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The most important Wedding registry Do’s and Don’ts

 

Your wedding is a milestone event. So, it is only natural that the guests who attend it will want to gift you something valuable and useful on this occasion. A wedding registry is a convenient deal for both the couple and their guests.When you set up a wedding registry, it is easy for your guests to find something that you will appreciate and use in the new chapter of your life. So, if you thought you do not need a wedding registry, you ought to rethink this decision.

Today we look at the do’s and don’ts when setting up a wedding registry as well as some important information you should know about it.

When should you start your wedding registry

While some of your guests will wait till the last minute to get you your gift, others will prefer to complete the task ahead of time. It is best to get your registry ready before you have any wedding-related celebration, like an engagement party. In any case, your registry should be ready seven to nine months before the wedding. Now, if you prefer to wait and do things at leisure, this Brides article suggests that your registry should still be ready in time for your bridal shower.This will ensure your guests have enough time to check it out and find a suitable gift.

Top places to register for wedding gifts

There are several places where you can register for wedding gifts. So, don’t be hasty or limit your choices without first exploring your options. Create a curated list of items that will help you as a couple, and find places where these are available. Once you know what you want, we suggest that you restrict your registry to a few online and in-store locations where the items are available. This slideshow on the Real Simple Website directs couples to the best retail places to register for wedding gifts. Many of the suggested retailers offer extra discounts, perks and free gifts for registering with them. So, add it to your watch list. 

Wedding registry Etiquette—Do’s and Don’ts couples should know

Do choose from low, medium and high-end stores

Many couples often wonder how many gifts they should register for their wedding. We think it is better to register for more gifts than just what you need. A good rule of thumb is to register for more gifts than you have guests. Your guests will then find it easy to locate an item you prefer. While providing a wide range of items, you should also pick items of varied pricing. Include low, medium and high-end stores to keep your list diverse. This will allow your guests to find a gift that fits their budget without much difficulty. Your guests will also appreciate the fact that you do not expect them to shell out a fortune to get you an expensive gift, if you only register with a high-end store.

Don’t forget to include high-ticket items as well

While it is sensible to add gifts of all price ranges into your list, this doesn’t mean you should exclude expensive gifts entirely. It is likely that there may be at least a few friends, family members or work associates who would prefer to gift you a generous gift. Give them the opportunity to find something that fits their idea by providing at least a few high-end items in your list. As long as your list also has moderately priced items, the rest of your guests can overlook these options and go with one that is within their budget.

Do keep the wedding registry information out of the invitation

It may seem easy to simply put your wedding registry information in the wedding invitation. However, we do not recommend this as it isn’t considered good wedding etiquette. Some experts suggest it is alright to add your wedding registry details to an invitation insert, but never directly on the invitation. Include the name under which the registry is listed, so it is easy for your guests to find the right one.The ideal place to provide your wedding registry details is on your wedding website. You can also share this information with your family and bridal party. They can then pass it on to anyone who asks for it. Although most guests won’t ask you for this detail directly, there is no harm in telling them if a guest chooses to ask you directly.

Don’t ask for money in your registry

Whether you already have all that you need in your home or would prefer cash over gifts, we do not recommending asking for cash in your registry. The traditional expectation from guests is to give a gift in kind, and this is what most prefer. However, if you think its better to receive money, consider registering with a financial registry. This greatly reduces the awkwardness of the situation. These non-traditional registries will allow you to pool your gift money together and buy something bigger. Honeyfund allows couples to register for honeymoon extras through guest gift giving. 

For more tips on asking for cash for your wedding gift, take a look at this article on Apartment Therapy. 

Do create a wedding registry ideas list

Your wedding registry needn’t just have items that are useful for you right now. So don’t limit your options. Think long-term and create a wedding registry ideas list first. Consider what you may need in the years to come. Remember to include special occasions, items you will need for entertaining or even for when your family grows. Set up your registry accordingly, so your guests can get you gifts that may be useful later, if not immediately.

Don’t forget to update your registry on a regular basis

Just so you don’t end up with duplicates of the same item, it is important to review your registry regularly. As you do, remove items that have already been bought and include new items if any. It is a good idea to set up your registry so that you receive updates when an item is purchased. With this option, you will know when to update your registry without personally checking it every time. As the wedding approaches you will have to review your registry more frequently, and keep updating it every time a gift is bought by your guests.

Do keep track of who sent which gift

It is common courtesy and essential wedding etiquette to send thank you notes for all the gifts you received. For this, you should maintain a list to record who sent you what, just as you receive each gift. Either create a list on your mobile device or computer for the purpose. Or write down the names and the name of the gift as and when you receive each of them. At your bridal shower, don’t forget to have one of your bridesmaids note down who got you what if you open the gifts at the venue.

