marriage

The Right Transportation for Your Big Day
There are a number of different responsibilities when planning your wedding. But how early should you start thinking about your transportation to the venue?

There are a number of different responsibilities when planning your wedding. But how early should you start thinking about your transportation to the venue?

There are a number of different responsibilities you need to stay aware of when you’re planning for a wedding. As the date grows closer, you want to give yourself time to ensure you have covered all of your bases. While bigger decisions like selecting a venue and determining your guest list need to be taken care of early, other tasks can be completed a bit later in the process. When you are roughly six months away from your big day, you need to think about your options regarding transportation.

Getting Started

First and foremost, you need to get this process started by thinking about who will require transportation. It is not your responsibility to make sure everyone you invite can get to the venue, but you can definitely make the process easier for your guests with a few simple decisions. If your wedding reception is being held in a different place than where the majority of your guests are staying at the end of the night, then you might want to think about hiring a shuttle service to cart your friends and family where they need to go. Alternatively, if your wedding ceremony and reception are in two different places, providing a way to get to each and then back to the hotel may be a service you want to offer.

Outside of this, there are a few people you should think about providing transportation for. The main people to focus on are you and your significant other, as well as anyone who is immediately associated with your wedding party. You may also want to think about providing an option for disabled or elderly guests, such as grandparents, to help them safely arrive where they need to be without them having to worry about driving.

Things To Think About

After determining who will need transportation, there are a few other considerations. For one, you want to think about the time of year you plan on tying the knot. Many weddings tend to take place in the spring and summer. Unfortunately, this season is also when a number of other milestone events happen for people. High school proms and graduations usually occur between May and June, meaning you might have a lot of competition when it comes to booking luxury vehicles. To avoid this, be sure to book as early as possible.

How far you have to travel is also an important point to consider. If you and the wedding party will need to cross a good amount of distance to reach your destination, it can impact the type of vehicle you select. A small limo might be fine if you only have to go a few blocks, but it can be excruciatingly cramped for longer drives. When you keep these points in mind, it can help you find a transportation option that makes everyone feel comfortable the whole way through.

Financial Considerations

Remember, the financial burden of any transportation that you and your significant other provide to guests will fall on your shoulders. If you are unable to offer any additional help to guests with regard to transportation, be sure to notify your friends and family of this as early as possible. This will help give everyone enough time to plan their rides and figure out a sensible way of getting to your event.

Transportation might not be the most pressing part of planning for your big day, but it definitely is an area you want to think about. There are a number of important aspects to think over when it comes to selecting appropriate options for your guests. Take time to assess your transportation needs, and it will help you determine the best course of action for your wedding day.

Canadian Weddings in the 21st Century: Customs and Changes
When couples plan their weddings, they must decide what traditions to include. How do Canadian weddings stack up in the 21st century?

When couples plan their weddings, they must decide what traditions to include. How do Canadian weddings stack up in the 21st century?

When couples plan their weddings, they must often decide what traditions to include. These celebrations incorporate basic ceremonial elements such as exchanging vows, but many also feature customs that add layers of meaning or are passed down through families or cultures. Meanwhile, some trends become new traditions while old customs slowly fall out of favor. How do Canadian weddings stack up in the 21st century? You may be surprised once you find out.

The Role of Gender in Western Weddings

It’s no secret that many wedding customs were influenced by older social norms. As cold as this sounds, marriages were less about love and more about finances, inheritances, and sometimes political concerns. Unions were arranged in many parts of the world, with women frequently losing any legal rights they had once the ceremonies took place. The Encyclopedia Britannica explains the concept of “coverture,” in which married couples were considered single legal entities, with husbands wielding the most power and decision-making responsibilities. The idea was introduced into English law after the Norman Conquest beginning in 1066. The Canadian Encyclopedia mentions that British cultural influences on marriage and property statutes codified coverture into Canadian law in many areas.

Some wedding traditions are leftover legacies from these societal realities. For instance, you may remember that the bride’s family used to pay for the wedding. Vogue’s Priya Rao reveals that this stems from old dowry customs in which the bride’s family provided physical wealth before a marriage could take place. The Spruce’s Nina Callaway adds that the practice of fathers giving away their daughters during wedding ceremonies is also tied to dowries. This act was a sign that the father was pleased with the marriage negotiations and gave his blessing.

