Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cocktail Reception Planning

The cocktail-style reception is a GREAT alternative to the traditional full-meal reception.  It's a cost saver if nothing else, but there are some things to consider when planning this type of reception for your wedding guests:

  • Cocktail receptions are more relaxed and you don't have to worry about a seating chart. But consider a few reserved seats for the elderly guests that will be attending.
  • When designing the cocktail reception space, bring in a mixture of hi-boy and low-boy tables with chairs and some lounge furniture like couches and ottomans.  You do not need to provide seating for all your invited guests.  The idea is for them to move around.
  • Food service should consist of stations and passed hors d'oeuvres and plan for at least 10 pieces per guest.
  • I suggest you hold your cocktail reception for no longer than 3-hours. That way, guests won't be looking for a full meal.
  • When designing your wedding invitation, let your guests know the style of reception by stating, "Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres following ceremony".  That way, they can plan accordingly.
  • Eliminate many of the formalities - 1st dance, cake cutting, parents/family dances, toasts - or have them done early before to avoid breaks in the party.

Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credit - | an Colin Cowie Event)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Escort Cards Plus Drinks

I'm in love with one of the newer trends I am seeing - escort cards + a drink.  It's truly a fun way for wedding guests to enter into the cocktail hour immediately following the ceremony.  The guests get a refreshment and their seating assignment all at the same time.  The guest name and table number can stand out in so many different ways from using bottle labels to acrylic attachments.  Check out some of the "cute" ideas below:

Flavored sodas w/ name and table number labels

Acrylic name tags w/ champagne

Custom tumblers w/ the guest name and table number

Drink stirrers showcasing name and table number

Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credit - 100 Layer CakeStyle Me Pretty; Creative Print Media; VanCityAllie)

Friday, January 25, 2013

...I Found It, You Pin It...Friday!!!

I love a gorgeous tablescape!!!  And as my eye moves across this stunning "landscape" of black, white, BLING and a POP of fuchsia...I'm in love!!!  There is a thing of too much BLING, but this table design uses a bride's favorite in such a classy why with the beautiful charger and votive candle holders. GORG!

Until next time...PIN IT and WEDologize!

(photo credit - Inside Weddings - Gavin Wade Photographers)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Save The Dates Examined

I recently attended a bridal show and one of the vendors there, a wedding planner/coordinator/consultant, was giving out a handout to passing brides that said Save The Dates should be mailed "4 to 5months" before the wedding.  In my opinion...NOT! Below I have listed some Save The Date etiquette to follow should you decide to mail them out.
  • Save The Dates should be mailed 6-9 months before the wedding. This will allow traveling guests to make the necessary arrangements with their employers for the time off.  Plus, at the 6 month mark you should be focusing on your wedding invitation suite.

  • Although you may not have selected your wedding invitation, the Save The Date should speak about the couple.  Maybe choose your favorite engagement photograph or use your wedding colors/theme when selecting the style.

  • Keep your Save The Date short and sweet.  List your names, wedding date and city/state. Also add your wedding website and the phrase "Invitation to Follow".

  • I still find Save The Date magnets to be the going trend because if placed on the fridge, it will be seen by your guests all the time.  Regardless of your selection, don't over do it, especially with weight and awkward shapes. You want to use a standard postage stamp when mailing.

  • I shouldn't have to say this, but I will...if you mail that particular guest a Save The Date, please make sure they are on the guest list to receive a wedding invitation.
Until next time...WEDologize!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Anti Receiving Line Ideas

Is the "receiving line" a dinosaur??? My personal opinion is YES!  It's rare to see the newly married couple, their bridal party and parents in front of the church quickly greeting guests as they make their way through the line.  Not saying you shouldn't have one, but understand the receiveing line does take a long time and can cut into your photography time and reception time if not planned properly.  So what are some alternatives to replace the receiving line:

  • Actually schedule ample time for photographs between the ceremony and reception, approximately 2-3 hours. This will then allow you to be apart of your cocktail hour and greet guests at the reception venue.
  • Instead of placing favors on the tables, the bride and groom can walk around and personally give a favor to the guest.  This would allow for them to stop and speak with all those that attended.
  • Have the DJ make an announcement that the couple will walk around to each table and greet guests individually.
  • Plan with the photographer to walk around to each individual table and take photos with you and your guests.
But should you lend towards a receiving line, include only yourselves and your parents.  Most guests aren't attending the wedding to meet the bridal party ;)

Until next time...WEDologize!

