Wedding Planning Clear Communication with Your Wedding Guests

Effective communication between you and your wedding guests is essential in the months leading up to your wedding. But in this stressful time, how can you maintain healthy relationships with your family and friends when you’re flooded with questions and feeling in over your head?

You know your wedding guests ask for details because they care about you. They want to feel involved and informed during this exciting time in your life. And admit it, it’s nice to have all the attention focused on you and your Big Day! Yet it can often be a bit overwhelming to answer the same questions over and over again. Or maybe you’re concerned that important wedding details will be forgotten or misinterpreted.

In just a few simple steps, you can create easy and accessible sources of information specifically for and about your wedding. When your wedding guests feel informed, confusion will be minimized for them and for you. Everyone wins!

Sources of Information:

1) Both Sets of Parents – Of course, your parents will probably know all about even the most minute detail of your wedding, but remember to go over the basics to ensure that they will share accurate, up-to-date information. Chances are, your parents will receive inquiries when you’re not around, so be sure to advise them of any details you wish to have passed along.

2) Bridal Party – This involves everyone from your bridesmaids and groomsmen, to your ushers and guest book attendants. Your wedding guests will definitely direct questions at these individuals, and they’ll want to be ready to offer assistance.

3) Bridal Consultant or Wedding Planner – Obviously, this individual will be in tune with your wedding itinerary and details, but ensure that he or she has a quick reference to any and all questions that may be presented.

4) Personal Wedding Website or Wedding Webpage- Post all essential wedding details online so accurate information can be displayed 24/7! Send the web address of your personal wedding website to everyone on your email list. Also include the web address of your wedding website with your wedding invitations so your guests can come back often to view any new details you choose to post.

Important Details to Communicate:

1) Schedule of Events – Include expected starting dates and times for the wedding ceremony and reception, along with the appropriate addresses and phone numbers. Relay maps or driving directions and if necessary, any parking specifications or restrictions for each venue.

2) Wedding Gift Registry – Tactfully and effectively share what your wedding guests really want to know: what you need and where they can go to get it!

3) Contact Info – List the “go to” person you’ve delegated for any further details.

4) Allergy Alerts – A must-have if your meal selections contain ingredients that trigger well-known allergies.

5) Dress Code Guidelines – If certain dress codes are in effect, it is essential for your guests to be aware of this ahead of time.

6) Special Requests – Special care needs to be given to potentially delicate information such as “adult only” requests or “invited guests only due to limited space”. These issues should be presented kindly and firmly, but in a sensitive manner.

7) Travel and Lodging Info – Share special rates you’ve negotiated or related accommodation details such as blocks of hotel rooms reserved under your names. You may need to supply a unique code for your wedding guests to provide at the time of booking.

8) Weather Restrictions – If any part of your wedding celebration is being held outdoors, convey all back-up arrangements should the weather not cooperate.

9) “RSVP By” Date – Have a deadline by which all RSVPs must be sent in. Set your “RSVP By” date far enough in advance that you can deliver an accurate guest count to your caterer and organize proper seating arrangements for your tables.

10) Currently Unknown Details – Your input is needed, even if you do not yet have a definite opinion or a decision made regarding a certain aspect of your wedding. Sometimes it’s helpful when your wedding guests can realize that you have not yet finalized a certain element of your wedding, but will be sure to share more once you have reached a decision. This can ease the pressure put on you and your decision-making process. A personal wedding website is especially effective in these instances, since you may post a “More info coming soon!” page on your wedding website.

Your wedding guests will be thankful for the lines of communication you’ve established for their benefit. With this in place, you can get back to enjoying your family and friends, rather than feeling overwhelmed by their questions. Clear communication is critical to effectively plan a stress-free wedding. After all, informed guests are happy guests…and happy guests are ready to celebrate your amazing, unforgettable wedding day!

Wedding Gift List Etiquette

Gift list etiquette can be confusing and conflicting – partly because wedding gift lists are a relatively new phenomenon. We’ve answered some of the most common questions which couples ask about wedding gift list etiquette.

We’re not sure about having a gift list because we don’t want our guests to feel obliged to buy us a gift. What should we do?

Guests understand when couples get married it’s because they love each other – not because they’re looking for wedding gifts! If you decide to have a gift list you can choose your wording carefully to ensure that your guests don’t feel obliged to buy a gift. For example, a popular phrase to use is “It’s your presence, not your present, that we want!”

