Wedding Etiquette — How to Politely NOT invite +1s and Kids

Wedding Etiquette - How to Politely Not Invite Plus Ones and Kids - Taylor'd Events Group

I have said it before and I will say it again. The biggest way to save budget is to keep your guest count low. Once make your list and check it twice, it is inevitable that you will realize “Bob Smith” started dating that girl a couple months ago, and now you are left wondering if you should invite her to your wedding or not. There is no hard and fast rule on inviting or not inviting +1s and kids, but they are an easy way to cut down the number of guests. Not to mention, maybe you have strong feelings surrounding a kids-free party or not inviting new significant others (or complete strangers) you don’t know.

Kids Free Reception

  • State that the “Venue is 21+.” Put this on your wedding website, your save the dates, and your invitations. Set the precedence early and carry it through all the way.
  • Address your Save the Dates and Invites to indicate that only the adults of the family are invited. This means the invite should go to the adults only with no mention of the kids.
  • Spread the word to trusted family and close friends that it is an Adults-only wedding. This will allow them to speak up if another guests mentions something or asks if that is indeed the case.
  • If you are comfortable being explicit, add an “Adults Only” line to your Save the Dates, Wedding Website, and Invitations.
  • If you feel like this is going to be a major problem use your RSVP card as another indicator of how many are invited. The line where guests can write in the number attending opt for “____ of ____ attending.” This means that you would have to write in the number of people invited from that party in the second blank. While this is extra work in the beginning, it can save you a lot of headache later.
  • If a guest does RSVP for their kids, then call them in advance of the wedding and explain that there will be no kids at the wedding. While this will feel harsh, it is better to have a conversation prior to the wedding day versus the matter coming up on the day-of.
  • Newborns tend to be the one exception to this rule. 6 months or younger (especially the little ones that are under 3 months) will be attached to mom the whole night and are generally quiet. New parents will come for only a few short hours and are generally very aware of more than a peep.

To Add the +1 or not…

After you start to realize the per-person cost of each guest at your wedding, it is 100% understandable to be hesitant to keep +1’s limited. I personally don’t really count someone’s long-term significant other as a “plus one.” If you know their name, they are just another guest. I am talking about the single friends or the friends with a brand new significant other they met two months prior.

  • Address the envelope to the wedding guest only with no mention of “and guest.”
  • Check out my point above about the “___ of ___ attending.” That tactic also works when you are concerned someone is going to get a plus one.
  • Stay consistent. Don’t change up the rules for one person or another. I have seen this come back to haunt couples.
  • If this is someone in your bridal party or someone invited to another wedding related event (rehearsal dinner or day-after brunch) this plus -one should also be invited to that gathering.

 

Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding

Vashti and Antonio were in the throws of life’s craziness when they reached out. New jobs, finishing school, a move all while wanting to plan an elegant wedding across the country. We were all too happy when they wanted to get married at Maysara Winery in McMinville, Oregon. They were looking for an ultra romantic wedding that would leave their guests feeling like it was worth the cross-country trek.

Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography

We aren’t going to lie. We LOVE the consideration they put into not only the dress and the shoes but also to the groom’s attire. There are plenty of ways to surprise your soon-to-be husband with embroidered collars, handkerchiefs, engraved watches. We’ve got lots of ideas and adore the collar embroidery.

Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography HIS FACE SAYS IT ALL.

Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography V+A truly embraced the natural beauty of Maysara Winery. They added thoughtful touches of floral that really enhanced the outdoor space.

Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography

 

Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography
YES Friends, that is a reception dress. We are swoooning over that back and LOVING that the bride was able to truly enjoy the dancefloor. Don’t be afraid of the outfit change, just be sure to check with us so we can make it the smoothest transition possible. Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography Ultra Romantic Oregon Wine Country Wedding | Taylor'd Events Group | Bethany Small Photography

 

We couldn’t have envisioned a more perfect team of wedding pros to pull of this romantic affair! Truly grateful to all the pros who crafted up such a gorgeous day for such a deserving couple. Many thanks to the incredible team of wedding professionals who pulled out all the stops to craft the couple’s vision and given them a day they will never forget.