As Societies Change, So Do Weddings

Money Versed writer Liz Collins offers a basic breakdown on wedding traditions that are slowly being abandoned. Unsurprisingly, she listed customs that were once commonplace even in the 20th century:

  • The bride’s family paying for the wedding
  • Grooms not seeing their brides before the ceremony
  • Gendered wedding showers
  • Bouquet and garter tosses

Wedding Wire’s Alice Prendergast discusses more ways in which Canadian nuptials have changed. For instance, more couples are living together before marriage and fewer choose religious ceremonies. At the same time, a few recent trends are slowly becoming traditions. For instance, the Emily Post Institute details that high-tech weddings are the norm. That’s not a surprise to anyone getting hitched in 2019 or 2020, but what’s interesting is how this resulted from the development of some key innovations over the last few decades. Wedding websites began appearing in the late 1990s, but Pinterest and Instagram were both launched in 2010. Technological developments in photography, music playback, and even e-commerce have roots back in the 1990s or earlier.

Not All Traditions Have Disappeared

While many customs change, others remain the same. In her Wedding Wire piece, Prendergast discloses a few traditional practices that are solidly here to stay. The white wedding dress continues to be a staple, although it’s being reinvented with new details and silhouettes. The first dance is a timeless classic, along with asking for parents’ blessings and popping the question. You’ll also find alcohol at nearly every reception, with everything from signature cocktails to Canadian craft beers. Honeymoons remain popular, although some busy or cash-strapped pairs opt for mini-moons or staycations.

Customized Nuptials Are the Norm

Canadian weddings can be traditional, modern, or somewhere in between. While some old practices remain, couples craft their nuptials to fit their values, purposes, and lifestyles. No matter what customs each chooses to incorporate, these celebrations are ultimately both community events and personalized reflections of both spouses’ creativity, philosophy, and outlook.

Struggling With Your Seating Chart? Consider These Suggestions
While it might seem like an impossible task, here are a handful of simple tips that can help you create a successful seating chart for your big day.

While it might seem like an impossible task, here are a handful of simple tips that can help you create a successful seating chart for your big day.

Certain aspects of planning a wedding can prove more difficult than others. For some couples, the seating chart for the reception can be a huge pain in the neck. There are many moving pieces involved with a seating chart, so make sure you don’t cause any unwarranted drama by placing two volatile people next to each other. While it might seem like a downright impossible task, there are a handful of simple ways to see the best possible results from your efforts.

Crafting a solid seating chart is all about taking time and thinking over all the details involved. Look over these tips, and you’ll be ready to finalize your own layout in no time.

Understand the Parameters

You can only make a practical chart for where to seat your guests when you have all pertinent information available to you. For one, you need to have a blueprint or map of the layout of your venue. This will provide you with hard data about the size of the room and your options in regards to arranging the space. You’re also going to want to account for certain factors like the size and shape of each table, as well as where you plan on placing the DJ booth, cake table, and any other decor that might take up space.

As you begin to create your seating chart, you most likely already have a solid idea of who will be in attendance at your wedding. Most couples will draft preliminary sketches of where to seat guests, but you really can’t finalize anything until you have a headcount. Otherwise, you could put a lot of effort into a seating chart that doesn’t accurately reflect the guests who will be at your event. Wait until you have all of this data, and then set out to create your chart in a more informed way.

Groupings

How you arrange your guests at each table can be the trickiest aspect of this task. For one, make sure that you seat people in a way that makes sense. This means you should put all of your coworkers at one table, second cousins at another, and so on. Unfortunately, this isn’t always as easy to achieve as it sounds. When you’re working with limited space, you might need to get a bit creative in regards to who sits at which table.

While you’re not going to know how each person at your wedding feels about every other person in attendance, you definitely can use your best judgment to arrange guests in a sensible way. If you know that an uncle of yours has bad blood with an old family friend of your significant other, then don’t seat these guests near each other. Try not to bend over backward to make these arrangements, however. Your guests are all capable of handling their own petty dramas, and your plans shouldn’t be impeded by their own feuds.