Even if you don’t want your guests to buy gifts for you, you’ll find that most people still want to give a gift as they feel it’s the right thing to do – and they want to mark the occasion with a gift. Without a gift list to guide your guests you could find yourselves inundated with gifts which you don’t really want. If you really don’t want any gifts for yourselves, why not consider charity gifts? Or you could ask for tree gifts which will grow and mature (just like your marriage!) as well as offsetting carbon emissions.

Should we send details of our gift list with our wedding invitations?

When couples started using gift lists it was not accepted etiquette to include details of a gift list with a wedding invitation. However, as gift lists have become increasingly popular, times have changed and so has the etiquette. It has become much more the norm – and it’s simpler – to let guests know where a gift list has been set up and saves guests trying to contact the bridal party to find out. It’s highly unlikely that guests will take offense. Most gift list companies can provide you with invitation inserts which you can send to guests.

If you don’t feel comfortable including your gift list information with invitations and you’ve got a wedding website, this is a great – and discrete – way for guests to get the all-important details about your wedding and your gift list. All couples who register with Nearly Married get a free wedding website which they can add lots of info and pictures to and their gift list is automatically integrated into their wedding website.

Should our evening guests be given details of our gift list?

If you don’t expect your evening guests to give you a gift, don’t include information about your gift list with their invitations. If you’ve got a wedding website this is a great way for them to find out if you have a gift list, without having to ask.

Is it OK to ask for money for general use or our honeymoon?

Many couples already have the traditional household items which were often given as gifts such as toasters, kettles, towels and bedding. That’s why couples often feel that it would suit them better to ask for money which they can use towards something special, such as their honeymoon. If you’re saving towards a deposit on a house, furniture or a new kitchen and would appreciate money towards that why not ask for contributions on your gift list? It is becoming far more the norm for couples to ask for money – but our advice is to let guests know what the money will be spent on so that your guests feel that they’ve contributed towards a specific item rather than giving money which could be spent on household bills or your entertainment expenses! The Nearly Married gift list service lets you customise gifts of money with your own gift name, description, price and picture so you can ask for anything you want!

We don’t need household items and we’re asking for other types of gifts on our gift list – how should we explain this to guests?

Many couples enclose an information sheet when they send out their invitations. The information sheet could have all sorts of important information such as directions, transport and accommodations options and information about the gift list. You might be able to add this info to your gift list if your provider offers this option. If you’ve got a wedding website this is another great place to add this info.

Suggested Gift List Wording

If you want to explain to your guests that they don’t have to buy you a gift, or if you want to tell them a bit about your gift list here are some suggestions:

  • Please don’t feel obliged to give us a gift – all we really want is to have a lovely wedding which we can share with our friends and family.
  • Your presence is more important than a present!
  • You probably know that we usually like to do things differently – so it might not be a surprise to you that our gift list is a little bit different too!
  • As we already have a lot of household items, we hope you won’t mind us asking for money instead of traditional wedding gifts. We’re planning to spend the money on…
  • To celebrate our wedding we’re going on a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon which will give us memories we’ll always remember. Our honeymoon gift list shows some of the trips we’ve got planned so you can see how we plan to use your kind wedding gift.
  • We’ve decided to set up a charity gift list. If you would like to give a gift, this is a perfect way for our wedding to help others less fortunate than us.

Islets Around the Caldera Santorini Weddings

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Crusts of land mark the rim of Santorini’s spooky 10 km wide and 1,250 ft deep caldera. The largest, curving around the northwest, is Thirassia, part of Santorini until the two were blasted apart in 236 BC.

In one of its pumice quarries a Middle Cycladic settlement was discovered, pre-dating Akrotiri, though there are no traces of it now. The main business on Thirassia is growing tomatoes and beans on the fertile plateau; the largest village, Manolas, has tavernas and rooms to rent.

Excursion boats from Oia make trips out to the burnt isles’, Palia Kameni and Nea Kameni (born in 1720), both still volcanically active, especially the Metaxa crater on Nea Kameni, which last erupted in 1950. However, even though the local brochures promise `the strange volcano which cause you greatness’, be forewarned that some people come away disappointed. The tourist trail up the mountain is a bit difficult and stinks of sulphur. Most of the excursions take people to swim in the sulphurous mud nearby and hot volcanic waters around Palia Kameni which is said to be really healthy so try to be tolerant of the smell since it may do you good in the long run.

