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Expert Tips on Preparing a Dress Code for Your Wedding Guests

Expert Tips on Preparing a Dress Code for Your Wedding Guests

Choosing to hold a wedding allows you to share your love with the people you and your partner care most about. Surrounding yourself with your desired community will help make your big day extra special, allowing your family and friends to participate in the celebration of your union. To ensure that everyone is up to speed with your dream wedding ambiance, you must set a dress code for your guests. This way, everyone will know how they’re expected to dress up on your special day, and no one will feel out of place when they celebrate with you.

Perhaps you’ve attended a wedding or two in the past where the event’s dress code was not expressly indicated, thus resulting in some confusion among the guests. Now, you want to prevent this from happening at your wedding. To ensure that you and your guests are all on the same page, you can do the following:

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Reschedule Don’t Cancel: A Relentless Guide on Postponing Your Wedding

A Relentless Guide on Postponing Your Wedding

Although your wedding is very much your special day, it includes many other people too. This means that rescheduling has a ripple effect that may feel overwhelming when it becomes the only way forward. Your family is going to be affected, as well as your other guests and your vendors. 

The logistics depend on your specific circumstances, who you are working with, and where you reside. But it would be best if you remember why you are doing this. When it comes down to it, putting the elegant invitations, unique flower arrangements, and carefully curated details aside, you chose to get married because you wanted to do so in the presence of your loved ones.

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10 things wedding guests hate most at weddings

A gloomy wedding guest fits not a wedding feast.”  -Friedrich Schiller 

Your wedding wouldn’t be the same without your guests. Although this special day in your life is a celebration of you and your partner, your guests are an irreplaceable part of the celebration. They are people who make the effort and make time to be part of your lifetime celebration. Unless they are happy and enjoy the events of the day, they will not remember your wedding fondly.

Just think of all the weddings you have attended. There will be those that you loved, and then some others. It is highly unlikely that you had fun at weddings where the guest experience was the couple’s lowest priority. After all, who could enjoy a party where they were treated as an after-thought. When you analyze things from this perspective, you will realize the importance of this factor in your wedding.

Here is our roundup of all that real guests hate most at weddings. Take note and make sure not to overlook these factors at yours.

A remote venue that is difficult to locate

In your search for a unique and unusual venue that also fits your budget, don’t forget to consider how accessible it is. Your guests may not enjoy the trek to a far-off location which is difficult to locate and reach. Although you may provide clear instructions, think of factors like how remote it is and whether they should spend a long time on the road to get there. Also, check whether it has a public transportation option.

There may be guests who aren’t comfortable driving that far. Or it may be expensive to hire a cab to drive them there. If you simply cannot avoid this condition, arrange transportation from a central point to the place. Else, arrange a reception that is within a reasonable distance and invite the majority of guests to this location instead.

A vague dress code

There is nothing like a standard wedding today. From extravagant banquet affairs to rustic loft weddings and laidback beach nuptials, every wedding is different. Thus it isn’t always easy for guests to decide what to wear to a wedding. Nobody wishes to be embarrassed about their dress choice. So, they usually look at your invitation or wedding website to make this decision.

There are many clear, fun and even clever ways to communicate this point in your invitation. There are both traditional and non-traditional ways to let your guests know what your wedding style is. From simple straightforward phrases like “Black Tie” and “Casual” to “Dress to Impress” or “Festive attire”, provide a simple phrase that explains the style clearly. Take a look at this article on the Brides website for how to word it and what each phrase refers to.

Unclear instructions

Nothing spoils fun like a lack of clear instructions. From directions to a proper seating arrangement and instructions of where the various events will be held, guests need clear instructions. Unless you provide it, they just waste time trying to figure things out by themselves. So make sure you communicate all relevant details in a clear and crisp manner. Design and format the layout of your invitation card with a checklist that cites what information your guests need.

Similarly, make sure you mention all other information on your wedding website. Add details like landmarks, traveling time to the venue, nearest public transportation destination, etc, and make things easy for them. If the ceremony and reception venue is different, provide clear directions to get to the second from the first. Similarly, don’t complicate the seating arrangement. It should be easy to understand and follow. Your guests will appreciate finding their seats easily and settle in quickly.

Long breaks between events

It is plain disrespectful to make your guests wait for long spans of time during the day. Everyone values their time. Although your guests won’t look forward to a marathon of events on the day, neither will they be excited about an event that drags on and on. So, give accurate information about timings in your wedding invitation and program. Provide the “guest arrival time” and “ceremony start time” on your invitation to clarify things. This will allow your guests to evaluate the event timeline correctly and plan accordingly.

