October 2018

Using a Vision Board To Plan Your Wedding
When you feel like you can’t think of anything creative or clever for your wedding, turning to a vision board might provide just the solution you need.

When you feel like you can’t think of anything creative or clever for your wedding, turning to a vision board might provide just the solution you need.

Inspiration isn’t always easy to come by. Though you might consider yourself something of a creative type, you never know when the fonts of inspiration are going to run dry. This can be particularly frustrating when you are planning a big event like your wedding. Going through this process can easily tap your creative side and make it so you don’t feel as inspired in areas like décor, invitations, clothing, and more. While this can seem aggravating, there is a simple way to find the innovation you require.

When you feel like you can’t think of anything creative or clever for your wedding, turning to a vision board might provide just the solution you need. If you’re not sure how to begin, give yourself a moment to explore some of these simple tips and learn more about how you can feel inspired whenever you need an extra boost.

Cut and Paste

There are a few different ways to get this process started. For one, you can go the old-school route and create an actual, physical vision board. To do this, you’ll want to source a ton of different materials. Grab as many wedding-related publications as you can. Typically, you’re going to have the most luck scouring bridal magazines, food & drink publications, and any style or décor periodicals you can get your hands on. Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself in this way and can use whatever publications you think will help.

Go through all of your materials, and take note of anything that you like or that brings out a positive emotional response. Cut each of these images out of the magazines you’re using, and set the images aside. Once you feel like you’ve collected enough, grab poster board and some glue and start sticking the images all over the board in whatever way you wish. The idea is to use the board to feel inspired throughout the planning process, helping you create your own aesthetic and discover which images mean the most for your event.

Going Digital

Using a piece of poster board and some glue might be how the idea of the vision board first came to be, but it is far from the only way to go about finding some inspiration. The digital age has changed a great many practices, including how people create these boards. Instead of using physical materials, look into one of several online options. One of the most popular sites for this type of project is Pinterest.

Essentially a digital version of a vision board, Pinterest offers some wonderful benefits to couples who are looking for a bit of inspiration while planning their weddings. Unlike poster board, which has limited space, Pinterest allows you the option of constantly sourcing images, videos, text, and anything else from all over the internet without “running out of room.” Plus, you can download the app and take your “board” with you anywhere. This is a perfect fit for anyone who needs inspiration in a pinch or doesn’t want to deal with cutting and pasting.

Trade Shows

Finally, there are some interesting ways to feel inspired without having to specifically use a vision board. In recent years, more and more “wedding trade shows” have started popping up around the world. These events bring together vendors from near and far so happy couples can discover what’s out there and feel inspired for their own weddings. Take a look and see if any are happening in your area, and make a day trip out of it.

Discovering inspiration is not always easy. Consider a vision board when you’re stuck, and see what creativity flows through.

 

Which God Reigns Supreme? In Hinduism, There Are No Clear Answers
The number of Canadian practitioners of Hinduism has increased significantly in recent years, but misconceptions remain about this ancient set of beliefs.

The number of Canadian practitioners of Hinduism has increased significantly in recent years, but misconceptions remain about this ancient set of beliefs.

The population of Canadians that practice Hinduism has grown significantly over the last several years. Statistics Canada’s figures from the 2011 National Household Survey reveal that over 497,000 live in the country, an increase from the 297,000 indicated on the 2001 census. Yet even as the country’s community of believers grows, Canadians with a Western and Christian understanding of religion may misconstrue many Hindu spiritual practices. It’s impossible to comprehensively discuss these belief systems in such a short space, but a basic overview can provide a better understanding of this old and expansive group of beliefs.

One God, Many Gods, or a Single Divine Principle?

