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Destination Weddings: 9 things every couple should know

destination

Weddings in quaint European towns and the exotic Caribbean are no longer a novelty. Many brides and grooms are packing their bags, and getting married in attractive locations far away from home. Nevertheless, it is a fact that while these weddings are possible, they involve more long-distance and detailed planning than weddings near home.

It is not only the couple, but also the guests at the wedding who have to make allowances to attend a destination wedding. As it is far from home, there will be lot of things to consider. From paperwork to aero plane tickets and accommodation, there are many factors to consider.

Since these weddings involve travel, the rules and expectations are slightly different than in the case of a regular wedding. Let us find out what these are today!

1.Be prepared for a smaller and more intimate wedding

It is highly unlikely that all the people on your guest list can practically attend your wedding, when it is held far away from where they stay. If you have a large friend and family group, narrowing down your guest list can be difficult. However, it becomes necessary when you consider the expenses involved. Be reasonable with your expectations when you invite people. The entire scenario is different when you ask someone to travel for a wedding. Not everyone may have the time or the finances to make this long trip. So, when you decide to have a wedding far away, prepare to be satisfied with a small and intimate wedding with the people who matter most in your life. You can always host a reception once you are back, and include all your friends and family in it. This way, they get a chance to be involved in the wedding without having to travel. All the same, this is in no way compulsory. If you are satisfied with celebrating your wedding with just those who attended it, keep it that way.

2.Send out save-the-dates earlier than is usual

savethedate

Planning a destination wedding is complicated, and you may not be certain of all the details of the wedding till much later. Even so, you should inform your guests of your plans well in advance, so they can plan accordingly. Attending a destination wedding is comparable to planning a holiday—in terms of money involved and time off work. So, the earlier you provide information, the more convenient it will be for your guests to attend. Anywhere between 4 to 8 months before the wedding, is a good time to send your save-the-dates. Include all that you know at the time, particularly the date and location. Take care to highlight the date on the RSVP, so you can plan your final guest list and confirm the rest of the arrangements based on the number of attendees. If you are very particular about having certain people in your wedding, check their availability prior to planning the wedding date. This way, you can avoid disappointment if they have constraints that do not allow them to travel to your wedding. Once you finalize your plans, don’t delay sending out the invitations. Destination wedding invitations should be more detailed than the customary wedding invitation, as your guests need to know much more to plan and budget their trip.

3.Wedding websites are your best friend

When you plan a destination wedding, your guests will usually prefer to find out as much as they can to make their trip easier. Since a wedding invitation for what it can hold, then use your wedding website for the rest. Include anything and everything your guests should be aware of, on your wedding website. Provide links to places where they can find accommodation, the weather at the time of your wedding, any dress requirements that they should be aware of, what they should carry and transportation options they have. Also share all the details of the wedding program, so they can carry all that they need to attend it. You could also go further and add some information on the local attractions, as it is likely that your guests will want to tour the place. Since you will anyway be seeking all this information out for yourself, do your guests a favor by sharing it with them. Since websites allow you to organize and provide all this information in a streamlined format, your guests will have no trouble finding what they want to know. They will also appreciate your effort in helping them plan their trip so well.

4.It isn’t considerate to guilt your guests into attending

It is your wedding, and you deserve to be happy. Nonetheless, this shouldn’t be at the expense of making someone unhappy or miserable. If an important person in your friends or relative’s circle is unable to attend, don’t pressurize them too far. Remember that the case would be entirely different if you were having your wedding closer to where you stay. Consider the different logistics that they have to work out, financial constraints they may have, or how impossible it is for them to travel so far and take time off work. So, be reasonable with your expectations and life will be a lot easier for everyone. Be understanding of those who can’t attend and answer “No” to your invitation. This is why it may be a good idea to hold a reception party later, when all those who couldn’t participate in the actual wedding, get a chance to congratulate you.

