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Guest etiquette guide for modern weddings

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Nobody wants to deal with a high-maintenance, uncontrollable guest on their wedding day! And you don’t want to be that guest.

The couple who invites you to their wedding do so because they wish you participate in their big lifetime celebration. And it is only right that you allow them to enjoy their event. There are certain unspoken rules of wedding guest etiquette that wedding guests follow. Learn them and you can ensure that you aren’t a source of trouble for your hosts.

Today, I will tell you all the do’s and don’ts to follow when you will be a wedding guest. Take note of them and you will not disappoint as a guest.

Send in your RSVP early

Most wedding invitations require you to confirm whether you will be attending the wedding or not. There may also be a deadline mentioned on the RSVP card. Take note of it and let the couple know your plans at the earliest. Don’t overlook the importance of sending in your RSVP. The couple need it to track of their guest headcount, plan seating arrangements and other wedding details.

If you intend to attend, pop your affirmation into the mail immediately. In case you don’t plan to attend, you should still inform the couple. There may also be cases where you aren’t sure just yet. This could be because the wedding date is after a long time. Or you may have another engagement that is likely to clash with the wedding date. In such a scenario, tell the couple that you shall confirm your availability at a later date. And don’t forget to do so as soon as you know for sure.

In case of any doubt, check the invitation or website

Couples put a lot of thought into planning their wedding invitations. They usually include all the relevant details in the invitation suite. Most couples also have a wedding website, where they add the rest of the details. These may not always be in the invitation. Wedding registries, for instance, are always in the website and not in the invitation. Make sure to check both the invitation and the website, if you have any doubts.

If you still can’t find the information you require, check with the couple’s families and friends. Only if you are unable to find the information, should you check directly with the couple.

Get the bride and bridegroom a gift they actually like

This is why couples set up wedding registries in the first place! Unless you know the bride and groom personally, it isn’t wise to pick out a random gift that you think is good. There are chances that the gift you give may never be used at all. Couples list what they actually need in their wedding registries. So, there is every chance that your gift will find better use when you pick it from this list.

It is good to get your gift early, as you will have more options to pick from. As more people start choosing and booking gifts from the registry, your options will dwindle. You may finally have to settle for what is left, if you wait too long.

Send the gift to their address

The couple may not have any arrangements to take gifts home from the venue. There is enough going on at a wedding as it is. So, don’t add to their troubles by taking your gift to the venue. Your gift could be misplaced in all the rush after the wedding, and you do not want to risk that.

Send your gift directly to the address in the registry, as soon as you buy it. If the couple mention a store in the registry, they will most likely have registered there. The store may have a shipping option. In that case, simply get it done that way. If not, drop by their home with the gift and give it to them before the wedding day.

Be mindful of dressing appropriately for the wedding

Traditional etiquette suggests that you avoid wearing white or black to the wedding; white as it is the bride’s color and black for its association with funerals. While the rules regarding colors are relaxed nowadays, how you dress for a wedding still matters.

The invitation will give you a general idea of the style of wedding. Look at the venue and time to decide what would be appropriate to wear. In any case, avoid provocative and vulgar dressing as there will be people from different generations at the event. Never wear jeans or flip-flops. It is always safer to over-dress than look under-dressed. In any case, don’t go over-the-top so you steal the bride’s thunder.

Take only those who are actually invited with you

The bride and the groom plan the wedding for a specific head count. Hence, they have an idea of how many guests ought to attend their wedding. Make sure you are clear about what the invitation suggests in your case.

Unless the invitation specifically mentions a plus-one, don’t invite anyone to come with you. It is also unkind to call and ask the couple if you can bring someone. If this was their intention, they would have mentioned it on the invite or told you personally. Similarly some couples are very particular about no kids attending the wedding. Unless you are specifically invited with your entire family, don’t assume that the invitation extends to your children. It is best to make alternate arrangements for the care of your children while you go for the wedding.

Be on time

The invitation card will clearly mention the wedding time. It is important reach the venue on time and participate in the entire event. Don’t wait till the day of the wedding to check directions. Do this in advance, so you know your way on the day.

Always start early, so you have time for unexpected emergencies on the way. It is unfair to the couple if you skip the ceremony. The only exception is if you have specifically been invited only to the reception. Be considerate and reach the venue few minutes before the time mentioned on the card. This will allow you to settle down comfortably and participate in the wedding.