Contemporary scholars attempt to classify religions based on their ideas about the nature of the divine. Generally, most spiritual traditions fall into one of several categories:

  • Polytheistic, supporting a belief in many gods
  • Monotheistic, believing in only one god
  • Atheistic, rejecting the notion that any gods exist
  • Agnostic, proposing that it’s impossible to know if anything spiritual exists beyond our material world
  • Pantheistic, suggesting that the universe itself is God
  • Henotheistic, devoted exclusively to venerating one deity while acknowledging the existence of others
  • Panentheistic, proposing that God both is and exists beyond the universe

To outsiders, Hinduism may appear to be a polytheistic religion. In truth, it is difficult to classify because of its huge variety of philosophical and theological traditions spanning all these categories. The Canadian Encyclopedia further clarifies that many believe in a universal spirit referred to as “Brahman.” This spirit is usually regarded as the supreme principle that either causes all of existence, serves as the fundamental essence of our universe, or both.

The Mahabharata, a Sanskrit epic penned sometime between the ninth and fourth centuries B.C.E., claims that this universal spirit exists in three forms. A portion of the text exclaims, “In the form of Brahma, he is the Creator, and in the form of Vishnu he is the Preserver, and in his form as Rudra [Shiva], he is the Destroyer of the Universe!” These three divine essences are collectively called the Trimurti and are sometimes worshipped together in this form. At the same time, others view the various deities in Hinduism as simply different faces of the ultimate universal spirit.

Major Deity-Focused Denominations

BBC Religions explains that some argue for Hinduism to be classified as a “family” of religions rather than a single faith, thanks to its numerous religious texts and wide range of ideas. Although it’s difficult to ascertain its exact number of denominations, several significant schools of thought have been identified. For example, followers of Vaishnavism believe that Vishnu is the “Svayam Bhagavan,” or Supreme Lord of the universe, while Shaivists regard Shiva as the supreme deity. Meanwhile, proponents of Shaktism devote themselves to venerating goddesses and a divine feminine principle that exists alongside its masculine counterpart. Smartism treats all deities the same and generally involves the worship of five core deities that serve as a collective manifestation of Brahman. This group of divine entities usually includes Vishnu, Shiva, a major goddess such as Devi or Parvati, the sun god Surya, and a fifth deity chosen by the devotee.

A Modern Family of Faiths That Defy Classification

Contemporary Hinduism is anything but a simple belief system with a uniform set of ideologies. Rather, it could best be described as a fascinating family of faiths with interrelated practices. Many of its philosophies originated during the Indus Valley Civilization that existed thousands of years ago, but further synthesis with Vedic religious ideas from later Indo-Aryan cultures may have occurred. From different ideas about the nature of the universe to diverse divinity-focused traditions, modern Hindus follow a huge array of spiritual practices.

Avoid a Floral Faux Pas on Your Wedding Day
Floral arrangements can brighten and augment any wedding celebration, so follow these pieces of advice to make sure you are happy with the final product.

Floral arrangements can brighten and augment any wedding celebration, so follow these pieces of advice to make sure you are happy with the final product.

Nothing can put a damper on your wedding day quite like problems with your floral arrangements. You can probably deal with receiving the wrong flowers if they’re in good condition and match your event’s colors, but what do you do if half the blooms are wilted or in shades that clash with your décor? Even worse, what if your arrangements are gorgeous but overpower with their scents or cause fits of sneezing? Fortunately, you can steer clear of disasters like these by following a few smart steps as you plan your nuptial celebration.

Choose the Right Professional

Your first step for avoiding wedding flower disasters is to select a trustworthy florist. Start by talking to newlyweds in your social circle and checking out area vendors online. If you’re using a wedding planner, ask for his or her recommended list of professionals. Don’t forget to review each florist’s online customer reviews and check out its ratings with organizations such as the Better Business Bureau.

