Should You Invite Children to Your Wedding?

Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in Weddings | 0 comments

invite kids to weddingThe question of whether or not to invite children to a wedding can stir up passionate debate. Parents often expect that their children will be invited, but couples may choose not to include children or may not be able to afford to invite everyone. Here are some tips to help you handle this delicate issue.

Inviting some children does not mean you have to invite everybody’s kids. You can limit your invitations to children in both of your families or close friends’ kids. If parents ask you why their children were not invited, simply explain that you needed to limit the size of the guest list.

Don’t send “ceremony only” invitations to children. While you may think it is better to include them in some part of the festivities than not to invite them at all, kids may be upset if they have to go home while others are invited to the party.

If you want to include kids, write “and family” on the invitations. If you do not want children but people RSVP for their kids, call them to explain that you are not inviting children or that you are limiting the invitations to only certain children, such as the ring bearer and flower girl or members of your families.

Try to seat all of the parents and children together or as close to each other as possible. Another option is to hire a chaperone to supervise the kids at the reception. It is generally not a good idea to have a table just for children because there will be no one to supervise them, which is a recipe for chaos.

Children can be picky eaters, so serve foods they will like, such as pizza, chicken fingers, or hot dogs. A make-your-own-sundae bar is a popular choice for dessert. Ask the caterer for a reduced price for children’s meals. Request that the children be served before the adults so they can stick to their schedules.

Children have short attention spans, so you should provide some activities to keep them busy, such as DVDs, board games, video games, and coloring books. Give the same gifts to everyone so they won’t fight over them.

Although some people do not like the thought of inviting children to a wedding, they can create a lot of fun and fond memories. Have a sense of humor and encourage your photographer to capture any funny moments in photos.

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Tips to Help You Plan a Winter Wedding

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Weddings | 0 comments

winter wedding tipsWinter is not the most popular time of the year for weddings, but it does offer several advantages compared to other seasons. You can embrace the spirit of the season, take advantage of discounted prices, and have the wedding of your dreams at a lower cost than you would pay at other times. Here are some tips to help you plan a winter wedding.

Since the winter is generally not a busy time for wedding vendors, you will probably be able to get discounts. Venues, photographers, videographers, and DJs tend to lower their prices in the winter to attract more business. You will probably not save money on flowers, though, since fewer blooms are in season. You might even have to pay more or find that your first choice for flowers is unavailable.

If you are planning to get married around the holidays, book your venue and vendors as early as possible. They will be busy with holiday parties and may be booked if you wait.

Flights and accommodations at your honeymoon destination may be more expensive around the holidays. You might be able to save money by choosing a different date.

Research historical weather trends in your area around the time of your wedding to find out how likely snow is on your chosen date. If you live in a region that gets snow in the winter, you need to be prepared for that possibility. Ask your vendors what will happen if you are forced to cancel your wedding due to weather conditions. Some vendors will allow you to reschedule for a different date at no additional cost, as long as they are available. Get any promises in writing. You can also get wedding insurance to protect you against losing your deposit money if your wedding is canceled because of bad weather. Monitor the weather forecast in the week leading up to your wedding so you can make any necessary adjustments to your plans.

Be prepared for some guests to decline an invitation to a winter wedding. Elderly guests and people who live far away might say no out of concern about the potential for weather that could affect their ability to drive or lead to flight cancellations.

Embrace the spirit of the winter season by planning a wedding with a winter wonderland theme. You can decorate your venue with burgundy and gold, snowflakes, frosted branches, and icy blue lighting. You can also serve wintry beverages, such as hot chocolate and eggnog.

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Ways to Honor Your Parents on Your Wedding Day

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in Weddings | 0 comments

honor parents at weddingA wedding celebrates the union of two people, but it is also a union of two families. You should take opportunities throughout your wedding day to honor your parents for their contributions to your life and to let them and everyone else know how much they mean to you.

Traditionally the father of the bride gave a speech at the wedding reception because he paid for the affair. Nowadays many couples pay for the costs of their own weddings, but asking the father of the bride to give a speech at the reception can still be a fitting and touching way to make him feel included and special. He can thank everyone for attending and share his thoughts or a touching story about his daughter. If the father of the bride is no longer living, another parent can be asked to give a speech.

You can use small gestures throughout the day to let your parents know how much they mean to you. Take the time to hug and kiss your parents and tell them you love them. When you thank your guests for coming, tell them how much you love and appreciate your parents and that the day would not be complete without them. Hearing you say that in front of all of your guests will mean a lot to them.

If one or more of your parents has remarried and your stepparents have played an important role in your life, take the opportunity to honor them as well. One way to do that is by sharing the father-daughter or mother-son dance with both your parent and stepparent. This will let you honor both parents and make sure no one feels slighted.

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How to Have an Outdoor Wedding in the Winter

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in Weddings | 0 comments

winter wedding outdoorsWinter is a beautiful time of the year, with snow falling and blanketing the ground. While it is not the most popular time of the year for weddings, many couples do choose to get married in the winter and want to take advantage of its natural beauty. If you would like to get married outdoors in the winter, here are some tips to make your wedding party and your guests comfortable.

One option is to have a destination wedding in a warmer climate. You can get married on a beach in Florida or at a resort in another warm locale and turn your wedding into a mini vacation for your guests. Depending on the location you choose, it might be a little cool, but it will most likely not be terribly cold and uncomfortable for the wedding party and your guests.

