Joyful Unions: Five Techniques to Keep in Mind When Planning Your Wedding Seat Arrangements

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“A gloomy guest fits not a wedding feast.”-Friedrich Schiller

Amidst all the wedding planning that goes on, planning an assigned seating for your wedding guests can seem insignificant, and at times, it might even be overlooked. Although this is hardly mandatory as your guests can be free to choose their seats and tables, it is a paramount consideration to couples who wish to create and establish connections between their two sets of friends and families.

Furthermore, having assigned seats tend to make things simpler and ensure that every guest at the wedding has someone to interact with. Small and intimate weddings of 25 guests might not require so much as a guest list nor a seating assignment, but if you have booked your venue for at least a hundred guests, having a seating plan would make things more seamless. Besides, it mitigates the possibility of awkwardness among your guests when they are trying to find a spot where to sit should they come in late. Quite a lot of factors come into play when it comes to choosing where your guests would sit and with whom. For one, it is indicative of your intentions, and it is also helpful should you be serving up different entrée choices based on your guests’ food preferences and allergies. Moreover, it allows your caterer to figure out beforehand how many meat and vegetarian dishes should be allocated to a specific table as they would know who would be sitting there.

For a stress-free wedding-seating arrangement planning for your guests, here are some tips to keep in mind. So that whether you are holding your wedding in Gazebo Royale or elsewhere, your guests would be seated strategically.

1.) Start early

It might be a little tempting to procrastinate on something seemingly insignificant as the wedding seat plan. However, you do not want to be that couple that leaves out the planning until the night before your wedding day. If you wish to have a seating arrangement plan, you and your spouse-to-be should talk it over with your coordinator at the earliest possible time. Remember, leaving it out for too long could be a source of stress to you considering that there would be other more important things to think about at that point. Necessary last-minute changes are inevitable but try to have the seating chart done at least a week prior to your big day.

2.) Break it down

Create a spreadsheet and insert a column into your guest list document. This column should categorize your invitees by relationship, your family, friends and your partner’s respective family and friends as well. Doing it this way mitigates confusion and would enable you to quickly sort your list and break it down into a more coherent table seating arrangement. After doing this, you need to separate the list into different tables.

3.) Create a paper trail

Visual individuals need to have a guide where they can visibly see where their guests would be seated. If you are this kind of bride, draw circles for your tables on a big sheet of paper and write names inside them. Determine how many people can be seated comfortably at each table. If this sounds like a lot of work, you can simply write every guest’s name on a sticky note and place it accordingly.

4.) Choose how you wish to place the head table

Traditionally, the head table is long and straight and set up along a wall on risers that would usually face all the other reception tables. Typically, the newlyweds would be seated here in the middle where everyone would be able to see them, and the rest of the entourage would be seated next to them. However, this does not have to be the way you do it. You can have a round head table and separate the wedding entourage from you and your partner. If you are not one for display and if you do not wish to feel isolated, you can be seated with the parents of both sides.

5.) Tame tensions

There are inescapable situations wherein some family members do not get along. In some cases, they might not have spoken in years, and there might be a handful few who recently got into an argument and neglected to get in touch for some time now. Understandably, you have to make sure that these guests do not cross paths or are at least as far apart as possible. These relationships should be of consideration when you make your chart so that you can strategically place them in such a way that they would never or minimally encounter each other.

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Perfect Weddings: Top Five Tips for Paring Down Your Guest List

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“A gloomy guest fits not a wedding feast.” –Friedrich Schiller

Planning a wedding is a lot of hard work.

Apart from ensuring that everything goes as planned, you need to determine who among your friends, relatives and colleagues would make it to the guest list. The size of your guest list invariably depends on your budget and how much you are willing to shell out for the wedding catering as well as your wedding venue. Unfortunately, planning a wedding guest list involves so much more than just determining who you can invite, what you can afford and how big of a group your venue can hold. It also means identifying who among your colleagues you would consider close enough to invite to your wedding, if children are to be invited and how to do it tactfully and tastefully enough that no one would be offended. From all that, you can already see how paring down a wedding guest list can be a lot of work (and consequently, a lot of stress).