The Spruce’s Nina Callaway suggests that you visit at least three different florists in person. To narrow down your final selection, Callaway advises obtaining some key information about each vendor:

  • Its design philosophy
  • The number of events on its calendar scheduled on or around your wedding day
  • Seasonal and budget-friendly blooms recommended for your chosen date
  • The name of the person designing your arrangements
  • Delivery and setup costs
  • The length of time required for onsite setup

Meanwhile, Callaway also recommends asking each florist if it offers bouquet or centerpiece samples. These floral samples can help you evaluate a professional’s work and decide whom to hire. Brides contributor Kelsey Butler adds that some vendors include sample arrangements in their final pricing while others require an additional fee.

Communication Is Vital

You can also prevent misunderstandings with floral vendors by clearly communicating your expectations upfront. In a June 2017 Brides article, Stefania Sainato emphasizes that you need to precisely describe the type of décor you want. Alicia Prendergast of Wedding Wire Canada adds that you must inform potential vendors of other key details such as your venue, attire, table count, and the size of your wedding party.

Of course, you’ll end up relaying these specifics to prospective florists if you follow The Knot’s advice and request detailed proposals. Besides your desired arrangements, blooms, and colors, these documents should include your preferred alternatives as well as list any unacceptable substitutions. Additionally, the proposal should mention the dates and times of your events, delivery details, fees, a payment schedule, and the florist’s refund and cancellation policies along with any accessories that the florist will supply. It’s wise to work with your chosen professional and make any minor changes to the job proposal before any specifics are incorporated into the final contract.

Be Flexible With Your Floral Selections

Since the availability of preferred blooms can unexpectedly change, Bridal Guide’s Kristen Klein urges nearlyweds not to fixate on having an exact variety and shade of flower in their wedding arrangements. Try to adopt a flexible approach, collaborate with your florist, and consider using seasonal flowers along with other cost-effective alternatives that are available in your event’s color palette. Klein also strongly advises against selecting flowers based solely on looks without accounting for their scent. You could inadvertently pair together varieties with strong scents, causing intense and unpleasant effects for you and your guests.

Whether you’re trying to craft an overall aesthetic or you’re inspired by your love of certain blooms, choosing your wedding flowers can be fun. At the same time, making unwise decisions may lead to less than satisfactory results. Hiring a reputable florist, clearly communicating your desires, and maintaining a flexible attitude towards the final product will help ensure that you’re happy with the floral arrangements created for your special day.

 

Dance Away the Blues: Movement and Happiness
The next time you have the opportunity to dance, you should take it! It must might improve your mental health and physical fitness.

The next time you have the opportunity to dance, you should take it! It must might improve your mental health and physical fitness.

Have you ever met someone who absolutely hates dancing? You might even be this person, willing to spend an entire wedding in your chair rather than getting up to dance. While it takes all sorts to make the world, there are some traits that might be more damaging to the spirit than most people realize. By not engaging with the act of dancing when given the opportunity, you may very well find your emotional state in a frazzled or downright unpleasant place. Luckily, there are ways to remedy this!

There has been a lot of evidence released over recent decades to suggest that dancing does a lot for the soul. Though it might seem silly to throw your body around to music, here are a handful of reasons to change your attitude and get on the dance floor right away.

Get Physical

Right away, it can be important to focus on how dancing helps you on a physical level. According to some research, the act of dancing may be an important step toward keeping your heart healthy. Dancing often gets the heart beating a bit faster than normal, the same way that it does when you are engaged with a simple run or other exercises. Pumping your heart at this rate might be crucial for maintaining a strong and healthy cardiovascular system.

The beauty of using dance as a form of exercise is that it doesn’t feel like exercise. In fact, most people feel pretty good when they dance. The freedom of being able to move your body to the music in whatever way you wish is known to produce positive feelings. While there is scientific evidence to back this up, it often can be a bit more practical to stand up and start dancing to see the effects of this activity for yourself.

Everyone’s in the Dance

Dance is also an activity that is able to connect people. When you are on a dance floor or in a studio with a variety of people all moving their bodies in various ways, it can create a contagious feeling of excitement. There is something about dancing with others that can bond people together in an unspoken way. You stop thinking so much about what you’re doing and start reacting in an intuitive way, reading how other people’s bodies are moving and responding with your own in kind.