Make sure that you, your partner, and the members of the wedding party are on time. Also, space the different events of the day without too much delay. If there are long delays, arrange entertainment or refreshments to keep your guests occupied during this gap. Discuss with your wedding planner or photographer to create an accurate timeline that is practical for both you and your guests.

Spending too much money for additional expenses

Your guests will not be happy if they must spend additional money for expenses related to your wedding. Most wedding guests dread attending weddings at venues with high parking fees. Don’t be surprised if your guests get too fidgety if your wedding day events are delayed when they are paying for parking by the hour. It is equally disappointing if you will be having a cash bar, where they have to pay for their own drinks. A limited bar or one with few options will be better received than if they should pay for their drinks.

The same applies to gift registries too. Your guests will want to get you a gift that is useful. However, they may be on a budget. When you register for items with different price ranges, they can choose one that suits their budget. Don’t be a needy couple who looks desperate for contributions from guests to make their day special. So, don’t think twice about ruling out the money dance and honeymoon jar idea!

Long boring speeches

Unless you have a small, intimate wedding, save your guests the trouble of tolerating long speeches that they barely relate to. If your wedding speeches and toasts just go on and on, it will simply bore them to death. Don’t have more than five speeches. Also, ask all speakers to limit their toasts to five minutes or less. This will not take up much time.

Let anyone else who wishes to speak at your wedding do it at the rehearsal dinner. Since that will be a smaller and contained event, it will be an apt occasion for your friends and family to speak all they want. Also, make sure that there is a mic if your reception is at a non-traditional venue. You do not want your guests to strain and struggle to understand what is being said.

Being seated with strangers

We perfectly understand that creating a seating plan for your wedding is no walk in the park. However, you should do it with care. It isn’t fun for your guests when you assign seating in such a way that they are seated with total strangers. Most dates that accompany guests end up in such situations. Unfortunately, not all of them take it well.

Although it is impossible to make perfect groups, we advise that you do not randomly create your seating plan. Try to arrange the seating in such a way that there is at least one person who everyone knows at their table. It is a good idea to discuss the seating plan with your groom, parents, and the wedding party. A group effort will yield better results and help to avoid confusion.

Photographers who get in the way

Too many photographers can ruin the entire visual experience of your wedding. Whether it is that they shoot the couple or take selfies, this simple action can spoil the calm atmosphere. When guests are too busy capturing photos on their mobile phones, it often disrupts the view of the other guests. They can also get in the way of the professional photographer and spoil their shots. If you have hired a professional photographer for your wedding, trust him to do a good job. Also, inform the rest of your guests that you do not appreciate photos being clicked during the course of events.

Convey this clearly, but not in a condescending way. There are several ways in which you can do this. Put a note in your wedding program or make an announcement prior to the wedding. You can also display signs at various places in the venue. Just make sure that there is no chance it is overlooked or missed. When you have an unplugged wedding, your photographer will be able to do a better job of capturing your wedding pictures. Take a look at this article on Glamour.com to find out how to do it efficiently. 

Loud and blaring music

You may have hired a highly energetic band for your wedding because you love their kind of music. However, it needn’t be the case with your guests. Music that deafens can really aggravate those who do not enjoy it. Be considerate and realize that there may be those who do not like the music you play at your wedding. For their benefit, keep the volume down. This will let them relax and chat or sit and watch without much difficulty.

Your guests should basically be able to talk to each other without having to scream because of the blaring background music. It is fine to occasionally raise the volume, to get the desired impact for certain song numbers. However, don’t make the mistake of maintaining the same volume throughout the evening. Your guests may rush to the washroom or out of the venue to rest their pounding heads. Most of all, this will ruin the entire day for them. Give your band or DJ a mix of songs in the playlist, so there is something that appeals to everyone there.

When the couple are totally engrossed in themselves

Nobody enjoys an event with ungracious hosts. Even when the guest count is huge, your guests expect to be treated with courtesy. So acknowledge their presence. Of course, they understand that you have a busy day and do not have time to chit-chat. However a quick hello, thank you or goodbye makes it worth their while.

If you are too busy taking photos or spending time with selected guests only, it can put off the others. After all, they made the effort to attend your wedding because they care for you. So, use the cocktail hour to mingle with your guests. Or wave hello to them when they step up to take a photograph. Treat your guests well and your wedding will be a memorable one for them as well.

Do you have any more things to add to this list? If so, do let us know through the comments section below.

