Etiquette & Guests • Official TopWedding Blog
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How to choose the perfect bridal party

No wedding would be complete without the perfect bridal party. Indeed, a team of well-meaning grandmas, bridesmaids, flower girls, program distributors, ushers, page boys, groomsmen and the likes. Most of your closest friends and relatives will certainly have some part to play at your wedding to make sure that the ceremony flows without a single hitch. This is why it’s extremely important to carefully select the perfect bridal party to turn your special day into a unique success.

Bridal party

A common mistakes that several couples make, however, is to go over the top and start bossing everyone around. Don’t be a Bridezilla: remember that your cousin is here to help you sort out the wedding favors not to start scrubbing the aisle. If you want to be surrounded by a perfectly synchronized A-team on your wedding day, make your bridal party feel distinguished and special, not used. It’s also crucial to select the perfect person for the job: no matter how cute your little niece looks, if she’s a bit of a daredevil, it’s probably not a good idea to send her scuttling down the aisle with a basket of flowers in her hands.

Flower girls and ring bearers

The best flower girls and ring bearers are those who are confident, charming and playful without being over the top. Another popular mistake is to go for a shy flower girl in the hope that she won’t create too much of a havoc: while this is true, the flip side is that the flower girl may be way too shy to even walk in front of all these people which can delay the grand Bridal entrance.

Wedding reader

Several weddings also have one designated reader to read speeches from other guests, wedding-related poetry or even bible verses- if you’re opting for a church wedding. It goes without saying that your reader should be eloquent, light-hearted and humorous. After all, there’s nothing worse than sitting through a myriad of speeches and verses delivered by the same pitched drone. By this token, it’s always best to designate someone young and upbeat for the wedding readers. But, that certainly doesn’t mean that you should exclude the elders from your special day.

Elders at wedding

On the contrary, your wedding is a special occasion to honor your favorite grandmother or parent. Don’t underestimate their wisdom and guidance as well: not only have they already been married but they’ve also attended countless weddings during their life and will hence be better able to advise you about the table settings, favors and decorations. A particularly touching gesture would be to ask your favorite grandparent to be your Matron of Honor or best man.

Bridal party 2

Speaking of which, don’t forget that your Maid of Honor should be someone that you’ve known for a long time and someone who not only understands you but is always honest with you. For example, most of your friends will gush over any dress that you select during the wedding dress shopping trip but the perfect Maid of Honor will give you her honest opinion, no matter how brutal it is. After all, to pick a quote from the epic film ‘Made of Honor’: “The perfect Maid of Honor is with her bride every step of the way.” Bear in mind that the Maid of Honor should not necessarily be a relative. If you’re not close to your cousins and sisters, don’t hesitate to go for your closest friend instead.

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Posted in Etiquette & GuestsWedding Planning on Feb 24th,2014
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Everything you ought to know before registering for your wedding gifts

While your guests may be eager to get you the perfect gift for your wedding, there’s no doubt about it: shopping for wedding gifts can be quite a challenging task, especially if the guests aren’t sure what to get you. That is why it’s always important to register for your wedding gifts several weeks- or even months- in advance. Not only will a wedding registry orient your guests towards the type of gift that you would like to receive, but it will also help you acquire quite a lot of useful gifts which will help you start a comfortable life with your new spouse.

Bride opening wedding gifts

There are, however, a few rules and etiquette that you should stick to when shopping for your wedding gifts. For example, one should never even think about including the gift registry with the actual wedding invitation. That’s plain rude. Indeed, wedding invitations should uniquely be used to show your guests how eager you are for them to attend your special day- gift or no gift. Therefore, make sure to include the registry list on a separate date, in a separate envelope or even in the wedding shower invitation. Etiquette also dictates that outer parties such as the groomsmen or bridesmaids are the one who should send out the gift registry list, not the actual couple.

