Consider These Easily Forgotten Wedding Concerns
Keeping these wedding concerns in mind and planning ahead can help make your wedding run more smoothly and make both your guests and the vendors happy.
No one ever said planning a wedding would be easy. In fact, even the simplest and most intimate of gatherings can require a lot of work on your end. Though you’ve spent countless hours looking over all the details of your big day, there could very well be potential issues that you’ve not yet considered. Luckily, now is a great time to think about last-minute concerns and potential solutions.
From broke bridesmaids to disappearing guests, there are lots of issues you could be facing with your wedding. Explore these suggestions and find solutions that can help you keep your sanity, knowing all your effort will pay off in the form of a beautiful and seamless event.
Bridesmaids Who Don’t Budget
The members of your wedding party take on a lot of responsibilities for your big day. You’re likely asking them to help plan your wedding, run errands, throw small events like showers, and take on a million little duties that you can’t handle yourself. Unfortunately, your friends and relatives also have their own lives and can’t always rise to the occasion. This is especially true when it comes to bridesmaids or groomsmen who are dealing with money problems. Broke wedding party members can easily cause concerns or even derail all of your carefully laid plans.
You might not be able to pay for everything, but you can definitely prepare in advance for a bridesmaid who can’t foot the bill. Your best option in this scenario is to show compassion and be as considerate as possible. Don’t forget, you’re the one putting these demands on your friends. If your solution to a bridesmaid or groomsman who can’t pay is to cut them from the wedding, then you might need to do damage control on your friendships when all is said and done.
Among other concerns is the issue of RSVPs. Though you likely have given guests ample time to reply to your invitations, you’re still going to deal with people who forgot to respond or lost their RSVP cards and all sorts of other issues. In almost all cases, someone who replied “yes” to your invitation is definitely going to show on your big day. Unfortunately, you also are probably going to deal with guests who show up but never even bothered to respond to your RSVP.
The worst thing you can do is assume that anyone who didn’t respond by the RSVP deadline is not coming to the event. Give yourself extra time after the RSVPs are due, and you’ll notice how many late responses start flooding in. Since you might still have to deal with people who show up without responding to the invitations, the best way to handle this is by planning for more guests than responded. Account for a few extra chairs and meals, and you should have no problem fitting everyone into the venue without having to turn people away.
Feed Your Vendors
Finally, many couples forget to show proper thanks when it concerns the hard-working men and women who cater their weddings. While you might already be planning on tipping your vendors, you also should give these individuals a set time where they can sit and eat. You can even mention this to the caterers early so that they can prepare additional meals for the DJ, photographers, and anyone else working your event who will need to stop and recharge at some point. Typically, allowing the vendors to eat at the same time as the guests can keep the night flowing without any frustrating delays.
Try as you might to cover all your bases, there are always going to be unforeseen concerns that you didn’t anticipate. The best you can do to keep your wedding free from mistakes is to take the right precautionary steps and try to plan for whatever you think could be an issue.
Should You Invite Coworkers to Your Wedding?
Deciding whether to invite coworkers to your wedding can be tricky, so follow these suggestions to make sure you craft an appropriate guest list.
You’re about to tie the knot, and you’re excited about taking such a huge step. You’re awash in planning details or in awe from the fact that your special someone wants to build a life and future with you. Understandably, you may feel like sharing the happy news and details with everyone. However, prudence is essential when it comes to crafting the guest list. Deciding whether to invite coworkers could become a bit tricky. Fortunately, you and your partner can better navigate this challenge by following some wise advice.
Preliminary Steps To Build Your Guest List
Nearly every wedding planning guide suggests setting your guest count as early as possible. Your budget will impact how many you can comfortably afford to host. Also, your guest count will determine the venue size, amount of food and drink, and supplies you’ll need. The Knot offers advice for trimming a bloated guest list:
- Don’t include non-relatives to whom you’ve not spoken in three years or more.
- Leave out people whose names aren’t familiar to you.
- Do not invite anyone out of obligation or guilt.
