Category Archives: etiquette

Tips or Trends Tuesday: Happy Maids and Gents = Happy Bride

Today, I have some advice on how to keep your bridesmaids and guymaids happy and you’re relationships with them in peak condition throughout your wedding planning process. First things first, remember that these are the women and men that you love and cherish the most. So much so, that you have asked them to stand next to you on what is the most important day of your life. Keep that in mind as you progress through the months leading up to your wedding. You don’t want to lose your besties by turning in to an unhinged Bridezilla.

Trust me, nothing positive will resort from Bridezilla antics.      Source:  http://marryingananti-bride.blogspot.com/2012/09/sooo-what-is-anti-bride.html

Trust me, nothing positive will resort from Bridezilla antics. Source: http://marryingananti-bride.blogspot.com/2012/09/sooo-what-is-anti-bride.html

Second, keep the finances of each of your attendants in mind when choosing your bridesmaid’s and guymaid’s attire. If you have one person who could realistically afford a $400 dress/suit and another who can only afford to spend $200 or less, don’t make the one with the smaller budget feel insecure, misunderstood, and feeling like he or she has to get a part time job just to pay for being in your wedding. What to do? Either choose a more affordable dress or pay the difference. Remember rule number one: these are the most important people to you, treat them with love and respect.

Next, consider the body type of ALL of your bridal party when choosing what they will wear. I went through this hell with my sister many years ago. The dress she chose was great for the other bridesmaids who were smaller busted, but me (even at 15) was busting out all over. Even though my mom hunted down matching lace for the top, I was still showing a bit too much for my age. Groomsmen were hitting on me and once we got to the reception venue where an Air Force event was taking place, let’s just say I couldn’t go anywhere unescorted. It was totally embarrassing and I would hate for anyone else (15 or not) to have to deal with a similar situation. If you have petite or plus size maids, pic a style that will flatter everyone. No one should have to crash diet or wear sky high heels just to work an outfit. This too goes back to rule number one.

Fourth, when planning events such as the bridal shower and bachelorette parties, keep the budgets and beliefs of your maids and gents in mind. That trip to Vegas could conflict with religious beliefs or be unattainable due to finances. Trust me, you can have a great bachelorette party keeping it local and affordable and by everyone present keeping their clothes on. If you and your maids can do the weekend in Vegas, then by all means drop some dollars in the slot for me!

Finally, be respectful of your maids’ and gents’ time. Give yourself a good old fashioned reality check when it comes to your expectations of your crew. Expecting them to attend each and every wedding related event from dress shopping, making favors, to parties is incredibly selfish and unrealistic. They have lives too and you have to keep in mind that they have to work, take care of their kids, pay bills, etc. and that your only expectation should be for them to attend the rehearsal the day before the wedding, purchase their outfits, and stand next to you at the wedding. That’s all that should be asked and expected of them. Don’t be like this real bride who sent this letter (that has since gone viral) to her bridal party:

“To my lovely Bridesmaid: [Names removed to protect the brideslaves]

As you all know I picked 10 wonderful ladies to stand by my side, share and make happen my special day to Jake. Each of you individually have a reason and a special place in my heart of why I picked you to be a bridesmaid. We have set our date for Saturday, August 31, 2013 in Vail, Colorado. That seems far away but it really isn’t, the earlier the planning the better. You may have already knew that my wonderful sister L— will be the Maid of Honor, she’s in charge under me. Also my lovely mom will be a big help as well. L— has a big role in throwing me a bridal shower and bachelorette party, of course all of you guys do but at the end of the day shes the go to person and makes it happen+Doe.

You all have a big roll in this wedding, so before we continue I’m going to be setting some ground rules and its very important you read and think about everything through before you accept this honor to be a bridesmaid. If you guys email anything I would also like you to put L— in the CC. Not all the bridesmaid need to be CC’d unless its coming from me or L—, if it something everyone needs to see then well do it. We set the date to August 31, 2013 if that’s a problem we need to know NOW. Also by the end of the week we will be setting dates for the engagement party, bridal show and bachelorette party.