Respect the couple’s wishes

The couple put in a lot of thought when planning the various aspects of their wedding. One example is the seating chart. Even if you aren’t happy with where you are seated, be courteous and follow through. It will be an ordeal for the couple if you make your own changes, and is also quite impolite. So, go with the instructions and adjust to the situation.

One bride once told me how they decided to serve local wines and cocktails at their reception, instead of an open bar. There was just this one guest who created a big scene by laughing and joking at their choice. Remember that nobody is going to appreciate such a gesture. You will simply end up being a person who everyone dreads inviting. If the couple have gone for unconventional choices, respect it. It is their special day, and your opinion is not welcome unless they ask you for it.

Avoid clicking photos if the couple request it

Since everyone has a phone these days, there is a general tendency to click pictures throughout the event. However, most couples will have a photographer for the job. So, resist the temptation to document every moment of the wedding day on your phone. This can interfere with the photographer’s work, cause a distraction and spoil the moment. Instead, try to enjoy the event and let the professionals take care of the rest.

Many modern couples set up hashtags to share pictures of the event conveniently. Even if this is the case, assume that you shouldn’t use your cell phone camera during the important events on the day. This will be the ceremony, cake cutting and first dance. Use discretion when using your camera and take care it doesn’t become a distraction. If the couple prefer that you do not upload the photos till after the wedding function, respect their request.

Drink in moderation

Even if there is an open-bar, don’t get too carried away. Stop your consumption of alcohol with a drink or two and keep yourself under control.

Even one shot too many will leave a lasting impression. It will be inconsiderate to create a scene at the wedding reception, by getting out of control. So act dignified and avoid causing any discomfort to anyone at the event and spoiling the entire mood.

Make sure you greet and congratulate the couple

It can be after the ceremony, during the reception or at the end of the evening. Nevertheless, it is important that you personally talk to the couple and their family, and congratulate them.

Pay your compliments to the couple and thank them for a wonderful time. When you mention you had a great time, it reassures them that their event was a success and allows them to feel happy. Refrain from chatting for too long. Remember that they have to catch up with all the guests, and don’t keep them waiting. Also avoid complaining about anything at this time. Let them enjoy this time in their lives without worrying about anything else.

Try to enjoy the day

Don’t see the wedding as a chore that you have no way out of. Instead try to involve yourself, engage in the activities and enjoy the occasion. The best guests are those who really try to enjoy the moment and appreciate the couple’s efforts in planning it.

On this occasion, mingle with people, shake a leg on the dance floor and enjoy the food. Don’t go about complaining to others or being fussy and demanding. All you do is take away a part of the couple’s happiness on their special day, when you do this.

Be discrete if you have to leave early

In unavoidable circumstances, you may not be able to stay for the entire length of the party. However, it is bad etiquette to do so. When they extend an invitation, the couple expect you to participate in the entire event.

If you must leave early, make your way out quietly. Sign the guest book earlier on and don’t wait around to say goodbye to the couple. With so many guests at the event, it is highly unlikely they will notice.

Take home your wedding favor

It is impossible to find favors that please everyone. Nevertheless, couples put in a lot of effort and money when picking wedding favors for their guests. So, don’t be too disappointed if you don’t like the little trinkets they give out as their wedding favors.

Remember that it is discourteous to decline your gift. Respect this effort and investment and pick yours up even if you aren’t too excited about it.You can take it home and do what you like with it afterwards.

With these rules in mind, there is every chance you will be a welcome guest at any wedding party. Did we miss anything? If so, do let us know in the comments section below.

As you prepare for an upcoming wedding, don’t forget to check out our dresses for special occasions at Best for Bride. Our collection is just right for every type of wedding. So, irrespective of your age, preferences and taste, you are bound to find the right dress to dress in and amaze everyone, this upcoming wedding season. Visit our collection by clicking on this link here, or walk in to one of our stores and make your pick in-person. With special deals, offers and clearance sales all the time, you can get the best value for your money anytime. And more wedding-related advice, tips and tricks, stay tuned to our Best for Bride blog page.

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Mascara Stains And Red Wine – Common Wedding Dress Stains And How To Clean Them

Your big day has finally arrived, you’ve been planning for your wedding for months now and everything is in place, your guests are on their way and all you need to do is slip into your dream wedding dress that everyone is going to be wowed by!