Sure, you would love to invite everyone if you could but unfortunately, you have a budget to stick to and inviting everyone you know including your favorite bartender would not just be practical. In any case, regardless of whether you are holding your wedding in a lush venue such as Palazzo Verde or somewhere quaint and small, if you need to cut down your wedding guest list, here are the ways you should go about it:

1.) Consider who is footing the bill

A simple way to address your qualms about paring down your wedding guest list is to consider who will be footing the bill—or at least consider who would be paying a significant portion of the overall bill. To illustrate, if your parents are footing the bill, then they should likely have more say on this or should at least leverage the final guest list. However, if you or your partner’s side would be paying then allocate a very specific number of guests for each.

2.) Think big and then make edits as you go

Start by making a big list and include all of the potential guests you wish to invite. Call this the fantasy list if you may, but leave no one behind. After you have successfully included everyone you wish to invite, be prepared to cut your wedding guest list and shape it to a more practical and realistic one. Cut it relentless until you are within budget. Sure, it might be hard to reduce and condense this list and cutting out some people may seem harsh, but it is one of the best ways to cut costs. However, this does not mean that the people who were excluded would never stand a chance of attending your wedding. Instead, put them in their own list and consider inviting them later if you realize you have more room or if you get a bigger budget. After all, some of your must-invite guests might not make it which would make room for allowances and concessions that can accommodate these guests.

3.) Consider your venue

Of course, if you have you a dream venue in mind, you have to factor this in as well. If your dream venue is a small barn that can accommodate only a hundred guests max, then you cannot reasonably expect to double that number. Unless you want to forego your dream venue and go with your dream wedding guest list, then you would have to make concessions and cut the guest list down to a realistic number. In any case, you should determine which is more important to you: a particular venue or more guests.

4.) Have an adults-only wedding

We all love kids. But let us face it, weddings are mostly an adult affair, and kids would hardly remember anything about it at all apart from the fact that they got to eat a fancy cake and ran around in a fancy dress. In this regard, you might want to entertain the idea of having an adults-only wedding. Take a gander at your guest list, and if you see that a significant fraction of your guests are aged 10 and under, you might want to consider inviting parents-only. Alternatively, you can also consider asking parents to bring their eldest children or at least only those kids who are already old enough to appreciate weddings. However, if you must invite children then consider asking your caterer to prepare children-friendly meals so that you do not have to pay for their grown-up meals and consequently, they would also enjoy the food a lot more.

5.) Do not let yourself feel guilty

Remember, at the end of the day, this is your wedding and mostly your expense. In this regard, you should not feel guilty about paring down your guest list to invite only some people that are within your budget. Realistically, you would have to make cuts. Furthermore, your wedding is not an excuse to round up every friend you have had (even the ones you had in preschool). Take note: You are under no obligation to invite anyone to your wedding. Focus on the people who matter to you now instead. If you constantly feel guilty about not inviting someone who you ran into or someone you have not seen in years, you would end up with a very long list. Plus, it would create an awkward situation for the invited guest should they turn up and end up having no one to interact with at your wedding. It is your wedding, not a grand reunion of old chums, relatives, and friends. Keep that in mind.

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Stress-free Weddings: Four Ways to Deal with a Difficult Bridesmaid

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Brides.maid

Noun

  • A woman who is like a sister, a friend in every way, and a special person that is asked to share in the bride’s big day.
  • A special person asked to share in the bride’s big day

 

In an ideal scenario, your bridesmaids should be the all-girl ensemble that would help you prepare for your wedding in whatever aspect possible. Unfortunately, you cannot count on everyone to have the same positive attitude as you do. Much like any other wedding, there is, you will inevitably have a handful of difficult bridesmaids in your entourage. They could either be show stealers or perpetual gripers that would always seem to get on your very last nerve. Oftentimes, they can put a pall on what would have been an exciting time and very often, they can disappoint you with their bad attitudes or just their rudeness in general. In extreme cases, when your bridesmaid and you fail to see eye to eye, you might even run the risk of losing their friendship forever. However, there is a myriad of ways to avoid creating a maid-zilla. Although you cannot leverage your bridesmaids’ behaviors, doing these strategies would ensure that they would be easier to deal with and would keep them happy.

