March 2017

Wedding Cake Trends for 2017
Modern cake trends seem to be shifting from what was considered "normal" to becoming something completely abnormal.

Common wedding cake trends seem to be drifting away from the traditional white cake and more towards making cakes more vibrant and fun with their colors.

The most common wedding cake trend seems to be moving more toward coordinating with the bride’s colors, even if there is no white on the cake. Here are some of the trends for cakes this year:

When most people think of a wedding cake, they automatically assume it should be white. There are a lot of reasons for this. White denotes purity, which became popular during the Victorian era. The white wedding cake is also a visual link between the bride and the cake. White cakes and frosting, at one time, symbolized affluence. It was difficult to get refined sugar before the Victorian age. The whiter the cake, the more wealth a family had to obtain those difficult ingredients.

Here are some of the cake trends for this year:

  • Metallic decorations – think edible glitter for sparkle, or gold- or silver-leaf sheets in cutout embroidery lace-like designs.
  • White on white – a traditional cake with only white decorations.
  • Ruffles – no, not fabric ruffles, but embellishments of sugar frills. Include fresh or sugar flowers to finish off the cake.
  • Naked cakes – show off the inside of a cake by not frosting it. Fill the layers with seasonal fruits or nuts to add texture and taste.
  • Marbleized decorations – hand-painted designs on the frosting, set off with a simple ribbon or flower border.
  • Stained-glass – these cakes are part of the hand-painted variety but include outlining the images in black.
  • Beads – cover your cake with edible beads for a unique look.
  • Greenery and botany – don’t limit your cake decorations to flowers, but use fruits and greenery or anything organic to make it your own.
  • Navy and black – most people don’t associate navy blue or black with a wedding, but more brides are choosing one of these elegant colors as part of their attire.
  • Whimsical cakes – more brides are forgoing the elegant white cake for a tiered cake that represents their personality.
  • Ombre effect – blend colors on the wedding cake from a dark, deep tone to the lightest tint.
  • A cake trio, or quartet – a table of cakes at your reception, giving your guests two to three flavors to choose from. Not only does this make for a spectacular display, but you won’t have to choose between your two favorite flavors.
  • Rainbow cake – the inside of the cake is done in the colors of the rainbow, while the outside of the cake is more traditional.
  • A “sweet” cake – cover your wedding cake in the candies or sweets you enjoy. Some brides are even creating cakes out of their favorite goodies, opting for a different type of dessert altogether.
  • Monograms – decorate with your initials in a repetitive pattern around the cake. From a distance, it will be a pretty pattern. You could also have a sugar-made plaque with your new monogram.
  • Buttercream cakes – instead of the smooth fondant layer on the cake, more brides are going with a simple buttercream frosting in a pattern that might not be perfect. It tastes much different than fondant and can feel more casual and relaxed.

Why Stacked Wedding Cakes?

In the Middle Ages, legend has it that cakes or buns would be stacked in a large pile before the newly wedded couple. The couple would then try to kiss each other over the stack, and if they could, it symbolized a lifetime of prosperity. Eventually, the layers of cake would be stacked together with frosting. Because modern refrigeration wasn’t available, the cakes would be covered with lard to keep them moist. The lard would be scraped off before serving, but invariably, a small amount of the lard could not be removed. Bakers began adding sugar to the lard to improve the taste, and thus, the modern wedding cake came into being.

Choosing the Wedding Officiant for Your Ceremony
A wedding officiant marrying a couple.

Choosing the right wedding officiant can take your wedding from being great to being spectacular.

Once you’ve chosen a date, chosen your wedding colors and booked a venue, you have thousands of other details to manage in regards to your ceremony. A wedding coordinator might be able to handle the catering and decorations, but you and your future spouse are the only ones who can choose the wedding officiant. Whether you’re looking for a professional and skilled officiant or want a friend to do the service, you should still ask questions. Here are some of questions you can ask a potential officiant:

