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When you want your pet to be at your wedding

pets at weddings

Many of our families often include feathery or four-legged furry friends too. So, isn’t it only right that they are also included in our wedding day? After all, this is usually the most special occasion of our lifetime, and wouldn’t it be incomplete without these adorable little members

Although you can easily accommodate your pets into your wedding plans, how you do it would depend on several factors. The extent of involvement would also affect the preparations and plans. Whether you want them there as honorable guests, or in a more active role (I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen dogs play the role of adorable ring-bearers and groomsmen!) is up to you. But, before you do, here are some things to consider.

1.Does your venue allow pets?

Not all venues admit pets. So, this is an important factor to consider, if you must have your pet in your wedding. Check with the venue if it is an important factor, before booking it or paying the deposit, so you needn’t be disappointed later. If the venue you like doesn’t allow pets, either look at other venues, or think of whether you would rather include them in the wedding without them actually being there. More on that later!

2.Will your pet be comfortable in the setting?

Not all pets are calm, well-trained and happy in crowds. So, think about this factor. If your pet is always well-behaved, irrespective of the setting he is in, you may have no trouble giving him an important role in your wedding. If he is boisterous fellow who is easily excited or aggressive in crowded places, or becomes unhappy and withdrawn around loud music or children, you may like to have him participate as an onlooker. Since you will have a busy time on your wedding day, and may not be able to stay with him if he becomes uncomfortable, make sure you hire a pet-sitter or have a family member take care of him.

3.Think of the comfort and safety of both your pet and your guests

Your pet may be uncomfortable in certain settings. Unless your pet is used to crowds before, or has been in a similar setting previously, you really cannot predict how he will behave on your wedding day. Or it could be that you have wedding guests who are intimidated by animals. So, it is always recommended to prepare for any likely situation. Make sure your pet is well-cared for and nobody gets an opportunity to tease or taunt it and frustrate it. Also, let your guests know in advance about your pet’s participation, so they can plan accordingly. Putting a note about it on your wedding website, should be enough. In the best interests of both parties, it is wise to keep your animal on a leash on the day, so you can avoid any untoward accidents.

4.How will you care for him

Like we said earlier, you will have a lot going on, and it is simply impractical to tend to your pet during the chaos. So, you should make arrangements for his care during the day. Hiring a pet-sitter is the best option. This person can stay close to him throughout the day, make sure he gets his food on time, is kept away from guests, take care of his toilet needs and take him home when it is time. It is a good idea to hire this person early, so your pet gets used to him or her and is comfortable in time for your wedding day.

5.Make sure there isn’t anything that disturbs your pet

Some flowers are toxic to animals, and without you around to supervise, the risk of your animal coming in contact with it or ingesting it is higher. Keep it safe by avoiding such flowers and ingredients in your décor and menu, so your beloved pet isn’t in trouble. Similarly, make sure that he is kept away from loud noise that can hurt his ears, or from the dessert tray that he may try to stick his paws in! On a similar note, if you plan to dress your pet in a special wedding outfit, make sure it is comfortable for him. If he isn’t happy with the idea of wearing it, outfit him in a smaller accessory like an ornate collar or bow tie instead.

6.Be flexible

You cannot always predict how your pet will behave in the given situation. So, be prepared for it if he decides to ditch your plans. Even if you have planned an important role for your pet, like that of the ring bearer, make sure that you have a Plan B, in case he isn’t up for it at the crucial moment. Don’t be disappointed, rather consider yourself lucky if he obliges with your wishes and gets that far without any issues.

shakehand

Now, once you have taken care of the above mentioned factors, let us move on to the different ways in which you can include your furry friend in your wedding.

Ring bearer

The most popular, yet one of the most difficult to implement. If your pet is an obedient, charming fellow who won’t be affected by the change in scenery, and obeys instructions, you can honor him with the role of ring bearer. However, don’t risk any chances by giving him the actual ring. As this article on the Huff Post mentions, it is better that the best man hold the real ring, but your pet carry a faux ring down the aisle, just for the effect. Make sure you get him to practice walking down the aisle with the ring, several times before the actual day, so he isn’t flustered when it is time.

Groomsman or bridesmaid

An extra groomsman is hardly ever a problem, and in fact, it is the perfect role that allows your pet to share the stage with you. Designate a spot for him with the rest of the groomsmen, preferably towards the end of the line, where he can hang out and see the ceremony. If your furry friend is a female, you can have her join the bridesmaids line. Dress up your pet in a tux or skirt, only if he or she is comfortable in the outfit. Otherwise, it is best to add an accessory that doesn’t overwhelm the animal.

Photographs

One of the safest options for your pets to be in the wedding, is to join in your photography session. Outdoor shots with pets are the best, as they usually relax and this allows for great pictures. Make sure your photographer knows that you will have your pet in the photo session, so he can plan the shots accordingly. You can take portrait pictures with your pet, have him in the background, or carrying props like a “just married” sign. In case of unexpected rain or glitches like a muddy outdoor area, analyze whether it is wise to spoil your white wedding dress while posing in the outdoors. You will eventually have to spend more time if you are to get the perfect pictures, when you are posing with your pet.

Cake topper

If your venue doesn’t allow pets, but you still want your beloved friend to be part of the celebration, dedicate the cake topper to him. You can either choose to have one specifically created to resemble your pet, or go for an easily available crystal or glittering topper design in an animal shape.