Don’t delay writing your thank you notes

Since thank you notes are time-consuming, it is a good idea to start writing them before the wedding. Common courtesy is to send the thank you notes out soon after you return from your honeymoon. Start with your thank you notes just as your gifts begin arriving. By completing a certain number every week, it will be easier for you to finish them. You can then put them in envelopes and get them ready in time for the wedding. All you have to do afterwards is to post the notes once you are back from your honeymoon.

DO focus on gifts that are useful to you as a couple

The idea of a wedding gift is to give the couples something that will help them grow as a family. Guests also usually prefer to gift items that do not have an expiry date attached to it. So, it isn’t really appropriate to ask for gifts that suit just one of you. Instead focus on items that are useful for entertaining, for your new home or that contribute to a family experience like a trip. Don’t add personal items like shoes, shades, handbags or makeup to your registry.

Don’t hesitate to edit your registry if you have second-thoughts about certain items on it

One good way to avoid regret is to take some time when creating your wedding registry. You may feel that you have a complete registry. However, let it sit for a day or two and then get back to it. This will give you time to recollect if you have missed out anything. Sometimes, it may also be better to edit out certain items from the list, when you go over the list again.

Do take inventory of what you own before setting up your registry

It isn’t always easy to decide what should and what doesn’t have to go on a registry. After looking at what you need in your new life as a couple, also take inventory of the things you already own. As you go through it, you will most likely notice that some of the stuff you already use needs replacing. You may also be adjusting with what you have in certain cases. Use your wedding registry to upgrade these things to serve you better when you are a couple.

Do mix the types of gifts you have on your registry

Everyone has a certain idea of what is an ideal gift. Hence, your guests may prefer certain types of gifts to give you for your wedding. To satisfy this need, keep the items in your registry mixed and there will be a choice that suits everyone. From essentials for a home like towels and linens, add items for entertaining and partying as well as household tools, dishes and equipment that will be useful in your new life together. Heavy-duty kitchenware, basic set of china and good quality bed sheets are definitely useful for all newly weds. So, definitely add these to your list.

Don’t forget to read up on the store’s policies before registering there

If a store stocks most of the things you need, also find out about their shipping, exchange and return policy before registering there. Your guests will prefer to shop at a place where their gifts will be shipped directly to your address. Take a close look at the exchange policies. In case you end up with duplicates of a gift, the exchange or return policy is important to help you switch it out for something else. It will not be easy to exchange your gifts if they allow limited time for it. So, check this out as well. Some stores also offer incentives and discount programs that will give you better benefits when you register with them. Do your research and you can make the most of the available options.

We understand how busy and taxing it is to be a bride, and in most cases the registry isn’t always on the top of your priorities. However, it is folly to let this opportunity slide. Follow this rule list and you shouldn’t have any trouble with setting up and making the most of your wedding registry.

For more updates, advice and help on everything wedding-related, keep visiting us here on the Best for Bride blog. The Best for Bride website is your one-stop wedding destination, featuring most modern wedding dresses, bridal party attires, bridal accessories and everything the modern bride needs for her special day. From designer labels to in-house custom creations, we strive to help you realize the perfect wedding day with our extensive range of wedding services. Visit our website today, to find out how we can help you.

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Wedding tasting etiquette: 10 things you should be aware of

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The food that is served at your wedding has an important role in determining the overall wedding experience. Most of the guests, if not all, will look forward to the food that is provided on your wedding day. So, you do not want them to be unhappy with the meal offered, while everything else was done to perfection.

Most wedding vendors offer a wedding tasting session before you book your order. With this option, you can actually see, taste and experience the food that will be served on your wedding day. We suggest that you take your caterer up on this offer of wedding food tasting and make sure everything is just right, so there are no regrets later.

As with anything wedding-related, there is a catering tasting etiquette that you should adhere to. We will be looking at the do’s and don’ts of wedding food tasting etiquette. But before we move to this list, let us first try to understand what you can expect at your tasting session.

What to expect at your tasting

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Tastings allow you to sample the menu you have chosen for your reception. It gives you a real idea of how the service will be, and how the food will look and taste. While some caterers offer complimentary tastings, others charge you for it. Some vendors, however, offer complimentary tasting if you sign the contract first. This is because it can end up being very expensive for the vendor otherwise.

If you are just shopping around and want to taste the food prior to committing to an order, this is also usually possible. The caterer may then ask you to pay for the food that will be served at the tasting. 

If a vendor disagrees to conduct a tasting prior to paying a deposit, you can ask him to make an exception if you would be ready to pay for it. If he refuses, think twice about booking. The service at the reception may go either way, and the last thing you want is to regret booking it without an idea of what you would be receiving.

Prior to your tasting session, you will be expected to discuss your expectations and choose the dishes you want to try, from their menu. Full-size portions are usually served, so you can actually see and experience how the wedding meal will be. The drinks that will be served, will also be included with the meal.

