Making A Wedding Planning Checklist

May 30, 2019 by Grand Central Party

The average length of an engagement in the U.S. is 16 months. With this timeframe in mind, we are going to share a comprehensive wedding checklist with you today that we think will be very helpful. The Grand Central Party team wants your day to be absolutely perfect!

16 – 9 months out:

  • Start a wedding binder.
  • Gather inspiration from Pinterest and from magazines that offer ideas for weddings, lifestyle, gardening, design, food, and lifestyles.
  • Establish your budget. Know ahead of time what you have to spend, and don’t forget to include possible family contributions.
  • Pick your wedding party members.
  • Start the guest list. Build a database that you can pull from throughout the process for gifts, RSVPs, contacts, and other relevant information.
  • Hire your wedding planner now, if you are going to use one.
  • Reserve your venues.
  • Book the person who will be officiating.
  • Start researching florists, caterers, photographers, and musicians/DJs.

8 months out:

  • Hire your photographer and/or videographer.
  • Book all entertainment.
  • Hire, and meet with, the caterer.
  • Get your dress. Make sure you allow for several fittings.
  • Reserve hotel rooms for any guests from out of town.
  • Register for gifts.

7 months out:

  • Get invitations, and hire a calligrapher if you won’t have the time or the skill to address them yourself.
  • Start planning your honeymoon. Get passports together, and schedule appointments with doctors for any necessary inoculations.
  • Purchase bridesmaids dresses.
  • Meet with the person officiating. Ensure that you have all necessary documents.
  • Book all necessities for an outdoor event, such as portable toilets, chairs, and lighting.
  • Send your “Save The Date” cards.
  • Book the florist.
  • Transportation. Now’s the time to reserve your limos or towncars.
  • Create your wedding day timeline.

4-5 months out:

  • Reserve your rehearsal dinner venue.
  • Revisit the invitations to ensure they are on schedule.
  • Select your cake and put it on order. Make sure you taste it!
  • Send your guest list to the person who is hosting your wedding shower.
  • Start your wedding dress fittings, and purchase your shoes. You should take the shoes to the fittings to make sure they work together, and so the tailor will know just how long your gown needs to be.
  • Schedule your hair and makeup persons.
  • Choose music. Be clear on when it will be played, and make a note of anything you absolutely do not like.

3 months out:

  • Finalize flowers and menu.
  • Order your wedding favors and welcome baskets.
  • Create a toast list.
  • Finalize the readings for the ceremony.
  • The order of the ceremony and reception should be finalized at this time.
  • If you haven’t already, now’s the time to purchase your rings, giving you time for resizing and engraving.
  • Provide your vendors with an event schedule.

2 months out:

  • Touch base with all of your vendors to ensure that any questions they may have will be answered.
  • Meet with your photographer and walk through the schedule discussing specific shots.
  • Touch base with the band or DJ to review the playlist.
  • Mail your invitations 6 to 8 weeks before the ceremony.
  • Have your bachelorette party! This usually is the job of the maid of honor, but if it hasn’t been mentioned yet, ask.

1 month out:

  • Enter the RSVPs into your database. Now aren’t you glad you created one?
  • Get that marriage license.
  • Mail rehearsal-dinner invitations.
  • Have one last dress fitting.
  • Stock the bar, now that you know who’s coming.
  • Confirm your hair and makeup appointments.
  • Complete your assigned seating plan.
  • Purchase gifts for your bridesmaids.
  • Write your vows, if you are not using the standards.

The week of:

  • Reconfirm vendor arrival times.
  • Delegate small tasks, such as who will help carry your things, who will oversee gifts and money, who can be point-person for the vendors.
  • Provide the bridal party with a timeline.
  • Pick up your dress.
  • Check in with the photographer.
  • It’s manicure and pedicure time.
  • Send the finalized guest list to the caterer and venues.
  • Assemble and distribute the welcome baskets – people are arriving!
  • Break in those shoes.
  • Pack for your honeymoon.

You did it! This list is lengthy, but you can of course remove items when they don’t pertain to your wedding celebrations. Here at Grand Central Party, we want your day to be perfect! Call us for your rental needs.

