How to Make Sure Your Guests Enjoy Your Wedding

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People always say that it’s “your day”, and while they are right I always think the best weddings are ones that really take care of the guests too. While I am all for making decisions based on what makes you and your partner happy, I think it’s really nice to consider how your friends and family will enjoy the day.

Here are eight relatively simple things you might consider doing. After all, happy guests will make the day even more magical!

Make transportation easy

Logistics, especially if you are having parts of the day in different locations, can be a stress point for some guests. Particularly if they’re not from the area it might be a nice idea to lay on transport to make sure everyone can get from A to B. For extra bride-points, why not lay on taxis to make sure everyone gets home safely too?

Offer plenty of food options

With so many people having allergies, intolerances and dietary requirements, picking one meal to suit everybody’s needs is most likely an impossibility! To make sure everyone is fed and watered, consider putting on a couple of meal options (you can ask them in your invites if they have any specific requirements or have a couple of options and get them to pick one). You could also have a buffet with lots of different things to try. Most catering companies should be able to rustle up vegetarian, vegan and gluten/ nut free options for specific cases.

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Have an open bar

OK so obviously this is very much budget dependant, but if you really want to hold favour with your guests, have an open bar! The more cost effective option might be to source drinks yourselves from wholesalers or supermarkets rather than using a bar service who will charge you per drink (pro tip: most supermarkets will do awesome bulk buy deals around Christmas so stock up then!)

Surprise them with things they might not have thought of

If you’re having an outdoor wedding, provide blankets or fans for the ceremony (climate depending!), have wellies for a potentially wet wedding and flip flops or ballet pumps on hand if people will be on their feet all night.

If you have guests staying over a ‘hangover kit’ including things like paracetamol, coffee, an eye mask, plasters and a mini toothpaste and toothbrush will also be very much appreciated the next day!

Include extra information on your invitations

The things your guests always want to know are directions and transport options, accommodation choices, things to do in the area (if they’re coming from out of town), dress code and info about the gift list. Make it easy for your nearest and dearest by including all this on an insert sheet inside your invites, or on your wed-site!

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Low Key Camden Wedding with Eight Guests

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If you want to do things low key, intimate and completely on your own terms for your wedding, they Anna and Mark’s big (well, small) day is going to inspire the hell out of you! They were married on December 29th at Camden Town Hall.

“Mark asked me to marry him the morning that I left for a two-week business trip and we agreed that we wanted to get married quickly while my best friend and his husband were in the UK from Texas”, Anna explained. “Mark’s daughter was here from New Zealand too, so we picked a date that was just over a month away. We told very few people before the day, which helped keep it personal and without any sort of pressure to make it more of an ‘event’. Fortunately everyone has been very understanding of this once the news was out and just been really happy for us.”

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“Keeping it small was really important to us”, Mark said. “We chose four people each as a guests. Keeping it quiet kept the pressure off. I think getting all the build-up on social media beforehand would have been too much. Although being the centre of attention on Facebook for two whole days afterwards was really touching.”

After the ceremony they had drinks at the World’s End in Camden, and lunch at Honey and Co. “We just reserved a table for our ‘reception’ at my favourite restaurant, Honey and Co. on Warren Street”, said Anna. “We didn’t tell them it was a wedding or anything.”

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Industrial, Chic and Non-Traditional Belfast Bash!

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Holy crap!” was the only thought I could muster when I first laid eyes on Brenda & Butch’s Belfast wedding. That necklace… that dress… THAT CAKE!! Prepare to get hearts for eyes as you browse through this one…

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They chose February 14th for their celebration of love. After a ceremony at St. Teresa’s Church, they hosted their reception at The Merchant Hotel. “With our wedding being on Valentine’s Day 2015, and grey being my favourite colour, I thought it was ironic that the film Fifty Shades of Grey was released the same day!” laughed Brenda. “Our first dance was to my favourite song, Beyonce’s Crazy In Love which also happened to be the soundtrack to the film!!”