Now that you know what to expect at the tasting session, let us move on to the general etiquette for a successful tasting session. Follow the list we have provided, and you are sure to have a positive experience, whether you choose to go with the caterer or not.

Wedding food tasting Etiquette

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Keep your entourage limited

While many caterers offer complimentary tasting sessions for up to 4 guests, you should be able to include more if you are paying for it yourself. However, as with bridal dress shopping, it is not only good food tasting etiquette, but you can actually achieve best results if you keep the entourage to a minimum. With more people, you can easily lose focus and this isn’t favorable for neither you nor your caterer.

Bring a small group of three to four people at the most, and they should be ones who can give honest and helpful feedback. If you have a wedding planner, she should be at the tasting. This is because she is experienced enough to look beyond basics, and can spot potential problems in the quality of food and service. She can also relate the service and dishes to how the meal would actually work at your venue, and make suggestions that will help.

Be flexible with your schedule

Remember that there are a lot of factors that go into planning a tasting session. Your caterer will have to put his staff on duty to prepare the meal, however small it may be. Different vendors handle tasting sessions in different ways. While some conduct open-house tasting sessions for a number of couples, others may give you a special session where you can have a personalized sample of what you would like for your wedding day.

In certain cases, your caterer may even ask you to attend a function that they are catering at. This may be so you can see how they conduct their service, and also sample the food as it will be done on your wedding day. Whichever be the style of your caterer, you should be able to accommodate it into your schedule, if you want to consider his services. This is also where you should consider what to wear to a wedding tasting. If you will be attending a function they are catering at, make sure you dress appropriately for the event and not look out of place.

Don’t lose focus of why you are there

A tasting session is about understanding how your reception food will be. Your caterer would prefer that you focus on the food at the tasting, instead of any other things that are going on in your life. Do not consider this as an occasion for family discussions or friendly feuds, and try to limit your conversations to the food and the wedding. Remember that your caterer will be near, observing you throughout. So, don’t be disrespectful or ignore the purpose of why you are there.

Save the serious discussions for later, unless you want to sound rude. Keep the chattering to a minimum and pay attention to what is provided. Attend your session with a notepad and camera, so you can make notes and click pictures for future reference. This will also help you better to make suggestions for changes.

Come prepared for the tasting

Apart from being prepared to take notes and pictures, it is important that you are also involved in the tasting. Plan your tasting session for a day when you do not have any other pressing engagements. Only then can you concentrate and make the most of the experience. Be mentally prepared and attentive. If you have any pressing work problems or other things on your mind, schedule the tasting for another day.

Do not eat a heavy meal or fill your stomach up with snacks, prior to your session. Neither should you starve yourself. You should be hungry enough to enjoy the session, but not too hungry to just gobble it down without recognizing if it is actually tasty. Remember that it is a full course meal that you will have. So, make sure your evening is entirely devoted to the tasting. You’ll probably also have to cancel any other plans later that day, as you will just want to crash into bed and snooze, once it’s over.

Don’t be too intimidating at the service

There are some couples who stare and keep such a close watch, that it can seem creepy to the waiters at the service. Don’t feel like you have to be so attentive, that you intimidate the people who serve you. Stay composed and relaxed, and try to enjoy the experience of how it is. If you aren’t happy with the dried out cheese, wilted vegetables or shabby presentation, don’t look upset or openly cringe. If there are things that you aren’t happy about, don’t worry. This is not the actual thing, there is scope for improvement once you give your suggestions. You can even consider switching to another vendor if you are entirely unhappy with what you experienced at the tasting.

Don’t go overboard with the drinks

You will usually be served wine or another beverage at your tasting, and the same will usually be served at your wedding. Don’t drink too much, so you become tipsy and can’t focus anymore. Just take small sips to identify how it goes with the rest of the meal. Remember that you should have a clear head to identify how the tasting is, and too much of alcohol can damage the possibilities. Not only is it good manners to not become inebriated, it is also essential to the purpose of why you are at the place.

Be discrete when you discuss things

We know that you may want to discuss certain factors with the rest of your group, before making a verdict. There may be other things that you want to draw their attention to. If these are negative factors, don’t be too loud or overly critical when discussing it. Discuss it briefly, and keep it on a positive note. Don’t hesitate to check with your catering in-charge, if its a factor that really bothers you. But don’t get into an argument or be too patronizing about it.

Most people are open to positive criticism, but may not be too happy if you only have negative things to say. As with any other social situation, mind your manners when you voice your opinion. Be courteous and clear, but do not insult or embarrass with what you say.

Be honest with your feedback

If you enjoyed your meal, it isn’t likely that you will have much trouble saying so. Now, if it were the other way around, we know why you may feel a little hesitant to say so. Nevertheless, you should provide an honest feedback. If there is anything that you would have liked to be different, make sure your chef or waiter knows. This way, they can rectify it on an actual day and make sure you are happy.

