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Tipping Etiquette At Your Wedding

One of the more controversial topics discussed in many wedding threads and on many wedding websites is that of tipping your service providers.  After much research and study I have found that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to tipping.  Where one person will disagree with what I say others will find what I say enlightening and good advice.

Tipping someone is a way of acknowledging the excellent service they provided for you.  Your wedding should be no different.  I know weddings can be expensive and tipping your service providers becomes an after thought.  I mean many times we think to ourselves, “If they wanted a tip they would have just included it in their price” or “I am not tipping them, I already spent $XX on their services.”   Tipping someone is not law and many vendors do not expect it.  However, Many times we get so caught up in the day that we forget to acknowledge all the people who made it possible.

The Oxford dictionary defines a tip as a small sum of money given to someone for performing a service. Many wedding professionals do not expect a tip.  However, when it comes to tipping one rule of thumb is did that vendor go above and beyond the call of duty?

Ever wonder who, how and when you should tip?  Don’t worry, you aren’t alone – not even close. Most of us take a guess at the amount and hope that we are thought of as a generous person rather than a cheapskate.

When creating your wedding budget it is suggested that you set money aside for tipping your service providers.  This way you have already figured it into your budget so you won’t feel like you are having to spend money you were not planning on spending in the first place.

Here are just a few guidelines/suggestions to consider if and when you plan on tipping at your wedding.

Hairstylist, Makeup Artist, Beautician – Plan to tip them just as you would for any regular appointment.  15-20% is typically the norm.  If they have assistants helping them another $3 – $5 per assistant is considered a good tip.

Photo by~Fairytale Hair & Make-up

Officiants, Clergy, Ministry – Many times officiants do not ask to be paid, let alone tipped. If they are performing your service for free it is suggested that you make an extra donation to the church. If your wedding is performed by a civil employee such as a judge, clerk, or other nonreligious official, then forgo a gratuity. Such officiants are paid a flat rate and are usually not permitted to accept tips or donations — local law may actually prohibit it. A thoughtful card, however, is always appreciated.  There are some officiants who are not tied to a church or a government and in their case tipping would be accepted.  Typically about 10-15% is standard.

Transportation (chauffeurs, limousine drivers, horse-drawn carriages, etc) – Many times these vendors will include a gratuity directly into their bill.  If they do not or if you want to reward them even more for their service on your wedding day then the norm is to tip them 15%-20% of the total cost of the bill.  If your wedding has run late and you are keeping them longer than originally planned or if the driver has gone above and beyond for you it is highly encouraged to give them a great tip.

Photography by~Swensen Photography

Chauffeured Vintage car by~Something Vintage Something Blue

Catering/Venue Manager – Traditionally the caterers and venue management will calculate a tip into their cost estimate, in the form of a service charge. Many times this tip is divided up amongst the staff that has helped out with the event.  However, if this isn’t the case it is it is highly encouraged to tip at least 15%.  Keep in mind that it isn’t just the head caterer but the Chefs who prepared the food, the servers who attended to your guests needs and the other staff that supported the team.  Make sure that all who helped get a piece of the pie (no pun intended).

Photo by~Silver Whisk Catering

Photographer or Videographer – Typically you do not need to tip your photographer or videographer.  However, the same rule applies with other traditional non-tipping services.  If they do a fantastic job go ahead and give them a tip.  If they do not own the business it is especially considerate to tip them $50 bucks or so.

Wedding Band or DJ – Tipping bands and DJ’s is not generally expected but is always welcomed.  If you do plan on tipping band members $20-$25 per member is a nice tip.  If you plan on tipping your DJ $50 – $100 is a recommended.  Again if the DJ doesn’t own the business it is always nice to tip them.

Photography by~Tiny Comet

Delivery and Set up Staff - This includes, florists, cake vendors, decorators etc. – While you don’t need to tip the florist or cake designer or head decorator directly many times someone else will deliver the flowers or cakes and it is always wise to tip them for their service.  A tip of $5 for the delivery is considered a nice tip and for the staff that helped set up and decorate your event $5-$10 per person is a good gratuity.