Our wedding party is really the most important people at the wedding besides my self and Jake so we want every single one of our bridesmaid and grooms at our parties, I have 10 not 8 where two couldn’t make it so if you already know you cant make one of the parties then we have to find someone else, not to be harsh in the slightest it would sadden me and of course you’ll still be invited to our wedding, engagement ect. But it’s different if your not in the wedding party and couldn’t make it. We’ll give everyone well advance dates for the parties and it will always fall on a weekend. The wedding as I stated will be in Vail the engagement party will either be in NY or CT and the bachelorette party will be in Vegas, cliche yeaa but I’ve never been.

A few girls live out of town so if there is going to be a problem with coming to either one then I need to know now because after this week I don’t want to be surprised. I would like everyone to send me any dates they are going away or planning to go away after February so if your going away in January I don’t care. I want any dates from February to the day of our wedding in August, that way we know not to plan something when your away. But after this week the dates are set in stone. Also if money is tight and you cant afford to contribute to say the bachelorette party or wont be able to afford a dress etc then L— and Myself don’t have time to deal with that, I’m sorry. This includes flights as well, everyone knows the states where the parties are going to be held so if you wont be able to afford a flight then that means you cant make a party which ultimately means I cant have you as a bridesmaid. Obviously we’ll get the best deals and were not gonna books flights for $1000 and shit that’s why were doing this in advance, that goes for bridesmaids dresses as well everything will be affordable but if you think by affordable its going to be a $25 forever 21 dress then your going to the wrong wedding.

If your out of state though don’t think you have to fly in for all fittings, that we will work with you, find stores in your town, get measurements..you don’t have to worry about that. Also if you accept this honor another thing is that you need to be available, I’m not going to harass you with wedding stuff every hour of everyday but if its something important and it takes you a week even 2-3 days to get back to me seeeee ya! I don’t have time to wait around for responses, everyone has their phone on them, it shouldn’t take you more than a day to get back to me, even if your out of the country, check your email!

Furthermore, Ever since I could remember I have dreamed about this day all my life. I want to share it with the people that are most important to me. You only get one time to plan your dream wedding and I couldn’t pick a more amazing group of girls to make that dream come true! So please, what’s stated above think about it all and by Wednesday I need to know if everyone is 100% in, and what I have asked about sending me dates if your gonna be away between Feb-Aug ill need that on Wednesday. If you don’t think you’ll be able to attend one party but can make the rest of them I’m sorry but I’ll have to take you out as a bridesmaid and put you as a guest. If you want to get back to me before Wednesday, that’s fine. Really think about everything I’ve said. This is really going to be the most epic wedding ever so I hope you girls can share this special day with us!

Love,”

Read more: http://www.uproxx.com/webculture/2012/10/this-bridezillas-letter-to-her-potential-bridesmaids-is-sad-terrifying/#ixzz2I1Xnn8rF

Really? That is one big mess of crazy and I would hope that her bridesmaids stood up to her.

So, with that said, how about some affordable bridesmaids dresses for under $150?! For your guymaids, rental suits and tuxes are typically under $150, but here are some great accessories under $50 so your guys can spice up those cookie cutter rentals. Don’t forget to come back on Friday for bridesmaid’s dresses and guymaid’s accessories from Etsy.

Bridesmaid Dresses under $150

Pink dress
shopruche.com

Formal evening dress
efashioncentral.com

davidsbridal.com
pinterest.com

davidsbridal.com
pinterest.com


pinterest.com

orchid dress
shopruche.com


pinterest.com

Men's Ties "Guymaids" under $50

Tips or Trends Tuesday: Taming Your Inner ‘Zilla

Let’s face it, weddings are stressful. There are to do lists a mile long, everyone chiming in on what they think you should do, budgets, deadlines, etc. It’s enough to put your brain on overload and stress you out to the max. However, your wedding should be the good kind of stress (known as eustress) not the red eyed flaming stress that turns you in to a dreaded Bridezilla.

