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26/02/2015

10 Things Every Guest Wants At Your Wedding

When planning a wedding, it is so easy to get caught up in all the glamour, fashion and photos that sometimes you forget you are actually hosting an event for 100+ people! These people have given up their Saturday, dressed to impress, arranged a babysitter and want to have a great time... so lets make sure they do!

Here are 10 things that every guest hopes you'll think about when planning your wedding:

1. Convenient, reasonably priced accommodation

As we get older, start a family and generally get caught up in everyday life, weddings are sometimes our only excuse to book a night off and get away. Weddings in remote locations or at luxury venues are truly breathtaking, but you have to think about where your guests are going to stay. Most of your guests will want to have a drink or two, or could live miles away, and don't want to drive home at 2 a.m. So when booking your reception venue, also consider if it has or is near convenient, reasonably priced accommodation -- your guests will thank you.

2. Good food

The reception meal is at the center of the wedding festivities. It can both impress your guests and make them feel satisfied for the rest of the night or it can become something everyone is moaning about for the rest of the evening. Serve your guests quality food, make sure you have a tasting prior to the event and create the best menu your budget will allow. (For 20 tips on how to make your budget go further, download this guide: "20 Top Tips To Save £2000 on your wedding")

Wedding planning top tip: If you are having an early ceremony don't forget to serve an abundance of canapés as part of the arrival drinks reception. Don't let your guest's tummies growl! Oh, the horror!

3. Free booze

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Yup its true, everyone wants free booze! Whether it's an all night open bar or a few bottles of wine on the table and a champagne toast, every drink you provide is one your guests don't have to pay for. Treat your guests, thank them for giving up their time to spend the day with you, and buy them a drink!

4. A short journey from ceremony to reception

If you are having a civil ceremony in the same venue as your reception, you are offering your guests the ultimate convenience -- a short walk from one event to another. However, if you are having your events at multiple venues, say a church followed by a hotel reception, make sure your guests don't have to go too far and know where they are going. Avoid making your guests hike across a city or drive 30 miles in wet rainy weather -- choose venues close to each other.

Wedding planning top tip: Create a map with directions to the reception venue and have your ushers hand them out with the order of service at your wedding ceremony.

5. A peaceful atmosphere

You can create a warm atmosphere with candles and fresh flowers, but that is not what I am getting at here. With most families there is some tension -- perhaps it's a rowdy relative who can't hold his liquor or the ex-wife who just can't let it go. If you think someone will get out of hand, don't invite them. If your Dad is re-married, don't make the new wife sit next to your Mum. Cleverly planned seating arrangements or a quiet word before the event will go a long way. You have 100 other guests to think about, make sure one misbehaving guest doesn't spoil the night.

6. A short ceremony

Of course all your guests are there to celebrate the unity of your marriage, to share your joy when being joined as husband and wife, but keep it short! No one wants to sit through readings from all of your five sisters or an entire set of your choir's favorite hymns. In my opinion, 30-40 minutes is a good length for a ceremony, after that you might see a few yawns and glazed over faces.

7. Interesting conversation at dinner

Weddings are a great way to meet new people and catch up with friends you haven't seen for years. When you are creating your table plan, try and organize your tables so that there is a mix of personalities and relationships at each table. You want your guests to feel comfortable (i.e. they know someone at the table) but you also want to encourage your loved ones to mingle and make new friends.

8. Knowing what to do next

There is nothing worse at a wedding than feeling lost and not knowing what to do next. You have gone to a lot of effort to organize your perfect day, make sure half your guests don't miss an activity because they didn't know it's happening.

Wedding planning top tip: Hire a toastmaster. Toastmasters are professionals, they are experts at knowing where your guests should be and how to make sure each one gets there on time. They are instantly recognisable so if your guests have a question about the schedule they know who to ask.

9. A little time with the bride and groom

Your wedding day is hectic! There is so much to fit in and everyone wants a piece of you. In the end, your guests have come to your wedding to see YOU! The more guests you have, the harder you will have to work to make sure you speak to every single one, but make sure you make the effort -- your guests will be truly grateful.

A top tip for making the rounds: try and visit each table just after the main course (you may have to skip dessert, but you can have some cake later) if you have more then 100 guests, and don't think you will get to all the tables before the entertainment starts. Visit the older guests first to make sure you see them before the evening party begins and you can see all the younger ones on the dance floor!

10. To be entertained

Weddings are made legendary by the entertainment. A string quartet during the drinks reception, a magician visiting tables during the meal, a caricature for each of your guests to take home, a totally rocking band or a DJ who keeps everyone on the dance floor all night. Guests live for the entertainment. Make sure there is something interesting at every turn and your guests will be talking about your wedding for years to come!

So what are you doing to make your guests happy? Comment below, I live for this stuff...

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07:54 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

12/02/2015

My grandfather’s killers crushed wedding dream

A bride-to-be whose grandfather died after a burglary at his home wept today as she said: “It was his dream to lead me down the aisle.”

Victim Mashboor Hussain, 73, died protecting his wife and daughter from masked gunmen who had burst in.

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He was shoved to the ground as the raiders held his wife Najida, 70, and daughter at gunpoint and stole cash and other valuables.

The father of five, who ran a butcher’s shop in Elephant and Castle, had a heart attack just after the men fled from his Tooting home and was pronounced dead an hour later. As murder police issued a fresh appeal for witnesses on the first anniversary of his death on February 11 last year, his granddaughter Madiha Seedat told of the “devastating” impact of his loss on her family.

At her engagement party, only weeks before his death, he had promised to walk her down the aisle at her wedding this July. The teaching assistant, 24, said: “We will never get over losing him. My dad wasn’t around when I was young so he was my father figure. He was a big part of my life.

“He was so happy when I got engaged. I always had the dream of him walking me down the aisle at my wedding and now that won’t happen. Our family will never be the same. He was a lovely, caring man and held our family together. We miss him so much.” Mr Hussain’s daughter Tahira Rizwana, 44, said: “I’m really proud of my dad, he died protecting his family.

“The men who broke into the house killed him. They shouldn’t be allowed to walk free. While they are out there this could happen to another family.”

The raiders are described as black, one of them slim and wearing black gloves. DCI Graeme Gwyn, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “I believe there are still people yet to come forward.”

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05:15 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

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)