Wedding Wire Canada’s Alice Prendergast mentions more categories of people whom you can safely leave off your guest list:
- People with a tendency to cause drama
- Those who can’t curb their alcohol intake
- Individuals who only seem to make negative comments
- People whom you’ve dated in the past
What Do Etiquette Guidelines Say?
Some modern etiquette guidelines are pretty clear on who should definitely receive invitations. According to Alice Prendergast at Wedding Wire Canada, you must invite people who also attend your showers, pre-wedding bashes, and the engagement party. The only exceptions are destination weddings and showers thrown for you at the office.
Meanwhile, Martha Stewart Weddings provides more etiquette-based wisdom. Citing two etiquette and wedding planning experts, contributor Ellie Finn insists that couples shouldn’t allow a sense of obligation to dictate who makes the guest list. With that said, Finn also mentions three key questions to ask yourself when mulling over whether to include coworkers: Do you often see this individual outside of work? Have you met this person’s significant other or spouse? Would this coworker add happiness to your event that you’d otherwise miss?
Still Can’t Decide About Coworkers? Other Details To Consider
In a 2016 Brides article, Jaimie Mackey mentions that it may be standard practice to invite bosses, CEOs, or presidents in more traditional office environments or conservative-leaning industries such as law or banking. Even in nontraditional workplaces, it may be an unwritten rule to send wedding invites to coworkers. Mackey advises asking employers if there’s an expected custom at your firm.
Next, Mackey suggests that engaged couples consider the size of their workplaces before making a decision. In larger offices, it is easier to invite only a few colleagues who happen to be close friends. The issue becomes trickier in smaller offices, where news of your impending nuptials may quickly spread. If you’re able to tactfully and subtly extend invitations to closest friends, then do so. Otherwise, Mackey recommends either inviting the entire office if there’s enough room to accommodate them or leaving everyone off the guest list.
A Wise Approach Yields Optimal Results
Solving the puzzle of coworkers on your wedding guest list requires a respectful and careful approach. Depending on your relationships with your colleagues and the general workplace environment, determining if or who you should invite from your job can be difficult. Even so, you must consider personal ties, available space, and your own enjoyment before finalizing your count and sending out invitations. With a smart plan and circumspect choices, you’ll find solutions that benefit both you and your guests.
Naked Cakes Enjoy Popularity at Canadian Weddings
Naked cakes continue to enjoy popularity at Canadian weddings, and may be just the right dessert option for your nuptials.
How do you feel about naked cakes? Ask engaged couples, food fanatics, and wedding industry insiders, and you’ll likely find folks who either love or loathe them. While some south of the border decry the trend as overdone and trite, others suggest that naked cakes will remain a top choice among Canadian couples. If you’re curious about these unusual treats and are thinking of one for your reception, read on.
A Brief History of Naked Cakes
Jennifer Bain reported in a January 2015 Toronto Star piece that naked cakes (cakes in which the sides are bare) became a top choice for weddings in the Queen City that same summer. Bain traces the genesis of the naked cake trend back to 2008, where the treat debuted in New York City at Milk Bar’s grand opening. After chef Christina Tosi invented the confection, it was embraced by foodie culture and eventually crossed the border into Canada.
Brides writer Gabriella Rello adds that naked cakes first hit mainstream American bakeries in 2013. As more establishments added them to their menus, demand for these low-fi desserts slowly increased. American actress Angelina Jolie boosted their popularity when she opted for a naked cake at her August 2014 wedding to Brad Pitt. These treats quickly made the top trends and ideas lists of several major wedding publications between 2014 and 2016. They became a frequent sight at weddings, especially those with rustic, bohemian, or casual themes.
Perhaps due to the common tendency for trends to become trite, 2016 saw a hatred for naked cakes that was just as spirited as the initial fervor for them. In a September 2016 Country Living article, Lyndsey Matthews cited several reasons for this backlash. She opined that the trend had run its course, then pointed to both sloppy execution and their tendency to dry out as her rationale for agreeing with the haters. Even the U.S. version of Wedding Wire said “See ya” to naked cakes, rolling out new cake trends south of the border for 2019.