Whether it is about the food, the presentation or the service, telling your vendor at your tasting session will help him move things around to meet your expectations. Nonetheless, be mindful of the way you say things. Even if it is a negative opinion, try to focus on the positives as well, so you don’t sound like you are reprimanding them. Be diplomatic, offer suggestions on how they can improve it and appreciate all that you liked. This is just being plain courteous.

Tip the waiter who served you

The fact that you are at a tasting session shouldn’t alter the way you normally behave at a dinner. It is in fact pretty similar, considering that there were people who served you and who were attentive to your needs, at your tasting. Even if it is a complimentary tasting, it is customary to tip the waiter who attended to you. So, make sure you do it. Do it as you would do when you eat out otherwise. Consider the total amount the meal would cost, and tip the same percentage that you would do normally for that price.

Personally thank the chef

The main person behind the scenes is obviously, the chef! You will be in touch with the catering manager or venue manager. However, remember that they are not the ones who are actually responsible for whipping up delicious food. This happens in the kitchen. The chef and his team are the star players in creating the flavors that your guests will feast on. So, it is good wedding tasting etiquette to meet them and thank them for their efforts. It is not necessary, but is nice if you do so.

Request to meet personally with the chef, and appreciate and thank him for his work. This nice little gesture can do amazing things for your wedding. The chef will remember you for how nice you were, and will add that extra dose of care into his dishes for your wedding day. This can be really worth that little effort of yours.

If everything goes well and you enjoyed your tasting session, that is one thing you can strike off your wedding planning list. However, if the opposite happens, and you hated it, what do you do? If you haven’t signed the contract, you can just walk away from there and keep searching for a better option. If you have already signed the contract, consider the following options.

  • Provide specific details about what you didn’t like and ask them what they can do to change it
  • Be polite, but firm and vocal when you insist you want something changed, as it isn’t up to your expectations. It is right to expect your caterer make adjustments to please your palate. So, don’t shy away from it and settle for food you aren’t happy with.
  • Do you have suggestions on how they can improve things? Tell them about it and see if they can accommodate these changes.
  • If they offer different menu items, make sure to taste them before you approve the change.

Visit us at Best for Bride for more wedding-related tips, advice and shopping needs. You can find everything you need, including vendors for your wedding in our list of services. Check out our website today, and move one step closer to having a fantastic wedding day.

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What to do when wedding guests cancel at the last minute

It is common courtesy to RSVP, whether you will be attending a wedding or not. There is a purpose to it, as it helps the couple make their wedding plans accordingly. A last-minute cancellation not only results in money being wasted and seating arrangements thrown off, but is plain inconsiderate.

As a guest, if you are not sure that you will be able to attend the wedding, it is polite to inform the couple of this. Mention that you will confirm at a later date, and make sure you do. It isn’t right to expect them to simply accommodate you at the last minute, when they have already planned the last details of the wedding. On the same note, it isn’t right to tell them that you will be attending, and then just throwing their plans off.

Unfortunately, not all guests are great at sticking to what they said in their RSVPs. So, how do you—the couple—handle this situation? Here is some help.

Don’t go berserk over the cancellations

It doesn’t take too much for the already stressed-out bride to have a meltdown, and absent guests are a trigger. It is good that you are mentally prepare for this possibility, so you do not get too upset if it were to occur. Remember that emergencies do happen, and more importantly, that the wedding will go on even if the people who cancel aren’t there. So, take the high road, and don’t spoil your mood.

Don’t worry about rearranging your seating arrangement

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It is unfortunate if a guest cancels at the last minute, especially when you’ve painstakingly spent hours of research to perfect your seating arrangement and got it just right. Our advice is to leave things as you’d originally intended, and don’t worry about changing your original plan. If it is possible, make a few discrete rearrangements here and there, so it doesn’t affect the entire picture. Or else, leave it as it is.

Is the reason valid?

Some reasons like an unexpected illness, or a death in the family are valid reasons to cancel, even at the last minute. Nevertheless, it is only appropriate that you are informed. Most guests have the sense to send you a personal note, or even a bouquet to show their regret at not attending your wedding. If the excuse is simply horrible, fake or if they entirely skip informing you about it, you can always send a thank you note for their gift (that is, if they have sent you a gift) saying you were worried about why they weren’t there when they promised to. Or tell them you were disappointed with what they did, at a later time.

As optimistic as you may be, there are things that will go wrong at a wedding. After all, that is how life is. Just be glad of what went well, and don’t stress out over what could have been. Ultimately, it is your happiness that matters, and don’t let anyone put a damper on it.

For more wedding tips and advice, continue visiting us on our blog page at Best for Bride.