  • Are you available on our wedding date? Consider this carefully if travel is involved. Better to check the calendar first. Don’t forget to check the availability for your rehearsal dinner.
  • Can you personalize the ceremony? Many religious leaders use the ritual from the church, but some wedding officiants will allow you to customize your ceremony. At the ULC, we offer a template for our ministers, but it can be personalized to your own style.
  • How many pre-wedding sessions do you require? Although a friend or family member may not require pre-wedding counseling, some officiants might. It can help you get to know each other better, but the wedding officiant might charge for the sessions too. Find out what to expect before you sign a contract.
  • Do you charge a standard fee or do we make a donation to the church? When talking to a professional officiant, you want to make sure you know how much will be charged. Every minister is different. If you’re talking to a family member or friend, it might be awkward to bring up a fee, but remember that this person will be going above and beyond for your wedding, similar to your attendants.
  • How will you respect our wishes, if our beliefs don’t fall in line with yours? In today’s culture, it might be difficult to find a wedding officiant who believes exactly what the two of you do. Consider how the officiant acts when presented with personal requests and whether he or she respects your beliefs.
  • Do you want to come to the reception? Will you be bringing a guest? When you are having a catered dinner, one or two extras can throw the numbers off. You might be close to the fire code limit or not have enough seating for two extra. Make sure to find out all expectations before the wedding.
  • Do you have any restrictions on whether we can be married? Some officiants might not marry couples outside of their own faith. You may not be allowed to have another officiant take part in the ceremony.
  • Do you plan on giving a sermon during a wedding? We’re not sure why people think that a wedding is an appropriate place to proselytize, but some do.
  • What do you plan to wear? Can you adjust to our wedding style? If you’re having a themed wedding, better find out if the officiant will participate or not.
  • What happens if you get sick? No one wants to think about getting sick, but the reality is always there. Find out what the backup plan is before the wedding.

Other Considerations When Choosing a Wedding Officiant

Does the officiant make you feel comfortable? You want someone who is genuinely interested in your wedding and services. This person will be welcoming your guests and playing best supporting actor to you and your partner. Does the officiant have the presence to handle a noisy guest? What happens if someone stands up and says that you shouldn’t get married?

Before you start talking to wedding officiants, think about what you expect. Do you want someone spiritual or secular? Do you have special readings or music you want included? Will your officiant adapt to your wedding or do you have to adapt to his or her plan? By taking time to consider your options, you will find the right person to lead your ceremony.

Exploring Interesting Canadian Wedding Customs
Some wedding customs are as old as weddings themselves.

Examples of longstanding wedding customs would be the throwing of the bouquet, the throwing of the garter belt, and the couple slicing the first piece of cake.

It is no small surprise that Canadians love their country and all of its expansive beauty. Though Canada shares a lot of its culture with countries in Europe and America, there are many wedding customs that exist within the nation that are unique. If you are planning on getting married in the near future, you may be wondering how your fellow citizens go about the process. Recent studies have shown some interesting facts about how modern couples get married.

Long Standing Wedding Customs: The Month of December

Popping the question to your significant other is a big part of the wedding process. Without taking this initial step, you really can’t move forward with a marriage. Engagements are different depending on the culture. This is especially true of when people decide to pop the question to their partners. A study surveying a large number of Canadian men points out an interesting trend in this regard. A vast majority of men have proposed or are planning to propose in the month of December.

Age Is a Number

Wedding customs marriage change as much as the times do. Statistics show that the average age for a woman to get married in Canada in 1950 was 25. This number fluctuated a bit in the subsequent decades, dropping to an average of 23 from the 1970s until more recently. This trend in Canada reflects a larger movement happening among women of all backgrounds. Though this primarily is a shift in Western cultures, women are adopting more professional roles in greater numbers.

Under Pressure

The idea of a wedding has grown a little bit out of control in recent decades. Once, a wedding was simply a union between two people who loved each other. Polls taken of young brides approaching their wedding have shown that a large number of women feel pressured to spend more than they can afford. While you may want to spend a good amount on your wedding, it is important to be sensible with your budget and keep enough cash around to start your life with your partner after the big day.

Making It Your Own

Paying attention to wedding customs and trends can help with planning a wedding that meets your own specific needs. It is important for you to follow your own path. Couples should not caught up in what everyone else is doing.

While you may want to explore popular trends to see what is interesting to you, making your decisions based on what you personally enjoy will help result in the best celebration of your love. Find a way to make your special day a unique experience. This will make it easy to remember fondly for many years to come.