Friday, January 18, 2013

...I Found It, You Pin It...Friday!

I had the opportunity to visit the Wedding Galleries at The Special Events show in downtown Chicago this week. I was amazed by all four designs and how different they were compared to one another.  Each focused on a different style of wedding and appealed to all the senses.  But my favorite was from Chicago based firm Kehoe Designs and OMG was it amazing!  Every detail of their ivory, noir and gold design was flawless!  But what truly caught my eye was the sexy, stunning, amazing bar! WOW FACTOR on steroids!

Until next time...PIN IT and WEDologize!

(photo credit - Desiree's iPhone)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

WEDologyEDU coming February 2013!

I'm so excited to announce the 1st 2013 date for WEDologyEDU (formerly WEDology Experience) is Saturday, February 23rd at The Chicago Firehouse!  Yes, you requested a Chicago workshop and I listened.  Registration is LIVE and the early-bird pricing is available until February 8th.

This intensive one-day workshop will cover the following topics:
  • The role of a wedding/event planner and the various hats they wear
  • How to turn your passion into a profitable business
  • The potential client approach and initial meeting
  • Contracts and how to receive compensation
  • Who's your ideal client
  • Marketing efforts and public relations for your wedding/event business
  • Benefits of social media and blogging
  • Expanding your wedding/event business offerings
I look forward to meeting, greeting and teaching budding and aspiring wedding and event planners on February 23rd!!!  Visit our new business website WEDology toolKIT for more dates and information about our WEBinars, NOTEbooks and MENTORing.

Until next time...WEDologize!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

...I Found It, You Pin It...Friday!

I find nothing but BEAUTY and GORGEOUSNESS in this all white ceremony!!!  The draping is LUSH!  The aisle decor of low full floral arrangements and floating candles on Lucite columns is FABULOUS!.  And that aisle runner...yes, the monogrammed aisle runner perfectly positioned with a bed of rose petals on each side equals nothing short of a WOW FACTOR moment! Enjoy!

Until next time...PIN IT and WEDologize!

(photo credits -, photo by Joy Marie Photo)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wedding Websites...Beyond The Save The Date

This morning a thought came to me about wedding guests and the information that's available to them regarding your wedding day. As I searched various bridal show sites, I was given driving directions and parking directions among many things. This is the very type of information that should be made available to your wedding guests.

Some wedding websites are FREE while others you will have to pay a small fee, but they all very user-friendly, so why not create one?! The perfect opportunity to let your guests know that you have a site is to have the information printed on your Save The Dates. That way, guests will have the information early enough to make arrangements to attend your wedding festivities. I've listed some easy-to-use wedding websites below:

Some valuable information to post on your site would be information about the ceremony and reception including the times and attire; gift registry links; travel and hotel accommodations; driving directions to wedding locations and local activities going on the weekend of your wedding. And to make the site more personalized, add the story of how you and your fiancee' met or the proposal story and mention your bridal party and their relationship to you.

And now that most people are unable to function without Smartphones, their is a FREE application called "Appy Couple" that can hold all of your wedding information and downloaded by your wedding guests. How cool is that?!?!

Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credit -

Monday, January 7, 2013

Gratuity Questions Answered

I get asked a lot about gratuity guidelines for wedding vendors, so below you'll find Ultimate Wedding Vendor Tipping Guide borrowed from


Hair/makeup pros: 15–20 percent of the total bill
Musicians: $25–$50 each
Officiant: $50 if you're married by a judge or clerk; clergy members, in general, don't accept tips, so instead, make a donation ($100 on average) to the appropriate house of worship.
Altar boys or girls: $5–$10; if they decline, add this amount to your donation to the church.