To Bare or Not To Bare? Key Factors To Consider
Despite the detractors, Wedding Wire Canada’s Alice Prendergast speculates that naked cakes may still be popular choices at Canadian nuptials in 2019. She suggests that they could take on new dimensions in looks and taste, elevated by elements that infuse new aesthetics and flavors. Prendergast mentions a few ideas for kicking your cake up a few notches:
- Dripped glaze over the top and sides
- Out-of-the-ordinary decorations
- Incorporating multiple cake flavors
- Playing with complementary or contrasting colors
As both Country Living’s Lyndsey Matthews and Brides writer Gabriella Rello point out, naked cakes are at a higher risk of drying out due to the lack of exterior frosting. However, the “nearly-nude” versions avert some of this risk with a very thin layer of frosting on their surfaces. Meanwhile, Lucie Loves to Bake discusses a few other factors that will impact your planning if you select a naked wedding cake. First, your confection will need to be assembled and decorated at the venue, since it can’t be transported in its finished state. Secondly, delivery and assembly should occur as close to your meal as possible. Finally, naked cakes melt more easily in hot weather and have a greater tendency to attract unwanted insects.
Are Naked Cakes Here To Stay?
Depending on who you ask, naked cakes are either the best wedding trend du jour or a tired and overrated fad that’s run its course. Nevertheless, adventurous new takes on this delectably bare dessert may help continue their popularity at Canadian weddings. If you decide a naked cake’s right for your event, plan accordingly and shop for a trustworthy baker who can deliciously and flawlessly execute your vision.
Food Stations Boost the Fun Factor at Your Wedding
Food stations are a fun and flexible option for any type of wedding, and you should consider them when planning your wedding reception meal options.
As you try to figure out your reception meal options, you’re probably inundated with tons of possibilities. Maybe a typical sit-down dinner isn’t suitable for your casual wedding, or you’re not thrilled about the idea of long buffet lines. On the other hand, you may want to encourage guests to mingle more during the celebration. Maybe it’s time to consider food stations, an appropriate option for formal, semiformal, and casual affairs.
The Low-Down on Food Stations
Brides writer Heather Lee explains how food stations work in an April 2018 article. For your food station setup, you’ll break down your menu into individual categories and then assign each one to a freestanding table. Your guests can then choose from available options and either serve themselves or request made-to-order items.
How should you divide up your reception menu dishes into individual stations? Your caterer can offer some guidance, but some typical arrangements include the following:
- Assigned stations for entrées, salads, side dishes, breads, and desserts
- Foods grouped by their countries of origin
- Heavy appetizer stations
Of course, these are just a few possibilities. You can conceivably divvy up your offerings according to any scheme you wish, as long as you have the room and the budget.
Consider These Key Advantages
In her Brides article, Lee points out several advantages that food stations have over traditional plated multicourse or buffet meals. Your invitees can mingle and eat as they wish, allowing for more opportunities to interact with each other. Made-to-order items are prepped to their specifications, reducing the chance that they’ll be unhappy with their meals. You can also designate some stations to offer alternatives for guests with dietary restrictions. Finally, spreading the stations throughout your venue cuts down on long lines and waiting times.
Planning Tips for Your Food Stations
At the same time, you must also plan properly to ensure that your food station reception is successful. Southern Living, a United States-based lifestyle magazine, mentions that placing your stations too close together can lead to reduced floor traffic flow, longer lines, and congestion. For that reason, you’ll need a reception venue with plentiful room in order to properly space your stations. Be sure to budget appropriately, as Brides writer Heather Lee clarifies that you’ll need additional chefs for interactive stations and more staff to bus tables and assist with cleanup.
