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:
Your wedding is a milestone event. So, it is only natural that the guests who attend it will want to gift you something valuable and useful on this occasion. A wedding registry is a convenient deal for both the couple and their guests. When you set up a wedding registry, it is easy for your guests to find something that you will appreciate and use in the new chapter of your life. So, if you thought you do not need a wedding registry, you ought to rethink this decision.
Today we look at the do’s and don’ts when setting up a wedding registry as well as some important information you should know about it.
When should you start your wedding registry
While some of your guests will wait till the last minute to get you your gift, others will prefer to complete the task ahead of time. It is best to get your registry ready before you have any wedding-related celebration, like an engagement party. In any case, your registry should be ready seven to nine months before the wedding. Now, if you prefer to wait and do things at leisure, this Brides article suggests that your registry should still be ready in time for your bridal shower. This will ensure your guests have enough time to check it out and find a suitable gift.
Top places to register for wedding gifts
There are several places where you can register for wedding gifts. So, don’t be hasty or limit your choices without first exploring your options. Create a curated list of items that will help you as a couple, and find places where these are available. Once you know what you want, we suggest that you restrict your registry to a few online and in-store locations where the items are available. Many of the suggested retailers offer extra discounts, perks and free gifts for registering with them. So, add it to your watch list.
Wedding registry Etiquette—Do’s and Don’ts couples should know
Do choose from low, medium and high-end stores
Many couples often wonder how many gifts they should register for their wedding. We think it is better to register for more gifts than just what you need. A good rule of thumb is to register for more gifts than you have guests. Your guests will then find it easy to locate an item you prefer. While providing a wide range of items, you should also pick items of varied pricing. Include low, medium and high-end stores to keep your list diverse. This will allow your guests to find a gift that fits their budget without much difficulty. Your guests will also appreciate the fact that you do not expect them to shell out a fortune to get you an expensive gift, if you only register with a high-end store.
Don’t forget to include high-ticket items as well
While it is sensible to add gifts of all price ranges into your list, this doesn’t mean you should exclude expensive gifts entirely. It is likely that there may be at least a few friends, family members or work associates who would prefer to gift you a generous gift. Give them the opportunity to find something that fits their idea by providing at least a few high-end items in your list. As long as your list also has moderately priced items, the rest of your guests can overlook these options and go with one that is within their budget.
Do keep the wedding registry information out of the invitation
It may seem easy to simply put your wedding registry information in the wedding invitation. However, we do not recommend this as it isn’t considered good wedding etiquette. Some experts suggest it is alright to add your wedding registry details to an invitation insert, but never directly on the invitation. Include the name under which the registry is listed, so it is easy for your guests to find the right one.The ideal place to provide your wedding registry details is on your wedding website. You can also share this information with your family and bridal party. They can then pass it on to anyone who asks for it. Although most guests won’t ask you for this detail directly, there is no harm in telling them if a guest chooses to ask you directly.
Don’t ask for money in your registry
Whether you already have all that you need in your home or would prefer cash over gifts, we do not recommending asking for cash in your registry. The traditional expectation from guests is to give a gift in kind, and this is what most prefer. However, if you think its better to receive money, consider registering with a financial registry. This greatly reduces the awkwardness of the situation. These non-traditional registries will allow you to pool your gift money together and buy something bigger. Honeyfund allows couples to register for honeymoon extras through guest gift giving.
Your wedding registry needn’t just have items that are useful for you right now. So don’t limit your options. Think long-term and create a wedding registry ideas list first. Consider what you may need in the years to come. Remember to include special occasions, items you will need for entertaining or even for when your family grows. Set up your registry accordingly, so your guests can get you gifts that may be useful later, if not immediately.
Don’t forget to update your registry on a regular basis
Just so you don’t end up with duplicates of the same item, it is important to review your registry regularly. As you do, remove items that have already been bought and include new items if any. It is a good idea to set up your registry so that you receive updates when an item is purchased. With this option, you will know when to update your registry without personally checking it every time. As the wedding approaches you will have to review your registry more frequently, and keep updating it every time a gift is bought by your guests.
Do keep track of who sent which gift
It is common courtesy and essential wedding etiquette to send thank you notes for all the gifts you received. For this, you should maintain a list to record who sent you what, just as you receive each gift. Either create a list on your mobile device or computer for the purpose. Or write down the names and the name of the gift as and when you receive each of them. At your bridal shower, don’t forget to have one of your bridesmaids note down who got you what if you open the gifts at the venue.
Don’t delay writing your thank you notes
Since thank you notes are time-consuming, it is a good idea to start writing them before the wedding. Common courtesy is to send the thank you notes out soon after you return from your honeymoon. Start with your thank you notes just as your gifts begin arriving. By completing a certain number every week, it will be easier for you to finish them. You can then put them in envelopes and get them ready in time for the wedding. All you have to do afterwards is to post the notes once you are back from your honeymoon.
