We at La Maison Pacifique are keen on ensuring that your wedding day is special and exciting – so here are some top 10 tips for a memorable wedding.
Adding in some local information but inspired by a great post direct from The Knot, (10 Ways to Make Sure Your Wedding Isn’t Boring), we’ve added a few little extras (from our local knowledge, experience and research) to personalise your day for you, your partner and your guests.
And remember, a wedding is just the start of a wonderful life together, so don’t sweat the small stuff! Communication is the key and as I always say “It is about what you CAN do”. If you keep that in mind, you could be up for the best wedding day ever!
Attending a wedding may be a privilege, but sometimes it’s not always a pleasure. The last thing a couple wants is for their wedding guests to spend the reception checking their watches. Here are 10 tips to keep any wedding guest yawns at bay:
1. Make introductions the night before
A wedding brings together two families and sets of friends — which usually means a big group of people who don’t know each other awkwardly attempting small talk. The solution? Invite relatives and out-of-town guests to the a special dinner the night before to break the ice, and introduce those who might have common interests. (That uncle who always loved Top Gun? Definitely link him to your fiance’s fighter pilot cousin). By the time the wedding rolls around, your guests will have met in a more relaxed atmosphere the evening before and (hopefully) keep the conversations going at the reception. (Our tip – with plenty of local restaurants in our region, you could try everything from Fins Restaurant to White Jade Restaurant to the Spice Den).
2. Stick to the schedule
No one expects things to run with military precision (especially when it comes to rushing your older relatives), but you don’t want to force your guests to idle around while you take your formal wedding pictures. This is where the cocktail hour comes in. Set up a lounge or shady courtyard for your guests to mingle, and equip the area with snacks, drinks, plenty of places to sit, and even a little music to set the mood and keep the party atmosphere alive. (Our tip – hire some great wedding furniture and create “rooms” or lounging areas which allow guests to relax and mingle… You want your guests to relax before the formal part of the evening starts..)
3. Don’t let guests go hungry
Two words: hors d’oeuvres. Even if you plan on serving a full dinner at your reception, it’s a good idea to have a few nibbles for your guests to nosh on while they wait for you and your new spouse to make your grand entrance — lest your guests get bored and cranky. Mini empanadas, soup shooters, vegetable skewers, even fried arancini balls are all great options (go for one-bite canapes so guests can chat while they snack). Your guests will be refreshed from the ceremony — and grateful for the sustenance. (Our tip – and don’t forget afterwards – we have seen some great wedding ideas which include everything from take away nibble boxes (as a wedding thankyou) to hiring a take-away coffee/food van ready for when guests leave)..
4. Plan an exit strategy
If you really want guests to be able to enjoy themselves at your reception, arrange for transportation to get them home safely afterward. Some couples choose to throw their reception in a hotel banquet hall and block off rooms for their guests, while others hire a shuttle service to run throughout the night. This extra consideration gives guests the freedom to relax (drink) without worrying about getting home safely when the party wraps up. (Our tip: This works particularly well for destination weddings where guests are likely to be staying close to the venue)
5. Consider your venue
Of course, your budget will be a huge factor in determining where you throw your wedding, but picking an interesting reception site can go a long way toward keeping guests entertained. Many museums will let you rent out their exhibit areas, and zoos often have banquet areas with the animals in full view. Even an otherwise bland reception space can be dressed up with dramatic decor or specialty entertainment (like a photo booth), so be sure to talk to your site manager about your options. (Our tip – we always like rooms with windows or adjacent to a beautiful garden. This creates a great ambience and allows guests to have something to talk about throughout the night – “have you been into the garden?” ; “look how beautiful the sea view is from this window!”. Also, think about using candles as decorations – create your own wedding scent)
6. Work your seating chart
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than being the one couple at a table where you don’t know anyone and everyone else went to high school together — particularly if you can see friends laughing it up five tables away. A well-played seating chart is a cost-free way to make sure your guests spend time with people they like — or even to set them up with someone new! (Our tip: if you are struggling, put tables of friends together to help with the overflow from one table)
7. Put a time limit on toasts
Yes, it’s nice to hear words of encouragement and well wishes, but unless your friends are moonlighting as stand-up comedians, an overly long toast can easily go from sentimental to excruciating. Limit the number and length of toasts to a few key guests (think: maid of honour, best man, your parents), and let everyone get back to the party. (:-) thinking of the Oscars here!… Are you game to start up the music?)
