Etiquette: A Journey pt. 5: Guests

Hello Gorgeous!

We have often heard distressed exclamations from our couples like,

“I just don’t know what tradition is!”

or “I’m afraid of doing it wrong.”

or “I don’t want to offend anyone.”

We have come to realize that this all touches on thoughts of etiquette. The crazy thing about etiquette is that it is both constantly evolving and maintaining long standing traditions. So we decided to create a series of blogs about some of the more complex, or sticky, areas of etiquette worry.

Shira Marie Photography

We realized in writing this series that a major part of weddings were being left out. What about the 50 to 200 to 500 or more people who will be attending this wedding? So much thought is put into planning a wedding “just right” with all this etiquette in mind. But what happens when a few rowdy, late, or confused guests are sprinkled into the mix? So here’s a little guide to help guests know what’s what in the 2020s and how to best add to the beauty, fun, and ultimate success of a wedding.

Kelly Ginn Photography

So you found out you’re invited to a wedding?

A few things that have been lost in the tides of time when it comes to receiving a wedding invitation need to be addressed here. (hah! Get it?) First of all, the couple who sent you the invitation spent painstaking hours deliberating and delegating the ins and outs of putting a guest list together. This means, they know EXACTLY who they are inviting down to the EXACT number. What does this mean for you as a guest? It means you should offer a second glance to that envelope. The names listed on the envelope designate EXACTLY who is invited to the wedding. We are all aware that weddings are very precious and expensive events. So if you are in any way confused by who is invited, reach out to the couple to double check. Some couples allow for plus ones or whole families to be invited, and some do not. Either way, trust us, they know EXACTLY who is invited.

Jackie McGinnis Photography

Once you have determined who is invited to the wedding, before your mind goes to dinner plans or work projects, or bath time, fill out that RSVP card and put it in the mailbox! Just as we mentioned the couple’s acute attention to who is invited, they are equally interested in getting those RSVPs back. Linens, florals, catering, rentals, bar, etc. are all affected by RSVP counts two weeks out from the wedding. So be sure to relieve the worry or confusion for your friends and mail that thing back! P.s. if there is a line for names, write who you are RSVPing for. Believe it or not, blank RSVPs stating “We are thrilled to come” have been received before!

Shira Marie Photography

Then, there’s the wedding gift. As you peruse the couple’s registries, consider mailing the gift to them. While it isn’t totally unheard of, as the times have changed, so have typical gift giving norms. It is totally normal to see a welcome table at a wedding with a sign for cards and gifts. However, the convenience involved in couples not having to worry about transporting their presents the night of their wedding is a huge plus of shipping it to their home. If you’d like to give them a card, go for it! That is much easier to stow away in an over night bag!

Ashley Benham Photography

So you’re headed to the wedding?

It’s the week of the wedding, and you are packing up for a fun mini vacation or planning out your great date night. Here are a few tips before you leave the house. Be sure to save the address to the ceremony AND double check if the reception is in the same location. If it is not, go on and save that second address as well! Infinity Events is based out of Memphis, TN, but we’ve done weddings all throughout the South. Sometimes cell service isn’t strong enough for Google Maps or Waze to guide you. Best to go ahead and plug that in before you leave your invitation on the kitchen counter!

Josh and Aleah Photography

You’re all dressed up and ready to celebrate this gorgeous couple’s big day! A few things to remember about the ceremony. If we could pick from the dozens if not hundreds of wedding fallacies to wipe from the face of the events’ world, we would certainly like to be rid of the idea of “wedding time”! While wedding days are busy for the couple, their parties, and families, planners and vendors work very hard to arrange a timeline to the couple’s wishes. So remember 15 minutes early is best! That should give you ample time to find parking, make a run to the restroom, or even find the best seat!

Caitlin Steva Photography

Speaking of seats! Remember how we were talking about the cost of these romantic celebrations? Keep in mind when you are finding your seat for the ceremony that the couple set the room for the accurate number of RSVPs they received. Don’t be afraid to sit next to a family or group you don’t know. You’re here to witness this fantastic wedding! Help others witness it as well!

Good Golly Photography

And finally, something we WISH we didn’t have to keep reminding wedding guests, but alas, here we are. Put your phone away! The couple has hired a professional to capture all these memories for them! With today’s social media minds, we PROMISE you’ll get to see them! Plus. you’ll snap plenty at the reception!

Rob and Deanna Photography

So you’re headed to the reception?

When planning out where you’re going for this wonderful wedding, consider how you are getting there. Some times venues are in downtown location with limited street parking. Other times, venues are private property that close their gates at the end of the event. Plan out who’s driving and what kind of parking there is. The last thing you want is for the couple to be charged hundreds of dollars for the venue to open their gate on a Sunday. (It’s true. This can happen!)

Kelly Ginn Photography

Next we want to remind you that seating at wedding receptions are different from event to event. General rule of thumb for couples deciding on how many to seat at a dinner table is based on the style of food or vibe of the reception. If there is not a formal dinner being served to each table by the catering staff, the couple may not have a seat for every guest. Again we are back to the dollars and cents of a wedding. If the couple is hoping for a more relaxed and mingled wedding reception, they can save on tables, rentals, florals, etc. by not seating 100%. The main thing for guests to keep in mind in regards to the etiquette surrounding dinner seating is to pay attention to reserved signs, and if you notice an elderly couple looking for a place to eat or observe the party, consider giving them your spot. You’d much rather be on the dance floor or in the photo booth any way, right?

Shelby Renee Photography

Finally, the key to etiquette at a wedding reception is to focus on the love of the couple. Be respectful of the effort and intention that they put into their wedding day. While open bars are a happy site when you walk into a reception hall, keep in mind how you want your friends to remember their wedding. When in doubt, enjoy the amenities the way you might at a work function or formal fund raiser. Help the couple remember the magic, not the messy, of the wedding day.

Rob and Deanna Photography

We know weddings are ever changing and each one is its own unique flower, but as a guest, always keep in mind that the couple has asked that you witness their love and commitment to each other. They wish to have you with them on this amazing and irreplaceable day. So if you’re in doubt on how to act as a guest, Infinity Event’s door is always open to help clear up confusions!

