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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Weddings Sins That Will Make Your Lola Gasp

It’s 2017, and it seems we forgot our values and traditions of weddings. Millenials have embraced the liberated culture of the West and have forgotten local traditions that are unique to Filipino culture. Thus, you may be guilty of committing wedding sins even when you aren’t aware. 

Read on to find which of the forgotten traditions will save your Lola from the heartache even if you are getting married in Intramuros – Casa Manila style.

 

Placing The Groom’s Name Before the Bride in Invitations

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The bride and her parents’ name should be written first. They are the host and share a large portion of the expenses. 

Your Lola and titas will agree to this because they’ve been through it. They definitely understand the delegation of responsibilities. Therefore it is tradition to have hers before the groom’s and his parents’ name on the invitations.

Thank you letters should print the groom’s name and his family before the bride’s name to show their support and acceptance to the ceremony and its proceedings.

 

The Bride Coming Before the Groom

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Ladies come first, but this isn’t one of those times. It’s bad luck for the groom to arrive after the bride. This is a grave sin for both couples, so be wary on your big day. 

Coordinate with each party and find a way to communicate if your partner is on his or her way. Be mindful of the time during preparation. Oversee any hindrance that may come along the way, be it traffic jam, a car breaking down, weather changes, broken zipper, lost pair of shoe or worse, a lost wedding ring.

 

 

The Bride Wearing a Pearl Jewelry

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It’s not pearl but look at what happened to Ariel because of the necklace.

As much as possible, pearl fanatics are discouraged from donning their prized accessories. Pearls resemble teardrops, and it is said that wearing pearl accessories will bring you tears. Unfortunately, they aren’t tears of joy.

Avoid wearing a string of pearls or pearl earrings on your wedding day. Doing so will bring sorrow and tears to your married life. Spare yourself and your future family from despair by following the tradition. Don’t come running to abuela, we warned you.

Like all events, there’s proper etiquette for guests. This case, the proper decorum also stems from our culture and traditions. Read this in case you get invited to someone’s big day.

 

Giving Sharp Objects as Gifts

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Give appropriate gifts. Remember when she thought forks were used for combing hair?

It may be tempting to give a set of knives to your BFF chef getting hitched this weekend, but doing so will bring bad luck. 

Sharp objects like scissors and gardening tools are home essentials, but there are other home necessities like appliances, pieces of furniture and home décor that are better given as presents to the newlyweds. They will greatly appreciate the gesture even if it’s not in the registry.

Giving a set of knives is also creepy, don’t you think?

 

Dress Code

The bride should be the most beautiful woman on her day. The groom is the most handsome man in the room. Not you nor your date

A wedding is a formal event, so dress accordingly. Some weddings have a theme indicated on the invite. Hence, respect the couple’s wishes what attire should be worn.

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Avoid stealing the spotlight and earning an eyeful from the elders by wearing skimpy dresses. Opt for modest clothing options. Don’t wear revealing, skin-tight dresses or short-sleeved casual attire. Polish your black shoes and style your hair to look clean and presentable. The guests’ appearance reflects the bride’s or the groom’s personality and any undesirable traits will reflect negatively to the in-laws.

 

Party Pooping

A wedding is also a celebration – feast of life, love, and unity. Don’t be a spoil sport by refusing to partake in the games and festivities. You’ll be putting down the energy and the mood of the couple. The goal is to attract positive and boundless energy for them. Do not be the cause to negate them.

These are some of the customs and traditions that are not observed by couples during their matrimonial rites. Guests also have to look out for these practices and make sure they follow the practices when gracing the event with their presence. If you want a refresher on other practices that are a must, head on to Casa Manila Museum. It features the lifestyle of elite Filipinos, who were conscious of social etiquettes and graces. It’s great place be purified and instill the traditions in yourself. Lola will be so proud.

Weddings 101: Five Things Your Wedding Guests Don’t Care About

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“A gloomy guest fits not a wedding feast” –Friedrich Schiller
Wedding planning can be incredibly stressful—there are just a lot of things to take into consideration. A good wedding package in the Philippines, the wedding venue, the catering, the wedding decorations—these are just a fraction of what wedding planning truly is in its entirety. Another thing that would add to the list of what you have to consider is how receptive your guests will be to some aspects in your wedding. While this is an excellent mindset for couples who want to commemorate a joyous event with their guests’ best interests at heart, you would be surprised to find that there are a lot of things that guests do not really care about. Perhaps if you knew what these things were, you would not be as keen and meticulous in executing them well and devote more of your time to planning the other aspects of your wedding. Furthermore, if you worried less about this stuff, then you can take away a bit of what is stressing you out.