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Victorian Gothic Revival & Google Android Mash-up Wedding!

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You might not think a Victorian wedding theme would work when meshed with modern technology, but with the bride being a history buff, and the groom a technology geek, it was actually the perfect joint theme for them!

Michelle and Drew were married in November at Norwood Park, Nottinghamshire. “I have a great fondness (hmm… obsession) with history”, Michelle told me. “I studied it at university and frankly, I can’t get enough! Drew said he didn’t care what he wore for the wedding so long as he could wear a top hat and carry a cane! So my Victorian gothic revival fantasy wedding was born.”

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The bride’s mother made her amazing dress. “I refused from the beginning to wear white and instead chose red for my gown”, she explained. “While lots of people see white as traditional, it’s actually a fairly recent trend. Queen Victoria wore white for her wedding, but this was very new and before that, women used to just wear their best gown or if they were rich enough, they had one made. So when I thought about it, I actually felt like I was being more traditional than any bride in white! Red was an early favourite. Deep reds, bright reds and purples featured heavily as, to me, they give a sense of luxury.”

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The Salvage Project

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Last year, my beautiful friend Jo lost her battle with depression. I miss her so much and not a day goes past when I don’t think about her. Once the dust settled after her death, her boyfriend Chris and I had long chats about him doing an project in her memory, with proceeds going to charity. On Thursday, what would have been Jo’s 31st birthday, he launched The Salvage Project.

Chris explains the project better than I ever could. The ‘About Jo’ section of the website reads, “I refuse to dwell on her illness as it simply didn’t define who she was to anyone. Jo struggled with a variety of mental health issues throughout my time with her. She hid it from everyone with the exception her closest family and I.

For the purpose of narrative and facts, only: Jo took her own life in February 2014.

I saw this project develop whilst she was alive and, for Jo, ‘The Salvage Project’ was an escape. It was a ‘place’ she felt like she had a real purpose and somewhere that she saw a future. I’ll always remember her face when we’d finish a certain part of a logo or website. She’d bounce and clap and squeal with excitement. I remember, she used to uncontrollably waddle around like a penguin when she was excited.”

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“It was ‘her’ project. The Salvage Project gave her a sense of independence and a feeling of self worth. She’d learned to use side effects of her illness, such as attention to detail and perfectionism to create one of the few things she was genuinely proud of. This project contributed to moments where she was truly herself and I’m so grateful I was around to see how it made her feel.

From the start, we always referred to this as ‘The Salvage Project’. The word ‘Salvage’ took a much deeper interpretation when I started revisiting the project, after she passed away. Jo left behind mountains of her work including chests of beautiful jewellery and notes on the direction she wanted to take with business ideas and branding. Stepping into her office at our home was like stepping into a time capsule of her ‘happiest’ times.

To me, ‘Salvage’ refers to the act of scrambling through the aftermath of devastation to find, develop and launch a project she’d worked so hard towards. I wanted to ‘salvage’ my positive memories of her instead of ‘moving on’. I told myself that ‘If I can’t say goodbye to Jo, I want my memories of her to be from when she was at her happiest’.”

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Friday 13th Elopement at an Abandoned Church

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For everyone that wants the big, family wedding there are those that can think of nothing worse. They crave something small, intimate and just for the two of them. That’s exactly what Erin and Ryan wanted their wedding to be like. They said their vows in front of an old abandoned church with Ryan’s best friend Travis officiating the ceremony.

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“Our wedding was pretty far from normal”, the bride told me. “We eloped for one. We decided a big wedding wasn’t for us, but still didn’t just want a courthouse wedding. So we decided to take everything we liked about more traditional weddings, and left the rest behind. I had a dress, he had a tie, but Instead of inviting (and feeding) all our friends and family, we bought a dozen donuts and had my mother and a few close friends there (6 people including us).”

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