Posts in Wedding Resources
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.  

 
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

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

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

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

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

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.

 
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

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!

 
Wedding Color Schemes for Every Season

Looking for wedding color scheme inspiration? Some colors never go out of style! 

To help you get inspired, we’ve pulled together four of our favorite color schemes – one for every season. Each time of year has it’s own feel that you’ll be able to incorporate into your signature cocktail, food, floral arrangements, and décor.  

When it comes to picking season appropriate colors, think about your venue and what will work in the space. Every year different colors are trending, but no matter what time of year you decide to get married, don’t be afraid to incorporate your favorite colors. 

 

Spring Inspiration

Spring is the perfect time for soft colors and muted tones. With flowers blooming, our courtyard looks better than ever – making it the perfect time to incorporate extra greenery and soft pinks. 

This scheme of soft pink, linen, and moss is one of our all-time favorites: 

 
Photo Credit: April Larson Photo

Photo Credit: April Larson Photo

 

 

Summer Inspiration

Summer is the ideal time to get bold and adventurous! Fruity cocktails, sunflowers, and bright pops of color are all on the table for your summer soiree. 

Why pick one shade of pink when you can pick them all? We love this combination of blush, strawberry pink, coral, and rose:

 
Photo Credit: The NIXONS Photography

Photo Credit: The NIXONS Photography

 

 

Fall Inspiration 

No need to make your bridesmaids wear orange -- think outside traditional autumn colors for your fall color scheme. Fall is the perfect time for warm lighting, cozy drinks and seasonal centerpieces with pinecones and leaves. And hey, we won’t judge if you want to incorporate a pumpkin spice cocktail!

Spicy and imperial, this color scheme combines rich eggplant and garnet for a lush feel:

 
Photo Credit: Amanda Sutton Photo 

Photo Credit: Amanda Sutton Photo 

 

 

Winter Inspiration

Winter is a great time for soft, dusty colors or deep rich tones. Candles, rustic wood, and a signature cocktail can help create a cozy feel for your big day. 

For an unexpected winter scheme, we love this dusty lilac, sage and rich purple scheme. The succulents and berries are an ideal way to keep your bouquet season appropriate: 

 
Photo Credit: The NIXONS Photography

Photo Credit: The NIXONS Photography

 

 

Still feeling stumped? Play with one of these color scheme generators to help you come up with the perfect look: 

Planning your wedding at The Colonnade

Curious how The Colonnade might work for your ceremony and reception? Our space is extremely flexible and we’re always happy to work together to customize the space, but there’s a few tried and true setups we’ve found work well for weddings of all sizes. 

Part of our expertise is knowing what will and won’t work for our space. We host well over 100 events a year, so we can help ensure that your creative ideas turn out to be a success! 

We’ve put together 3 graphics to help you visualize where your ceremony, dance floor, food, gifts, and cake can go in our space. To start, we suggest picking a dance floor location and building the rest of your layout from there.  
 

Step 1: Pick your dance floor


We have 3 popular options for dance floor placement. Tables can be placed around the dance floor in Option 1, allowing all your guests to watch as your family busts a move. 

Some couples enjoy how the dance floor is separate from the dining tables in Option 2, which is conducive to conversation for the non-dancers.

Of these three options, Option 3 allows for the most seating capacity, making room for tables across the main level to seat up to 200.

Keep in mind – we don’t lay down a separate dance floor, because our historic hardwoods work great as-is! Once you pick your dance floor spot, we’ll determine where the DJ and band setup should go. 
 

 
 


Step 2: Ceremony Location 

Before we nail down the rest of your reception details, we’ll want to figure out where your vows will take place. 

A courtyard ceremony is a popular option – depending on the season – and can seat up to 180 guests. 

Option 2 provides a wonderful decorating opportunity for a customized floral arch or drapery backdrop. This option can seat up to 130.

Option 3 offers great flexibility -- 72 guests can be seated on the lower level while additional guests can stand around the railing, giving them a great view of the ceremony. This setup highlights the textured brick and expansive windows for stellar photos. 

Depending on guest count, we can use Option 2 or 3 for an inclement weather plan.
 

 
 


Step 3: Everything else

Now that you have the two big decisions locked in, its time to determine the flow of guests and the placement of your food, gifts, and cake. 

While some folks opt for guests to arrive through the courtyard, most people utilize The Colonnade’s main entrance for guest arrival. Guests can set presents down on Gift Table Option 1 or 2 (as pictured below) as they arrive. You can also place a guest book table in the entryway or near the coat closet for easy access. 

Our main buffet area gives Pepper Moon Catering staff easy access to the kitchen and allows for guests to freely flow on both sides of the table, cutting down on serving time. Additional interactive food stations could be placed around the room to encrouage guests to mingle. 

Your cake can be highlighted in various locations. 
 

 
 

No matter what your vision, we belive we can make The Colonnade work for your wedding! You bring the ideas and we’ll bring our knowledge of past events. Together, we’ll create the perfect ceremony and reception for you and your guests.