5.Everyone at the engagement party and whoever receives a save-the-date receives an invitation too

Valentines day Wedding Ideas

Whether your save-the-date RSVP says Yes or No, the addressee is eligible for a formal wedding invitation. The same goes for the guests at your engagement party. This is one area where traditional wedding invitation etiquette applies. Even if your guests have confirmed that they won’t make it to your wedding, they still deserve a formal invitation. Some couples worry whether sending an invitation to someone who won’t be coming, is like they are fishing for gifts. It isn’t! The guest you send the save-the-date card to, might in fact feel ignored or slighted if they do not receive a follow-up invitation to the wedding. Things may also change along the way, and if they find a way to make it to the wedding, they may be disappointed when they do not receive an invitation. The other way you could handle it, is to send an invite to the reception you will host later, if they confirm they won’t be attending the wedding. So, if you have an engagement party, make sure that you choose the guest list properly, so that it will only have those people who will be invited to the wedding as well.

6.Your wedding dress should be low-fuss, easy to transport and manage

Wedding dresses are yards of fabric, delicately and intricately woven into splendid designs. Most of the traditional style wedding dresses are heavy, and may easily crinkle or look shabby if handled too much. If there are too many embellishments on it, over-handling can displace stones or crystals and ruin the overall look. These factors make it important to choose a wedding dress that is practical to transport. You will have to carry your wedding dress in your hand luggage when you board the aircraft. So, it should be a dress that is possible to stow away in the overheard luggage compartment or be hung above your seat. Once you are at the location, you may have to steam the dress to get rid of wrinkles and creases. So, it should also be made from fabric that can be ironed easily and not be damaged. Dresses in light, breathable fabric with just the necessary amount of embellishments are your best bet. Uncomplicated gowns without too many layers are practical to be transported and restored to its original look after the long journey to your destination. Dresses from collections such as the Mori Lee Voyage bring you plenty of options that will be perfect for a dream wedding away from home. Here is a sample.

This beautiful Mori Lee 6784 in poetic lace is a dress perfect for a vintage style wedding in an exotic location. The slim silhouette is formed of light layers that hold their shape during handling and the minimal embellishments reduce your risk of damaging the gown.

7.Your guests and wedding party will appreciate it if you offset some of the expenses

You are in no way obligated to foot the expenses for any of the factors that are normally paid for by your guests or bridal party. So, destination wedding or not, your guests will have to arrange for accommodation, bridesmaids will pay for their dresses and the wedding guests have to find their way to the venue. Nevertheless, if you have the funds to help with some of their expenses, like the accessories for bridesmaids or transportation on the day of the wedding, it would be very helpful for them. You could consider hiring a van or arranging a cab to pick your guests up from the airport, to transport them to their hotels. Or you could sponsor a guided tour on a day they are there, and we are sure your guests will love you for the thoughtful arrangement. Another thing you could do is to sponsor breakfast on the days they are there. It will be one meal they don’t have to pay for, and also allows everyone to meet and get together ahead of the wedding.

8.You can still register for gifts

gift

Don’t think twice about  registering for gifts. The people at your wedding will be spending a lot of extra money to make it to your wedding venue. Nevertheless, they will still want to gift you something to remember them by. The others who are unable to attend your wedding may also like to gift you, since it is a wedding after all! So, do set up a wedding registry. The only thing to remember is that your registry should contain affordable gifts of different prices. This way, your guests will have plenty of options. It will also take the burden off them to buy an expensive gift, after they’ve spent so much money to attend your wedding.

9.Your guests will appreciate it if you help them find cheap travel and accommodation deals

Air tickets are expensive, and so are hotel bookings. While this is on the cards when your guests agree to attending your destination wedding, you can still do a little in helping them along the way. The first thing you can do is to choose off-season wedding dates, so the entire transport and stay will be much cheaper. You could also research bulk airline booking discounts and hotel stay discounts that will lighten their expenses. If you inform an airline that there will be a group of people traveling together to your wedding, it is likely that they will offer you a discount. If you do your hotel reservations in advance, you may be able to block a set of rooms for a lower price and help your guests this way too.

Destination weddings have their pros and cons, just like every other wedding. Despite all the difficulties of planning and getting people to attend it, it is a unique, one-of-a-kind wedding that you should consider if you can afford it. The memories of getting married in an exotic location with the people you love the most, is definitely worth it.

So, if you have a destination wedding in mind, come visit us on Best for Bride and check out how we can help you nail your wedding vision. From the ideal wedding dresses to vendors and everything else you need for your wedding day, we can help you make your planning a big success.