Whether doing it alone or with a group, remember that the act of dancing is a form of expression. This can be important to remind yourself so you do not get stuck on how you appear while grooving. In fact, it is exactly this fear of getting the dance wrong that strikes fear in many and keeps them from engaging. Remember that you can dance however you want, regardless of technique or aim. Just stay safe and mind your hands around strangers, and you’ll be good!

Don’t Slouch! 

Finally, there is a bit of evidence out there to suggest that dancing might be able to help you stand straight and tall. Some studies conducted over the years have led researchers to believe that dancing helps a person to better understand how to move his or her own body. Connecting with your body in this manner can, in turn, help you realize when you are slouching or holding your weight in a way that is doing damage. While not a cure for bad posture, the evidence suggests it definitely can help to get out there and move.

The next time you find yourself sitting on the sidelines while everyone else is engaged with getting down and having some fun to their favorite songs, try to get involved. While it may not change your life, dancing can definitely provide some needed joy.

 

Wedding Gifts Currently Seeing Popularity on Amazon
More and more guests are buying wedding gifts online through Amazon and other retailers, so it can be helpful to see what items are most popular online.

More and more guests are buying wedding gifts online through Amazon and other retailers, so it can be helpful to see what items are most popular online.

Wedding trends change quite frequently. One tradition that has remained somewhat consistent, however, is the practice of giving gifts to the happy couple. Though people might be buying their presents in different ways these days, the sentiment remains the same. Unfortunately, it can also be a real pain in the neck to try and find the ideal gift for the soon-to-be-married. To make the experience a bit easier on you, it can be helpful to explore some of the year’s most popular gift options and give yourself some inspiration.

Amazon is one of the biggest e-commerce companies in the modern day and age. Because of this, more and more guests are buying gifts for weddings online through this site. This has brought about a great deal of insight in regards to what gifts are most popular in a given year. Check out these hottest gift trends on Amazon and find the perfect present for the happy couple in your life.

Turn It Up

Who doesn’t love music? While your friends may not be on top of new tunes the way they once were, a vast majority of couples appreciate turning on some music now and again. Whether they decide to play old favorites or something just released, you may be able to find a great gift by considering speakers. Nowadays, there are some amazing options available for home entertainment. Brands like Bose, Sony, and Sennheiser put a ton of research each year into developing the ideal music output methods.

If you want to try something a bit different, then consider some shower speakers! A product like iLuv Aud Shower Bluetooth Speaker is a great fit for most homes. This handy item makes singing in the shower a whole new experience, letting you play tunes from any compatible device. If your friends are always on their phones, these speakers even allow you to take a call while in the shower without damaging your phone in the process!

Tradition Meets Tomorrow

Once upon a time, couples would receive items like plates from guests and hold onto these gifts for decades to come. This trend might not be as popular as it once was, but plenty of couples still add plates and silverware to their registries. Data from Amazon shows that these gift options are still quite popular, which means guests are definitely encouraged to explore this choice when it comes to finding the ideal gift. The brand might matter somewhat, but there are more important considerations.

You definitely want to make sure any eating or serving utensils are made from sterling silver. This ensures both quality and longevity. Stainless steel can also prove to be a beneficial choice, especially for convenience of cleaning. The more flatware is used, the easier it is to clean. Buying a couple decorative plates that will only be pulled out for special occasions means you need to think long and hard about how simple it is to get the items clean. Knowing this information can help you find the right fit for your friends.

Pumping Iron 

Finally, you can always find a good fit when you think about what the happy couple might need in their kitchen. According to Amazon, cast iron skillets continue to be popular for newlyweds. These durable and practical items are a winning pick because they prove themselves useful time and time again, will last for years, and are a perfect complement to almost every kitchen.