Photo by~Design Elite

Wedding Planners / Designers – Most wedding planners wouldn’t expect a tip.  However, the rule again applies if they do a fantastic job 10% of their bill or commissions is considered a good tip.

There are obviously other services that can be provided at your wedding.  Covering every little service could and would take forever.  Assign a trusted person (best man, father of the bride or groom etc) to handle the tipping so you can focus on your wedding and your guests.

One thing most wedding vendors would agree on is that tips are not always expected but are very much appreciated.  That being said there are other ways you can reward your vendors that may even mean more to them in the long run then just a tip. Here are just a few:

Thank you notes with a “testimonial” of the great service they provided – These notes can go a long way.  Many vendors will use your comments for their advertising purposes. Plus it is nice to know that what they did was appreciated.

A Personal Letter of Recommendation - Even more than a thank you note a letter of recommendation is a more formal way of letting the world know that a particular vendor has your stamp of approval.

A Small Gift of Some Kind – Gift cards, small photo albums with pictures of the vendor doing their job, movie tickets etc.

Referrals – Probably more than anything a personal referral from you to a friend, co-worker or family member will go farther than anything.  Referrals are the number one way for a wedding professional to build and grow their clientele.  If you know of someone getting married make sure they know of the fantastic vendors who helped you with your wedding.  Chances are above anything else referrals are the lifeblood of most wedding professionals business.

I hope this gives you some good thoughts and ideas.  Remember while there is no law regarding any of this if you feel you were provided with exceptional service make sure the people providing the service are aware of how much you appreciate what they did for you.

That is through referrals and recommendations.  Nothing means more to a wedding professional than loyalty and referrals from the people they worked with.

One piece of advice I would give to every bride is this.  If you are keeping your vendors at your wedding longer than you had originally agreed upon make sure you do something extra special for these vendors.  Do not take advantage of them.  Yes it is your wedding day, but they have lives and families too.  If you are keeping them at your wedding longer than you had agreed upon for any reason it is very important that you reward them in some form or another for going above and beyond.  Also, if a vendor does something for you at no extra charge or if you receive a free service for whatever reason you will want to keep that in mind as you consider their tips.

Sources: theknot.com, marthastewartweddings.com, wedaholic.com, frugalbride.com, thebrideandgroom.com, mywedding.com, theweddingchannel.com
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POST WEDDING SHOW TIPS AND IDEAS FOR PLANNING YOUR WEDDING

For those of you who attended the Bridal Extravaganza on Saturday we want to thank you for making it such a wonderful show.  We hope you had a great time and were able to take care of most if not all of your wedding needs.

We like to share some tips and advice for you as you sort through all the information you received at the show as to how to get the most out of the time you spent there and how to make sure you get what you are looking for.

1- Call the vendors you are interested in meeting with immediately.  Especially if you are planning a weekend wedding or a wedding on a special date or any weekend in May – September.    If you are interested in booking with a vendor DO NOT wait.  Chances are very good that you could lose that date to another bride.  Many of Utah’s best professionals are already booking through the end of the year as well as into next year.

2- Ask vendors for referrals.  If the vendor you want is booked ask them for a referral.  Most professionals in the industry have great relationships with each other and many of them will kindly recommend someone who does quality work in their same field.  Typically they will recommend someone who does similar work as they do to ensure you are happy with what you get.

3- Have a backup plan – If the vendor you want is booked and doesn’t have any referrals make sure you know of other vendors you want to call.  There were over 115 vendors in the show over the weekend.  Keep the show brochure on hand because it has all the contact information for all the vendors.  You can also find vendor information from the show on the Utah Bridal Shows website.  Click here to get to that page.  That list will be on the site for about a month after the show.

4 – Visit TheBrideandGroom.com daily – This might be a little self promoting but on a daily basis we are updating the site with tips and ideas for your wedding. Many vendors on the site contribute to our blogs and you might be able to find great inspiration for your wedding planning.  You might also find a vendor that you didn’t see at the show.

