Tag Archives: wedding prep

First hand information: Planning a wedding reception

Planning a wedding reception is a time of fun, excitement and great expectations. Your wedding day is one of the most important days in your life and you want it to be as perfect as possible. But to many, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the things to plan and organize while planning a wedding reception. If you don’t have someone to guide you, it’s easy to get confused. So the first things you’re asking yourself is; where do I start? What are the most important parts that we should focus on? How do we get organized better? How do we make things run as smooth as possible for our wedding day?

There is some highly useful information about wedding planning on websites such as; The Knot, Style Me Pretty and The Budget Savvy Bride. But, we wanted to go one step further and to give you the first hand information, directly from a wedding planner. So we decided to interview Boston’s wedding planner Kristin Healy, the Owner and Creative Event Director of Swank Events.

Kristin agreed to give us some extremely important guidelines and information so that we can share them with you. You can either listen to our podcast Creative Living: Planning a wedding reception, below. Or you can read on if you want to better digest the information Kristin has given us.


Can you tell our audience something about yourself and your wedding planning business?

Kristin: We have been planning events for many years, corporate and social events. We plan tons of weddings annually. Every wedding is different, and that makes it so much fun. Additionally, we plan many other events. Company events, birthday parties and any type of event you can think of. We plan events through Boston and throughout New England. There is some beautiful locations throughout New England, and we go where couples go.

Carl: It’s funny how times change, wedding days are changing as well. I’ve noticed some couples getting married on Mondays as well.

Kristin: Yes, I’ve been noticing that trend as well. We have some couples getting married on Fridays.

Can you tell us a bit about the order of a wedding reception?

Kristin: All weddings are different. But typically, after the ceremony and cocktail hour, the guests enter the reception hall and find their seats. Then the bridal party is introduced. And then the couple is introduced, as a couple for the first time. Typically they go into their first dance, or they may be given questions or a speech. They may have parent dances, then they’ll cut the cake and the dance floor will open to everyone. We try to include a dance timeline, which includes plenty of dance. That’s something people look forward to.

What parts of a wedding reception need most attention while planning in order to avoid stressful or awkward situations?

Kristin: A lot of thought and planning should go to all of the reception formalities. The bridal party, introductions, the first dance, parent dances, cutting the cake and any other planned event. Those are the events that you need to happen. You want to make sure you plan and think them through. Family dynamics always play a big role. It’s really interesting. If there are any tendencies for drama, you want to focus more attention there. Other things are the logistics. You want to make sure the guests have an RSVP. If you can’t get the note back from someone, you have to make sure you plan on them attending. It’s much easier and less awkward for the caterer to have the place setting. In any event it’s always better to anticipate the issues and address them before they arrive. This is a value that we as event planners provide as our expertise. We’re able to predict the challenges and offer the solution to the client.

From your experience, what are the most common mistakes people make in their wedding reception plans?

Kristin: Most couples don’t build enough time into the day. There’s so much going on, you’re being pulled in millions of different directions, and the last thing you want to do is feel lashed. If you’re okay with taking photos before the day, that can be a huge time saver. That way you can spend more time with the guests. If not, you can add some extra time after the ceremony.

What are the dos and don’ts when planning a wedding reception?

Kristin: The number one DO would be obvious, hire a wedding planner. If not for any of the pre-events, then just for the wedding day. It will save you a headache, because you DON’T want to be the contact for anything. You want to be able to enjoy your day.

Another thing I would say is, DO make the day a reflection of you as a couple. Add personal touches and make it all about you, because that’s what it really is. It’s the small details that will be remembered. DO have a rain plan. DO practice walking in your wedding shoes. Do consider a band if it’s in your budget. They bring amazing energy to the big day.

As for the DON’TS. Don’t put your time and energy on things you can’t control. Like the weather. Have a rain plan, but don’t focus on that because there’s nothing you can do about it. Don’t forget to eat. So many people forget to eat enough because there’s so much going on. But you want to make sure you eat and that you’re hydrated. But not too hydrated! Don’t spend the day on social media, so many people do that today. You want to be in the moment as much as you can! Don’t forget to give your speeches within a time limit. The good rule of thumb is 5 minutes. Your guests will appreciate if there’s a time limit on that. Finally, I would say don’t forget to consider a videographer. So many people dismiss the importance of a videographer. Images are great and you do need a photographer. But a video will capture all the special moments, personalities and the excitement of the day.

Carl: Kristen, thank you so much for being with us today. You’ve really shared some important information with us.

Kristin: Thank you so much for having me, it was fun chatting with you.

Carl: Where can people reach you if they want to hire you as their wedding planner, your website is awesome, and can you share it with us?

Kristin: Our website is www.swankeventsboston.com. You can also reach me by email, at info@swankeventsboston.com

Creative Living: Getting ready for my wedding

Recently, I interviewed Zan, a future bride and a friend of Boston Mobile Dance Studio. Zan is an inspiration to all future brides, and we wanted to hear more about her approach to wedding prep; getting in shape and getting ready for her wedding.

