Wedding Planning 101: Budgeting Breakdown
 

It’s time to talk wedding budgets. To reduce wedding planning stress, it’s important to plan your budget in advance. You’ll want to make sure you and your fiancé are on the same page about what your top spending priorities are – and what you’ll be able to compromise on. 

In 2017, the average couple spent $33,391 on their wedding (excluding the honeymoon). Let’s start by seeing how the average budget breaks down: 

 Source:  The Knot

Source: The Knot

Allocating Funds

Typically, your reception will eat up the bulk of your budget. To avoid any surprises, you’ll want to plan accordingly and be sure to leave a rainy day fund for unexpected costs. 

  • Stationery: 2–3%

  • Wedding rings: 2–3%

  • Parking and transportation: 2–3%

  • Gifts: 2–3%

  • Misc. costs: 8%

  • Reception: 48–50%

  • Ceremony: 2–3%

  • Attire: 8–10%

  • Flowers: 8–10%

  • Entertainment/music: 8–10%

  • Photography/videography: 10–12%

  Photo Courtesy of Jodi Gray Photography.

Photo Courtesy of Jodi Gray Photography.

Venue Cost:

One of the first things you’ll have to decide on is your wedding venue. There’s a myriad of options out there and you might consider everything from a barn to a ballroom – but no matter what you choose, this will most likely be the biggest line item on your budget. 

The average venue costs $5,400 (source) and most couples spend between $2,700 to $10,500. 

 

Things to keep in mind: 

There are a number of factors that can impact your venue cost.  

  • Date: One of the biggest things that can impact your venue cost is your wedding date. A Friday or Saturday wedding will typically cost more than an event that takes place during the week or on Sunday. If you’re looking to save, consider a Sunday brunch wedding! 

  • Tone: The more formal, the more expensive. A formal wedding means creating an overall upscale vibe – and things like a seated meal, fancy band, and all out decor can quickly add up. 

  • Guest count: At Revolution Mill Events we offer flat rate pricing for our venue for up to 200 guests. But keep in mind that you’ll be paying per person for catering so the more people you have the more you’ll be spending.

  • Outside vendor fee: Many venues have approved vendor lists or will charge a fee if you hire a vendor outside of their approved list. At The Colonnade, Pepper Moon Catering is proud to offer seamless event management and exclusive catering. We require that all food (with the exception of cakes and specialty desserts), beverage, and equipment rentals must be secured through our team. However, contracted vendors are welcome to provide other goods and services without an additional fee. 

  • Parking: Keep in mind that if you select a downtown venue or a venue with valet parking your guests (or you) may end up paying parking fees. Both of our venues offer ample free parking, including a large amount of handicap spots. 


  Photo courtesy of Danielle Defayette Photography.

Photo courtesy of Danielle Defayette Photography.

What equipment is included? 

When comparing venue costs, you’ll want to keep in mind what the venue rental fee includes. Does it include basic furniture, flatware or linens?  

77 percent of venues include tables and chairs, but this is something you’ll want to verify. 

At The Colonnade, our rental fees include standard tables, chairs and accessories. Every package includes: 

  • (25) 60” Round Tables

  • (3) 48” Round Tables

  • (6) 6’ x 30” Tables

  • (20) 8’ x 30” Tables

  • (8) 30” Tall Cocktail Tables

  • Podium

  • Decorative Easel

  • Banquet Chairs

  • Base linen package

  • Audio/visual equipment



Calculate your costs

Starting to panic about how much this is all going to cost? The Knot offers a free Wedding Budget Calculator to help make sure you’re allocating your funds to the right places. Check it out here

If you’re looking for more details on what The Colonnade includes with our rental, check out our Wedding Guide here.  

 
Revolution Mill Events: Allyssa and Dustin
 

While Florence prevented a handful of out of town family members from making it, Allyssa and Dustin still ended up having a fantastic day – Hurricane Florence and all. The couple even collected rain from their wedding day. They made the best of it, because they knew nothing was going to stop them from saying “I do.” 

The proposal

The couple got engaged on August 2, 2017. After a long day at work, they went to dinner at Village Tavern. 