Did you know that there is a psychological disorder called, “acquired situational narcissism?” That’s describes someone who has a feeling of grandiosity, lack of empathy, and rage as it pertains to a particular situation. -http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/weddings/2007/06/run_away_groom.html A great example is Christian Bale’s infamous and highly publicized rant at a crew member on the set of filming Terminator.

There is some profanity (particularly the f word) so this might be NSFW.

Does this look similar?
Each one of these brides is demonstrating acquired situational narcissism and it sort of breaks my heart, because a wedding should be about celebrating love, not firing your friends over not being able to take off work for a bridal shower.

So, what does one need to do to keep from spewing obscenities, insults, and fire at everyone in your general direction? Here are some of my tips for taming your inner Bridezilla or whatever sort of ‘zilla you identify with be it groom, mom, etc.

1. The most uttered phrase any Bridezilla will make, “IT’S MY DAY!” No dear ‘zilla, it’s not. It’s your partner’s day, your mother’s day, your father’s day, etc. A wedding should be about joining two hearts and two families. Everyone has a stake in making your wedding a day to remember. So, keep that at the forefront of your thoughts as you make your way through the planning gauntlet.

2. Stay organized! Whether you have a wedding planner or not, you must keep things organized. You don’t have to buy a fancy planning book as there are lots of free sources online to help you keep track of all of the details. Keep all of your receipts and agreements in one spot. Hit up one of those free sites and download yourself a checklist. Keep a personal to do list handy and be sure to check things off as you do them. Have lots of inspiration pics? Join a site like Pinterest and pin your inspiration there. It saves you from having to keep a massive cut and paste project.

3. Don’t make ridiculous demands of your wedding party. It’s 2012 and we are ALL busy. We all only get 24 hours in a day and to expect your wedding party to be at your beck and call and show up for your favor making sweatshop isn’t respectful of their time. Schedule a time to get together for a favor making party (provide drinks and snacks) and those who can show up will. Don’t expect them to pay for anything other than their attire. They are your friends and family, not a bank. Wanting a kick ass bachelorette party in Vegas and you live in Ohio? Bridesmaids was a movie honey, not a how to. If it’s something you and your party can afford, then by all means go for it, but if you and your party are strapped for cash…come up with another plan closer to home. This goes for bachelor parties as well.

4. Time management. The average couple has 12 – 18 months of planning time, so use it wisely. The less time you have to plan, the more important it is to spend your time wisely. The first priority should always be to secure your venue first. Then, you can get all giddy about bridal gowns. Speaking of bridal gowns, ideally, you need to get that ordered about nine months in advance. If you show up at a salon and you are four – six weeks from your wedding day, stick to the racks and what you can take home with you that day. Don’t make ridiculous demands of your consultant. If they can rush an order, awesome! Just expect to pay more and don’t demand that the salon pay the manufacturer for the additional costs. Pay close attention to those lists in your favorite bridal magazine or website as they are great guidelines to follow.

5. Stay within your budget and don’t even consider anything outside of it. Whether you and your love are paying for the wedding on your own or if you have financial help from other sources, stick to your budget! You can have a beautiful wedding at any price. Focus on the love between you and your soon to be spouse, not those chair covers you saw on “My Fair Wedding.” Mr. Tutera and his staff create some of the most gorgeous weddings out there, BUT those weddings would cost you well over $100,000. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that sort of cash on hand and neither does my family. Want to know what my wedding budget is? It’s $5,000 for everything…even my dress. The easiest way to stay in budget…fewer guests.

