It’s wedding season; here’s some tips from the professionals
It’s the commitment of a lifetime, the time we make vows before clergymen, magistrates, brides, grooms, families and guests.
It’s the biggest emotional investment we make in our lifetimes, as well as one of the biggest financial investments (with the exception of homes, college educations, and high-powered or luxury automobiles). The average wedding now costs $26,000 and can ring in at triple that figure in the most expensive cities.
June is the most popular month of the year for weddings, so here we are in the thick of wedding season. (January, incidentally, is the least popular month for weddings.) More than 2 million weddings are staged each year, and they hit a peak of 2.5 million in 1984. With numbers like that, weddings have become a huge industry.
The Rose Hotel is pleased to represent a modest slice of the business by being one of the venues of choice for local nuptials and wedding nights.
“The Rose Hotel’s role in the wedding process is to help make the couple’s special day a memorable experience by providing elegant surroundings and discreet, impeccable service to all members of the bridal party,” says hotel sales manager Tom Walker. “Brides look their best standing on the spiral staircase in the main lobby surrounded by cherry wood paneling, wrought iron railings, wall murals and fresh roses.”
Many of The Rose Hotel’s guests opt for the Romance Package of chilled champagne, Swiss chocolates and a bouquet of fresh roses and pedals.
The many considerations that need to be taken into account on one’s wedding day were underscored last week on the KQED radio program Forum by guests Kathryn Storke, founder and editor of the wedding blog SnippetAndInk.com, and Meg Keene, executive editor of the website APracticalWedding.com, and author of A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration .
Want to really make your wedding day special? Keene suggests starting with your vows rather than the guest list and decorations. Take it a step further and write a “mission statement” for the event. Example: Keene says for her own wedding she and the groom decided they “wanted to have the people that we loved most there, have a good party, and have a religious service.”
As they moved into the planning process, the mission statement allowed them to stay on track by repeatedly coming back to the wedding’s real focus.
Storke also used a mission statement, and hers said nothing about how she wanted the wedding to look, instead focusing on celebrating with friends and family who she wanted to witness the event.
“One of the things that allowed me to enjoy my own wedding was letting go of my expectations for that day,” Storke says. That means not getting attached to notions of how you’re going to feel, look, and even what the cake will look and taste like.
Keene concurred by saying, “I don’t think there’s enough focus on simply enjoying your wedding.”
Don’t over-emphasize flowers, motifs and other visual affectations, Keene says, because brides and grooms tend to remember how they feel far more than how they and their surroundings looked.
She also warns against the unwritten rule that the first thing to cut when trying to save money is the guest list.
“I think it’s fairly horrible advice,” she says. “Not having people you love there so you can have really nice photographs, for example, is for most people not a great tradeoff.”
Storke suggests first deciding who needs to be on your guest list, then figure out what you can afford to feed them. “Even if that’s cake and punch then everybody gets to be there and it’s still a celebration,” she says.
To that end, the women said food trucks have become a popular and less expensive alternative to caterers. Indeed, one of the program’s callers said she invited the Kasa Indian food truck from San Francisco restaurant Kasa Indian Eatery to economize her wedding.
“It’s a lot less expensive than traditional catering,” she says. “It’s going to arrive, feed the guests and then leave.”
Also coming into vogue are potluck weddings.
Not to be left entirely out of the discussion, a caterer called to urge brides and grooms to make sure to eat. “So often people are so caught up in everyone else having a good time they don’t have time to eat,” she says, “and it can wreak havoc with your mood.”
Another caller told the story of inviting people to his house for a party that, to the guests’ astonishment, turned out to be a surprise wedding, (another trend).
Plan your wedding well. Visit Storke’s blog and Keene’s website for advice. And remember that The Rose Hotel is always prepared to be at your service on your wedding day.