XOXO, The Infinity Events Team

Etiquette: A Journey pt. 4 : Ceremony

Hello Gorgeous!

We have often heard distressed exclamations from our couples like,

“I just don’t know what tradition is!”

or “I’m afraid of doing it wrong.”

or “I don’t want to offend anyone.”

We have come to realize that this all touches on thoughts of etiquette. The crazy thing about etiquette is that it is both constantly evolving and maintaining long standing traditions. So we decided to create a series of blogs about some of the more complex, or sticky, areas of etiquette worry. In this one we focus on ideas of budget etiquette and how to best navigate those conversations.

Photo by Jackie McGinnis Photography

As you get closer and closer to the wedding date you have been planning and waiting for, you begin thinking about the logistics of the ceremony itself. So many well-meaning family members and friends have all the advice or opinions on how it should go down. Like all education from Infinity Events, however, much of this goes back to making it perfect for YOU! Let’s go through 5 of the most commonly discussed topics when it comes to etiquette and expectations during the ceremony.

Photo by Jackie McGinnis Photography
  1. The Processional Order

    Traditionally speaking, a great way to remember the order of the processional is “everything leads to the bride”. What this means is that since the bride is the last one to walk down the aisle, then the order of processional should follow suit. The typical order looks like this; his grandparents, her grandparents, his parents, her parents, etc. This is also a basic explanation as to why the bride’s party proceeds right before she does.

    However, we all know that couples aren’t always made up of only a bride and a groom. And many of our couples find the concept of it being all about one individual just inaccurate. We can’t say that we disagree! With Infinity Events, we try and help each couple find unique ways to celebrate each individual, as well as the two together. That being said, our job as planners is to walk each couple through tradition and etiquette, then talk through how to make it their own. That is the fun part: the celebration of individuality!

    We have seen processional order done in a million ways and love it! Make sure to talk it over with your wedding planner to make sure that the logistics line up with the vision you have for your wedding ceremony!
Photo by Jackie McGinnis Photography

2. The Wedding Party Order

We cannot tell you how many times we have a couple in front us trying to remember each person’s height in their wedding party! You guys, we are here to tell you that height is not what matters here! Yes, when seen in photos, lining your party up by height can be appealing, but (something we say a lot to our couples) the ceremony is all about HEART! You spend so much time, money, and energy making sure that the day runs smoothly. You want to make sure the day is beautiful, and entertains your guests, but the wedding ceremony has one singular focus: the commitment that these two people are making and the promise of love forever. Sappy, but 10000% true! With that in mind, we believe that the order of each wedding party should strictly be who you want closest to you while experiencing this incredible moment. Period. (Trust us, the only people who know the reason are you and your planner!) If every one of your party members are exactly the same in your heart, then height can be a great tie breaker!

Photo by Jackie McGinnis Photography

3. The Processional Music

So many couples come to us thinking there is an expectation with ceremony music. The reality is that there really isn’t! Sometimes it can be a bit odd if the tempo is faster than what the processional is expecting, but even that only comes down to communication. I have even had a wedding party process to Caribbean drums before, and it was fabulous!

We like to encourage two things when it comes to processional music: to choose meaningful music and to allow the guests to actually hear the music. Let’s elaborate. Meaningful music is music that will enhance the memory of your wedding. A song that when heard 10 years from now, will bring you back to that beautiful moment in your life. Sometimes it is the song you saw on a movie and always pictured yourself walking down the aisle to, and sometimes it’s a song that was playing in the background on your first date. There is no wrong answer! You can even check online or with your entertainment provider about adjusting your song choice to instrumentals only or even a slower tempo! We once had a TI song changed into a ballad for the first dance, so we promise it can be done! Talk with your wedding planner if you want some ideas or need some help communicating your needs to an entertainment provider.

The other thing we ask for our couples to consider is allowing time for each song to be heard. The consideration here is how many people are proceeding. If you have 2 sets of parents and 1 grandparent proceeding, and have 2 songs for this, your guests are only going to hear about 15 seconds of each song. We would suggest having only one song in this scenario for both grandparents and parents. Sometimes couples choose a song they LOVE and have the whole processional walk to it. That works too, and it certainly makes that song memorable for the couple for years to come.

Out last little bit of advice is to check with family members and see if a specific song is a tradition in your family. Consider this with your fiancé, and make the choice that is right for you!

Photo by Jackie McGinnis Photography

4. Ushers

Traditionally, ushers are male members of the couple’s family or circle of friends whose job is to escort the guests to their seats for the wedding ceremony. This practice, for the most part, is a bit antiquated, and we don’t see it done often in our region. What we do see, however, are ushers who are there to help the flow of people as they arrive to the wedding ceremony. We call them “The Loitering Police”. With Infinity Events, we talk to the ushers (if the couple chooses to have them) about the etiquette involved in escorting a woman alone, a couple, or even a group. We talk to them about how to help move the guests from the entrance area to the ceremony seats, which helps us begin on time.

Ushers are in no way a requirement for weddings anymore, but if you have a few family members or friends who need a job or a place of honor as a part of the wedding, this is a great one for them!

Photo by Jackie McGinnis Photography

5. A Break in Between

Y’all, we hear this question a lot, “What if we do the ceremony at like 2:00 pm and the reception at 7:00 pm, would that work?” Here’s the thing, you have a few aspects to consider: culture, communication, and of course, etiquette! Let’s start from the top.

There are several religious groups and cultures where a break between ceremony and reception is expected and fairly common. For example, due mass times on Saturdays, this is fairly common for catholic weddings. If both families are catholic, this is a cultural expectation for the majority of the guests. Still, there will likely be people among your guests who are not accustomed to this, which brings us to the MOST IMPORTANT factor here, communication.

Let’s explain what will happen inevitably if you don’t communicate this break. Several guests will show up at the reception venue hours before the event starts. Most vendors are still putting the reception together at this point. This can come across to your guests as rude because they wont be allowed in while the set up is happening. It also steals some of the magic by allowing a guest to see the not-so-pretty part of putting an event together. Instead, if you communicate the break in every way possible, you allow your guests to be productive in their own way during this time. We have some clients who will give the guests suggestions on ways they can spend the time between the events. They sometimes have VIP party or family members at those suggested spots so that it feels like there is no break in the event at all. Though not all couples choose this route, the key to it all in communication in whatever you choose.