Here are just a few things your guests do not care about and you probably should not spend a lot of time fussing over:

  1. Wedding Invitations

In this digital age, more and more couples are opting to go paperless when it comes to their wedding invitations. Not only is it nature-friendly and green, but it is economic and practical as well and yet, a lot of couples have this staunch belief that their invitations should be an elaborate presentation of what their wedding guests can expect. While it might be a brief prelude and introduction of what your guests can expect, it barely makes an impression and would likely end up in the waste bin after your wedding.

  1. The Guest Book

Most guests cannot really be bothered to just jot down their names on a huge guest book just to confirm they have indeed attended your wedding. So, instead of having them sign something that is akin to a roll call once they are done, incorporate a little creativity on what would have been a dull book. Plaster your photo on a large piece of paper and have guests write their wedding wishes for you on it. You can then have it framed after the wedding and you and your spouse can have a grand time reading about what your guests wish for you.

  1. The Flowers

Flowers are an important aspect and beautiful floral arrangements are always a welcome addition to your chosen wedding venue. Flowers are also a way of incorporating your personal style into a space. However, there is such a thing as floral arrangements being too extravagant. Those exorbitantly priced golden roses might look stunning, but it is hardly practical and not one of your guests would probably look back on your wedding day and remember the ostentatious display of floral wreaths. Your guests will appreciate the floral arrangements you have chosen—regardless of how much you have spent for them.

  1. The Dress

While this is more for yourself than your guests, there is really no practical reason to blow your bridal budget on a fancy dress that you are going to wear just once and never again. You can look just as stunning in a more affordable gown provided you know how to carry yourself in it. After all, it is not always about the price of the gown but rather how you bring yourself confidently in it. So, even if your wedding gown is sans the designer label, your guests are still sure to think you are a beautiful bride.

  1. The Cake

Wedding cakes are excellent, but apart from using it for the cake-slicing portion of the program there is really not much use for it as most couples opt to serve a different cake to their guests. While towering and meticulously detailed wedding cakes make for a great addition to your wedding reception, your guests would not miss it. Instead, you can opt to have a cake that is within your budget and which tastes great as well—and one you can serve to your guests as well.

 

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Wedding Food 101: Foods Your Guests Secretly Hate

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“Food is our common ground, a universal experience” -James Beard

 

A funny and somewhat hackneyed adage as regards wedding food once said that the most dangerous food to eat is a wedding quote. However, from a couple’s standpoint, it is far more dangerous to serve wedding food to their guests which they would secretly hate but pretend to love anyhow. It is no question that it is your big day and the occasion is all about you and your husband-to-be tying the knot, but the wedding food is a pivotal aspect of a wedding. In fact, in some rare cases, it dictates the success or failure of a particular event.

Serve too little and your guests would go hungry, serve them too much and you are likely to foot an exorbitant bill but serving them something they do not like altogether would spell a disaster for everyone. Not only will you and your guests have to stomach down the food served, but your wedding will be known as one of those events whose food did not make much of an impression. With this in mind, it would be imperative for you to gloss over the catering services in Pasay and see the types of the menu they offer. Otherwise, it might be helpful if you knew which wedding food items do not score high in most wedding guests’ scorecards.

1.) Appetizers that are hard to eat

It is no question that most modern weddings would now incorporate gimmicky things into their wedding—even if that means having food that is rather quirky and a bit hard to eat. Your guests are already having a hard time mingling with the other guests during the cocktail hour, do no make it even harder for them by giving them appetizers that are incredibly hard to eat and would likely cause them to make a mess. Have straightforward nibbles during cocktail hour—one which your guests can eat with one hand and balance a drink in their other hand.

2.) Weird signature cocktails

More often than not, these cocktails were engineered specifically for your wedding and are given monikers that would combine yours and your spouse’s or something cute like “Something Blue”. However, while the sentiment may be romantic (though a tad bit cheesy) to you, more often than not these concoctions do not taste as great as their name suggests. If they are too sickeningly sweet or are bland and watery, your guests would much rather have beer and wine than something that stimulates their gag reflex.

