5 Reasons Why Having Less Guests Will Still Be Great

Definitely Get the Group Shot! Photo: @fran_sauce

I’ve been watching a lot of wedding envy lately…wedding shame…wedding SHAMING..around small weddings. You wish you could afford more than 100 guests. Your family is giving you a hard time about having less guests. First of all, you should have the wedding you want. And, “want” is about a lot of things. And, most of all, you should have a wedding you love, where you have no regrets. I had a small wedding myself, five million years ago, and it was wonderful. Here are five upsides:

  1. 1. You can get all of your guests in one group shot. One, frameable, picture of everyone who was at your wedding. Mobile home screen suitable, and a delight to all. Not so easy to do with 300 guests.

2. You know, for sure, that you’ll be able to talk to everyone. Because there will be less people you have to get to. More interaction = more fun. And more fun is always the goal.

3. Smaller dance floors mean a bigger party. A smaller dance floor + less guests = a Rave. If you can, rent one. If there is already a dance floor at your venue, crowd around it with tables, chairs and furniture. If you have a photobooth, dessert table, move them as close to the dance floor as possible. And then, dance, dance, dance!

4. Only the people you really wanted to be there, are there. Weddings are the best – and happiest – opportunity to get everyone you love and like in one room. Small weddings usually mean that those are just the only people you have in the room!

5. You’ll save money. Because let’s be serious. Each guest is a meal (at the prerequisite $99+ per person) two appetizers, three drinks, a piece of cake. One centerpiece for a table of ten. And that’s not counting favors. This is why the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $25,000. The average in Los Angeles, where I am, is around $32,000. The money you’re going to save by having a smaller wedding could go towards a house downpayment, grad school, a honeymoon. If those are your priorities, don’t be ashamed of them. And at the end of the day, you’re still married. And that’s what everyone is there for, too.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith

What else does your wedding need right now? Go to our Contact page to schedule a consultation, email me directly at liz@silvercharmevents.com, or call/text me at 323-592-9318.

 

 

Wedding Wise Wednesday: Princess For A Day

Cool Wedding Thing of the Week

Brides Magazine: A wedding in the Philippines featuring Disney Princess Bridesmaid dresses (!!!). I love this, and for some reason, the Ariel dress just KILLS me. You must click through for more pictures, the bride and groom serenaded each other with “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, while pictures were projected on her wedding dress. I LOVE the stuff couples come up with. You are welcome!

Cool, too

Martha Stewart Weddings – How to Create Your Own Candy Buffet. Down to how and where to get everything. I love Martha, sometimes.

The Deals

Groupon

Groupon – 10Ft. 300-LED Warm White String Curtain Light for only $12.99.  I saw this, and thought, perfect for an arch, or to bring a little more Pretty and Light to an outdoor reception. GO.

What else do you need right now to create the day you want? Let’s talk about your wedding! Contact me or call/text 323-592-9318 to schedule a consultation.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith

 

 

Ask Liz: Giving the Groom His Thing.

Dear Liz:

My daughter is getting married next month. I’ve been helping her plan the wedding for almost a year now, and it’s going to be a beautiful, elegant celebration. Her father and I very close with her fiance, he’s quiet and reserved and a wonderful person, but he also likes superhero movies and video games. At my husband’s birthday party last month, he told me that he wanted to do a special performance in the middle of the reception. He wants it to be a special surprise for my daughter, but he told me because he needs my help to keep it a secret until it happens. When he explained that it would involve Star Wars stormtrooper costumes and music, I nodded but didn’t really say anything. But he brought it up again this week, and I think he might be serious. I asked him how long he thinks the whole thing would take, and he and his friends would have to leave the reception for at least 45 minutes to get changed and ready, and then perform for 20 minutes. He can’t just disappear for 45 minutes! It doesn’t fit in with what we’ve planning for the night – their wedding is supposed to be a stylish, grand evening, and I’m afraid he’s going to ruin it. How do I get him to change his mind?

Signed,

Mortified MOB

Dear MM,

Okay, full disclosure: I’m a little bit of a geek, so this actually sounds kind of cool to me! Plus, in my experience, guests love this stuff. Groomsmen rap battles, choreographed wedding party dances, skits, go over really, really well. Trust me, people dig it.
That being said, I know she’s your kid, and you have this vision of what her day should be, but that’s her guy. She knows him, and she knows what he’s like. It’ll be a surprise for her, but not really a surprise, you know what I mean? And, if he’s been talking about it for a while now, odds are he’s sure she’ll be cool with it. Plus, it’s his wedding, too, and he should have something that he wants in it.