But… Why is there always a but? What if the unthinkable happens on your and your partner’s special day and you end up spilling something on your dress and staining it? It’s a well-known fact that whenever we wear something white, stains gravitate towards us and there is no exception, not even on your wedding day!

You could be popping on one last coat of mascara before you head to your venue when, whoops! You drop the brush and you have a black streak all down the front of your dress. Maybe it’s raining (which is lucky on your wedding day, by the way) and you have a long train that inevitably ends up covered in mud by the end of your photo shoot. Or, maybe your emotional aunt is giving you a hug at your reception and accidentally spills red wine all down the back of your dress… It doesn’t bear thinking about!

It is important to remember that accidents happen, no matter how well you prepare and if you do end up with a stain on your dress, no matter how small, you mustn’t let it upset you and spoil your special day. None of your guests or your partner would want to see you freak out about something, that in the grand scheme of things is quite trivial.

The best piece of advice we can offer when it comes to stains on your wedding dress is to prepare for the worst, remember there is always a way to resolve a situation and most importantly, stay calm!

Of course, one of the easiest ways to avoid spilling anything down your beautiful white wedding dress is to put in place a few prevention methods. We recommend the following:

  • When getting ready be sure to do your hair and apply all makeup BEFORE putting on your dress. If you need to lift your dress over your head when putting it on, a silk cloth over your face will prevent any of your makeup rubbing off.
  • Don’t eat or drink anything whilst wearing your wedding dress

By following both these stain prevention methods you will reduce your chances of spilling anything down your dress but not eating or drinking on your wedding will not make it much fun… If you decide to ignore this tip (which we strongly recommend you do, if you want to enjoy your wedding day), we suggest putting together a small emergency stain removal kit to deal with any little mishaps as they happen.

Your emergency stain removal kit should include the following:

  • Stain remover wipes
  • Cotton buds
  • White cotton cloths
  • White chalk
  • Baby powder
  • Rubbing alcohol

If you get this dress lifesaver kit ready in advance and give it to your maid of honor to look after on your wedding day, you can be sure you are ready for any stains that come your way.

The next question is, what do I use from my emergency stain remover kit for different types of stains on my dress? As with any clothing, different stains need different treatment and below we have outlined a selection of the most common stains you are likely to end up with on your wedding dress.

Makeup – If during a quick makeup touchup during your wedding day you end up with a drop of foundation or lipstick on your dress, grab a stain remover wipe asap and the stain will be gone before you know it. Nobody will ever know!

Ink-based stains – You’re at your wedding venue, signing the marriage license, when the pen leaks all over your dress! For this, you will need the rubbing alcohol and a couple of white cotton cloths from your emergency stain remover kit. Use one cloth to blot the stain dry and then apply the rubbing alcohol to the other cloth to lightly dab the stain.

Water-based stains – We have already mentioned red wine once but if you do end up with it on your dress, use one cotton cloth to absorb as much of the stain as possible and then soak another cloth (or a cotton bud if it’s only a spot) in warm water before dabbing the area until the stain begins to fade. Remember, red wine is notoriously difficult for getting out so if you can’t remove the entire the stain there and then, pop a bit of white chalk over it to hide the mark for the remainder of the day.

Oil-based stains – Whether it’s a drop of salad dressing or a piece of oily food that ends up in your lap during your wedding breakfast, be sure to sprinkle it with baby powder quickly to soak up the oil. If required a drop of rubbing alcohol on a cotton bud should remove any remaining residue.

Chewing gum – This one is a little more unlikely but if somehow you do end up with gum stuck to your dress, ask someone at your venue to get you some ice cubes and hold it to the gum until it hardens, making it easy to scrape off.

Hopefully, with your emergency stain remover kit to hand and these nuggets of knowledge, you are ready to tackle any disaster stains your wedding dress may encounter.

If you have had to use your trusty white chalk as a last resort cover up option on your big day, you can try any of these stain buster methods at home again to see if they remove it a second-time round.

It is always advised to have your wedding dress professionally cleaned. However, if you are looking to clean it yourself at home, you could try spot cleaning the out layer only or soaking the individual layers in a bath of warm water and detergent for a couple of hours before hanging them out to try.

Depending on your wedding dress material, you might be able to clean it at home but we would always recommend having it professionally cleaned to avoid any irreversible damage. Also, it’s a lot less stressful if you leave it to the professionals!