Every wedding poses a unique set of challenges. Creating a great experience for your guests is just one of them. While there isn’t much we can do to help you with this, Best for Bride can help you with another equally important wedding planning task—finding the perfect wedding dress. Browse through our wedding dress collection to find a stunning variety of dresses that fit every style, weather, and wedding type. Apart from that we also feature a great collection of dresses for the wedding party. Visit the Best for Bride gallery today and begin shortlisting your favorites from our collection.

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Do’s and Don’ts when planning a Large Wedding

A wedding, whether small or large, is an affair that involves hundreds of details. Even an intimate wedding, in which just the couple and their close family and circle of friends participate, has its fair share of challenges. So, you can imagine how much more complicated it is when you must plan a bigger wedding.

Typically, a large wedding is one where the guest count exceeds 200. If your guest count touches this number, you will have more work planning your wedding. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind when you intend to have a large wedding of this nature.

DO book a venue that can accommodate your guests comfortably

While you still have the challenge of finding a venue that fits your budget, it is also important to find one that will fit your guests. Not only should the venue have space to hold so many people, but it should also have adequate facilities to make them comfortable during their stay there.

The venue should have enough space to seat all the guests during the wedding and reception. It should also have a sufficient number of washrooms to meet the needs of your guests. Apart from the ample parking space, the dance floor should be large enough so your guests can dance comfortably.

Ideal choices are banquet halls, museums, castles, and outdoor venues like parks or beaches. You should visit the venue before you commit to it. Seeing it is the only way to recognize whether it is right for your needs.

DO analyze and fix issues which can cause queues at the venue

Always consider the likelihood of long lines at the bar or bathroom. Analyze whether your venue has enough facilities to meet the needs of the number of guests attending your wedding. Your guests will find it inconvenient if it takes them forever for their turn at the washroom. Similarly, they won’t appreciate waiting indefinitely to get their chosen drink, at the bar.

Consider these factors in detail when you plan your wedding. If the venue has limited facilities, consider how you can alleviate issues. Simply arranging an extra lot of portable restrooms at an outdoor facility will help you overcome these issues. You can also have two separate bar setups at either end of your reception space to distribute the crowd evenly. Discuss your options with the venue manager and figure out the right fixes before the event.

DON’T cut down on what is most important to you

There is no question that a big wedding will be more expensive than a small one. However, this doesn’t mean you should cut down on what you love. Instead, redistribute your budget to include what you must have at your wedding. You can always let go of certain factors or choose cheaper options for what is less important.

Here is an interesting idea on this post on A Practical Wedding. This couple decided to save on centerpieces and elaborate florals, which can quickly add up to several hundreds of dollars. Instead, they had a cocktail-style party, where everyone could move around and socialize throughout the evening. Since there was no need for a strict seating arrangement, in this case, they went with simple tabletop arrangements and saved a huge amount of their budget this way.

DO remember that you still have to meet and greet all your guests

Whether it is a big wedding or a small one, you have to abide by some etiquette rules. This includes how essential it is to say hello to all the people who made the effort to participate in your wedding. Schedule enough buffer time in your wedding day timeline to accommodate this need. Set aside at least two minutes per guest, and it should work well.

Since waiting at a receiving line isn’t usually practical for this huge number of guests, it is a better idea to plan the day so you have opportunities to socialize and meet and greet everyone. Well-wishing guests will understand the practical problems you face with meeting all your guests. So, they shouldn’t complain if you couldn’t meet them personally. Nonetheless, it is best if you try to greet all there and avoid such a situation.

DO consider hiring help

While you can always attempt to pull off a big wedding by yourself, it is a Herculean task. With the number of details involved, you need plenty of time to do this right. Also, remember that even small tasks will involve time because of the sheer volume of work involved. Imagine addressing your invitations to 200 guests, and you will realize the time that it will require. Similarly, every small detail will quickly add up in terms of time and energy.

Professional wedding planners have enough resources and staff to handle such weddings. They can make your job much easier, and save you a lot of stress. Even if you intend to do everything yourself, consider hiring a day-of bridal planner. While he or she tackles the numerous responsibilities of the day, you can sit back and actually enjoy your wedding. Additionally, wedding planners can get you valuable vendor discounts, which is a big win in the case of a large wedding. More details on how you can make the most of their expertise to snag a bargain are here on this Brides website article. 

