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 – from the bridal shower gifts to choosing the perfect ring, 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.
I like to compare wedding planning to a mine that’s waiting to explode. The potential for problems is huge! Every couple faces at least a few awkward moments when planning their wedding. Many assumptions may be made that you cannot oblige to, you may have to say no on occasions, and where people are concerned there is no saying who can feel offended about what!
Here are 7 real sticky situations that you will most likely have to handle during your wedding planning process. We’ve also included the best possible solutions you can consider, to make it as easy as possible.
#1 Tell a friend or relative that they are not in the wedding party
It could be that everyone thinks you are fond of them. Add that to the fact that you have a huge friend circle and an equally big family, it is likely that there may be at least a friend or relative who assumes they will be in the wedding party. If there are on the wedding party list, fine! If you haven’t included them, you have a situation to handle!
It isn’t easy telling someone that they are to be a guest and not in the wedding party. The best way to handle the problem is to take care of it as soon as you doubt your friend or cousin assumes they are in without you ever mentioning it. Tell her directly that as much as you would love to have her in the party, the situation is such that you would prefer to have her enjoy the wedding as a guest instead. You could offer a valid explanation, like you want to keep the wedding party small. (Only if this is a fact! It will harm your relationship even more if she ends up seeing a dozen bridesmaids on the day, and she alone isn’t one). Make it clear that you value your relationship with her a lot, and would love to have her involved in the wedding in any other way possible. Stress that you would not want this to harm your relationship in any way, and be genuine with your words. We are sure she’ll understand if she is a sensible and reasonable girl.
#2 When you’d rather have cash
Many couples struggle with telling their guests that they’d rather have cash or gift coupons, than gifts that wouldn’t help them. This could be because money would help them pay off a loan, or they could use it on their honeymoon, or because they would like to buy an expensive item like a vehicle. In all these cases, money would really help.
If you are in any of these situations, we know how you could be whether you ought to or not convey this message to your guests. Well, we think you should! First step, set up your wedding website, where you will be sharing your wedding registry information. Next, add a “gift cash towards xxx” as one of the top options in the registry and link it to your bank account. Share the website wedding registry with your contacts, so they are directed towards the page that prioritizes what you’d like to have, in a specific order.
The other option is to link your wedding registry to sites like Tendr , that allows guests to pick cards and send it with their well wishes to the couple. Now, if a guest were to ask you in person about your preferences, they would ideally be asking because they really want to get you something you want. So, don’t hesitate to tell them that you are saving up for whatever you are. If they are comfortable giving you cash, you can hope they will once they know of this.
#3 Telling your parents (or in-laws) that you want something different
Isn’t it funny how so many parents and their children fight over how the wedding should be held or planned, from the moment the planning is in progress? It is not too often that we see couples who want a modern, relaxed wedding with interesting and unique elements, while their parents would rather have a traditional-style formal wedding that can never go wrong. If the parents on either side are sharing the expenses, we know how quickly tempers can soar and all those involved can end up in a foul mood.
Rather than locking horns with your families, we suggest that you handle such situations tactfully. First, consider if there is anything you can do about accommodating your family’s ideas. If not the whole thing, if you can incorporate at least a few ideas, they will feel a lot better. Then, decide upon the things that you refuse to compromise on. When you present your final idea to the family, first tell them which of their suggestions will be included in the wedding. This will calm the atmosphere to a great extent. Then tell them what the rest of the plans are, and also that it is your wedding and you wouldn’t really be happy if these details weren’t part of it. So, request them to understand and convey how grateful you are for all they are doing.
#4 When a relative wants to take over as a wedding vendor
Yes, we’ve all been there, when a budding photographer in your family wants to be in-charge of the wedding photography, or an enthusiastic aunt wants to bake the wedding cake. Unless these people are professionals, it may be a very bad idea to hand them the job. Now, even when they are professionals who are used to doing these for weddings, you may not agree with their style of work or may not be happy about giving them the responsibility for a range of reasons.