This is where cleaning facilities and professionals like Love Your Dress come in and take the stress out of removing stains from your wedding dress. It’s important to make sure your beloved dress will be cleaned by a team of experts using modern technologies. That’s the definitive way to get it looking as good as new following your wedding day, helping any unwanted stains vanish and make them a thing of the past.😉

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Common wedding budget mistakes most couples make

The wedding budget is the single entity that determines everything about your wedding. Everything from your beautiful wedding gown to the florist, caterers and even wedding favors depends on the funds you put aside for your wedding plans, and how you distribute it among different components.

When stepping into the new chapter of your life as a newly wed couple, you certainly do not want it to be with debt that you will struggle to settle. Unfortunately, many couples have a grand wedding and later struggle with their finances. Then there are also occasions when couples find themselves spending much more than they anticipated on their wedding. This is because of lack of proper planning. Plan the wedding budget sensibly, and you can avoid this situation.

Let us take a close look at the common wedding budget mistakes many couples make and how you can avoid them.

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1.Not fixing your priorities

Every couple wants a fantastic wedding. Nevertheless, you have to make at least few compromises, if you are on a budget. Nonetheless you can plan the best possible options for your budget by fixing your priorities. First, settle on a realistic wedding budget. For this, you may have to do some research on the average cost for each wedding planning aspect instead of just picking a number at random. Next, list the order of preference for each of them. This way, you can allocate more funds to those on the top of your list and be thrifty about the ones at the bottom.

2.Not figuring in the smaller, but essential items

A real bride reveals in this article, that one of the biggest mistakes she made at her wedding was overlooking the small items that were still essential to the overall wedding picture. She isn’t alone, as many brides who do most of the planning themselves forget to factor in certain items. It isn’t easy when they later have to find the funds to meet these expenses. Even the smallest dollar purchases will quickly add up. So, you shouldn’t overlook any factor when calculating your budget. Checklists are a big help in this situation. Make comprehensive checklists for every single item you can think of, for your wedding. Cross-check with ready to use checklists online and also have someone else take a look at them, just in case you may have missed something. Factoring in every likely expense will help you avoid going over-budget.

3.Not figuring in the extras for bigger purchases

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For many items like your wedding gown, the price on the label isn’t the final figure you will pay for. There are extras for alterations, accessories, inner-wear and sometimes delivery charges. When you allocate a budget for such an item, make sure you account for these extras as well. Obtain a general idea of how much the extras will cost. Plan the actual budget for the main item after deducting these charges, and you will not end up spending more than you actually intended to.

4.Last minute shopping and bookings

The closer you book venues and vendors to the date of your wedding, the higher the cost you will incur. Start your planning early, and you will have plenty of time to scout around for the best deals. You will also have time to research and weigh options, and find the most budget-friendly ones. Booking early will also allow you to get the best vendors and deals for your wedding. Where wedding dresses are concerned, rush charges are significantly higher and you will again have to pay extra for alterations at short notice. Once you know your wedding day, don’t delay wedding dress shopping. Make sure you shop for your dress at least six months in advance. Similarly book your venue, band, caterers, photographers, florist and other vendors as soon as you finalize the wedding theme and decide on what you want.

5.Trying to save with DIY but ending up with more than you can handle

One thing many brides tend to overlook is the scale of the wedding. Although they may be capable of handling DIY details or have friends and relatives who are good bakers, florists or venue decorators, they may not have the resources or abilities to handle the task on large scale. When a DIY disaster occurs at the last possible moment, the only option is to get the available alternative, usually at a very high price. Avoid this costly mistake by being realistic about what you can actually handle. Also exercise caution when entrusting a wedding task to someone you know. Make sure that they are capable of handling it before handing it to them.

6.Not paying proper attention to vendor contracts

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Never ever assume anything on a contract, but clarify every single doubt. Also, make sure that you dedicate enough time to reading every detail on your contracts, and avoid overlooking anything essential. Different vendors offer different services in their package. So, although one vendor may offer delivery and setting up of your cake, another may not for the same price. Similar extras are wine corkage charges, cake serving charges, taking down of décor and clearing tables. The same applies to your photographer and band too. It is always best to clarify all these little details before you sign the contract and book the vendor. Make sure you know how many hours or what all services are included in the package, so you don’t end up paying extra to get the service you want, at the last minute. Here is a list of the common hidden costs that you may want to consider seriously. 

