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Inspiration Zoom Session Recap: Good Things Come in Small Packages

Your guide to planning the ultimate intimate wedding. Read the recap of Good Things Come in Small Packages Inspiration Zoom session from Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta Online July 2020..

Expert Vendor Panel: Irene Tyndale  Weddings and Events, Exquisite Sounds Entertainment, Spirited Event Group, Berkeley Hills Country Club

  

1.    Can you break down the types of celebrations? How do you define: Traditional, Intimate, Micro and Elopement?

 

Irene Tyndale: In addition to full service wedding planning services, we offer grooms' concierge service as well. A few months ago we were getting a lot of questions about different types of weddings. I'll break it down as four ways to wed.

Traditional: 100 plus guests with a ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, and lots of traditions and pleasantries.

Intimate: 50-75 people with all the elements of a traditional wedding on a smaller scale.

Micro: Less than 30 guests and it focuses mostly on the core elements: ceremony, cake cutting and toast, portraits. From there you move on to a restaurant for a dinner.

Elopement: Just the couple and an officiant. They still get dressed up and have make up done, but it could be in backyard or courthouse.

Irene Tyndale Weddings and Events

Spirited Event Group

2.   How many guests should you invite?

Spirited Event Group: Many breweries are ideal for small weddings that you can have 30 or fewer people events. We are offering special micro wedding packages not just during pandemic, but we think there will be more demand for that going forward. You can design whatever celebration you feel comfortable with, in terms of guest list size.

Irene Tyndale: What I've been telling couples is look at your A list, of who has to be there. Typically it's parents, grandparents, other family and closest friends. If you want to say "I DO" this year, you can invite just a handful of people and have a big celebration next year.

3.   What should you look for in an intimate wedding package? Does it change based on how many guests you have?

 

Berkeley Hills Country Club: Look for all the necessary elements. What rooms are you reserving, access times for vendors an d bridal party. If you're having a smaller event, will there be other events taking place at the same time. If your guest count changes, would they move you to a different room? Evaluate all of those things in your contract agreement.

Since the beginning of June, we've been hosting small or micro weddings with just a small guest list, cake and a photographer. We have both outdoor and indoor space. These events have been for couples who really wanted to get married this year. We're constantly checking the state mandates to make sure we're in compliance with our event sizes. We have set standard pricing depending on what you're looking to do. In this timeframe, in order to pull off a wedding event safely requires almost double the staff. We have to have people at door taking temperatures, we have consistent sanitization of hard surfaces, we can't do buffets, so we have staff serving guests.

Berkeley Hills Country Club

Irene Tyndale: It's all the same aspects except less people and might be shorter duration. Look for a package that first your needs and budget. Look for a venue that has space to socially distance. For some of our couples who have downsized, we've grouped guests together who live together or have been quarantined together. We might have 10 tables for 35 people, with just a few people at each table, to accommodate that but make ti feel like a full reception space. Say you wanted to get married at a beautiful venue and many are offering micro wedding packages. It all depends on your style and budget and what you're looking for.

Exquisite Sounds: We're going to scale to your guest count. It's the same amount of work is required to put on an amazing celebration for 35 guests as 150 guests. It's all about scale. We may use smaller speakers and have less equipment, but the amount or prep work and effort put into a great party is the same.

4. Does it cost more just because you say it's a wedding you're planning versus a birthday party?

Irene Tyndale: Most venues have a food and beverage minimum just to use the room that you're reserving. Google a birthday checklist. There is a lot more involved with a wedding than a birthday celebration. On average you have six to 20 individual vendors.

Berkeley Hills Country Club: We don't typically charge more for a wedding versus a birthday celebration. You may be blocking off nearly a week for a wedding event to have everything done and set up.

Spirited Event Group: We generally close down the brewery venues for your wedding, when we typically wouldn't for a birthday party. That's a significant difference to the business to be closed for your private event.

Exquisite Sounds Entertainment: Hopefully you get a birthday every year. But with your wedding it should be just the one. You want to put the effort into making it perfect. You have to do your research on quality services, pricing and make sure your vendors are prepared to handle safety during pandemic times and manage other unexpected challenges.

4.   How do certain types of venues lend themselves to more intimate ceremonies and receptions?

Berkeley Hills Country Club: What you'll find in most private clubs is that you'll have separate rooms that may work better to accommodate the size of group you're looking to host. You'll find plenty of space to spread out, indoor and outdoor spaces and the ability to move in between them for different parts of your day.

Spirited Event Group: Another thing to look for in venues is multiple places to host your ceremony. What sort of backdrop do you want? At one we have a great marquee sign that make s a beautiful backdrop. In a larger space, with only 20 people, a space might feel too big. But a brewery typically lends itself to a small group. Because there is so much character in these venues, you don't have to do much decor. But with micro wedding packages you can walk in and have everything already done for you: decor, flowers, cake set up, etc.  

Irene Tyndale: Back in May, we launched Small Weddings Atlanta to create micro wedding package offerings for couples who want to get married in 2020. A lot of venues we're working with are on the outskirts of the city, and we're creating micro packages. We provide venue, ceremony with fully decorated altar, flowers, officiant, music, sound, cake and toast. For breweries, it's a beer toast in glasses. I tell everyone, just bring your love, your family and your marriage license and we'll get you married.

