Tag Archives: budget

‘No ring, No bring’ rule


There has been some talk lately about the ‘no ring, no bring rule’ for guests and people bringing a plus one.  Discussions were suggesting that you only invite some guests to bring a partner to the wedding if they are engaged, or married. I found this all very interesting. I don’t really think there is a one rule for everyone approach to this. There are a lot of factors that should be considered when you are making up your guests list and inviting partners. It is a touchy and interesting subject that there will be varying opinions about, the same as having children at your wedding. There will always be someone who is offended if you don’t attach a plus one to their invite, but you would think that most people will be happy to be invited.

Consider your budget.

Can you afford to have people who may be single or not in a committed relationship bringing a partner to the wedding? If it isn’t a problem that they come, why not let people bring someone with them right? If you are on very limited numbers as it is and your friend isn’t seeing anyone exclusively maybe it doesn’t matter if they come on their own to your wedding.  If your wedding is a champagne on the beach celebration where people bring a picnic, and you didn’t let single people bring a plus one, that may be seen as a little offensive. But there is the other side of the coin where if you are having a fine dining experience for 35 guests, it wouldn’t seem strange to only invite people without a plus one.


If your venue only holds 100 people and the guest list is tight, people should understand if they can’t have a plus one on the invitation. If you were having  the wedding on a paddle steamer and could only have a certain number people should understand. It’s a tough process to work out who you leave on and off the list.


Will they know anyone else at the wedding?

I think this is a huge factor, and it’s hard if the people getting married are the only people that the guest knows, it makes sense to me to have someone there that they can bring. For some people it is really hard to strike up a conversation and will really feel uncomfortable having no one else that they know there. I guess it depends on how much you want that person at your wedding. If you really want them there and they don’t really know anyone else that well maybe its worth having them bring a plus one so that you don’t have to be worried that they are ok and feeling like you need to have someone check on them or keep spending time hoping they are having a good time.

Who the guest is.

At my wedding it was really small but my Gran was traveling a long way, it wasn’t really a plus one as such but I suggested that maybe she bring one of her sisters, or a friend with her just so that she was ok, not just with the wedding itself but to have someone staying with her while she was there. Sometimes it’s hard or scary for the elderly especially at night, sometimes other relatives would take them but if that isn’t the case maybe having them able to bring someone makes a difference if they could attend or not. Maybe someone with special needs and would feel better having someone with them.


Maybe one of your friends has just separated from a partner, and the wedding might be really tough for them, they may need some extra support and you might want to consider them bringing someone with them, again it really depends who else is going and will there be anyone there from a bigger circle of friends or relatives that they can feel supported by.

I think the whole ‘no ring, no bring’ is  silly, some people don’t want to get married or can’t, it’s silly to call it a ‘no ring, no bring’ rule. I do think though if your mate is a happy single, between partners, hopefully looking or a tinder regular (which is fine, no judgement here) he or she would understand that you probably don’t want to pay for the meal of someone that you will maybe never see again. There are always reasons that you might or might not invite people and I think it is always a case by case situation. What do you think?

A big thank you to Untamed Images for the use of their photos on the blog this week. You can see more of their work on their website or check them out on Facebook by clicking here.


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Things that guests hate at a wedding


I know that I am always saying that your wedding is all about you and it should reflect what you want. It’s true it is your day and it should be what you want it to be. Just for a moment though I am going to chat about the things that guests hate at a wedding. It’s not to say that you can’t do what you want and have these things as part of your day but just they are just some things that I have heard or read about people complaining and therefore something to consider.


Not knowing where they are going

I know with this day and age people have GPS and they have their google maps and their phone, but even then sometimes these things can be unclear. If you are having your reception in a building this doesn’t apply so much. Even so, if a guest can quite easily find where they are supposed to be, lack of signage or anything to direct them can cause panic. If you are getting married in a garden or somewhere that is open to the public, provide a map or have someone near the entrance so that your guests know where to go. It is a great way to stop people becoming part of the processional too, you can have someone who can tell people to wait if the bride has already arrived. This is a great job for a wedding planner if you are having one too.


Going home hungry

This is a big one. Now not for one moment am I saying that you need to feed people until they are sick and if you are choosing to have just a cake and champagne affair there is nothing wrong with that, but don’t do it at dinner or lunch time. If you are planning just to have snacks or cheese and crackers, make sure that it is timed appropriately. Most people wont eat lunch or dinner before going to a wedding function if it is expected to go over lunch or dinner. If someone has their company requested for an afternoon tea, they will not be expecting a main meal. It’s then their own issue if they don’t eat lunch before they arrive. It’s just sad to hear that people say that they went to the McDonalds drive through after a wedding dinner as they were still hungry, especially when you know that the couple have spent a fortune on their venue and the meal for all of their guests. I know that I attended a wedding about 3 years ago at a beautiful function centre. I don’t remember what my meal was, but I remember it was lovely and I left feeling full and content. It isn’t that often that you remember exactly what you ate a bit down the track, but you do remember the wedding where the food was terrible and you had to make yourself some toast when you got home because you were so ravenous. Unless it is something that is really original and something that was brilliant. (see the blog about Courtney and Tim’s wedding, now that was some memorable food!)