6. Don’t expect perfection. Nobody is perfect and that means that there will be a few bumps in the road on your wedding day whether your have a planner or not. Would your entire wedding be ruined if there was a little nick in the fondant on your cake? Your garter forgotten? Lipstick was dropped on your dress? Your mother-in-law decides to wear blue glitter eyeshadow that makes her eyes look like a mutated peacock? NO, it won’t if you are truly focused on what a wedding is all about: love.

7. Expecting your partner to be just as psyched about wedding details and planning as you are is a bit unfair. Whether your partner is male, female, or both, typically one of you takes on the planning role and the other is there for the ride. There is likely a reason why you are doing most of the planning and he or she is not: you are more excited about the details such as letterpress vs engraving invitations. Don’t get upset about it, because at the end of it all you will be married to one another and you don’t want to ruin the experience by yelling and screaming over something so ridiculous as buttercream vs fondant. It was your choice to take on the planning role, now own it.

8. Finally, focusing more on planning the wedding than planning the marriage. Are there unanswered questions regarding who wants kids and how many? Will you have a joint bank account? If there is infidelity in the marriage, what would you do? Are you sexually compatible? Will you have a date night once a week, once a month? Any health concerns? Talk about all of the big issues and it might be worth it to have a counseling session or two to get feedback on your issues and your plan.

Tips or Trends Tuesday: Trend: Bridal Party Invitations

So, you’re engaged and are thinking about who you want by your side on what will likely be the best day of your life. Do you call up your besties on the phone, take them out to dinner, or do you go all out and let your creativity do the talking? For many of us (like myself), we are just so excited to be engaged that we blurt it out in conversation. Traditionally, taking your potential attendants out for a bite to eat and making a formal verbal invitation or a formal written invitation is customary. Why not take it one step further and come up with a way to ask your besties in a way that will jump start the memory making?

Something trending in the great big world of weddings are bridal party invitations. From personalized boxes of chocolate to paper dolls or a fabulous handmade card, this trend is definitely one that I hope will become the norm. What a great way to establish your theme and make your party feel special than coming up with a creative way to ask them to be by your side. Here are some great examples of bridal party invites that are sure to make your bridal attendants feel special. I hope these can spark a bit of creativity and best wishes on your special day!

Bridesmaid Invitations

Tips or Trends Tuesday: Tip: I’m Engaged! Wediquette

From the moment you got engaged, you went immediately to Facebook and Twitter to share your news with the masses. You changed your relationship status on Facebook in less than an hour and wrote a note to let folks know all of the details of your proposal. Then, you tweeted via Instagram a pic of your beautiful engagement ring. Hold the phone! Or, in this case, hold the keyboard!

Before shouting from the rooftops, take a step back and think of who you have or have not notified about your changed status. How would your parents or bestie feel about hearing the joyous news in an impersonal status message? Methinks it would be a bit disheartening for them and in all honesty, a bit hurtful too. Such news requires the personal touch. If your parents and loved ones are close by, see if you can stop by to give them the happy news. If not, pick up the phone and tell them with your own voice. On this occasion, texts, tweets, or status updates will not do!

Once those closest to you are informed, then announce it to the rest of the world. Tweet away! Create a wedding website. For a taste of nostalgia, send out formal engagement announcements if you’d like. Never, ever, ever, announce such momentous news in any sort of digital or online method until all of the parents, siblings, closest friends, etc. have had that personal visit or phone call. Weddings are a time when emotions are heightened and even what may seem like a little oversight can become a source of strife. Believe me, such an impersonal announcement can rock the boat and put you in a very awkward position.

If you are recently engaged, I wish you the best and much happiness!

Below is a board of a few of my favorite engagement announcement ideas:
Origami announcement, Candyland electronic announcement (a very cool online announcement that chronicles the events leading up to the engagement of the couple, heart cake: fun way to announce an engagement at a family event or party, tying the knot card, fingerprint hearts, stick figure announcement (by http://jfphotography.deviantart.com), have custom wraps done for Hershey bars and bring them to a family/friend event, have your photographer snap a shot of you and your fiancee with signs: “I put a ring on it” and “I said Yes!”, put together or commission a comic strip or book of your lives together leading up to your engagement.