So, before you send out that invitation to your bridesmaid and have them grace your wedding venue at the Glass Garden or elsewhere, be sure to keep these techniques in mind:

 

Do not overwhelm your bridesmaids with costs

While you can reasonably expect your bridesmaids to support you on your big day, you cannot expect them to be as receptive to costs. Sure, they can be happy and be excited for you but if they have to continuously spend for every little thing you ask of them, you are creating an avenue for them to resent you. Remember, at the end of the day, it is still your wedding and while it is considered an honor for most individuals to be bridesmaids, they do not exactly want to shoulder some costs—particularly if they are operating in a tight budget. Ideally, the bride should be able to shoulder a bridesmaid’s hair and makeup, dress and the shoes (if you wish them to match).

 

Be reasonable about your wedding-related requirements

One way of keeping bad attitudes in check is to be realistic about what you expect your bridesmaids to do for you. In this regard, you should be frank and candid to them as to how much time you wish they would devote to you before your actual wedding day. Do not be overly demanding of their time. Remember, while you may be too wrapped up about your wedding, your bridesmaids still have a life outside of it and have other priorities to run. A reasonable requirement for your bridesmaids is to ask them to attend the dress fitting, your bridal shower, rehearsal dinner and a couple of night’s stay at a hotel. If there are other favors you wish to ask of them such as planning duties and the like, feel free to ask them but ensure that your wedding-related tasks would not eat up too much of their personal time.

 

Check if you are not being a bridezilla yourself

Before you start accusing any of your bridesmaids of being a diva, be sure to keep yourself in check as well. In most cases, brides can become very demanding of their entourage as they become more and more stressed about the wedding day. More often than not, brides would not even realize it until it is pointed out to them. So, before you start pointing fingers, stop and reassess how you have been acting lately. Have you been snippy? Do you have any demands that seem unreasonable? You may be all too wrapped up in your wedding, but remember, your bridesmaids may promise to support you, but they have never promised to become as emotionally invested (and involved) in the wedding as you are. Keep yourself in check and see if your behavior might be the cause why your bridesmaids are acting out.

 

Speak out in the face of diva-dom

If you have done everything that you can to ensure that your bridesmaids are happy by giving them an affordable, fun and exciting bridesmaid experience, then the problem might not be you, but them. If you think a particular bridesmaid of yours’ attitude is inexcusable, speak up. Address the situation right away, yourself as this is not a task that you can delegate to others. Do not ask your maid of honor to play mediator as this can only aggravate the problem. Let the errant bridesmaid know how you feel and let it come from you. The message conveyed will have more weight if it came from you. Furthermore, you should be mature enough to speak up for yourself and not have others speak for on your behalf.

 

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Practical Weddings: Five Ways to Cater on a Budget

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“Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks.” –Lin Yutang

Throwing an elaborate and lavish wedding is already expensive by itself.

In fact, an itemization of the things you would need to spend on from the event venue down to the catering would show you the extent of what you would have to be spending on. However, this is not always the case. Sure, you may need to cut down expenses here and there, but there is no absolute need to compromise what your dream wedding would be. One of the crucial aspects that make a wedding so expensive is the catering. After all, most caterers would charge you an exorbitant fee for every guest you would be feeding considering that they would be doing more than just serving your guests food. However, it is not so much that caterers would be charging their clientele with a premium but more on the fact that couples who do avail of their service do not know how to strategically plan their catering that they would end up having the best price possible.

