Tying the Knot: What to Keep in Mind When Creating a Wedding Guest List

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It has been said that the guaranteed bulletproof way to create a guest list for your wedding is to imagine that person drunk, dancing and wild. If it is not funny nor does it suit to your liking, you should erase their name.

Unfortunately, wedding receptions in the Philippines have traditionally been so inclusive with more and more couples opting for a more expansive guest list than what their budgets would allow. This can be attributed to the couple’s wish to make everyone happy and ensure no one gets left behind lest they get offended. Unfortunately, including everyone you know from the top of your head can easily balloon your expenses. This would be all well and good if you have a limitless financial resource for your wedding but if you are operating on a budget, you might want to scale down on inviting so many people to your big day. Indeed, the prospect of drafting your first guest list can be daunting–especially if you are looking at an intimate celebration. However, drafting and cutting it bit by bit would help you arrive at a workable one that makes you happy. To ensure that your guest list drafting goes smoothly, here are some of the things you can keep in mind:

 

1.) Decide how you would divide the list before you accept any monetary help

Making a guest list can get complicated–especially if you have everyone else contributing to who should be invited–and even more so if both sets of parents are contributing to your big day financially. In this regard, it is best to be clear about your expectations from the get go. Know what you can afford before you even consider accepting financial help from them. If you have decided to pay for your wedding entirely by yourselves, get the families together and talk about your plans for the guest list to mitigate the likelihood of surprises. Remember, once you start accepting financial help, your family would feel pretty much entitled to invite anyone they want.

2.) Have a collaborative guest list

There is a myriad of ways to come up with a guest list but ideally, you should use one that is collaborative so that either one of you who has inputs can make edits in real time and see an updated version. In fact, it is best if you had a digital spreadsheet for your wedding guest list so that when a guest RSVP’s, you can immediately make changes to it. More importantly, this very same sheet would help you send out your thank you cards after your wedding.

3.) Design a dream list

In the initial stages of your guest list planning, note down the names you can imagine attending your big day. This list can be as inclusive as you wish it to be–even going as far to including your friends from grade school to that one classmates you had in art class. For this part alone, you can disregard your budget and venue for the meantime. After all, this is your base and you are going to do some trimming as you go. You might think why this is so important. Well, the answer is, this list would help you realistically think if someone should be in your wedding should you want to add any more persons to your final list soon. If they never made it to this list, do you even want them to attend your wedding at all?

4.) Be realistic about the number of guests to avoid stress

Crunching numbers and condensing your list is not exactly something engaged couples would want to do. Unfortunately, there is a figure you really cannot avoid: your guest list count. Your budget and your venue’s size determines how many guests you can realistically invite. Remember, each guest you have would add to the number of plates the caterer would prepare. Not only that, it would add to the favors, chair rental as well as the food. Choose a number that is realistic and be sure that this is a number that would fit your chosen venue. Remember, it is no fun to be squeezed like sardines.

5.)  Make cutting rules

Trimming your list is a crucial part of guest list planning until you reach a final number. Come up with a set of rules as to who to cut and stick to them. Rules are personal to the couple and can range from who you have not spoken or met ever to having no kids in your wedding reception. A bonus tip is to remove anyone who is on the list just because you feel guilty about not inviting them. It might be that they invited you to their wedding and you feel obligated to return the favor.

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Beautiful Weddings: Four Things NOT to Include in Your Wedding Packages

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“Marriage is about becoming a team. You are going to spend the rest of your life learning about each other, and every now and then, things blow up. But the beauty of marriage is that if you picked the right person and you both love each other, you will always figure out a way to get through it.”-Nicholas Sparks

 

Getting married and holding a celebration in honor of your union are no easy feats.

Apart from the meticulous and detailed planning that goes into pulling it off, a significant amount of budget planning should also be in the works. In this regard, the idea of wedding packages is conceptualized wherein couples can still attain the wedding of their dreams at a price they can realistically afford. In this regard, couples would no longer need to go from one wedding supplier to the next just to meet all of their wedding needs as the wedding package itself would already address pretty much all of their needs or at least most of it. Packages come in a variety of options with some even including the usage of the wedding venue in their scope of services offered. As a result, planning a wedding would not only be a little easier to pull off but a little less stressful on the part of the couple.