Engagment Announcements

Tips or Trends Tuesday: Good Wedding Guest

If you have a loved one getting married, you may be wondering what to wear, if you should bring a gift and what you should bring, and how to have a good time without becoming “that guest.” Or you may just be thinking, “FREE BOOZE!” I encourage you to take a step back and think about how you would want your guests to act at your own wedding. Does your Grandma need to be exposed to a tell all toast? Do you need to get so drunk that you either start a fight or throw up in the punch bowl?

A wedding in typically one of the largest social parties a couple will throw in their lifetime and contrary to what some guests may think, it’s not a free food and booze free for all. At my wedding to my ex in 1998, his cousin, her husband and their kids showed up wearing jeans, tees and tennies and they weren’t event their good jeans. My ex-husband’s aunt came to the rescue and she actually sent them home and told them they couldn’t come to the reception unless they changed clothes. Many couples have horror stories about guests and their behavior.

Glamour Magazine ran a feature on their blog in November 2010 of “Jaw-Droppingly Awful Things Real Wedding Guests Have Done.” Offense number four stood out to me as I have seen this behavior more than once at a wedding: Wedding Offense #4: Making out in plain sight I have no problem with hooking up at a wedding…if you sneak away to do so. But my friend once witnessed one of the bridesmaids sucking face with a fellow wedding guest ON THE DANCE FLOOR. For real. The bride’s parents were just feet away! It’s a wedding, people, not a junior prom. Read More http://www.glamour.com/weddings/blogs/save-the-date/2010/11/jaw-droppingly-awful-things-re.html#ixzz1JFzv8dSw

Not every wedding guest rudeness goes this far. My ultimate pet peeve: failing to RSVP. Here your friends have provided you with a handy card with a stamped envelope to inform them as to whether you will be joining them and you don’t take the time to fill it out and drop it in the mail. Seriously, it’s less than five minutes out of your day and by not sending it in, you are causing undue stress to your friend and sometimes putting a damper on their relationship with their venue and caterer.

Almost equal with not sending in an RSVP is having your phone on during the ceremony. I’m sorry, but this is a time where two people are joining themselves together (hopefully for life) and hearing your “Bat Out of Hell” by Meatloaf ringtone or you angry texting your ex isn’t exactly or appropriate to your friends.

So, how can you be the best wedding guest you can be?
1. RSVP- seriously, just do it and save your friends the stress and perhaps an additional expense. If something comes up and you are unable to attends, you need to call the couple and change your RSVP as soon as possible. Many times final counts from caterers are due a week to three days prior. Can you change your RSVP to yes after you have declined. No, absolutely not.
2. If the invitation doesn’t indicate what sort of dress is appropriate, give the couple a call and show up dressed appropriately for the wedding you are attending be it black tie or jeans acceptable.
3. Take it easy at the bar. This isn’t a time to become a sloppy drunk. At weddings where there are fights and whatnot, excessive alcohol consumption usually is the case. Pace your self and know what your limit is. An appropriate amount is typically 1 -2 drinks.
4. Don’t take pictures during the ceremony unless the couple has specifically said it’s okay to do so. Excessive flash can ruin the shots the couple is paying a professional photographer for.
5. Don’t place your wedding expectations on the couple and respect their cultural and religious traditions. While watching an episode or “Four Weddings” on TLC, the wedding took place in a Greek Orthodox church. One of the other brides complained about the wedding because it was in Greek and felt that it was unfair that she wasn’t able to understand what was said. That’s a very ethnocentric approach and the best thing for you to do as a guest in this situation is to treat those traditions with respect. Why not look up such traditions ahead of time so that you are prepared for such a ceremony?
6. Do not bring a guest of your own unless your invitation (typically the inner envelope will tell you if you get a plus one) specifically says you are allowed to bring a guest.
7. Giving a gift is not a requirement for guests (Yes, my dear couples, no one is ever expected to give you a gift). However, should you choose to give a gift, give the couple or their parents a call and find out where they are registered and buy off of the registry. The couple has chosen things on their registry based on need, so get them something they will use and don’t forget to mention to the sales associate that this is on XYZ’s registry so that the couple can avoid having multiple gifts they have to return. Also, as a guest, etiquette states you have one year to give them a wedding gift if you choose to do so.