Special Seating Considerations

You might also have some special considerations you need to keep in mind while creating your seating chart. If you have a number of children coming to your event, then it might make sense to have a table just for the little ones. Consider a separate table for your single attendees. Should any of your guests be in a wheelchair or require certain assistance with getting around the venue, try and seat these guests in an accessible spot. Remember special considerations, and you should make the event comfortable for all.

Planning your seating chart can be a bit of a headache, but it is far from an impossible feat. Take your time with this task, and in no time you should see success from your efforts.

Wedding Details Many Couples Neglect
How can you make planning your wedding easier? Consider these neglected details and see what you need to do to put the finishing touch on your big day.

How can you make planning your wedding easier? Consider these neglected details and see what you need to do to put the finishing touch on your big day.

A lot of work is involved with planning a wedding. No matter how meticulous you might be, it is entirely within the realm of possibility that you missed a thing or two along the way. Since the process can often be stressful, plenty of couples overlook important details. Fortunately, it is never too late to go back and think about a few things you might have overlooked. Consider these oft-neglected points and see what you need to do to put the finishing touch on your plans.

Gifts of Love

It stands to reason that a lot of people have been involved with putting together your wedding. With so much going on, it can be a huge comfort to be able to turn to friends and family members for some assistance. However, you want to remember to show your thanks in whatever way you can. Couples often forget to give appreciation to the people who help them prepare for their nuptials, but you can easily avoid this blunder by remaining mindful throughout the process.

There are several key people to consider getting gifts for. The members of your wedding party should definitely receive some token of appreciation for all of their contributions. In addition, it can be a wise idea to buy a gift for the parents of your significant other. When you marry your partner, you are also marrying your partner’s family. Buying little gifts to show thanks can put you in the good graces of the family while also making you feel proud of the fact that you went the extra mile for your loved ones.

Last-Minute Savior

No matter how much work you put into planning your wedding, there are always dangers lurking around every corner. You never can tell when something as simple as a loose fiber on a bridesmaid’s dress can turn into a total costume malfunction in front of all your guests. Though you might not be able to control every aspect of what occurs on your wedding day, you definitely can take precautionary measures that aim to reduce the odds of a disaster. One way of achieving this is by packing an emergency kit for your big day.

While similar to the idea of a first-aid kit, an emergency kit for your wedding is all about the tools and resources you might need to fix a small mishap. You’ll want to include sewing basics like a needle, thread, and some generic buttons. These tools can help in the event of a rip or tear throughout the night. You might also want to include aspirin, bottles of water, extra makeup, a pair of socks, and whatever else might prove useful as you move through the events of your wedding.

Little Details

While it might be rare, there are instances where couples have extra money in the budget after completing all their planning tasks. A great way to use some of the funds is by adding special details to your wedding that help to bring out your own unique style. Perhaps you’d like a more elaborate cake, or perhaps you’d like to extend the wedding reception by an hour or two. You can be as frivolous or as practical as you’d like with spending this money; just try and find a clever way to put this part of your budget to good use.

A wedding that goes off without a hitch can seem like an impossibility. Still, by examining your big day from a number of different angles and making sure you are prepared for as many possibilities as you can think of, you will likely have an easier time reducing the odds of a disaster.

No Maid of Honor? No Problem!
If you don’t want a maid of honor, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with this information before deciding what the best choice is for your big day.

If you don’t want a maid of honor, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with this information before deciding what the best choice is for your big day.

There are a lot of moving parts involved with planning your wedding. Often, couples want all the help possible to get the entire event up and running. Having a maid of honor can be invaluable during this time, as this individual tends to take on a lot of duties throughout the process. Still, you may not feel like you want a maid of honor. There are plenty of reasons for this decision, from not knowing who to select to wanting to keep the affair simple. There is no rule saying you absolutely must have someone fill this role.

If you don’t want a maid of honor, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself a bit with the choice you’re making. Look over this information and decide what the best choice is for your big day.

What Does the Maid of Honor Do?