Choosing Your Wedding Venue
When looking for the right wedding venue, couples usually settle on a church. There are many other options available to choose from.

Choosing the right wedding venue can be essential to making your big day absolutely perfect.

The wedding venue accounts for a large part of the budget and the look of your wedding. You really cannot move forward with any of the planning until you choose a venue. However, it can be very overwhelming to look at all the options. Consider these questions when choosing your wedding location:

  1. What type of wedding do you want to have?

The style of your wedding is probably one of the most important considerations. If you are having a modern, elegant wedding, you want to look for places that give you those vibes. Maybe there is a place that is particularly meaningful to you and your partner, and you really want to go there. You need to think about what you want your wedding to look like.

  1. How many guests do you expect to attend?

Even if you don’t have budget restraints, most places have a limit on how many people the venue can hold. Most places are limited by local regulations and restrictions, not because they want you to keep your guest list to a minimum. You should also remember to consider the logistics of getting everyone to this place. Is there parking? Will you need to hire a bus or limousine to transport family?

  1. What are the budget considerations?

The wedding venue can be very expensive. You have to consider how much you want to spend on the venue for the ceremony and the reception. But your budget is not the only consideration. You should also think about your guest list. Are your friends still in school? Can your extended family afford to fly to a luxury resort? Of course, you can choose to have that expensive destination wedding, but remember that if you want people to attend, you might need to look at places that are accessible and affordable.

  1. How much planning do you want to do and how much control do you need?

When it comes to some venues, you may be limited on the approved vendor list. You may have to work with a caterer who doesn’t offer the food you want. Some destination wedding locations have package deals, which make planning easy. However, you may not have many choices.

On the other hand, choosing a unique destination where you have a stunning backdrop may have its own challenges. You may have to work with each local vendor yourself and piece together the things you need to make guests comfortable. You have a lot of control this way, but it will take time to find the right vendors to provide what you want.

  1. How much money do you have for vendors?

If you are planning a lovely wedding in the mountains of Banff, you may need to pay for flowers to be shipped in. You may also find that there are fewer local vendors to provide different services. Will you have to provide travel expenses for your officiant? You have to ask yourself lots of questions about your budget before nailing a location down.

Special Requirements to Consider Chile Choosing a Wedding Venue

Don’t forget to think about the weather. Even if you’re planning an indoor ceremony and reception, you should think about what the weather could do to your plans. When you get closer to choosing a venue, ask about the rules and regulations. Some churches may not allow alcohol to be served on site. You might also want to consider locations that accommodate guests with disabilities or children.

It will take time to choose the venue that fits your needs, but it’s worth the research. Don’t forget to check on deposits and contracts and make sure your date is locked in before you move forward. Confirm everything with the venue coordinator and check in with them about every other month to make sure you’re on the calendar. Have a great wedding by getting the venue right.

Wedding Locations and Choosing Yours Wisely
There are many beautiful wedding locations that can be found in Canada.

Niagara Falls is one of the most popular wedding locations in Canada.

CNN recently reported that a lawmaker in India wants to rein in the rising costs of weddings in the country. The bill, which will be introduced in March to parliament, would require families who spend more than 500,000 rupees ($9810CAD) to donate 10 percent of the overall cost of the wedding to a special government fund. The money in the fund would help poor families pay for wedding locations that they once only dreamed of. Although $10,000 doesn’t sound like much, consider that many families in India spend that much on one luncheon for the wedding.

Almost every bride and groom have to be concerned about expenses for their wedding. It doesn’t matter if you’re having a small ceremony in a church, a destination wedding or a lavish affair. But what many people don’t realize is that location can make a world of difference. In a recent article from the CBC, it was reported that getting married in Toronto City Hall can cost three times what it does for the same ceremony in New York City. It costs $265 for a service and license in Toronto, and the same service can be obtained in NYC for $78CAD.

Popular Wedding Locations in Canada

Here is a look at how much you would get charged in other popular cities in Canada:

  • Niagara Falls $125
  • Brampton $479
  • Sudbury $155.30
  • Ottawa $155.30

In Alberta, licenses are just $40, but B.C. and Manitoba each charge $100 for the license. The license fee in Toronto is $140.

