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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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.

Bridesmaids 101: Five Things You Should Never Say to the Bride

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Your long-time best friend has finally announced that she is getting engaged and you could not be any more ecstatic to hear the news. You have received the formal invitations and were very pleased to know that you have been given that rare honor of being a part of her entourage as one of her bridesmaids. You inwardly sigh with glee as you envision yourself sauntering on the long aisle of The Glass Garden, all dolled up with your hair and makeup—that is until you have finally seen the final design of your bridesmaid’s dress.

The truth is, we have all been there at some point in our lives attending weddings as part of the wedding entourage. We have all read and even shared some funny anecdotes about how we dislike some aspect in the wedding we attended and at a degree, it is okay. However, it is important to consider that this is not your wedding and that the logistics of planning it are probably not the same as how you would have yours. No matter what aspect it is in their wedding you do not like, you must keep mum and smile through—unless you would like to face the wrath of a stressed out bridezilla on her wedding day. So, no matter how much you detest what you are to wear, you have to smile through it. And along with that, here are a few things that you should never say to a bride on her wedding day.

1.) “I really dislike this dress”

Ah, the proverbial predicament of hating the dress you are assigned to wear on her wedding day. Let us be honest here, there are times that the bride would pick out a style that would look totally unflattering on us or would not suit us at all. But you have to remember that even the bride herself wants every single one of you to look, but finding a stylish and universally flattering dress is next to impossible. But if the bride has been kind enough to vouch for what you would wear on her wedding day, it is the height of discourtesy to complain about it.

2.) “No kids allowed? Well, I’m going to bring my kid anyway”

Holding an event without kids is totally up to the bride and groom and this in no way would connote that they dislike kids. This means that they want an occasion free from disruptions such as crying on ceremonies or diaper changes. Additionally, you have to consider that the couple is paying for everyone’s meal in the room (most especially if there is a strict headcount). If you disregard the bride’s simple request, you are essentially asking her to pay for another head that would be present at her wedding.

3.) “I would never do ______ at my wedding”

The point here is, it is her wedding and not yours. You two will have very different versions of what a perfect wedding should be. Telling her what you would and would not do on your wedding is akin to imposing your perfect wedding on her. Enjoy your friend’s wedding for what it is and have your own version of a happily ever after during your own time.

4.) “I might not be there, something just came up”

Emergencies are inevitable, but if you sound like this is something you have foreseen and you have already accepted to be her bridesmaid, then you would need to come clean to the bride. Do not inconvenience the bride because something came up at the last minute as you would only be causing her a lot more to do with your absence.

5.) “I cannot believe you did not make me your maid of honor”

The thing is, with a whole lot to consider such as availability, family members, your locations and your schedule, the bride probably had to think and rethink it over when she chose her maid of honor. Chances are she gave it to someone else seeing that they would better fit their role. Remember, selecting a maid of honor does not rely on your relationship factor alone and even if she chose another maid of honor, that in no way would mean you are demoted from being her best friend. Just be happy you were given a part on her big day.

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7 Dreaded Mistakes to Avoid When Sending Save-the-Dates

Some brides-to-be may ask ‘do we need to send save-the-dates?’ Yes, you should especially if you want them to block their schedules on your chosen day to be there on your wedding day. Without a save-the-date card, how will you tell them the wedding will be in Santuario de San Antonio on July 22, 2015, 3pm? Would you rather hear your friends tell you ‘Oh we have to skip your wedding because of the Paris trip we planned months ago.’ Heartbreaking, isn’t it?

Now that you’ve finally decided to send save-the-dates, avoid these grisly mistakes.

1) Sending too late

The rule of thumb when sending save-the-date is the earlier, the better. Early notifications will guide your guests as to when they should file their vacation leaves earlier and arrange their travel plans and accommodations.  Wedding experts say that the best time to send save-the-date cards is 5 to 6 months before the wedding day. That’s the safest time allowance whether the wedding will be a local or destination wedding.

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2) Failing to personalize

Not because they are just save-the-dates, you will send just about anything that comes to your mind. It would better to send save-the-date cards that fit your chosen theme wedding. Look for inspiration online. Remember that the save-the-date is your guests’ first glimpse of your wedding. Build the excitement by teasing them with the design of your save-the-date card.

3) Failing to identify who is invited exactly

Don’t forget to write the names of the recipients; they will surely appreciate that you took the time putting or printing their names on the envelope or the card itself. Drop the ‘Surname and Family,’ and be specific with names. Be clear on who you are inviting.  At this stage, you may tell your guests if your wedding will be an ‘Adults Only’ event. With this, they can arrange for babysitting early on and not skip your wedding because they cannot leave their tots behind.

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4) Failing to include location details

Possibly, decide on the location first before sending your save-the-dates. Remember that your guests need to get a leg-up in planning accordingly especially if your wedding will be a destination wedding. People will assume that you will marry somewhere near your place, but this is not always true, right? There is no need to include unnecessary details such as registry info and directions.

5) Failing to include other important wedding details

Include the type of celebration, that is if the wedding is a weekday or weekend wedding and if it will be a morning, afternoon or evening wedding. If you’ve created your own wedding website, include the URL in the save-the-date. Your website will become handy in case your guests want to know about the other details of your wedding such as timeframes and pre-, during and post-wedding activities, among others.

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6) Sending save-the-dates but not invitations

Those people who receive the save-the-date cards must also receive the invites. You cannot un-invite those who receive the save-the-dates.  With this, make sure that your guest list is already settled before you send the cards. Bottom-line, don’t send the cards to anyone who you are not certain regarding inviting. If the person you sent the save-the-date to had initially declined, you still need to send him or her the invitation. Plans change, and he or she might have already regretted saying no in the first place.

7) Including response cards

Response cards or RSVP cards are for invitations only and not for save-the-dates. Save-the-date cards are for announcement purposes only. So, don’t bother asking for feedbacks just yet. Optionally, you may put the phrase ‘Invitation to Follow’ to avoid confusion.

Save-the-dates are the perfect way of pre-announcing that you are about to face a life of wedded bliss. However, you don’t send a save-the-date haphazardly; there are basic etiquettes to live by and mistakes to avoid. Hope the above information will help you in creating and sending your cards.

Image credit: OneWed.com | DestinationWeddingDetails.com | UniquelyYoursWeddingInvitation.com