However, while your wedding packages can include a wide array of offerings for your own wedding, there are some things that would not realistically make it to the package considering its reduced price. In the same vein, there are also some things you should not include if you do not want to run the risk of running into inconveniences or possible no-shows on your wedding day. If these are all things you wish to avoid, then it is best that you exclude some of the things listed below on your own wedding. To ensure that your wedding day goes without a hitch, here are some of the things that you should definitely opt out of your wedding package:

 

Too many expensive things

Of course, every couple wants to make their weddings as beautiful and luxurious as it can possibly be. While the biggest and most memorable day of your life might occur on your wedding day, there is no need to exhaust all of your financial resources just so you can have a glamorous wedding. After all, there are so many ways you can make your wedding beautiful without spending too much. With that being said, there is no absolute need to choose the most expensive suppliers and vendors for your wedding. As it is, expensive does not always equal the best as there are quite a lot of other options for you that would come at a cheaper price. In this regard, you should not include too many expensive things in your wedding package. While you are free to consider some things of luxury for your wedding, ensure that you do not go overboard and keep them in close moderation. Furthermore, you should also consider every item on your list in terms of expense.

A long guest list

Planning a wedding involves taking into account the people who would be attending the same. Before coming up with a guest list, have a realistic approximation of how many people would fit in your chosen venue. You can invite all of your family and friends but keep in mind that your venue can probably hold only a limited number of people. As such, even if the venue says it can accommodate a maximum of 300 people does not mean that you should also have 300 guests. After all, you would want your guests to have a little legroom to roam around instead of feeling cramped. To avoid such dilemma, take a gander at your guest list and then trim it down and invite only the people closest to you. You should not feel forced to invite people who you are not even remotely close to.

Unavailable Entertainers

Entertainment is of paramount consideration when it comes to a wedding. After all, you would want your guests to be entertained as they are enjoying their meal. However, if an entertainer cannot commit to your event, you better not risk it and move on and look for someone else. You would not want to risk of not having an entertainer on the day itself. Just move on and choose someone else.

Inconvenient Locations

Sure, you might have a good venue in mind to hold your ideal wedding. However, know that with so many weddings happening at one time, it might be that the venue you have chosen was already booked by someone else which is why the earlier you book, the better off you will be. Should your chosen location be unavailable on the day you wish to wed for whatever reason, it is best to move on and look elsewhere. Sure, you can wait for your venue to become available but you should not get your hopes up. To be safe, just look for somewhere else where you can be sure that you can hold your special event.

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Beautiful Weddings: Seven Creative Ways to Make Your Wedding Reception Unique

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“I can see why people love the idea of a big white wedding—it is a day when they are the center of attention and get to wear a beautiful dress. But that sounds awful to me because that is like getting to walk down the red carpet.” –Lucy Punch

 

As a couple, there is no day bigger and more significant than the day you tie the knot and say your “I dos”. In fact, quite a lot of planning is involved in the months and weeks leading up to this event. However, to some couples, it is not enough that the wedding is elegant and sophisticated by itself. No, it needs to be unique and distinct insomuch that every detail and aspect of the wedding would be easily identifiable to the couple, their taste and preferences.

In this regard, you need to work in constant correspondence with your event designer and wedding planner. Convey what you have in mind clearly and never settle. Take note of the things that make you and your partner unique as a couple and incorporate those into your event. Integrating who you and your partner are as a couple might not come easily to you, but your wedding planner should be able to pull it off. However, you need to have an idea of what you want and communicate that to the professionals. In any case, before you start looking for wedding venues in Manila, here are some of the ways you can translate your vision to a reality and make your wedding event truly unique:

 

Make it feel like home

Instead of setting up your event venue in a pomp, you can opt for the alternative of subdued elegance by designing your wedding in a more residential manner. The interiors can have a residential façade insomuch that your wedding guests would feel like they are just at home. In this way, your guests would more likely to relax, get comfortable and have fun at your wedding.

Use your cake as a focal point

If you really wish to do something incredibly unorthodox, why not give your wedding cake a dual function? Instead of merely using it for the cake cutting ceremony and having it sit idly in one corner, have it suspended from the ceiling and utilize the space underneath it to create a dramatic design. It is not something you see at every wedding and would certainly have the wedding guests talking.