The maid of honor is usually responsible for a number of different tasks associated with the wedding. Usually these responsibilities include throwing a shower and bachelorette party, taking on jobs like mailing invitations, and keeping tabs on all the members of the wedding party. When you don’t have someone acting in this role, you will need to either take these tasks on yourself or find someone who can organize things for you. Having help is always a plus, even when you aren’t asking someone to be your maid of honor.

You also will need to think about your wedding party. Are you planning on having bridesmaids and groomsmen? You can still have a wedding party without a maid of honor. In fact, some couples make the choice to forego this position in the party because there are too many qualified options. When you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, you can ditch the maid of honor and simply go with having bridesmaids. This can ultimately be a helpful decision, as you can delegate various duties to each member of the party rather than relying on one specific person.

Party On

As mentioned, the maid of honor is also the person who traditionally puts together the wedding shower. By removing this person from the equation, you’ll need to arrange the plans yourself or find someone else who can take on the job. This could be a perfect task for your mother or the mother of your partner, especially if she wanted to get involved and you didn’t know what to offer. You may also want to see if the members of your wedding party would like to plan this for you, though it is likely you’ll need to give warning.

Showers are also not a requirement. If you had an engagement party, then throwing a shower might be a bit too much. These days, couples are moving away from the traditional route of having a shower. You’re already planning your wedding; you might not want to add yet another event to your calendar that you need to help organize. When you opt not to have a maid of honor, you’ll need to make this decision for yourself and determine whether or not you find a shower necessary.

Trusting Your Significant Other

In the past, the maid of honor would take on a lot of responsibilities that otherwise could have been performed by the groom-to-be. Since more and more couples are contributing equally when it comes to planning a wedding, it is likely you can simply ask your partner to take on many of the jobs the maid would have received. When you have the support of your significant other, the entire process will be a lot easier than trying to do everything by yourself.

The decision to use a maid of honor in your wedding comes down to your own preference. As long as you have people who can assist you along the way, you should be able to take on whatever tasks await.

 

Considering DIY Invitations? Follow These Tips for Success
Taking on a task like DIY invitations requires a bit of forethought. Look over these suggestions and find the best possible way to do your invites yourself!

Taking on a task like DIY invitations requires a bit of forethought. Look over these suggestions and find the best possible way to do your invites yourself!

Weddings can cost an arm and a leg. For this reason, plenty of couples search for helpful ways to cut corners and save money throughout the process. Over the last decade or so, the idea of the “DIY wedding” has become somewhat popular. While you might not be able to do everything yourself, there are certain key elements that you can easily take on. Your wedding invitations, for example, might be an ideal DIY project, as creating them yourself can both help save some money and give you total control over what your invitations will look like.

Taking on a task like DIY invitations requires a bit of forethought. Look over these suggestions and find the best possible way to do your invites yourself!

Know All the Details

Invitations are important for a number of reasons. For the happy couple, they help to keep tabs on how many people have been invited to the event and how many people plan on attending. For the guests, however, they are responsible for providing a great deal of vital information related to the event. This includes the date, location, directions, and anything else the couple would like to share. Before you can make your invitations, you need to be sure you have all of these details set in stone and ready to share.

Figuring out the specifics takes a little time, but you should have them solidified somewhat early in the planning process. Beyond the information presented, you also want to have a few aesthetic ideas locked and loaded. Most couples opt to have their invitations reflect the “design theme” of their wedding. For example, if you plan on having the color blue featured in the decor at your venue, try to work this particular shade of blue into the invites to help create a more cohesive visual theme.

Space and Design of the Invitations

While being able to design your own invitations can be a huge help when it comes to your finances, there is also a good amount of work involved. After you’ve decided on a theme and have all your information ready to go, you need to think about how you would like to word the invitation. This can be tricky, especially because you only have so much space to work with. In order to avoid overcrowding the card with text, print out a sample on your home computer and see how the text reads.

You are also going to need to take RSVPs into consideration. Many couples include self-addressed envelopes for guests to mail back with their RSVP information. If this isn’t in your budget, don’t feel like you absolutely must include this envelope. To save money and time, you may want to offer guests the chance to RSVP by phone, through email, or online. The RSVP information exists so you have an easier time knowing how many guests to anticipate at your event, so find a method that makes the most sense for you and your partner.