“He seemed distracted with his phone while at dinner but I didn’t think anything of it. We stopped by Sheetz after dinner for him to pick up some beer... When we got home there was a dog crate in the living room and my dog was sniffing the crate. As soon as I realized there was a puppy in the crate, I lost it. I have a passion for dogs so I was beside myself. I dropped to my knees in tears and hugged our newest addition. When I finally turned around to look at Dustin he was holding a little box. He then got down on his knee and asked to marry me. To this day he still thinks I haven’t fully answered his proposal question because I was too excited about getting a puppy. He put the ring on my finger and the first thing I thought is we have to go show my parents. Dustin opened the front door and my family and our closest friends came running in with champagne. It was the greatest proposal. August 2nd, 2017 will forever be one of my favorite days.” 

The planning process

The couple’s biggest takeaway was that you should ALWAYS have an indoor option, especially during hurricane season! Luckily, Revolution Mill Events works with every couple to make sure they have a backup plan in place, just in case the worst case scenario happens. Preparing a thorough rain plan ahead of time ensures you’ll love every element of your day and won’t have to stress about little details day of.

We can’t thank each vendor enough for going above and beyond to make the couple’s wedding day great… even in adverse conditions! 

Hair Stylist: Blush and Bobbys 
Make-up: Alex Quate
Event Rentals: Party Reflections

Planner/Day of Coordinator: Relish Design Company
Photographer: Gabriel Van Heyking Photography 
DJ: Jason Barnes Marketing
Floral Designer: Blooms & Thistle

 

“Your wedding is about you and your significant other, no one else. It’s hard to remember that sometimes when trying to accommodate everyone’s needs. Even if things don’t go as planned on the big day, in the end you are married and that’s is all that matters! Enjoy every minute of it, it goes by quick!” – Allyssa, Bride

Décor

Allyssa and Dustin opted for a color scheme of purple, blush, gray, and gold. 

The décor featured several DIY elements, including a handful of personalized signs. Allyssa said she loved creating the personalized mirror signs, which included the welcome sign, bridal party, and seating chart. 

“I loved writing my own signs for the wedding and yes, I would do it again!” – Allyssa, Bride

Food and drink

The wedding party enjoyed a cocktail hour with passed appetizers that included caprese skewers; cheddar biscuits filled with Virginia ham, granny smith apples, and honey mustard; and bacon-wrapped sweet potato. Multiple guests, including the bride, were vegetarian, so meatless cheddar biscuits were prepared for them. 

The dinner buffet included tossed garden salad, grilled chicken breast, oven roasted vegetables, smashed potatoes, and assorted rolls. The vegetarian entrée was a zucchini boat stuffed with chickpeas, Mediterranean vegetables, and balsamic glaze.

A family friend made the dessert buffet.  

 

Venue

The groom’s grandfather grew up in the Mill – and this special connection to The Colonnade made the couple’s decision about venue even easier.  

They were also drawn to the old industrial beauty of the space and the windows.  

 
Your Timeline: The Key to Your Wedding Day Success 
 

The following is a guest post written by Larry Martin of A & A Disc Jockey Service. For more on A & A, visit their website or call (336) 292-5446.


Why have a timeline

  Photo by Jamie Blow Photography

Photo by Jamie Blow Photography

A complete wedding timeline will cover everything from arrival of the vendors, pinning on boutonnieres, to what time linens will arrive. For our purposes, because it's the part of the day I'm involved in, I'm going to focus on the timeline for the celebration. 

You absolutely MUST know your objectives. A wedding celebration consists of a lot of moving pieces. Think of it like a jig saw puzzle. If you have no idea what it is supposed to look like once it's complete, then it is more difficult to put all the pieces together in the proper order. Find your vision for what you want it to look and feel like.

Ask yourself some questions about your dream celebration: 

  • How do you want your guests to feel about your day? 

  • What do you want them to say about your celebration as they drive home that night? 

  • What are the most important memories you want to have when it is over? 

Once you have a clear idea of a destination or your goals, determining the correct path will be much easier!

In the southeast, most of the wedding receptions average about 4 hours in length. Roughly, they usually break down this way: Approximately an hour for cocktail hour, about an hour for the meal, and then that leaves 2 hours for several traditional activities (bouquet, garter, formal departure, etc.) and open dancing. This is usually enough time for everything you wish to do, however you can always add more time if you like.

 

Purpose of a Timeline

1. It establishes your goals for the event. 

2. It sets out YOUR priorities for your event. If you don’t set them, someone else will. 

3. It assures things that are important to you are done and not overlooked in the excitement of the moment. 

4. It allows you to set the tempo and mood for your celebration.

5. You can use it to arrange activities in a way that flows smoothly and tells your “love story”.

There are certain activities that must be established and demand specific time allotments, so those must be set first to build a logical time. Keep in mind that almost anything you include in your timeline can be planned for and worked around. Anything that happens that isn't in your timeline, simply puts you behind schedule and cuts into other activities. 

