Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 | Filed under: Party Planning, Wedding Cocktail Party, dream wedding, reception planning | author: By Preston Postlethwaite, Banquet Manager, The Manor
Monday, November 18th, 2013 | Filed under: Party Planning, gifts, reception planning | author: By Lars Johnson,
Without question, the food at a wedding is a highlight of the celebration, and a tasty collection of diverse food stations lets guests enjoy the celebration more when they have so many different menu options to choose from, according to their dietary programs such as vegan, gluten-free, no dairy, kosher, etc. Guests with allergies, which is becoming more common now, also like having a wide range of foods that they can eat, since they know from the food ID cards at each station what’s in each dish. Many brides and grooms are adding to their station signs allergy-thoughtful notes such as ‘may include nuts,’ or ‘gluten-free.’ Read more…
Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 | Filed under: Wedding Cocktail Party, Wedding Décor, Wedding etiquette, reception planning, wedding menu | author: By Kurt Knowles, Director of Corporate Affairs
A quincenera is the biggest bash in a young girl’s life and a rite of passage that calls for a spectacular celebration, often with hundreds of family and friends invited to share in the festivities, from the quincenera ceremony to the changing of shoes before the first dance. At the top banquet halls in New Jersey, quincenera celebrations are growing more elaborate, more stylish, and trendier as girls and their families key into the top quincenera trends for an unforgettable party. Here are the top ‘quince’ trends to consider for your upcoming celebration: Read more…
Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 | Filed under: Party Planning, Wedding Cocktail Party, Wedding etiquette, reception planning, wedding dinner party, wedding ideas, wedding menu | author: By Kurt Knowles, Director of Corporate Affairs
Put the perfect finishing touch on your wedding reception with an exquisite collection of after-dinner drinks. Our New Jersey and tri-state area wedding couples make it a high priority to treat their wedding guests to indulgent wedding drink menu offerings, and even budget wedding couples can enhance their wedding reception package with a list of excellent after-dinner drinks.
It’s become a top 2012 wedding trend to offer guests top-shelf liquors and liqueurs, in addition to coffees, and our wedding bar menus offer some of the top choices in after-dinner drinks. Here are just of the top-trending wedding drinks that can end your perfect wedding reception:
- Bailey’s Irish Crème
- White and Milk Chocolate Liqueur Read more…
Thursday, April 26th, 2012 | Filed under: wedding ideas, wedding planning, wedding receptions | author: By admin,
Wedding After Party
One of the top wedding trends is continuing the wedding celebration even after the reception is done, by planning a fun and festive after-party. In the past, the bride, groom and their friends would simply go to the hotel bar to keep the party going, and now there are new party plans that our New Jersey and New York City wedding couples are making to turn their after-party into unforgettable celebrations. Here are some after-party plans to inspire you:
- Arrange for the hotel shuttle to take you and your friends to your favorite nearby nightclub or bar, then return everyone to the hotel safe and sound.
- Invite your closest friends to your hotel suite for a small-group celebration.
- Invite guests to join you in an outing to a great local New Jersey jazz club or other specialty spot.
- Parents are inviting their friends and close relatives back to their homes or hotel suites for a champagne and dessert party. Read more…
Thursday, November 18th, 2010 | Filed under: Party Planning, reception planning, wedding planning | author: By admin,
Creating your wedding reception hall seating chart can be a dizzying, stressful task. You want to be sure your guests are seated with people they know, to ensure they’ll have an enjoyable time during your celebration. Here are the top tips for taking the stress out of designing your seating chart:
· Mix up table sizes and shapes. There’s no rule saying you have to have all round tables identical in size. Today’s wedding reception room layout features some round tables, some lengthier rectangular tables, larger rounds and more options to allow you easier seating of natural groups.
- Allow more elbow room. Seat 8 guests at a table that is marked as seating 10, or 10 guests at a table for 12 to allow for roomier spacing and more enjoyable eating.
