state laws about your wedding bar …

Hello lovelies! It’s been a minute since our last post. Summer and fall are so busy and then winter hits, and it’s time to deal with all your personal goals that you’ve put off working every week and weekends. Blogging gets put in the back burner.

Today we need to talk about a serious and non-sexy topic: your bar at your wedding and bartenders. We’ve touched before on some drinking issues, but this post is specifically to cover the laws and what is important for you to know as a guest, wedding party member or family attending a wedding.

We’ll concentrate on the laws of Indiana, however, the laws are pretty similar state-wide with a few different nuisances.

Here are the laws:

  1. Excise Police encourage requiring identification from anyone appearing under 26 years of age when making sales for on-premise consumption. Acceptable forms of identification are picture ID’s, including but not limited to, a driver’s license, state-issued ID card, US Government identification. REMEMBER: If you still question the age of the person you should refuse to serve them.

Let’s discuss: This means, that whether you are a family member, guest or in the wedding party, if you are over the age of 21, you must carry a legal, picture ID with you and on your person. Being a bridesmaid and not having a little purse with your driver’s license won’t cut it. The bride’s father cannot vouch for you. The caterer with the liquor license will be subject with a minimum of $500 fine and/or higher if caught serving a minor.

2. It is a criminal offense to sell or furnish alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person. In addition, the provider may experience civil liabilities if death or injury, even to a third party, occurs as a result of the act.

Oh-oh. So, let’s be kind to bartenders who have to cut off Uncle Harry, who is drunky-drunkerson.

3. Minors (those under 21 years of age) need to know that, in accordance with Indiana Code 7.1-5-7-7, it is illegal to knowingly:

  • Possess alcohol
  • Consume alcohol
  • Transport alcohol on a public highway when not accompanied by at least one of his/her parents or guardians.

No more discussion needed. Source.

If you don’t believe the excise police make random checks at restaurants, bars, liquor stores, sporting events, AND weddings, then check out Indiana violations that are clearly listed here. There are event venues where we plan weddings and corporate events that are often visited, very discreetly by Indiana excise police.

Take away:

  1. Remind your wedding party to bring their driver’s license to the reception.
  2. Don’t get upset with your caterer or bartender when they cannot serve someone who doesn’t have proper identification. They are not trying to be difficult. They don’t want to pay fines or potentially lose their license (too many infractions).
  3. Consider hiring a sheriff to be on-site. Many venues require it.
  4. Finally, some people just need to be cut off from the alcohol and turned over to a responsible, sober person to take them home.
feature photo credit: equinox photography

plan on!

 

brides magazine: do not feed your wedding photographer …

We came across an article by Sandy Malone, she’s a destination wedding planner and has had a show on TV. I’ve spoken with her personally on social media and this post is not to attack her. We have a different viewpoint from what she wrote and it is directly applicable to the area we live in, the Midwest – who typically experience very long, traditional, ceremonial wedding days. Also, we’re nice people over here.

Here is the article at Bride’s Magazine.

update: Bride’s Magazine removed the article. Controversy? february 5, 2016

second update: Thanks to Sean Molin you can’t delete anything from the internet, here’s the archive version. Bride’s Magazine simply deleted the post, thinking the negative social media would go away. I hope they plan on addressing the situation.

our viewpoint on feeding wedding vendors

bands

Almost all bands have a rider in their contract that will require a meal. The meal will be given to them before guests arrive or during cocktail hour. While they should be playing during the meal (IF you have contracted that additional hour), then it is up to the band to either eat before or have a few of the musicians playing. Music should be softer in sound anyway, not a full blown band with singing while guests try to dine and talk.

photographers/filmmakers

Many do not have in their contract to be fed. It’s an understanding. If your photographers have been with you from the hair salon (at 10am), pre-wedding photos, ceremony, cocktail hour, grand entrances, a welcome speech … then it bodes that they need to eat. HAVE to eat. If you are unwilling to provide a meal for them, then expect that they have the right to leave the wedding to eat and then return. Who wants that? They don’t need anything special, although she is right, in many circumstances it is more difficult for the catering to provide special, less expensive meals. Either way, they need to refuel their bodies. NO PHOTOS SHOULD BE TAKEN DURING THE MEAL. It’s in poor taste and photos that will never be used in any photo album.

wedding planner team

See above for the photographers, same rule is applied.

dj’s

It’s customary in our area to feed your DJ. They setup before guests arrive and then return to be on-site for 5+ hours.

who could you skip?