  Photo by Danielle Defayette Photography

Photo by Danielle Defayette Photography

The ceremony: What time does it start? Keep in mind that your prelude music should start approximately 30 minutes prior. How long is your ceremony? Ask your officiant because the denomination matters. Vendors will be asking you what time the reception begins. Calculate it: start time for ceremony + length of ceremony + travel time (if any) for guests to get from the ceremony to the reception = the start time for your reception. 

Photos: Unless they take the majority of your pictures before the ceremony, most photographers will need some time to take post wedding photos after the ceremony. How much depends on your photographer and you. Are the photographs one of your highest priorities? If so, you might want to allow a little more time to get a few more "creative" shots. Include that time in your timeline and you can plan other activities around it, but be aware of extremes. 

Food: One of the most important reasons to have a reasonably accurate timeline is for your food service. Food has a short window of optimal time to be served and your caterer wants your guests to get their food within that window to maximize their enjoyment of it. 

  Photo by Aura Marzouk Photography

Photo by Aura Marzouk Photography

Toasts: Want to know what a difficult job is for a bride? Try going to your dad (who may be paying for all of this) and telling him to please keep his welcome speech short. It is going to be a difficult conversation, but we did an event last year where the bride's dad (while guests were waiting to eat) spoke for 25 minutes, even as his daughter was running her finger across her throat, which is a sign that we thought was universally understood!

Weddings are emotional times and if any speaker gets on the microphone without a script or at least bullet points to keep them on topic, they could ramble on longer than you would like them to. Perhaps the easiest way to deal with this is to simply contact each person that is doing a toast and set some parameters, if you want to maintain control over your schedule for the night. 

  Photo by Jodi Gray Photography

Photo by Jodi Gray Photography

Party Time: First, let me state, no MC or wedding director will let you leave the night without cutting your cake or doing your first dance if those things are on your schedule. The party time is one area where you have some flexibility. If you’re running ahead of schedule, you’ll have more time for you and your guests to dance and celebrate your union. If you are running behind schedule, then this is the area of the celebration that will have to be cut. Here’s where knowing your priorities will help. If you know that your family and friends aren’t big dancers, this is not a priority for you and time could be cut from that if you get behind. No matter which events during the night are most important or least, you must not allow yourself to get too far behind. 

  Photo by Aura Marzouk Photography

Photo by Aura Marzouk Photography

Your Ending Time: One of the most important times to get from your venue is the time by which everyone (including your vendors) must be off the premises. As an example, the average DJ will need at least a solid hour from the time they play your departure song to pack everything up and get off the premises. If you added extra lighting and other equipment or in the case of a band it could take longer. When doing your timeline allow for your vendors to pack up and get out. 

Summary:

It may sound like just another piece of paperwork you have to complete, but your timeline is your opportunity to take control of your celebration and make certain that your priorities are observed. There is an old saying: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." One of the reasons I've always put a premium on proper planning is that I am, at heart, a bit lazy. And I have found over the years that it takes much less energy to avoid a problem, than it does to fix one after it happens. If you have questions or need assistance as you tackle your personal timeline, feel free to call.

 
Revolution Mill Events: Nana and Adil's Reception
 

Nana Ama Quansah and Adil Inusah were married on August 4, 2018 -- a little over a year after their engagement.  After a church ceremony, the couple hosted their reception at The Colonnade. 

They describe the entire day as exactly what they wanted – simple, fun, and elegant.

“Our wedding day was fun, epic and magical! it was an amazing weekend full of simplicity, love and happiness. We both don’t like being the center of attention, so, we opted for a very intimate wedding with just close family at our church and a fun reception to celebrate with friends and family. Everyone had a great time. Just like what we wanted it to be and to my surprise, I enjoyed the wedding planning process.”
– Nana, Bride

The Planning Process

“All our vendors did an amazing job and treated our guests with love. Our DJ did a great job entertaining everyone throughout the whole night. Our florist stayed within budget and made great recommendations that made our vision come into reality. Our Emcee fully engaged the crowd and made it more fun. Last but not the least our photographer and videographer made sure no moments went uncaptured.” 