5 – Do not stress – If you go back and read the featured wedding blogs that we have posted over the years you will almost inevitably see the same thing.  We ask the bride what their #1 recommendation to other brides is and almost 100% of the time they say the same thing, “DO NOT STRESS over your wedding details”.  It is one day in your life, don’t worry if things don’t go off exactly as planned.  Sit back and have fun.  Remember part of the fun is getting there.  Enjoy the planning time together but DO NOT have the planning cause issues between you and your fiance.

We will be posting some pictures from the show very soon.

Best wishes in your wedding planning,

The Bridal Extravaganza & TheBrideandGroom.com

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR ATTENDING & WE WILL SEE YOU AT OUR  AUTUMN SHOW

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Dream Wedding Giveaway Sponsors For This Weekend’s Bridal Extravaganza at La Caille~Utah Bridal Show

We are super excited for this weekend’s Bridal Extravaganza, and even more excited about the “Dream Wedding Giveaway”.   One lucky couple that attends this weekends Bridal Show at La Caille will win this incredible Dream Wedding Package.  Here is what our winners will win:
Wedding Venue~ La Caille Restaurant
Wedding Dress~ Bridal Closet
Tuxedo’s~ Tuxedo’s by Lee
Men’s Rings~ Men’s Rings For Less
Hair and Make-up~ Versa Artistry
Flowers~ Lizy Lilies
First Night Accommodations~ Anniversary Inn

Be sure to come visit these fantastic wedding professionals as well as the many other talents wedding vendors that will be at the show.  Come plan your wedding all in one day this Saturday, July 19th at La Caille Resturant.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Click HERE to register for the upcoming Bridal Extravaganza that will be at La Caille Restaurant on July 19th.  Come & see all of the incredible Dream Wedding Sponsors as well as many other talented wedding vendors.

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Sound Financial Tips and Advice For Soon To Be Weds

Financial talks with those soon to get married is kind of like talking to a wall.  Most young couples in love don’t think that finances will ever be an issue for them, after all they can just “live on love.”  Funny thing about living on love is that the bill collector doesn’t care about you “living on love” and soon when you are financially stressed it makes it a lot tougher to “live on love.”

Here is a great article for soon to be weds on how to talk about finances before they “tie the knot.”  That way they can more than just “live on love” but also live without financial stress.

Getting married isn’t just a union based on love, but one often beset by at least one partner’s financial troubles.

Before you stand at the altar, it is important to know where you stand financially as a couple. You aren’t just joining together your hopes and dreams, but also combining your money habits, spending patterns and even past debt.

As both the average marriage age and student debt loads rise, it is likely at least one partner will enter the marriage with significant debt. The average student loan debt is now more than $25,000, and the average credit card debt is almost $5,000 per borrower. These debts can cause significant stress on a new marriage. Revealing all debts early can ease the stress, and help the new couple start paying it down as soon as possible.

Getting married does not automatically make you responsible for debts incurred by your spouse before the marriage. Your partner’s debt will only show up on your credit history once you are added to the accounts. However, the debt will still affect you when it comes to your household’s income since there will be a lot less money to save, pay other bills or spend in ways that are much more enjoyable than debt payments.

Here are 10 financial tips for newlyweds:

  • Compare spending habits.
  • Don’t assume your spouse shares your beliefs about money–the spending and saving habits may surprise you. Watch how they use money. A free spender before marriage will probably be a free spender after marriage.

  • Before the wedding, reveal everything in your financial closet.
  • Be honest about your income, debts, and money problems. Bring out your bank statements from the past twelve months to show what you did with your money. Discuss your strengths and weaknesses with money.

  • Each of you should get a copy of your credit reports from the three credit bureaus.
  • This will give you a clear picture of credit accounts, debts, and how creditors will judge you. Aim to get your scores over 750 to receive the lowest interest rates for your first mortgage and other loans.