Listen to our podcast or read the interview here.

Carl: Hi Zan, we are so happy that you agreed to this interview. As you already know, our main goal here is to empower other brides on their road to getting in shape. But, when we say “getting in shape for your wedding” we don’t mean so much the physical aspect of losing weight and toning the body, we’re actually more focused on the emotional and mental aspect of the wedding prep. Just having fun.

In my line of work I see around 80 weddings a year. I’ve seen brides get extremely obsessed with the idea of looking slim and stunning in their beautiful white dresses. Actually, to the point that it becomes overwhelming and drains a lot of valuable energy. But it shouldn’t be this way, I think that brides should be empowered to love themselves, to love their bodies and to feel good. To make it a great experience where you’re spending time and loving your partner and having a good time.

So can you please tell us something about your wedding prep experience Zan?

Zan: In terms of distressing, my new husband and I like to go for walks together. That’s a good distresser. It gives you that feeling of strength to prepare, mentally and emotionally. We like to walk and talk, and unwind that way.

I also love to go to your dance class, and work it out on the dance floor. That’s the highlight of my week, I try to do it as often as I can get there. It’s such a change from everything else I’m doing the whole week. That one hour of dance class, I forget everything else and all I do is just dance. To me, that’s worth more than gold.

Carl: I remember the first time you came to our dance class. It was great to see that smile on your face. It’s encouraging to see when someone is smiling and having a good time during my dance class. It’s so good to see people smiling and giving good energy to each other. Contagious energy!

What activities do you take part in, during your wedding prep?

Zan: Like I said, I do a lot of walking. I like to walk. I walk from home to work and to school. I do a lot of meditating. It might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it’s a good way to start the day. It helps me to have a positive mind set. It sets the tone for the rest of the day. Just as physical activity, meditation is also good for your body.

As I mentioned, I love to dance at your classes. I also spend a lot of quality time with my new family. Getting to know and love them is really important to me.

Carl: Meditation is definitely important. I’ve been learning a lot about it lately. It really helps you let the dust settle and get more clarity.

Zan: Yes, things look different after 15 minutes of meditation, it’s amazing.

How do you feel preparing for your wedding?

Zan: I feel a lot of excitement and anticipation. It’s going to be a small wedding. But I really want people to have a good time, to feel the joy and the love my husband and I have for each other. And first and foremost, I want to have a good time myself.

Speaking in terms of “getting in shape”, do you have any simple goals?

Zan: My first goal is to not go bananas. So it’s about stress management. Something that helps me feel calm, cool and collected. That’s very different for me, rather than being overly focused on being tight here and firm there, I want to feel comfortable in my own skin and happy with my mental state.

So, you are also more focused on enjoying the ride and having fun. What advice would you give other future brides?

Zan: To be grateful for the good things, to not sweat the small stuff and to treat yourself exquisitely well. I think sometimes women put themselves last on the list. We tend to take care of everybody else before we take care of ourselves. Or we think, after I have a child I’ll take care of my body. We like to give everybody else the best treatment and we get the seconds or thirds, and everybody else is doing well. I like the metaphor, sometimes you have to put your own oxygen mask on first, before you help anybody else.

Carl: What I hear there also is, enjoy the moment, life is short and live in the moment. That’s great advice!

What do you think about other brides’ obsessions to look their best for their wedding day?

I think that sometimes the obsession comes from wanting to look like someone else. Like, I wish I could look like Beyonce or like someone else from a picture in a bridal magazine. It can get depressing when you start to focus that way. Something that really helps, is focusing on what you have that’s special about you. And to focus on what makes you unique and wonderful. To take out all of that mental comparison out of the equation. So you’re not focused on images of other people or images of an ideal. To focus on what you’ve got. Because someone fell in love with you and loves what you’ve got.

creative living quote

Carl: Nice. I can tell you’ve been meditating, I love your clarity!

My next question was going to be; any words of wisdom? But all the things you’ve just said are really wise. The same goes for grooms too. To focus more on having a good time rather than just going along and stressing out.

Thank you so much for coming out and talking to us about your wedding prep. You’ve reminded me a lot about how important it is to focus on your well-being and on spending time with the one you love.

Fun ideas for your wedding: Infographic

Wedding preparations are fun. We all want our big day to be the most special time of our lives. With some creativity it’s easy to come up with some fun ideas for your wedding.

In case you’re short on ideas, here’s a sweet infographic list of fun ideas for your wedding.


The top 10 fun activities to help you get in shape for your wedding

So, your wedding day is approaching and time is flying fast. With all the planning and prep activities; you’re not getting much time to dedicate to yourself. Let alone to get in shape for your wedding. But you feel the need to prepare for your big day; on a physical and emotional level.

Us ladies, have a tendency to get overwhelmed what with all the ideas and wishes we have for our wedding. So somewhere along the line we forget to relax, have fun and enjoy the ride.