Florist: Botanica
Cake/Dessert: Maxie B’s
Music: DJ Lexis
Emcee/Lighting: Friendly Neighborhood DJ
Photographer: Micciche Photography

Favorite Moment

Nana’s favorite moment was getting to see her new husband dance! They didn’t get a chance to practice their entrance dance but it turned out to be the highlight of the night. It set the mood for the reception. 

Nana says, “We started with a slow traditional love song and then we had our friends and family join in with the second song as they threw money on us to show how happy they are for us.” 

Décor

While the couple didn’t have a specific theme or color scheme, they knew they were going for a romantic and sophisticated feel. “Elegant” was the word that echoed throughout their planning process. 

The wedding party was seated at two long tables which were adorned with a greenery garland and accented with pale blush and white flowers. Ivory linens, gold chiavari chairs and floating gold candles in different size cylindrical vases finished off the look. 

The round tables which seated the rest of the guests, featured centerpieces with floating candles, floral wreaths, and mixed greenery.

 

Food and Drink

The couple’s favorite part of the meal were the mini crab cakes with a mustard seed remoulade that were served during the cocktail hour.

Pepper Moon Catering provided a dinner buffet of tossed garden salad, grilled chicken breast with parmesan cream, marinated grilled flank steak, oven roasted vegetables and smashed potatoes.

 

Venue 

The couple was drawn to The Colonnade because of both the pleasant staff and the architecture. They cited the enormous windows, bricks, and courtyard as influencing factors in their decision, saying that the courtyard makes for some amazing photos! 

“Words cannot express how amazing the staff was. Our wedding reception was the first big party we have had as individuals. Jaime was so responsive to emails and phone calls and always ready to give a recommendation when needed. I love that Jaime is detailed oriented!” - Nana, Bride

 

 
2018 Summer Events Recap
 

As summer comes to a close, we want to take a moment to reflect on a fabulous season of fun events! From weddings to corporate meetings and other fun occasions, we had the pleasure of hosting 32 events this summer.

We love seeing how each and every event gives our space a unique feel. From decor to setup, there’s no end to the creativity. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next Greensboro event, go no further than this recap of some of our biggest summer events!

June 19, 2018: Spectrum Reach

120 attendees received a company update from Spectrum Reach and training on how to effectively use data to reach new customers. We served a hot breakfast of eggs, bacon, home fries, our delicious biscuits + gravy, and fruit.

Photos Courtesy of Spectrum Reach.


June 28, 2018: The Business Journal

More than 260 people gathered at The Colonnade on June 28th for Triad Business Journal's Best Places to Work awards! With a fun Hawaiian theme, guests enjoyed tropical treats and pulled pork sliders. One of the most popular dishes was dubbed "Floribbean Surf & Turf." It's a fun mix of margarita grilled chicken in tequila cream sauce over lobster and shrimp infused rice!

Photos Courtesy of Triad Business Journal.


June 29, 2018: Snipes/Anderson Rehearsal Dinner

On June 29 Lauren and Will celebrated their upcoming nuptials with family and friends. They kicked the event off with a cocktail hour in the courtyard followed by a plated dinner. AM Rodeo entertained guests and everyone enjoyed a UNC themed cake from Sweet Meg’s. The couple dressed up The Colonnade with linens and floral arrangements (by Kari Sells) in a neutral color scheme of gray and soft green.

Photos Courtesy of Aura Marzouk.


July 7, 2018: Whitfield/Edwards Ceremony and Reception

Carlie and Luke opted for a downstairs ceremony, followed by a dinner buffet. The buffet featured several gluten-free options, including a tossed garden salad, Jack Daniels pork loin, grilled vegetables, and roasted baby potatoes.

A dusty blue color scheme fit right in with the beautiful clear day they had!

Photos Courtesy of Jennifer Strange Photography.


July 24, 2018: Leadership NC

Since 1995, Leadership North Carolina has provided cutting-edge programming to current and emerging leaders from across the state. Every summer LNC selects a class of engaged citizens to learn about issues related to government, economic development, health and human services, education, and the environment.

In July, Leadership NC alumni took a four day tour across the state. They stopped at Revolution Mill for a lunch presentation and a tour of the campus.

Photos Courtesy of Leadership North Carolina.


July 25, 2018: Hooper Graduation Pictures

Did you know The Colonnade is available for rent by the hour for photo sessions? 

You can rent our space for engagement shoots, bridal portraits, or senior portraits! Prices start at $50/hour. 

Photos by Decoro Images.