  • If your partner has been married before, find out about their financial obligations to the ex-spouse and children.
  • Avoid credit card debt.
  • The best rule of thumb is simply, “if you can’t pay for something with cash, you can’t afford it.”

    If you have a credit card balance, pay as much as you can above the minimum each month.

    If you receive gift money, a bonus, a second job or a tax refund, use this to pay off your debt. You can even make micropayments multiple times during the month to pay off your balance faster. Eat a meal at home and immediately apply the money you saved to your credit card balance.

  • Before the first bills come in, decide who will pay them and when this will take place.
    If you have separate accounts, know which account pays each bill. Also notify creditors of your name change and new address.
  • Reduce your debt-to-available credit ratio.
    This will help improve your credit score. Your monthly debt, including your mortgage, should not exceed 35% of your gross income.
  • Each spouse should have a credit card in his or her own name to build an individual credit score.
    Keep that card for a long time. Use the card for several purchases each month and pay the bill in full immediately. Building a long term payment history with one or two credit cards is an important factor in your credit score.

    –By Bill Hardekopf

    Bill Hardekopf is chief executive of LowCards.com, which compares and rates more than 1,000 credit cards. He is the co-author of “The Credit Card Guidebook.”

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    Dessert Edge Cakes~Amazing Cakes at Affordable Prices~Bridal Extravaganza Giveaway~Vendor Spotlight

    We are super excited to have Dessert Edge Cakes be part of our Dream Wedding Giveaway at the upcoming Bridal Extravaganza at La Caille on July 19th, 2014.  They not only have amazing cakes but at affordable prices.

    We create custom designed wedding cakes to match your serving size, style and budget. We offer all of our designs in either round or square and it can be accented in any color. All  3 tier cakes on our website are $250 or under.  Be sure to check out our website at: Dessertedgecakes.com. Look through our website and let us know if you have any questions or would like to make an appointment to come over and design a cake.

    “We use a high end fondant. This form of fondant stays soft and has a great taste. We will help make your wedding dreams come true.”
    Please contact Debbie or Brandy: Call or text 801-913-8537

    Follow them on Instagram: DESSERT_EDGE_CAKES

    We are super excited for the Bridal Extravaganza this weekend at La Caille.

    Click HERE to register for the upcoming Bridal Extravaganza that will be at La Caille Restaurant on July 19th.  Come & see Dessert Edge Cakes along with all the other incredible Dream Wedding Sponsors as well as many other talented wedding vendors.

    We can’t wait to see you there!

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    A DREAM HONEYMOON AWAITS ~ THE SUMMER BRIDAL EXTRAVAGANZA

    Hard to believe that the year is half over and we are right in the middle of summer.  And with that comes Summers biggest wedding showcase on July 19th at the incredible La Caille .  With every Summer Bridal Extravaganza Show we are excited to offer an amazing  honeymoon compliments of Get Away Today Vacations.

    ” Since 1990, Get Away Today has helped more than 2 million people enjoy vacations to Disneyland® and beyond. Almost like magic, we’ve become one of the world’s leading providers of Disney vacations, family vacations, discount vacation packages, Honeymoons & Anniversaries, and adventure vacations. But it’s really not magic.

    It’s building great relationships with hotels and attractions to secure the lowest possible prices. It’s passing along volume discounts and keeping overhead low. That’s how we save you 20% to 50% per vacation. Plus, we take such good care of you that you’ll never want to get away again without calling Get Away Today Vacations. “

    -Chuck Smith and Julie Smith
    Get Away Today Founders

    4 Night, 5 Day Accommodations at Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn & Suites

    Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn & Suites is ideally located on Shelter Island, San Diego’s own Hawaiian Isle. This tropical resort-style San Diego hotel, framed by the San Dieog Bay, offers breathtaking views of the hotel’s private marina and downtown San Diego. Our tranquil setting is just minutes from the airport and San Diego’s famous attractions, making Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn & Suites is the perfect choice for your visit to America’s Finest City.