3.) Rubbery Chicken

Serving chicken at your wedding is a hit or miss thing. More often than not, it is the mode of preparation that contributes to how the dish will be received. However, considering that chicken is prepared hours before it is going to be served to your guests, that tender and juicy chicken your guests should have tasted will have been transformed into a piece of chewy rubber. And as unfortunate as it sounds, no one finds dried-out chicken marsala and cordon bleu appetizing to eat at all.

4.) Vegetable Bundles

While healthy options are always welcome, limp and soggy vegetables are not. Sure, the presentation looks superb as most of these vegetables are wrapped like little presents, but they would hardly add anything to the meal. Apart from the tasteless option, it would only make it obvious that you had obviously seriously overlooked the sides department. If you want a much more satisfactory option, buttery mashed potatoes, ravioli and pasta are great choices.

5.) Gluten-Free Everything

Even if you and your groom are on a special diet, make your big day your biggest cheat day. After all, just because you are on a restrictive diet, it does not mean that you should subject your wedding guests to the same limitations as well. While serving vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes are perfectly acceptable, overhauling the entire menu to make it all vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free is another story. Let your guests enjoy their meal and at least give them options that they are likely to find acceptable.

 

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Filipino Weddings: Five Things to Expect and Guest Conduct

Brenda Chu and Alvin Raagas

“Marriage is three parts love and seven parts forgiveness of sins.” -Lao Tzu

It is a known fact that weddings are big festive events, but in the Philippines, it is all the more festive and grand. Considering that the family is an integral part of the Filipino culture, family members, relatives and even friends from abroad would all take leave and come home to celebrate this momentous event in an individual’s life. As it is a rare time for everyone to be home at the same time, celebrations do not last just a day, but in some cases, it would last a week to a month depending on how long visitors from abroad intend to stay.

Apart from looking for an appropriate wedding package in the Philippines, a lot of preparation goes into a Filipino wedding. While there are some more elaborate weddings elsewhere, what makes a Filipino wedding truly unique is the emphasis and importance it puts on the family. For this reason, most primary sponsors would be the couple’s godparents who apart from standing with them during the ceremony, are expected to give them sagely advice as regards marital and familial life. In any case, if you are attending a Filipino wedding, here are things you should expect or do:

1.) Give a timely RSVP

Invitations to a couple’s big day usually arrive weeks or months before the scheduled wedding date. Although in some cases, the physical form of a letter may arrive later than usual, you should do your part as a guest by sending your RSVP in a timely fashion. Remember that most couples would have to account for all of their guests through a final headcount. Giving the couple a prompt notice as to whether you will be attending or not would make it more convenient for them to decide on a final number of guests and a seating arrangement.

2.) Despedida de Soltera (Bachelorette Party)

Bachelorette parties in the Philippines are different (although, wild hen parties do still happen it all depends on the bride’s wishes). Filipino tradition dictates that a party would be held in favor of the bride to highlight her last few days as a single woman. While some bachelorette parties would involve raucous night out, this is also an event that would serve as a formal introduction to both sides of the family before the couple is officially wedded. So, if you have been given the honor of being part of the couple’s wedding entourage, do take part and contribute whatever you can to make this event more memorable.

3.) Take note of the maid of honor duties

If you have been given the prestige and honor of being a bride’s maid of honor, know that it is not an easy task. You are primarily chosen because the bride regards you as her closest confidante and trusts you to carry out your duties well. Apart from putting a bachelorette party together, your task would also include to organize the entourage for the wedding ceremony and attend to the bride’s needs. Additionally, it is also your duty to welcome and assist guests during the wedding reception.

4.) Follow the dress code given

While you can wear formal suits to weddings, if you want a more patriotic approach and something that would indeed appeal to Filipino tradition, you can do so by wearing the Filipino costume known as the Barong Tagalog. Dress codes are almost always indicated in the invitation–in any case, whatever you choose to wear for the wedding, always respect the couple’s wishes as to what kind of garb you should wear. This is the least you can do for their wedding day as an invited guest.

5.) Participate in the wedding games

Traditionally, Filipino wedding receptions would have intervals wherein games directed at married and single individuals are held. If you are a guest, do not dampen the couple’s spirits by refusing to partcipate—most especially if they call out your name. Have a great time and join the bouquet toss or garter toss if you are single. If you are married, enter some of the couple games with your spouse and just generally have fun.

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