When you have a wedding on the horizon and are not sure what to buy, it never hurts to do a little bit of research on Amazon. Search out the most popular gift items and see what might fit the tastes of your friends on their big day.

 

When Religion and Medicine Clash
Religious views can pose a distinct danger to personal health and safety when modern medicine is shunned in favor of prayer.

Religious views can pose a distinct danger to personal health and safety when modern medicine is shunned in favor of prayer.

In multicultural societies, religious conflicts can be common. Canadian news headlines are replete with reports of opposite ideologies or needs colliding. We may think of a law such as Quebec’s Bill 62 that forbids wearing certain face and head veils when receiving public services. However, another recent story proves that these incidents can be more than just a clash of beliefs. In some extreme cases, religious views can pose a distinct danger to personal health and safety. An example of this would be when medicine is denied to a child.

An Unusual Child Custody Case

A June 2018 National Post article revealed some disturbing details that surfaced during a child custody case in British Columbia. Post writer Adrian Humphreys reported that the couple in question contested a Provincial Court order that removed their daughter from their home, claiming that they’d been discriminated against because they were Christians.

However, investigations revealed that their religious views had caused them to be banned from attending several local churches. To make matters worse, they did not vaccinate the child or allow her any access to medicine. The proverbial nail in the coffin was their refusal to accept legal help, then bringing a stuffed lion to hearings and claiming that Jesus Christ would advocate on their behalf by speaking through the lion.

Religious Stances on Medical Care

The National Post piece documents an unusual case of harm caused by extreme religious views. Nevertheless, a few other groups have adopted controversial stances concerning modern medicine. A February 2018 CNN piece mentions the backlash that American televangelist Gloria Copeland received when, during a broadcast, she directed listeners to “inoculate [themselves] with the word of God” instead of getting flu shots. Meanwhile, Sandee LaMotte points out that Copeland isn’t the first religious figure to decry certain forms of medicine. For instance, Jehovah’s Witnesses will not receive blood transfusions, and the Amish generally forbid heart transplants since they regard the organ as “the soul of the body.”

Faith Healing Controversies

The most well-known opposition to medical treatments lies within the Christian Science denomination, established by Mary Baker Eddy during the late 1800s in the United States. In her 1875 text “Science and Health,” Eddy proposed that illness was an illusion, and that believers could end it through prayer alone. Referred to as “spiritual healing,” this belief has been one major cause of the controversies faced by the movement. It’s gained media attention thanks to several troubling incidents over the last 30 years:

  • Several outbreaks of measles between 1985 and 1994 at Principia College, a predominantly Christian Science institution in Illinois
  • The death of a two-year-old Massachusetts boy from a treatable bowel obstruction in 1986
  • An 11-year-old Minnesota boy who died in 1989 due to complications from untreated type 1 diabetes

While Christian Science’s current official stance doesn’t forbid followers from seeking treatment, it still focuses on what it sees as the importance of prayer in healing and encourages members to request prayers from Christian Science practitioners. In the meantime, children with parents in other faith healing groups have died under similar circumstances. A May 2016 CBC News article discussed the case of Alex Radita, a Calgary teenager who died from malnutrition because his parents attempted to treat his type 1 diabetes through prayer instead of caring for him with medicine as prescribed by doctors.

Freedom of Religion Versus Health and Safety?

Although it’s easy to believe that clashes between religion and medicine are a purely American phenomenon, the tragic case of Alex Radita and the unusual custody case documented in the June 2018 National Post article both prove that Canadians aren’t immune to these issues. As the religious landscape of our country changes, it is up to policymakers, religious leaders, and society to determine how to strike a fair balance between religious liberty and matters of life and death.

Ditch Diamond Rings With These Significant Stones
When selecting an engagement ring, there are many other beautiful stones to consider besides the traditional diamond ring.

When selecting an engagement ring, there are many other beautiful stones to consider besides the traditional diamond ring.