Wedding gift registry shop

Also, when you’ll go to select your gifts, you will most certainly feel overwhelmed by the staggering amount of objects and accessories that surround you. This is why several couples get overly zealous and end up scanning the most outrageous or the most expensive items for their wedding gift list. After all, this is practically free shopping so you’d better indulge, right?
Wrong.

Registering for wedding gifts

If you get carried away and scan outrageously expensive items, not only will your guests feel offended by your blatantly greedy attitude, but they might not be willing to stretch their budget to buy the gifts, hence leaving you disappointed. So, try to find a nice balance between affordable gifts that you will use and expensive gizmos that will only look nice on a shelf. Of course, make it clear that your guests do not necessarily have to purchase the items on your list: they should have the freedom of selecting a gift according to their personal preferences and budget.

Wedding gifts 1

Couples who have friends and relatives abroad should also consider starting an international gift registry to make things easier for them. In such cases, it would be quite advisable to start a list online.

Wedding gift 2

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Posted in Etiquette & GuestsWedding Planning on Feb 21st,2014
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Wedding Rehearsal Dinners: Pros and Cons

Considered as quite an important ceremony in some parts of the world, the wedding rehearsal dinner is usually a get-together that occurs straight after the actual rehearsal, on the eve of the ceremony. Attendees usually include the couples’ parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen and a few close friends and relatives.
While some families are practically religious about the wedding rehearsal dinners, others host this ceremony simply because it’s the norm. But, bear in mind that wedding rehearsal dinners do not have to be an obligation. Indeed, not all of us can afford to host a rather expensive dinner prior to the actual wedding, while some others would rather invest their money in the reception. So, before you decide whether you’d like to throw a wedding rehearsal dinner or not, read on to familiarize yourself with a few pros and cons of this particular ceremony.

Wedding reception

Pros
There’s nothing like a lavish wedding rehearsal dinner to bring some extra panache to the overall day and get everyone in the mood for the wedding. This dinner also provides an excellent way for both the bride and groom to relax and personally thank their closest friends and families for all their help. Through the wedding rehearsal dinner, both the bride’s and the groom’s family will have a chance to spend more time together and hence get to know each other better.

Bride and groom

If you can afford it, don’t hesitate to go for an elegant wedding rehearsal dinner in a classy restaurant. Since it’s one of the most important pre-wedding ceremonies, it certainly needs to be done in an ultra-glamorous and sophisticated manner.

Formal elegant setting for rehearsal dinner

Cons
However, truth be told, not everyone can afford such a lavish party, especially with the wedding ceremony and reception happening the very next day. In some families, either the bride’s parents or the groom’s parents- or even both- usually offer to incur the costs associated with the dinner party. But, in most cases, this responsibility is taken by the couple itself.

Informal outdoors rehearsal dinner

If you’re on a limited budget, don’t hesitate about skipping the entire rehearsal dinner. Alternatively, consider going for a more toned-down version of the dinner. For example, you could always host it outside and turn it into an informal barbecue party. Consider turning it into a potluck dinner as well. Since everybody will be bringing something to eat, the costs are definitely going to be lower for the couple.

Potluck wedding rehearsal dinner

While wedding rehearsal dinners can be quite a lot of fun, the flip side of it is that they can also bring in some extra stress. Since it’s never easy to receive and entertain a lot of people at once, don’t hesitate to cut the guest list to the strict minimum, provided of course, that you do want to go along with the tradition of rehearsal dinners.

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Posted in Etiquette & GuestsWedding Planning on Feb 18th,2014
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A few special touches to make your guests feel welcome

Weddings are all about the bride and groom. That’s a given. Yet, there are quite a few friends and relatives who took the time and effort out of their own busy schedules to attend your special day. So, it’s quite important to make them feel as welcome and comfortable as possible. A few snacks, some beverages and a charming mini hand fan are all among the various items that will enhance the comfort of just about any wedding guest.

