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10/02/2015

7 People It's Okay NOT to Invite to Your Wedding

Weddings are about love, commitment and the gathering of all your dearest friends and family to celebrate the love you have for each other.

If only it were that easy! With social media, texts, email and workplaces with thousands of employees, we can be "friends" with hundreds and hundreds of people.

So, how do we narrow it down to our ideal number of wedding guests? And how do we make sure we have an enjoyable day, surrounded by all the people we love -- and not all the ones we don't?

First things first, make some cuts. You couldn't possibly invite everyone you have ever known, nor would you want to, so here are a few examples of people you have my permission to cut from your wedding guest list.

1. The ex

Your ex may have been a major part of your life for a long time, and you may have remained "friends," but this is the start of your new life. Move on, give him the cut.

2. Your friend's kids

Flower girls and pageboys are an adorable addition to your wedding ceremony and your wedding photographs. But, just because you are inviting one or two of your beloved little tots, it doesn't mean you have to invite every child in your life. This is an area that you may find very challenging; everyone thinks their kids are the best (I know I do!), but you have to be strong. Set your guidelines early, and stick to them with all your might.

3. An old friend who's wedding you went to...

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When your roommate got married back in university, you were invited, so you have to invite her to yours, right? Wrong! It's been 10 years; you hardly talk -- give her the cut. Invite the people who you love now, not people you knew a decade ago.

4. The new girlfriend

Or boyfriend. Does your brother, best friend or bridesmaid have a new main squeeze? Don't worry, it's okay not to invite them. I think a good rule of thumb is: If the relationship is less than six months old (remember, you have been planning your wedding for twice as long), you have never met them or if you aren't sure their relationship will go the distance, politely ask them to sit this one out. There will be plenty more weddings in the future.

5. The embarrassing relative

Is there that one relative that just makes you cringe when you see them at family functions? Does this person drink too much, make inappropriate jokes, always argue with their partner and cause a scene, cause fights, create their own embarrassing karaoke show or display any other cringeworthy behavior? If so, quoting one of my favorite lines from my new guest list guide: "Better to have them unhappy at home than to be ruining your special day."

6. Your boss

This is a tough one. Ultimately, whether you invite your boss depends on the nature of your work, your personal relationship with him or her and your other colleagues. Are you inviting the rest of your work team? Do you usually socialize with your boss outside of work? Would you feel comfortable with your boss seeing all the antics of your closest family and friends after a few glasses of wine? Will you be able to enjoy your wedding day under your bosses watchful eye? If the answer to any of these is '"no," then make your excuses and give your boss the cut.

7. Your parent's next door neighbor, once removed...

No, you don't have to invite them, or anyone else you don't want to! You will have countless requests for wedding invitations from your parents, friends, distant relatives, colleagues, etc, etc. Only invite the individuals that you and your fiancé want to be a part of your special day.

When It comes to your guest list, get ready to get asked awkward questions, get dirty looks and maybe even be the "bad guy." In the end, you have to do what is best for you. It is your wedding day after all.

Here are a few scripted lines you can memorize to help you when you get asked those awkward questions:

"I'm sorry, we have sent out all our invitations, and our wedding plans do not allow for any additional guests, I hope you understand."

Then the back-up line...

"We have had to say no to other guests in your similar situation, and we don't want to offend anyone."

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04:16 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

07/02/2015

Why We Chose to Save Money by Having a Destination Wedding

You'd be forgiven for wondering why someone who doesn't tan, craves the shade, and has blood that's crack for mosquitoes would choose to get married in the Caribbean. But of all the decisions my fiancé and I have had to make when it comes to this wedding, I think the decision to have the ceremony in Antigua was the easiest one to make.

My other half doesn't like being the center of attention, so we always knew our wedding would be small. Having it abroad makes that easy, especially given our venue only allows 20 people at a wedding.

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We'll also have been together for seven years by the time we tie the knot. This wedding is not a big public display of commitment (buying a home together two years ago did that). We're marrying for various reasons, some sentimental and some practical, but the most important thing for both of us is that the day itself is about us and it's as relaxed, simple, and fuss-free as possible. I have a tendency to stress and worry if things aren't perfect, so anything that can be done to inject a bit of calm into proceedings is a good thing. I'm putting a lot of faith in that "don't worry, be happy" attitude of island life.