Get an Early Start

Finally, you want to get as early a start as possible on creating your invitations. The moment you have information like the date and venue ready to go, you can begin making a template of what you’d like the invites to look like. The sooner you begin, the sooner you can get the completed product in the mail and hear back from guests about how many heads to expect. Starting early also gives you plenty of room for trial and error, which can be a huge help when you have little or no experience with design.

Creating your own invitations for your wedding can be a great way to limit your spending and save a small chunk of change. Explore your options, and see what you can accomplish with your own creative mind.

What To Expect From Changing Your Name

If you or your partner plan on changing your name after walking down the aisle, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the process early on.

Marriage tends to change the lives of the two people involved. While some changes can be exciting, like moving in together for the first time, there are other adjustments that can take a bit of time to get used to. This is especially true when it comes to changing your name. Though the traditions surrounding post-marital name changes have shifted over the years, there is still a great deal to remember when the time comes to take on the surname of your spouse.

If you or your partner plan on changing your name after walking down the aisle, now is a great time to familiarize yourself with the process. Here is what you can expect once you’ve decided to make the change.

Starting Out with the Name Change

Changing your name is something of a process. Of course, this process cannot begin without the right paperwork. The most important piece of paper you will receive in relation to changing your name is your marriage license. Most couples get their license before the wedding and have it signed by the officiant and witnesses after the ceremony has ended. While this document does not change your name outright, it is a vital piece of the puzzle and will prove invaluable with the next steps involved in the process.

Once you have your license, you need to start the ball rolling. First, you want to reach out to the government offices in your province. In many cases, you can either decide to fill out the appropriate paperwork in the office while you are there, or download and print the correct forms in the comfort of your own home. If you decide to mail in the application, remember you will need to submit original copies of your marriage certificate and proof of identity. Filling the application out in-office can expedite the process a bit.

Next Steps

Once you have submitted the appropriate paperwork, your journey has begun. Unfortunately, it is far from over. Next, begin the processes of changing your name on your driver’s license and your passport, if applicable. You won’t be able to complete these steps until you have submitted for your official surname change, but it can be helpful to start planning out your next moves as soon as possible. After it has been changed officially, you want to head back to your province’s government offices to start changing it on your license.

In order to change your name, you need to bring along your marriage license, proof of your current residence, your current driver’s license, and a certified copy of your birth certificate. A basic copy of your birth certificate is not valid, so be sure to get an embossed copy if need be in order to have all the necessary paperwork handy. When this step is completed, you can submit your paperwork for your passport name change. Of all the processes, passports tend to take a bit longer, usually a few weeks.

Everything Else

Changing your name can become a messy process if you don’t change it everywhere. Be prepared to fill out paperwork for everyone from the companies that provide your home utilities to the HR representative at work. Changing your name on official documents, credit cards, and bank accounts can become somewhat complex. As long as you have your newly issued social security card as proof, you shouldn’t run into many complications along the way.

Changing your name can be a wonderful way to make your marriage feel a bit more real in a public sense. In order to get through this process without many headaches, be sure to take your time and look over every document you’ll require to make your new name official.

A Guide To Hosting a Bridal Shower
Preparing to throw a bridal shower? Take a look at some of these common questions people have when first putting together a bridal shower.

Preparing to throw a bridal shower? Take a look at some of these common questions people have when first putting together a bridal shower.

When a close friend or relative decides to task you with the responsibility of putting together a bridal shower, it can be a big honor. You want to make sure you throw an event that will satisfy the happy couple without straying too far from their sensibilities. Of course, there are also a lot of tasks associated with this kind of event. If you’ve never had to throw a party like this before, you might not be sure how to get things going. Thankfully, a bridal shower is far from an impossible task to accomplish.

Take a look at some of these common questions people have when first putting together a bridal shower. Learning these answers early can help you throw a fantastic event to celebrate the happy couple.

