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  • Writer's pictureReception to Follow


The B List

If there are a handful of guests that you can’t include in your original invitation list, consider making a “B list” to whom you can mail invitations as you receive negative RSVPs. This option gives you a little wiggle room on your list, but try to send your “B list” invites as soon as you can to avoid hurt feelings (as no one wants to know that they’re on the “B list”).

Think Outside of the Banquet Room

Rent out campsites or rustic woodsy cabins for an entire weekend and send out fun invitations, giving guests a heads-up that they are going to be heading off to summer camp.  After the ceremony, everyone can huddle around a crackling bonfire, sip apple-cider spiked with whiskey, and dance almost until dawn.

Consider creating different “rooms” so that guests can lounge in one area, have fun at a photo booth in one corner, maybe play table games in another, and so on.  Instead of a standard guest book, have everyone sign something that has meaning to the new couple like baseballs, custom t-shirts, squares of cloth for a quilt, etc.

Put a “Fifteen-Minute Warning” into Your Contract with the Photographer

A lot of photographers and videographers charge big-time fees if your wedding goes longer than the time you’ve booked them for. To prevent that unexpected bill, put a “fifteen-minute warning” clause into your contract stating that they must give you a fifteen-minute heads up before they begin charging you overtime, and that if they don’t, you will not have to pay for those overages.

Who Pays for What?

Establishing the budget for your wedding should be one of the first things you do, because all the planning that comes after that will depend on the budget. How much, if any, will your families contribute? How much do the two of you have to spend? If families are going to help financially, they may decide to pay for certain things, or they may decide to offer a certain amount of money for you to spend where needed. Be careful not to underestimate all the expenses that will occur. Even if family members do help out, costs incurred are ultimately the responsibility of the couple.

Make a budget that includes all the expenses you anticipate—and maybe even a “miscellaneous” fund. Decide how much you are able to spend on each budget area. When working with vendors, be sure to get everything in writing, rather than just relying on a verbal agreement. You don’t want any misunderstandings to suddenly wreak havoc with your plan. Traditionally, there are certain things the bride or bride’s family pays for and certain things the groom or groom’s family pays for. Here is a sampling: Bride/bride’s family: invitations, bride’s wedding dress and accessories, some flowers for wedding party and decoration, engagement and wedding photography, music at wedding and reception, meal and wedding cake, groom’s gift and ring. Groom/groom’s family: marriage license, rehearsal dinner, fee for whoever officiates, some flowers for wedding party, bride’s gift and rings, honeymoon, groom’s wedding clothing.

Take a Tax Deduction — on Your Wedding

You can get a tax deduction for donating some of your wedding purchases to a qualified charitable organization or even just by having your wedding ceremony at certain venues.

If you think you’ll have leftover food from your reception, contact a local homeless shelter and see if you can donate it. If you’re not going to reuse your flowers, contact your church to ask if you can donate them (if you had a church wedding, you may be able to leave your flowers there as a donation) or reach out to a local hospital or nursing home. If you have a wedding in a church or synagogue, or at a government-owned locale like a state park, you may be able to deduct the fee paid for the ceremony (check with the locale to make sure it’s tax deductible).

Best Man Duties

▪ The best man is the person the groom asks to take care of any details, such as returning his formal wear, while he is honeymooning. ▪ Deliver the ceremony officiant’s fee. ▪ Traditionally does not stand in the receiving line.

Ceremony Seating

The bride’s guests usually sit on the left side and the groom’s guests on the right side. These sides are reversed in an Orthodox Jewish ceremony.

Not the Ballroom Rental Type?

Consider other ideas like state fairs or when the circus is in town. Of course it may require more planning to plan around local fairs or circuses, but you’d certainly have the party that everyone remembered.

Why Take Dance Lessons?

• Impress your guests • Something fun to learn together • Release stress of planning a wedding • Romantic date night • Create a lifelong memory

Wedding Crashers of the Worst Sort

You definitely didn’t invite them to your wedding, but as it turns out, bugs don’t give a hoot. Outsmart them with these tips!

◘ Tape fabric softener sheets to seats

Countless folks swear by dryer sheets! For whatever reason, they seem to really work. Since you don’t want them to be eyesores though, try having your planner strategically tape them to the bottom of your wedding chairs so that they’re hidden from the naked eye and guests are clueless.

◘ Rent some fans

Cool off your guests and get rid of flies as well! Fans are particularly important to have around your buffet table and any other food, like your cake, that’s outside. The bugs will literally be blown away.

◘ Pick flowers bugs despise

Ask your florist to incorporate flowers and plants that mosquitos are known to hate into your centerpieces and bouquet. “Some good options are citronella, lemon balm, lavender, marigolds and peppermint.” They’ll smell sweet to you but not to uninvited crashers!

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