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10 wedding invitation mistakes to avoid

Your wedding invitation is a very important aspect of your wedding.  The invitation often offers your guests the first peek at what is in store on your big day. More importantly, it provides crucial information, like the date, venue and time. This allows guests to plan their availability and schedule your special day into their calendars. So, it is only necessary that you choose your wedding invitation with due care, and avoid any mistake in it.

Today, we will look at the most common mistakes that couples make when planning their wedding invitation. This will allow you to avoid the same, and do it right. So, here goes.

#1 Placing your order late

Wedding invitations should go out early, so your guests are informed on time and can send their RSVP’s early. You need the RSVP count early, in order to get on with the rest of your wedding arrangements. Since the RSVP’s are necessary to know how many guests will be attending, it is directly linked to finalizing your venue, planning the seating arrangements, quantity of food to be ordered, party favors etc. If you delay ordering your invitation, you automatically delay the time when it is sent out, and with it all the rest of the wedding plans are also delayed. So, once you decide to get married, let the wedding invitation be on your top list of priorities. Set aside time to sort out the design, plan the overall look, draft the words to go with it, choose stationery and place your order. After that, it will still be a couple of days before you receive it. So, factor in all these aspects into your planning time line, and make sure you place your order as early as is possible, so there is no delay in the rest of your wedding plans.

#2 Making it too cluttered

Many couples make the mistake of going overboard with the design and wordings for their invitations. This can clutter  up the invitation, and the little details may not even be noticed. You can always use color, but do it in a manner that it is easy on the eye. Similarly, distribute the message in such a way that it fits neatly, and there is still plenty of empty space, so it doesn’t look stuffy. If you pack your invitation with information on every page, it can be overwhelming and your guests may not find it appealing at all. If there are too many details, it is best to divide it into sections and fit it neatly into separate pages. This will make it a lot easier to take in. Also pay attention to the font. Choose one that is not only easy to read, but is neat and matches the tone of the invitation. If you must have a long invitation message, consider stationery that is longer than it is wide, so it looks evenly distributed and streamlined.

#3 Adding too many details and colors

Similar to adding too much information in your message, too many details and colors can also take away the charm of your wedding invitation. It is true that your wedding invitation offers a sneak peek into what is in store for your wedding, but it is essential that you do it tastefully to create the right effect. If your wedding color palette includes several colors, don’t include all of them in the invite. Balance it out by mixing neutrals with the brightest colors in your palette. Similarly, forego the finer details like intricate designs that will be used at your wedding, or technically complicated stuff that can cost a lot, but may not turn out so dramatic on paper. What matters most is that your wedding invitation contains all the essential details that your guests must know. For the rest, less is more!

#4 Not proofreading your copy properly before printing it

There is plenty of chance for the words on your invite to go wrong. From the names of the couple, to grammatical errors, to important information like the date or time of wedding, everything has to be checked and cross-checked. So,  have it checked several times, and no mistakes are overlooked. Be attentive when you do your checking, and don’t hesitate to ask your family or friends to check for typos. A single typo can end up as an eyesore that you can do nothing about, once it is printed. The most good looking invitations can also fail if there are grammar or spelling mistakes in it.  So, do all you can to avoid it. Take your time when drafting the invitations. Look at the various options available and try each one out till you find the right choice. Don’t do a hurried edit, take your time to read through and make sure everything is alright. We suggest checking every word individually. It is also a good idea to leave the invitation untouched for a day or two after you draft it. When you then return to it, it will be easier to spot errors that you missed in the first check and correct them promptly.

#5 Adding the registry information in the card

It is a breach of wedding invitation etiquette to include your registry information on the card. It will not only look as though you are fishing for gifts, it is simply not the right place to do it. The intention of the invitation card, like the name suggests, is to invite a guest to your wedding. So, focus on that. Whether you want gifts or not, don’t make any mention of it on your wedding invitation. Some couples add a “No Gifts please” statement to their wedding invitations. Even this can be inappropriate. When a guest is invited to a wedding, they know they are usually expected to get the couple a gift. Nowadays, the common practice is to provide this information on the wedding website, which is a must-have for every wedding. So, they’ll either look for this information there, or else ask someone in the wedding party and find out. You can always include your wedding website URL in your wedding invitation. This should be sufficient for your guests to find your wedding registry, and choose a gift from the list.