Average Costs of Weddings

Civil ceremonies at City Hall are still much cheaper than a full-blown ceremony and reception. Wedding Bells estimates the average Canadian wedding is about $30,000, but according to Global News, the average cost of a wedding is about $350 per person. One wedding planner told the paper that many ceremonies cost $70,000 or more for only 150 guests. This is in bigger cities, such as Toronto or Vancouver. Windsor bills itself as a “budget wedding” location. Most couples save 30 to 50 percent by coming to Windsor to tie the knot.

Wedding coordinators are also talking to couples about destination weddings and the low cost of some locations versus a wedding in Vancouver. Couples can host a 150-guest wedding in Antigua, St. Lucia or Costa Rica for about $24,000. Wedding cruises are also very popular with couples who are on a budget. The cost can be as little as $5,000. The cruise will keep all guests busy, which alleviates your responsibilities for entertainment. It might be a great option for you.

Think About Your Guests, Too

Unfortunately, with a destination wedding, you are offloading some of your costs to the guests, which means you should consider that when you’re planning. Doing a little bit of research can help you choose a location for your dream wedding that is affordable. Traditional wedding locations, such as Tuscany, Hawaii, Jamaica or Rome, are typically more expensive. Look outside the bigger cities and popular destinations for small towns that have facilities to host a wedding. With some resort sites, you might even find all-inclusive options that are affordable and reasonable, especially when you choose a not-so-popular date.

Budgeting is always difficult during a wedding, but when you look at some of the unhidden costs you and your guests might have, you can find ways to save money for the bigger picture. But remember, the real meaning of the wedding isn’t about the party, the money you spend or the number of guests who attend. It’s in the memories you make in the joining of two families.

Don’t feel as if you have to spend thousands of dollars on your wedding just to keep up with your best friend’s ceremony. Make it your own and stay within your budget by choosing the location of your wedding carefully.

Fascinating Traditions in Canadian Weddings
Catching the bouquet is one of the oldest marriage traditions.

One of the most common wedding traditions practiced to this day is the catching of the bride’s bouquet.

The idea of getting married is nothing new. In fact, weddings are some of the oldest ceremonies to have been documented across all civilizations. There are a lot of traditions that have persisted through the years even if the mentality behind a wedding has changed. In Canada, for example, there are plenty of unique ways of going about the process of marrying your partner.

Common Wedding Traditions

Planning for a wedding requires time and research. Here are a few wedding practices that appear often in Canadian rituals in the current day and age, as well as in other cultures across the world.

Catch the Bouquet

One common tradition found in many weddings is the tossing of the bouquet. Traditionally, this is an act by the bride, who tosses the flowers backwards over her shoulder toward a crowd of single friends and relatives. It is customary for this part of the ceremony to only include women, but shifting attitudes have shown that single men can also get in on the fun if the married couple so wishes. The history behind this act is a bit more interesting than might be first believed.

In older cultures, it was common for single women to tear away a piece of the bride’s dress. This was meant as a gesture of good luck for the women holding the strip of garment. As wedding dresses became more expensive, brides found that it was a bit much to have their families and friends tearing away at their beautiful gowns. The bouquet toss was a custom introduced to ward away women who wanted a piece of luck and provide them with a competitive chance for their wishes.

Eternal Love

Some traditions are so ingrained in the cultural sphere that it’s hard to imagine another way of going about the process. Rings, for example, are the cornerstone of an engagement and subsequent wedding. There have been many different approaches to the exchanging of rings over the years. Essentially, experts have traced the tradition of the ring back to Egypt in its earliest days of civilization.

The Egyptians would trade rings as a sign of eternal love and commitment. Eventually, due to the conquests of the Greeks and Romans, the tradition was adopted. As civilization expanded through Europe, the custom became more widespread until it reached the height that it exists at now. The custom of wearing a wedding ring on a specific finger can also be traced back to the Egyptians. They believed that the third finger on the left hand was the one most closely connected to the human heart.