Don’t make him stop, help him make it work.

Because, you’re right, he definitely can’t disappear for 45 minutes in the middle of the wedding. It will be noticed, to say the least! Honestly, he’s got about 15 minutes before your daughter looks around and wonders where her new husband is, then asks if anyone knows where her new husband is, then sends someone out to go look for her new husband. After that, she’s going to start looking for him herself, which turns it into a whole new thing. I’m guessing he thinks it will take 45 minutes because he has to go…somewhere else… to get to the costumes and change? He should talk to the reception venue about finding a closer room to do all that, so he can cut prep time to the 15-minute vague “He’s probably in the bathroom” window. Ask him if he can trim the “show” time down by a few minutes, too. Explain to him that it’s a cool reveal, but 20 minutes is the length of four Saturday Night Live sketches. Four. He wants to keep people happy that it’s happening instead of hoping that it’s going to end. And, bonus, the less time it takes up, the better you’ll feel about it, too. Shorter is sweeter.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz
Are you trying to figure out how to to make your cool wedding thing work? Go to my contact page or email me directly at liz@silvercharmevents.com

Are you following me on Instagram @lizcharm? You should be.

Join Me At The Bruncheon on April 9!

I’m thrilled to be invited to speak as a wedding expert panelist at The Bruncheon on April 9th! There’s definitely a twist – instead of a traditional bridal show, Brides and grooms will enjoy brunch and mimosas while participating in a Q&A session with some of L.A.’s top wedding professionals. It’s your opportunity to get all your questions about Wedding World answered, one on one. Join us! Save 20% on your tickets with the code CHEERS.

See you at the end of the aisle (and at the show),

Liz Coopersmith

What else is bugging you about your wedding right now? Contact me or email liz@silvercharmevents.com and tell me what you need.

Ask Liz: You vs. Your Venue Search

Dear Liz,
My biggest challenge is finding an affordable venue. I keep going back to a local community center, but it’s not what I’d like. Help!
Signed,
Suffering and Settling For Less

Dear Suffering,

You know, as I get older, I’m finding that all cliches are true. It’s probably why they are so annoying, actually. So, here’s another one: It’s only settling if you give up. I know you might be tired of looking, but that’s not the same as running out of options. Suggestions from my past and current weddings? Local historic and art museums tend to be inexpensive – the wedding in the pic above was at the Monrovia Historical Center. One of my brides is got married at an Elks Lodge with killer mountain views. Women’s clubs. Google “(state) owned wedding sites.”Google “(city) organization banquet halls.” Check out your park system. You’d be surprised what you can find in a park. Libraries are good, too. City owned public golf courses are really showing up for weddings. I was at a bridal show held by one this weekend, the reception hall was gorgeous (check my instagram) and  I was blown away at how reasonably-priced it was, with catering! Go to http://www.countryclubreceptions.com for a national list.  Don’t settle, don’t suffer, just search.  You’ll find a better place – it’s always darkest before the dawn, etc. Sucks, but it’s true!

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith

Do you need help finding a venue? Is your wedding planning list starting to get overwhelming? Let’s talk about your wedding – Contact me through the website or directly at liz@silvercharmevents.com or 323-592-9318.

Ask Liz: Your Venue Manager vs. Your Coordinator. GO!

The original question came from my column  a ways back on The Broke Ass Bride. The answer has been updated, because there is so much more, you guys!

 

Dear Liz,
I really like the idea of asking a friend to be a stage manager for the wedding, or possibly hiring a professional as a day-of coordinator. The venue where we’re getting married has their person, who is the one managing both the catering and the venue logistics. She said she wouldn’t recommend bringing a planner in, since they tend to be grumpy, and she’s got it covered. Should I just trust that she’ll do what we want? We have a meeting well ahead of the rehearsal to discuss exact timing for the ceremony, for example, and her staff will even set up all the centerpieces and escort cards if we leave them there. Or, should I risk stepping on her toes and bring in someone who’s just focused on us? Am I worrying too much, or should I just appreciate the level of service the venue is offering?
Signed,
Day-of Dilemma

Dear Dilemma,
I’ve worked a few weddings in the past where after a couple of meetings I kind of think, “Okay, well, why am I here?” And the answer is “insurance.” Having someone there who, as you say, is just there for you, to be your advocate and emissary in case the things you’re really worried about (whatever those are) go wonky. You want to enjoy the day, and have someone else carry your very specific wedding vision checklist.