For years, diamonds have remained the most popular stones when it comes to engagement rings. It’s easy to see why. The dazzling beauty of a diamond can be difficult to match. Still, these rocks are ridiculously expensive and the ways that they are acquired are not always ethical. If you feel weird about “blood diamonds” or just don’t find this particular stone to be aesthetically pleasant, you might feel like you don’t know what to do when it comes time to select the right engagement ring for your significant other.

Though it can feel like diamond engagement rings are the only path to take, you might find comfort in the fact that other stones have been increasing in popularity in recent years. Give yourself a moment to explore some of these alternatives, and see if you can land on a ring option that holds significance and keeps your conscience clear.

Sapphire Skies

Diamonds might be “forever,” but there are plenty of happy couples who are more interested in the bluish hue of the sapphire. In fact, those interested in following royal weddings might already be aware of this fact. The engagement rings for Princess Diana and Kate Middleton were both made from blue sapphires. You don’t need to be involved with royalty to opt for sapphires, either. The ring holds personal significance to people born in September, as it is the month’s birthstone, and it also is said to contain other mystical properties.

Since the days of the Persian Empire, sapphires have been thought to hold magical significance. The Persians believed sapphires were the reason the sky was blue and felt that the color connection symbolized the stone’s deep ties to heaven. By wearing a ring made of sapphire, a person was said to have a special place waiting for them in heaven. Whether you find the lore appealing or you think the stone is just beautiful, you might find sapphires a better fit than diamonds for your personal wedding goals.

Emerald Affairs

Sapphires might be beautiful, but their color may not be for you. If you want something that steps away and makes a bolder statement, emeralds might be a good fit for your ring. These dazzling green stones are as beautiful to look at as they are to learn about. According to a number of cultural beliefs, emeralds are worn by those who have a deeper understanding of the world. Individuals who are born with intuitive abilities are usually drawn to emeralds, as these stones are said to contain prophetic powers.

Whether or not you have visions of the future, an emerald stone might be an ideal fit for your engagement ring needs. The beautiful, green shade of the stone can be a nice change of pace from traditional whites and blues. Beyond this, the idea that the stone is meant for those with “great vision” can be interpreted in a number of romantic ways.

Ruby Road 

Finally, to go to an even more interesting extreme, you may want to think about an engagement ring set with a ruby. A huge contrast to the white of a diamond, the red of a ruby can signify deep passion. Red is a bold color that most people will notice right away. By opting for a ring with this beautiful stone front and center, you are sending a message of deep, unyielding love to anyone who notices it.

When selecting an engagement ring, it is important to remember that diamonds are not the only stone worth your time. Explore all of your options with stones, and you are likely to find a winning fit that matches you and your significant other and the bonds you share.

Classic Canadian Wedding Traditions To Include In Your Wedding
Read about these classic Canadian wedding traditions to see if there is one that might inspire you to include in your ceremony.

Read about these classic Canadian wedding traditions to see if there is one that might inspire you to include in your ceremony.

Weddings have become quite different in recent years. While traditions always change surrounding marriage, more couples are opting to create unique events instead of following old paths. Still, there are many who wish to include some classic rituals in their celebrations. Often, family traditions can work wonders to make your big day feel special. If you don’t have any specific customs in your family you want to include, you might want to broaden your search to the traditions of the nation. There have been some truly interesting Canadian wedding traditions that have come and gone over the years.

Whether you’re native to Canada, a transplant, or just a big fan of the place, you may find it helpful to learn more about these classic customs. These traditions might just inspire you to include one or two in your own event.

Tea Time 

A nice cup of tea has a way of warming the spirit. It also can be lovely to share a pot with friends and indulge in conversation and laughter. If you agree with this sentiment, then the custom of Trousseau Tea might be great for your wedding. Customarily, this involves the mother of the bride hosting a luncheon in honor of the bride and her approaching marriage. The event is also made to include anyone who might not have been invited to the actual wedding. Coworkers, loose acquaintances, and neighbors might want to come by and wish the bride well.

