July 23, 2016
Landon, Ring Bearer
You may approach not inviting children to your wedding in many ways.Â Remember, for some families, they may not be satisfied with your choice, feel their kids are a â€śpackage deal,â€ť and may plan to disregard your request by bringing their children anyway.Â How will you feel if those guests show up with their children at your wedding?
How would you feel if you were invited to a close family memberâ€™s out-of-state wedding, and you have young children, and found out they were not invited?Â Some people are okay with child-free weddings, others arenâ€™t.
Are you planning to have children in your wedding party as flower girls, ring bearers, junior bridesmaids, or junior groomsmen?Â If so, you may already be okay with having children at the wedding ceremony, just not at your cocktail reception, dinner, and dance.Â Make an educated decision by talking to each other, and include your parents to get their feedback on what has been done in your family previously at weddings and other social events.
You may choose to include children of family members only, children of a certain age, or no children at all.Â It is inappropriate per etiquette to write â€śNo Childrenâ€ť on your invitations.Â Instead, communicate your wishes by leaving childrens’ names off the invitations, and write only the parentsâ€™ names on the invitation outer and inner envelope.Â Make sure you do not address the invitations to â€śand family,â€ť or â€śand guests.â€ťÂ Address your wedding invitation to the specific individual(s) you are asking to share your wedding with you, (i.e., Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Anderson).Â You may not want your cousinâ€™s boyfriend of the week invited.
Wishful thinking is that the parents will read and understand by you addressing the envelope to Mr. and Mrs. Steven Horn this implies their kids arenâ€™t invited…great idea and tip above, yet some parents may discard the envelope(s), and â€śassumeâ€ť their entire family is invited. Â The last thing you want is to not mention this on your save-the-date, or the wedding website, and the parents â€śassumeâ€ť the kids are invited and are excited for a family get-away, to receive your invitation 6 – 7 weeks prior to the wedding date to find out their children are not invited.
You may want to tell certain relatives or friends about your plans for not inviting children.Â As a courtesy, you may hire an experienced licensed and insured childcare provider during the hours of the wedding to watch the children of the out-of-town guests at a nearby hotel, or allow the guests to pay, provide and select childcare options from a list provided by you on your wedding website.Â Nanny or childcare provider services are available to come to you at a location, and most have been fingerprinted, and have background checks for their employees.Â Make sure you check their references, and the Better Business Bureau, and get recommendations and referrals from your wedding planner, catering manager, and hotel sales manager.
If you have predominantly locally guests attending, it will be easier for them to arrange reliable childcare.Â For a new mother traveling with newborn, and nursing, it will be difficult for her to find reliable childcare in an unknown area, and she may need to be close in case the newborn isnâ€™t taking a bottle from a stranger yet.Â This may be the first time they have flown or traveled together with their newborn.Â If you have toddlers, they may be clingy and resistant to going with someone they donâ€™t know, especially in the evening, and the parents will be nervous throughout the evening.Â In that instance, would recommend to arrange for childcare nearby at their hotel. Â This would be close by, and in case they want to check-in during the evening, it would be easy and comfortable for all involved.
Define your version of â€śchild-free.â€ťÂ Will this be for your wedding cocktail reception, dinner, and dance only, where you are fine with children attending your rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, and the brunch the day after your wedding, or will you have an entire adult only wedding weekend?Â You may already have in your mind the set of parents which are going to be upset with you, right?
Advance communication as clear and kindly as possible with specific wedding details like this needs to be included with your save-the-dates and on your wedding website.Â Save-the-dates with your wedding website address should be mailed out as soon as possible.Â You could provide a list of trusted childcare providers for the parents to reach out and interview, and this would be a way (depending on how many children would be traveling) for the children to be all together.Â You may want to provide a room at your out-of-town guest hotel where the children have Netflix movies which are age related and kid activities in the hotel room so the children have an incredible time, are fed, are supervised, may go to sleep comfortably, and the parents enjoy their evening knowing their children are in good hands too, as a win-win.