#6 Doing a sloppy job of addressing the envelopes

Two common mistakes are to address the envelopes in a rush so it looks shabby, and using sticky labels to address the envelope. Addressing the envelopes should be a priority, as it is the first thing that your guests look at when they receive the invitation. Do it well, and you create a good first impression. If you do this yourself, make sure you do not do too many invitations in one go. Give yourself enough time to do it in batches. Also, your handwriting should be good, legible, and using a very good pen. The worst thing that can happen is your ink running out while you address an envelope. So, make sure that you have a spare pen in hand, all the time. Using sticky labels may seem practical, but it can ruin the appearance of your invitation. Also, it looks very impersonal and your guests would appreciate it more if you wrote or printed on the envelope directly. Consider hiring the services of a calligrapher or having the cards printed by the same stationer who prints the invitation cards. The latter will save you plenty of time and effort, will be neat and look professional.

#7 Ordering the wrong number

When you have a guest list in hand, you should be able to make an educated guest of how many invitations you will need. Remember that you do not need one invitation per person invited to the wedding, as many of them will be couples or families who can be covered with a single invite. The best way to sort this out is to edit your guest list, so all those who are covered under the same invitation come together on it. Once you have an idea of how many invitations will be required, you can add an extra 25%, just to be on the safe side. This will cover up for the last minute additions you may have missed, and also leave you with enough copies as keepsakes for your wedding treasure box. Read more about setting this up here, on this previous post. Ordering a few extras will also save you the trouble of going back and buying more cards, if you end up having lesser cards than you actually need. A fresh order can have you spending a for

#8 Not using a separate card for the reception

If the wedding ceremony and reception are at different venues, it is a good idea to use separate cards to clearly mention both the venue addresses and times, so there is no confusion. This is even more important if you haven’t invited everyone on the guest list to both functions. In which case, having two separate invitations for both functions is the best way to handle it. Just make sure that you separate both sets and address them correctly, so there is no confusion about who will receive which card. We also suggest that you add directions to the venue on either card, so it is easy for the guests to find their way to the venue on the day. Read more about what essential information has to be contained in an invitation card at our previous post here.

#9 Not using the required amount of postage stamps

When you mail your wedding invitations, you will have to send them with the correct postage stamps so they reach where they ought to. We often make the mistake of assuming that a certain number of stamps would be sufficient. If you put more stamps than the actual weight calls for, it will be fine. But if the number is lesser, it will lead to the card being returned and simply causing unnecessary delays. Don’t assume that the invitation will be just like normal postage. An invitation card will usually have several pieces of paper inside, and each of these can quickly add up, requiring you to pay higher postal charges. All you have to do to avoid this problem, is to take a sample to the post office, have it weighed and buy sufficient quantity of stamps to cover all your invitations. Also, don’t forget that you may need more stamps for cards that have to travel further.

Tip: Invitation cards of standard size and weight normally cost less, while bulky invitations cost a fortune in postage charges. So, remember this when you are considering odd shapes and unusual looking cards that may not fit into a regular letter box. You may be better off avoiding more inserts than is absolutely required, as each piece can contribute to added postal charges.

#10 Sending the invitation card too late

Just like ordering the card late can cause a lot of inconvenience, sending it out late can do the same. Your guests should be informed of your wedding plans well in advance, so they can mark their calendars and make their plans by setting aside any other engagements. You should send it at least two months before the wedding date, so there is enough time for it to reach the recipient, time for them to return the RSVP and plan their activities on the day. Place your order early, address the cards soon after you have them printed and send them out in the post immediately afterwards. This way everything will progress smoothly and without confusion.

This covers all the likely mistakes you can make where your wedding invitations are concerned. So, stay one step ahead of the game and avoid all these problems. At Best for Bride we have a dizzying array of invitations including the ones in this article. There are amazing offers too, so you get the best deal for your money. Check out our website here today, to choose your special wedding invitation card and place your order right away.

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What should your wedding website contain?

