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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Handling Children at Your Wedding
Deciding whether to invite children to your wedding is a personal choice. Having a plan in place to keep them engaged can make a world of difference.
Children can be wonderful to have around. There’s something invigorating about the boundless energy and genuine laughter of little ones. Of course, kids can also be a huge headache, as most parents can attest to. While it is commonplace for couples to exclude kids from their wedding guest lists, there are plenty of scenarios where children are invited. If you are planning for your wedding and are curious about how to keep kids under control during the event, now is a perfect time to start exploring some ideas for crowd control.
When the day of your wedding arrives, you don’t want to be distracted by children who are bored and restless. Consider these ideas, and find the right balance for your big day.
In a perfect world, children would attend a wedding and understand they are supposed to behave in a specific manner. Of course, this is far from reality. In truth, kids will become distracted quite easily by all of the rituals and slow-paced traditions that pepper most ceremonies. Without taking the proper precautions, it won’t take long for the little ones to start finding their own entertainment. Usually, this means the kids will begin running around, causing disruptions, and acting in the typical ways that most children do when left to their own devices.
Thankfully, you don’t need to do much to keep children entertained at your wedding. One great idea that tends to work wonders is providing a place for kids to sit down and color. Offer coloring books, blank pieces of paper, and plenty of crayons, and you won’t need to worry about boredom taking over the kids anytime soon. You may also want to think about providing a board game or two, as well as simple snacks that will keep all the little ones happily seated together without feeling the need to run off looking for trouble.
Snack and Snooze
Pacing the meals appropriately is also a good idea to think about when children will be in attendance at your wedding. Adults and children eat at remarkably different paces. While the average grownup won’t have a problem with waiting between courses, a child usually will want to leave the table when he or she is done with whatever has been provided already. Try and arrange with the vendors to have meals delivered to children first, so that the adults can eat at a leisurely pace without worrying about the kids the entire time.
It can also be a good idea to make arrangements for a place where some of the little ones can take a nap. Depending on the ages you’re working with, it is pretty common for a child to need to rest after indulging in a big meal or dancing for several hours with the adults. Having a separate room where children can go to sleep for a bit under the watchful eyes of the adults can be a great way to keep the peace and prevent any cranky tantrums caused by tired kids.
Hiring a professional sitter might also be a great move for your wedding. Having a trained expert nearby to watch the kids throughout the night allows the adults the freedom to enjoy the wedding without being constantly distracted. This is definitely a good idea when you know there will be a number of children present. Keep the peace and allow everyone the chance to have a good time on your big day by taking this precaution.
Deciding whether to invite children to your wedding is a personal choice; however, should you choose to include youngsters, have a plan in place to keep them engaged. Provide child-friendly entertainment, offer foods and beverages kids will enjoy, and consider hiring a professional sitter to give the parents a break.
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.
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.
Don’t Let Allergies Ruin Your Wedding Day
Whether you suffer from seasonal or food allergies, there are ways to make sure your wedding day is not ruined by sneezes and watery eyes or worse.
For those who suffer from allergies, each and every day can be concerning. Depending on the type of allergies you have, you could be extremely careful about what you eat or you might pay attention to the seasonal pollen count as if it were your bank account. This means you most likely will also have a number of concerns about your wedding day and how your allergies might negatively impact all of your carefully laid plans. Though allergies are annoying, they can be bested for a day with a bit of preparation.
Whether you suffer from seasonal or food allergies, there are ways to make sure your wedding day is not ruined by sneezes and watery eyes or worse. Take a look at these tips and plan in advance for your own needs.
The Seasonal Experience
First, it can be a good idea to examine seasonal allergies. Unlike food allergies, which can be somewhat easy to contain, seasonal sneezes and discomfort are totally based on the weather and environment. Though you will not have total control over these factors on your wedding day, you can definitely change the outcome for the best by remembering a few simple points. For one, high pollen count and an outdoor wedding can spell disaster. Encourage guests to take allergy meds in advance or try and book a venue near water, as the wind off bodies of water can lower pollen.
It is also important to realize that flowers are not as significant as you might imagine when it comes to allergies at a wedding. The main reason for this comes down to the most common types of flowers at these events. Lilies and roses are ubiquitous at weddings, and these flowers produce pollen that is more difficult for people with allergies to react to. On the other hand, any flower arrangements featuring floral options that produce smaller pollen grains could be problematic for anyone who is sensitive to such allergens.