From your venue manager’s perspective, however, that’s great as long as no one is questioning her every move, getting in her way, or trying to fix a system that’s not broken. The inevitable “I’ll do it!” vs. “No, WE do it” conflict is probably what she meant by “grumpy”!  So, be very clear with your friend – if you do decide to “hire” her – as to what her responsibilities should be. I’d focus on four things: Pre-wedding tasks – delivering placecards and favors to the venue to set up, morning errands like picking up your bouquet from the florist so you can have them for getting-ready shots. What do you need and when do you need it? Vendor management on the day of – Do they have the resources and time to do the best jobs they can? Bridal and wedding party wrangling – where is everyone, and where do they need to be and when?  Break-down – what needs to get tossed, sent back to whatever company it came from, or taken by friends and family? That can be a scramble at the end of the night, especially if you have a deadline to get out of the space. But,the most important thing for her to do, and the the first things she should do,  is to to ask the venue coordinator how she can facilitate what is already being done. How can she help the venue staff help you? That’s the way that everyone wins.

Do you have any burning wedding questions right now? Contact me and let me know what’s up!

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith

John and Colette Photography

Are you following me on Instagram @lizcharm? You should be.

 

Wedding Wise Wednesday – Megan And Jin on Reverie Gallery

Every Wednesday, I bring you the best wedding stories,deals, and events in Los Angeles and from around the web. And we call it Wedding Wise Wednesday. Welcome!

Cool Wedding Thing of the Week

Okay, so truthfully, this isn’t going to be as much of a post as it is a brag: Megan and Jin’s wedding at the Ebell of Long Beach  is on Reverie Gallery today! It’s even prettier than I remembered. I did double duty as coordinator and as a Great Officiant , and it was such a beautiful wedding. You must see the rest of the pictures, click here to have your day made like mine was.

The Events

Country Club Receptions Wedding Show Weekend is, well, this Weekend. Click for specific dates and times. BUT, speaking of me, I’m going to be at Brookside Golf Club on Friday, March 10 from 5pm – 8pm, and El Dorado Park Golf Course in Long Beach on Sunday, March 12, from 4pm – 7pm. I’m (timely)representing Great Officiants at both. Drop by and say hi.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith

I’d love to find out more about your wedding, and what you need to create the wedding you want. Go to my contact page or email me directly at liz@silvercharmevents.com to get started.

Are you following me on Instagram @lizcharm? You should be. Photo: Katie Pritchard

Ask Liz: Nice Day for A…Dry Wedding?

Taken from one of my columns for The Broke Ass Bride

Photo: What2Cook – click for the recipe for this yumminess

Dear Liz,
For a couple of reasons, not just because of the money, we’re not serving alcohol at our wedding. A lot of people think it’s weird, and I’m worried that they’re not going to have a good time on our day. I’ve been trying to think of games or something to keep them entertained, or some way to make up for it, like a lemonade or soda bar? Do you have any other ideas I could do?
Signed,

Determined to Dry

Dear Dry,

Before you do any of that, I have to tell you one thing — if you don’t serve alcohol, a lot of guests are going to leave your wedding early. It’s not an admonition, it’s a warning. I like all of your ideas — they can’t have lemon schnapps, so give them lemonade — but the first thing you need to do is figure out how to structure the day.

Three suggestions:
1. If you want to try to keep as many people in the room for as long as possible, keep the surprises coming. Don’t pull out everything all at once. So, sodas (old-fashioned bottles of Coke? Mexican sodas with pure sugar? Your favorite soda and his favorite soda — your “signature” sodas?) and/or an ice cream/Popsicle bar during the social hour, and then the lemonade bar during the first half of the reception. Serve everyone another drink for the toasts. I kind of like the bottles of coke for toasts, actually, they make a satisfying and celebratory clink. Open up a candy buffet right after the toasts. 30 minutes after that, some sort of group thing on the dance floor. Couples dance? Hula hoop contest? Big group picture? Followed by another dessert or game? You can even print up a timeline with all the various events on them — can’t leave before 8pm, because you’re going to miss the S’mores bar! And, finally, interact with your guests as often and as much as possible, but spread it out over the night. Pictures with each table are a must, and they will take up time. Make it fun.

