Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A newlyweds advice to future brides

Redditor "Lemon-Pepper" recently gave advice on the website Reddit to brides currently planning their weddings.

She writes: "this is my advice to all engaged women: you do not need bridal shows, TV shows, magazines, etc. to have a wedding. All those do is prompt you to spend money on needless things and lead you to feel that you should be living up to specific social expectations."

I could not agree more. While looking at those expensive bridal magazines can be a trip down Fantasy Lane, it's important to plan your wedding in on Reality Road. Many brides can not afford the luxury of a $10K wedding dress and $200 per person reception. All you need is your loved ones, some food, music and a good time. You are there to celebrate your big day. Not be featured on Style Me Pretty. If you have the means and finances- great! I love me some bling and excellent decor. But to have a memorable wedding you only need a few things.

Lemon-Pepper write:All you need is your friends, family, food, and wine all in the same place (wine is key though, do NOT deprive anyone of wine) and you will have a beautiful day. It rained on my wedding day, I didn't decorate for the ceremony AT ALL, I didn't care if there were flowers in my hair or not, my bridesmaids were beautiful no matter what they did with their hair and makeup, I drank red wine (oh no she didn't!), we didn't have a DJ (just an iPod and some funkay friends!), and I danced to the point where I was dripping sweat on anyone within a few inches of me (seriously, I'm a sweater)... And it was AWESOME. Your wedding is as perfect as your attitude (and the feeling your event gives your friends and family), not your decorations and hair. Love your celebration and don't dwell on the little things, despite the tiny details Pinterest says you need to have! The link below is a photo that captured our day in one shot!

The attitude of the couple getting married is so much of the wedding. Some of the best weddings I've been to are when the bride and groom and tearing up the dance floor and going around laughing. I've also been to a wedding where the couple seemed so nervous and shy, the overbearing families staring them down, it was so uncomfortable. Have fun, and your guests will have fun too.

And one last word of advice Lemon-Pepper write: "another piece of easy advice - choose scenery over decorations. This photo is why I had no decorations:"

Gift Expectations - Tactfully write your thank you notes.

Recently this article exploded all over the wedding-internet: 

Wedding gift spat spirals out of control after bride demands to see receipt

This is the gift basket that offended a pair of Hamilton newlyweds so much that they let the donors know in no uncertain terms.

To sum it up, a bride was quite upset over receiving a basket full of edible goodies from a guest, called them out on it, explaining that she expected at least a $200 cash gift from them. A horrific email exchange ensues. 

This brings up a a great discussion- Gift Expectations. In some cultures it is quite customary to expect cash. However, in American culture a couple can expect a range of gifts from their registry, envelopes or cash, or unique trinkets guests feel compelled to give. Now in this instance the bride was Croatian and the guest Italian. Now myself, I actually come from an Italian/Croatian mixed family and I can say no one ever mentioned to my my wedding was a money making opportunity. 

The bride states in one email to her guest: "Weddings are to make money for your future … not to pay for peoples meals." I think she missed the point of the wedding.  She should have taken the money for her wedding and invested it if she wanted a good ROI.  A wedding is a celebration of your union, not a business opportunity.  It can be quite difficult to look at paying $80 per guest at your wedding, but you need to be comfortable spending that money know your only getting their company and support in return.  If you can't afford to have everyone at your wedding, cut the guest list. 

Now, there is another part to this madness: The bride was clearly upset with her gift, and she told the guest: "You should have been cut from the list … I knew we were gunna get a bag of peanuts" OK this email exchange is getting ugly. You have to face it, when you have a wedding, and registry for all kinds of lovely gifts some guests are still going to give you gifts THEY want to give. At my wedding I received many gifts that I did not register for- Paintings of Monkeys, Sand Art, Tropical Towels..Etc. However, I was a grateful bride and never told the guests about how their gifts missed the mark.

A rule of etiquette that should be mentioned- is NEVER tell the guests that you are dissatisfied with their gift choice. Now come time to write your thank you notes you may think "How am I going to write a thoughtful note over a gift I hate?" use this template:

Dear _______,
Thank you so much for the {Insert terrible gift description here} . We were delighted to receive such a unique gift and we appreciate your thought fullness in picking out something that you knew we would enjoy. We were so happy to see you at the wedding, we hope to see you again soon.

Thank you so much,