    2 Adult San Diego Zoo Tickets


    2 Adult SeaWorld Tickets

    REGISTER TODAY TO ATTEND

    Saturday, July 19th

    11:00 – 5:00


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    Tips and Suggestions For Those Attending This Weekends Summer Bridal Extravaganza At LaCaille

    The Summers Hottest Wedding Showcase is this Saturday. The Summer Bridal Extravaganza is an event like no other. Brides from all over Utah will be able to meet with over 75 of Utah’s very best wedding professionals to help them plan their perfect day.  Thousands of dollars in gifts and prizes will be given out throughout the day and one lucky bride will win the wedding of her dreams,  You will be able to sample food from some of Utah’s best cake decorators, ice cream vendors and caterers.  You will have the chance to chat with the states best photographers and wedding gown designers and see so many other things you may never have thought of for your wedding.  Here are a few key things we HIGHLY recommend you do when attending the Bridal Extravaganza.

    1.  Arrive early

    Those that arrive first to the bridal shows automatically receive some of the coolest prizes.  Many Utah Bridal Shows offer discounts and incentives for arriving early to the show.  The Upcoming Summer Bridal Extravaganza at LaCaille is giving away a 2 night get away to the first 150 brides who arrive. Not a bad deal for just showing up early.  Many times brides show up towards the end of the show thinking they will just check it out.  Little did they realize there is so much to do and see that they wish they would have arrived earlier.  Also, brides who are wanting to win the Dream Wedding will have to meet certain requirements in order to win so if you just show up at the end you won’t be eligible.

    Parking fills up quickly at this show.  Brides who arrive earlier will have premier parking spots.

    2. Pre-register before the show

    Save time by registering before the show.  Registration only takes a few minutes and will save you from having to fill out a registration form at the show.  While the line to get in may seem long before the show starts, once the doors open, those who are already registered and checked in are simply able to walk in the show.  Make sure those attending the show with you pre-register online as well.  There are separate check in areas for those brides and guests who are pre-registered and those who still need to register and pay.

    3. Bring your friends

    Bringing your friends to the bridal show will help them feel involved and also give you a chance to bounce ideas back and forth.  Many brides bring their maids of honor and their brides maids to help them with decisions.  Many others will bring their mothers or mothers-in-law as this helps them feel more a part of the planning process.  Plus, in many cases they are the ones paying for it all.

    4. Contact info labels

    Wedding vendors will often have drawings for prizes at their booths. Instead of having to fill out multiple forms with your contact info, prepare some electronic labels before the bridal show.  Information to include: your name, address, phone number, wedding date and email address.  This is something that will really help you as you go through the show.  Trust us on this one, you will be so glad you did this.

    5. Bring a notebook and pen

    Bring a notebook and pen so you can take notes.  Write down contact info of vendors you talked to or thoughts you have while attending the bridal show.  You will visit with a lot of vendors.  Make sure you write down things that really jump out and impress you.  Realize that if you don’t write it down you could likely forget something important.  There are many times where we get phone calls from brides after the show asking who the vendors were in the show because they didn’t take down any notes.

    6. Bring a digital camera

    Bringing a simple digital camera will allow you to quickly remember some of the great things you saw at the show.  Did you see a great dress during a bridal fashion show?  Maybe there is a great cake from a wedding cake designer.  This will allow you to go back and see some of the things that impressed you the most.

    7.  Know your budget

    Setting your wedding budget and knowing who is responsible for each thing will help you make decisions and know what you are looking for while attending the show.  Shows tend to feature vendors of all kinds that fit into many different wedding budgets.  While one vendor could be more expensive than your budget allows, the next one you meet with could meet your needs just fine.

    8. Bring your checkbook

    Many wedding vendors will offer a special day-of-the-bridal-show-only discount.  This will help you save even more money if you are able to find your vendor at the bridal show.  The Bridal Extravaganza also gives you an additional incentive for booking your vendors at the show –Extra entries into the Grand Prize Drawing!  Most vendors will require a deposit to secure your wedding date.  Please be aware that certain dates fill up very fast so if you find a vendor you want to work with, put the deposit down because chances are if you don’t someone else will book them.

