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Filtering by Tag: Conundrums

Wedding Conundrums Part 4

Suzanne Pollak

Dean Pollak was almost spiraling into bankruptcy with all the expensive gifts she was languishing on brides. It took a chat with Dean Manigault to set her straight.

Dean Manigault told her it was not only unnecessary to send silver and crystal to every bride, and lots of it, but could sometimes be viewed as a bit unseemly.

Kate Middleton with her sister, Pippa, maid of honor

Kate Middleton with her sister, Pippa, maid of honor

A wedding gift should be appropriate to the degree to which you are a friend of the celebrants or their parents. Dean Manigault's mother went to her grave knowing that a $50 gift was always appropriate and a $200 gift should cause the bride to write her thank you note before she finished unwrapping the gift. 

Of course the bride always wants something off her registry, and this is what you should go by. Going off mission this time is not a good idea. 

The Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess of Cambridge

Prince William with his wife

Prince William with his wife

Wedding Conundrums Part 3

Suzanne Pollak

A wedding is not the time to look ungenerous. Examine your budget and be realistic about what you can provide. Three hundred people in black tie requires unlimited champagne and hor d'ouevres, a three course seated dinner and an extravagant band, not a DJ, and probably some sort of surprise entertainment, as well. If you can't afford this, or don't wish to entertain in this fashion, you are by no means alone. Few people can and will have this kind of wedding. So, don't ask your guests to get in black tie unless you are going to provide a black tie entertainment. 

The first of many wedding dresses & husbands for Elizabeth Taylor

The first of many wedding dresses & husbands for Elizabeth Taylor

Eleven thirty weddings are popular in England, why not here? This unusual time will set your wedding apart. You can choose to have a sit down luncheon from 12 to 40 people or a buffet for 200. Four thirty used to be the most popular call time for a wedding. When Dean Manigault got married her mother hit the mat when Dean Manigault wanted to start the ceremony at six o'clock. Maris asserted that 4:30 was the chicest of all times and was not to be moved from this point. Eleven thirty, four thirty, noon, whatever time you choose, just be sure the entertainment you provide is as lavish as your budget allows. The Deans have been to barbecue and beer receptions that were way more fun than the time Dean Manigault flew to Capetown and was presented with a bill at the end of the rehearsal dinner!! The single most shocking event of her long life! 

Dress No.2

Dress No.2

If your budget solution is to have a cash bar for your wedding then you have not come up with a suitable solution. The Deans were never more shocked than when they heard about this trend.  You don't have to invite everyone you went to school with or ever met. Less guests can frequently mean more fun. Especially if none have to reach for their wallets!

Wedding Conundrums Part 2

Lee Manigault

The hour between a wedding ceremony and the beginning of the reception has bloated and become gassy.  The time was once used to get from church to reception hall and bridal photos were taken in 15 minutes.  The in-between time has expanded to an hour just as the wedding industry has grown to 51 billion dollars. This hour is filler, a non-event, leaving guests wandering around with nothing to do, no plan, entertainment...waiting for something to happen. The hour is not going to be trimmed...today, hundreds of  photos are taken.  So naturally, the Deans have suggestions. 

The timeless Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco

The timeless Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco

Wedding guests need to be entertained, wined and dined, and not left to themselves while the bride gets all the attention. We suggest getting some sort of entertainment guests can enjoy while they wait for the party to start. A comedian has a warm up act and so does a rock concert. Every big event needs a sexy lead in to get people in the mood.  Guests leave the ceremony in good spirits and you want to build on this vibe.

Wedding planners don't address this black hole of time because they assume that if the bride and her family are not going to participate in this entertainment, then they will not want to pay for it.  Bad decision! How about hiring a trio or quartet to play? No need for Isaac Perlman. This is the warm up, not the main event. Most communities have competent music students or orchestra players who would be happy for the work.  Similarly, a signature cocktail created with the bride and groom in mind provides both a focal and talking point for guests.  Dean Pollak had a pink cactus margarita whipped up for her daughter's at home wedding because pink is Caroline's favorite color.  Not only were the drinks pink, but all the food as well - Scallops brined in beet juice, mini lobster roll etc.  Quite a show stopper!  

The Deans current favorite idea is to engage a slight of hand magician to mingle among the guests during this hour.  A professional magician will know exactly how to entertain the guests. One less problem for the bride's mother to solve!! 


Wedding Conundrums Part 1

Suzanne Pollak

Jackie-kennedy-wedding-ring-3.jpg

One of our fans from Portlandia (she chars her own ice:-) wrote and asked us a question about wedding gifts. She wondered if we thought it was a good idea for engaged and newly married couples to disseminate a list of the gifts received to at least the mothers of the bride and groom. This list would aid the mothers in answering the age old question about whether the gift was received or not. We think this ideas is brilliant! 

As brilliant as this idea, she informed us of a terrifying practice that may be trending. Guests are encouraged to leave a self addressed envelope at the wedding to facilitate the bride with her thank you note writing. Let us be clear, the Deans abhor this idea! If brides are too lazy to retain the address of the wedding participants - they had to send them a wedding invitation after all - then they don't deserve to get any gifts at all. 

What the Deans would love to see resurrected is the tradition of displaying all the gifts for all to see at the wedding reception. We fear however that with the ubiquitous destination wedding that this tradition has been laid  to rest.   

 

Memorable Wedding Moments -- John & Jacqueline Kennedy

JBK JFK Dancing at wedding.jpg