7.Picking vendors and services without comparing rates

Unless you are absolutely particular that you must have a certain vendor for your wedding, you should check around for the best deals for your budget. Compare deals, packages and service quality to find the right deals that give you what you want. Although you shouldn’t compromise on quality for price, save the greater chunk of your budget for your priorities and adjust with what will fit the bill for the rest. If you come across a deal that seems too good to be true, make sure you consider the pros and cons before making your final decision. Don’t be too hasty to fix a deal. Negotiate the prices, look for discount options or referrals, and you can make your budget work further for your needs.

8.Giving into pressure

Many couples end up spending more than they should, just because people advice them that they need something that they really do not. This can be a budget-buster. So, rather than giving into pressure, do your research and know what you want and whether it is needed to realize your wedding vision. There are few “must-have’s” in a wedding, and these should be what are actually important to you. Unless the people who push you into inviting more guests, putting up a photo booth or splurging on expensive wedding favors are actually contributing to the cost for it, you do not have to oblige.

9.Buying more than you actually need

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It is always safer to have a little extra than you actually accounted for, but don’t take it to the extreme. Although a few extra invitations and wedding favors may be a good idea, you do not need extra hundreds of them, just in case. Think of every aspect thoroughly, so you do not make a mistake when calculating numbers. For invitations, think of how many families will be attending, rather than the total number of people. You do not need separate invitations for members of the same family. So, think of such relevant details and you can save yourself quite some money on these unnecessary expenses.

10.Last-minute changes to plan

If there is one thing that every couple should do, it is have a clear idea of what they want before they set out to do it. Vendors may suggest changes, friends may encourage you to take things a little further, but only you know what you want and what you can afford. Avoid falling for temptation and making last-minute changes that will cost you dearly. You can be flexible and make small variations down the line, but don’t go for a major overhaul as the unexpected expenses in such cases will quickly add up and turn out to be disastrous.

11.A guest list that gets out of hand

Your wedding expenses are directly linked to the number of people who will attend. So, have a good grip on your guest list, and you shouldn’t go over-budget. One of your first wedding planning decisions should be the number of people you can afford to have. Not only should you factor in your wedding priorities when distributing your funds, you should also consider whether this type of wedding will be meaningful to you. Once you arrive at a decision, stick to it. You don’t have to be extra-generous to satisfy your friends or family, nor do you have to feel guilty about having the wedding you can afford. Some decisions are tough, but you have to put your foot down where it is necessary for your own good. This is one such situation.

12.Not exploring your options

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There are many ideas that will take your budget further. It is unfortunate that very few couples explore such options. Simple ideas like serving three-fourth portions instead of full cake slices, or having a selection of local wines instead of an open bar will make a small difference in the overall impact of the wedding. However, it will help your savings even while you can achieve similar results. You can also look to your vendors for creative but thrifty solutions to your various needs. As professionals who have worked at many weddings before, they should have plenty of ideas. Wedding planners are usually experts who can come up with creative and budget-friendly solutions for several wedding planning aspects. Look around for budget-friendly options, at least for your lower priorities. Your guests are less likely to notice the difference, and you can have the wedding you desire for much lesser.

13.Always choosing the safe option

When you are on a tight budget, it may be better to think out of the box than go with the conventional (expensive!) choice. If you are ready to take the risk, it is likely that you will find several good deals in unexpected places. One instance is where your hair and makeup is concerned. You can always have your hair and makeup done by a professional artist. However, you can also consider booking your appointment with a beauty school and enjoy the same outcome. Similarly, you do not need an expensive vintage car to leave your reception in. Instead, deck up any car with some creative décor and it will be just as impressive. One of the best things of thinking creatively is that it allows you to have unique wedding elements that will make your wedding memorable.

14.Forgetting about tipping vendors

Many things about weddings still follow certain etiquette rules. Wedding tipping is one of them. Although it is now largely considered a personal decision, tipping is customary. Unless a vendor’s service charge includes gratuity, or the person performing the service is the owner himself, it is common practice to tip the people serving at your wedding. Similarly, delivery drivers are also normally tipped for their service. Here is a guide to wedding vendor tipping on the Real Simple website. This should give you a good idea of how much you should allocate for this factor. 

Avoid these common mistakes and your wedding should progress without too many hassles in the budget department. For budget wedding dresses, and great deals and offers to make the most of your wedding dress budget, visit this link to our clearance and sale section on Best for Bride—the one-stop shopping destination for today’s bride.