As you may probably know already, Santorini is one of the most popular Destination Weddings. This is very logical when you think of how idyllic and romantic this island is with its famous sunsets and the incredible caldera view, the volcano and the picturesque chapels.

Wedding Professionals Beware

We’ve all heard about and seen lottery scams (where you get an email out of the blue saying you’ve won a lottery… that you don’t even remember entering!), the scams where telemarketers insist they need your SS#, the scams where you receive an email from a credit card company stating they need to verify your SS# and other info (half the time you don’t even have an account with the company!), and my favorite… the email from a Government official in Nigeria that often starts “Dear Madam, I got your information from a confidential source…” The letter then goes on to tell you a story of a huge amount of money hidden overseas that the writer of the letter wants to put in your bank account. In return, he promises you a big cut of the cash. Really? Come on! And there are numerous more scams that we’ve all encountered.

Recently I was approached by two that I had never heard of. So I wanted to pass this on to make sure that nobody falls for these. Luckily I didn’t fall for them, but I can see how some people would. One is targeted at wedding professionals, and the other at anybody!

I recently received the following email:

Greetings, My Name is Capt.Brian Stark, I am looking for an experienced wedding planner who will handle my wedding. The wedding is to hold on the 8th October 2009 and 40 guests are expected to attend. You are to arrange for Videography, Music, Entertainment, Photography, Officiant/Priest & cake, flowers and Reception Venue. If there is any of these items that you cannot handle, you let us know so that another company can handle it. As i do not know what the guests might choose for their meals and drinks, i will make a prepayment as initial deposit for this booking once availability is confirmed by you. Best Regards, Capt.Brian Stark, +1 360 450 2124

The first thing I did was see where the 360 area code was from. It was near Seattle, WA. I thought it was a bit strange but I emailed him back to get further information. He said he was looking to get married in Harrisburg, PA because that’s where most of his Army friends were from. I also noticed the date was a Thursday so I asked why a Thursday. He said because most of his friends were being deployed to Iraq that coming Saturday.

I told him I would call him to get more details. When I did I had a ton of questions to ask him, as any good planner should. I could tell I was getting him flustered with all the questions. I guess it was easier to make up lies via email! He finally hung up on me. So I called back and there was no voice mail, the phone just rang and rang. I then searched on the internet and sure enough, other planners had encountered, and fallen for, this scam. The way it works is the client sends your deposit along with some extra money. He then wants you to send that extra money to the band he is booking. After doing that about 30 days later you find out the check bounced but it’s too late, you’ve already sent the money to this “band” who is actually a partner of his in the scam. After searching the internet I found similar scams for wedding photographers also. So beware… trust your instincts… if it seems fishy always check it out first!

The next scam is targeted towards anyone! I recently listed a Coach bag for sale on Craigslist. I received an email from someone stating he wanted to buy it for his daughter. He said he would pay me both for the purse and the money to ship it to his daughter. He was going to pay me through PayPal. Sounds great so far…

The next day I got an email from him stating he made the payment through PayPal. I also got an email from PayPal (at least what looked like an official PayPal email) stating that there was a payment waiting for me from this guy but before they would release it they needed me to send them the shipping confirmation. It stated that this was their new policy. The funny thing is the email even addressed PayPal frauds! Ha! Guess he thought that would really fool me! I got two other official looking emails shortly after that.

The first thing I did was go directly to my PayPal account (NOT using the link in the email). I didn’t see any money deposited or anything about a new policy of needing shipment info before releasing a payment. So I found an email address for PayPal scams and forwarded them the emails. They immediately confirmed it was a fraud.

How to Find the Perfect Wedding Dress

Style, colour and ceremonial importance of the bridal gown worn by the bride during the wedding ceremony depends upon the culture and religion of the couple getting married.

White is the preferred color of the bridal gown among the westerners. Creamy shades such as ivory, ecru and eggshell are also used in making bridal gowns.

Queen Victoria of England, wore a white bridal gown when she got married to Albert of Sax-Coburg in the year 1840. Since then the white bridal gown became the norm in all marriages. In the earlier years, bridal gowns were made in any colour except black. Innocence of the childhood and purity of heart was symbolized by the white bridal gown.