A badly spent budget

This ties in with the last one I guess. If you have spent thousands of dollars on the centrepieces for the tables that people are sitting at, but they only have 3 small portions of finger food. They may feel that the decorations were lovely but that they went home hungry. People won’t remember what they ate but they will remember if the food was good and filling. People will only remember that it was good, maybe skip some of the more expensive things that are overlooked and make sure people have enough to eat.  It isn’t always about the expensive sit down meal, but thinking of ways to get the best amount of quality for your budget.  When I had my wedding I decided that I wanted a sit down meal over finger food. That meant that money had to come from somewhere. We could have invited double the amount of people to our wedding if we had a finger food option, but I wanted better food for less people.  Some of the loveliest weddings that I have been to have had some outside the box options for catering. Marika and Joel had some amazing tapas served at their wedding and then had people come in and cook up huge delicious serves of paella.


A reception that takes place HOURS after the ceremony

Again, I’m always one for using a professional photography, in the end that is one of the only things that you have left of your day, but a good photographer shouldn’t need numerous hours between the ceremony and the reception, if you want all kinds of fancy photography, in different locations maybe think about a first look photo shoot or talk to your photographer about the options on what you can fit into the time frame. One wedding that I attended had 3-4 hours in between the wedding and the ceremony. It is just very difficult to expect people to hang around or spend their time drinking at a pub close by, especially if they are from out of town and not too sure where to go or what to do.  A lot of the time your guests are dressed up and not really wanting to go and do a spot of shopping between.


Being forced or pressured to dancing

This is something that I personally hate. I love watching the couple do their first dance together and understand that there are a lot of people who love to dance. That is wonderful. It’s when the MC or other guests at the wedding try to make you dance that it really makes me cross. I’m not against dancing and sometimes will love to get up and have a dance, but when the music is pumped so loud that you can’t speak to any of the other guests, this is really annoying as a guest.


Having no place to sit

When it comes to your reception, even if you are having a finger food type affair, most people want to be able to sit so they can chat and enjoy other peoples company, it is difficult if there are a very limited number of chairs as most people will do the right thing and leave them for elderly guests or guests with special needs. The only other thing than having no where to sit is having to sit near people that you don’t get along with and that is a topic for a whole different blog post.

What is something that you really hate when attending a wedding?


A very big thank you to Kirralee for the use of her stunning photos on the blog this week. Check out more of her work on her blog here and you can find her on facebook here.

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Gifts for your attendants

Bobby & Irene 0156 (2) Bobby & Irene 0153a

What kind of gifts do you get for the lovely ladies that have helped you out throughout all of your wedding planning and dramas?

Most people give their bridesmaids some sort of gift for helping them out on their special day. Not only will they help you on your day with getting ready, calming your nerves, making sure that you have everything that you need, but sometimes they have to help you even more than you would realise. Depending on your dress, some bridesmaids even need to help you use the bathroom. Not only on your big day are they required to help, but think of all that they have done in the lead up to the wedding. Sometimes, bridesmaids may have thrown the bride a Hens Night or a Kitchen Tea. Some of them may have given up countless weekends having dress fittings, hair trials or just being amazing supports for you when you have had lots of things to do or check out for the big day.

In saying all of this, you don’t have to go and spend hundreds of dollars on the girls. You just have to exercise a little bit of thought and you can get them something great to show your appreciation. There is also nothing like a beautiful card that you have written something to each of them that tells them how much you love and appreciate them and their friendship.  You could also find an old photo or your favourite photo of the two of you and put it in a nice frame. Other than these lovely sentimental ideas, here are some other practical and fun ones.

Something to wear.

This is always popular! Something to wear as far as jewellery is always an excellent choice.  It is a great keepsake and is something that will ensure that all of the attendants are matching, and is handy if all of the girls are wearing different styles of dress. It can act as something that ties them all together. The same applies if you use a shawl or wrap, it can be something that you can add to the style of the day and be part of your thank you gift. A classic and elegant bracelet is always lovely. Something that they probably wouldn’t buy for themselves, but something that they could wear again on a special occasion. Or you could have something for them to wear when they are getting ready and all of you are spending time having your make up and hair done. Personalised robes or t-shirts are a great bit of fun and something that they can use later on and will prompt memories of your special day every time that they use them.