After all, working with a relative or friend is not the same as working with a vendor who you’ve hired for the job. You have to be cautious about everything you say, as you two have a relationship that could be hurt. In worst cases, they may disagree with what you want and even do things that they think are the best. But, it may sometimes be a good idea, if they will offer you a discount or if you are really fond of the way they handle things. Unless this is the case, you should learn to say “No” to their offer diplomatically.
You can tell them that you would love to have them handle the job, but you have already set your mind on another vendor. Or, the better option is to tell them that you don’t want to hire them for your wedding as you want them there as a guest, and not working all day and unable to participate or enjoy the wedding as they should. This clearly conveys that you value their presence, and if they appreciate it genuinely, this should put an end to the discussion.
#5 Saying No to guests you cannot afford to have
There’s this scene in the sitcom “Castle”, where Castle and Beckett mention to his mother that they were working on the guest list for the wedding, expecting her to suggest how they reduce it. In the blink of an eye, she rushes off to bring out her own guest list for the wedding!
Don’t be startled if you find the same thing happen in your case! Many couples are faced with the tough decision of saying no to guests that they simply cannot have at their wedding. If parents are paying, or if friends are pushovers who must invite people on their behalf, the situation is anything but pleasant.
We suggest that you be honest when you tell your parents, relatives or friends why it simply isn’t feasible to have any more guests than you have planned. Since your parents will anyway be inviting at least a few people, give them a specific number beforehand. They can then prioritize who goes on the list and who can be left out. Make your mind up about how far you can stretch with any extra additions, and make sure you stick to it. After all, your wedding is all about having the people who matter the most to you. It is not about having a huge party where you hardly know half the faces there, or is it?
#6 Planning your bridesmaid’s dress budget
One of the reasons many women dread being asked to be a bridesmaid, is the financial burden that comes along with it. Let’s face it, bridesmaids have to pay for a dress that they may not like at all, pay for the accessories, spend on the bachelorette, bridal shower and gift for the bride. All this will take a chunk out of their savings. It is worse if they are still in college or have their own financial constraints.
So, the best thing you can do is be reasonable when deciding what your bridesmaids should wear. Our suggestion is to be flexible, and consider a range of choices in dresses, so your bridesmaids can pick the one that is easiest on their pockets. Think out of the box, and instead of having them dress up in matching outfits, go with the mix ‘n’ match trend. This gives them the freedom to choose from the choices you have shortlisted. It is also likely that they will pick a dress that they can use again.
A good friend would also consider easing their financial burden by paying for the bridesmaid accessories or hair and makeup. Now, if you have been a bridesmaid at all these girls’ weddings previously, and they weren’t half as considerate, we think it is up to you to decide how to handle the situation. Honestly, it wouldn’t be wrong if you kept their expenses similar to what you had to incur, if this is the case. Else, think of what you can do to help out, maybe make use of sales and discounts or keep your dress selection reasonable so they do not begrudge you for your choices later.
#7 Talk money with your parents or in-laws
You think you’ve heard your parents mention sometime in the past, that they’ve put aside a certain amount for your wedding expenses. But, do you ask for it once you are engaged and planning the wedding? Is it appropriate to bring up the topic? Well, it’s mom and dad, and if you are certain there’s money set aside for you, it shouldn’t be wrong to confirm, so you can plan the wedding accordingly.
Ideally, they should bring the topic up if they have any such plans. So, it may not always be best to bring up the topic yourself. If they are quiet, it may be because something’s changed and not because they’ve forgotten about it. Never make the mistake of assuming that they will pay, and go about planning your wedding based on this assumption. Don’t feel entitled to it and have your plans go bust if they don’t agree to. Instead, share the wedding plans you have in mind and the quotes you collect from vendors. They will be more comfortable mentioning what they would like to contribute towards, when you do it this way.
If there is no talk about the money at all, you can either ask them what happened to the fund they put aside (that is, if you are sure they have), or ask them if they could help and you could repay it later.
Weddings, like we said earlier are tricky events that can cause so much stress to any bride and groom. Nevertheless, it is important to always keep the big picture in mind. When you think of the priorities in your life, and how you can celebrate the event that brings you and your partner together forever, you can tide over any awkward situation and leave it out of your mind forever.