Once you and your fiancĂ© make a decision on your choice and definition of â€śchild-free weddingâ€ť, would recommend keeping it equal for both sides of your families.Â If someone RSVPs with more people than you invited, who will be the person to call them and let them know the invitation was for 2 adults, and because of budget, space, or safety (if there is a pool or water feature which may mean unattended children may be at risk) in order for them to enjoy their evening, we have chosen an adult reception only.Â The last confrontation you want is, â€śWhy did they get to bring their children, and we couldnâ€™t bring ours?â€ť
If you are having only a few couples which have families, it may be easiest to e-mail, text, or call them to let them know you want them to come for a â€śdate nightâ€ť at your wedding, and if they need help arranging childcare for â€śTommy and Annaâ€ť, you have a list of reliable childcare providers referred to you which are insured and licensed on your wedding website to check out since it is an adult reception only wedding.
On your RSVP card, as well as your wedding website here are some ideas to consider:
- Please reserve ________ adult seats at the cocktail reception, dinner, and dance.
- Please reserve (circle) 1 or 2 adult seats at the cocktail reception, dinner, and dance.
- Adult Reception Only
- While we love the little ones, this is an adult only affair.
- We would love for your children to attend the wedding ceremony, however, the reception will be an adult affair. We would love to help you arrange for childcare please see our wedding website www.MattandCindi8.8.2018 for details.
- ________ children RSVPs for childcare with age(s) being ______________
On your RSVP card, you may want to put a #1, or #2 for the maximum quantity of RSVPs.Â This gets difficult if you invite many single guests, since this may allow them to invite their â€ś+1,â€ť although you arenâ€™t interested in inviting their â€ś+1.â€ť
If you and your fiancĂ© are okay with children attending the ceremony, you may want to try:
- Children are welcome to attend the wedding ceremony, yet the cocktail reception, dinner, and dance is an adults-only affair.
- Children are welcome at the ceremony, yet to allow all guests to enjoy their evening, we have chosen an adults only cocktail reception, dinner, and dance.
Whatever your choice, please communicate clearly with kind words, and treat people the way you would like to be treated.
Copyright 2016, Kim Horn, MWPâ„˘
HIRE expert, Kim Horn, MWPâ„˘ to help design, negotiate, mediate, plan, and implement your wedding details.
Kim M. Horn, MWPâ„˘
Master Wedding Planner | 1 of 75 in the World
Scottsdale Wedding Planner |
Paradise Valley Wedding Planner |
Chandler Wedding Planner | Phoenix Wedding Planner |
Sedona Wedding Planner | Destination Weddings | Weddings Worldwide
Publisher | President | ArizonaBridalSource.com
July 21, 2013
Thank You to Family and Friends
Think of how you feel when you travel, there is no place like home, right!Â As a wedding planner for over twenty-five years, learn from experience, Â it IS in those little details which make a difference in taking your wedding from ordinary to extraordinary!
Remember, your out-of-town wedding guests will spend extra money on plane tickets, rental cars, gas, hotel rooms, and other extras in order to travel and celebrate your wedding with you.Â Â It is courteous to show your guests who traveled far how you appreciate their time and effort it took for them to attend your wedding.Â It need not be fancy and expensive, just choose from a variety of options and you can find simple yet special items your guests will love to receive.Â Who doesn’t love a welcome bag!Â Your welcome bag is a nice gesture to make them feel at home.
Before You Start, Decide on Your:
1).Â Theme. Use your wedding colors, engagement photo, theme, and/or your logo/monogram from your wedding invitation or save-the-date.
2).Â Quantity & Budget.Â Â Determine the quantity of welcome bags you need based on your RSVPs.Â Always recommend having RSVPs due at least 30 days prior to your wedding date.Â Get a list of names with check-in dates from the hotels where you have room blocks.Â Knowing how many welcome bags you need will help you decide on the quantity and quality of products you include in them.Â If you have 10 bags vs. 50 bags, your budget for each bag and their contents may vary.
3).Â Delivery.Â How are you planning on delivering the welcome bags to your guests?Â Find out the fee to distribute the welcome bags at the hotel.Â At the time of writing this blog, many hotels are charging from $1-$3 per bag for the bags to be delivered to the room after the guest checks in.Â Remember, many guests may put out their â€śdo not disturbâ€ť signs on their doors upon arrival.Â This may become a problem, especially if they do not check their message light on their hotel phone, or their hotel room voice mail, which says â€śyou have a welcome bag we tried to deliver to you.â€ťÂ Make sure you have a main contact at the hotel who will be responsible for making sure all welcome bags are distributed to the guests upon checking in, since they will be privy to the number of bags remaining, and potential delivery problems like this.Â Get a list of your hotel guests at the hotels you have room blocks with, which will give you their check-in dates, so you know the earliest arrival.Â Find out deadlines for when you need to have the items for the bags purchased.Â How long will it take for the bags to be packed, assembled with finishing touches?Â When do the bags need to be delivered to the hotel, so they are ready for the arrival of your first guests checking in?