Guests attending wedding
Yes, there certainly will be cocktails after the ceremony. Still, if you’re planning a backyard, beach or any other outdoor wedding on a scorching summer’s day, it’s always a good idea to provide your guests with some refreshing beverage of some sort which they can sip on during the actual ceremony. After all, wedding etiquette dictates that you make your guests feel as welcome and comfortable as you possibly can and you wouldn’t want them to dribble with sweat as they watch you exchange vows, would you? Fancier beverage options include mini bottles of deliciously chilled champagne or refreshing cocktails in the likes of Pina Coladas or Mojitos. But, if you’re on a limited budget, don’t worry: even a small bottle of cold water will do the trick. Placing a vintage hand fan or sunglasses on the seats will also help to keep wedding guests cool during a summer or spring wedding.

Chocolate snacks for wedding guests
Similarly, if you’re planning a winter wedding, don’t hesitate to present your guests with hot beverages before they take their seats. The most popular options include mulled wine or cider, hot whiskey, coffee, tea or hot chocolate. If you want, you can even throw in a small square of dark chocolate to nibble on during the ceremony.

Decorated wedding chairs
Of course, it’s also extremely important to select adequate seats for your guests, especially if you’re going to have a long ceremony. We all know that wedding chairs tend to get comfortable after half an hour. So, if the ceremony’s going to be longer than that, it’s recommended to invest in some comfortable chair cushions. Plastic or wooden seats are certainly less hard and more comfortable than iron ones. To add a festive look to the entire affair, you can also use glittery organza and bows to decorate the chairs- or pews if you’re getting married in a church. Another nice touch would be to hang a small potpourri or bouquet on the back or side of the chair for the guests to take home after the wedding.

Wedding cocktail

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Posted in Etiquette & GuestsWedding Planning on Dec 24th,2013
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Unique Wedding Ceremony Seat Ideas

Gone are the days of typical and monotone wedding arrangements. New and extraordinary ways are now on hand to make your wedding unique. Creative seating decors and arrangements are one of the details that make a wedding event one of a kind. Fantastic and beautiful seating decors and arrangements on the wedding ceremony venue add pleasure to the eyes.

Personalize the most endearing event with various range of seating arrangements to leave an overwhelming impression on the guests. The following are few of the exceptional wedding seat ideas to help you pick the best setting that will fit your wedding theme.

Unique Wedding Ceremony Hay Bales

Hay bales – a unique wedding seat idea perfect for farm theme, ranch style or outdoor weddings. Turn out those bales of hay into an outlandish bench for wedding guests. Just tie a table cloth or lace cloth on its edges and a small bunch of flowers or ribbon on its side to put a little accent on it. Groups of arranged hay bales create a conventional wedding ambiance.

Unique Wedding Ceremony Pastel Seats

Wedding pastel seats – a comfy yet bizarre type of seat for weddings especially on exclusive weddings where guests are few like very important persons only. The visitors may feel special treatment on this kind of wedding seats because of the comfortable sense.

Unique Wedding Ceremony Wooden Seats

Wooden seats – bringing back the old fashion at this generation creates a new and fresh type of wedding seats. To diversify and make it more unique put some trappings or backdrop to coin a little adornment such as tied curtains on its back. Uniform wooden seats with perfect sitting arrangement on the wedding place build an overwhelming mood to the visitors. Wooden seats are ideal for almost any type of wedding setting like garden wedding, beach weddings, church weddings and more.

Unique Wedding Ceremony Flower Seat Drapery

Flower drapery seat – carries out an elegant and grandeur looking type of wedding seat. This type is ideal on very special weddings like weddings held on five star hotels. The flower drapery style designed at the back of the chair bears a stylish outlook. The flowery decor gives out an enchanting and welcoming overall elegance.

Unique Wedding Ceremony Comfy Seat Cushions

Cushion seats – are extraordinary type of seat for weddings. Cushion seats are best for summer beach weddings or garden weddings where guests can sit back and relax while witnessing the exchange of vows. The relaxing and soothing setting removes the tense and nervy feeling of the couples and the family of both parties.