Photo by Jackie McGinnis Photography

We completely understand how daunting it can be when everyone around you seems to have their own opinion about how the ceremony should go. Talk with your Certified Wedding Planner about what speaks to you and your partner.

XOXO,
The Infinity Events Team

Etiquette: A Journey pt. 3 : Wedding Party

Hello Gorgeous!

We have often heard distressed exclamations from our couples like,

“I just don’t know what tradition is!”

or “I’m afraid of doing it wrong.”

or “I don’t want to offend anyone.”

We have come to realize that this all touches on thoughts of etiquette. The crazy thing about etiquette is that it is both constantly evolving and maintaining long standing traditions. So we decided to create a series of blogs about some of the more complex, or sticky, areas of etiquette worry. In this one we focus on wedding parties, their responsibilities, and how to best navigate those conversations.

Photography by Mary Kate Steele

After the cheek-cramping smiles and “Holy moly, is this really happening?”s of the proposal have subsided slightly, you might start to think about to whom you want to tell your great news. Shortly after the news has been spread and you’ve dipped your toe into the planning pool, the consideration of wedding parties creeps in. Some couples know without a second thought who they want standing up with them in their ceremony. Some have no wedding party at all. Wedding parties have shaken up the status quo a lot recently with Bridesmen, Best Maids, and more! Still, we are presented with several etiquette questions surrounding the wedding party.

Once again, communication, consideration, and compromise are KEYS to succeeding here. Being a part of a wedding can be stressful and seem clouded in unspoken mysteries. So we encourage you to open the door to those 3 C’s. It will help you and your loved ones glide through this process with ease.

Photography by Mary Kate Steele

Asking someone to be in your wedding is an intimate honor. How you ask is uniquely up to you. However, the commitment does not end with their acceptance. You have a few responsibilities to help them be the best attendants possible and to help you be the best host possible. Traditionally, when asking for someone to join your wedding party, it was understood who was financially responsible for what. Did you know, traditionally, the couple pays for the lodging of their wedding party the weekend of the wedding? Did you know, traditionally, the wedding party is financially responsible for their hair and makeup and attire for the event? Now this blog wouldn’t be an Infinity Events blog if we didn’t help you “create your own adventure”. It is definitely up to you and your fiance to decide what you can afford to cover for your party. However, we advise you find a way to discuss this with them. A statement as simple as, “We would love for you to be in our wedding party, and we will gladly cover your hair and makeup costs.” or “While we are not able to cover your airfare to our wedding, we will have a room reserved for you.” would help clear up for them what they will need to save up for.

Photography by Mary Kate Steele

Keep in mind that your wedding party might not all know each other. It’s helpful to create a page or message link to help facilitate these new relationships. Sharing phone numbers, emails, even addresses can help connect your party so that you are not the only point of contact on the wedding weekend.

On the wedding day, be sure to feed your people. They are committing a whole day to celebrating and supporting you! It is important that you thank them by providing food and drinks that day. Some couples choose to also give their party gifts of thanks. Discuss this with your fiance to find what fits best with you and your budget.

Photography by Mary Kate Steele

Now, on the other side of this, say YOU have been asked to be a part of a wedding party. What etiquette should you be aware of? Gifts, showers, trips, attire, active assistance. What falls on you? Well, it’s traditionally the Maid of Honor and Best Man’s duties to throw the bachelorette and bachelor parties. But these days, the whole party can chip in with ideas and or finances. And what kind of party are you throwing? You could throw a shower or brunch, a full weekend getaway, or a week long cruise. It’s important to learn what the couple wants. You want to make sure you are celebrating them the way they wish to be celebrated.

And finally, keep in mind that in many cases, the couple is planning their first wedding. They may not know what they need help with. So it is important to reach out throughout the engagement to see if they need any help with ideas or logistics or anything.

Photography by Mary Kate Steele

We understand that relationship dynamics are endlessly complex and unique. If you are struggling with how to navigate a conversation or clear up a miscommunication, reach out to your Infinity Events Certified Wedding Planner to talk it through. It often helps to talk it out with someone neutral first. We are always glad to brainstorm or give advice on what we’ve seen help couples and their parties succeed!

XOXO

The Infinity Events Team!

Etiquette: A Journey pt.2 : Budget

Hello Gorgeous!

We have often heard distressed exclamations from our couples like,

“I just don’t know what tradition is!”

or “I’m afraid of doing it wrong.”

or “I don’t want to offend anyone.”

We have come to realize that this all touches on thoughts of etiquette. The crazy thing about etiquette is that it is both constantly evolving and maintaining long standing traditions. So we decided to create a series of blogs about some of the more complex or sticky, areas of wedding etiquette. In this one we focus on ideas of budget etiquette and how to best navigate those conversations. To be clear, a wedding budget is comprised of ALL the funds applied to the event, not just what the couple is contributing.

Photo by Caitlin Steva

Emily Post talks about the three c’s and how they can help couples create the wedding of their dreams more easily. If wedding plans are approached with the intent to have consideration, communication, and the ability to compromise, the journey is much smoother. Considering all of your options as well as your fiance’s, family’s, or friends’ perspectives can help you find solutions or creative ideas of which you may never have thought. Communication with all parties involved is KEY! When you allow for open communication, you avoid misunderstanding or awkward situations later. And finally, you should try remaining open to compromises. This blending of ideas can often lead to some of the most unique and fun details of an event!

Photo by Caitlin Steva

When it comes to budget, the traditional responsibilities of who pays for what have evolved a lot. Today, only 30% of weddings are still solely paid for by the bride’s family. Nowadays, wedding budgets can be covered by the couple themselves or a mixture of both sets of parents or even other family or friends entirely. It is very important when discussing who will contribute what to the wedding that you are extremely clear. It is common for people to overestimate what their contribution capabilities are. It is also common to underestimate the actual costs of goods and services. There are two ways of framing outside contributions clearly.

“We wish to pay for these vendors up to x amount.”

or

“I can contribute x amount of money to the event.”