But the big thing for us was cost. Weddings are expensive. Honeymoons are expensive. But amazingly, if you put the two together, you can actually save a lot of money. A destination wedding cuts out the need to suddenly pay more than it's worth to feed and water the hundred or so people you will inevitably have on your list. We are having a party in our hometown of London upon our return, and even keeping the numbers down as much as we could, we're looking at over 100 guests — once your cousins and friends start having kids, the numbers spiral out of control very quickly! Even though we both have good jobs, neither of us has been saving for years for a dream wedding. There is genuinely no way we would be able to have a more traditional wedding in London with all the people we want to invite. As it is, our party (which includes a BBQ meal and drinks) is looking like it'll cost almost the same as the entire Antigua trip. But even so, by marrying abroad, we've managed to keep our budget significantly below the average cost of a UK wedding, and we still get an amazing honeymoon and the chance to celebrate with all our friends in the more informal, relaxed way we want.

Of course, there are some things you have to consider when you make this decision. People will be disappointed. We are very lucky that our immediate families are able to afford to fly out and join us in the Caribbean — something we did take into consideration when booking. But we also had to be selfish and risk letting people down. We have grandparents who can't travel. We picked a hotel that doesn't allow children, and some of our closest friends have young kids. I think if we weren't having a celebration at home too, we'd be disappointing some of the most important people in our lives. But I also know that true friends and true loved ones understand that a marriage is not about a wedding, it's about what comes after.

I'm also pretty sure after shelling out for dozens of big weddings over the years, many of our friends are just happy all they have to do is show up at 4 p.m. for party food and Prosecco. No gifts, no long religious ceremonies, no staged photos. Just all our favorite people and a big excuse to party!

Finally, if you really want to know why we chose to marry in Antigua, you just have to look at it. The 365 virtually empty beaches, the tropical blue waters, the lush foliage, the brilliant people, the amazing food, the bottomless pit of rum cocktails . . . it's a slice of heaven, and I can't wait to get married with my toes in the sand!

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03:28 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

05/02/2015

Planning for the big celebration

The Champagne has been toasted. The ring fits. And the excitement of your recent engagement has subsided just long enough for you to think about the vast work that lies before you. It’s time to get down to the business of planning a wedding. One concern you may have repeatedly throughout this process is what you can get away with doing yourself and which jobs warrant hiring a professional.

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Your wedding budget will more than likely take one of its biggest hits from hiring a photographer—so much so that it may feel quite alluring to want to hire a friend who claims he is handy with a camera instead. However, more than any other expense of your wedding, this is perhaps the one place where it certainly pays to hire a professional. Wedding photographers are trained and skilled in how to capture the most picturesque of moments: the first kiss, the bouquet toss and the giving away of the bride, among others. Professionals understand best how to manipulate light, as well as work with shadows and varying weather conditions, to provide the clearest and most beautiful depictions of your special moments. When all is said and done, these photographs will be one of the only physical remnants of the love felt that day, so it’s vital that they be done correctly.

Perhaps one of the most nerve-wracking questions any bride may ask herself is, “What if no one dances?” When you hire a DJ to take care of your music, you are hiring not only someone to hit the play button but also someone to help set the tone of the soundtrack of your wedding day. You are also investing in someone who is experienced in entertaining a roomful of guests. Most DJs act as master of ceremonies, as well, and work to keep guests excited and interested in the various wedding events. Though it may seem as if an iPod can suffice, it’s important to keep in mind how difficult it may be to gather a group of nervous guests onto a dance floor without the encouragement from a proper emcee. Therefore, it may prove worth the price to hire a professional DJ when it comes to the enjoyment of your guests and your stress level.

For the creative and penny-pinching brides, there are a few areas in your wedding that you can tackle yourself. Nearly anyone can become ordained to officiate a wedding. Having a close friend or family member officiate your wedding is a wonderful opportunity to not only save you money but also add a personal touch to your ceremony. Yes, you will have a few more tasks to wrangle than you would if you hired a professional wedding officiant, but many people say it’s worth it. First, becoming ordained to officiate a wedding can be done both easily and cheaply online through various organizations, many of which are nondenominational and some of which are attributed to specific religions. It’s important to look into any further legalities of your place of residence (or where you choose to get married) to ensure that the marriage is done legally. Offbeat Bride makes a great point regarding this vital part of the officiating process: “If you are doing research online regarding marriage law, only trust sources that are the legitimate website of the government in question.” You will also be responsible for writing the ceremony. However, this does give you the ability to make the tone of your ceremony much more personalized. Lastly, you will need to make sure to work with your DJ to provide appropriate amplification for the officiant. With a bit more legwork, the payoff can be enormous, with a customized ceremony that reflects who you and your spouse are, at a fraction of the cost that comes with hiring a professional.

Many brides daydream about the beautiful flowers that will adorn their wedding day. If you are organized enough and have a very willing bridal party, doing your own flowers may work. But it’s important to think ahead. Focus on flowers that will be in bloom during the season in which your wedding will take place.

However, keep in mind that if you are restricted by what you can spend, many florists and other vendors will be willing to discuss offering services within your specific budget.

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03:04 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)