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Posted in BridesEtiquette & GuestsWedding Planning on Oct 24th,2013
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Top 5 Tactful Do’s on Wedding Invitations

Yes it’s already the electronic and digital world of the internet and everything just goes around it in a blink of an eye. Everyone can get in touch with people and they will not even feel like they are half way around the world apart. Spare the electronic wedding invitations this time.

Tactful Do's on Wedding Invitations with Person Title
It is part of the etiquette to send wedding invitations in a very tactful way. Given that the internet has hosts of online wedding invitations, it is still important to know if these paperless invites can contain the proper information necessary for the wedding guests. And by the way, there is nothing more memorable than receiving a wedding invitation by hand – the one that carries the wedding theme, the matching lace or ribbon and the silk-like embossed lettering of the name of the guest.

Rule no. 1, Spell out the professional titles of the guests. It should be Attorney instead of Atty. It should be General instead of Gen. And never use their nicknames! A wedding is a formal event so it is right to address the guests appropriately as well.

Tactful Do's on Wedding Invitations Exclusion of Gift Suggestion
Rule no. 2, Use “Ret.” at the end of the name of a retired high-ranking official. Use “Mr. and Mrs.” for married couples who are still living together. If they are no longer living together or if there are couples who are not married but living together, list their names separately in alphabetical order and provide separate invitations.

Tactful Do's on Wedding Invitations No Handwritten Note
Rule no. 3, Children’s names are not supposed to be included in the outer envelope. But if the kids are invited, make sure to include their name in the inner envelope. Say, “Mr. and Mrs. Joe Bright and Grace.” If there is no child’s name, it is commonly assumed that the kids are also invited. In this case, emphasize if the wedding is black-tie and that adults only are expected. It is kind of uncomfortable but it will still be proper if the guests know how you expect the formality of the occasion.

Tactful Do's on Wedding Invitations Traditional Wedding Invite
Rule no. 4, Include the complete ceremony and reception address in the inner envelope. Formal weddings should only use number words for time, street number and date. Street names should all be unabbreviated and no handwritten notes should be included. Semi-formal weddings can use numbers but still do away hand writing some details.

Tactful Do's on Wedding Invitations Separate Map

Rule no. 5, It is never proper to include gift suggestions in the wedding invitations. Any information about gifts should be sent out separately through the wedding website. Lastly, never include a map in the fine paper along with the list of guests. Have a separate print-out to be included in the envelope instead.

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Posted in Etiquette & GuestsTop Weddings on Oct 11th,2013
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Etiquette for the Wedding Guest List

As the wedding day comes near, the bride and groom are faced with dilemmas not typical about wedding attires and venue. The task of completing the wedding guest list is relatively simple but with other factors like budget, sending out RSVP invitations and even children guests can make most of the time and would really require knowing the wedding etiquette.

Etiquette for the Wedding Guest List Introductory Photo
Why is it very important to know the etiquette in inviting wedding guests? Simple. Wedding is a very intimate occasion. Close friends and relatives are supposed to be present to give blessing and support. The occasion involves emotions. Without being tact and careful in picking out guests, a conflict may later arise and this will not be a good start in creating a harmonious relationship between the uniting families.

With budget alone, people should already be sympathetic and understanding in case the number of guests from their side is not what they expect to see on the reserved seat portion of the invitation. So here is how the listing should go.

Etiquette for the Wedding Guest List RSVP
Identify the budget and stick to it. Thought the wedding gown and the cake take the most money during the wedding? Well, it’s not really just about how the bride will look. It is how the couple gets resourceful in accommodating as much guests as their list can do. Know the budget and from there decide on the number of guests and then on the menu.

Etiquette for the Wedding Guest List Budget
Both families should be listing their guests. Ask a list from the groom’s and bride’s parents and then the list from the marrying couple. Compile the list and decide how much of it can be accommodated from the budget. Be honest and show courtesy when discussing this with the parents and parents-to-be. They will understand. And who knows? They might even give out a pot of cash to share the expenses!