July 28, 2018: Boles/Millisor Ceremony and Reception

"Jaime and her staff at Revolution Mill were absolutely fantastic! My husband and I got engaged in January 2017 and booked our venue in February 2017. We were recently married on July 28, 2018. 

Throughout our one-and-a-half-year engagement, Jaime kept in touch with us, often checking in, and helped us plan our special day. She was friendly, hospitable, and kind from the moment we inquired about getting married at the Colonnade at Revolution Mill. 

As our engagement progressed, Jaime reminded us of items that needed to be complete, sent us our updated contract(s) as we made changes, and really focused on what was important to us on our wedding day.

She provided us with multiple opportunities to attend tastings and allowed us to walk through the venue closer to our big day to get a feel of how things would work. 

Jaime answered all of my emails immediately and was so easy to correspond with...Any time that Jaime saw an opportunity to help us save money, she shared it with us so that we could decide whether to pursue the suggestion. 

Our food was out of this world! We received so many compliments from our guests about our menu options. 

The staff was accommodating and made my husband and I feel like royalty on our wedding day. 

It truly doesn’t get any better than Revolution Mill. From start to finish, Jaime made the wedding planning process easy (and stress free)... Our ceremony set-up was everything we hoped it would be and I hope these photos provide a little glimpse of what an indoor ceremony at Revolution Mill is like." 

- Review by Britney Boles

Vendors: A Touch of Southern, Sedgefield Florist, Bake Me Happy, Rhino Weddings & Events, Minerva String Quartet, Point 200.

Photos Courtesy of Jodi Gray Photography.


August 3, 2018: Campo/Davis Ceremony and Reception

Veronica and Maisson had a beautiful indoor ceremony. They were joined by their dog as they exchanged their vows. A beautiful double rainbow was spotted in the courtyard just before the ceremony (timing?!).

After the event, the couple left us a note saying: "Thank you so much Jaime, it was everything we wanted and more." 

Vendors: Jeffrey Surles, Delicious, Corda Entertainment, K2 Productions.

Photos Courtesy of Jamie Blow Photography.


August 4, 2018: Quansah/Inusah Reception

Adil and Nana hosted their reception at The Colonnade on August 4, 2018! The couple had family attend from all over the U.S. and from as far as Ghana, their home country, to celebrate the special day.

Vendors: Maxie B’s, Botanica, Friendly Neighborhood DJ.

Photos Courtesy of Micciche Photography.


August 5, 2018: Fuentes Photo Shoot

Late afternoon in the courtyard is a magical spot for a romantic photo session. Victor and Melody also celebrated her Vietnamese heritage by taking some traditional wear shots.

Photos Courtesy of Liz Grogan Photography.

 
Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 9.49.36 AM.png
unnamed-39.jpg
 

August 23, 2018: Progressive Business Media Event

This creative forum featured the Triad’s enduring legacy as a center for textile, furniture-making, and manufacturing. Designed to inspire, educate and entertain, the three day long event delivered five custom-designed educational experiences, as well as excursions to savor the best food and culture North Carolina has to offer. We were delighted to be a featured stop for the Designer Experience!

Guests arrived to The Colonnade at 5p to enjoy a cocktail hour featuring local wine and beer before sitting down to a three-course family style meal. Charcuterie boards, cheese platters, and caprese salad were followed by grilled salmon, oven roasted vegetables, and pasta alcantara. For dessert, a selection of petite fancy pastries was served.

 
Wedding Day Resources for every type of bride

Once you’ve said “yes,” wedding day prep can become a bit of a whirlwind. All of a sudden you’re faced with a million small decisions – it’s not just picking the dress, it’s picking what kind of table cloths will be used, what time the ceremony will be, organizing a seating chart, and hiring a whole team to help you pull off your special day.  

To help you enjoy the build-up to your special day, we’ve pulled together four must-use wedding resources that can help you make it all happen… with minimal stress.

 

WeddingWire

Wedding Resources for every type of bride | RME Events

WeddingWire is here to take the stress out of planning your big day – they have tools available for picking your wedding date, planning your seating chart, determining your budget, and managing vendors. 

They also have a huge database that lets you search vendors by location. You can browse for everything you need, including venues, photographers, officiants, bands, jewelers, wedding planners, and more. 

Need inspiration? Pinterest is not the only place -- you can get all the inspiration you need on Wedding Wire. You can browse dress styles, check out the user forum, or take advantage of their expansive blog. 