AND/OR

2. Think Compact. You have your ceremony and reception site for a certain amount of time, and you can do whatever you want with that time, like, not use all of it. If you have five hours for your reception, wrap it up in four or even three hours. Don’t linger between events — Social hour to dinner, toss the toasts into the middle of the entrees, parents dances, cut the cake, dance to a couple of your favorite songs, visit each guest table, toss the bouquet and book out. Less money spent on the DJ, no clean-up late at night after a long, long day. You can hang with your honey for the rest of the night, or invite people back to the hotel for tea and coffee. Or, hey, after-party at Starbucks? I would LOVE to see pictures of that!

OR
3. Realize that it’s going to happen, don’t worry about it, and just deal. It’s not a reflection on you, you’re doing what’s right for you. If people start to leave, enjoy the rest of the night with the rest of your guests. It’s going to be a wonderful night.

Wanna talk about your wedding? Email me at liz@silvercharmevents.com or go to Contact and let me know what you need right now.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith

Are you following me on Instagram @lizcharm? You should be.

Wedding Wise Wednesday: Heroes For Just One Day

Every Wednesday, I bring you the best wedding stories, deals and events in Los Angeles and from around the  web.

Cool Wedding Thing of the Week

What happens in Vegas ends up on my blog this week. I looked at this and thought, “wait, is that a reference to Iron Man on her shoes? And is that Iron Man on the bottom of his tie?” Fan girl squee! If you scroll down in the Tropicana’s instagram feed, there’s a closeup of her shoes and their wedding rings, too. Vegas is definitely the place to do you.

The Events

Sunday, March 5
10:00am-4:00pm
Bride World
Fairplex
1861 Fairplex Drive
Pomona, California 91768
Admission: $6 online, $12 at the door

Mark Your Calendar
Wedding Show Weekend
March 10-12

Next weekend over 40 country clubs and golf courses across the nation will host wedding shows for engaged couples. Click the link for locations, but I’M going to be at Brookside Golf Club for Great Officiants in Pasadena on Friday, March 10, from 5pm – 8pm, and on Sunday at Rec Park in Long Beach. Drop by and say Hi.

The Deals

The Original Runner Company – Their Annual Sale is ON. 20% off custom aisle runners, $15% off solid aisle runners, 10% off glitter aisle runners. This is one my favorite runner companies. GO.

What else do you need for your wedding day? Let’s talk about your wedding: Fill out our contact form, or email us directly at liz@silvercharmevents.com for a consultation or quote.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith

Are you following me on Instagram @lizcharm? You should be.

Ask Liz: Guest List Deadlines vs. Mom

Photo: Courtney Ortiz via HGTV

Dear Liz:

My wedding is in September, and I know I’ve got to get my invitations out by June. My big problem with that right now are my in-laws.  I’m really starting to look at ordering invitations, and I need their list!! I had another conversation with his Mom last week, and she was pretty insistent that there were certain people that needed to be invited, and she’d get a list to me over the weekend, but she’s been saying this since Christmas. And, I didn’t get anything from her this weekend, of course. I don’t want to come across as pushy and I don’t want to be mean, but am I doing something wrong? Is there a way to ask so that she’ll get them to me?

Signed,

Waiting on FMIL

Dear Waiting,

No, there’s not. She knows she has time, and frankly, getting addresses together is the kind of pain in the butt task that the word “procrastination” was invented for. Practice the kind of patience and strategic thinking that will serve you well through your married life. You can’t get her to work with you, then go the back way. Ask your fiance who he thinks is going to be on her list, and get those names on paper, or better yet, in a spreadsheet, or better yet, in a google docs spreadsheet you can link to. Names only. Send the spreadsheet to her, and ask her to add any names – NAMES ONLY – that she thinks are missing. Tell her you’ve found invites you love, and at this point, the only (ONLY) thing you need to know is how many to buy, can she look at the list you and her son put together and fill in who she thinks is missing? Can she do this by (whatever) date? You are so excited, you found invitations you love, and you want to order them right away so you can have them! But, how many do you need? Something like that, with that attitude. She fills the list in, you’re halfway there.Order the invites. When you get the invitations, ask her to fill in the addresses, by (whatever) date. Offer to have her son help track people down. In the meantime, order your stamps and set up your website, so you’re ready to go when you’re ready to go. There will be straggler names and addresses. Check in with her regularly on that, sending her the link to the spreadsheet whenever you do. Again, patience is required, but It will get done.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith

Let’s talk about your wedding – Contact me to get more information, or email me at liz@silvercharmevents.com.