Not only that, guests with food allergies and dietary restrictions will require additional assistance in navigating your stations. Wedding Wire Canada’s Alice Prendergast stresses the importance of labeling stations to indicate whether they have vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or nut-free dishes. She also recommends allowing guests with food restrictions to serve themselves first. You’ll ensure that they won’t have to contend with cross-contamination from serving spoons accidentally placed in the wrong dishes.
Stumped for Ideas? Try These Recommendations
Want to incorporate food stations but you’re stumped for cuisine or theme ideas? No worries. You’ll find loads of suggestions at many wedding websites. The Knot mentions several unique food station setups to surprise and delight your guests, with standouts such as a late-night snack bar or mashed potato bar. For brunch receptions, Wedding Wire Canada offers great recommendations such as pancake and waffle, salad, and cereal stations. Lunch and dinner receptions may benefit from Wedding Wire Canada’s savory food station suggestions to please your guests’ palates.
Food stations are becoming more popular at weddings for several reasons. They allow people to select their food when they wish while giving them more opportunities to move around and socialize. For hosts, they provide the chance to offer fun food while accommodating invitees with food restrictions. With wise planning and smart menu selections, your food stations will be a big hit with your guests.
Familiarize Yourself With These 2019 Wedding Trends
2019 is right around the corner, so take a look at these wedding trends to discover which are the most appealing to you as you plan your big day.
The New Year is right around the corner. If you are getting married in 2019, then you are likely currently working hard to plan for your event. Unfortunately, weddings trends tend to change at a rapid pace. Designers and tastemakers have already released their predictions and suggestions for what will be trendy at weddings in the new year. Since it can be difficult to keep up with all this information, it can be helpful to get a little bit of assistance learning which fads and trends are out there.
While you don’t need to get on board with all the wedding trends for the coming year, you may find that some of the upcoming styles are right up your alley. Take a look at these 2019 wedding trends, and discover which are the most appealing to you.
Fifty Shades of Purple
Above all other wedding trends, colors tend to go in and out of fashion the fastest. Knowing what colors are “in” at the moment and which are considered gauche might help you avoid a faux pas with décor. In 2018, colors like dusty rose, green, and peach were quite popular. While you can get away with using them next year, it is important to know that trends are shifting away from these hues and toward other options.
The color predicted to see the most use in 2019 is purple. From bridesmaid dresses to tablecloths to invitations, shades of purple are all the rage. It isn’t just standard purple that is seeing popularity, either. Shades like violet, lavender, amethyst, and periwinkle are all excellent choices when you’re looking to incorporate this color into your event. You may even want to think about using colored lights at your wedding, as the soft glow of purple bulbs can help to invigorate the venue in a comforting, intimate way.
While purple might be the big color of the year, you can explore a variety of shade options when it comes to floral arrangements. According to expert florists, flowers like dahlias are going to see a lot of use in the coming year. The main reason for this is the variety that dahlias can bring. The flowers come in a range of colors, making them easy to incorporate into a number of palettes. From Dutch Explosion dahlias to the large, shimmering Henriette, there are many dahlia types to consider for your needs.
Flowers are not the only way to incorporate nature into the décor of your space. Trendsetters are also predicting wedding trends where couples incorporate “natural elements” into their décor. “Tailored greenery” is specifically popular, which involves stylists working living plants into a reception space in clever ways. If this appeals to you, learn different ways you can bring the outdoors inside for your wedding.
Small Plates Mean Big Satisfaction
Finally, another big trend predicted for 2019 is serving small plates instead of full meals. Also known as tapas, small plates allow guests the opportunity to indulge in a number of different dishes throughout the course of the night. Not only does this allow for a bit more culinary variety, it also can save you and your partner a bit of money when it comes to catering costs.
Wedding trends tend to change frequently. If staying current with the latest styles matters to you and your partner, then it can be a good idea to learn about next year’s trends early. Take time to research your options, pick what works best for your needs, and see what you can accomplish for your big day.
Don’t Get Scammed! How To Spot and Avoid Honeymoon Travel Rip-Offs
Take a look at this advice on how to avoid honeymoon travel scams in order to have a carefree vacation without the headaches.