Website: www.weddingwire.com

 

The Knot

A popular alternative to WeddingWire, The Knot is another one-stop wedding planning shop. On one easy-to-use online hub, you can manage almost all your wedding needs including your:

  • Registry

  • Guest list

  • Budget

  • Wedding day timeline

  • Vendors

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, The Knot even has a free quiz to help you define your wedding day style. After you take the quiz they’ll help guide you to the right vendors to make your vision a reality. 

Website: www.theknot.com


TriadWeddings

Looking to get more local? TriadWeddings is a premier wedding resource and planning guide in Greensboro. Browse local wedding resources or download their free local wedding guide

One of our favorite parts is The Real Weddings section, where you can browse photos of other area couple’s weddings. 

Website: www.triadweddings.com



Triad Bridal Association

Sometimes deciding which vendor to opt for can feel like a real stab in the dark. However, the Triad Bridal Association takes the guesswork out of picking a vendor. 

When you hire a Triad Bridal Association member, you will be working with one of the area’s top wedding professionals. Someone with plenty of experience, who is not learning on your wedding. All of the Members adhere to a Code of Ethics, and you’ll breathe easy knowing that you (and your wedding) are in good hands.

Revolution Mill Events and Pepper Moon Catering are proud members of the Triad Bridal Association!

They’ve also got a section dedicated to local wedding shows where you can even snag a discount on a future show!

Website: www.triadbridal.com

 

Other Resources

  • Evernote: If you’re looking to stay organized, this app (available on desktop and mobile) will keep everything on track. You can make multiple notes/notebooks, add pictures, or set reminders for yourself.

  • Google Docs: Check out all the tools available with your Google account! You can use Google Drive to store photos, Google Sheets to make spreadsheets of vendors, and even Google Forms to gather RSVPs. All of your files will be easily shareable and available on your mobile and desktop.

Our Resources

If you’ve narrowed down your venue to The Colonnade, we provide a free wedding guide to walk you through everything you need to know about our venue. You can get an idea of a typical timeline, find answers to frequently asked questions, and see what’s included with your rental. 

 
 

If you’re ready to start planning your reception food and drink, you can view Pepper Moon’s Catering menu HERE

Revolution Mill Events: Matt + Susie
 

Matt Farver and Susie Lewis tied the knot on May 12, 2018. It was an unexpectedly warm day, but that didn’t stop everything from going flawlessly! 

Matt says he was attracted to Susie from day one, and it only took a handful of dates for him to be sure that she was the one. He proposed on the family boat at Smith Mountain Lake on Labor Day 2017. He had champagne and a selfie stick hidden on the boat for the post-proposal festivities.

The couple enjoyed an outdoor ceremony at The Colonnade, followed by a buffet dinner and dancing. 

“Most everything was turn-key. Jaime was very easy to work with and very responsive to my emails along the way, which meant a lot.”

– Matt Farver, Groom

The Planning Process

Matt and Susie started planning shortly after their engagement. Matt attended another wedding at Revolution Mill and knew they wanted to consider it as an option for their big day. 

Their advice to other couples? “Just know something isn't going to go as planned. Be ready to roll with it once the big day gets here, and don't sweat the small stuff.” 

The couple highlighted both Amanda Ward, their wedding planner, and Scott Adams, their florist, as standout vendors who went above and beyond their expectations. 

 

Coordinator: A Touch of Southern
Ceremony music: Blue Sand Entertainment
Music: Simpsounds

 

Favorite Moment

The newlywed's favorite moment turned out to be their first dance! They did a customized routine to Stand By Me. After the first dance, they tore up the dance floor with their five bridesmaids and eight groomsmen. 

 

Décor

Matt and Susie opted for a color scheme of peach and ice blue. They based the palette off the groom’s favorite colors, orange and blue, but went with soft shades that were more fitting for a spring wedding.  
 

The couple opted for traditional white tablecloths, gold rimmed white china, and an assortment of floral centerpieces. 

 

Food and drink

The couple enjoyed a cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeuvres that included mini sundried tomato biscuits stuffed with pimento cheese, mushroom caps, and jumbo shrimp wrapped with bacon.

The dinner buffet featured a caprese salad; prosciutto, basil, parmesan, and feta stuffed chicken; grilled vegetables; and the couple’s favorite dish: beef tenderloin medallions.

 

Venue

There were many things about The Colonnade that appealed to Susie and Matt, but most of all the were drawn to the courtyard. They loved the idea of being able to have their ceremony and reception in the same venue, and were drawn to the layout of The Colonnade’s interior. After seeing several square rooms, the unique shape of The Colonnade stood out to them as a perfect fit. 