The first allows for contributors to offer flexibility in their amount while the later gives a clear limit.

Photo by Caitlin Steva

Traditional etiquette states that those paying for the event are those who are inviting the guests. This is why many invitations state:

“John and Jane Doe cordially invite you to the wedding of their daughter…”

Traditionally, this also means those paying have control of the guests lists and final decisions. We say “traditionally” because times are constantly changing and this is something to be discussed. Here’s where the three c’s are crucial. You want to make sure when family or friends offer to help pay for the wedding you and they are completely clear on expectations.

Photo by Caitlin Steva

Before we go, one last bit of advice. While navigating the wedding planning journey, your best guide is your priorities. These will help you flow through the twists and turns of planning. For instance, when discussing budget keep in mind the “type” of event you wish to have. Formal or cocktail? Brunch or seated dinner? When planning a formal dinner, couples should allot for 50-60% of their budget to be applied to the “per-person fees”. More people equals more chairs, tables, linens, centerpieces, plates, flatware, not to mention food and beverages. We know a lot goes into this events, and you can feel overwhelmed at times. Those are the times to give your Certified Wedding Planner with Infinity Events a call! Don’t worry, we can help!

XOXO!

The Infinity Events Team

Etiquette: A Journey pt. 1: Invitations

Hello Gorgeous

Who doesn’t love a beautiful invitation suite in the mail? It truly sets the tone for the feel and formality of the event to come. As Wedding Planners, we put infinite value on the invitations for both aesthetic and logistical purposes. However, over the years we have found some issues with invitations that could be helped with a few tips for both the couple and their guests. We are ready to share the wealth with all of you!

Photo by Josh & Aleah Photography

Who is Invited?

Anyone who has planned their own large event can attest to this piece being of the utmost importance. The number of people who are invited and, therefore, attend directly affects literally everything about the event, but most specifically, the budget!
As the host, your responsibility is to understand how to communicate who is invited to your guests. Here is the gist of it: If their name is listed on the envelope, they are invited. If not, then no dice.

Here is an example in which we will use the names of the family members in Emma’s family. Emma and Jason are a married couple with a son named Jonah, who is 2 years old.

If the whole family is invited, here is how the salutation should read:

Mr. & Mrs. Jason Cockerham
Jonah
123 Example Street
Memphis, TN 38111

If this is an adult only event or the host wishes to only invite the couple, here is how the salutation should read:

Mr. & Mrs. Jason Cockerham
123 Example Street
Memphis, TN 38111

Some couples choose to use the terms, “and family” instead of the child’s name. This is fine to do etiquette wise, however, you do run the risk of misinterpretation by the guest. To them, “and family” might mean their mom, dad or distant cousin. It’s rare, but it does happen. Be prepared to clarify with your guests as needed when receiving your RSVPs.

Here is another example. Let’s pretend that Jonah is 16 years old, (though Emma doesn’t like thinking this way because she loves her baby boy) and you would like to extend an invitation for Jonah to bring a date.

If you don’t know the name of the date, the salutation should read:

Mr. & Mrs. Jason Cockerham
Jonah Cockerham and guest
123 Example Street
Memphis, TN 38111

If you do know the name of the date, the salutation should read:

Mr. & Mrs. Jason Cockerham
Jonah Cockerham and Sally James
123 Example Street
Memphis, TN 38111

The other option, of course, is to send Jonah and Sally their own invitation. Sometimes this is what the couple prefers, even if it is the same address, which is perfectly fine.

Photo by Mary Kate Steele Photography

What should be included in your suite?

What’s included in the invitation suite is very custom per couple and per event. The first thing is the invitation itself, obviously!

RSVP Cards and Envelopes | The next thing to consider is whether or not you want your guests to RSVP online or with a traditional RSVP card. It is our opinion that more responses are received with an RSVP card for a few reasons. First, there are potentially a good number of your guests who aren’t comfortable with using the internet in this capacity. Second, going to the computer to look up the website and rsvp is asking the guest to do something additionally, while a pre-stamped envelope is making the process simple. We have also found that many guests have the best intentions to get online to RSVP and simply forget in the chaos of day to day life.

RSVPs in general are so important. It drastically changes the cost of an event based on how many are attending, not to mention meal choices and food allergies that are a major part of the planning process. Speaking of, we highly suggest that you include the following on your RSVP card: RSVP by date, Names of the guests attending, Number of guests attending (yes both are required), Decline line, and any dietary restrictions line. (In the case of your wedding planning, more information is better!)

Accommodations Card | If you are expecting many guests from out of town, either securing a room block at a hotel or giving your guest hotel recommendations is a great way to show hospitality. The Accommodations Card is the way to communicate this. Many couples who have a wedding website however, are choosing to have the link printed on a card and the details for accommodations, activities to do in the city, etc. on the website.

Details or Reception Card | Reception Cards are to communicate the reception information when it is at a different time or place than the ceremony itself. If the venue changes, we suggest that you have directional cards that guests are given as they leave the ceremony, or a directional sign they can snap a photo of on their phones. Think about it… how many times do you bring the whole invitation suite with you to a wedding? This ensures that you have done all you can to help your guests get to the next destination easily.

Adults Only Card | The Adult Only Reception is becoming more and more common these days, and one sure fire way to communicate your expectations with regards to children at your event. There are many different polite ways to make it known, and Pinterest has some great ideas to help you. If you need additional help with this piece, make sure to talk with your CWP with Infinity Events!

COVID19 Card | With all that we are experiencing today with the COVID19 pandemic, many couples are opting to go ahead and communicate how they intend to handle the unknown from the get-go. Having a card in the invitation suite that leads guests to your wedding website to look for change of date information, should COVID19 affect the wedding, can potentially help you avoid additional stationery costs down the road.

Photo by Smash Studios Photography

What is the expectation with RSVPs?

Unfortunately, whether you choose to have guests RSVP online or on traditional RSVP cards, there are always a group who doesn’t respond. We always advise that the host go ahead and call the guests that you haven’t heard from to get the most accurate guest count possible. This is so important. With that in mind, we also advise that you put a “RSVP by” date of about 5 weeks before the wedding on thee RSVP Card to allow plenty of time for you and your fiancé to make these inevitable phone calls. This can be a daunting task, but a necessary one to make sure you are not over or under paying for seating, catering and more.