GRADUATION PARTY PLANNING TIPS

May 2, 2019 by Grand Central Party

It seems like only yesterday they were learning to ride a bike or practicing their multiplication tables, and now their high school graduation day is almost here. The days of class trips, pep rallies, and football games are coming to an end, and it’s an exciting and bittersweet time for your child, and for you. Saying goodbye to the past and greeting the future with hope and joy is all part of this time in life, and the graduation celebration you plan should reflect that. Here are some graduation party planning tips for you:

THE DECISIONS. You and your graduate have a lot to consider. Who to invite (family, school friends, the neighbors?), when to host it (weekend, after school, after the graduation ceremony?), where it should be (your house, a separate venue, outdoors?) You can opt for an open-house style, so that if there are any other parties that same day or night, attendees can flow from one to another and see everyone.

BUDGET. As you create your budget, these are the things you will need to consider: Invitations and postage, decorations and centerpieces, food and drink, photography and video, party favors and music, venue and tent rental, and oh! Don’t forget the thank you notes!

STYLE/THEME. You can go formal and create a classic atmosphere with fine linen and china, complete with elegant floral arrangements. Perhaps this crowd is more of a casual bunch, so in that case, you can create a camping vibe outdoors with everyone in weekend wear around a bonfire. A luau would be great fun, with tropical dress, lots of flowers, and fruity non-alcoholic drinks. Your party theme can be created with your graduate’s future plans in mind, with the theme framed around where they are going to college or trade school, or what their career goals are. If your party is going to be outdoors, you should consider the seating requirements and any tent rental or chair rental needs that you will have!

PERSONALIZE. Set up a way for guests to record their thoughts and memories for the graduate to enjoy in the future. You can do this by offering a place for “graffiti”, where people can be as artistic and creative as they like, or you can have it done “vlog” style with a videographer. Record the silliness, the dancing, and the reminiscing (keeping it positive and joyful). A guest book with a page for each person to use is also a possibility.

ENTERTAINMENT. Customize any entertainment to the crowd your child has been friends with over the years. Music and dancing is an obvious choice, but perhaps this group is into gaming and anime – a costume contest might be fun, instead. For the sports minded, a softball or flag football game could be a hit, as another example.

Here at Grand Central Party, we are all about celebrating. From tent rentals and stanchions to china and chairs, we have everything you need for your graduation celebration. Let’s get this party started!

Tips for Creating the Perfect Wedding Reception Playlist

April 4, 2019 by Grand Central Party

Everyone loves a wedding reception. The ceremony itself is emotional and lovely, but the after-party is what we all look forward to! Delicious food and drink, great company, and amazing music are all part of a memorable reception, and each of these can make or break the success of your wedding reception.

Today we are going to talk about the music, and how to create a perfect wedding playlist. There’s an art to putting together the perfect playlist for any event, and it’s something you will want to spend some time and effort on so that it can be just right.

A professional DJ can be expensive, but they know their stuff. They will handle the logistics and the timing, while you are partying, and that can be an important consideration. For those of you who want to tackle it yourself, be prepared to spend a fair amount of time on this. Here are a few ways you can find inspiration and help:

  • Use iTunes or Spotify. This is an easy way to create your playlist, complete with sublists for the different events throughout the day, including the ceremony itself.
  • Use an app. WeddingDJ is one example; it costs $7.99 and is preprogrammed with all of the events of the day to help you remember what is happening. You have to own the music you will be using, but it’s super simple to use, and can take requests and make changes for you!
  • Work with your fiance. This day is about both of you, so you will want your music to reflect that. Sit down with them and see what songs they might want to have played. Reminisce about your first date, dance, or kiss, and choose music that helps you celebrate those moments. Choose the right song for the special dances, such as father and daughter or son and mother, etc.
  • Take requests. You can invite your attendees to make requests on social media platforms or your wedding blog, or even on Pinterest. A song request line can be added to the RSVP on your invitations as well. Taking requests can add a whole new level of fun to your wedding playlist!
  • Have a playlist-making party. Host an event with friends, family, or wedding party and enlist others’ help in creating your perfect wedding playlist. It can be a great way to bond and spend time with those you love before your big day and take some walks down memory lane while doing it. Who knows what these folks might come up with?
  • Mix it up. Include all genres and timeframes so that everyone from all generations will have something to enjoy. Include slow dance tunes and songs that get everybody out on the floor, too, and make sure you avoid negative or inflammatory songs so that the vibe can stay happy and celebratory throughout the event.