Something to carry things in on the day.

Depending on if you want these seen or not, there are a few options here. You could have some lovely custom made tote bags done, keeping with the colour theme of your wedding. Having the bridesmaids initials monogrammed on to a tote is a great way for them to keep all of their belongings together, especially if they are going to have to take them to the venue. This will be something that they will get use after the big day too. My best friend got all of us girls lovely little handbags for us to have at her wedding that were perfect for our make up, mobile phones, some tissues and for other little things. They are stunning and all of them had our names engraved on them. There were no mix ups and it was another great way to give us something that all matched as we had different style dresses, but we all had the same lovely handbags.

_MG_9180fw Bobby & Irene 0098 _MG_9280meme _MG_7814fwith contrast

Something to keep, or a tradition starter.

Another thing that my best friend did was to put a lovely brooch on the bouquet of flowers. At the time, I don’t know if she intended these just to be a pretty way for the bouquet to be done up, or if the brooch was something that she really loved. I personally have used this the most out of all of the gifts that she gave us. I wear it now when I conduct weddings and it makes me think of how much fun we had on her special day and reminds me of her every time that I wear it. This would be a great idea especially if your attendants are not yet married, you could mention that they could pin it onto their bouquet on their big day too, or pin it inside their dress (especially if it had some blue on it somewhere), or attach it to their garter if they were wearing one.

Something to eat and drink.

People always love food and drink! You could incorporate this with the tote bags and fill each one with different things that your friends love. If one girl loves champagne and Oreo biscuits, put all of those things in her tote bag, and if another likes vodka and chocolate frogs, put these things into her bag. It is a great way to show them just how well you know them.

Something for after the big day.

Another great way to show them your appreciation, would be to get them something they can do after the big day, like gold class movie vouchers. Or perhaps treat them to a pampering massage, or facial, or maybe even organise a girls spa day! This way, you can all spend some quality time together when you come back from your honeymoon, stress-free post-wedding!

Again this is something that is only limited by your imagination. Think about something that your friends like and go from there. Have you been in a wedding and been given an amazing gift?

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Thanks to Untamed Images for their photos on the blog check out their website here and their facebook page here too. Check out my facebook page here too and be kept up to date with all things wedding.

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Wedding Day Photography

Wedding Day Photography can be a daunting thing to consider, which photographer, what Package, a digital or printed album? The options are endless. I think it is one of the most important parts of the wedding day, besides the ceremony. Photographs are an essential part of preserving the special memories of your wedding. It will without a doubt be a day that you never forget, therefore having a great selection of images, that years down the track will help you reminisce on the special memories is important.

Guests may forget with time what they ate, what they had to drink, what flowers you had and what hairstyle you had. Photographs preserve the little things that would otherwise be lost with time. People spend thousands and thousands of dollars on the prefect dress, which don’t get me wrong, look lovely (and I myself love a great wedding dress, I could look at them for hours on end) but at the end of the day, after the dry cleaning they go into a box and rarely come out again – unless you do a trash the dress photo shoot (check out the blog about it here). As much as we all would like to think that your daughter/or sons partner ect. might want to wear the dress on a separate occasion, it is more likely not going to happen. It isn’t often that people try and get the cheapest dress they can find, however, more likely than not people choose their photographer based on price.  I think it is beneficial for you to choose a competent photographer and invest time to research your options. Look at a photographer as a future investment – unless you are lucky enough to be friends or related to a wedding photographer, in which case you may end up saving some money on your photography costs.

A good photographer is not necessarily a great wedding photographer. I know a lot of great photographers and not all of them are competent when it comes to wedding photography. A wedding photographer differs from just a good technician when it comes to taking photos. They need to love what they do, be good with people and make you feel comfortable in front of the camera. You need to establish a connection with them and make sure you feel relaxed in their company, as you will be spending quite a bit of time with them on your wedding day. They need to be able to direct you, your family and friends. I have read a few wedding sites that recommend you to make sure that the photographer has shot other weddings at your chosen location – REALLY? Who cares, if they take great photos and they make you feel comfortable, they will make it work. Choose a photographer that understands lighting and knows what they are doing – most good photographers will check out the venue before the day anyway.

I know sometimes it can seem like a lot of money that they are charging, but you have to think of the time that it has taken them to develop their craft, and to gain the experience and knowledge. They have to organise a large range of equipment and often an assistant and they will work long hours before and after the wedding. Great photographs of great memories are something you will have FOREVER.

Thanks again to Vision House Photography for letting me use these lovely photos. Check out their website here.