 

 
Wedding Planning: Table Sizes and Seating Charts
 

Once you have your guest list, it’s time to figure out how and where to seat everyone. First, you’ll want to figure out what types of tables you’ll be using. 

Traditionally, round tables are a popular option. We also love the trend of mixing table shapes like rounds, squares and rectangles.  Between your ideas and our experience in designing within our event spaces, we’ll come up with the perfect layout to fit your vision. 

Here’s how many people we can fit at each table:

Wedding Planning: Table Sizes and Seating Charts  |  Rev Mill Events
Wedding Planning: Table Sizes and Seating Charts  |  Rev Mill Events

TO ASSIGN SEATS OR TABLES? 

We recommend for you to assign a place for guests to sit – either a table or specific chair. When guests first arrive, they are looking for direction. Minimizing confusion on where to sit creates a smoother event and welcoming environment for your guests. 

Guests can be assigned a specific table, where they will choose a seat, or they can be assigned a specific chair. Either approach will work well, you can decide what’s right for you.

 

SEATING CHART

Once your guest list and layout is finalized, it’s time to work on your seating  chart.  Unfortunately, this task must wait until close to the wedding after all the RSVPs have come in. 

We suggest working through this task with your partner and other decision makers, so you can talk through the potential issues of where to place each guest.

It's helpful to start by grouping people that already know each other - think tables of families, coworkers, and college friends. However, mixing in a few people that don’t know each other yet will keep things fun and get everyone making new friends. 

A few quick tips: 

  • Group people who don’t know each other with those who are similar ages or have shared interests
  • Try to balance male and female guests at each table
  • Make sure not to put ex-partners together or people who you know don’t like each other
  • Instead of having a leftover or “single” table, mix in guests who fit this category at the other tables
  • Try to place elderly guests where they’ll have easy access to the restroom and away from the music speakers
     

SEATING CHARTS, PLACE CARDS, AND MORE

Once you’ve got your seating chart set up, you’ll want to make sure your guests know where they’ll be seated. If you have assigned guests to specific seats, you will need to create a seating chart, table numbers, and place cards. If you’ve assigned tables you can skip the place cards. 

We suggest a poster sized chart you can display near the entrance to the seating area. You can organize your seating chart by either alphabetical guest name or table. Depending on the size of your party, listing alphabetically makes it easier for people to find their names. 

You’ll want to make sure table numbers are easy to read and are prominently displayed on the table, but not so large they keep guests from being able to see each other across the table. 

 

LOOKING FOR SOME INSPIRATION? 

Check out this gallery of table set ups for ideas!

 
Reception Dinner Service Styles
 

The following article was written by Jaime Gilliam, Venue & Catering Manager for Revolution Mill Events, and was originally published in Triad Weddings in August 2018.


Your wedding dinner is a celebration of the first meal shared as newlyweds and an expression of appreciation for your guests. Because of it’s significance and the variety of catering options available, you may find it challenging to decide what to serve for your reception.

Instead of worrying about the particular dishes to be served, begin with thinking about the style of meal you want. This decision will impact the structure of the reception and likely the food you choose, so it’s a great place to start. 

Let’s take a closer look at three key serving styles for wedding reception food: plated, buffet or hors d’oeuvres stations. 


PLATED

Reception Dinner Service Styles  |  Revolution Mill Events

TIP: Ask guests to initial their entrée selection on the RSVP card so you’ll know which entrée to indicate on their place card.

Guests are seated then served all courses by the catering staff. It’s common to offer salad, entrée and dessert (wedding cake or other) courses, but for more formal occasions you could consider additional courses along with wine pairing.

Plated meals are a good option for both intimate and formal gatherings. To provide more variety, you can offer several entrée options on your RSVP card or a dual entrée plate. 

A variation on the plated meal is family style, where platters of food are brought to the table and passed around by the guests. 

Considerations:

  • Higher level of guest service
  • Every guest will be able to eat at about the same time
  • Reduced chance of spilled plates
  • Guests can focus on conversations 
  • Control over portion size so the food cost may be lower
  • Some guests may feel underfed or not like the limited choices
  • Tracking guest menu selections is necessary if offering multiple entrée options
  • Takes longer for dinner service
  • Generally the most expensive option due to the number of staff required for efficient service

BUFFET

Reception Dinner Service Styles  |  Revolution Mill Events

TIP: Talk to your caterer about their preferred plan for dismissing tables to help keep a smooth guest flow. They will work with your coordinator or DJ to efficiently move guests and prevent a long line.