Fortunately, with the recent rise of affordable catering, the thriving market has created a demand for exceptional catering service sans the exorbitant price. Today, affordable catering is widely available. If you wish to have catering that exceeds your expectations and stay within budget, here are some of the things you should consider:

1.) Know your guests

Have an estimate of how many guests would be attending your event. By having a rough idea of how many they are, you can accurately estimate how much food you would need to order with the assistance of your caterer. Overestimating the number of your guests might cause you pay a little more but that is at least a little better than not having enough food on your function. Moreover, it is imperative that you note down any dietary requirements or allergies your guests might have so that each and every one of them would leave fed and satisfied.

2.) Find the best caterer for you

The caterer selection process can be a bit overwhelming considering that there is a myriad of options available. However, it is best to choose the caterer who is comfortable with supplying you with the food you want and an event your size. Remember, established large-scale caterers might not be so receptive in catering a small function and might price you a premium just to cover your event.

3.) Skip the extras or at least keep it to a minimum

Sure, it can be tempting to go with a caterer that can provide you with almost everything that you need. However, do note that more often than not, these caterers would charge you a lot more than necessary considering that they are doing so much of the extra work. More often than not, it is more cost-efficient to just go with a caterer who provides solely food and look for other vendors for other elements. In any case, it is best to ask yourself whether you really need those extras. By choosing the services you avail of carefully and eschewing aspects you do not necessarily need, you can significantly reduce how much you pay.

4.) Find the right venue

The catering and venue aspect of your wedding event go hand in hand. Indeed, selecting the appropriate place to host your event can contribute to achieving your budget goals. Remember, your caterer would likely charge you a bit more if you selected a venue that does not come with the equipment they need to prepare their food. In this regard, it might be best to choose a venue that complements their hosting service with a catering one. Today, quite a lot of venues would offer you great deals on function rooms if you can guarantee a certain number of heads.

5.) Book in advance

This one is self-explanatory and needs no further elaboration. The reality is, the closer to the event you book, the more your caterer would charge you. Moreover, by booking ahead, you would give your catering partner and yourself a wide berth in planning a menu for your event.

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Wedding Gown Fittings: Five Things to Know Before Shopping for Your Dress

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“Selecting a wedding dress is more than just a fitting…it is a process—a memory in the making” –Ollivelli Cape Town

 

A wedding gown might seemingly be only worn for a few hours at the most, but to brides, this is an integral piece of fashion.

While the wedding gown is only one aspect (and one expense) on your wedding day, there has never been any doubt that it is one of the iconic dresses a woman would wear in her lifetime. In this regard, a woman would feel pressured to choose the best and most ideal one that would suit her taste and preferences. After all, this is that one day in her life wherein all eyes would be on her—that one day wherein she gets to be the star of her own show.  However, before you head on out and go wedding dress shopping, there are a few pointers you should keep in mind to ensure that the entire process will be a breeze. Here are some of the tips to keep in mind before you start putting on that wedding dress:

Limit your entourage

Considering you want only the best wedding gown to wear, you wish to have the counsel and tutelage of all the people you consider to be fashionable on their own. However, you cannot bring a party of ten people just for a single dress fitting. Not only will they be eating up the space in the boutique, but more often than not, their ideas would be conflicting which would leave you more confused than ever. Choose to go with one or two closest friends or a family member whose instincts you trust to help you start your search. Inviting too many friends along with you would be welcoming a lot of contrasting opinions.

Hidden costs can add up

One way to avoid getting a wedding bill shock is to account for everything you will be spending for. Much like how you should do the accounting for your dress. Remember, that apart from the dress, you should also take into consideration your veil, accessories, headpieces, jewelry and shoes, undergarments and alterations. These can easily add up and would add to your final bottom line. Before shopping for a dress, ensure that you have factored everything into your final wedding dress budget.