The name of this tradition comes from the word trousseau, or the collection of gifts a bride receives for her upcoming marriage. Though Trousseau Tea was once a regular affair for brides and their friends, modern traditions have pushed it toward antiquity. If you’d like to breathe some new life into the tradition, you can host your own Trousseau Tea. Serve your favorite blend, offer some finger foods, and take a bit of time to have a casual gathering with a handful of people you love.

Party Train

Across Canada there have been some fun traditions that have appeared over the years. A certain French-Canadian tradition involves where everyone meets on the day of the event. According to this custom, the groomsmen are to prepare for the wedding with the groom and the bridesmaids with the bride. After getting ready, the groomsmen take the groom to the house of the bride. Both groups then split between as many cars as possible, forming a long train of vehicles that travel to the ceremony. Along the way, members of the wedding party are encouraged to shout and honk in celebration.

Now, this is a tradition that will work better for some crowds than others. If you are the type of person who loves raucous celebrations, then this is definitely a custom for you. On the other hand, you might want to have a quiet morning and make your way to your ceremony without feeling stressed or rushed. Either way, the tradition is a nice way for the closest friends and family members of the happy couple to publicly express their joy over the union.

Collecting Money 

There are many wedding customs around the world involving money. Since these events are usually expensive, it makes total sense that traditions would form around showering the happy couple with cash. One Canadian tradition involves the bride dancing around the reception while holding her shoes. The idea is for the guests to approach the bride and place money in the shoes to help pay for the event and to show some good faith in the future of the marriage. Though still popular in some regions, this tradition has slowly faded away in other areas.

Traditions come and go as time marches forward. Find rituals you connect with and include whatever feels right.

Surviving a Large Guest List
Trimming the guest list at a wedding can be a difficult task, but by keeping in mind a few important points, you should be able to reach a number that is just right.

Trimming the guest list at a wedding can be a difficult task, but by keeping in mind a few important points, you should be able to reach a number that is just right.

Big families can be wonderful. When you have a lot of relatives, you have a lot of people you likely can turn to when you need advice, guidance, a laugh, or an idea of where your genetics might take you later in life. Despite how nice it is to have plenty of kith and kin, it can also pose a unique problem when the time comes to plan your wedding. Whether both you and your partner come from large families or just one of you does, fitting everybody in might require some ingenuity.

Though it can create many headaches throughout the process, it is entirely possible to survive the experience of planning for a large guest list. Take a look at this advice and see how you can get through the ordeal.

Budgetary Concerns

Inviting a lot of people to your wedding means the total cost of your event is going to be substantial. You need a lot of money to fit all of those bodies into one space, feed them, and make sure the majority of them are enjoying themselves. Before you get too far into planning, you need to make sure you can actually afford to invite everyone on your list. Making cuts to your guest list is definitely going to be a stressful task, unless, of course, there are some relatives you really don’t want to come.

Once you’ve gotten through this step, take a moment to breathe. While it won’t be a walk in the park, everything else you need to do to see success is going to be a bit easier.

Spacious Venues 

Now that you have a guest list, you need a place to put them all. Choosing a venue for the reception might be a lot easier now that you’ve got your full list. If you have a ton of names on the list, then there might be only a limited number of spaces available for you to rent. You may not be able to pick your dream venue, but you can still get all of your guests together for your big day in a suitable location.

Beyond having enough space to fit everyone, you also want to make sure you can fit them comfortably. You don’t want the entire space to be packed with tables and chairs, as it can make it impossible for your guests to get around without knocking into each other.

Talking Points 

As one of the guests of honor, you are going to need to spend a large chunk of your wedding chatting with the friends and family members who came out. The more people at the event, the more time you are going to have to spend bouncing from table to table. You’re definitely not going to be able to talk with everyone, but you can easily make an appearance at every table by setting aside an hour of the reception to make your rounds.