DO focus on gifts that are useful to you as a couple
The idea of a wedding gift is to give the couples something that will help them grow as a family. Guests also usually prefer to gift items that do not have an expiry date attached to it. So, it isn’t really appropriate to ask for gifts that suit just one of you. Instead focus on items that are useful for entertaining, for your new home or that contribute to a family experience like a trip. Don’t add personal items like shoes, shades, handbags or makeup to your registry.
Don’t hesitate to edit your registry if you have second-thoughts about certain items on it
One good way to avoid regret is to take some time when creating your wedding registry. You may feel that you have a complete registry. However, let it sit for a day or two and then get back to it. This will give you time to recollect if you have missed out anything. Sometimes, it may also be better to edit out certain items from the list, when you go over the list again.
Do take inventory of what you own before setting up your registry
It isn’t always easy to decide what should and what doesn’t have to go on a registry. After looking at what you need in your new life as a couple, also take inventory of the things you already own. As you go through it, you will most likely notice that some of the stuff you already use needs replacing. You may also be adjusting with what you have in certain cases. Use your wedding registry to upgrade these things to serve you better when you are a couple.
Do mix the types of gifts you have on your registry
Everyone has a certain idea of what is an ideal gift. Hence, your guests may prefer certain types of gifts to give you for your wedding. To satisfy this need, keep the items in your registry mixed and there will be a choice that suits everyone. From essentials for a home like towels and linens, add items for entertaining and partying as well as household tools, dishes and equipment that will be useful in your new life together. Heavy-duty kitchenware, basic set of china and good quality bed sheets are definitely useful for all newly weds. So, definitely add these to your list.
Don’t forget to read up on the store’s policies before registering there
If a store stocks most of the things you need, also find out about their shipping, exchange and return policy before registering there. Your guests will prefer to shop at a place where their gifts will be shipped directly to your address. Take a close look at the exchange policies. In case you end up with duplicates of a gift, the exchange or return policy is important to help you switch it out for something else. It will not be easy to exchange your gifts if they allow limited time for it. So, check this out as well. Some stores also offer incentives and discount programs that will give you better benefits when you register with them. Do your research and you can make the most of the available options.
We understand how busy and taxing it is to be a bride, and in most cases the registry isn’t always on the top of your priorities. However, it is folly to let this opportunity slide. Follow this rule list and you shouldn’t have any trouble with setting up and making the most of your wedding registry.
For more updates, advice and help on everything wedding-related, keep visiting us here on the Best for Bride blog. The Best for Bride website is your one-stop wedding destination, featuring most modern wedding dresses, bridal party attires, bridal accessories and everything the modern bride needs for her special day. From designer labels to in-house custom creations, we strive to help you realize the perfect wedding day with our extensive range of wedding services. Visit our website today, to find out how we can help you.
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.
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.
It is not only the bride who has trouble deciding what to wear to her wedding. Most wedding guests also spend a lot of time worrying over what to wear to a wedding, how they will look in what they choose and whether it would be appropriate for the type of wedding.
Fortunately, it isn’t too difficult to choose a dress that will be right. All you have to do is follow cues from the invitation and pay attention to the time of the wedding and the venue. Here are some tips to help you dress to impress.
The differences between dressing for an evening ceremony and an afternoon one
If the ceremony is in the evening, it is appropriate to wear cocktail dresses or gowns. This is your chance to experiment with color, texture and pattern. If you would like to stand out from the rest of the crowd, wear a bold color. For weddings that are held before five, a simple dress would be better. Afternoon and morning weddings are usually not very formal affairs. So, stay away from long flowing gowns and extra embellishments in which you will look over-dressed.
Choose a vivid color for maximum impact
Jade, magenta, teal and clementine are bold colors. Bring out your personality with a color that complements your skin tone, and you needn’t worry too much about the rest of the details. Just remember that you should never upstage the bride with your choice of dress. To be on the safe side, avoid colors like cream, white and ivory. When choosing printed dresses, go for classic designs that will drape beautifully. Chiffon and cotton are good fabric choices.
Go for classic silhouettes to look elegant
When choosing the silhouette of your dress, choose one that is appropriate for the venue. If you choose a strapless dress for a church wedding, it may be a good idea to wear a mock bolero or pashmina over your shoulders, till the reception. If your dress is in a bold color like teal or emerald, go with a classic A-line silhouette or fit and flare gown. For loud colors, keep the embellishments simple to avoid a cluttered look.
Accessorize appropriate to scale and color
Weddings are the best occasions to bring on chunky statement necklaces, dangling chandelier earrings and killer heels. Just remember that you do not want to have too many elements that grab attention, or you will spoil the entire effect. If your dress is a stunner, keep the accessories simple. On the other hand, if your dress is relatively simple, play with oversize accessories to dress it up.
Remember that you can always wear an evening dress to more than one occasion, and create an entirely different look with it based on how you style it. Mix and match accessories, change your makeup and hairstyle every time, and you will always look unique.