Undergarments are optional

It is highly recommended that you visit the shop already in the underwear you choose to wear on your wedding day. In this regard, you would see how it would look on you on the day itself. However, if you are unsure as to what undergarments to use, do not fret as most boutiques and bridal shops have different bras in their fitting room. If you plan on wearing a strapless style bra, a particular body shaper, bring them with you. Ultimately, you would need gown-specific undergarments but they are not necessary on your initial meeting with the seamstress.

Do not get discouraged

Remember that there is a myriad of bridal designers and they have a thousand designs to choose from. So, do not worry and get discouraged if you cannot find your dream gown in just one wedding dress endeavor. Sure, coming empty-handed after an initial trip can sure put a damper on things, but do not give up. If anything, this means you are not impulsive with your choices. Simply try again and look for more designs.

Shop for your body type

No, this is not to say you should be heavily focusing on your weight and your bulk. Instead, focus on the shape and frame of your body. Your weight constantly fluctuates but the shape of your body hardly changes unless you do some lifestyle changes such as dieting and exercising. Moreover, weight can change depending on how stressful a situation is, so do not let that be a deciding factor when it comes to choosing your wedding dress. Choose a dress that complements your body type instead—one that highlights your curves and makes you feel confident and beautiful.

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A Primer on A Modern Filipina’s Skincare Routine

Filipinas of today are a force to be reckoned. They are fearless game changers and high-achievers. They aim to explore the world and shape it according to the future they want for themselves and their families. They set goals and ruthlessly go after them so they could better themselves and their society.

To achieve all of this, they need tools that would help them sustain their health and vibrant personality. Their fiery spirit comes from within and radiates to their outer shell. The outer shell, which is the skin, covers the being and acts as a barrier against all the elements on Earth.

Thus, women need to protect their skin so it could continue to serve its purpose. Maintaining a reliable skincare routine boosts the skin’s health and appearance. Anyone can form a morning and night routine as long as they have the right products. Moreover, having an effective skincare routine will help achieve a glowing skin come your wedding day.

What makes a Skincare Routine

It’s essential to note that a skincare regimen’s target is to cleanse and moisturize the skin. You can skip the other steps of modern facial care, but you cannot forsake these two. Hence, you need to find a suitable facial cleanser and soap as well as moisturizer and body lotion for your skin type. Your skin needs to be ready especially since you started looking for the best affordable wedding venues in Manila.

A facial cleanser is milder and less damaging to the face than soap. The skin on the face is thinner compared to other parts of the body. It can easily have scars and tears from abrasive products. It also is prone to irritation from harsh chemicals of soap variants. Thus, you need to find a cleanser suitable for your skin.

To identify the one that works for your skin, you have to determine your skin type. You can read up on the composition of skin. There are various reading materials on print and online of the skin’s chemistry and related subjects. You can also visit a dermatologist, and a get a consultation for an accurate reading.

Your skin type also determines the kind of moisturizer that will solve your issues and problems. It will also dictate which ingredients work best to provide most of its benefits. Oily skin, for instance, benefits from water and gel-based formulas while dry patches need to lock in moisture.

Other Skin Boosters

Innovation paved the way for the improvement of skincare products. There are various types of cleansers, moisturizers, toners, and serum at Vertis North Mall that promise youthful glow, flawless skin, and anti-aging benefits. You can easily grab a product from a shelf or place an order online.

Most women take advantage of the vast selection of items to find an overnight solution for long-term skin conditions. However, the answer to their skin concerns lies on the consistency of use of a specific type of product as well as the right chemistry of ingredients that will work on the skin’s composition.

Other skin boosters such as toner, sunscreen and serum will double the power of your cleansing and moisturizing combo.

Toner

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Most Filipinas skip toning because some aestheticians claim it is unnecessary. Still, they are useful and serves as a back up after washing your face. Wiping the face using a wet cotton ball removes excess oil and grime. If you are exposed to pollution and other toxins on a daily basis, using a toner will magnet the gunk off the surface of your face and restore its natural pH level.