Exquisite Sounds Entertainment

5.   How does entertainment differ for a smaller sized wedding versus a larger one?

 

Exquisite Sounds Entertainment: We're still going to have the same goal of getting everyone eon the dance floor and making great memories. You want your DJ to walk into that room and figure out what the party will enjoy. The size of the crowd doesn't matter. It's about your DJ properly planing and reacting to the crowd. We can party with any size group.

 

 

6.   What can you do at a smaller ceremony and reception that you couldn’t for a larger group?

Irene Tyndale: What I'm loving and seeing is that it's giving permission to couples who always wanted to have a small wedding, but have been vetoed by family or expectations, that they're actually happy about the micro weddings! You can do whatever you want to do! You don't have to wear a traditional wedding gown or a tuxedo, you can go short and sexy or wear a suit. Couples can still spend money on design and decor and upgrading the elements because they budget can be applied to the smaller group and take it over the top.

If you have a ceremony this year and do just the tiny guest list now, next year you can do the big blowout party. That'll give you more time to save for the things you really want and say, upgrade the bar, linens or entertainment next year. It's like adding extra VIP amenities to the wedding.

Spirited Event Group: You have more flexibility with a small group. You can look at very unique settings that don't accommodate huge groups and you can have interesting backdrops when you're not trying to set seats for a large crowd.

Berkeley Hills Country Club: Smaller events offer couples the unique opportunity to celebrate the event the way it really should be -with meaning. It gives you the opportunity to connect with each guest. At a larger celebration, you can't possibly do that. And you can go over the top with everything. If you're a wine enthusiast, do a five course meal with wine pairings, for example. You can give your guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And you know the people who will be there are those you will still be connected with years from now.

Exquisite Sounds Entertainment

Exquisite Sounds Entertainment: At a smaller wedding you can add the wow factor with enhancements like video montages, sparklers, and Dance on a Cloud.

Because it's smaller, we may be able to create more unique moments, like a special exit, in addition to a first dance. With a reduced number, you can spend more of your budget on enhancements!

 

7.   How do you handle uninviting family or friends due to need for reduced guest list? How do you notify guests that the event is rescheduled?

Irene Tyndale: It's a tough conversation to have but tell your family, it's not my fault but it's due to the pandemic. If you already sent invitations or save the dates, you can send a card about the rescheduled date, email or send a text. Enlist family members or your planners to reach out to people about changes to your date. You don't want to be rude, but the circumstances are unique and you can share that you would love to have had them there but you want to get married this year and have to forego the big wedding.

8. How can couples add their own touches to make the day uniquely theirs?

Irene Tyndale: Couples can really take the time to customize the vows. The words are really heartfelt. They can get creative with where they get married, or with their wedding attire. Being true to who you are as a couple is a great guide to these micro weddings.

Irene Tyndale Weddings and Events

9. How do you phrase invitations to make sure kids aren't included?

Irene Tyndale: If it's a family wedding, and you have family members with children traveling to Atlanta with their kids, you can do a couple of things. You can have an adult-only reception and treat those guests to babysitting services or you can set it up for the parents to pay the babysitting service for it. We typically see anyone 12 and under are considered children. Teens are welcome. It depends on the kind of wedding you plan for. The parents will be glad that they were able to enjoy the party. If you as the couple have kids, I advise you to hire a sitter for the day, so that you can focus on your wedding. Typically you want them at the ceremony, enjoy a little food and then have them go with the sitter.

Exquisite Sounds: I just came from a wedding where none of the adults would dance until the kids left the party. I agree that kids can really kind of kill a dance floor. I vote for an adult-only reception.

Berkeley Hills Country Club: If the majority of your guests are local, tell them it's an adults-only venue! We'll take responsibility for that. If kids are not well-behaved it can be disastrous. We had a three-year-old pull a fire alarm during a wedding reception. The fire department has to come out and we had to evacuate. That event ended early.

 

10.   How can you incorporate guests who can't be with you in person?

Irene Tyndale: Make sure you have best quality streaming. We're working with a company that has set up multiple cameras and producing a great video. Before the day you have to send out the links and instructions and have a guide for those who aren't tech savvy to make sure they can get on. Treat them as if they were a guest and get them set. Grandmas are dressing up because they know they'll be on camera. You want to be sure they can get in! Some want just the ceremony and first dance or some want their remote guests for the whole night.

Exquisite Sounds: The go-to would be a couple of Zoom stations. The concept is the same even if you don't use Zoom. Put the cousins from the Midwest in this room, put other family in another spot. The guests can jump in there and talk to grandma. Many companies can live stream the ceremonies.

 

Shelly, Bridal Extravaganza: We have vendors who are doing virtual photo stations so remote guests can take pictures with the couple as if they were there. They can get the menu for the evening, a music playlist, and even cupcake versions of the wedding cake!

Spirited Event Group: We can send a care package of beers from a brewery to guests who can't be there in person, or the favors you're giving out to send so those guests feel like they're part of the experience.

 

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