Why It Helps To Be A Party Animal If You Are Getting married
Once you decide to get married, your powers of organisation will be severely tested. Why do you think wedding planners are so popular these days? Putting on a wedding is a bit like staging the Olympics Opening Ceremony, there are so many players, costumes and rehearsals to manage, once that honeymoon rolls around you will be so ready for two weeks of doing nothing by the pool. Modern weddings seem to attract a lot of satellite celebrations around the event that need attending to – and this means we have to be even more organised.
So apart from the wedding, what else can a bride and bridegroom be expected to arrange regarding the celebration of their nuptials?
First up is the engagement party. This is the party that announces to the world your intention to get hitched. A celebratory, fun affair that can be hosted informally or formally – anything goes with engagement parties. This will be your chance to show off your rock of a ring (let's hope!) and introduce your partner to friends and family they perhaps haven't had the chance to meet previously. Traditionally, the engagement party was hosted by the bride's parents, however, this is no longer a steadfast rule. Before setting the party date make sure all the most important guests are free to come on the day – parents, siblings, close friends all need to attend an engagement party if possible. Many engagement parties have entertainment buzzing and whether it's a lounge singer, jazz ensemble or other live music wedding band, it's a great way to make the party go with a swing.
This is where the bride gets to say a personal 'thank-you' to her bridesmaids, by providing them with a slap up lunch. Strictly speaking, it doesn't have to be lunch time, it could be a swanky afternoon tea in a country hotel, or a supper in a relaxed gastro-pub. Some brides choose to take their maids out to a spa for some pampering treatments. Traditionally, the bridesmaid's luncheon is where the bride gets to give her maids gifts, thanking them for their love and support. Brides sometimes choose to have a special Bridesmaids Cake, a pink iced confection that contains a thimble, coin or ring inside – tradition says the maid who finds the trinket may be the next to tie the knot.
Another opportunity for letting your hair down and partying. Fortunately, you are let off the hook a bit because the hen party is really the responsibility of the head bridesmaid to arrange. Whether it's a weekend in Prague, a day out at Ascot, a luxurious spa retreat or a group parachute jump, it should be a memorable day out with your best girlfriends and closest female relatives. Fun with a capital F.
Usually held close to the actual wedding day, often the day before. Rehearsal parties can be quite emotional affairs, attended by many family and friends – as the day has almost arrived, it can help to have close ones around to calm the nerves. Laying on some kind of food and entertainment is quite common – a live music wedding band and disco helps to keep out of town guests occupied and amused, especially if the bride and groom are planning an early night.
This party is the big one, the main attraction after the official nuptials. Whatever you choose, whether it's a grand affair or a small intimate gathering, it will need food, decorations, staff and entertainment to be a success. To make a wedding memorable, choose entertainers with a good track record. Booking a wedding band can be tricky and it is best to go on personal recommendations or to use someone you have seen performing at other functions. There will be speeches, toasts, telegrams and the bride and groom's first dance – make sure you've discussed the song you would like with the entertainers beforehand.
This is the after party, the following day. The newly weds are usually off on their honeymoon by now and this post wedding bash is left to the parents to sort out. Often quite restrained affairs where everyone is nursing slight hangovers, the post wedding brunch is the perfect opportunity for guests to socialise and mingle in a relaxed atmosphere
Things Wedding Guests Do Not Like
We all dream of the perfect wedding day, and we all strive really hard to get every little detail just right. It is not easy organising a wedding. Think of all the people you have to please, all the minuscule details to remember, all the planning and paperwork to keep on top of. If you really thought carefully about the sheer amount of hard work involved beforehand, it is quite possible you might just settle for a quiet registry do during your lunch break.
By far the best way of throwing the perfect wedding bash is to learn from the experience of others. Listen to what wedding guests say about the things they have not liked at other weddings they have attended. Their tips could help you avoid falling into some of the common annoying wedding traps. We've done some digging and discovered the unpopular aspects of weddings which guests find irritating.
Get the date right
There is so much pressure on popular dates in the calendar it may well be impossible to get all the stars to line up at once. The chances of your first choice venue, caterer, live music wedding band or church all being available on the day you want are slim. That said, don't go for a really tricky date that many people will find hard to fit into their diaries. Weddings close to Christmas, New Year and Easter can prove problematic for many as it is usually a period for spending time with relatives. Think about other dates that may clash such as big sporting events, royal celebrations etc. This can make life difficult for guests and it could result in them declining an invitation.
Cool it on the cash bar
Wedding guests do not like cash bars at all. Paying for drinks at a wedding they have been invited to is one of the biggest gripes for wedding attendees.
Silly seating arrangements
A major moan many wedding guests have is that they are seated with people they do not know and have little in common with. Another irritant is that they get sat a long way from the front where they can't hear any of the speeches or see anything that is going on.
Being really hot or really cold is a common guest problem. There is a limit to how much control you will have over this, but if for example the country is experiencing a heat wave, fans or air-conditioners might be worth considering to make them more comfortable. Equally, extremely cold churches can be unpleasant places to spend any time, think about offering blankets for knees or hot cocoa afterwards to warm up frozen guests.
DJs that play music too loud is a common guest complaint at weddings. Avoid this by securing the services of professional musicians familiar with the demands of a variety of wedding crowds. Booking a live music wedding band that understands the need for light and shade at the event's entertainment will avoid any disgruntled guests having to stuff their ears with tissue or sit outside to escape the din.
Sadly, this is a frequent moan from wedding guests. Food that is either cold or tasteless is often criticized. Vegetarians and others with special dietary requirements are also often left feeling a bit unloved and uninspired by the offerings they are expected to eat.
When it is time for the wedding speeches to be made, make sure there is someone around to stage manage proceedings. Speeches that drone on and on are near the top of the list of things that grate with guests.
It is good to feel that everything is under control and well rehearsed when you attend a wedding. Long awkward pauses or gaps between points in the day should be well managed. If there is going to be a significant time lag between the wedding service and the reception, try and figure out something to keep guests entertained such as a magician or caricaturist. Hanging around for long periods of time doing nothing is not much fun for wedding guests and could spoil what should be a happy day.
Don't forget your manners
Guests do not react well when they are not thanked for their gifts. Do remember to keep a good note of who gives what, then diligently write thank you letters to everyone when you return from honeymoon.
Well, if this hasn't put you off getting married entirely, it should serve as a warning for some of the pitfalls to look out for in your wedding planning. Best of luck on your special day!