Seeing success with this task is going to come down to timing it out right. If you give yourself an hour to see everyone, then make sure you keep things moving. Don’t get stuck on one person for too long, and be sure your partner can keep with the pace. You may feel bad rushing through, but your guests will be happy to get a little time with you.

Time Constraints

Finally, remember that having a lot of guests might delay things. Waiting for everyone to arrive can take an eternity, so take into account the fact that you might need to start later than you’d like. Being prepared for a delay will make it far less stressful on the big day.

When you’ve got a lot of guests coming to your wedding, you need to plan it out just right. By taking your time and thinking through all angles, you’re far more likely to see success and enjoy the experience all the while.

Smart Tips for Your Wedding Website
If you’re like many couples, a wedding website may be part of your online strategy for keeping guests up to date before the big day.

If you’re like many couples, a wedding website may be part of your online strategy for keeping guests up to date before the big day.

If you’re like many couples, a wedding website may be part of your online strategy for keeping guests up to date before the big day. Deciding to start your own is one thing, but it’s quite another to set it up and use it wisely. Whether you’re a tech-savvy individual or you need easy point-and-click solutions for launching an online presence for your upcoming nuptials, you’ll want to pay attention to a few pieces of sage wisdom.

Choosing a Provider

Although many wedding website providers are based in the United States, several of them offer their services to Canadian couples. New ones launch frequently, but current popular providers include Joy, The Knot, and Wedding Wire Canada. As you shop around, you’ll want to confirm whether each one supplies full-featured support for Canadian users. Some may allow you to set up a site, for example, but not offer shipping services outside the United States for purchases from your gift registry. Typical wedding website features you may want to look for include the following:

  • Page designs with customizable fonts, layouts, and colors
  • Photo uploads
  • Easy social media sharing
  • Planning tools and calendars
  • Gift registry capabilities
  • Digital invitations
  • Online RSVPs

Depending on the service, you may be able to keep most or all of your wedding planning activities within one site or app. That’s especially true if it allows guests to RSVP online and provides features such as timeline, planning calendars, budget creation tools, and expense tracking logs. You can still supplement your efforts with other tools like Pinterest or Evernote, but you can depend on features like these to assist you in staying organized.

Getting the Most Out of Your Website

Once you’ve selected a service and signed up for an online presence, your real work is just beginning. You’ll need to use your wedding site effectively to help you stay on track. At the same time, you also want it to give guests the information they need in an easy-to-read, aesthetically pleasing format.

In a January 2018 Brides article, writer Jaimie Mackey outlines several helpful hints for your little piece of web real estate. First, she suggests letting your wedding’s theme guide you in choosing a design. Some providers use the same visual styles in both their website templates and digital invitations, but you can get by with pairing the general look and feel of your site with your invitations and décor. Mackey also recommends opting for password protection so only invitees can see extensive event details. Make sure you mention critical information on your pages:

  • Each day’s events timeline
  • Driving directions to your events
  • Airport, hotel, and shuttle transportation specifics

Your site is the perfect tool to convey other useful information to your friends and family. It’s a good idea to suggest local activities, attractions, and cuisine options for your out-of-town attendees. Meanwhile, you can also explain cultural and religious customs that may not be familiar to some attendees. For instance, one guest Offbeat Bride contributor discussed in an April 2014 post how she and her spouse created a frequently asked questions, or FAQ page, to share details about their Asatru-Catholic interfaith ceremony.

Choose Your Tools Wisely

Besides announcing your upcoming nuptials and giving your guests subtle cues about its theme and style, your wedding website is also a valuable resource to communicate important information. More than that, many providers offer powerful online tools to ensure that you stay up to date and don’t lose track of critical details such as guest counts and expenses. When included as part of your total planning strategy, your site and social media presences can complement each other to keep attendees informed and build excitement about your special day.