There are some basic etiquette tips to ensure that you don’t become, “that guest.” If at anytime you are unsure, just ask the couple instead of committing a wedding guest offense.

Tips or Trends Tuesday- Host/ess Gifts

‘Tis the season for parties, parties, and more parties. If your calendar is filling up with a variety of holiday events, you may be wondering to what sort of event would you bring a host/ess gift? The experts at the Emily Post Institute have your answer as well as tips for appropriate gifts and regifting:

Host and Hostess Gifts

When should I bring a host or hostess gift?

Cocktail party
Host and Hostess gifts are completely optional for cocktail parties. But if you’re in a generous mood, a bottle of wine or a batch of blueberry muffins for the next morning—or, for the holidays, something seasonal, like an ornament—would be thoughtful. Be sure to enclose a gift card so the host won’t wonder whose thought it was that counts.

Dinner party
Yes, bring a gift, but keep it simple and under $25. Anything that distracts the host may be a nuisance. A bottle of wine, a small potted plant, a flower arrangement already in a vase, candles, or soaps are better bets. Present the gift to your host when you arrive, or leave it on an entry way table if your host isn’t there to greet you.

Casual get together such as brunch
A gift is optional. You may choose instead to bring something to the meal—a side dish, dessert or drink. But ask: just showing up with a tray of Danish puts the host on the spot.

Overnight stay
A gift is mandatory. You can present the gift upon your arrival, during your stay, or after your exit. Consider giving your hosts something you note in the course of your visit that would be right for them, like a tray that goes with their color scheme. The longer the stay, the more expensive or elaborate the gift. For example, for a weekend stay, you may decide to send flowers. If you’ve stayed for three nights or more, a gift certificate to the host’s favorite spa or restaurant would be a good bet.

What do you give the host who has everything?

Everyone likes a thank-you. Even the simplest token can have an impact—flowers, homemade jam, or a batch of your fabulous chocolate cookies.

Should you send something if you’re not attending?
There’s no need to send a gift to a host or hostess if you’re not attending the event.

If I call a host the next day to thank her, must I also send a note? Is an email acceptable?
A call the next day is always thoughtful. For a dinner party, a phone call is enough. For informal gatherings among close friends, either a call or an email is fine. But after an overnight visit, a handwritten note is the way to go.

If a dinner party guest brings me a special gift, should I acknowledge that thank-you gesture with a thank-you note?
A verbal thanks is sufficient. But if you didn’t get to thank your guests at the party, you do need either to call or to drop a short note so that your guest knows you received the gift.

If I bring a gift or a contribution to a dinner, do I still need to send a thank-you note afterward?
If you’ve brought a gift or contributed to dinner and said thanks verbally for a wonderful evening, a written note isn’t necessary.

Perfect Host and Hostess Gifts

* Bestselling book of interest to the host
* A fresh flower arrangement in a vase
* Hand towels for the powder room or beach towels for sunning
* Packages of cocktail napkins, perhaps with the host’s monogram
* Calendar for the coming year
* Bottle of liqueur or cognac the host is fond of
* Sturdy canvas tote bag
* Unusual kitchen tools such as a pasta lifter or egg separator for an avid cook
* A dozen golf balls for a golfer
* Set of nicely packaged herbs and spices or a selection of peppercorns (black, white, red, green)
* Picture frame, with a picture taken during your visit sent later
* Candles and informal candlesticks
* Houseplant in a simple yet decorative pot

When to give?
If it’s a dinner party, offer your gift when you arrive. Overnight guests can give upon arrival or during their stay. A gift can also be sent once you return home, once you’ve had a chance to see what the host may need.