DO try to skip the little extras

Unless you have a budget that cannot be extinguished easily, it is wise to skip the little extras when planning a big wedding. Although these items will help make your wedding unique, they can also quickly add up with the extended headcount. For instance, you will run up several extra dollars if you decide to send out Save-the-date cards in addition to wedding invitations. Similarly, special touches like calligraphy, monograms and personalized wedding favors will be expensive unless you DIY.

Rather than splurging on these items, it is better to save your budget for the more essential parts of the wedding. Better quality food and drinks, for example, will be more appreciated than these elements.

DO consider repurposing and reusing items to take your budget further

Certain items at a wedding are non-negotiable, like flowers. However, they are expensive as well. To get the best bargain on such items, we suggest that you consider using them to the greatest extent possible.

Take the advice of event planner Kristen in this article on the She Knows website.  You can get your money’s worth for the flowers at your wedding by putting them to more than just one use. Take the flowers off your arbor and use them in centerpieces. Or put your bridesmaids bouquets into vases and use them at your cocktail table after the ceremony.

All you need is an organized friend or professional planner to handle these details. It will save you more money than if you have to use more flowers for the purpose. And, more importantly, it will also lessen scope for wastage of wedding resources. Other options are to choose centerpieces that double up as wedding favors and choosing non-perishable décor items that you can reuse after the wedding.

DO consider a bigger bridal party

Consider yourself lucky if you have a number of friends and family members who want to be closely involved in the wedding. With a little tact and foresight, you can use their help to the most at your wedding. The benefits of having a bigger bridal party are immense. This gives you more people who will assist you on and before the wedding day. For a bigger wedding party, this means you have many hands to help you handle the various details.

Your bridesmaids and ushers will be valuable in helping guests find their way around, on the day of the wedding. They can also assist with tasks like helping the photographer round up the right people for each wedding shot. You can request their assistance with setting up the venue, distributing favors and meeting and greeting guests. Nonetheless, the extent of success will also depend on the personalities of the people in your party. Choose wisely, and enlist the help of each person for tasks they are best suited for.

DO allow enough time between events

The logistics of planning a successful wedding timeline can be challenging when you have a huge wedding party. The flow of the event will be affected by the number of people there. Although this can be sorted out to a great extent by making multiple arrangements for dining and washroom facilities, it may not be enough.

We also suggest you plan your wedding timeline at a relaxed pace, with more buffer time for special moments. This will allow people to move to settle in comfortably and be ready for the next event on the timeline. Avoid packing in a tight schedule and make sure you consider the distance and space they have to maneuver to be in place for the next important part of the day. This will ensure your wedding timeline progresses as expected and that the day winds up on time.

DON’T risk booking unreliable vendors

Whether your wedding is big or small, unreliable vendors can totally ruin the show. Nonetheless, the chance of fixing a goof-up is tougher when the guest count is higher. It is simply impossible to find a replacement at short notice who can cater to such a large crowd without prior notice. This can end up as an emotional and stressful disaster, and spoil all the fun of your special day.

Hence, make sure that every vendor you hire for your wedding is reliable and has always delivered the service they promise to. Apart from online reviews, also ask for references before you commit to a contract. If you have a wedding planner, he or she will be able to suggest reliable vendors for various jobs. They will also have likely alternatives if any of the plans go south. Finally, ensure your vendor contracts contain practical solutions as emergency plans, in case of cancellations at the last minute. Make sure you can work with their solutions before you decide to be optimistic and sign up for the service.

DON’T forget to account for all the extras

There are many extras that you may miss adding to your budget. Many couples overlook factors like tipping and gratuity, wedding dress alteration charges, extra costs at the venue for service, etc, when planning their budget. Although some of these may seem insignificant, it can quickly add up when you consider the headcount at your wedding.

So, make sure you discuss all overheads before you book a service. Also, calculate these factors so you can create a practical budget. When booking a service, mention to the vendor what your total budget is, so they can direct you to the service accordingly. Also, don’t hesitate to cross-check and ask whether you will have to pay anything above and over the mentioned amount to get the service you book.

All said and done, your wedding is a special celebration of the day you and your partner become husband and wife! It is a special moment, that should be celebrated with all those who matter in your life. If this means having a big wedding, so be it! The challenges pale in comparison with the joy of the celebration. Just make sure that every moment counts, you stand by every decision you make and enjoy this special day in your life.

For all that you need for your wedding day, from your all-important wedding dress to dress alterations, attires for the bridal party, wedding favors and more, come visit our Best for Bride shop. With four locations and an impressive inventory of everything wedding-related, every modern bride can find all that she needs for her special day. Find more details about our wedding dress collections, services, and more at the Best for Bride website here.

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