“To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.” – Giorgio Armani

Wedding Etiquette is not something you are expected to inherently know. We are here to help you! If you haven’t already, call Infinity Events and see what the Certified Wedding Planners can help you with to make your wedding the very best day ever!

XOXO,
The Infinity Events Team

COVID19 & Your Wedding Planning Journey

Hello Gorgeous

What a crazy, uncertain and overall tough time we are living in right now. The COVID19 Pandemic is affecting weddings everywhere, and it may seem difficult to you, your family, and your friends to put any focus at all on this new and exciting chapter in your lives as a couple. We understand your pain, we want to help you through it, and we are ready to celebrate this huge Infinite Moment with you.

In the meantime, however, let’s talk through how to be as smart as you can in these uncertain times. Here are some tips from the Certified Wedding Planners at Infinity Events about how to get through the COVID19 crisis while on your wedding planning journey.

Photo by Smash Studios Photography

Let’s Remember the Reason

First and foremost, we want to remind you that through it all, you are still promised to marry your person! Your lobster. Your best friend. Your forever. These are huge promises and this is a very exciting time in your life and in your love story. We have seen couples who, during this world crisis, find themselves saying, “what’s the point,” and we are here to tell you that your partner in life is, indeed, the point. Remember why you’re engaged and why you love each other. Hold tight to that during this insanity, and we will all get through this.

Also, we would like to go on record as an advocate for postponements, rather than cancelations. There is something to be said about gathering together with your closest friends and family to celebrate something as big as a wedding. Postponement due to a global pandemic can be a part of the story, if you let it. Some couples are choosing to get married on a much smaller scale, with respect to social distancing, and having the larger celebration at a later date. We think that is a beautiful expression of love as well, and we can totally get behind that!

Let’s Remain Informed

Something that all couples and wedding vendors are trying desperately to do is to stay informed of the ever-changing situation around the COVID19 pandemic. Here are some of the resources that we have been keeping our eyes on. We wanted to share them with you all!

·      CDC Disease Information

·      World Health Organization 

·      CDC Travel Information 

·      VeryWellHealth, Where is it Spreading? 

·      CDC Regarding Events & Mass Gatherings 

·      US Department of Labor 

Let’s Prepare a Plan of Action

The next step is to come up with a plan of action. Unfortunately, many couples, whose weddings were right at the beginning of this pandemic’s effects on society, were not granted the luxury of being able to create a plan of action and process what was happening to their dream day. Our wish is that, for those of you who still need to postpone your wedding, you will take the time to process through these emotions and pursue a plan of action that makes you as comfortable as possible considering the circumstances. Here are some of the considerations that will need to be made:

1.     A New Date | When choosing a new wedding date, consider your fiancé (duh), immediate family, wedding party and your vendor team. Seems like a lot, we know! The biggest thing to remember is that due to so many events having to be rescheduled, you might not be able to please everyone. These circumstances are, of course, different for every couple, so we suggest reaching out to your Certified Wedding Planner to talk through the best course of action with regards to rescheduling.

2.     Vendor Availability | First, we want to remind you that we, as your vendors, desire to be the very best team for you as possible. We are on YOUR side and want to make your wedding day, whenever it is, the best day! We understand that this is a very difficult time for you; and we understand your desire to keep the same dream team of vendors for your postponed wedding day. We want to encourage you to be as flexible as possible when rescheduling around the booked dates for all of your vendors. Many Saturdays, especially in peak months, will be booked already, so we encourage flexibility for Friday and Sunday weddings. You will likely even see some weekday weddings in the coming months for the same reason.

3.     Seasonal Design Decisions | Since so many spring weddings are being rescheduled to the fall, one of the considerations might be event design. Talk with your Event Designer, Florist and Certified Wedding Planner to discuss the adjustments that might need to be made to accommodate the new season.

4.     Any New Bookings | In the event that some of your current vendor team is not available for the chosen new wedding date, we advise all couples to not wait on booking the new replacement vendor. Because of circumstances outside of our control, vendors are being stretched to their maximum capacity with these rescheduled weddings. Make sure you secure your full vendor team as early as possible.  

5.     Anticipation of Additional Costs | When canceling or rescheduling individual vendor’s contracts, we want to advise you to be aware that there may be monetary penalties associated. As a vendor community, we all understand the situation at hand is no one’s fault and are trying to accommodate, within reason, as much as possible without penalty to the client. At the end of the day, however, we are running a small business that for many of us is our livelihood, and have to keep the health of the company in mind when making these decisions. We ask all couples to be understanding of the situation that we are in as well.

Let’s Ensure Communication

When rescheduling a wedding, one of the big challenges is how to best communicate the changes to your guests. There are a few ways to do that. Resending paper invitations is definitely an option for you, and it maintains the elegance factor that wedding invitation suites organically have. Minted Weddings has some beautiful “Postponed” or “Change the Date” options for you. Here is some advice directly from Minted Weddings, and make sure to check out their beautiful products.

–       Minted Tips for Planning during the Coronavirus

Other options for mass communication regarding rescheduling weddings include virtual invitations and blasts through your wedding website. Many stationary companies are extending their offerings into virtual invitations to accommodate as well. The reality is that you know your guests best. We advise that you talk through the different options with your Certified Wedding Planner, parents and fiancé to find the right solution for you.

Let’s Cherish the Infinite Moments

Here is the last piece of advice we want to share today, and it’s the most important piece, so please hear us. The chapter in your lives when you are engaged is a short one, with or without a global pandemic. Cherish this time with your future spouse.

“Three things you can’t recover in life: the Word after it’s said, the Moment after it’s missed, and the Time after it’s gone.”

XOXO,
The Infinity Events Team

Take Care of Yourself on Your Wedding Day!

Hello Gorgeous!

For many couples, the Wedding Day memories don’t just start at the ceremony, or even the family photos, but during the time that they get to spend with their Wedding Parties while they are getting ready. This is such a special time for both of them because the morning of the Wedding can be filled with so much love and support. How great is it to spend so much quality time with your best girls or closest guys and family members.