Perhaps you have certain vendors that “just showed up” (i.e. photo booth). They setup early and then are able to leave and return when the booth is to be open, may not require a meal. However, it’s better to feed vendors and have them on-site should the timeline need to be shifted due to unforeseeable circumstances.

While you should never need to contract a meal for your transportation driver that has to sit outside for hours to provide guests rides, we will wait until everyone is fed and IF there is left over food, go outside and give the driver a plate. Same goes for security (although most caterers will feed them anyway). This is not included in your catering final count. We do this, because we are all human beings and it’s a nice act of kindness.

final thoughts …

Your wedding planners will work with the caterers to have meals set in a different room while YOU eat. Please note, we don’t care where we eat. Usually it is the first time we have sat down all day and we literally gulf our food down. It’s not pretty. We’ve eaten with plates on our laps in stairwells. We aren’t complaining, our bodies need to fuel up.

Finally, know that we live in a geographical location that being gratuitous to your wedding vendors — that you will continue to see or interact with on social media or in person, is expected. We are not a destination location that you can whiz in, whiz out and never see that vendor again.

So please keep all of this in mind when reading articles that give this type of advice.

featured photo credit: pfe iphone

plan on!

2016 wedding trends

There are lots of wedding trends that don’t make it to our local area in the Tristate. However, here are five trends we feel that we WILL see, or in the very least, hope will come soon.

Or watch me on WEHT Local Lifestyles TV Segment regarding this topic.

5 wedding trends in 2016:apps

1. passed hors d’oeuvres instead of food stations

We are seeing that more of our clients are considering having passed hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour (before the formal wedding dinner). This takes the place of a large food station for guests to serve themselves. It creates an awesome guest experience and encourages you not to over purchase the hors’d.

metallics

2. all things metallic

Metallic, sequins, glitter, foil … anything shiny will STILL be hot this year. Gold is the best option, but many people still love the silver.

naked cake

3. naked cakes

Naked cakes aren’t necessarily a rustic option, but certainly is not uber formal. We like to describe it as an organic and earthy look to your cake. Don’t be surprised that this may not save you money. It takes a lot more work to create a good looking naked cake. Your baker has to make sure that the lines are clean. There is no frosting to cover those imperfections, so it will take more time, which may mean more of a cost to you.

live musicians

4. blending live music with your DJ

We had this a few years ago at the request of our bride. DJ plays the music and a violinist and/or drummer accompany whatever song is playing. It’s freeform and totally cool. You’ll need to find the musicians that have this talent and of course talk with your DJ before booking. The result for the guests? #onfire

arial shot

5. drones, go-pro’s and same day wedding films

Having a still photo from an arial perspective continues to be hot. Be sure to talk to your wedding photographer or filmmaker to see if you can’t capture a still shot. GoPro’s are kinda awesome too (we have one now and plan on using it this year for some fun). Think how you could use one to capture some behind the scenes or at  your actual wedding.

Finally, the “same day wedding” edit films are finally becoming more mainstreamed if you can afford the extra service.  The idea is, right after you kiss and say “I Do” your filmmaker team starts editing a short film of the getting ready, the ceremony and behind the scenes that happened earlier that day. Then at the reception when the dancing starts  you can share with your guests to relive what they missed. The additional cost is for more film editors, but, the reaction from your guests is nine-kinds-of-awesome.

What trends would you like to see happen here locally?

feature photo credit: pfe iphone

plan on!

underage drinking at a home wedding, lesson for us all …

The beauty of planning a home wedding (which is one of our expertise wedding planning services that we offer) is that it is so personal and intimate. It’s almost as if you feel you “aren’t having a formal party”, like you might if you had attended a country club or rented a hotel ballroom. However, you still have to abide by the laws, especially when it comes to under age drinking.