Food and Drink Concerns
Knowing what you can and cannot serve at your wedding can be tricky when allergies are involved. Some people have very common allergies, like tree nuts or shellfish. Still, people have allergies to everything from apples to prunes to gluten. This means you should take a few simple precautions before you finalize the menu for your big day. The easiest solution? Be sure to ask guests very early about any and all allergies or dietary restrictions that they might have. The invitation is the perfect place to bring this topic up.
When your guests inform you of their allergies and intolerances early enough, you can make adjustments. If you forget to ask, you could end up in a situation where several guests at your wedding cannot eat their meals because they are severely allergic to one or more ingredients. As long as you bring up the question very early and ask all guests to provide information about allergies, you should be able to avoid a situation where someone has a bad reaction to something they ate at your wedding.
Communicating with your guests about potential allergies is only one step of the process when it comes to food and drink. You also need to make sure your kitchen staff and caterers are informed of these restrictions. There are situations where caterers introduce appetizers that feature ingredients guests might not notice. All it takes is one loose peanut in a pastry puff to send a guest into a problematic situation. As long as you speak with your caterers about all concerns, you should be able to avoid any major issues.
Don’t let allergies ruin your big day! Take the right precautions with food, seasonal, and environmental allergies, and you should be able to enjoy a day without a chorus of sneezes ringing through the air every few minutes.
Changing Trends and Competition Spell Trouble for Big Bridal Stores
With shifts in wedding trends and customers seeking new options, many ask if big-box bridal stores will be able to stand these and future challenges.
In November 2018, CNN reported that David’s Bridal filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Documents filed in a U.S. bankruptcy court show that the corporation owes between $500 million and $1 billion to creditors. Some possible factors leading to the American company’s troubles include a decline in marriages, more casual weddings, and strong competition from online and brick-and-mortar retailers. With the same developments occurring in Canada, it’s worth an examination of how they have impacted big-box bridal stores.
Marriage Rates Are Declining
The Canadian Encyclopedia mentions that the marriage rate in Canada is dropping. Statistics Canada recently revealed that married couples head around 65 percent of households. That’s a slight decline from 2001’s findings, which indicated that married pairs headed 70 percent of households. Changing attitudes about marriage and financial worries may have caused this decline.
More Couples Choose Casual Weddings
Nearly every wedding magazine or website offers suggestions for hosting casual affairs. Wedding Wire’s trends report from 2018 mentions some recent notable trends:
- Grooms are selecting more laidback attire.
- More couples write their own vows.
- Wedding parties are walking down the aisle to non-classical music.
A March 2018 piece in Canadian Living supports these observations. Writer Jessica Alcock comments that modern bridal fashions tend to be simple and elegant. Another key trend focuses on gowns designed with runway-inspired details.
Competition From Brick-and-Mortar Retailers
Discount outlets and department stores have made inroads in the industry. As a result, their competition presents challenges for big-box bridal stores. A July 2018 Glamour article showed several gorgeous and inexpensive department-store gowns. Some of these businesses, such as Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, have store locations in Canada. Hudson’s Bay also partnered with New York City bridal boutique Kleinfeld, offering a wide range of gowns at its Toronto Queen Street location.
Local independent bridal shops provide personalized service and unique formalwear options. Wedding Wire Canada maintains a directory of Canadian boutiques. Several of these stock vintage, consignment, and pre-owned gowns. Brides who want a vintage look or who wish to save some cash can discover fabulous finds at these and other locally owned stores.
Better Deals and More Options Online
Online shops also offer a huge range of options. Many American premier boutiques, some major department stores, and specialty shops ship to Canada. A few examples include Macy’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Revolve, and Forward by Elyse Walker. Anomalie, an online bridal-wear startup, produces custom gowns crafted to meet each bride’s specifications. Their creation occurs during a collaborative process between the bride and a company stylist. The result is a made-to-measure dress that’s shipped directly to the bride. Often, these distinctive gowns cost much less than a comparative dress found in a big-box bridal store.
Can Big-Box Bridal Stores Change With the Times?
All these developments have affected the bottom lines of large retailers like David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo. David’s Bridal currently has 12 locations throughout Canada. As for Alfred Angelo, the corporation had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in United States federal court in July 2017. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported in July 2018 that all its retail stores have permanently closed. Moreover, the company still owed brides more than $20 million in claims for gowns that were never delivered.
David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo relied on classic industry business models. With shifts in wedding trends and customers seeking new options, both companies saw their profits plummet. Will big-box bridal stores like them be able to weather these and other future challenges? That remains to be seen, but the bottom line is that couples will turn to vendors who can provide the products, prices, and services they need.