weather. If you didn’t have tents in your dream wedding plan, that’s okay. We’ve put together some of our favorite, unique ways that you can defy the rain all together and have the perfect fete, no matter the weather.

Beautiful Wedding Day

Beautiful Wedding Day

It might be best to rent a tent no matter what. Let’s face it, the weather in Nashville changes on a dime. You can wake up in the morning to beautiful, sunlit skies and by two in the afternoon, it’s raining kittens and puppies. If you have planned a completely open air ceremony, find out from your wedding planner or rental company what their tent cancellation policy is. You can have a tent on hand in the event that the storm clouds roll in and you need to have your guests covered. Another pro tip: If there is rain in your forecast at all, consider setting your tent up the night before so that if the weather is clear the next day, the ground will be dry when you walk down the aisle.

Combine indoor spaces and outdoor spaces. Here’s the beautiful thing about tents: they are extremely versatile and they come in a variety of types, shapes, and sizes. With options like clear-top tents, you can literally see the glowing night sky through the panels of the tent roof. Accent the panels with the right lighting, and you’ll be thinking, “What rain?” on your wedding day. Most rental companies have options to add actual flooring to your tent. Which means, even if it rains, your guests won’t be walking around on wet grass, they can be gliding around beautiful wood floors or tile. Make sure to ask your wedding planner or event rental company about what their options are to keep you and your guest’s feet dry on a rainy wedding day. They will probably give you some great solutions and ideas.

Your venue may have indoor and outdoor options. While this can be a pricey solution to inclement weather, many golf courses and country clubs have indoor spaces available for events. Be sure to ask your venue what their policy is on outdoor engagements and inclement weather. They may already have an existing plan in place to take care of your wedding if nature strikes. You can also refer to point 1 of this blog post and have tents on hand for the possibility of rain.

Rain isn’t the only factor when planning an outdoor wedding. Cold snaps are extremely common through the spring wedding season, but don’t let that ruin your perfect day. Most venues and rental companies have ample accessories to keep your guests warm on the day of your wedding. From space heaters to fire pits, you can find the perfect way to make sure everyone is comfortable, even if the weather turns cold. Pro tip: another solution for cold weather is a great band or DJ. When people start dancing, they forget about what the weather is outside.

Don’t miss a chance to accessorize. Another favorite old sayings goes, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” If you wake to a rainy wedding day, consider including a fun umbrella or galoshes to your expensive gown. While it isn’t perfect, it will make for really fun pictures and add a unique memory to your day. Same with the cold. If you have a chilly wedding day, you have a chance to wear a fun fur wrap or shawl. While the weather can seem like a disappointment, it can add something special and unique to the most important day of your life.

Many people believe that couples who have rain on their wedding day will experience luck within their marriage. Plan ahead and don’t let mother nature get you down. You can have the most beautiful wedding day, rain or shine, for better or for worse.


What Does Your Bridal Bouquet Say About You?

April 17, 2018 by Grand Central Party

A wedding consists of a thousand tiny details that all come together to make one perfect celebration. The best part about picking out each of those tiny details is how they reflect you and your intended’s love for each other from day one. Whether you are planning an elopement or an extravaganza, each part of your special day will reflect your own personal love story. Flowers play a huge role in any wedding day, even if it’s just a quick trip down to the courthouse. So, what does your chosen bridal bouquet say about you? Read on! We have some ideas.

Wedding Bridal Bouquets

What Does Your Bridal Bouquet Say About You?

Your flowers have history. The tradition of a bride carrying some sort of plant on their wedding day dates back even further than you may have guessed. In fact, brides as far back as ancient Egypt and Greece carried sheaths of wheat as sacrifices to the gods for fertility and happiness. Queen Victoria carried a large bouquet of sweet smelling blooms to invoke the goddess of love, Aphrodite, and to fill her marriage with a sweet aroma. Brides carry flowers because they are beautiful, and because they symbolize beauty, growth, and fertility. In carrying a sweet bouquet on your wedding day, you are paying homage to an old tradition. One almost as old as marriage itself. The more lavish and sweet-smelling your bouquet, you may wish for sweetness in your relationship. A simpler bouquet can symbolize a longing for simplicity and beauty in your marriage.

Your flowers have meaning. A little known fact about flowers is that each individual bloom has a specific meaning. Flowers have long been used as symbols for different ideas and feelings. For example, everyone’s favorite the red rose, symbolizes passionate love. And why shouldn’t it? It has been the favorite flower of Valentine’s Day gift givers for as long as anyone can remember. Keep a watchful eye on the flowers you put in your bouquet. Some flowers, like the buttercup, has negative connotations. If you hand someone a bouquet of buttercups, you’re calling them childish. Based on the flowers you choose, you may find yourself carrying attractiveness (ranunculus) and dedicated love (sunflowers) into your ceremony.

Your flowers have color. Certain flowers have different meanings based on what color you choose. For example, we mentioned red roses, white roses symbolize purity, while pink roses symbolize admiration. Yellow flowers are often used to symbolize happiness and joy. If your wedding colors consist of oranges, greens, and pinks, you probably want to carry a feeling of joy, happiness, and gentleness into your marriage. If you like more jewel tones, like purples and blues, you may want to carry tranquility (blue) and tradition (purple) into your marriage. Purple is also the traditional color of royalty, so if you choose several deep purples, you may be saying that your beloved makes you feel like a queen. And don’t confuse purple for lavender. Lavender symbolizes grace and elegance, which is also something a bride wants to feel on her wedding day.

Your flowers say a lot about you. So, what is your favorite flower? Do you want a bouquet overflowing with French Iris’s? They symbolize faith, valor, and wisdom

. Or do you prefer a more traditional peony, which is the symbol for happy marriage? Chances are that whatever blooms you (and your florist!) have chosen say something about the life you hope to have after your wedding is done. No matter what you choose, we are sure that your sweet-smelling accouterment will make the perfect addition to your wedding day.

No matter how you choose your tiny details for your wedding, it will be a special celebration of love and commitment. And no what your bridal bouquet says about you, we wish you a sweet marriage with plenty of love and joy to spare.