White Wedding

A common practice in the modern age is for a woman to wear white on her wedding day. This is actually not as old of a tradition as many might believe. In Western culture, the custom of wearing white began as a way of symbolizing the purity of the bride. This started during the Victorian Era in England and has persisted to the modern day in many countries. What’s more fascinating is that brides across the world wore a multitude of colors on their wedding day before this practice began.

White was a rare color to be seen during a ceremony in earlier traditions. It has lively and vibrant colors being more closely associated with the passion and beauty of shared love. Though it seems that most brides wear white in the current age, the trend is being pushed against. More women are wearing dresses that match their personal tastes rather than taking part in a tradition that holds no meaning for them.

As you plan your wedding, consider the meaning behind current customs. You may want to break from tradition or go with the flow – the choice is yours.

Choosing Flowers Based on Symbolism
Many flowers have different meanings.

Large bouquet of different colored flowers, specifically tulips.

At one of the most prominent weddings of the 21st century, the flowers for the bridal bouquet were carefully chosen. Kate Middleton selected the ones that were important to her family and to the Royal Family. Myrtle was chosen as an emblem of marriage and love, and specifically, the sprigs of myrtle came from a plant grown from the myrtle used in the bouquet of Queen Elizabeth II. Kate chose ivy, the symbolization of fidelity and affection. The hyacinth was representative of “constancy of love.” Sweet William was for gallantry, and the lily of the valley for the return of happiness.

You don’t have to be royal to make a wedding bouquet that’s representative of your partner and yourself. Flowers aren’t only for weddings, either. You may want to use this list when you need to choose a spray for your grandma’s funeral.

The Meaning of Roses

You probably know that red roses are for love. Practically everyone gives these flowers for Valentine’s Day, but roses come in many different colors. Say what you mean by choosing different colors for the bouquet you bring to your loved one:

  • White – innocence and purity
  • Yellow – joy and friendship, or a new beginning
  • Orange – enthusiasm
  • Dark red – unconscious beauty
  • Light pink – grace and gentleness
  • Coral – friendship and modesty
  • Lavender – love at first sight
  • Dark pink – gratitude or appreciation
  • Pale peach – modesty
  • Yellow with a red tip – falling in love

More Flowers With Meanings

Here are some other popular flowers and greenery that you can choose to say something special:

  • Bachelor’s button – blessedness
  • Bay – glory
  • Chrysanthemum – cheerfulness
  • Daffodils – regard
  • Daisy – innocence
  • Ferns – sincerity
  • White jasmine – sweet love
  • Lavender – devotion
  • Mint – virtue
  • Red poppy – consolation
  • Sage – wisdom and mortality
  • Yellow tulips – hope and cheery thoughts, friendship
  • White tulips – an apology
  • Pink tulips – confidence and happiness
  • Purple tulips – the color of royalty, used to express admiration for someone’s accomplishments
  • Violets – faithfulness

The white carnation symbolizes pure love. Pink carnations are symbolic of a mother’s undying love. Legend suggests that the pink carnation first appeared from the Virgin Mary’s tears. Purple carnations are for unpredictability. Light red carnations are for admiration; dark red carnations are a sign of deep love and affection.

Another suggestion for symbolic flowers is to host a garden party with your friends and have each one bring a flower or plant that has meaning to the person. Make a pretty flower garden or create a mixed bouquet to remember each other. It would make a nice housewarming gift or a memory for a new bride.

Make a Special Message

Flowers aren’t just for weddings, funerals and special holidays. Take home a bunch of flowers to your loved one anytime to make a special memory. Know the language of flowers to send the right message any time you choose.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a flower bouquet worth? Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “the earth laughs in flowers.” Christian Dior believes, “after women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world.” Say something special with flowers.

Wedding Engagement Announcement Etiquette
Taking the first steps towards an engagement.

Every engagement started somewhere. For some, it was dating a friend; for others, dating websites played a crucial role.

According to some experts, about 40 percent of wedding engagements occur between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t matter when you get engaged, you’ll want to spread the news far and wide. It might sound like a childish notion to have a plan for sharing your engagement news, but you’ll want to make sure that your mom hears your announcement from you, not Aunt Sally. Here are some etiquette tips you might want to consider.

Who Do I Tell First?