    Also, shows sometimes have boutique vendors who are selling anything from pants, shirts, jewelry, bags etc.  This is a great way for you to pick up gifts for your brides maids or to pick up something extra for your wedding day or for any day.

    9.  Do your research

    Know which wedding services you need before the show.  Also try to find out which wedding vendors will be exhibiting. This will help you know what questions to ask and allow you to visit those vendors you are particularly interested in.

    10. Take part in the prizes offered during the show

    Many shows offer prizes that are given away throughout the day and a grand prize drawing at the end of the day.  I know of one bride at a recent show who won three different prizes provided by the show vendors.  Because of it she was able to save almost $1000 on her wedding.  Money she said she used to pay for a honeymoon they didn’t think they would be able to take.  Grand prize drawings at the end of the show are an exciting thing for the brides, imagine having your wedding in a location you never dreamed of or taking a honey moon trip to an all inclusive resort that you never thought you could afford.  Thousands of dollars in prizes will be given away at The Summer Bridal Extravaganza.  Many brides will leave with some incredible gifts.  It very well could be you.

    At this show we are also excited to be partnering with Get Away Today Vacations again to offer an amazing honeymoon as part of the Dream Wedding Give Away.

    4 Night, 5 Day Accommodations at Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn & Suites

    Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn & Suites is ideally located on Shelter Island, San Diego’s own Hawaiian Isle. This tropical resort-style San Diego hotel, framed by the San Dieog Bay, offers breathtaking views of the hotel’s private marina and downtown San Diego. Our tranquil setting is just minutes from the airport and San Diego’s famous attractions, making Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn & Suites is the perfect choice for your visit to America’s Finest City.

    PLUS

    2 Adult San Diego Zoo Tickets

    2 Adult SeaWorld Tickets

    11. Make a day of it

    Plan on attending the bridal show for several hours.  This will allow you to visit all the vendors and find everything you need.    With all the fashion shows, live music, guest speakers and all the free food being passed out you can spend several hours at a show and still feel like you missed something.  Bring your fiancé, let him feel a part of it.  Believe it or not most guys do care about their wedding day, they just pretend they don’t.  Most importantly and above all – have fun!

    One unique feature of this show is that LaCaille provides a special exclusive luncheon for brides and their guests who register for the VIP Luncheon Experience.  This is very unique and exclusive to the LaCaille show as no other show does something like this.

    The Summer Bridal Extravaganza at LaCaille is Utah’s premier Summer Wedding Show.  With over 85 vendors, fashion shows, boutique vendors , musical entertainment and so much more this is the wedding event you DO NOT want to miss.

    Don’t miss the Biggest & Best Bridal Show of the

    season!!

    PRE REGISTER HERE

    11 am – 5:00 pm

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    Let The Bridal Extravaganza & La Caille help you create the wedding of your dreams!

    ONE WEEK FROM YOUR CHANCE TO WIN YOUR DREAM WEDDING!!!

    2010 Dream Wedding Winners

    On July 19 2014, The Bridal Extravaganza will be giving away a dream wedding at La Caille!  Imagine relaxing in an exclusive brides room on your big day, being pampered as your hair and make up are professionally done.  Enjoy nibbling on French cheese and fresh fruit while your mother and bridesmaids help you dress. After your evening ceremony on the Lower Patio, you and 100 guests will be treated to passed hors d’oeuvres of Coconut Shrimp and Bruschetta Medley whilst sipping on French lemonade before adjourning to the Grand Pavilion for a plated 3 course dinner.  You will be seated at tables elegantly set with pristine white linens, sparkling crystal, and romantically lit by votive candles.  Printed menus will announce to your guests the meal that you have thoughtfully chosen for them.  They will feast on options like Spring Greens with Candies Pecans, & Blue Cheese Crumbles in a Raspberry Vinaigrette or Crisp Romaine Heart with Asiago Cheese and a Creamy Roquefort Dressing.   With entrees like Tournedos of Waygu Beef or Salmon En Croute and desserts such as the Petite Confections buffet to compliment your custom wedding cake, your wedding meal will be a truly memorable experience.