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Honeymoon decisions

Who doesn’t want to think about a holiday? Especially a well-earned holiday with the love of your life. A honeymoon can have as many options as the wedding itself.  Will you go away straight after your big day or will you wait a little while until everything has settled down, or until the season is just right for the destination that you have chosen?

There are pros and cons to taking your honeymoon immediately after the ceremony just as much as waiting for the right time.

On one hand, if you go as soon as you are married, you can escape the stress of preparing your perfect day and just relax. This is a great idea if you are going to a romantic island or somewhere that you don’t need to rush and see all the sights, perhaps somewhere that you have been before. Alternatively making a decision to spend your honeymoon on a cruise or in luxury accommodation can be just as beneficial.

On the other hand if you are planning to honeymoon somewhere that has many exciting sights to see and tours to offer – keeping you both busy for the most part –  this might be something that you would rather take time to plan after you have overcome all the stress of the wedding. In some cases you may have gone a little (or a lot) over budget on the wedding and want to wait a while so that you can accumulate the right amount of funds for your special trip. There are a few things you should keep in mind if you are going to wait and plan your perfect honeymoon. If you are changing your name you will need to ensure you book tickets in your new name and change your passport before you go, or make sure that you book in your maiden name if you won’t have time to get a new passport. Check out my blog here for tips on changing your name.

If planning your honeymoon is becoming too tiresome, maybe a destination wedding is best suited to you – however, that is an entirely new subject!

What do you think you will do, or how did you decide what the perfect time was to take your honeymoon?  Did you go straight after the ceremony or did you wait?

Thanks to Michael Thomas for the use of his amazing images, check out his other work  here.


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Wedding Numbers

This is a tough one, how many people will you have at your wedding?

How many people will the venue hold?

How much is this going to cost?

These are all important questions and ones that will make a huge difference to who you can have and wont have on your guest lists. I hear so many stories when I meet with couples about how many people they are having at their wedding and how many issues they are having with who their parents want them to invite. There are so many questions that need to be considered –  do you invite partners of friends if they haven’t been with them long? Or do you have to invite your work colleges significant other? Is it rude to have 1st and 2nd round offer invitations?

These are all valid questions and only you can decide what you want at your wedding. There are however a few points of view to consider when you are contemplating all of these questions.  Firstly, who do you want there and who do you have to have there? If you have already booked a venue will all your proposed guests fit into it ? When I had my wedding the venue only held 50 people and I wasn’t too upset with that. Some of my relatives that didn’t get an invite suggested that I could have had it somewhere else where everyone could have come. For this to happen, firstly I wouldn’t get the venue that I wanted and secondly I would have had to opt for something like a finger food event. Don’t get me wrong a finger food wedding is perfect if that is what you want. It wasn’t what I had my heart set on, so I opted for less people, for a  sit down meal. It was what my husband and I wanted.  So we needed to be prepared for some people to feel left out.

Who is paying for the wedding? This makes quite a difference. If you are paying for your own wedding, I personally think it is reasonable to have just who you want there, but if your parents are chipping in money, they are probably going to want to invite some of the people that they want there. This can cause problems, especially if you don’t particularly like your Mum’s second best friend that she has to have there. So some compromise might be in order from both sides. Maybe try to trade for one of the friends that you do really like and try to see it from their point of view too, they will be really proud of you and want some of the people close to them there to share this moment with them too. I know that the wedding is YOUR day, but it is a special moment for them too.


Budget plays a huge part in your day and who you can and can’t invite. At the end of the day, a wedding can be really expensive and lists can get out of control.  Be prepared that some people might be offended if you don’t invite their partner. I can understand if you have single friends, that you leave off the plus one, but some people get quite offended when you don’t invite their long time partner or spouse. I have asked around a number of my friends and the responses are varied and sometimes surprised me who would be offended and who wouldn’t mind. This can also be an issue when deciding if you are going to invite children to the wedding or not. This can only be something that you decide and depending on the venue. Some venues are just not child friendly, you just have to be prepared that some people may not like it if their children are not invited.  Some children obviously should come to the wedding even if it is a no children event. If one of your friends has a 6 week old baby, make sure that you assure them that their baby is welcome, especially if you have made it obvious that it is a no children wedding. Then they wont feel awkward having to ask you.

Second round offer invites are something that I have heard about, some people send out some invites with one date and then if they have a large number of people that cannot come they do another round of invites. I can’t really see anything wrong with this, unless some people get their nose out of joint for not being on the first round invites. There will always be people who want to be invited that aren’t. It is something that will happen to everyone.  But then the next challenge is the seating arrangements but that is for another blog!

Do you have any stories or tips for controlling wedding numbers?

Thanks to Daniel for the lovely wedding photos, he also takes beautiful portraits, check out his work here, or send him an email at info@danielklaas.com


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