Inviting the Right People

One of the most difficult things you’ll have to figure out is who to invite to the shower. The couple most likely will be spending a ridiculous amount of time ironing out the details of the wedding guest list, which means you can’t just invite anyone to this party. The biggest rule to remember for invitations is that you should not be inviting anyone to the shower who will not be receiving an invitation to the wedding itself. The best way to avoid this mistake is by coordinating with the couple and figuring out exactly who they would like invited.

Depending on how close you are to the nearlyweds, you might be able to simply use your best judgment with the invitations. When you already know their friends and family members, you most likely will have a good idea of who should be receiving an invitation. When you aren’t sure, reach out and try to get some more information. Don’t guess when you aren’t positive, as you might wind up making an awkward error. It also is a good idea to try and keep the event small, as you are probably paying for it.

All in the Timing

You also may need a bit of information on when you should be planning this event. More often than not, the couple will ask you to throw the shower by a certain time. In specific cases, you might be told by the bride or groom exactly when he or she wishes the party held. When you aren’t given any set details to follow, you’ll need to select the date yourself. Generally, you want to have the shower no earlier than five months before the date of the wedding.

On the reverse side, you want the shower to be at least three weeks before the wedding. This large gap of time makes it easy to pick a date and have enough room to plan out all the details. Unless the event is very small, you are most likely going to need a little bit of help organizing everything. Try to not involve the couple too much. Instead, reach out to other close friends and see who might be able to offer some assistance. Involving a few other people can also keep the costs down, which is a huge help.

No Surprises

Finally, if you are a maid of honor or member of the wedding party, you need to respect the wishes of the nearlyweds. When you are told that they don’t want a shower, you should not take it upon yourself to throw one. It might seem like a fun idea, but you do not want to go against a specific request. Do what is asked of you, and you’ll be the biggest asset that the couple requires.

Putting together a wedding shower takes a bit of time. As long as you don’t rush into the responsibility, you should have no trouble throwing a lovely event.

 

Is Your Engagement Ring Worth More Debt?
Engagements rings are a long-held matrimonial tradition. However, it’s worth considering a few key factors before you drop any cash on an engagement ring.

Engagements rings are a long-held matrimonial tradition. However, it’s worth considering a few key factors before you drop any cash on an engagement ring.

How much do Canadian couples spend on engagement rings? According to a March 2016 Global News article, the average cost for each one is around $4,700. After including the typical event and honeymoon costs, the total price tag for a wedding can reach almost $40,000. Cutting expenses can be challenging for couples who want to tie the knot. That’s why it’s worth considering a few key factors before you drop any cash on an engagement ring.

Behind the Engagement Ring “Rules”

You may have heard of the supposed “rules” for buying engagement rings. Depending on who you ask, the ring should cost either two or three times one’s monthly salary. Statistics Canada’s 2017 figures revealed that the average weekly salary is around $986. That means the typical Canadian earns almost $4,000 per month before deductions. With these figures, following the oft-repeated rule on rings results in a price tag between $8,000 and $12,000.

How did these modern engagement ring purchasing practices develop? Money Under 30’s David Weliver divulges that they originated with a shrewd marketing campaign launched by the London-based diamond company De Beers. He also contends that they aren’t practical for younger couples because of typical debt burdens and lower salaries. To lower costs, he suggests a few alternatives:

  • Pay for the ring with cash.
  • Select a family heirloom piece.
  • Choose gemstones that are less expensive than diamonds.

Pros and Cons of Financing Your Ring

If there’s no room in your budget to purchase an engagement ring in full, you may be tempted to finance it. Your credit history will determine the types of offers you receive along with spending limits and interest rates. Individuals with favorable credit can choose from many options:

  • Personal loans
  • Vendor’s credit cards or revolving credit lines
  • Major credit cards issued by financial institutions

At the same time, you’ll need to think about how this new debt will impact your upcoming marriage. NerdWallet’s Erin El Issa points out that each spouse is liable for individually incurred debts. This is true regardless of whether they originated before or after the wedding. Yet those debts still affect the couple’s overall financial health. A significant debt load can make it difficult to purchase a home together, contribute to a savings account, or plan for retirement.