If you decide to have your wedding outdoors, be sure to warn your family and friends so they can dress appropriately. If you plan to move indoors for the reception, have a place for your guests to check their coats.

Give your bridesmaids faux fur shrugs to keep them warm during the ceremony. They will also look great in pictures.

If you are going to have your guests outside for more than 10 or 15 minutes, you should bring in heaters to keep them warm. Choose heaters carefully because some can be loud and some only work if people are standing close to them.

Provide your guests with blankets or wraps to stay warm. You can also set up a rustic firepit or a modern fireplace outdoors to keep guests comfortable.

Serve your guests hot drinks, such as coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or cider, when they arrive. This will keep them comfortable during the ceremony.

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Tips to Help You Plan a DIY Wedding

Posted by on Nov 24, 2015 in Weddings | 0 comments

DIY wedding tipsBetween costs for the venue, decorations, catering, entertainment, photographer, clothing, and everything else, the price tag for an American wedding often totals tens of thousands of dollars. With costs rising every year, many couples are deciding to handle some aspects of their weddings themselves. If you are planning to DIY some or all parts of your upcoming wedding, here are some tips to help you make sure everything goes smoothly.

Set a budget at the beginning and have realistic expectations. A DIY wedding is less expensive than a catered affair, but it can still be pricey. Look at costs for things you want and see if you can realistically afford them. You may need to cut back in some areas to stick to your budget.

Set priorities. Discuss with your partner the visions that you both have for your wedding and figure out which things are absolutely essential to you and which are optional. Find a way to pay for all of the things you must have and then see if you have some money left over for extras.

Before you decide to DIY an aspect of your wedding, do some research to find out how much work would be entailed in that. Figure out what supplies or equipment you would need and how much time would be required, both on your wedding day and in the days leading up to it. In some cases, it might be easier and more cost-effective to hire someone to do it for you.

Family and friends will probably be happy to help you plan your wedding, but don’t take advantage of their generosity. If you ask too much, they might feel overwhelmed. Spread the work among several people or reduce the amount of DIY projects you want to take on.

Planning a DIY wedding can be very complicated and time-consuming. Whenever possible, keep things as simple as you can to reduce the amount of stress on you and everyone else.

Let go of an image of the perfect wedding. Things might not go exactly according to plan, but you and everyone else can still have a great time. Ten years from now, no one will probably even remember minor deviations from your plan. They will only remember what a great time they had celebrating your marriage.

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How to Manage the Stress of Planning a Wedding

Posted by on Nov 17, 2015 in Weddings | 0 comments

wedding planning stressPlanning a wedding is stressful. Between coordinating with vendors, shopping for a dress, and trying to make everyone happy, you can easily feel overwhelmed. Here are some of the most common causes of stress and ways to deal with them.

If you and your partner have vastly different ideas of what you want your wedding to be like, you will need to compromise. You might have the ceremony in one location and the reception in another or invite some people to one and others to both if you have different ideas about the size of the guest list.

Family members and friends can voice their opinions and sometimes be pushy. If this happens, calmly tell them what you and your partner have decided to do and ask them to respect your decision.

Creating a guest list can be tricky if family members expect you to invite people you rarely see. You and your partner should come up with a policy on which people to invite and not invite and apply it consistently.

If you have made it a goal to lose weight before the wedding, be realistic about your expectations and the amount of time you will have to cook healthy meals and exercise. Drink plenty of water, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and get enough sleep.

If you are finding that you are going over your budget, you will need to find ways to cut back. Think about what is most important to you and what is optional and make some adjustments to stick to your goal.

There is no such thing as a perfect wedding. Have realistic expectations and don’t sweat the small stuff. Even if things don’t go exactly according to plan, people probably won’t even notice. Enjoy the day and make the most of it.

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Parents of the Bride No Longer Expected to Pay Majority of Wedding Costs

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Weddings | 0 comments

parents of bride wedding costsTraditionally, the parents of the bride have been expected to pay for most or all of the costs of a wedding. With The Knot reporting the average cost of a wedding in the United States at $31,213, that can be quite a burden for many parents.

Parents of brides have been getting some financial relief recently. According to The Knot’s 2014 Real Wedding Survey, the parents of the bride contributed 43 percent of the cost of the wedding, the couple spent 43 percent, the groom’s parents contributed 12 percent, and family and friends chipped in the remaining 2 percent.

One reason for this change is that couples in the United States are getting married later. The average age of brides is 28, and the average age of grooms is 31. Couples at those ages have already established themselves financially and do not have to rely as much on their parents.

One advantage for couples who pay most of the bill themselves is that they have more control over their weddings. When parents foot the majority of the bill, they tend to want more control over things such as the guest list. Couples who finance their own weddings have more freedom to do things their way.

There is still a significant gap between the amount that the bride’s and groom’s families contribute. This is rooted in the tradition of the bride’s family providing a dowry. Nowadays, many parents look forward to contributing to their daughter’s wedding and do not see it as a burden. Even though it is still traditional for the bride’s family to pay a greater share of the bill, parents of grooms have been paying for more recently than the rehearsal dinner and flowers.

The best way to decide who should pay for what is to sit down and have a candid discussion with your parents. Ask them what they can afford. Parents should not go into debt to finance a child’s wedding, although some do. Once you have found out how much each side of the family can contribute, create a budget and do your best to stick to it.

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