Wedding planners: 10-15 percent of contracted price
Photographers/videographers: $100–$200 if the pro is part of a larger outfit or agency (but not the owner). Second shooters should receive $50–$75.
Catering manager: $250–$500
Waitstaff: 15 percent of the total pretax food bill (given to the catering manager or "captain" to distribute)
Bartenders: 10–15 percent of the total pretax bar bill. Inform the bartenders of your intent to tip after the reception, and request that they refuse tips from guests. No rogue tip jars!
Reception band/DJ: $25–$50 per person, but take their performance into account: Did your bashful uncle boogie for the first time in 40 years? Then give a little more cash.
Chauffeur/driver: 15–20 percent of the total bill, typically presented at the end of the day
Valets: $1–$2 per car, given to the supervisor in advance, to be split among staff. Display a sign at the valet station stating that gratuities have been taken care of. The valets should also be instructed to refuse any tips offered by guests.
Restroom/coat-check attendants: $.50–$2 per guest; calculate this total in advance and give to your reception site manager to distribute.


Delivery people: $5–$20 per person for deliveries arriving from your florist, baker, rental company, and other vendors. These staffers may also be doing the heavy lifting, on-site setup, and hauling away that come with producing your wedding—so tip accordingly.

Bellhop: $1–$2 per piece of luggage brought to and from the room
Doorperson: $1–$2 per task for any kind of assistance, like hailing a cab
Housekeeper: $2–$4 per day
Concierge: $5–$20, depending on the request(s)

But of course these suggestions are standard guidelines. If you feel a vendor went above and beyond the call of duty, bless them accordingly. And if you are disappointed with the level of service of a vendor, you are not obligated to extend gratuity. But make sure to let them know how you feel so that they can improve for the next clients they service.

Until next time...WEDologize!

Friday, January 4, 2013

...I Found It, You Pin It...Friday!

WOW!  I can't believe that I'm making the 1st PIN of 2013!  Well I had to find a photo that spoke PERFECTION when you saw it.  Tell me, how did I do?  The LUSH hydrangea are so gorgeous and refreshing in the beautiful mercury-fluted vases.  AMAZING!!!

Until next time...PIN IT and WEDologize!

(photo credit - Keith J Laverty)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Best of 2012 Dejanae Events Style!

I'm so excited and thankful when I reflect back on the wonderful year of press and media for Dejanae Events!!!

The year started off fabulous when I was told by Chicago Style Weddings Editor that I was one of six selected to be apart of the Designer's Challenge.  My team was awesome and I thank them so much for bringing my vision of Refreshingly Simple to life!!!  And to top it off, I'm also a featured contributor of the magazine and was quoted 11 times in various articles.  Then I woke up in April and learned I was tagged in a post on Facebook from Stacie Francombe's Inspire Smart Success blog that I was selected as an "Wedding Entrepreneur That Inspires"! WOW!  I was also quote in the inaugural issue of Inspire Smart Success magazine and just recently in the Fall 2012 have a full page article that I wrote entitled, "Marketing To Make Happen". YES!

2012 got even better because I was selected as Best of Weddings 2012 in the Wedding Planners category as well as had a full page feature in the Fall/Winter The Knot Chicago apart of the Wedding Planners Dish.  Then I forged a wonderful relationship with Wedding Guide Chicago and was asked to create a Partyscape for their Winter/Spring edition that I entitled, "Cocktails With Details" which can be seen on pages 140-141!  But it doesn't stop their, I'm also now the Co-Host of a Webisode called, "The Wedding Planners" where we talk about "all things weddings" on a monthly basis.

And to top off 2012, I hosted two Wedology Experience training workshops for aspiring wedding and event planners and I have a MAJOR announcement coming out this month.  Last, I was called by one of The Knot Editors and was told that not only has Dejanae Events been selected for the 3rd time in a row as Best of Weddings for 2013, but I'm also an Editor's Pick!  Amazing and Blessed!!!

I'm so excited about 2012 and all its blessings, but I know the best is yet to come in 2013!!!

Until next time...WEDologize!


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