ALSO PUBLISHED in
Portland Bride and Groom
Winter/Spring 2017 Issue

 

{Planner:: Jen  with Taylor’d Events Group | Photography: Bethany Small Photography || Ceremony, Reception, and Wine:  Maysara Winery in McMininville, Oregon| Florist: Botanica Floral Design | Rentals: Barclay Events and Classic Vintage Rentals | Catering: Vibrant Table |DJ: All Wright Music | Lighting: Green Light Creative | Hair and Makeup: Powder Inc | Officiant: The Wedding Judge }

 

Ask the Expert | DJ Finalization Meeting with DJ Braden Landon

 

The DJ Finalization Meeting - Taylor'd Events Group - DJ Braden Landon

Here in the PNW, we are rapidly approaching wedding season. This means that our couples are heading into finalization meeting after finalization meeting and we are getting some of the same questions in preparation. Rather than answer these questions ourselves, we figured we would reach out to one of our favorite DJs Braden Landon to find out his answers and some of the fun ideas he has thanks to his years of experience.

  1. What are the top 5 (or 3) things a couple should consider and make sure to tell their DJ at their finalization meeting?

  • Go over the program for the evening together before the wedding in its entirety to make sure that the DJ knows everything that will be happening, what music is needed for each moment or period of time and what he or she will be announcing.
  • How to correctly pronounce people’s names
  • How many spaces at the venue guests will be gathering in throughout the wedding
  • If there is a Do Not Play List, then that is certainly important
  • Whether or not a couple would like their DJ to take requests

 

  1. How early do you suggest getting all of their songs and any requests on play/don’t play over to you?

When I first team up with a new couple, I tell them right away that we will want to either meet or schedule a phone call to finalize their music usually 1-2 weeks prior to the wedding. Every couple works on music at their own pace and that is totally ok. Some couples have all of their music decided on months in advance, and then sometimes I have couples who still don’t know their first dance just days before their wedding. Honestly, I want people to have fun with their music and I definitely don’t want anyone to stress about picking every single song, so even if a couple only picks the five or six most important songs for the entire evening, I can easily fill in the rest with similar music to what I know they like.

 

  1. How do you decide what to play during dancing?

My approach to music for a wedding is prepare everything ahead of time except for a couple’s dance music. Prelude, processional, bride’s song, grand entrance, first dance, etc. are all specific songs you need to know you have, know exactly when to play them, where to start them and when to fade them out in order be ready for those moments. When people are dancing it’s much different. Their energy can change at any moment and even though it’s easy for anyone to see when it happens, you just can’t predict when it will happen or what song will best fit each change in energy throughout the night. The best way to be prepared for a dance party is to have and to know a wide variety of music so that you can mix something like The Beatles with Taylor Swift Maroon 5 with Barry White if you have to. It’s a lot of fun.

 

  1. What is your favorite part of the entertainment for the night?

 My favorite point of entertainment before getting the dance party started are the toasts. I always encourage my couples to have fun with the way we introduce each toast, and my style is to make them very much like late night show introductions where the host says a quick intro about the guest who is about to speak and then play them up to the mic with music. The couple can write the intros any way they’d like and then, of course, pick whatever music they feel best fits each of they’re guests.

On the surface, it just seems like a fun way to bring entertainment to the end of dinner, but really it’s a great way to break the ice for those VIP guests who are usually nervous to speak in front of a crowd. If you surprise them with this intro and they walk up to a crowd who is already smiling, laughing and applauding, it instantly helps calm most Toaster’s nerves.

I also totally love sparkler send-offs. They are so much fun for everyone and the pictures always look amazing!

ONE FINAL PRO TIP FROM ME!

Consider the fact that your DJ is also your MC and therefore the voice of your party. Consider their personality and ask about how they like to run the evening before choosing someone to join your wedding team. For example, if you are looking for someone that can throw an epic dance party [not kidding!], is laid back, and keeps all the announcements focused on the couple by saying “The Newlyweds invite you to be seated for dinner” then Braden is your guy!

 

Ask the Expert | Room Blocks 101 | Where will they Stay?