Photo by Snap Happy Photography

And the photos! #swoonworthy That closeness between friends and family is why these ‘getting ready’ photos are so much fun to take and to look back on later.

Photo by Snap Happy Photography

However, we would like to take a quick moment to point out a few things to remember when planning out the time before the Wedding on the Wedding Day. This is a tall soapbox for the Certified Wedding Planners at Infinity Events because the consequences for not taking this advice is totally (& easily) avoidable! Trust us, you’ll thank us later J

  • Drink SO much Water

As a Wedding Planning Team, we consider it our job to help you have the very best day ever. We can’t do it if the couples aren’t taking care of themselves. A huge part of this is hydration. Keeping yourself hydrated in the midst of the craziness that is a wedding day is the #1 key to having your perfect day.

Photo by Snap Happy Photography

Don’t get us wrong, we are pro-alcohol! This is not a “Don’t have a drink on your wedding day” PSA. However, it is of the utmost importance that every couple, and each member of the wedding party, partners their alcohol with water (& lots of it)! Take care of yourselves on your wedding day.

  • Plan for both Breakfast & Lunch

Though we occasionally have breakfast or brunch time weddings, the mass majority that we see are in the late afternoon or evening. It is a very busy day for everyone involved; lots of love, joy, laughter, emotions, smiling for photos, the occasional family drama, and adrenaline. With all of these factors, we find that most people don’t ‘feel’ hungry. With that in mind, we want to encourage you to plan for both breakfast and lunch for both yourselves and your wedding parties on your wedding day! You’ll likely not feel like eating, but we encourage you to make yourself eat something. (Think carbs and protein!) You need energy, something to coat your stomach and something to soak up any alcohol. Again, we can’t help you have the best day ever if you don’t take care of yourself. Don’t worry, your Infinity Events Certified Wedding Planner will help you in planning for this!

Photo by Snap Happy Photography

This is likely one of the biggest celebrations you will ever through for yourself, so let us ask you, don’t you want to remember every single Infinite Moment? We want you to cherish those memories forever!

Micah & Mark’s Gorgeous Vendor Team
Venue: The Gin at Nestbit
Coordination: Infinity Events
Photography: Snap Happy Photography
Videography: James Bickham
Entertainment: Almost Famous Band
Florals: Kacie Cooper Designs
Rentals: Elegant Chair Solutions & Mahaffey Tent
Catering: Thomas Meat Market
Hair Stylist: Wallace Ashley
Makeup Artist: Kasey Acuff
Photo Booth: Tin Can Rentals

Photo by Snap Happy Photography

Hotel How To’s

Hello Gorgeous!

As wedding planners, we believe it is a HUGE part of our jobs to help educate our couples about the little things that make up a successful event. Let’s discuss a little bit about hotel room blocks. This is something that many clients forget about until closer to the date. It certainly doesn’t feel like the most glamorous part of the wedding planning process, however, it truly can be essential to the ease of travel for your guests. Here are a few tips to help make this process easier.

Photography by Emily Frazier Weddings

1.     Do this fairly early in the planning process

Hotel availability and rates are very much influenced by the goings-on in the city, and many times these barriers aren’t known by the public. Yes, things like city-wide festivals or marathons can make a huge difference in rates/availability, but also things like local children’s soccer tournaments or even family reunion season can affect a wedding block. Our advice is to go ahead and get this piece off of your list and onto your wedding website as soon as possible!

2.     Check if a Courtesy Room Block is available

Courtesy Blocks are our favorite because there is no financial obligation to the couple. These allow you to hold a certain number of rooms out of hotel inventory until a given “cutoff date” under a group name for your event. Your guests get a guaranteed room rate until that date and then the remaining rooms are released back into the hotel’s inventory. Simple as that! However, you should know some hotels don’t offer courtesy blocks at all, and some only offer them at certain times of year. Finding a hotel that offers Courtesy Blocks can take a little research and a lot of phone calls. If you are working with one of the Certified Wedding Planners with Infinity Events, we can certainly help you with this process!

3.     Don’t go crazy with the number of rooms you reserve for your guests

Hotel Room Blocks are a gorgeous courtesy to offer to those out of town guests, however, the reality is that many of the traveling guests will also have their own hotel memberships or lodging preferences. There are a large number of guests who will not take you up on the group rate and choose to stay somewhere else. In a world where Airbnb is so popular, we have to plan for this! When considering how many rooms to block, our advice is to start with about 50% of the rooms actually needed for the expected traveling guests. Keep up with how many rooms have been picked up throughout the planning process, and if you need to add some more, typically the hotels will accommodate!

Photography by Emily Frazier Weddings

We know that this process can seem daunting, but don’t worry! Give us a call and we can help talk you through all of the tiny details that make wedding planning such a journey. We are here for you.

Xoxo,

The Infinity Events Team

Setting the Scene (or table)

Hello Gorgeous!

We talk to so many couples who either don’t know what a place setting includes or don’t understand the impact they can have at a wedding. So, let’s chat about it! Obviously, there is a lot more to an event’s design than just the place settings, but they are commonly an overlooked piece of a wedding. There are so many details and little touches that can add elegance and personalization to a place setting. Today let’s go through a few of the basic pieces that every couple can easily and affordably add to their wedding day décor.

Photo by Sara Ann Green Photography

1.     Chargers

A charger is essentially a plate for your plate! Honest to goodness, this might be the most important piece of a place setting. So much can be done with a simple charger. Unfortunately, they are one of the first pieces couples to cut from reception décor when finances become an issue. The logic being because they are strictly decorative. However, what we have found is that this small touch can add so much class for every budget! Additional ways to add to your place setting (other than the charger) include, but are not limited to, linen napkins, menus, thank you notes, favors, etc. The list goes on and on!

Photo by Persuasion Photography

2.     Linen Napkins

Linen napkins are an inexpensive way to elevate an event when directly compared to the standard paper napkins. Consider someone’s home that you know whose dining room table is always set. Don’t you feel important (& a little fancy) when you are invited to sit at their table, take part in their hospitality & use their beautiful linen napkins? Couples can provide that same hospitality to their guests on the wedding day. Not only is this an affordable way to elevate your wedding (We have seen linen napkin rentals start as low as $0.50 each!) but they are environmentally friendly to boot!