Etiquette for the Wedding Guest List
Make a list for the “must” invites. These people should come from families and close friends. They are the people who will be the long term witnesses of the married life of the couple. The “should” invites are the next on the list. And in case the budget still allows, add the “could” invites too. As they say, the more guests, the merrier.

Add extra number of seats for every invitation should the guest will invite a close friend or a fiancée or a partner. If the budget will not be able to accommodate all, be specific and send RSVP invitations so there is approximate number of guests coming.

Etiquette for the Wedding Guest List Friends and Family Invites
Have a wedding theme so there is a basis of inviting children. These little darlings can really get tired easily so if the wedding is in the late afternoon until evening and if it’s a black-tie one, consider that kids can be very tired by that time. That is with the exception of the flower girls and ring bearer, of course.

Remember that co-workers are not required to be at the wedding. It is top one on the etiquette to invite family and close friends first. The office mates may no longer be there after six months after the wedding and they may not be the best witnesses when exchanging wedding vows.

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Posted in Etiquette & GuestsWedding Planning on Oct 11th,2013
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Mason Jar Wedding Recipes

Mason jars are fastly becoming hot wedding favors. There is an overflowing number of mason jar wedding pictures on Pinterest and they’re so cute that you just can’t decide only one idea on how to use them. These jar types give a homey, artsy feel when used on your wedding. You can fill them with lights, goodies, drinks and even crispies. Here are some of the edible mason jar wedding ideas that you can adopt on your big day.

Lemon Meringue

Cherry Crisps
Cherries are like food for the gods and they ought to be present on your big day to spread the love through its vivid red color and heavenly taste and smell. To add some twist into the cherries, mix butter, sugar, oats and flour to serve as the crisp. Complement the taste with some pie filling too. Print out a cute “Cherry Crisp” sign on a stick and plant it in the middle of your cobbler.

Cherry Crisp

Cakes and Cupcakes
No wedding is complete without a cake. A wedding with cakes or cupcakes in mason jars is more fun and artsy. If you have a cake with multiple layers of different colors each, then putting it inside a mason jar would make it even lovelier. Also, topping the cakes and cupcakes with icing above the rim of the mason jar is a nice touch. You could tie up a spoon on each mason jar for your guests.

Cakes

Salad
If you are a health-conscious couple (if you met at the gym) and you know that some of your guests are, then you could provide a healthy mason jar section. In this area, mason jars filled with layers of fruits and vegies would be present. Use your creativity in arranging the salad by layer – greens, oranges and reds. It would be fantastic. Include some eggs for a white accent.

Salad

Smores
Who says smores can only be made over campfires? And that they’re just for kids? Give in to your sweet tooth and serve some smores in a jar on your wedding. Crushed Graham on the bottom, followed by a layer or marshmallows and flooded by melted chocolates until near the neck of the jar. Now, spoon in the meringue over the top and make a playful twist towards the top. Brown the surface with a kitchen torch.

Smores
Take advantage of the transparent feature of these mason jars. In choosing a recipe, put in mind your own theme so that you can make every wedding favor coherent with the wedding reception design and color scheme.

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Posted in Etiquette & GuestsWedding Planning on Oct 08th,2013
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Unique Wedding Guest Book Alternatives

Friends and families are the best people to celebrate your special day with. Cherish these people and treasure them for the rest of your lives because they are the very ones who you and your special someone can really count on. Don’t ever forget them. Let them make their presence on your wedding day be marked. Have wedding guest books. However, if you are bored with the traditional style, here are some fresh ideas which you can embrace.

Photo Hanger
Photo booths are typical wedding must-haves for today. Do more with your photo booth by just allowing your guests to take a picture of themselves. Create a photo hanger where the guests can hang in their photos along with their messages for the both of you. That way, you can share your special messages with everyone else in the room.