Display a portrait

If he cannot be there in person, you can have him there in spirit. Blow up a stunning portrait of your pet, and add it to a central location at your venue. Nobody will be complaining about how you forgot him, when you do this. Or, you could even add a family portrait, with the three of you in it. If you want to take it further, create a picture backdrop featuring him, and take your pictures taken there. It will serve as a good-looking keepsake for later.

Pet-stamped stationery

Custom-created photo place cards, table settings or signage can be used to bring your pet’s presence into your wedding, even when he isn’t physically there. The alternative is to use printed stationery with animal silhouettes for an equally striking effect. If you are all into your pet, you can even have him included in the pictures on your save-the-date cards or invitation.

Wedding favors

This is great way to give a little special attention to your pet, and you have so many different options to do it well. Have animal-shaped cookies or candies as edible treats. Animal print or photo key chains are other ideas. Or you can customize the thank you labels with the image of your pet, and tie it to the favors. Another option is to have custom photo wrappers for milk chocolates, with your pet’s picture on the cover.

How to train your pet for your wedding day

bow dog

It goes without saying that you will need to prepare your pet in advance, for his role at your wedding. This is even more important if he has an active role at the wedding. Unless you practice ahead of time, he may shock you with an unpleasant surprise at the time, and you really do not need any more stress to handle on this day!

Here are some tips to help you prepare your furry or feathery friend for your wedding day.

1.Start training early

Rather than wait for the last minute to get your pet in action, it is best to start training him from the time you decide he will be in your wedding. So, if you want him to simply accompany you down the aisle, sit still throughout the ceremony, or even pose with you for your photographs, make sure he receives the necessary training well in advance.

2.Practice, practice, practice

Continuous and consistent practice of what we said earlier is absolutely essential to minimizing hassles on the actual day. First practice alone, then with a few people, and finally with more people. Also try to ease him into the new environment by making him practice in an environment similar to your venue location.

3.Do it in steps

Take it one step at a time, and finally get your pet to learn his entire sequence. So, if he is the ring bearer, train him to walk down the aisle first. Then teach him to hold the basket in his mouth. After he has nailed both, slowly get him to combine the two, so you get the desired result. Similarly, if your pet has to stay on the stage for a long time, help him get used to it by practicing for smaller amounts of time initially, and then slowly increasing the duration to the required length.

4.Use treats to get things done

From when you train them, to the actual day, use treats to ensure they are tempted to do what is expected from them. You can start off with lining down the aisle with treats, or giving him treats for every time they do it right. Then reduce the frequency, so it is easy to manage and he still keeps at it.

Although it isn’t easy to get all pets to get it right, you can still try and see if it will work out. If he obliges, it will be another unique factor that will make your wedding extra-special. If it doesn’t, you still know that you tried, and that is certainly better than not making an attempt at all. In any case, be flexible and don’t be hard on your pet.

For more wedding tips, advice and planning help, continue visiting us here. Best for Bride is Canada’s premier bridal destination, bringing you several wedding services under one roof. Whether you seek your dream wedding dress, dresses for the rest of your bridal party or are on the search for the perfect wedding service vendors, we can help you with all your needs. Visit our website for more information on what we offer.

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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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Cost-cutting tips for your wedding invitations

Your wedding invitations offer the first sneak peek into your wedding, and it is a reflection of your taste and personality. Hence, you should make sure you choose well.

Wedding invitations involve a lot of stationery, and this can quickly add up to quite an amount of money. There are DIY kits, which allow you to customize and create your own signature style invitations. However, you may not have the time to do it all. So, here are some tips to help you get the best for the money you spend, when choosing your wedding invitations.

Start early and find great deals

As with everything related to weddings, the sooner you start, the more chances you have at finding better offers. If you do not rush your wedding invitation supplier, you are more likely to get a good deal. Also, you will have time to search around and compare vendor prices, and choose the best on offer.

Opt for thermography, instead of engraving and embossing

Engraving and embossing are traditional styles of invitation printing. They are classic, but very pricey. If you cannot afford the huge price tag accompanying them, look at thermography instead. The print looks similar to embossing, but is much cheaper. The benefits do not end here. It can also be done much faster, and the look isn’t very different from the engraved one. Both feel the same to the touch, and the difference can be felt, only when you rub the front and back of the letters at the same time. Well, do you think your guests will bother to go into such details!

Check for package deals and buy in bulk

Most vendors can print all wedding stationery. This includes wedding invitations, rehearsal dinner invites, menu cards, place cards, programs and thank-you cards. Look at vendors who do this, and ask for a discount if you order all your printing from them. Since you will anyway be investing money for all this paper, you might as well do it at one place and get a better deal.

Pay attention to postage charges

Wedding invitations go through the mail, and this means you have to pay for postal stamps. The size of your invitation will determine the postage charges. So, do your research before you choose your invitations, and stick to an envelope size that will help you stay within budget.

Skimp on the extra bits

Each piece of paper that goes into your wedding invite comes at an additional cost. So, consider what is necessary and what isn’t. Avoid inset papers and extra decoration, and choose a simple, but elegant design that conveys all the necessary information. Draft your invite so it is comprehensive but uses less space. With a little planning, you can make your invitation an impressive bombshell of information, but within minimum space.

Check out this link on Best for bride for the various invitation options we have on offer. You can find plenty of inspiration, options for customizing your wedding invitations to match the wedding theme, and also contact us for placing your orders, here.