8. Bring in the…clowns?
Remember that scary clown/magician from your eighth birthday party? Today’s specialty performers are nothing like that. The options for wedding entertainment span from tricked-out DJs to belly dancers to singing waiters — these people are pros at making sure weddings aren’t boring. (Our tip: but make sure it is relevant. No point having belly dancers at a classic traditional wedding!)
9. Think beyond wedding cake
Wedding cakes are still a staple, but consider expanding the selection for those with a sweet tooth — we’re talking a full dessert bar with everything from apple pies, truffles, cupcakes, lollies, along with local delicacies like cheeses, specialty local icecream or cookies. The bar can double as your wedding favour by setting out gift bags or boxes for your guests to take a snack for the road. (Our tip: think about a visit to the local markets and/or look at the Northern Rivers Food website for local producers and specialties)
10. Relax — seriously
Planning a wedding can be stressful, but when the day arrives, everyone will have more fun if you can overlook any little mishaps (and there’s always something that goes slightly awry) and let loose. Think about it: Do you have fun at parties where the host is incessantly on edge? To avoid sabotaging your good mood, assign any last-minute tasks to a bridesmaid, relative, or your wedding planner — and designate a friend who, if they observe you getting stressed, will ply you with a cocktail or two (Our tip – or just remind you that it is all about having a great day as you start your life with your new partner).
..and if you are thinking about a Destination Wedding in Northern NSW…
Don’t forget that we at La Maison Pacifique specialise in Wedding Accommodation and have a great video showing what is possible. We have some fantastic wedding friends and contacts around us at Casuarina and many blogs with informative wedding tips. Our Wedding Accommodation page has offers local information for you – with everything from a wedding planner to venues to day spa – and spa tips (heavenly) to wedding furniture hire, we can put you in touch with our great team of wedding specialists in the beautiful Northern Rivers area, Northern NSW.
Another great tip – and one we learnt from our friends at the Kingscliff Beach Bowls Club – if you are planning a Destination Wedding, book your accommodation for a week. It is often cheaper at weekly rates, (particularly when you book a luxury beachfront holiday home – we’ve done the comparison!). This means that the bridal party can stay up to the wedding day and (as the main bedroom is quite separate from the rest of the bedrooms), you can have the honeymoon with us as well! A private beachfront oasis – perfect! Check out our photos and site plan – we are sure you will be tempted.
Follow these tips and your wedding day promises to be memorable! And remember, Northern Rivers area NSW (including Kingscliff, Casuarina, Pottsville and Cabarita Beach) is the perfect spot for your next wedding vacation – and its location is ideal – 1/2 way between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay. Patrolled beaches line the coast. We even have Lisa and Pete’s top tips on things to do in Kingscliff! Check out our blog and news, location and attractions and what’s on and markets for more great tips and things to do on your Northern Rivers summer holidays!
Happy holidays – dream about what is possible; believe you can do it; make the most of your leave; plan, book and enjoy your holiday; then dream about where you will go next! It is your turn!
…and… if you are looking for a resort-style luxury beachfront holiday home for your family holiday, romantic break wedding accommodation, (watch our video here), or a girls getaway contact us at La Maison Pacifique for availability and a quote…. Remember, our rates compare really well with local 5-star resorts – and La Maison Pacifique is private – on the beach – walking distance to cafes at Cabarita Beach – perfect spot for whale watching (June to November each year) – children optional!
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Until next time – enjoy your day wherever you are from La Maison Pacifique “The Peaceful House” and your boutique designer luxury holiday home vacation rental in Casuarina, New South Wales, Australia – half way between the Gold Coast QLD and Byron Bay NSW, Australia.
Property Consultant & Interior Designer
La Maison Pacifique
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