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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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

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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.

4 Signs You Shouldn’t Be in A Wedding

Other people enjoy weddings. They marvel at the magic of the wedding vows and the solemnity of the affair. The feminine touches of the decorations and the well-coordinated theme are something that people look forward to seeing.

Unfortunately, not all people have a romantic bone in their body. These are the people who secretly hate other people just because they exist. They are not exactly the life of the party. But they are going to the wedding because of their love for the couple.

If you find yourself connecting to five of these signs, then you definitely shouldn’t be at a wedding.

  1. You judge everyone’s clothes.

It’s human nature to judge and comment on other’s people attire and sense of fashion. But if you’re endlessly doing it to entertain and keep yourself from sleeping, then you shouldn’t be there in the first place. The long speeches absolutely bore you to death. The corny jokes also make you wish the ground would swallow you alive.

  1. You would rather spend the day at the mall.

There are so many things you would rather do than witness the “first” kiss of the couple. You prefer to walk around the mall at Vertis North. You feel happier spending your hard-earned cash shopping for new clothes than wearing a drabby suit or ugly wedding dress. Heck, you would prefer snuggling with your furry friend rather than giving air kisses to the people that aren’t even your friends.

  1. You aren’t a fan of people, dancing, and well-wishes.

Just thinking of the people you have to meet annoys you especially if it’s your job to greet and usher them to their seats. It doesn’t help when there are rude guests or people with an attitude are difficult to handle. Then, there’s the dancing you need to prepare. People will call you a party pooper when you’re the only person seated once the DJ starts playing the tunes.

Most of all, there are speeches and well-wishes. Mothers, bridesmaids and a bunch of highly-sensitive people start to cry during the wedding vows and the long speeches. People need to chill out. It’s justs words.

  1. You hate photo ops.

Besides the shots from the official photographer, there are groufies and selfies to take. Isn’t one photo enough? Your face is aching from all the smiling and laughing. Moreover, your feet are tired. Some of your muscles are aching from bending so the camera can get a better angle. Lastly, you need to put makeup or fix your hair so you won’t look out of place.

  1. You always go for seconds, or you go to a drive-thru to get your fill.

Attending a wedding means free food, but that doesn’t mean you can get a full tank. Since the couple has to budget and make sure everyone gets their fill, the meals are controlled. They can be plated for you, or some servers will place the food on your plate. Besides the small portions, the menu may be composed of food unfamiliar to you or aren’t your cup of tea. Hence, you end up ordering a fast food meal right after the party.

Even without these signs, you would rather let the occasion pass than sit and watch the spectacle. You would rather sit one out for the team than be in front of the action. But after all these things, you would still be around to support a family member, friend and loved one on their special day.

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Wedding Planning: Four Things Your Wedding Planner Does Not Want You to Know

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“Weddings are not about spending the least amount of money or the most amount of money; they are about spending good money on the elements that are most important to you and your partner.”-Kristi Richardson

Wedding planning is, no doubt, a process littered with tricky situations and peppered with crucial decision-making scenarios. Indeed, the logistics are never quite straightforward nor are they always the same. To be successful in this endeavor, many brides-to-be would elect to seek professional help in the form of wedding planners. Wedding planners, for their part, have a particular expertise and flair in pulling weddings together. In this regard, they can be considered somewhat of a pro in planning weddings and are incredibly helpful in planning out the nitty-gritty details of a wedding. As a result, the bride can breathe and relax on her big day and would not be more stressed and anxious than she already is.

Choosing a talented and skillful wedding planner is not easy, and it is best to approach this attempt with your eyes wide open. While some wedding planners opt to be as transparent as they can be with their clients, there are less scrupulous planners who would rather keep essential details from you. In any case, here are some things that your wedding planner would not want you to know to determine whether what they kept from you is for your own good or for their bank book.

1.) Something will go wrong

With so many elements and aspects involved in a wedding, it is virtually impossible to pull it off flawlessly. In this regard, it would be inevitable that something would not go according to plan—no matter how meticulously you have planned their entire thing and regardless of how adept your planner might be. However, not all snags are major, and you can hope that it would be something insignificant such as the groom’s tie or something negligible. Similarly, you should also put into mind that there are no perfect weddings, just beautiful ones.

2.) Some of the vendors are probably her chums

Established wedding planners would already have a list of vendors they prefer to work with. If you wish to work with other vendors, it is best to stipulate this before you sign any contract. By choosing your own vendors, you can often get a better deal and quality—you would just need to do a little research and price comparison first. Seasoned and established planners would refer esteemed vendors—after all, a planner’s reputation would also be on the line. However, some planners might refer less qualified vendors who are still trying to build their reputations in the industry. With this in mind, it is best to consider a wedding planner who encourages you to keep your options open.

3.) They might not be as qualified as you think

Majority of wedding planners are already experienced in the field and have already developed an expertise in handling weddings. However, there are also handfuls few who are still trying to break ground in the industry. With this in consideration, how do you determine which one is which? After all, becoming a wedding planner does not require a license nor are any permits necessary. In this regard, it is best for brides to check with multiple references and review their past work samples. After all, some unsavory wedding planners are known for inflating their qualifications just to be hired.

4.) You can probably do it on your own

Some brides already possess the talent and flair for planning a wedding. In fact, it might be a second calling of all sorts and may even be considered as an avenue for showing off your budgeting skills and flawless taste. However, with stress and anxiety on top of the planning process, a bride may want to take a breather and let a wedding planner handle it all. But if you think you can pull it off on your own, you can save some cash and have a wedding that truly reflects who you and your husband are as a couple.

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