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‘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.

Venue.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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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Ceremony only wedding

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I have read a little bit about ‘Ceremony Only’ weddings recently. This is different to having a guest list for those coming to both the reception and ceremony and then invitations for ceremony only. (Blog about this coming soon) Ceremony Only weddings are where a couple have just the ceremony and then everything is over. There is no reception. Nothing else afterwards. I haven’t actually conducted one of these myself but am really interested in some of the reasoning behind why people do it. I understand that weddings are expensive and I totally understand that it should be about the actual promises made to one another. I think that this is really what the whole thing is about. I’m not sure how I would feel about a ceremony only wedding myself. I think it depends on the reasoning why you are choosing to have just a ceremony only. I also wonder if some guests might think that you are having some sort of reception later but they are just not invited.

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Weddings can cost a lot of money. This isn’t news to anyone. I’m not sure, however, if having a ceremony only wedding is the answer to the cost issue. Some people believe that you ‘owe’ it to your guests to feed them after they witness you exchange your vows. What nonsense. How terrible, and what sort of friends do you have if they feel you owe them something for attending? Receptions can get totally out of control and some people are not interested in a big sit down meal event. It’s totally up to the individual. As a guest I wouldn’t be upset if a couple didn’t have a reception, though I think after all the excitement and the emotion of it all it’s nice to celebrate. I think this is the part of the whole ceremony only wedding that I can’t get past. I love a wedding and love the love that people feel for the couple. It just seems odd to me to have the ceremony and not have some time with all these people afterwards.

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I’m not saying that people shouldn’t do this if that is what they really want. I’m all for your day, your way, but I’ve been to some truly amazing weddings. My friends got married in their back yard, in their jeans, with some caterers brought in to cater some dinner and it was a lovely, intimate, beautiful wedding. No one there for a moment thought that it should have been done any other way.  I think the idea of a sunset wedding with champagne and cheese could be a perfect wedding for the right people too.

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Celebrating can cost as little or as much as you want. What is to stop people having just some cheese, crackers and champagne at the park or the beach where the ceremony is held. Alternatively you could book a restaurant and ask your guests to pay for their own meal instead of bringing a gift. You could have a coffee and cake affair. I think that anyone who comes to your wedding should be happy to witness you saying your vows and be happy with whatever you decide to do as far as a celebration goes. If you decided to have a bring your own picnic in the park type affair and people didn’t like it, I would suggest that maybe it is for the best if they didn’t come to the wedding anyway.

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What do you think about a ceremony only wedding? Have you been to one? Would you consider one?

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A huge shout out to the guys at Vision House Photography for the use of their photos on this weeks blog. Check out their facebook page by clicking here. Also head over to their website to see more about them.

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What to do with your dress after your wedding

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What do you do with your wedding dress after your wedding?  This is something that I have wondered about for a long time. What do most people do with their dress after the big day?  There are a lot of things that you can do with it, but sometimes they sound good in theory but when it comes to the crunch, I wonder how many of them I, personally, could go through with.

The first one, and I know that I couldn’t do it, is sell your dress. There are hundreds of places online and there are literally thousands of dresses on ebay. For me there is too much sentimental value to be able to sell my dress! I just cannot bear the idea of selling it. I’m not really sure why, but I just can’t contemplate it.

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Another thing you could do is a ‘trash the dress’ photo shoot, it is something that I’ve blogged about in the past and seems like a fun idea.  A fun idea for a get together is to  host a bridal party, where you and some girlfriends and all dress up in your wedding dresses and sip champagne and have a laugh. This would be a great way to do some charity fund-raising for a great cause if you couldn’t bear to part with your dress but wanted to do your bit for some of the wedding dress charities.

One idea I really like, which for years is something that I have always intended to do.  I have always had ideas of repurposing my dress. Perhaps a christening gown for a baby. Or using it for something special to pass on to my children or for relatives to have with them on their own special day. A lovely handbag, handmade handkerchief or maybe a vintage fabric garter. Or perhaps sew some part of it into the hem of their dress or use the fabric to wrap around their flowers. It would be a nice touch to make the cushion that the rings are carried on by the page boy, or it could be used in the making of a wedding patchwork quilt.  I also have my mother in laws dress and I thought that this could be a way to include her in future family weddings now that she has passed away. I remember her asking me to try it on, many years ago when my husband and I had only been together a short amount of time. The dress holds happy memories for me and represents a part of a really happy time in her life. Like most dresses do.

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There are some wonderful organisations that you can donate your dress to if you don’t have the space or feel like you want to share the love. There are some great charities in the US that do some great work, Brides against Breast Cancer, is a great idea. I can’t seem to find anything like it in Australia though.

One wonderful idea that I have recently heard about, is an organisation called Angel Gowns Australia. They take wedding dresses and make clothes for Angel Babies. They are made and given to families when the are going through something that is so heartbreaking, so that it is one less thing for them to think about.  You can read more about them here.

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Now it’s time for me to have a long hard think about why to do with my dress.

Thank-you to the guys at Vision House Photography for the photos again this week. Check out their new website here and their facebook page here.

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Saving your wedding cake

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Saving  some of your wedding cake, usually the top tier, is a very old tradition. It was a tradition that began in  times when couples got married with the purpose of starting a family and couples would commonly have children as soon as possible.  The cake could be used around the couples’ first anniversary or when the child was to be christened. People also saved it and ate it together to celebrate special anniversaries.

I touched on this in my last blog, and  although I don’t know how popular this is now days, especially with all of the different types of cakes that people are having.  I’m also unsure of how easy some of these newly popular cakes are to freeze.  A lot of people are choosing not to have the traditional fruit cake, and many people are having cakes that they like, rather than a fruit cake because in the past maybe that was all that was available. If you are thinking about saving some of your wedding cake,  speak to the people making your cake as they will be able to advise you on the best type of cake to have, and ways to freeze your chosen cake.  Make sure that you give instructions to who ever is cutting your cake so that they do not cut into the portion you were planning to save on the day. There are all sorts of instructions on the internet on how to freeze cake successfully so you can also get some tips from there.

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So many people are having ‘naked’ wedding cakes, chocolate mud cakes, cupcakes and all sorts of things that reflect what they like and who they are. Rather than having the traditional cake just because it’s expected. (You can read one of my previous blogs about wedding cakes here)  If you are having a wedding cake that is somewhat traditional you can get the top tier made in fruit cake or a cake that freezes well. If you are having cupcakes or some smaller cakes, you may choose to have a cake that you pretend to cut for the photos and choose to save this or part of this cake.

If you are wanting to have your cake on your 1st or other special anniversary another option is to order a new cake from the same people that made your original cake, that way the cake is fresh . Then you are assured that it is going to taste good and you don’t have to order more cake than you actually need for your wedding day.

There are also some variations on saving the cake itself. You could start a new tradition, and save something else from the wedding instead. You could save some of the bonbonnerie that you have or maybe you could save some of the wine or champagne that you had on the day and open it on a special anniversary or at another special function to remind you of your special day.

Do you have any saved wedding cake triumphs or disasters to share?

Thanks to Untamed Images for their stunning photos on the blog this week. Check out their website here and their facebook here.

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Gifts for your attendants

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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.

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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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