    2011 Dream Wedding Winners

    Your wedding photographs will be the envy of all your friends as you are given unlimited use of La Caille’s immaculately landscaped grounds as your backdrop.  Then, as your special day draws to a close you will wave good-bye to you guests from a chauffeur driven vintage automobile designed for royalty.

    2012 Dream Wedding Winners

    Here’s your chance you win the wedding of your dreams.


    REGISTER TODAY TO ATTEND!!!

    2013 Dream Wedding Winners

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    The Invite List ~ How to Decide Who To Invite and Who To Drop

    Deciding who you should/shouldn’t and will/won’t invite to your wedding can be a difficult thing.  If facebook has taught us anything it is that we know more people than we think we do.  In fact studies have shown that the average person knows over 2000 people.  While it is great to have so many friends it can become an arduous task on whom you should and shouldn’t invite to your wedding.

    No one wants to hurt anyone’s feelings and if you could you probably would invite more people, but time, space and money are all a factor in whom you invite.

    Sharon Naylor, author of The Essential Guide to Wedding Etiquette (Sourcebooks Casablanca, October 2005), suggests that you then create four lists and label them “A” through “D.” Your “A” list should include those people, beyond close family members, whom you can’t imagine getting married without, such as your college roommate and the friends you hang out with every weekend.

    Aunts, uncles, cousins and high school friends you’ve stayed in touch with should make up your “B” list, while your “C” list should include coworkers, your parents’ friends and neighbors you’ve known forever. Finally, your “D” list can tally up distant cousins, friends you’ve lost contact with and your parents’ bridge partners. As your list grows and you need to eliminate people, start with your “D” list and work your way backward. “It sounds awful, because you don’t really want to rank the people in your life, but it does work well,” Naylor says.

    Photo Courtesy of Tiny Comet Photography

    For Friends a rule to consider is the One Year Rule – If you haven’t had a meaningful conversation with this person within the last year, don’t invite him or her.  Obviously this is a rule of thumb as every relationship is different.

    Avoid the “If I invite this cousin, I must invite all cousins” trap. And don’t feel obligated to invite people who invited you to their wedding. Relationships change.  Etiquette’s rule of reciprocal entertaining is pretty strong. If your friends’ wedding was recent, and you are still close — and if your wedding is on a similar scale as theirs, or is larger — they should already be on your guest list. But if your friendship has faded some since their nuptials, or if your wedding is of a smaller size, it is completely appropriate to leave them off your guest list.

    Exercise some caution if you have mutual friends who are invited; alert those people to the restriction in your guest list, so that they won’t gush on and on about your wedding in front of those not invited, and create an awkward moment for everyone.

    Photo Courtesy of Soup Films Photography

    What about Co Workers? Do not feel obligated to invite co workers.  They will understand.  A simple test for co-workers would be, would you have them over for dinner just because you want to.  If so, then you have a relationship beyond work and it might be smart to invite them.  Here’s one more tip: if you aren’t inviting everyone you work with, just don’t talk about the wedding around them. Hopefully they won’t think about it and even if they do, they won’t think you are rubbing their faces in it, as you talk about the ten foot ice sculpture and chocolate fountain you have planned.  And by all means, if you have that co-worker you can’t stand do not invite them.  The last thing you want is them saying or doing something that will ruin your evening.

    How about single friends with a date? If they are married, engaged, living together, or have dated for more than six months, they get invited. Anything aside from that, it’s a no. However,  if there is extra room at the end, after everyone else has handed in their reply cards, you can then go back and invite someone’s date–but only if you feel it necessary.

    Children at your wedding. Kids are the best, but weddings can be long and boring to them.  If you do not want to have children present at the wedding simply state it on the invitation.  The parents won’t be offended and quite frankly it would make a nice date night for them anyway.  If you do invite children please see our blog on how to entertain children at your wedding.