Before posting on social media, you want to make sure your family and close friends know. If you have kids, you should talk to them first and give them some time to process their emotions before making the big announcement. Social media and/or newspaper announcements should follow your own verbal notices.

Can I Post Pictures of the Ring on Social Media?

Modern etiquette experts all recommend not sharing a picture of just your ring on social media, although it is very common to see close-up pictures of rings on Instagram or Facebook. The best way is to take a picture of your left hand that includes you and your fiancé. It’s more gracious and focuses on your announcement instead of focusing on the consumerism of how big the ring is.

Dealing With Uncomfortable Questions About the Ring

If you get asked about the price or size of your ring, you may be uncomfortable discussing that particular information. You don’t have to tell someone how much the ring cost or how many carats the diamond is. It is good to have a general response to any questions to be able to deflect the discomfort you feel. “Brad spent more than he should have, but we’ll have this treasure forever.” “It’s not the size that matters to me.” Humor is a good tool to have in your arsenal. Quickly change the subject to some other aspect of the wedding.

Who Should Be Invited to the Engagement Party?

You might want to invite all your friends and family to your engagement party, but wedding etiquette dictates that everyone who is invited to pre-wedding events should be invited to the actual wedding. This is one reason to keep the engagement party small. Although anyone can throw the celebration, traditionally the parents of the bride host the party. The best man and maid of honor should not be the ones hosting this party, because they are responsible for other parties closer to the wedding.

Do Brides Have to Wear White to the Engagement Party?

It is traditional for brides to wear white to the party, but that shouldn’t limit your wardrobe. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and enjoy the party and your friends. White puts you in the spotlight, and it will be a nice reminder that those pictures are from the engagement party.

Etiquette for Those Who Have Been Informed About the Engagement

If you’ve been chosen to get the information before it’s been posted on social media, hold off on posting anything on social media about the wedding until after the couple makes an announcement. It’s tempting to want to break the news, but it’s just good etiquette to wait. Don’t ask about the size or cost of the ring. If the bride and groom want to tell you, they will.

You also shouldn’t approach the couple to ask whether you’ll be in the bridal party. It puts the bride and groom in the awkward position of having to say no if they’re planning a small wedding and not including you. Just wait to let the bride ask you. You aren’t obligated to get engagement gifts for the couple, but gifts are customary. Choose affordable gifts that fit within your budget and communicate your happiness.

Holding a Holiday Wedding – Pros and Cons
Holiday Wedding Ceremony

Some people think that a Holiday Wedding will be easier due to family being in town, however it can cause more harm than good.

All of your family will be home for Christmas, which might make you think holding a Holiday wedding on that weekend would be good. But will it? Christmas and Thanksgiving aren’t the only holidays that are wedding favorites; Valentine’s Day or Easter weekend are other special events where people consider marrying. Before planning your celebration of vows on a three-day weekend, consider the advantages and disadvantages.

The Benefits of a Holiday Weekend

  • If you’re having a destination weekend, more of your family and friends might have time off to travel.
  • Even if you’re staying at home, you probably get more vacation time around certain holidays. This lets you steal a few extra days to get ready for the ceremony or to go on the honeymoon.
  • You can work more themes into your wedding if you’re holding it over a holiday weekend.
  • It’s just one more holiday party for guests to have when they’re taking time off work.
  • Celebrating future anniversaries is easier, because you can always remember the date. And if it’s around a holiday, you’ll know you’ll be able to get an extra day off.

The Disadvantages of Holding Your Wedding on a Holiday

  • Guests may have other standing plans with family or other holiday obligations.
  • You can’t assume people have vacation days around the holidays. People who work retail may be required to work extra shifts during the Christmas season. Healthcare workers may not be able to apply for time off.
  • December is already expensive for many people. Adding the extra expense of a wedding may be prohibitive. While you’re not having the wedding to get gifts, you certainly don’t want to make it harder for those who want to give you a present.
  • Airfare can be higher during holidays because the demand is higher.

Etiquette for a Holiday Wedding

If you’ve had your heart set on a wedding held on New Year’s Day or Valentine’s Day, then go for it. Be understanding when guests decline the invitation. After all, it’s a request for their presence, not a command. Here are some tips to help your guests make decisions about whether they can attend your wedding over a holiday weekend.