Josh and Aleah Photography

3.     Flatware

If you are serving a full meal at a reception, it is important to offer every guest a seat to enjoy their meal. When this is the case, having flatware on your tables helps complete your place settings. Even with a buffet, you can preset your reception with flatware to fill out the formality of your tables. This also frees up your guests’ hands to carry their plates or drinks to their seats. Remember, if you choose to have flatware at the table, it is important to adhere to the etiquette of setting the tables correctly. Your Certified Wedding Planner can ensure that your vision is executed perfectly with forks on the left and spoon & knife on the right.

Photo by Shelby Renee Photography

We know that planning a wedding can be a lot. There are so many moving pieces on a wedding day that event design often feels like the “easy” part. However, this is a huge undertaking. Considering that you, the VIPs, already have a ton on your plate, *Pun totally intended!* we encourage you to talk with your coordination or planning team about this piece. At Infinity Events, we have packages that are strictly for Event Design. They are curated to help you through this with ease not stress. Let’s chat!

Xoxo,

The Infinity Events Team

Sarah & Kyle’s Rain-or-Shine Wedding

Hello Gorgeous!

There are lots of variables involved with a wedding. You’ve got travel, dresses, food, music, family and friends, and of course, weather. For some cities, like L.A. or Seattle, couples generally know what the weather will be on their wedding day because their city has about one type of weather. But those of us in the mid south know that weather can change on a dime!

There’s a reason folks say, “If you don’t like the weather in Memphis, take a nap!” You could get dressed for the low fifties in the morning and by the afternoon it is in the nineties. Or in the case of this wedding, the day can begin with thunderstorms and flood warnings and end in rainbows and sunshine.

Sarah and Kyle had planned a beautiful wedding in October of 2017 at Kyle’s parent’s property on Pickwick lake. They had so many beautiful details planned out! From the many blues of the bridesmaids dresses, to the beautiful sound of bagpipes accompanying the bride down the aisle.

Yes! You read that right! Kyle’s family has Scottish heritage and they added touches of that rich history throughout the day. Kyle’s father wore a kilt for the ceremony. And the talented bagpipe player, Anne Katherine Vanlindingham, filled the air with song. RJ, their pup, wasn’t quite sure what to make of the music, but they got some great photos of him investigating.

Sarah had beautiful blue and white touches throughout the whole reception as well. She had been collecting the pieces over the years, and she says they are still decorating their house to this day. To keep with the Scottish touches, they had delicious food from the Collierville Scottish Pub, Highlander, owned by the groom’s family.

The family had already reserved a tent for the reception outside, and they would be able to fit the band and dinner tables under it. The main concern was what to do for the ceremony. They had planned for a breathtaking, lakeside arrangement. If it was going to storm as badly as expected, we would have to hold the ceremony inside the home. They had a beautiful round living room, but the worry was what to do with the bagpipes!? We planned for the worst case scenario, and held our breaths for a miracle.

We planned for the worst case scenario, and held our breaths for a miracle.

The morning of the wedding, we awoke to the same forecast. But with each passing hour, the storms seemed to be moving away. The tent was set up, the band began to arrive, the tables were set, and we all continued to pray the rain away. 

About an hour before the wedding, we called it. We were going to roll the dice and have the ceremony on the lawn by the lake. Myself and some of the caterers went out to wipe down the chairs (it had already rained that morning), and we cued the bagpipe player to start tuning. The ceremony went off without a drop of rain to speak of. There was even a great moment when a boat rode by in the ceremony and cheered on the couple. Afterwards, as the sun was setting, the couple stole away for some sunset photos, and a rainbow appeared! Talk about breathtaking!

Afterwards, as the sun was setting, the couple stole away for some sunset photos, and a rainbow appeared! Talk about breathtaking!

All in all, Sarah and Kyle had a beautiful, fun filled wedding! They were able to roll with the unpredictable punches and still enjoy their wedding day. They were able to relish in the joy of their love because they knew they were going to get married, regardless of lighting or thunder. So if this happens to you on your big day, try and take a page out of their book. It will make for a great story down the road!

Sarah & Kyle,
It was such an honor getting to be a part of your wedding! The grace with which you handled the stormy weather was truly inspiring. I am beyond happy that you all were one of my first weddings with Infinity Events. It was so fun getting to know you and your friends throughout the weekend. Your wedding was truly beautiful.

Thank you for trusting me with it.
Love, ​​​​

Mandy

Sarah and Kyle’s Gorgeous Vendor Team

Planning | Infinity Events
Photography | Angela Zuill
Venue | Kyle’s parents’ home, Pickwick Lake
Tent & Other Rentals | M&M Event Rentals
Catering & Bar | Highlander Scottish Pub
Cake | Miss Muff’n Bakery
Band | Sensations Band
Florist | Sarah’s mom
Makeup | Amber Reed
Hair | Den Smith-Schaeffer at Tangles Midtown

Painless Rehearsal Tips!

Hello Gorgeous! 

For all you folks out there who have be in a wedding, you understand the behind the scenes are stacked with LOTS of to do lists and “necessary beasts” that must be tended to. Fittings, tastings, and of course, the dreaded Rehearsal night! But we are here to let you know that this particular beast can be tamed!

When you hire a planner or coordinator, you are hiring the expertise of how to make sure all of the bases are covered for your wedding, INCLUDING your rehearsal. Here are a few easy ways to make your rehearsal as painless (and quick) as possible! 

1. Who needs to be there?

Often times, we find couples who aren’t sure who they need to invite to the rehearsal. In today’s wedding world, the rehearsal dinner has a wide variety of shapes and sizes. However, wedding rehearsals need only the folks actually in the wedding to attend.

That means, you, your fiance, the family members that are proceeding in the ceremony and your wedding party only. When too many rehearsal dinner guests are milling about during the rehearsal, things can take longer due to attention spans and distractions. 