Here at Grand Central Party, we are all about creating the perfect event. Call us today and let’s get this party started!

Office Party Planning Tips

March 7, 2019 by Grand Central Party

We’ve got a list for you that will help you with that office party you are planning. We know you don’t want to forget anything!

  • What type of party should it be? Company-wide or just the management? Casual or fancy? Employees only, or plus-ones? Should you invite clients?
  • What about your budget? Check with the boss to see what kind of budget you will be allowed before you start planning.
  • Setting a date. Work with your venue, caterer, and bartender to choose an available date and timeframes. You might have to choose a weeknight if weekends are already booked up for most of the people who you would like to attend.
  • Selecting your venue. Available dates might be hard to come by, so you may need to go with an in-home party or have it at the office itself. If your party is going to be larger, you should look at possible venues to rent out for the evening. If the venue is outdoors, you will likely need tent rentals, chair rentals, etc. to accommodate your guests!
  • Choose a hostess or speaker. Make sure this person is someone everyone likes and someone who has a sense of humor. If awards will be presented, make sure this will be done in a respectful and appreciative manner.
  • Picking a theme. This is the fun part. Coming up with a theme allows you to use your creativity. Spring Fling or Winter Wonderland, if the season is appropriate, costume or dance party – it’s up to you. Playing games is often part of the fun, as well. Who doesn’t love the White Elephant gift exchange? Once you have your theme, the decor will naturally follow.
  • Planning entertainment. You may consider a DJ or live band, but your budget will determine your choice here. Perhaps one of the staff has a family member or friend who is a musician, and this can help you save money.
  • Dress code? Formal or casual? Make sure your invitees know how to dress.
  • Sending out invitations. Depending on how fancy this event will be, you can either email everyone or send out formal invitations. Make sure they reflect the theme and the dress code.
  • A holiday menu. Work with the caterer to create the best possible holiday menu, or if going casual and potluck, get a good idea of who is bringing what.

Our Grand Central Party team is all about making your holiday office party the best event of the year. Call us today to begin planning! From tents and china to chairs and bars, we can set you up for party success.

Locations for Your Nashville Winter Wedding

February 7, 2019 by Grand Central Party

Nashville is a wedding hotspot these days with its down-home and low-key approach to life and celebrations. Your photos will be amazing, too! When planning a winter wedding here in Music City, you will have a great selection of venues to choose from. Here are a few to consider:

  • A Barn. There are renovated barns in abundance in Nashville and the surrounding countryside that will easily fulfill a rustic-themed wedding. The decorations can be such fun, too! In a venue like this one, using natural elements such as live plants and flowers will be perfect, and the vibe is going to be natural and easy, as well. With the right chair rentals, your guests can sit in comfort without detracting from the overall aesthetic of the venue.
  • A Hotel. Nashville is home to plenty of hotels, as well. From the five-star Hermitage to area bed-and-breakfasts, you can choose just the right spot for your wedding and wedding party.
  • A Plantation. Several of the historic plantations here in Music City are open as wedding venues. The gardens and outbuildings are perfect for pictures, and the grounds are usually large enough to support tent rentals, table rentals, and chair rentals for outdoors, if that is your choice.
  • A Bridge. The Pedestrian Bridge overlooking downtown is a lovely spot to use for a wedding with unparalleled photo opportunities. You can reserve tent rentals and awnings to be prepared for the weather.
  • A Park. Nashville is home to some of the most beautiful urban parks in the nation, and are very reasonable when it comes to rental prices. The winter vegetation is bare, but it can be a perfect backdrop for the color palette of your winter wedding.
  • A Music Venue. Many of the most well-known music venues are right here in Music City. Just think of the crazy fun party you could have at one of these spots for your winter wedding!
  • Reception. And don’t forget Broadway and the honky-tonks for your reception. Just take a stroll down this famous street and take in the sights and sounds for a one-of-a-kind celebration.

Grand Central Party is all about making your celebration great. We offer tent rentals, chair rentals, china, flatware and linen, and we are here to help when it comes to the food and drink, too. Call us today about your winter wedding, and let’s get this party started.