A bride to be can spend weeks and sometimes even months looking for a perfect bridal gown because of the variety of designs and styles available. Determine three things – theme of the wedding, time of the year the wedding is held and the budget – with these three things finalized, picking up the correct gown will become easier.

Choose a gown style depending upon the style and formality of the wedding function. In a formal wedding it is better to wear a formal bridal gown. Besides a white bridal gown, another appropriate choice is ivory which is also considered as a formal wedding gown. Bridal gowns in pink, peach and ice blue are also becoming very popular. Find more info at http://www.perfect-wedding-dress.info

The average retail cost of a bridal gown is around $700. Prices of designer and premium gowns start from $2000.

Maggie Sottero, Mon Cheri, Marisa, Pronovias, Mori Lee, Davinci, Demetrios, Bonny, Eden Bridals and Mikaela are some of the popular designer bridal gowns.

When selecting the bridal gown, take someone close to you and who knows what is best for you. This will help in getting a gown which is not radically different from the usual style suitable for you.
It is better to ensure the bridal gown is comfortable and it is not restricting your movement.

Getting a bridal gown can be a demanding process so initiate the process well in advance. Compare the designs from various fashion magazines and also go through family photo albums to know which will be the most suitable style. Prior to committing yourself on a particular design, try different types and designs. If the bridal gown is custom made, allot six months for the making of the gown.

Too many friends accompanying you during the shopping for gowns will only confuse you and you may end up making an incorrect selection.

Why Pocketfolds Are The Perfect Wedding Invitation

One of the first and most important steps in planning your perfect wedding day is deciding on how you are going to invite your wedding guests. We would strongly urge you to NOT even think about doing this by text or email. Surely one of the most important days in your life is worthy of a bit more time, effort, formality and elegance? Remember your wedding invitation is a reflection of your style and taste and sets the tone for your big day!

So once you’ve understood the importance of a real, as opposed to virtual, wedding invitation what on earth do you send?

POCKETFOLD WEDDING INVITATIONS

Well don’t panic. There’s a wonderful array of styles and formats that will leave your guests very impressed. One of the most popular and one that brides say ‘I do’ to all the time is the pocketfold wedding invitation.

We love these. And so do thousands of brides and groom all over the world. From Canada to Canberra, the pocketfold is popping through letterboxes everywhere!

PRETTY AND PRACTICAL

What’s so fabulous about these wonderful wallets is that they look elegant but they are very practical too.

The typical pocketfold comprises an inside pocket for holding inserts, a space for the invitation and then a fold over flap which can be tied with a beautiful ribbon or secured in a host of other ways.

The neat pocket means you can add your RSVP insert plus additional cards containing important details and info such as gift list, directions, accommodation etc. It’s all kept together and nothing falls out or goes astray.

POCKETFOLD OPTIONS

These wedding invitations also come in a range of shapes, sizes and card finishes. Most popular are the A6 rectangle versions, followed by a stylish square or DL option. It really is a matter of personal choice and taste. There’s no wrong or right because they’re all fabulous.

You can choose from an impressive selection of cardstocks too, including smooth, pearlescent, embossed, metallic and in any colour you want.

THE BEAUTY OF BESPOKE

If you have a specific design in mind, it’s best to hunt out a bespoke wedding stationery specialist who can take your ideas and create a completely tailor-made wedding invitation to your exact requirements. Your pocketfold wedding invitation can then be designed in your unique theme, scheme, colour and style.

Of course you can buy a standard design from online companies but you may not get exactly what you want. If you can afford the expense, then a bespoke specialist company is best. Simply go online and hunt around for a local wedding stationery specialist. If you can visit and speak to someone in person that’s even better. It’s always a good idea to see real samples so you can assess the quality of what’s on offer. There’s many cheap products out there on places like eBay and you really do get what you pay for!

So whether you are going for vintage with lace, shabby chic with hessian or a modern monogram, the pocketfold can easily be designed in your dream style. And leave your wedding guests talking about your great taste!

Renie Spreadbury is the owner of Perfect Day Weddings, which is London’s top bespoke wedding stationery studio. She specialises in offering customised luxury handmade wedding invitations including pocketfolds, plus all other types of wedding stationery to give each couple their own unique and highly individual wedding stationery in their chosen theme, scheme or colour.