Think of the details

One excellent way to customize your wedding is to think of even the tiniest details that would be able to show your vision and personality. Remember, no aspect is too small nor insignificant to overlook as all of these elements would have a cumulative effect when brought in together. Remember that in designing an event, you need to be a little meticulous with the environment you are working with. However, do not be afraid to work with hues, textures, and items that would evoke the emotions and impressions you want from your wedding guess. Thoughtfully curate pieces that speak to you and would be a reflection of you and your partner and the things you love.

Spice up your bride and groom chairs

Instead of simply adding foliage and blooms to your designated seat and table, take it up a notch by inserting a special love quote there. To make it even more personal and unique, the love quote can be an original saying you and your spouse have thought of. Alternatively, you can choose to indicate your pet names for each other on the seats instead of simply having it say, bride and groom.

Make use of the drapes

Transforming any space can be as easy as draping it regardless of whether it is a tent or a ballroom. In fact, draping is one of the cleverly used techniques to easily customize a space. Whether you wish for a softer wedding design or a more sophisticated and glamorous look or simply wish to cover up the unused space, have a designer help you in draping to create the vision you wish for your wedding.

Use lights

Lights can dramatically change up and enhance an event space. Similarly, lighting can greatly improve a place’s ambiance which makes it an imperative consideration to make in designing your event space. Remember that lighting comes in various forms and shapes. You can utilize floor and table lamps to fill up corners and pin spots on the centerpieces. In any case, try to experiment with lighting and ask your wedding planner how you can create a great ambiance with lighting for your event venue.

Focus on personal touches

Personal touches make any wedding unique and memorable. It is what your guests would likely remember and feel that every moment and detail was carefully considered to showcase who you are as a couple.

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Successful Events: Five Characteristics of a Good Wedding Organizer

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“Planning the wedding is a trial run for your future marriage. The things you battle about now are clues to where you are going to have trouble in the future.” -Tina B. Tessina

 

All brides are different.

There are some brides who plan their wedding the moment they get engaged and there are those who possess the bride gene and have planned for their big as a kid. Then there are those who would rather let others run the show.

However, regardless of what kind of a bride a woman might be, a wedding is still considered a major celebration that transcends all of the other events she might celebrate in her life. Furthermore, it is of no question that the couple’s wedding day would be the most significant event they would ever celebrate in their lives. Beyond the glitz and the glamour, weddings are all about celebrating love, commemorating a successful union and cementing a relationship–and it is an event that the couple gets to share with everyone they hold dear in their lives from family to friends. In this regard, it is only natural for a woman to wish for a successful wedding event. It is for this very reason that wedding organizers exist. These are the very individuals who would translate your visions into reality and give life to your wedding receptions. Unfortunately, as with the consequence of technology, many brides have taken to wedding planning apps rather than employ the professional services of a wedding organizer. However, one has to keep in mind that no matter how advanced these technological innovations are, they cannot replace the skills and expertise of a professional wedding organizer.

That being said, it is also true that not all wedding organizers are cut from the same cloth. In this regard, you need to be a little thorough when it comes to selecting the professional you do want to work with. Here are some of the characteristics you might want to look out for:

 

1.) Organized

Planning a wedding is not easy feat. There are a lot of elements and aspects to consider which is why it is imperative that your wedding planner possess massive organizational skills. As your wedding planner, it is part of their job to have detailed notes on each contracted vendor’s product or services rendered. Furthermore, it is a wedding organizer’s foremost responsibility to have a cohesive and seamless timeline that would guide them as well as the couple on the big day.

2.) Creative

Today, many wedding organizers would capitalize on the fact that they can give couples their dream wedding. However, dream weddings can be taken to mean many things and can be different for every couple. Your wedding organizer should be creative enough to recreate your dream into reality and incorporate elements that would make it better. While getting inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram is great, wedding organizers should also be able to think outside the box.