A buffet is set in one central area and will display your food selections for guests to self-serve. There are many variations from casual BBQ to semi-formal. In the Triad, we have seen buffets as the traditional preference over the years.  

Considerations:

  • Guests may select what they want to eat
  • More menu item choices
  • Guests can mingle in line
  • No need for RSVP meal cards
  • The most practical and cost effective way to serve a large crowd
  • Fewer servers needed so you will save on staff costs
  • No control over portions, however you could request buffet servers
  • Guests must wait in line for their dinner
  • Less elegant than plated table service
  • Depending on guest count, some guests may finish eating before others have gone through the line
  • Increased chance of spilled plates
  • The food cost may be higher because a portion of each item will be provided for every guest

HORS D’OEUVRES STATIONS

Reception Dinner Service Styles  |  Revolution Mill Events

TIP: When selecting your stations, make sure your menu contains at least one protein, starch and vegetable to comprise a typical meal. Choose heartier items to fulfill guests during the dinner hour.

This style of service provides small plates of a variety of hors d’oeuvres spread out into multiple stations. Your guests will remember the fun interactive displays (think -  mashed potato bar, salad station or mac and cheese bar) and chefs cooking on site (think -  gourmet grilled cheese with soup shooters, carving station, fired ahi tuna or pulled pork tacos). 

Considerations:

  • Trendy
  • Exciting and entertaining for guests
  • Promotes guest interaction and movement
  • Can offer a large variety of menu items and flavors
  • Don’t need to provide seating for all guests since this is cocktail party style
  • With multiple stations, there will be less time waiting in line
  • The cocktail party style may be too informal for some
  • Depending on menu selections, it may not be as filling as dinner
  • Multiple stations will take up more space than 1 buffet
  • More expensive than a dinner buffet and may require more staff (i.e. station chefs)

If you are still struggling to figure out which service style would be best for your wedding reception, reflect on your vision for the big day. Your catering selections are the perfect place to express your unique personality. Consider the best option for your number of guests, those in attendance and your budget.  It’s an honor to create a memorable reception where you get to share a meal with all the people in your life that matter most!

 
Revolution Mill Events: Kendelle + Ryan

Kendelle Cooper and Ryan Federico tied the knot on March 31, 2018. The couple opted for an indoor ceremony with a start time of 5pm. A soft ivory backdrop with an accent of burgundy framed the downstairs ceremony location. 

After the nuptials, the guests enjoyed a cocktail hour and buffet style dinner.


"Jaime-
I wanted to take a brief moment to give you our greatest thanks and appreciation.  From day 1 of meeting with you, We were confident and comfortable.  You have been an absolute delight to work with.  Both you and Randy were inviting, accommodating, flexible, patient....I could go on and on with the level of our satisfaction in working with you.  There was not one single thing that comes to mind that we were not pleased with.  Kendelle and Ryan had the wedding of their dreams, our guests thought everything was amazing and beautiful, compliments were innumerable, and a great deal of that accomplishment belongs to you and your staff.   You are at the top of our recommendation list!
  
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you have done for us and with us to make our children's wedding experience the most memorable time of their lives.  
 
My Deep appreciation-
Tiffanee Grindle, Mother of the Bride"

The Planning Process

DJ & Entertainment Services: Mr. DJ Gary Hunt
Photographer: Danielle DeFayette Photography
HairAvanti Salon and Spa

 

Décor

Ryan and Kendelle chose a warm color scheme of burgundy, blush, champagne, and forest green. We worked together to design a custom reception layout with a long head table and mixed table shapes (rounds + squares), which added visual interest to the room setup.

Revolution Mill Events: Kendelle + Ryan
Revolution Mill Events: Kendelle + Ryan


Food and drink

Ryan and Kendelle kicked off their cocktail hour with a cubed cheese and fresh fruit display. For dinner, they served a buffet of tossed garden salad, parmesan herb crusted chicken and chef-carved roast beef with au jus and horseradish cream sauce. Fresh green beans and smashed potatoes were served up on the side. 

The couple highlighted their Italian heritage with a selection of Italian petite pastries from Pepper Moon Catering. 

 

We love sharing photos of your ceremony or event! When you share on social be sure to tag #RevMillEvents or @RevMillEvents so we can share your pictures!