Photo Hanger

Puzzle Pieces
Place wooden puzzle pieces inside a bowl and let your guests pick one. Provide pens for them to write with. Make sure that most of the puzzle pieces are large enough to be written on. During the morning after your wedding, you and your hubby can put the pieces together and read the messages together. Also, you could frame the puzzle and preserve it. Hang it on your living room to remind you how awesome your wedding day was because of those people.

Puzzle pieces

Surfboard, shells and stones
Beach weddings open a lot of options for alternative guest books. There are cute sea thingamajigs that you can write on – smooth pebbles, sea shells and wooden planks.The great thing with these alternative is that you can actually use them as home decors. Of course, you just have to coat them with a finish to preserve the written messages. If you are fond of surfing, you can even use your surfboard as a wedding guest book.

Beach Guest Books

Paint Canvass
Let your guests be Picasso on your wedding day. Let them paint their messages on a single canvass. Make sure that you have already penciled in the squares or areas that one guest can write or even draw on to help control the space and to make sure that everyone gets their chance. Provide paint brushes, glitters and even craft supplies which your guests can use in writing their messages.

Paint Canvass

Globe
Are you and your partner globe trotters? Then use a globe as your wedding book. Let your guests write on the globe. It’ll be a great art piece for your living room.

Globe

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Posted in Etiquette & GuestsWedding Planning on Oct 07th,2013
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The Chic Winter Wedding Favors

Winter is all about snowflakes and mittens, chocolates and pine cones, coffee and books. But if you are getting married on winter time, will these cute stuffs be ideal as wedding favors?

White Hug and Kiss XO Soap Favor

Choose the perfect wedding favor in order for the guests to remember that an unforgettable event happened in winter. Make them feel that they are special by giving them wedding favors that come from the heart.Winter wedding favors may not always come in snowflakes but there are symbolic items that spell a romantic winter in every angle.

Green Cactus Shaped Candle with Pottery Holder (Set of 2)

Snow-white cake candles will surely bring the memories of the warm wedding in winter especially when it is lighted. It can come in two or three-layer design. A white lace ribbon as the candle cake topper can symbolize the purity of the event. To make the wedding favor perfect, give it away with a stainless candle holder.

The Chic Ivory Cylinder Candle Holder Winter Wedding Favors

The modern couple may consider a cylinder ivory candle holder as wedding give away. This is romantically perfect and practical at the same time. Choose the iron candle holder with a matching glass. Give away two symbolic iron holders with glass cups – one pair smaller than the other. The bigger one represents the groom and the smaller one the bride. Ivory colored favors are perfect for a winter wedding. Some also comes with snowflakes cut design all over the iron.

The Chic Cake Candle Winter Wedding Favors
Want to give the guests a classic remembrance from the winter wedding? How about a silvery heart-shaped candle with perfectly embossed edges? The shape is already a symbol of romance and union of two lovers. The silver color refers to the cold winter season. From silver, it can also come in gold for a more classic style. Guests can have these cute candles displayed in their homes or they can have these lit up whenever they wish to reminisce the good time they spent with you on your wedding day.

The Chic Gold Heart Candle Winter Wedding Favors

Winter is the season of hibernating for some animals. To people, it is definitely the perfect season to indulge in a book especially during the long holidays. Send a stainless steel bookmark as wedding give away to remind them that on your wedding day, you have remembered them as well. The stainless bookmark is a molded “love” word with a shiny silvery white tassel and comes in a box with clear fabric as packaging.

The Chic Stainless Love Boomark Winter Wedding Favors
A pair of coasters is also a perfect wedding favor. The personalized ones have the figure of the groom and the bride on the round metal coaster with the words “just married” at the bottom. It is a clear indication that the items are remembrance from the most romantic wedding they have attended during winter.

The Chic Round Stalinite Coaster Wedding Favors

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Posted in Etiquette & GuestsWedding Planning on Sep 16th,2013