Room Block 101 - Taylor'd Events Group - Where Will They Stay-

You know how we like to dive into the most glamorous of Wedding Planning topics, so here we are bringing you some words of wisdom from our friends over at Where Will They Stay.  Room Blocks don’t generally come to mind as part of wedding planning, but after booking a venue this is one of the first things you should check off the list. Many couples have a large group of guests traveling in nowadays. Opting for room blocks allows you to simplify logistics such as transportation or pre/post wedding events by keeping all of your guests together.  Luckily, we have the Where Will They Stay team on speed dial and they help us pull together hotel options for many of our couples. We are so thankful to have them sharing some of their wisdom on our blog today!

 

Contract vs. Courtesy Block - Where Will They Stay- - Taylor'd Events Group

 

  1. How soon should guests reach out about room blocks? Does it differ based on the location of their wedding (as in, are some cities harder to find room blocks for than others).

We recommend starting the hotel booking process a year in advance, but our average client contacts us 9 months in advance. The important part is that the ceremony/venue location has been decided on, as that is often the key factor in where you’d like your guests to stay.

Different cities have different challenges- college towns may be impacted by graduation dates or football games; mid-large size cities could be hosting conferences, and popular tourism cities can be impacted by their high or low seasons. Your wedding venue representative or the local tourism bureau can often be helpful in double checking your desired dates against what may be going in the city that could make it harder to find hotel rooms or drive up the pricing to higher than normal.


  • How many hotels do you suggest guests reserve? Is there a number per overall guest count?Feedback from our clients over the years has been that the couple and wedding guests have the best experience when everyone is at the same hotel. That way friends and family get the chance to reunite/get to know each other before the big day comes! Whether it’s hanging out at the hotel bar, at the pool, or just running into friends in the elevator- those experiences offer the chance for memorable meet-ups. In cases where pricing needs of family/friends might be different, we see clients offering two hotel choices- one at a higher price point and one at a lower.
  • Are there ever reasons you don’t suggest a couple does a contract block?  It really depends on the specific scenario, but to answer a slightly different question- if the best choice of hotels is a contracted block, we recommend being really clear with guests about the importance of staying at the chosen hotel on the Save the Date card, invite and on the wedding website. Also- extras like offering shuttle service to/from the wedding venue from there or hosting a supplemental event there like a rehearsal dinner, or brunch will help encourage family and friends to stay there and minimize any risk of not filling a block of rooms contracted.

 

 

One Final Room Block Tip from me!

Creating a Contract or Courtesy Block allows you to pull a list of which guests are staying at which hotel. If you are doing Welcome Bags or Notes this is an important thing to have. You can label all the guest bags with their confirmation numbers and arrival dates making it that much more likely that every guest will get their bags.

“Winery Romance” at Weddings in Woodinville 2017

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Friends, this year we had the unique opportunity to take on TWO VENUES for the 2017 Weddings in Woodinville. If you missed it, head here to see Alex’s take on “Minimal, but Dramatic” at Hollywood Schoolhouse. Enough about that, let’s focus in on Jen’s take on “Winery Romance” at Novelty Hill Januik.

Jen loves colors and when the show arrives she is ready for Spring and to start showing off color!   The theme for this year was Winery Romance, was inspired by the romantic elegance of Spain and France with bold colors and metallic accents to showcase the modern lines of the winery. Our tables showed off ways to mix bold colors — blues, greens, pops of pinks, orange and reds that paired with brass candlesticks.

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery
Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

I Do Bridal provided us the perfect STATEMENT dress in the ceremony area. Who wants to wear a floral dress? Someone give us a “YES!” What about an outfit change? This would be such a fun reception dress.

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Our model was all dolled up by Anne Timss Makeup and Beauty then buttoned into this fabulous lace dress. We loved showing off how the elegant lace pairs so perfectly with the modern lines of Novelty Hill Januik Winery.Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery
Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

To compliment the colorful and creative vibe of the “Winery Romance” Midori Bakery went all out and hung a cake from the ceiling.

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

This year Chef Seth showcased their smoker and came out from behind the kitchen to show off his skills and it was a great hit!

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

The Bridal Suite at Novelty Hill Januik Winery is one of our favorites. Endless natural light and those big gorgeous windows for photos.

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

The Cellar Room is used on the Wedding Day as the Groom’s Room. It is also a stunning rehearsal dinner space, or perfect for a small gathering. We loved how Fena Flowers dressed it up for the show this year.