Sunscreen

sunscreen

Daily exposure to the rays of the sun induces skin damage. You need to apply products that contain SPF even if you are indoors the whole day. Sun exposure promotes the formation of dark spots and deepens laugh lines.

Serum

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Serum may seem like fancy water, but it is true to its worth. It is a concentrated formula that contains rich formulations for specific skin conditions. It also boosts the effects of other products you apply to your skin and speeds up regeneration process.

Coming up with a regimen with the right products that are hypoallergenic, mild and actively cleanses the skin’s surface is the ultimate key to a spotless and glowing skin. Though the skin is a reflection of the body’s health, what you do on the outside equally affects your external body. Love your being, and you can be sure it will love you just the same.

It’s crucial to master the art and science of skincare routine before your wedding season. You can be sure that your skin is at its best when you walk down the aisle.

Wedding Fashion: Five Reasons Your Wedding Gown Looks Cheap

“I always tell brides to follow their instinct throughout the wedding dress experience. But I encourage them to keep an open mind in selecting their dress.”-Monique L’huillier

 

Without a doubt, the wedding gown is one of the most iconic pieces of apparel a woman will ever wear. In fact, it might be just be the most significant piece of clothing she will ever wear in her life. It is precisely for this reason that many brides-to-be find themselves increasingly pressured in choosing the perfect gown to wear on their wedding day. After all, as soon as they make that walk down the aisle and saunter towards the love of their lives, they can expect every eye in the venue to be on them. With all these considered, a bride channels her endeavors into ensuring she would not only look presentable on her wedding day, but her best as well—you do not get to have so many eyes training on you every single day after all.

However, some brides who are trying to negotiate with their wedding budgets tend to cut costs by making compromises. More often than not, those compromises would mean their gowns. While this is a practical tack, it is imperative that you should be aware that there is a big difference between what looks cheap but tacky and affordable but classic. Regardless of whether you spent a lot for your gown or not, you should aim to look elegant and sophisticated. In any case, it is best if you are aware what makes a wedding gown look cheap:

1.) It is too white

When it comes to choosing a color for your wedding gown, you do not really have much choice apart from the various shades you can get from white—and even then, that would be quite tough to do. However, there is such a thing as being too white. Bright, optic white can be a tough color to pull off and if the overall dress looks and feels more graphic than soft and romantic, there is a likely chance it would look cheap—in photos and in person.

2.) Made with low-quality synthetic fabrics

This should be a no brainer. Cheap material and fabrics make for cheap-looking dresses. Wedding gowns, especially ones that look all-poufy and are of the ball-gown variety require a lot of fabric just to finish. These gowns are usually made with expensive fabrics such as handmade lace, silk and the like. To have it cheaper, synthetic fabrics would be utilized and as you have guessed it, an abundance of these cheap-looking fibers on just one gown will inevitably make that gown look cheap.

3.) It looks to sexy

Yes, you can be sexy on your wedding day. But do note that there is a stark difference between sexy and sultry. The former is cheap while the latter is relatively more acceptable. Sultry means off shoulder gowns, baring your arms and still managing to look classy. Visible corsetry, lace-up backs or fronts and extreme cleavage on the other hand are all looks and ensembles sexy brides would wear for Halloween.

4.) Your breasts have no room to breathe

We get it—you want cleavage. Yes, you can bare a little without giving it all away, the trick is not to mash your breasts together in order to give the illusion of a cleavage. The trick is to look like you fit your dress just right instead of looking like you are about to burst out of it. Remember, regardless of what you are wearing, fit is the most important thing—and when it comes to wedding gowns, it is all the more important.

5.) It has too much going on

Lace, beading, ruffles, gathered skirts, bows—your dress has it all! Why settle for one design when you can incorporate all of them into one dress right? Unfortunately, while you think it looks great, it is a little too much and may make you seem like you could not choose one design. Furthermore, your dress has no sense of cohesion and as a result, would not look visually and aesthetically appealing.

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