Putting together a great wedding does not happen by accident. It takes careful planning and the enlistment of talented event professionals.

Your Guide to an Exceptional Event

Michael Evans, owner of Helga’s Caterers in McLean, is a seasoned pro when it comes to planning events. Whether it’s an intimate backyard wedding or a full scale affair, here’s some great advice, courtesy of Michael, to help you plan your wedding day.

Putting together a great wedding does not happen by accident.
It takes careful planning and the enlistment of talented event professionals.
Use the following tips to help plan your perfect day.

Take some time and visualize your event. Close your eyes
and walk through it in as much detail as you can, from start to finish. This
takes a little time, but you’ll find that it enhances creativity and helps you
anticipate and avoid problems.

Your site sets the tone for the experience. Make sure your
site fits the guest list — don’t try to squeeze too many people into the venue.
And don’t pick a huge site that will make a small gathering feel uncomfortable.
And remember, you’re not just choosing a site for an event — you’re also choosing
a backdrop for your wedding photos.

Be clear about your reception’s purpose. This helps you
create the right setting, mood and format. For example, if you want your guests
to mix and mingle, don’t choose a sit-down dinner. A buffet or stations create
far better movement and interaction.

Define your event’s personality. If your rehearsal dinner is
going to be the first time that families meet, your goal is to put everyone at
ease. Even the most elegant and expensive party will flop if the food, location
or format makes your guests feel uncomfortable.

Include the right people in the planning process. Think
about the stakeholders in your event. You don’t need to bring them all together
in one room, but enlisting their help in thinking through each phase of the
planning assures a smoother and more rewarding event.

Create a master plan. Put everything on paper (or spreadsheet) and in your
trusty binder (or computer). Writing down each step helps you spot things before they cause a
problem. Include week by week and day by day action steps, identifying who’s
responsible for what. Include all vendor contact information in this plan.

Work closely with the experts. The more your wedding
professionals understand your event, the more value they are to you. Make sure
your wedding partners understand your budget. Take a few minutes to talk about
what you’ve liked (or haven’t liked) at other weddings. Experts can use this
information to make suggestions and create just the right event for you. Look
for vendors who can help you handle more than one aspect of your event. A
caterer can help you with rental items and decor, and give valuable
recommendations for sites, floral designers, bakers and entertainment.

Keep everyone in the loop. Set up a website. This is
particularly valuable so out of town guests can see where you have booked a
block of guest rooms. Use the website to give a schedule of events, RSVPs,
directions to the ceremony and reception sites and other important details.

Be prepared for emergencies. By thinking about them ahead of
time, we can keep little crises from becoming disasters. Have a list of taxicab
services handy for those who have had too much to drink. A first aid kit is
always a good thing to have, and find out if any of your guests know CPR. ™

Great advice, Michael. To
schedule your consultation with Helga’s for your reception, rehearsal dinner or guest
brunch, call 703.556.0780. And be sure to visit Facebook page and check out their real wedding videos on YouTube.


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