Re-gift a Host or Hostess Gift?

The Wine Bottle Redux
Is it ok to recycle that bottle of wine you received from a guest at the dinner party you held last week and give it to the host or hostess of the party you’re attending tonight? What about the lovely box of chocolates you didn’t open because you’re dieting?

Regifting has become part of our culture—and a hotly debated topic. Is it OK to pass on a gift you’ve received to someone else? Is it ethical? The answer is a very qualified yes. Regifting can be done, though rarely, and under these very specific circumstances:

1. You’re certain the gift is something the recipient would enjoy.
2. The gift is brand new (no castoffs allowed) and comes with its original packaging, box and instructions.
3. The gift isn’t handmade, or one that the original giver took great care to select.
4. Neither your gift giver nor your recipient will be upset.

Simply put, you have to make sure you don’t hurt feelings—neither the original giver’s nor the recipient’s. For instance, if you received a set of wineglasses from your sister-in-law that you didn’t need, do you think she’d mind if you passed them along to a friend who just bought a house? Do the two women know each other? Would it be awkward if they found out? Is there a chance your friend might need to exchange the glasses for something else herself, and if she asked you where you bought them, what would you tell her?

When in doubt, do not regift. Only you can decide whether to regift—and how to do it appropriately. Think through each situation carefully, and if you’re in doubt, don’t do it. A gifting gaffe isn’t worth the price of a coffeemaker or bottle of wine.

Source: http://ww11.1800flowers.com/template.do?id=template8&page=4080&conversionTag=true

Having Kids at Your Wedding?

http://www.getmarried.com/articles/index.php?id=99

If you do decide to have kids at your wedding, here are some great ways to get them involved in the wedding day.

Children can truly bring a wedding to life. Their energy, smiles, and dance moves can make for great photos, video, and laughter during and long after the wedding ends.

If you do decide to invite little ones to your wedding there are a few ways to let that be known. On both the inner and outer envelopes of the wedding invitation, address the recipients as “The Johnson Family,” for example. For a single parent, you may also choose to word it as “Pam Johnson and family.” Or, if the children are old enough, you can include each guest individually on both envelopes.

If kids are in abundance at the event you may consider including a separate insert to the invitation or listing information on your wedding website about on-site babysitters to assist parents during the reception.

And on to the next point: hire a nanny service for the night! The minimal expense will save you and your guests from maximum irritation on the big day. However, it’s not just supervision that you want to consider when celebrating with kids. To ensure the event runs smoothly and tantrum-free, purchase some inexpensive games, basic arts and craft projects (that won’t damage the room or clothing), and movies or other forms of entertainment. Make sure the staff interacts with the children and keeps them busy with an array of activities. Ask your venue for a list of bonded and recommended companies or look locally for services that specialize in weddings, such as The Little Guest.

You may also inquire with your caterer about lower cost kids’ meals and a separate table(s). Children often have allergies or a dislike for common wedding menu items, so opt for something basic that they are used to eating in order to keep them happy (and perhaps save a little money in the process.) Dessert time is a great opportunity to have a little fun with the kids and bring in a themed treat. From a cotton candy machine to an ice cream sundae station, the opportunities are endless and the adults can enjoy too.

When setting the children’s table be sure to ask your venue, caterer, or rental company if they can provide a smaller, shorter table with children’s chairs, booster seats, and/or high chairs if needed. Bring the party to their level and keep them having fun all night long.

Speaking of fun, don’t forget that kids love to dance and will bring a great deal of welcomed energy to the crowd if given the opportunity. So, if you decide to invite them, be sure to let them express themselves freely and they will help give you an event you will never forget.