    List still too long?

    Consider having a cocktail reception or a much less formal evening like an open house event where it will be a very casual atmosphere.  In Utah this is a pretty common thing where people feel like they need to invite the entire Ward or neighborhood.  However, keep in mind that you could end up chatting with a whole bunch of people that you personally don’t know.

    Another rule of thumb is to keep it as evenly split between the brides family and the grooms family as possible.  This will help avoid any hard feelings on either side.

    The bottom line is, it is your wedding you should invite who you want to see and who has the most meaning to you and your fiancé.  People will get over not being invited and if they do hold a grudge you probably wouldn’t want to share your evening with that type of a person anyway.

    Photo Courtesy of Swensen Photography

    Contributing sources – Martha Stewart Weddings.com, BridalGuide.com, manners.quickanddirtytips.com, ehow.com, wedding-planner.firmark.net

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    Wedding Meals: The Backbone of Wedding Events

    Written by: Daniel Clark

    Wedding is one of the most important occasions for any family. Needless to mention, it is one of the traditions where couple tie knots with each other and step into a new life. Of course every individual dreams to have a grand wedding, which could be remembered for quite long. However, if considered then it’s not an easy task. It takes lots of efforts to make an impressive marriage event.

    Since this remains one of the big days for the hosts, naturally they need to keep a keen interest and consideration regarding the arrangements going over for the marriage eve. There is no place for compromises and mid ways for this day, if the function needs to be ostentatious. The hosts are needed to keep an eye over the arrangements. Even a small thing missing is enough to ruin entire arrangements.

    Consequently, it becomes extremely important to be attentive all the time during arrangement and to provide the things instantly whenever they are required. Truly, what’s better than to get ultimate compliments from the guests isn’t it? When it comes to marriage venue, there are lots of things to be considered upon to give it a striking look. This include- the decoration of venue, the fittings, sitting arrangement, guests’ accommodation and likewise.

    Nowadays the trend of hiring event organizers is on the full swing. Once hired, an event organizing company manages to arrange everything from ground zero to finishing level. They could be relied upon for all sorts of decoration and other managements. Additionally, they also stay back as long as the event continues to provide their effective assistance in case of any sudden requirement in the function.

    Further, the best part for many event organizing companies is that they keep their work flexible for every budget. It means that they provide their services as per the budgets of the clients. Well, there’s one more aspect which keeps an utmost importance for every wedding ceremony. In fact a full fledged wedding without including this category is completely unthinkable thus making the ceremony incomplete.

    Well, it’s the food, the buffet. Not to exaggerate, but this is the second most thing for which people wait the most after wedding processions are over. Undoubtedly, other than wedding, this is the most interesting factor in the ceremony for the guests apart from decoration and other arrangements. Hence the importance of buffet in wedding ceremonies cannot be avoided at any cost.

    A Crucial Part-

    Either the function is big or small; the arrangement of a food corner is a mandatory part for a marriage. Practically you show your devotion and respect for the invited guests through this arrangement.

    Taste: An Important Factor-

    Well, this is another unavoidable part when you are arranging for food items in the ceremony. Obviously, a food rich in taste would leave the guests licking up their fingers. Other than that it would be you to get the appreciations for arranging lip smacking feast at the end. Hence for this reason make sure that the taste of the food is at its best.

    Rely on the Caterers-

    One of the most suitable methods for a perfect buffet arrangement is to look out for caterers. They organize the stalls skillfully which adds to the convenience of the guests. They could easily access the thing which they would like to eat. As such one of the caterers “my caterer” is well renowned for its effective catering in Sydney. They are also known for their budget flexible services. For this reason, this catering is highly preferred for its services.

    To summarize, it can be said that a lunch or dinner is a type of soul of any wedding event which enhances its attractiveness. But, just arranging the food is not at all enough, it should also stun the guests with the its taste.

    Author’s Profile-

    Daniel Clark, the author of this post is an event organizer and provides catering in Sydney. Here he describes information upon the importance of food items in wedding ceremonies.

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