A wedding website is nearly indispensable in today’s wedding scene. It is a practical and easy way to share and find all the necessary information pertaining to a wedding, and so is a must-have for every couple planning a wedding.

With the increase in interest in creating wedding websites, there are so many options out there today. This makes it easier for couples who want to set one up, and the best thing is that it is possible to do even if you are not very tech-savvy.

Over the course of this article, we will not only look at different options that will help you set up your wedding website, but also what it should contain and how you can make sure it works well and helps you with your wedding plans. Let’s begin.

website

Why you should have a wedding website!

For those of you who haven’t ever considered this a necessity, here is why you should have a wedding website

  • It provides your guests a one-stop destination for all the information they require bout the wedding
  • You can share everything from your proposal and registry details to venue information and even photos on your wedding website
  • It is a platform that makes collection of RSVP’s and updating your wedding registry easy and straightforward
  • It is a representation of the couple, and the perfect way to give your guests a sneak-peek into what is in store for the wedding
  • Wedding websites are the way to go for the environment-conscious couple, as it allows them to minimize on paper stationery for not-so-essential invitation enclosures. This information can be made available on the website instead
  • It gives you a place to share your wedding photos online after the big event.
  • It will remind you of your big milestone event long after it is over, thus making it a valuable resource in many ways.

Now that you know why a wedding website is a good idea, here is how you can get started on it.

How to create a wedding website

Wedding website screenshot
Image Credits: D.Hayes, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

You have plenty of options to make your wedding website. You can either use a wedding website builder or purchase your own domain and design your website from scratch. While few of these are free, most of them charge a nominal price for hosting your details.

We find that website builders specifically tailored to weddings are the best way to go, as it isn’t necessary that all couples are technically capable of building their own website from scratch. So, this is what we will focus on here. Some of our favorite wedding website builders are:

Appy Couple

This trending favorite provides you both a mobile application as well as a wedding website when you sign up. You can choose your layout, design and colors from a range of options that are all very attractive. Benefits include changing your design anytime you want, straightforward pricing structure and impressive website design options. Customizing a website is easy as you can simply add the details to each available aspect. It guides you through the process and simplifies the entire construction process, so you have a professional looking website in no time. Check out the demo here to find out more about how this works.

Wedding Jojo

With 8 different themes to choose from, Wedding Jojo provides you a custom domain that will contain all your event information. You can share your wedding photos with guests, create your online guest-book, manage your RSVP’s and share necessary information with your guests on this website. You can choose between “Taster” and “Full Slice” options, depending on whether you want all the works or prefer to settle for the most essential ones. Find out all about creating your Wedding Jojo account, by visiting their website here.

The Knot wedding website

Constantly recommended as a leading wedding planner application, the Knot also offers a wedding website builder of excellent quality. The added benefit is that it is a free service, where you still have plenty of options to choose from. You can choose from over 80 designs to set up your website. It also allows you to switch between designs any time, if you aren’t happy with your original choice. The website features include a registry home, RSVP and guest management system, as well as photo galleries for those important events leading up to the wedding. Get started today by clicking on this link. https://www.theknot.com/gs/wedding-websites

Wedding Window

A website builder with a difference, the wedding window adds a fun element to the regular wedding websites. It is fun to create, and your guests will enjoy scrolling through it. You can also enjoy with unlimited customization options. The basic package is free for one year and is sufficient for most couples. Now, if you must have additional features, the premium packages are a bargain for the cool features they include. It is also tailored to help guests who are traveling from abroad by providing them instructions and information in their local language using Google translator. Find out more for yourself by visiting their home page here.

There are many more website builders out there, and you can take a look at all that is available before making your pick. We suggest that you visit this article on the Huffington Post, to see the other impressive packages that may work for you.

What should your wedding website contain?

Once you have chosen the website builder that will aid you in creating your wedding website, it is time to look at what your website should contain.

If you go with any of the options recommended above, you will find that most of them already have tabs for the various aspects relevant to weddings. You needn’t fill in all the information, and can go with only what you deem necessary. Nevertheless, every wedding website should contain certain details that are usually sought by the guests. This is what they are.

