Wedding – A Groom’s Perspective

Kevin Patel Chicago - Ashyana Catering

Wedding planning as we all know can be stressful for some people. In my personal experience, I never thought I’d be able to pull off, what my wife and I think, was a successful event for around 700 people! There are so many details that we did not even realize would go into planning a wedding. However, the best part about planning a wedding was that you do not have to do it alone.  There are so many friends and family willing to help make the event a success for the guests and most importantly the bride and groom!  My background in building site locations for cell carriers and adhering to certain forecasts certainly gave me a huge advantage in planning since that’s what my job had me doing. For those of you who do not have that type of background and see wedding planning as a daunting task, I assure you, it is not as difficult as it seems if you follow some of these pieces of advice from our experience. The number one piece of advice is to GET AHEAD.  I managed to (with the help of parents) find a venue within the first month and half of our engagement ceremony. After we locked the venue down, I had a ton of time on my hands to start my search for vendors, which can add up fast in terms of number of vendors. If you can manage to finish all this within 3 months, everything else is easy from there as long as you stay organized.  For purposes of focusing planning and process of weddings, I am not going to speak to budgeting because people will have different budgets and you are all smart enough to figure out what you can and cannot afford.

Guest List

You don’t have to have a confirmed guest list but you need to have a rough idea of how many people will be invited.  When creating your guest lists the best way to do it is creating your own between the couples and have parents create their own. Personally, this was the biggest head ache, excuse me if either of our parents read this but it is the truth.  The parents always want to invite way more people than necessary especially when the total number of people is already an insane amount. Couples will potentially fight with their parents or threaten to just cancel the whole event all together. Trust me, you will get through this as everyone does.  Butting heads with parents is going to be a “thing” throughout the process so it is best to stay as calm as possible.


Once you decide how many people you will roughly have, look for venue’s that will actually be able to fit your guests comfortably. I would suggest finding a venue that will fit at least 100+ above your total count so you can ensure enough spacing requirements between tables for people to walk freely.  The last thing you would want is for guest to be clinging their chairs against each other when getting up during the program. Ashyana was a great venue for us as it was affordable and fit all of our guests of about 700 people.

Another important aspect to look at is the catering and drink packages.  Does the venue’s catering company have good food? In all honesty, there are only a few things that people takeaway and for us it was food, music, and if there was booze.   We knew Ashyana had amazing food! I’ve been to a good number of events there in t past and the food was never an issue.  The best part is that they cater it onsite as the restaurant is attached, so the food will always be fresh.

The last thing I personally looked at is how accommodating will they be with different types of requests.  I originally had a bunch of crazy ideas in my mind so I asked away.  If they’re willing to accommodate certain things at little to no charge you will know that the venue will be willing to work with you to make your day more memorable. You are paying a lot of money to the venue and if they execute things the way they are supposed to then guests will see that and potentially have their events at the same venue in the future, which means more business for the venue itself. Don’t be afraid to ask, it is a service industry  after all.


Last part of my planning process that I completed was looking for vendors. We originally started only looking at decorators, videographers, photographers, and DJ.  Then came the cake vendor, vinyl dance floor vendor, and cocktail hour entertainment. My biggest and only piece of advice of this post was to GET AHEAD.  As I mentioned before, we locked in our video/photo, decorator, and DJ within the first 2 or 3 months of our engagement and after that we did not even have to worry about those things until 2 or 3 weeks before the wedding. This was a huge load off our shoulders and it also gave us more time find quotes on the smaller details that are usually costly such as vinyl dance floor installers and cocktail hour entertainment that we really wanted.

Hotel accommodations is another aspect that should also get ironed out early.  If you are planning on having a summer wedding, I suggest you block out your rooms around December or at the earliest possible time the hotel will allow you to block off rooms.  We had hotel issues and looking back, I wish I blocked out rooms at another location rather than having to deal with it the last minute, which caused the most stress believe it or not.  Our hotel threatened to cancel already booked rooms, but that’s another story for another day.   Anyways, look for a hotel that has shuttle service as an option and maybe a larger conference room that you can book for the weekend.  This conference room is so clutch when hosting an after party for the reception night and also allows you to have breakfast items that would cater more to your crowd if hotel breakfast does not suit or offer your guests.


In conclusion, my biggest takeaway from planning this wedding with my wife was to get ahead and don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen. Find a venue that cares to make your day as amazing as you imagined.  Work with vendors who will take the time to see your vision and execute on it. I know there was a ton of things that are also important but these are just some things that I thought were very crucial to get done at an early stage of the process so you can focus more on finer details without stressing for months.  The last piece of advice I have to offer is to make sure you have an amazing time and live in the moment when event time comes.  Enjoy the time you get to spend with your family and friends during the that auspicious occasion.

Kevin Patel  ( Wedding with Payal Patel )