If this is the case with you, we know that you may be worried about making the right decisions and handling everything right. This guide will take you over the points that will help you work with your vendors well, so you can get the best deal possible for your wedding.
Decide what you want before you begin looking at vendors
Having a clear idea of what you want for your wedding, is the best way to start. You and your fiance should first decide what type of wedding you want, the theme you would like, anything specific that you would like to have at your wedding, the style of reception, the location, and all such relevant details, before you even start considering who will do it for you. This will help you start looking for the vendor who will be able to deliver to your expectations, while meeting all the other factors.
Do your research
Talk to other brides who were married recently, to get a fair estimate of what your wedding costs will come to. You can obtain recommendations for vendors this way, and it will also give you a fair idea of whether you have any overheads to consider. Some vendors offer discounts on referrals, and if you are lucky, you may find the vendor you seek at a much lesser price, this way.
Fix your budget
One of the biggest problems brides face is finding vendors within their budget. The way around this is to prepare your budget in advance, so you know the maximum limit you can afford to stretch to, should it be required. First plan your overall budget, and then divide it into the various components. Fix the upper limit for each, and make a firm decision that you will not exceed it, come what may.
Look for vendors within your range
There is only so much you can negotiate with a vendor, so be realistic with your expectations. If a vendor you love is way over your price range, be prepared to look for other options. This vendor may even be able to refer you to someone who can work within your budget. Shop around and you should be able to find the right person for the job. Just make sure you start early and have enough time to research.
Be open-minded about options, and everything will work out
If you have your mind set on working with a particular vendor, but your budget doesn’t allow it, try to work out a solution with the vendor. Some vendors will be open to working on a lower budget if you allow them full freedom to work their magic with what is available within this price. You will have to communicate what is important to you, and they will execute their plan, with that in mind.
So, you’ve begun the challenging job of cutting your 300+ something guest list short, and it doesn’t look like most of the people are going out of it. What do you do?
You have a big wedding!
Well, it wouldn’t be true if I said that it was no big deal, but throwing a big wedding isn’t as impossible as it may seem. All you need are a few tips to start you off, and you will be soaring forward with your wedding plans in no time. So, what are you waiting for. It’s time to plan that big wedding you want, with this important advice.
#1 Start with the guest list and plan your budget, and not the other way around
For a small wedding, the ideal approach is to fix your budget and then decide how much money goes where. Forget this for a big wedding. First plan your guest list. Then look at affordable venues that can accommodate this head count, and caterers who will serve a decent meal, without breaking your bank. Do your calculations along the way, and see what you end up with. If it is more than what you can afford, it may be time to look at vendors who charge less, or think again about what you want.
#2 Hire a professional planner
Small weddings are stressful enough, imagine perfecting the details for a large one! Unless you are a super-organized, cool-headed, planning perfectionist, planning the details of a big wedding can be huge stress. Hire a professional to take on the task, and it will be money well-spent.
#3 Ditch all that which isn’t necessary
Check out this wedding at A Practical Wedding Blog. The sensible couple left out centerpieces, by opting for an informal buffet style reception. With this arrangement, there was no need for elaborate floral arrangements on the tables. Instead, they splurged on the caterer who supplied a delicious spread and also hired an amazing band that kept the huge wedding party on their toes.
#4 Make sure you hire an experienced vendor
Don’t sign a contract unless your vendor has previously worked with a party just as big as yours. The same goes for the venue you choose. Can it accommodate so many people? Do they have enough bathrooms, so your guests won’t spend all day in a queue to the loo? Check out these details before confirming.
#5 Keep your calm and let some things go
It may seem impossible at times, but just remember that all this is definitely worth the effort. You will be surrounded by everyone you always wanted at your wedding. So, who cares if you couldn’t gift them personalized favor bags, or you had to make do with a simple cake with no fancy flavoring! Everyone’s had a bash in the end, and your memory will forever be remembered. Isn’t that worth it?
Find a splendid wedding dress for your big wedding at Best for Bride, and also look through our services for affordable options that will help you sort out your wedding shopping at an affordable price.
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