#Your photo

couple

Your website should have a face (or rather faces!), so it personifies you. Do this by adding a well-captured photo of the two of you on the home page. You can also add pretty pictures to the side bars of the other tabs, as long as your website builder has options for it.

#Date and Time

This is the main information conveyed through your wedding invitation, and it is not just sensible, but necessary as well to have it on your website too. You can add it to the Home Page and also have it somewhere in a noticeable location on the remaining pages as well. Specify the date and the time when the ceremony is to start. If the reception is also to be held at the same venue, don’t forget to mention the time for it as well. If the reception is held elsewhere, convey this information on the website, along with the time at which it will be held, to avoid any confusion.

Tip: If your wedding is in winter, or your venue is difficult to find, set the event time on your website as half an hour earlier than actually planned. This way guests will have enough time to reach there before the ceremony begins.

Venue information

castle venue

Since you have only so much space to provide all information regarding your wedding venue on your invitation, give as much detail as is possible about the venue and how to get there, on your website. This should include the detailed address, directions to reach there and contact numbers in case of doubt. Most websites allow you to embed a Google map which can provide them clear directions. Make use of it as it will be very helpful for your guests. If there are any landmarks that will make it easy to locate the place, provide this information too. You can even add a picture of your venue, if you want to. Wherever possible, it may be a good idea to offer a download option for the venue map as many guests may prefer to print it out for reference.

Registry Information

It is traditional wedding etiquette to not include your wedding registry information on your invitation. Nevertheless, your guests will want to know where you are registered, so they can get you a gift that will actually be useful. Use your wedding website for this purpose. Some stores allow you to directly link to their websites from your page. Make use of this feature if it is available. If not, simply provide your registry details and your guests can find their way there. Remember to keep your registry constantly updated and complete with a list of items of varying prices, so guests have enough options to choose from. The idea is to keep it varied, and update it if one item has already been chosen, so you do not end up with multiples, unless that’s what you want. Find out more about planning a good wedding registry by visiting our article here.

Hotel stay and accommodation options

It is likely that there will be at least a few out-of-town guests attending your wedding. Assuming that they will want to stay overnight in town, it would be very helpful if you can provide them a list of decent hotels or accommodation options to look at and book for their stay. Keep your list varied with hotels in differing price ranges, and don’t forget to include their contact information, distance from the venue and any other relevant information that they may be useful.

RSVP form

RSVP

The easiest way for your guests to confirm attendance at the event is to fill out their RSVP forms online. So, use this feature on your website to make a note of who all will be attending. The website builder may allow you to create a custom form asking for the details such as name of person, how many will be attending and any other specific message. Make sure to add your online RSVP’s to the list of those who send in their replies by post, so you do not miss out anyone when creating your guest list.

Comments or question and answer page

Although it is likely that your guests will be in touch with you over the phone or by email if they want any specific query addressed, it is helpful to have a page on your website dedicated to the same. This will allow them to promptly address their doubts, if they have any concerns while on your website. Just make sure that you check it often and reply to their questions as soon as is possible, or it defeats the purpose of having such a page. The other advantage of having this page is that it gives guests who cannot attend your wedding, a place to put in their wishes or add a message to you.

The little extras that can make your website truly special

cake topper

The above list gives an outline of all the information that is essential for a wedding website. Once this is done, we can move on to looking at what extra touches you can add to make your website truly special and personal. Here are some options to consider.

  • If you want to share the exciting tale of how you met, the magical proposal or any other trivia regarding your relationship or the two of you, this is the place to do it.
  • Photo albums of the engagement, bridal shower, bachelorette party and later the wedding and honeymoon pictures
  • You can highlight the importance of your wedding party by adding their pictures and names, thus giving them the special attention they deserve at your wedding
  • Online guest book where your guests can write their messages, comments and wishes quickly and easily
  • Pictures of the two of you as this is something that everyone will be keen to see

Remember to keep the website agog with activity and update it frequently, so the information is relevant and correct. Once you have your website set up, it will be one fun place where we are sure you’ll be hanging out quite a lot!

And, for the rest of your wedding needs, Best for Bride is the other place you should be frequently visiting. To transform yourself into the beautiful bride that you deserve to be, visit the Best for Bride website and find everything you need from your wedding dress, bridal party dresses, accessories and more.