It's MY Wedding, Isn't It? Part 2

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Well…whose wedding is it anyway? My first article on this was to try and encourage couples who are planning a wedding, to remember each other’s needs, as well as the needs of other stakeholders…because, whether you like it or not, as a couple you cannot ignore the needs of your family and guests, right?

Well, today I am talking to the other stakeholders – the family, and the guests. Yes, your thoughts, your opinions, your donations and your needs are important, but the bottom line is if the bride and groom to be end up over-compromising their dream wedding to accommodate yours, then they will be miserable, on the most important day in their lives as a couple.  Is it worth it? I would like to share my thoughts on input from family and friends:

Contribute Financially Without Dictating

Should your financial contribution to the wedding translate to YOU deciding what type of cake the bride will have to accept and who is going to bake it…plus the type of décor that YOU want? Give freely, with no strings attached, and let the couple choose their own service providers.

 

Be Open-minded and Fair about the Guest List

Weddings have evolved. It used to be the trend to have a wedding reception in a church or sports club or school hall, with uncovered plastic chairs, no guest tables, no draping, only a high table with flowers. The church or family would do the catering…plastic forks and spoons were acceptable, as were plastic or paper plates, and there was no need for glassware or even waiter service, because drinks got passed around in crates and we drank straight from the bottle.  There was no real need for a guest list….and we invited ALL children to come and have fun too…

How to Control Your Guest List – Part 2

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Just when you think you and your parents are on the same page regarding the guest list, you discover that they actually intend to invite 50 more guests without telling you. These guest names will not appear on the guest list. And what are you going to do with all the children on the list? Won’t they waste your food and your drinks, and possibly break some expensive glassware in the process? Well, as discussed last week, the only way to handle family is to make sure your parents are on your side, and to explain your vision to them, together with the implications that come with inviting more guests.  This has to be done before you even start on a guest list. So what else can you do?

 

“STRICTLY BY INVITATION; REGRET, NO CHILDREN ALLOWED”

Times have changed, and it is acceptable to put the above clauses on your wedding invitation. This means that you and your parents need to stick within the agreed upon numbers, and that anyone who is invited verbally without your knowledge, should not be allowed into your venue. Your immediate families need to understand that inviting guests behind your back could lead to embarrassment on the wedding day.

 

When it comes to children, some venues will actually advise you that they do not allow children in, for safety reasons. Other venues are very child friendly and will even offer you a kiddie’s entertainment area and a special menu for them. Weddings have become quite pricey, and should you choose to invite children, remember that they require seating, food, drinks and entertainment. Plus, weddings often go on until 10pm – these evening events are not ideal for children. The choice is yours, but cutting down on children will help you to control that guest list. Of course this is with the exception of the few that are part of your bridal team and your immediate family.

 

DO NOT CARRY A STASH OF BLANK INVITATION CARDS AROUND IN YOUR POCKET

 

How To Control Your Guest List - Part 1

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Let’s assume you would like to have 300 guests at your wedding. You have to involve all stakeholders in putting together your guest list. So the bride has her list, the groom has his list, and parents on both sides have their lists. You put all these lists together and you end up with 800 guests in total. This can be a nightmare to deal with. Maybe you do not have the finances to host this number of guests. Maybe you do have the finances, but you don’t want a huge wedding – and you don’t know even half of the guests that are on the list. Before you start working on your list, you need to explain to all stakeholders what your vision is for your wedding. Getting your parents to understand is not always easy, so make sure you approach them with caution.

 

COMMUNICATE YOUR WEDDING VISION RESPECTFULLY TO YOUR PARENTS

When it comes to wedding planning, parents need to be handled delicately. Yes it’s your special day, but it’s also a very special day for them. They are excited and would want all family members, friends and church members to be at the wedding. It is your duty as a couple to explain your vision to them. You will have to give your parents a specific number of invitations and limits to the number of guests they can invite. Give them valid reasons why you have given them a limit. Do not restrict them without an explanation, and do not treat them like children. Work on their lists with them if possible.

 

I Am Pursuing My Passion

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Hie! My name is Rue, and I am a full-time Event Specialist and Wedding Planner. I wanted to share a little bit about who I am, and I felt I am best understood through this - among a few other articles that I will share with you….

It is said that we spend approximately 30% of our lives sleeping. This means we probably spend just over 50% of our waking hours at work. In my line of work it’s probably over 60%. So if I don’t enjoy what I do, then I am unhappy for almost 60% of my waking hours.  For the 10 years that I spent in what we like to call “formal employment” I was restless and unfulfilled at work, and I used to constantly repeat the saying: “Nobody enjoys work. That’s why people have to be paid to do it”.

The Little Details

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We’ve all heard the expression “the devil is in the detail.” When it comes to wedding preparations, this is the truth. We often forget the seemingly small details, and when these details do come to mind, it is often too late to do much about them. These details, as little as they may seem, are so easily forgotten, and can be very upsetting. As a wedding planner, there are certain items that I insist the bride and groom hand over at least 2 weeks before their wedding. If they are not handing these items over to me, then to the matron of honour or maid of honour – or a reliable person who will not forget these on the wedding day.