3.) Budget Savvy

As a bride, you would want to mitigate expenses as much as possible. Unfortunately, you would rarely have any idea about the true cost of the wedding photography, flowers, catering and your other vendors. On top of planning for your day, your wedding organizer should be able to create and manage your budget. They are the ones tasked in selecting appropriate vendors who will fit into that budget and set realistic expectations for you as to what you can afford. After all, there is no point in keeping your hopes up and setting the bar too high when your budget cannot even accommodate it.

4.) Good in correspondence

In planning a wedding, you will inevitably spend most of the following weeks leading up to your wedding in correspondence with your wedding organizing. In this regard, the wedding organizer you select should be able to have communication skills–both verbal and written. They would be doing a lot of talking–and not only to you. More often than not, they would be the ones to do the negotiating with the vendors as well as talk to your family and friends during the planning process. Effective communication is pivotal in this aspect. Furthermore, you must take into account that wedding are rather temperamental events to plan insomuch that emotions are at all time high–especially weeks leading up to a the wedding. Should things get a little tense, your wedding organizer should be able to appease the situation and remain professional and pleasant.

5.) Skilled Negotiator

Your prospective wedding organizer should know how to haggle. This is because most of the time, they would be doing the negotiating on your behalf as you would not know what questions to ask of which vendor. In most cases, professional events planners would be able to get a better price from suppliers than a couple will as they have already established a business relationship with many of them. Choose a vendor who can negotiate the best term appropriate for you as this will not only save you money, but time as well.

 

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Modern Brides: Five Unconventional Ways Modern Brides are Breaking Tradition

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“The true beauty of a bride lies in the eyes of the groom”-Author Unknown

Weddings have always been about traditions—or are they?

In this time and age, contemporary brides have long since forgotten long-held customs and traditions and have made several wedding practices of their very own. While some wedding practices are still deeply ingrained and have no signs of going away anytime soon, modern brides have made some of their traditions as well. Of course, while elaborate receptions for lavish brides as well as sophisticated catering packages for weddings are still customary, the way modern brides have been breaking tradition has recently been making waves.

Here are just some of the ways they do it:

1.) Wearing flats

Over the years, brides have always worn heeled shoes on their wedding day. Whether it is to make up for the height difference or simply because it affects a more proper and elegant posture in them, we do not know, but the practice has since the persisted—that is until one bride decided to forego the heels. In lieu of having aching soles at the end of the day, most brides would now ditch the heels in favor of flats. In this regard, they would be able to fully enjoy their wedding whether they choose to spend it dancing or entertaining guests. No longer are flat shoes reserved for beach weddings, but they are now considered as a pivotal addition to a modern bridal ensemble.

2.) Wear your necklace backward

A trend made popular by it-girl Jennifer Lawrence, wearing your necklace backward is perfect for brides who chose a wedding gown or dress with an open back. Give your bridal ensemble a more dramatic effect and flair by styling your hair away from your nape so that your back and your necklace is worn backward would be totally exposed. This is truly one contemporary look that breaks the mold and is sure to catch the eyes and attention of your wedding guests.

3.) Mixing and matching bridesmaids dresses

Gone are the days wherein a bride’s entourage would all wear a unique color which is basically the wedding’s motif. Today, modern brides would go for a wedding theme in lieu of a wedding motif. As a result, brides can now incorporate an array of colors into their wedding theme and successfully inject more colors to the apparel of their entourage. Today, weddings would no longer be in a single shade of blue but in a myriad of colors which makes for a more festive event.

4.) Making a statement

Modern brides are all about making a statement and breaking away from tradition. In this regard, bridal jewelry and the like are considered commonplace and usual. Brides would now try to look for an aspect in their weddings that would set them apart from others. Whether that may be sporting a necktie instead of adorning yourself with jewelry or featuring a scarf tied to one side would be totally up to you. In any case, it should be a feature that is distinct to your dress and would give your overall look a point of difference.

5.) Gothic Brides

While most conventional brides would still balk at the idea of wearing an all-black gown on their wedding day, some modern brides have found ways to inject a bit of this gothic theme and color into their dresses. For one, they might opt on wearing a darker shade of lipstick instead of a lighter toned one. Similarly, they can choose to wear their hair in a loose, braided up-do that would look more punk that it is pretty. Whatever their choice might be, they wish to give their looks an edgier touch.

 

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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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