Frequently Asked Questions for Your Wedding--Advice from Prosperity Mansion & Farm
Advice from Prosperity Mansion & Farm an outdoor, Maryland wedding venue located in Frederick County Maryland and bordering Carroll County.
When you approach something for the first time, you are bound to have questions you need answered, and this is true when it comes to planning a wedding. Additionally, your guests will be sure to inquire too, so having these answers ready for them will save both you and your guests from having to worry as the day approaches.
Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions you should keep in mind as you plan your wedding:
How many guests should I invite?
At the end of the day, the guest list is up to you and your fiancé, but there are certain things you need to keep in mind as you write up your guest list. Catering costs increase as the number of guests does, and wedding venues are often limited by capacity restrictions.
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, many venues are unable to allow their full capacity and their capacity limit varies based upon local regulations. Here at Prosperity Mansion & Farm, we can typically fit up to 200 people in our reception area, but due to Frederick County guidelines, we can only host 100 guests inside of our enclosed reception tent. We can still fit 200 guests in the open areas such as the ceremony site and cocktail garden, and you can arrange to have additional guests seated outside of the tent or set up a second tent for the reception. Many venues, such as barns, only have a capacity of 100 or so. Ultimately that means with the 50% mandates they can only allow you to have 50 guests. So really be careful with the Maryland wedding venue that you select.
How big should the bridal party be?
Again, this is up to you, but the bigger the bridal party, the more you need to coordinate with everyone. A smaller bridal party is easier to schedule fittings and other activities with. Our wedding venue finds that 8 attendants for the bride and 8 for the groom is on the larger side. Four to six is more typical. Also consider that the smaller the wedding party the less people to cause disruptions.
How do I choose flowers and decorations?
When it comes to décor, many couples begin by selecting a color palette to follow. Once you have these colors, decorations and flowers should either match or complement them. If you are considering a color palette, keep this guide from Brides.com in mind.
If you opt not to have a color palette, decorations and flowers should be complementary to each other and your venue. Prosperity Mansion & Farm has a wonderful array of flowers and décor that are included. So, if you select a wedding venue such as ours, that is also a great way to save money since so much is available for free.
Who gives the toasts at the reception?
Usually, toasts are given by the father of the bride, the maid of honor and the best man, and occasionally there are toasts by the other parents of the couple. Keep in mind that your guests may get impatient if there are too many toasts, so try to limit the number of toasts and how long they are.
What order should the dances be in?
Most couples start with their first dance as a married couple, and then follow this up with the father-daughter dance and then the mother-son dance. As always, though, if you would like to switch things up and change the order to better fit your reception, you are welcome to do so.
How far in advance should we send Save-the-Date cards and invitations?
When it comes to planning, earlier is always better. Save-the-Date cards are often sent no later than six months in advance so your guests can plan for the date, and formal invitations are often sent no later than six weeks in advance. Most Save the Date cards are now sent via email and are typically sent a year in advance!
When should our RSVP deadline be?
Many couples want to know their final guest list two to three weeks before the wedding so they can finalize the seating chart for the reception. If you are doing open seating for your reception, it is still a good idea to know exactly how many people are coming a few weeks in advance so you can finalize arrangements with your caterer and venue.
FYI, we never recommend open seating! It always causes problems and makes the wedding couple look lazy. So, take the time to make a seating chart. Your guests will certainly appreciate it.
Do we need to have a rehearsal?
YES! A rehearsal shortly before your wedding is highly recommended. You are working with many moving parts during the ceremony. Rehearsing the ceremony allows you to make sure everyone knows when to walk, the pace, where to go, when to stop, and when to say what. It also allows the DJ an opportunity to coordinate the music. If you are using different songs for the guys, bridesmaids and finally the bride it’s nice not to run out of music.
You are spending a lot of time and money to plan a wedding that is a once in a lifetime event, and you want to make sure you are doing whatever you can to make it perfect. Any couple that has gotten married at at Prosperity Mansion & Farm and not had a rehearsal has had flaws in their ceremony.
Where should the guests sit during the ceremony?
Traditionally, guests of the bride sit on the left side of the aisle and guests of the groom sit on the right. Nowadays, though, many couples invite their guests to choose their own seats for the ceremony, as guests often know both members of the wedding couple.
Can my guests bring a plus-one?
This is also up to you, but you should again consider your wedding venue and catering arrangements when making this decision. If you cannot accommodate any extra guests, be sure to make this clear to those you invite.
What should my guests wear?
The dress code for your wedding should fit the time of year and the venue. It is a little silly to wear a floral sundress at an outdoor wedding in October, after all. Be sure to tell your guests if there is a theme they should dress for!
It is also nice to tell them if you are getting married at an outdoor wedding venue. They may want to bring a shawl or jacket, and especially for the women, it’s important to know what type of shoes would be considered appropriate.
Should guests bring their gifts to the wedding?
Again, this is up to you. A proper gift table makes for beautiful photos, but it can often be difficult to take all the gifts out of the venue that evening. Whatever you decide, be sure to let your guests know where and when you would like to receive gifts. Most people gift cash or a check for the actual wedding.
It is supposed to rain the day of our wedding! What should we do?
Unfortunately, weather is the one aspect of your wedding day that nobody can control. If you’re celebrating at an outdoor wedding venue, it is always a good idea to arrange for a rain plan. At Prosperity Mansion & Farm, we hold the ceremony inside the reception tent if it is raining. But guests or the wedding couple may want to provide some umbrellas and consider footwear.
We hope these questions can help you as you plan the wedding of your dreams!
Prosperity Mansion & Farm proudly serves:
Carroll County Maryland
Montgomery County Maryland
Anne Arundel County Maryland
Loudoun County Virginia and more
Contact us at: 443-350-8100