In another Money Under 30 article, David Weliver offers suggestions for people desiring to purchase engagement rings on credit. While he still warns readers not to buy rings that they cannot afford, he discusses some favorable financing options. Some jewelry retailers may offer 0 percent financing or no interest and payments for a predetermined time period. Weliver strongly suggests reviewing each offer’s terms. With some, you’ll pay a much higher interest rate after the promotional period expires.

Depending on your credit score, you may qualify for cards that come with 0 percent interest on new purchases for up to one year. Be sure you know what your new APR will be. Also, you should assess whether you can pay off the ring before the promotion ends. Purchase your ring from a reliable online jeweler. Buying online could save you a significant amount of money, letting you spend as little as 50 percent of the brick-and-mortar retailer price. Make sure you request a shipment method with tracking and a signature requirement as well as insurance to cover the ring itself.

Choose Your Credit Options Carefully

In the past, society judged a man’s ability to provide for his future wife by the type of engagement ring he gave her. It’s true that some still take notice at an elaborate ring with a decent-sized diamond. Ultimately, you must consider the effects of purchasing one either with cash or credit. After all, part of your goal should be making smart decisions for your joint financial future.

 

Responsibilities of a Wedding Guest
A great wedding guest can make or break your wedding experience.

To be a great wedding guest, make sure that you are polite and courteous.

April showers bring May flowers, but for brides, April showers bring June flowers. Summer is a popular time for weddings, so you might start getting invitations from your friends who are getting married. To survive wedding season, be the best wedding guest you can. Here are a few tips to help you:

  • RSVP by the date requested. Do not put the invitation aside for a few days, because you’ll forget. Don’t make the couple track you down for an answer.
  • Look at the invitation to see who was invited. Do not invite anyone yourself. If your children aren’t mentioned on the envelope, they are not invited to the wedding. It is customary to invite partners, but if you aren’t married or in a long-term relationship, you may have to go single.
  • Show up if you RSVP “yes.” Barring an emergency, don’t change plans at the last minute. The caterer will charge the couple for your plate, whether you show up or not.
  • Do not talk about the wedding with friends who may not have been invited. This means on social media too. You don’t want to come off as boasting or make others feel bad because they were not invited.
  • Be on time for the ceremony. Better yet, be there 10 to 15 minutes early to get the lay of the land. When you arrive late, you disrupt the flow of the ceremony. If you do arrive late, wait for a break in the action to sneak in.
  • Dress appropriately. If the invitation says “semi-formal,” don’t wear jeans. For a beach wedding, dress more casually. Don’t wear white.
  • Put your phone on silent during the ceremony. Let your babysitter know your phone will be off for a half-hour to forty-five minutes and promise to check immediately after.
  • Don’t take pictures during the ceremony. Respect the wedding photographer.
  • Ask the couple if you can share pictures on social media before you do.
  • Send the gift, if you do, to the home of the bride or groom. Don’t make them deal with more stuff at the reception.
  • During the reception, sit where the bride and groom have placed you. Make conversation with those around you. It’s only for a couple of hours. Your phone will wait.

What About the Rights of a Wedding Guest?

Wedding guests also have rights that come with their invitation:

  • You can expect to receive an invitation if you received a save-the-date card.
  • You have the right to decline the invitation if you cannot attend. No explanation needed, just say, “Thank you, I’d love to be there, but I can’t.”
  • You can ask the couple if you need clarification about your invitation. Maybe you want to make sure you understand the dress code or are confused about the plus one.
  • You have a right to not send a gift at all. You also have up to a year to send a wedding gift.
  • If you do send a gift, you have a right to expect a timely thank-you note. You might want to give the couple a few weeks after the wedding to wrap up all their duties, but if you don’t receive a thank-you note within three months, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask if they received your gift.
  • You should take advantage of the open bar, but don’t overdo it.

Have a Good Time

A wedding is a celebration, and you should have a good time. Thank the host and hostess, typically the bride’s parents, before you leave. Don’t be offended if you don’t get a few minutes with the bride and groom. One of the best things you can do as a wedding guest is to be flexible and gracious, no matter what happens at the ceremony or reception.