To simplify your honeymoon planning, you may depend on a travel agent to reserve your transportation, accommodations, and itinerary. Over the next several months, you’ll remit your deposit and installment payments. All the while, you picture yourself and your sweetheart enjoying majestic scenery, fabulous cuisine, new adventures, and plenty of alone time to spare.
Yet what if you find out that your travel agent pocketed your money, leaving your wallet emptied and with no honeymoon to show for it? That’s exactly what happened to one Alberta couple just weeks before their big day. Fortunately, you can avoid the same thing happening to you by looking for some key warning signs.
Honeymoon Dreams Turned Into Nightmares
A November 2018 CTV News article tells the tragic story of Camrose couple Rhys Herle and Ashley Thengs. The two had planned to marry in Cancun on December 3, relying on travel agent Shez Khan from Beachvows.ca to make their arrangements. After the couple and their destination-wedding guests had paid several thousand dollars to Khan’s agency, they discovered that their airline had only received partial payment. MK Voyages, the third-party vendor in charge of managing other details, claimed that it never received any money. Meanwhile, Khan has slowly reduced contact with the couple, leaving the future of the Herle and Thengs wedding up in the air.
Even so, this isn’t the only type of scam targeting potential travelers. USA Today discusses other common rip-offs in a February 2018 piece, adding that customers often fall for cut-rate prices on airfare, hotels, rental vehicles, and other amenities, only to encounter bait-and-switch tactics or surprise fees.
Avoid the Hustle With These Helpful Tips
As you look forward to your own honeymoon, you’ll need to do your homework and watch out for red flags that could indicate a scam. TripSavvy writer Mark Kahler explains that travel rip-off artists frequently take advantage of bargain-hunting hopefuls as well as the typical industry practice of pre-paying for itineraries and arrangements. Kahler then lists several characteristics of a potentially dishonest deal:
- Demands for payment without a written contract
- Transactions performed by phone or courier only
- Limited-time-only offers
- Vendors not disclosed in writing
- Overuse of terms such as “complimentary” or “free”
Besides these warning signs, Kahler also advises customers to beware of travel sellers operating under different names than the providers whose services they sell. In this scenario, the marketing agent may be more interested in closing a sale than in offering a positive experience or attempting to eliminate liability claims and lawsuits. This is precisely what happened to Rhys Herle and Ashley Thengs, since Khan claimed that she booked their getaway through MK Voyages.
Kahler also cautions readers about pricing that’s significantly below fair market value. Some scammers rely on split pricing to dangle cheap rates as bait but bury additional charges deep inside a travel contract. On the other hand, they may use the advertised specials to hook interested buyers and pressure them into purchasing expensive travel package add-ons. Finally, he recommends that prospective honeymooners steer clear of anyone who offers to certify them as travel agents. These offers usually state that agents can access free trips and perks, but you could wind up forking over money for bogus credentials.
Shop Smart and Find a Trustworthy Travel Agent
Locating a good travel agent involves some thorough research and listening to your gut instincts. Start by shopping for local professionals with glowing reviews and who have memberships in the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies. If you do go it alone in booking your travel, it pays to scrutinize online travel deals and look for fine print, loopholes, and outright scams. Following this advice will ensure you get the honeymoon you want without the headaches.
What Do These Popular Wedding Flowers Symbolize?
The best way to find the right flowers is by taking a moment to explore the deeper symbolic meanings offered by some of these beautiful little plants.
There are few pieces of décor as important to a wedding as flowers. Selecting the best possible blossoms for your big day can be a lengthy endeavor, especially when you’re not exactly sure which buds will suit your needs best. For many couples, the best way to find the right flowers is by taking a moment to explore the deeper symbolic meanings offered by some of these beautiful little plants. Over the years, each individual flower has become entwined with various cultural beliefs and practices.
If you and your significant other are still trying to figure out which flowers will be best for your wedding, then you need to look at some of the facts. Check out these bits of info on what different flowers represent and see what the best choice is for your needs.