There is a juror case that is happening right now in Raleigh,, N.C. where an 18-year-old was killed in a drunk driving accident after leaving a wedding reception at a private home. The parents of the wedding reception are being charged with aiding and abetting the underage teen. It is still under speculation where the teenager and his friends got the alcohol, however it’s being implied that at the wedding reception there was more than enough alcohol to consume. Being a planner of many home weddings, this doesn’t surprise me. It’s much easier to get booze at a private event.

My heart goes out to both families. I am confident that no one wanted the end of that day to be this outcome.  So what can we learn from this?

how to manage your bar at your home wedding

1. Hire licensed bartenders.  

These are people who are competent and have complied with the laws of their state to not over serve. Back them up if they refuse to serve over intoxicated people. NOTE: New Indiana law requires bartenders to not only be licensed, but to carry an additional certification with the State of Indiana.

2. Take out additional liability policy on your homeowner’s insurance. 

You should do this anyway, even if you are not having alcohol to protect yourself. However, an open bar it is paramount to have additional liability. And for TWO days. If the reception concludes at 12am, it’s the next day. NOTE: A licensed bartender does not exempt you from liability, it’s not the same as a catering license to sell alcohol. And it still doesn’t exempt you from liability.

3. Use your caterer’s licensed bartenders. 

Point #1 is for people who wish to provide their own alcohol (which saves money). If you can spend the extra money, it’s a better peace of mind to use their bartenders.

4. Lock up the booze in the house.

Your family knows where you stash your booze.

5. Be aware.

This is difficult to do as wedding guests are pulling you in different directions, especially if you are the hosts. Back up the bartenders … do not let them serve underage. If you see a teenager with a drink, pour it out. Don’t let them leave.

6. Take away keys.

The truth is, an 18-year-old will find a way to drink at a wedding, or at any other event for that matter. As a pre-caution … be sure your son or daughter’s friends are going to spend the night. Or they have to check in with you before they leave. This is not condoning the situation, just being cautious.

One of the saddest part about this story is the 18-year-old who died called his Mom and said he needed a ride. While in route to pick up him, he got in a car and drove anyway. An impaired decision.

Let’s turn this tragic situation into a learning tool so this doesn’t have to happen to someone else’s family.

feature photo credit: pfe iphone

plan on!

managing your wedding guest meals

Had a great TV segment yesterday with Laura Kirtley (she’s getting married 11/16/13 up north). So these last few months it’s been The-Laura-Kirtley-Wedding-Planning-Show. HA!

The hot question that came up was how to manage your escort cards vs host/place cards for your guests with assigned seating.

Escort Cards: tell the guest which table they are to be seated.

Host or Place Cards: is placed at the actual seat where the guest is supposed to sit at their table.

Make sense?

This is definitely double the work and if you have A LOT of guests, it can be overwhelming (however we did this recently for about 300 people).

Why would a bride and groom consider this option of seating? If your invitation asked guests to select their meal, then it’s going to be really important for the caterer to know which guest gets the vegetarian, beef or chicken meal.

vegetarian meal place card

Here are some quick tips if you are considering this option:

  • You must give your caterer a floor plan as a master list to let them know what number of meals should be served at each table. This is one of our favorite tasks to do. It’s complicated, but since we love logistics, it’s what we excel in. See a photo above of a real wedding catering layout we produced that used BOTH escort and place cards. We had four different meals being served.
  • Do NOT think guests will take their Escort cards and put them at their place setting to help caterers serve them the correct meals. Will. Not. Happen.
  • Make it easy on your wait staff to be able to see at a glance which meal goes to each guest. I’ve seen suggestions to put a small “ink stamp” of a chicken or a beef in the upper corner. Sounds cute, but a nightmare for the wait staff. They need to be able to glance at the place card quickly, while holding food and to serve efficiently. See a photo above where we put large green jewels on the vegetarian dishes ONLY.

And if you want to hear my PSA to guests about changing their minds at the reception about what kind of meal they want to eat, then you’ll just have to watch my TV segment with Laura right here. Just don’t do it, guests-at-weddings. Just. Don’t. Do. It!

featured photo credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!