15 Rules for Great Outdoor Weddings and Events
A wedding in the great outdoors can be absolutely amazing… but the planning process can be pretty stressful! There are so many things to think (and worry) about, from the weather to the wildlife to the bathroom situation, it’s a lot to take on! If you’re thinking of getting married al fresco, here are 15 ways to keep things running smoothly.
1. Rules + Permits: Figure out what kind of rules and permits you’ll be subjected to before you plan anything. Getting married at the park near your childhood home may seem like the best idea ever, but that park may have a lot more rules and regulations than you realize. (Photo by: Ira Lippke Photography on Mindy Weiss via Lover.ly)
2. Make Guests Comfortable: Make your guests’ comfort top priority by making sure your site is well-equipped with things like fans, outdoor heating units, well-lit paths to the bathrooms, refreshing non-alcoholic drinks, and citronella candles. Nail down a plan for buying or renting the things your venue doesn’t offer as early as possible. (Photo by: Kellie Kano on Inspired By This via Lover.ly)
4. Prepare for Weather: Organize weather-appropriate accessories for the bridal party and parents: gloves, scarves, and nice (sturdy!) umbrellas. Then ask someone in the bridal party to be in charge of bringing it the day of. (Photo by: Stephanie on Saltwater Studios via Lover.ly)
6. Photography: Talk to your photographer about where the sun will be during your ceremony so you can plan the ceremony and seating arrangements accordingly. You don’t want to realize the morning of that you’re going to be hidden in shadows or squinting into the sun in your photos. (Photo by: Brittany Putnam Photography on Brittany Putnam Photography via Lover.ly)
8. Windproof Decor: If wind is a possibility (and it is most places), double check that all your decor can withstand a very strong breeze. (Photo by: Brittany Putnam Photography on Brittany Putnam Photography via Lover.ly)
9. A/V: Make sure everyone will be able to hear you! No one wants to strain to hear your vows or the toasts. Depending on how open and/or busy your space is, you may need to hire someone to set up audio equipment. (Photo by: Brittany Putnam Photography on Brittany Putnam Photography via Lover.ly)
10. Find an Expert: If you don’t consider yourself a wedding expert (and you don’t want to become one), find an outdoor venue that does weddings regularly. A venue that does dozens of weddings every year will either have the details covered (i.e. they supply the chairs and the tent) and have advice on best practices for couples getting married (i.e. “Those chairs are beautiful but they will sink on the beach”). (Photo by: Love Bird on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly)
11. Details, Details: Your wedding website is the perfect place to put details about your outdoor wedding so your guests can plan accordingly. Include a photo of the venue, the kind of weather you’re expecting, and the worst-case scenario weather they may want to be prepared for. (Photo by: Kristin Cheatwood Photography on Kristin Cheatwood Photography via Lover.ly)
12. Footwear: Your website is also a great place to post info about what kind of shoes the guests may want to wear. Something simple like “The bridesmaids are wearing wedges so they can walk in the garden without issues!” will reduce your guests’ stress (and urgent text messages to you) the week of the wedding. (Photo by: Kristin LaVoie Photography on Every Last Detail via Lover.ly)
13. All Ages: Keep your very old and very young guests in mind as you plan. For example, if there will be a lot of walking from the parking lot to the clearing in the woods where the ceremony is, let them know ahead of time on the website or even the invite. (Photo by: Love Bird on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly)
14. Welcome Bags: Stock welcome bags with any last-minute things that may be useful to guests: think bottled water, gloves, or and inexpensive sunglasses. Order everything online a few months ahead of time so you aren’t making a midnight run to store with your maid of honor the night before your wedding. (Aloha Chevron Stripe Welcome Wedding Tote Set of 20 From WeddingChicks via Lover.ly)
15. Fans + Parasols: Fill pretty baskets with things like parasols, fans, or pashminas to help guests deal with the elements on-site. The less you’re worried about guests’ comfort, the easier it is to focus on getting married. (Crinkle Fans (10) From BHLDN via Lover.ly)
Are you thinking about planning an outdoor wedding? Or been to any with genius ideas? Talk to us in the comments below.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com