- Assess the His Side vs. Her Side divide. Again, there’s no rule saying the groom’s guests need to sit on one side of the room, the bride’s side on the other, with the dance floor in between. Many wedding guest lists aren’t even splits between the bride’s and groom’s guests, so feel free to seat guests according to their likely reception style and needs instead.
- Seat younger guests who are likely to dance closer to the dance floor. When a song they love begins, they won’t need to race past dozens of other guest tables to get to the dance floor.
- Seat children with their parents. Children tend to be better behaved when their parents are right next to them, cutting their food, keeping them entertained.
- Seat groups of friends in one sector. Those 8-seater, 10-seater or longer tables allow you to arrange for all of your friends to sit near one another for easier mingling and table-hopping during the post-dinner hours.
- Seat older guests far from the speakers. Older generation guests should never be seated right next to the bank of speakers, since loud noises are often annoying to them. Older guests say they enjoy being seated at a place that allows them easier access, and a shorter walk, to the restrooms.
- Seat guests with babies far from the speakers. Extremely young children brought to the wedding need to be protected from loud noises, so seat them far from the thumping bass and high volume of the party music.
- Seat warring guests far apart. If one cousin owes the other cousin money or has a long-standing beef, make it a priority to seat these people as many tables apart as possible.
- Seat divorced parents at their own tables. Provide comfort and calm for parents who are divorcing or recently divorced by giving them their own parents’ tables in your reception venue. If a parent is bringing a date, which might hurt the other parent, seat them in front-view areas but not at tables directly next to one another.
- Seat bridal party members with their own groups of friends or relatives. They don’t have to sit at a large main table with you. Bridal party members will wish to sit with their spouses or dates, or with their children.
- Give yourself plenty of tries. Use a free seating chart tool on a wedding website or wedding registry website to make adding and moving guests easier with the click of a mouse, or use sticky notepad sheets marked with each guest’s name on your master table layout provided by the reception hall to move guests into different positions until you find the perfect seating chart arrangements for all.
Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Chateau
Thursday, September 16th, 2010 | Filed under: Party Planning | author: By admin,
The First Dance
As the wedding reception begins, all eyes are on bride and groom as they join together for their first dance. For several years now, brides and grooms have signed up for ballroom dance classes, and this tradition has now evolved from basic dance lessons that couples took to learn the steps of a waltz to a far more personalized dance….sometimes in a style that surprises and delights guests.
Brides and grooms now enlist the services of professional dance instructors to choreograph their first dance, impressively tailoring dance steps to the skill levels of the bride and groom. The result is so much more than the ‘swaying back and forth’ dance or the box step dance with awkward arm movements that some brides and grooms seemed to just want to get through. Now, brides and grooms are putting on a performance, such as a sultry yet still family-friendly tango, or a dance with lifts, dips and twirls that the choreographer has designed with thought to the bride’s movement ability in her wedding gown. After weeks of working with a dance pro, the couple takes to the dance floor confidently, ready to show off their skills, as ‘their song’ plays.
In an additional new trend, the bride and her father, as well as the groom and his mother, might also sign up for dance classes and choreography, so that their spotlight dances will be equally impressive. After all, a spectacular first dance by the bride and groom is immediately followed by the father-daughter and mother-son dances, and parents also want to look confident and impressive for their spotlight performances.
Sometimes, a fun-loving couple will arrange for their first dance to lead into a group dance performance led by them and including their bridal party members. That number might be a well-known celebrity’s dance from a video, or it might also be a completely original, choreographed dance that starts the party off with a thrilling performance, and provides priceless wedding video footage as well.
Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château
Thursday, May 20th, 2010 | Filed under: Cost Saving Ideas, Party Planning | author: By admin,
By, Caitlyn Bradley, Director of Sales and Catering, Pleasantdale Château
Let’s hear it for commitment! We’re seeing more married couples in the New York metro area having ceremonies to renew wedding vows. What makes these ceremonies especially meaningful is that they’re completely voluntary. When a couple gets married, the wedding ceremony is practically a given, and all the attendant social obligations that go with it means the couple don’t always get to enjoy it quite as much as they might in a more relaxed ceremony. But when vows are renewed, there aren’t two families to please, or parents to appease. It’s a real display of deep and enduring love.