Commitment and Friendship
Cornflowers are very popular options when you’re looking for simple, elegant flowers to invigorate your reception venue. These blossoms usually come in a pale, calming shade of blue, though they can also be found in shades of pink, cream, and white. Many people view cornflowers as a symbol of friendship. By featuring these lovely florals on your big day, you are encouraging stronger bonds of friendship between you and your partner, as well as between you and the guests who are in attendance at your event.
Another flower that aims to improve the bonds of the couple tying the knot is the dahlia. For many years, dahlias have been one of the most widespread wedding flowers. While this is primarily due to how gorgeous the blossoms are, the symbolic meaning also carries weight. According to legend, couples who feature these blooms in their weddings are likely to experience many years of happy, unbroken commitment in married life.
Daisies are another excellent choice when you’re searching for the perfect flowers for your wedding. Though most common during events that take place in the spring and summer, there is no bad time of year to feature these buds during your ceremony. Many people believe they encourage those nearby to speak honestly. For this reason, countless couples place vases of daisies around the altar during their ceremonies, hoping to bring forth the most honest responses from those present. Plus, their simple and beautiful look can make them an easy addition to most aesthetics.
Along the same lines are hydrangeas. Another flower perfect for warmer weather and outdoor events, hydrangeas are often inexpensive and easy to come by when they are in season. Like daisies, they are said to help those nearby experience truthful emotions. Specifically, they are rumored to help people get in touch with their emotional responses to a situation. Whether you want these buds for what they represent or for their breathtaking visuals, hydrangeas can be a great fit for most events.
Honor Thy Spouse
Finally, the lily is another classic flower you can consider for the décor on your big day. Lilies were often used during the weddings of royal families, making them a symbol of honor and prestige. Couples who married in the presence of these gorgeous flowers are said to experience married life in an honest way. Though they are suited for the summer, you can add lilies to your event no matter what time of year it falls.
Picking the right flowers can transform the way you feel about your big day. While you may think flowers are simply a way to enhance the décor around your event, you may be surprised to learn how much meaning is placed on each individual bud. Look more into the symbolic meaning of different blossoms, and see what you can do to enhance your wedding.
Shopping Online for Your Wedding? Follow This Smart Advice
Wedding industry vendors jumped on the online commerce bandwagon long ago, but is it wise to buy everything for your wedding online?
Thanks to the rapid advancement of technology and e-commerce, nearly anything can be bought online: groceries, movie tickets, medications, music, vehicles, and more. Wedding industry vendors jumped on the online commerce bandwagon long ago, making it possible to do everything from selecting and printing invitations to purchasing gowns and formal suits. E-commerce offers valuable perks such as convenience and saving money, but is it wise to buy everything for your wedding online? The answer to this question isn’t as straightforward as you might think.
Essential Privacy and Security Tips
More than 80 percent of Canadian brides bought at least one wedding-related item online, according to a Weddingbells survey published in 2015. Wedding décor and supplies, favors, invitations, and fashion accessories are some of the most common purchases. However, couples’ and attendants’ attire also end up on many nearlyweds’ online shopping lists. Many save time, gasoline, and money while discovering great finds that they can’t get from local retailers.
Sounds convenient and easy, right? Well, you still must carefully choose which vendors will get your hard-earned cash. LifeLock, an American identity theft protection company, offers several smart tips for safe online shopping:
- Purchase only from trusted websites.
- Do your homework about each vendor. Check for legitimate contact information, and be sure to read online customer reviews.
- Verify that the website has privacy protection and SSL encryption enabled.
- Don’t give out too much personal information.
- Be wary of extremely low prices and “too good to be true” deals.
Also, LifeLock advises that it’s better to use a credit card for your online purchases, as you’ll steer clear of scammers siphoning funds from your primary bank account should your data become compromised. The Financial Consumer Agency reveals that your maximum liability for unauthorized charges cannot be more than $50. Also, you will be reimbursed in full if you took appropriate privacy precautions. To protect yourself, monitor your credit card accounts frequently and take immediate action if you notice unauthorized charges or don’t receive your merchandise.