Getting in shape for your wedding doesn’t have to be a tough and draining process. No matter what your physical appearance and condition. If you feel that you may be overweight and you’d like to go down a size (or a few), ask yourself; are you expectations realistic for that amount of time?

Don’t set goals that are going to drain all your energy by the time you get to the date of the wedding.

Here we’ve made a list of the fun, healthy and soothing activities you can do to get in shape for your wedding day. But when we say “get in shape”, we don’t just mean physically; but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Whatever you do, remember to have fun!

1. Zumba with the bridesmaids

Zumba is a great way to burn fat and calories. The creator of Zumba, Beto Perez AKA Mr Zumba, created this form of fitness for ladies that want to enjoy their workout. For those of us that put fun before strict fitness and weight loss plans, Zumba is a great option for getting in shape for your wedding day. Zumba classes are fun. Having fun, releases the happiness chemicals in your body called endorphins.

2. Yoga

Yoga has gained popularity among masses. Although it is the most ancient form of wellness activity. Nowadays there are many different types of Yoga that differentiate from the original forms. Hatha yoga, Bikram Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Acro Yoga, Power Yoga, to name a few. If your primary goal is toning and weight loss, you’re best off with Power Yoga. But if you want to take the more mindful approach, go for Hatha or Ashtanga Yoga. This will allow you to connect with yourself and others on a spiritual level, as well as getting into shape. Acro Yoga is also gaining lots of popularity recently. Many couples are starting with Acro Yoga these days. Acro Yoga allows you learning to connect on a deeper level with each other.

3. Pact app

Pact app is really cool and it is sure a good motivator. With Pact app you can make bets with other members of the community about your diet and fitness goals. Those members that reach their goals win money and the ones that lose, they pay!

4. Wii fit

Nintendo has released new versions of Wii Fit; Wii Fit Plus and Wii Fit U. You can plan and track your calorie burn, choose the activities and games you want to play, and choose your own personal trainer. Wii fit U comes with the Fit Meter to track your progress even when you’re out of home. So if you and your sweety are gamers and couch potatoes, consider this option to get in shape and have fun at the same time.

5. Bootcamp

Don’t want to get obsessed with the idea of getting in shape for your wedding? But you’d still like to look your best for the big day. You can do a Bootcamp or a form of fitness of very high intensity such as: HIIT, or T25, Insanity or another choice of Shaun T’s intense fitness programs. As much as we don’t encourage last minute fitness campaigns, these are good for getting some quick results and de-stressing. Remember to make sure you balance your diet, eat a little bit every 4 hours and drink plenty of water. You don’t want to get to your wedding day all exhausted!

6. Just dance

If you don’t want to commit to any specific routines, or you don’t need to lose weight, then just dance. Like we always say, dancing is good for you. It will help you feel good physically and mentally. And if you do it with your partner or with your friends, it’s even more fun. Check out the Boston Mobile Dance Studio Calendar for some of our dance classes, or sign up for Dance Hall Reggae Style.

Just Dance

7. Walk or run with your favorite tunes

For a simpler routine, you might enjoy early morning walks and runs along with some great workout music. Outdoors and physical activity help you clear your mind and find inner strength for the challenges ahead. They are a great kick off for the day ahead. Whereas good music can do wonders for the mind and the soul; inspire, motivate, empower and encourage.

Run with me baby

8. Jump with Kangoo boots

Say what? Kangoo boots? Yes, you heard it right, these boots turn you into a kangaroo. Just kidding. Training with Kangoo boots is the closest you can get to experience the life of a kangaroo. No, seriously now. If you want to try Kangoo boots training, get ready for some serious muscle burning and cardio exercise. Another thing that Kangoo boots will give you; destress and gain the right posture for walking down the aisle.

9. Go on adventures

If you’re more of an adventure type and you almost always avoid routines in your life; consider weekly outdoor adventures. You can do hiking, climbing or extreme sports. Try something that you haven’t tried yet (if you’re already and adrenalin freak like some of us). But set your goal to go on an adventure every week before your wedding day. Not only will you get into shape physically, but you will also have so much to talk about and to share your experiences with everyone else.

10. Play with kids

Even though you still may not have kids, there are other people’s kids around you. Your family, friends or neighbors will love you for spending time with their children and playing their favorite games. You can play common games such as Hide and Seek, Freeze, Treasure Hunt, Twister or get creative and invent your own. Make it your goal to have fun and be a child for that set time. Kids are great teachers, especially when it comes to having fun!

And a final word from us. Avoid obsessive routines that will turn you into a miserable and stressed out future bride. Who says you have to be all slim and toned? A beautiful woman is a woman that feels good in her own body. If you love your own body just the way it is, you will look beautiful in that gorgeous white dress.

Be good to yourself

Any thoughts on fun ways for getting into shape? Please share with us, we’d love to hear from you!