New rings engraved with a special saying are perfect to commemorate the renewal of wedding vows. An outside ceremony is often very fitting if you want the ceremony to be about rebirth. No need to be traditional with the wedding vows, either – you’ve done that once already. Instead, you can have your vows end with a poem that you find fitting, for example. For music you can use the song from your wedding or one that has meant something to you over the years. Renewing vows can be an intimate gathering with a simple lunch or brunch or a lavish formal affair.
Thursday, March 18th, 2010 | Filed under: Bright Ideas, Cost Savings Ideas, Party Planning | author: By admin,
By Roman Bienkiewicz, Banquet Manager, The Manor
Looking for a way to keep the cost of your wedding in check? Rethinking the plans for your reception dinner can provide some significant opportunities for savings, without skimping on the hospitality you offer guests. Consider a buffet instead of a formal sit-down meal. A multi-course sit down meal is more expensive than a buffet for two major reasons:
First, the server-to-guest ratio is much higher for a sit down meal: the wait staff has to be large enough to make sure everyone is served their courses almost simultaneously. Secondly, the food selections can be pricey for a sit down meal, if guests are offered choices like steak and lobster, seafood appetizers and other premium items. With a buffet, the size of the wait staff can be considerably smaller. That alone can save significantly on costs. If you want to save even more, you can choose a menu that provides lots of variety and ample quantities of food at a lower cost per person than a surf and turf meal, for example.
But buffet doesn’t have to mean “budget” in the menu department. For example, here at The Manor, we’re well known among regular customers for our Lobster Buffet evenings. And now the Lobster Buffet is becoming a popular choice at the wedding receptions we host. There are additional reasons beyond cost that can make a buffet a good choice. Your guests can serve themselves as much or as little as they want, unlike a sit down meal where all portions are the same size. It can also create a more informal ambiance. And by encouraging guests to move about the dining room and serve themselves, it can get guests to interact with each other more. And a buffet is also a festive display in its own right. Even though it costs less than a comparable sit down meal, a buffet looks impressive – and mouthwatering! So when it comes time to plan the menu for your reception, talk to your caterer about your buffet options, and you’ll have some tasteful, money saving ideas to consider.
Thursday, March 4th, 2010 | Filed under: Party Planning | author: By Preston Postlethwaite, Banquet Manager, The Manor
By Rolf Shick, Banquet Manager, The Manor
As much as they love you, attending a wedding can be an expensive proposition for your guests: gift, transportation, maybe a new suit or dress. Saving them money might get some who are undecided about your invitation to come. Some guests might be traveling from great distances. They’re going to need a place to stay. One great way to save them money and also make the festivities more fun is by partnering with a hotel near the site of your ceremony. You can arrange for discounted rates by blocking a set of rooms. This also makes it easy for your guests to socialize before and after the ceremony as well. The facility where you’re having your reception may have an arrangement with area hotels. For example, a wedding at any of our three West Orange, New Jersey properties – the Manor, Pleasantdale Chateau or the Highlawn Pavilion – will get you top priority at our local Residence Inn.
You may also be able to arrange shuttle transportation with the hotel to and from the wedding, saving your guests wear and tear as well as money – and making it easy for them to celebrate safely. Remember, don’t drink and drive!
Here’s something else you can do when you designate a nearby hotel as “action central” and book a block of rooms: You can put together great welcome packages for guests with snacks, a bottle of wine and information for local things to do in the area. This is a great way for out of town guests to feel special and appreciated!
Barbra Streisand once said something that struck me as interesting, something I think brides-to-be can relate to. She said, “I’ve been called many names like perfectionist, difficult and obsessive. I think it takes obsession, takes searching for the details for any artist to be good”.
My point here is that the larger things associated with weddings (the limo, the photographer, the venue, the flowers, etc.) are, once you’ve hired the right people, in good hands. And once that’s been done, you can focus on the details of your wedding – the things that will truly make your wedding stand out from the others. Read more…