2. What about the details?

Throughout the planning process, you’ve hopefully worked hard on making sure the beauty comes through in your details of the day. However, when it comes to the ceremony, the details that matter most are in the words. Practicing the ceremony or your vows can and should be done, however, we suggest doing so privately or with your officiant. Keeping “the special” a surprise for the next day is important. If you practice the whole ceremony the day before, with the same people, in the same place, we believe some of the magic is lost. So let us focus on the logistics of how the day will work and let the loving words shine the next day. 

3. How long will it take? 

Once the bridesmaids and groomsmen know where they are standing and grandparents know where they are sitting, the “hard part” is out of the way. Most wedding rehearsals are easy enough that you only have to go through the motions once, maybe twice. When you are planning your rehearsal dinner, it is best to allot an hour for the rehearsal. This should allow for a few minutes buffer at the beginning (for any late comers) and even some extra time if Aunt Suzy wants to practice one more time. As we like to say, “It’s just walkin’, folks. It’s not rocket science.” 

4. What about ceremonies with a little “Extra”?

You’ve all heard about ceremonies that have a little extra flare to them, and trust us, we’ve seen them all. You know, the ones with live animals or children involved. OR The ones with guests who read passages or sing songs. OR The ones with a LOT of people involved. These rehearsals may require a little more tender love and care. But rest assured, your planner/coordinator will take the time required to make sure everyone is comfortable with when they are expected to do what. 

5. What if a groomsman or grandmother cannot make the rehearsal?

Don’t you worry! We will be sure to find them the next day well before “Go Time” to let them know what they need to know. 

6. Should ushers attend rehearsal?

Nope. An usher’s job is kinda hard to practice without guests. Just make sure your ushers arrive a bit before the wedding and have them meet with your coordinator/planner. We’ll make sure they get the full Ushering 101 then!

Wedding rehearsals may seem daunting or confusing, but to your planner/coordinator, they are another part of the puzzle. We have ways of alleviating the pain or tensions that may arise. The night before your wedding day should be fun and relaxing. So sit back and trust that you are in good hands! 

Kirby & Kevin,
Helping you create and execute your amazing vision for your wedding day was one of the highlights of my year! I so enjoyed getting to know you both and your sweet family! The elegance and sophistication that you two brought to your wedding day was so beautiful to witness, and I am honored. Thank you again for trusting me with it.
Love, ​​​​Emma & The Infinity Events Team

Kirby and Kevin’s Gorgeous Vendor Team

Planning | Infinity Events
Photography | Jon Sharman Photography
Videography | Erwin Media
Venue| Hillwood at Davie’s Manor
Rentals | White Door Events
Linen | Elegant Chair Solutions
Ceiling Decor| Fedex Flower Guy
Catering & Bar | Fascinating Catering
Baker | Cakes by Carolyn
Band | The Soul Shockers
Florist | Holliday Flowers & Events
Makeup & Hair | Beauty by Brady

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Home is Wherever I’m with You

Hello Gorgeous! 

For this wedding flashback, we wanna take you back. Way back! To October of 2015! Ladies and Gents, let’s go back to Infinity Event’s first full plan wedding! This was Jessica and Caleb’s “Home” themed wedding! To explain this theme, we must first tell you a little about this couple. Caleb was active duty military when he proposed, and he and Jessica knew they would be moving away from Memphis shortly after the wedding. Jessica knew she wanted to have a wedding that paid tribute to her fiance’s service as well as to her home city and country. Booking her wedding ON Beale Street was a great start to that tribute! Hunt Phelan is located at the end of Beale and has the perfect place to help you feel right at home! 

Next up was to choose the details. She chose the true red a her focal color and accented that with touches of navy blue, white and gold! So classy! So patriotic! She also wore Blue Suede Shoes with her wedding dress and he had Memphis Grizzlies socks with his suit!

To nod towards her new name and the military life ahead, she also had her seamstress sew her fiance’s military name tag inside of her dress! For their guest book, they had guests sign a wooden sign in the shape of the state of Tennessee with a heart over Memphis! And this is where our title comes in. It said “Home is wherever I’m with you.”

Other Memphis touches included Growl Towels and U of M pom poms at their send off as well as the “party shirts” the Groom and some of his friends (who also serve our country) wore under their dress blues! Curious what a party shirt is? Take a look at the photo to the right! From the front, it was all business and crisp white, but when the groomsmen took off their jackets, the sleeves and back of the shirt were wild! Memphis Tigers, bald eagles, wolves, flags, even sequins covered these shirts! Talk about turning the party up! 

Now about that ceremony! Let’s start with a cautionary tale. Jessica and Caleb’s wedding was in October, remember? Any guesses as to something that is pretty important on a wedding day that changes in the fall?? You may have guessed leaves or the temperature, and you aren’t wrong. However, this new planner’s first lesson was making sure to know when Daylight Savings Time really starts to affect sunset! By the time ceremony rolled around, that Sun was runnin’ away! Jessica and Caleb knew they wanted the guests to be able to see them, and they, of course, wanted the photos to turn out great, so they asked their fabulous officiant, Kirk Houston, to speed up the ceremony a bit. It was amazing! They shared their first kiss as husband and wife before the Sun went down, and still were able to squeeze in those family pics!

We loved working with the vendors on this wedding! Each one had so much Heart in the day! They cared so much about making Jessica and Caleb’s day a fantastic experience, and they all worked together to make sure that happened! We are beyond proud to have been a part of this wedding day that highlighted such an amazing couple and this amazing city! 

Jessica and Caleb, 
I know Jason and I have known Jessica for a long time, but It was such a pleasure getting to know you both during your planning process. I think it goes without saying, but I am so happy that our friendship has gone on LONG after your wedding day! Thank you for allowing me to share your sweet story (& amazing photos) over and over! It has been such a blessing knowing you! 
Love, ​​​​Emma & The Infinity Events Team

Jessica & Caleb’s Gorgeous Vendor Team

Planning | Infinity Events
Photographer | Phillip Van Zandt Photography
Ceremony Venue | Hunt Phelan
Reception Venue | Hunt Phelan
Videographer | Emax Productions
Florist |Holiday Flowers
DJ | DJ Rockin A
Rentals | Party Connection
Catering & Bar Service | Carolyn Montfort Catering
Cake | Cakes by Carolyn