Helpful Hints for Online Attire Purchases
A blog post by Young Hip and Married, a Vancouver-area wedding services provider, divulges that the average wedding dress costs $1,779 in Canada. The Better Business Bureau of Western Ontario adds that the average wedding tuxedo rental is $297, while Huffington Post contributor Andrea Traynor mentions that made-to-measure suits usually cost at least $500 and bespoke suit prices start at around $2,000.
Most of these figures aren’t as extravagant as the starting price of a Vera Wang gown or an Armani suit, but tighter budgets are one reason why many couples are turning to the internet to find their wedding apparel. Some of the same general tips for online shopping apply, but NerdWallet writer Laura McMullen shares more wise advice to help online buyers get the most for their money:
- Review the retailer’s policies, especially on returns and expected delivery time frames.
- Investigate your fabric options. Knowing each material’s basic properties can help you choose garments that are appropriate for your season and venue.
- Shop for pieces that best flatter your body type.
- Take your measurements, and follow each company’s sizing guidelines.
Careful Online Shopping Is Key
Online vendors can make your search for wedding supplies and attire easier, but it pays to take some precautions as you shop. Such safeguards include researching each company, purchasing only from trusted suppliers, and confirming that retailers are using the appropriate security protocols. Buying wedding attire can be especially tricky, but you can score good-quality finds if you know your measurements, choose garments that fit properly, and select fabrics that mesh with your event’s season and desired aesthetic. With these best practices, you’ll find the goods you need while avoiding fraud and misunderstandings.
Removing Gendered Language From Your Wedding
For LGBT and forward-thinking couples, navigating gendered language at weddings can be difficult. Fortunately, there are many alternatives that couples should consider.
Wedding-related language can be incredibly gender-specific, especially considering that most nuptial traditions developed with a bride and a groom in mind. For LGBTQ individuals as well as couples wishing to adopt forward-thinking approaches, navigating gendered language and finding more inclusive wording alternatives can seem challenging. Fortunately, useful and meaningful replacements do exist. Digging deeper into traditional words while learning about non-gendered alternatives can prove to be fascinating.
Non-Gendered Alternatives for “Bride” and “Groom”
Browse through most wedding websites and you’ll notice the gendered words “bride” and “groom” used heavily, although some now include gender-neutral terms in their planning advice and guides. The Online Etymology Dictionary’s entries for “bride” and “groom” are particularly revealing. While both are derived from Old English and Germanic words, “bride” comes from older words that explicitly referred to a soon-to-be-married woman, while earlier versions of “groom” denoted a young male regardless of his marital status.
Thankfully, The Knot’s Ivy Jacobson divulges that you have some potential replacements for these words at your disposal. When crafting language for your invitations, website, save-the-dates, and other materials, you can swap them out for several alternatives:
- Life partner
- Combinations such as “gride” or “broom”
“I Now Pronounce You…”
When pondering how to compose non-gendered language for your wedding, don’t forget to chat with your officiant about your preferred linguistic alternatives. As you collaborate in composing your ceremony script, pay attention to common phrases such as “I now pronounce you man and wife” and “You may kiss the bride.” In a December 2017 Martha Stewart Weddings piece, contributing writer Jenn Sinrich suggests “I now pronounce you married” and “You may kiss your partner” as potential substitutes.
Bon Mots for Your Wedding Party
A traditional wedding party usually consisted of one maid of honor, one best man, several bridesmaids and groomsmen, junior attendants, and possibly both a ring bearer and a flower girl. Wedding Wire contributor Whitney Teal suggests several alternatives to these customary roles. “Honor attendant” can easily be used in place of “maid of honor” or “best man,” but Teal also proposes other titles such as “best woman,” “man of honor,” or “friend of honor.” Teal also suggests that you could collectively call your attendants a “wedding council” and designate that each person will help you pull off your special day.