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Once again, the 12 Lounge was a huge hit with make your own Banh Mi sandwiches and of course Midori went all out with another grooms cake example. This year we were lucky enough to have Groot from Guardian of the Galaxy.

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

Weddings in Woodinville | Taylor'd Events Group | Alante Photography | Novelty Hill Januik Winery

To all of our couples, potential couples, peers, and friends — THANK YOU for joining us at another Weddings in Woodinville. We are already planning for next year and will be back in one venue. The real question here — will we be influenced by Jen’s love of bright colors or the rest of the teams love of subtle pops? You’ll have to come and see next year!

{Planner: Jen of Taylor’d Events Group | Venue: Novelty Hill Januik Winery |Photographer: Alante Photography |Floral: Fena Flowers | DJ: Bugsie Productions | Hair and Makeup: Anne Timss Makeup and Hair| Rentals: Pedersen’s Event Rentals | Cake: Midori Bakery | Invitations & Signage: Perfect Press Invitations | Jeweler: T. Anthony Jewelers | Dresses: I DO Bridal | Gift Boxes: Hummingbird and Holly | Mobile Cocktails: Perfect Pour Cocktail Co. | Indoor Mini Golf: Golf-to-Go | Transportation: Butler Seattle – Valet, Transportation and Tour Specialists}

 

Wedding Etiquette || Service Charge vs. Gratuity

Wedding Etiquette - Service Charge versus Gratuity - Taylor'd Events Group

It is all too common for couples to receive back their banquet event order (BEO) from the caterer and be incredibly confused that the $50 per person dinner now has multiple layers of taxes, fees, and gratuity added on. For almost every couple I work with, we end up chatting about the difference between the service charge and gratuity. So here we are… Let’s break these fees down.

Explain this “Service Charge”

The service charge is a mandatory and automatic fee that is added to your catering or venue contract. This charge and any other fees are almost always listed in the fine print on the bottom of the documents when you get those initial price brochures. Most Seattle caterers, venues and hotels charge a 20-22% charge (The full range I have seen is 18-24%). This is applied to the entire bill — food, beverage, staffing, any upgrade charges.

What does the Service Charge pay for?

The exact breakdown of what this service charge covers is different for each caterer/venue. If you want a list of that vendor’s specific breakdown, don’t be afraid to ask for an itemized breakdown. Speaking in general terms, the service charge covers the venue/caterer’s labor and administrative costs. An “Event Production Fee” or “the cost of doing business” are some other options of how to think of it. Some examples of where this fee goes are dishwashing, facility maintenance, packing for the event, travel time to and from the event, walk-throughs, floorplans, the sales staff’s time they spent planning with you, etc.

Service Charge Vs. Gratuity - Taylor'd Events Group

Before booking a caterer/venue, be sure that their proposal has the “all-inclusive cost” and all fees and taxes are included in that estimate. If you don’t receive this “all-inclusive cost”, but sign your contract, you will get your full all-inclusive bill that is about 30% (22% service charge + Seattle Tax of 9.6%) higher than what you had budgeted for.

PRO TIP:: When you receive your initial quote that states $60.00++, those two pluses signify all those taxes and fees. Be sure to ask to see an example of a final quote.

What is gratuity?

Definition:: Something given voluntarily or beyond obligation for someone who has performed a service.

Just as you would tip your waitstaff at a restaurant or your hairstylist for great service, you tip your waitstaff and bartenders. (Have more questions about Tipping… check out our tips on that here.) Gratuity to the staff isn’t something you are obligated to do, however, I will say that is pretty customary. Double check your catering contract, as some caterers include this in their initial estimate. Others will leave a line on the final invoice where you can write in the gratuity either before or after the event and run it through with the final payment. If you would prefer to provide the gratuity in cash, place it in a sealed envelope and have a family member or friend give it to the lead server at the end of the night.

Sales Tax

Please remember in the the State of Washington sales tax is charged on top of both the subtotal and the service charge. Some basic math looks like this::

Catering Bill Breakdown - Taylor'd Events Group

What other questions does this bring up? Leave us a comment below and we will answer!

“Alex made our wedding day exactly what I had pictured (even though a wedding was something we had ever pictured for ourselves).  We wanted a non-traditional, casual, fun day and that was exactly what we got.”