  1. Give your guests a lot of notice. Send save-the-date cards a little earlier. Remember, if you send someone a save-the-date card, you should send them an invitation. Make your guest list first. Don’t send out save-the-date cards indiscriminately. One wedding website recommends at least a year in advance with a holiday wedding.
  2. Give more RSVP time. You should also plan time to follow up with RSVPs.
  3. Use the holiday as a starting point. Don’t play Christmas music at your Christmas wedding. You want people to remember your day, not the holiday.
  4. Incorporate touches of decorations from the holiday, but don’t overdo. You can make the party theme-driven and unique.
  5. Have a signature cocktail and appetizers to get the reception started.
  6. Remember to book vendors early. You may need to remember to budget a little more than you would if it were on another weekend. Vendors may have to charge more for a holiday event.
  7. Plan to give servers who are working on Christmas a larger tip. They’re not with their family because they’re serving yours. Be kind and considerate to those who are working.
  8. Make hotel reservations early too. Get a room block to get a reduced rate and save rooms for those who need it.
  9. Advertise on your wedding website which amenities you are providing. Make it easy for guests to find accommodations and local information.

Before setting the date for your wedding, discuss any plans thoroughly. This way you understand the pitfalls and can overcome the disadvantages before you spend a lot of money.

FAQs About Wedding Gift-Giving
Some parties or weddings will have a table set aside for you to drop your wedding gift off at.

Make sure that you place your wedding gift with the others.

The traditional summer wedding might be over, but ceremonies happen all year long. Many guests don’t know what’s expected from them when giving a wedding gift. Here are some etiquette tips to help you make good decisions about giving a present to the couple when you’re invited to the party.

What Should I Buy?

The wedding registry is the best resource for choosing a gift. The couple may have a wedding website with some special notes about wanting to save up for a larger purchase. You should consult the registry to make sure you match the couple’s style and personality. If you’re making a handmade gift, you can find color ideas and patterns on the registry to know what the bride prefers. 

How Much Should I Spend?

There are a number of thoughts about how much to spend on gifts. As a general rule of thumb, you don’t need to spend the same amount on a coworker or distant relative as you would on a close relative or friend. According to Proflowers.com, the average wedding gift costs $106. That figure will vary depending on your budget, the relationship you have with the couple and how much you’re spending to get to the wedding. Traditionally, you don’t need to spend as much on the gift when it’s a destination wedding or if you’re coming from a long distance.

When Should I Send the Wedding Gift?

Although many people still bring gifts to the wedding, this is often very difficult for the bride and groom to manage. These gifts may have to be transported to different places, and if the couple is leaving directly from the reception for the airport, it will be complicated for the family. Plus, there are more opportunities for money and small gifts to be stolen at a reception. It’s best to send it to the home of either the bride or the groom before the ceremony or up to three months following the wedding.

If I’m Bringing a Gift to the Wedding, Do I Have to Buy One for the Shower, Too?

A shower is a party to bless the bride (or couple) with gifts. It is the one party that is all about the gift-giving. Set your gift budget when you get the wedding invitation. If you get an invitation to a shower, use the 20 percent rule. Dedicate 20 percent of your budget to the shower gift. If you get invited to more than one shower, take another 20 percent out of the original budget for the gift. Whatever is left, use it to buy the wedding gift. For example, you set a budget of $200. You’re invited to a bridal shower and an engagement party. Twenty (20) percent of 200 is $40. Spend $40 on a gift for the engagement party, then another $40 for the shower. This leaves $120 for the wedding gift. But feel free to use those limits as you choose.

One final thought: You should not stretch your budget too far to give what might be expected. The wedding is not about gifts and money; it’s about celebrating the union of two people. If your finances won’t let you give a large gift, do what you can. A gift certificate to a local restaurant would be a nice treat for the couple when they get back from the honeymoon. Picture frames are always welcome and can be expensive when you want to buy a lot. Treat the bride to a couple of special ones. Maybe on the couple’s first anniversary, your budget will allow you to do something more. The wedding should be a celebration, not a gift-grabbing event. If the couple knows and loves you, they will understand your limitations.