How To Handle Honorific Titles
Honorifics such as “Mr.” and “Ms.” may indicate gender, age, and possibly the marital status of the person in question. However, these titles typically don’t work for nonbinary or genderqueer individuals. The Oxford English Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, and Dictionary.com all added “Mx.” to their listings between 2015 and 2017. First coined in the late 1970s, “Mx.” is pronounced “mix” or “mux” and is a gender-neutral honorific that’s now in widespread use.
The Equality Institute lists several additional non-gendered alternatives, including “Ser” and “Ind.” When in doubt, it’s wise to ask your guests about their proper titles before you ship off your save-the-date cards or invitations. As for you and your partner, you can simply omit honorifics for yourselves in your written materials.
Shaping Your Wedding To Fit Your Values
Traditions often morph or fade in the face of new social developments and individual priorities. While nearly every Western culture relied on gender-coded norms to dictate behavior, more people are questioning the need for these norms as well as the very existence of the gender binary. Such changes are also ushering in a deeper examination of the place of gendered language within weddings. With the desire to break free from tradition and choose alternatives, couples are developing new wording or using existing terms in different ways for each other as well as their guests and friends.
Make a Big Wedding Seem Intimate With These Tips
Many couples face the challenge of how to make a wedding seem intimate when the guest list is quite large, but these tips may help ease your mind.
It can be nice to be a part of a big family. Though having a lot of siblings can definitely come with some disadvantages, there is comfort in knowing you always have people around you to provide love and support. Still, there are times when a big family can become problematic. Planning a wedding, for example, tends to be a lot more complicated when you feel obligated to invite a large number of guests. The real challenge most couples face is how to throw a big wedding while still making it seem intimate.
If you and your partner are currently planning a large wedding, you might need a bit of advice on how to keep everything comfortable and intimate for your guests. Consider these tips, and see what you need to do to get the most from your planning experience.
An Intimate Welcome
From the second your guests enter the venue, you want to make sure they feel welcomed into the space. This can be tough with a big crowd, as guests might feel like they’re being herded from the parking lot to the reception area like cattle. To break this feeling, a cocktail hour can help. This hour is perfect for guests to indulge in a drink, some light snacking, and good conversation with others before the main reception area is ready. This small idea can work wonders when it comes to helping cultivate an intimate atmosphere.
How the reception area is arranged can also make or break the idea of intimacy during your event. Instead of opting for individual tables for guests, you may find it is more welcoming to have long, feast-style tables. This allows guests the chance to really get close to one another. Plus, you may even be able to ditch the idea of assigned seating when you go this route, which is another way to keep guests feeling special and welcomed rather than making them feel like just another person at the event.
Don’t Create Barriers, Do Create Space
It can also be a good idea to take a moment or two to think about the décor you plan on featuring at your wedding. Some couples enjoy the idea of large, lavish centerpieces. While it can be nice to add some personality to the space through clever décor, also make sure you aren’t creating any annoying barriers for your guests. The larger the centerpiece is on the table, the harder it is going to be for guests to communicate with, or even see, the other people they are sitting with.
When there are a lot of people at an event, some guests may hold back and keep to themselves. Since many people don’t love having to interact with large crowds, you might want to consider the option of a separate area where guests can go to unwind. A little lounge space, whether inside or outside, might be able to provide your shyer guests with a nice little respite from all of the excitement happening inside. Plus, it gives you and your partner a more intimate place to sneak off to when you need a break yourselves.
Your Interactions Matter
Finally, nothing makes guests feel more welcome at a wedding than having a moment or two with the happy couple. Though there are lots of people you need to interact with, it is good form to make a plan of action to ensure you at least attempt to say hello or check in with all your guests. By focusing on this goal, you’re doing your best to help everyone feel like they’re a part of the event rather than a part of a crowd.
Large groups can easily pose a challenge when planning a wedding. The more time you take to help keep the event intimate, the easier it becomes to help all your guests have an enjoyable experience.