Planning a BIG Wedding
Large weddings come with special challenges that require a little extra planning and flexibility, but they’re well worth the effort.
Denae Brennan of southeast Minnesota-based denae brennan weddings and events has been at the helm of weddings ranging from intimate, 15-person affairs to grand celebrations for 300+ since she opened her business in 2012. In that time, she’s learned a thing or two about the special challenges of planning a large wedding, the first of which, she said, is finding a location big enough to support the guest list.
Location, Location, Location!
“It’s not every wedding venue that can handle a crowd that large,” said Brennan. “Even if it seems like the space itself is large enough, you need to be sure they have the staffing, equipment and expertise necessary to accommodate a really big crowd.”
Additionally, Brennan suggests basing all plans on the maximum possible number of guests you may receive (and then some!). “You don’t want to underestimate and end up with a venue that won’t actually work for as many RSVPs as you’ve gotten.”
More Guests, More $$
Next up is the simple math involved with hosting a large party: More guests equals a bigger budget. “The overall cost of your wedding is directly related to the number of guests,” said Brennan. “Be sure you have a budget that can support the number of guests you want to host.”
That could mean making tough decisions about some things in order to afford others. “You might need to think about cutting back on flowers, hiring a DJ instead of a band or serving a less complex dinner menu to accommodate your desired number of guests.”
Another unique challenge of a large wedding comes down to plain old logistics. “300+ guests is a lot of people to move from point A to B,” said Brennan. “Make sure the flow of the event won’t be affected by things like long lines at the bar or buffet.”
Brennan suggest tackling this issue by planning for multiple bars/bartenders spaced around the event and designing an efficient buffet set-up that can move people through quickly. Additionally, Brennan recommends adding extra time between special moments throughout the online drugstore no prescription evening to allow enough time for people to move or change focus. “If cocktail hour in the lobby ends at 7:00, you don’t want to make plans for cutting the cake in the dining room at 7:01!”
Meet & Greet
Finally, though a big guest list almost certainly equals a great party, there is still the standard expectation that wedding guests will be personally greeted by the couple. “Even if you keep things short and sweet, you’ll be hard pressed to get face time with everyone when there are more than 300 people in the room,” said Brennan.
To ease this expectation on the big day itself and allow yourselves the opportunity to more fully enjoy the event, Brennan suggests planning a separate welcome party following the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. “This will give you the opportunity to greet guests and get in quality time with at least some people so there’s less pressure during the reception itself.”
Despite its challenges, at the end of the day, Brennan reminds couples planning a big wedding that a large guest list is a blessing. “Chances are, if you have a large guest list, you’ve had the opportunity to make all parties involved happy by not having to make any hard cuts. Not only that, but you’re sure to be surrounded by a lot of love on your wedding day.”
If you’re still at square one with the planning of your big wedding, we’d love to show you around the new ballroom at the Mayo Civic Center that can accommodate parties from 350 to 2,000. Please contact Mary Britt, email@example.com or 507-424-0815 to check availability and discuss additional options.