Next, Decide on What to Include in Your Welcome Bag:
1).Â What is your vessel of choice?Â Whatever Â your choice of vessel, make sure it is reusable and easy to carry so it doesnâ€™t add to the luggage of your guests.Â Select something which goes with your theme (see #1 above.)
2).Â Do you have time to DIY or are you hiring a company to do this for you?Â You may want to hire a professional company for suggestions on themes and bulk pricing.Â They purchase in bulk and have contacts for prepackaged items, (since they have more clients than just you), then assemble, pack, put finishing touches on the bags, then deliver your welcome bags to your hotels.Â They will have local contacts and connections to expedite your search.Â You may be able to purchase everything from them in bulk, and they may show you how to â€śassemble one.â€ťÂ Check your local Costco, Dollar Store, and local wholesale club, since they may have trial sized products or items in bulk to help you save on your cost per item.Â You may want to get some items on your own, and incorporate specialty items from a professional source.
3).Â Point of Contact.Â Include the name and cell phone number of your wedding planner or the point person who will handle logistics and answer questions for your entire weekend.
4).Â Wedding Weekend Itinerary.Â NOTE:Â You may need 2Â versions â€“ one for your wedding party guests (highly suggest you sending out PRIOR to their arrival such as spa day appointments, get ready schedules for hair and makeup,Â photography schedules, golf outing tee times, etc.), and another version simplified for your out-of-town guests.
- Your wedding plannerâ€™s name and cell phone number to answer questions.
- Timeline of the Weekend:Â start times, end times, address, directions, transportation schedules (if you are including transportation for them), parking, theme of event, dress code, if food will be served, etc. of the events for the weekend.
- Note Welcoming and Thanking Your Guests (possibly include your engagement photo) or a photo of you and your fiance saying “Welcome and Thanks!”
- Golf Outing Details
- Shopping Outing Details
- Spa Outing Details
- Directions, Details & Transportation info to and from the hotel to your:
- Â Â Â Â Ceremony Rehearsal
- Â Â Â Â Rehearsal Dinner
- Â Â Â Â Wedding Ceremony
- Â Â Â Â Cocktail Reception
- Â Â Â Â Dinner/Dance
- Â Â Â Â After Hours Party
- Â Â Â Â Day After Wedding Brunch
- Fun things you may or may not know about the bride
- Fun things you may or may not know about the groom
- How you met
- The proposal
5).Â Snacks and Munchies.Â NOTE:Â Think about where your wedding is.Â Is there something special about the city or is there something the city is known for?
- Limit perishables so you arenâ€™t stressed filling bags the week of your wedding.
- Bottled water â€“ customized with your names, wedding dates, and logo (use the design from your wedding invitation or your save-the-date)
- Fall wedding â€“ coffee, hot chocolate, something warm to drink
- Summer wedding â€“ Arizona iced tea, lemonade, something refreshing to drink
- Snacks (buy in bulk from a wholesale club like Costco)
- Chips and Salsa
- Cookies with initials of the Bride & Groom or wedding logo from your wedding invitation
- Candy Bars
- Granola Bars
- Fruit (something in not highly perishable, and in season which doesnâ€™t have to be refrigerated)
- Juice boxes (if they have kids)
- Crayons & coloring book (if they have kids)
- Something from a local specialty shop or bakery which is well known (candy, or a baked good)
- Bottle of wine from a local vineyard
- Bottled beers from a local brewery
- Local magazine or newspaper
- Custom CD with old home movies, pictures, and slideshows
6).Â Souvenir or Keepsake Photos
- Keepsake which is unique to Arizona, yet is easy to travel with.
- If you have sports fans, schedule a tour of the arena where their favorite sport is played.
- Hire a photobooth or a photographer to take photos of your guests with their spouse, significant other, or at event as a souvenir or keepsake photo.Â Use a magnet frame (easy to carry and no glass to break) with your names and wedding date.
7).Â Travel Sized Personal Items
- Breath Mints
8).Â Hotel How Tos
- How to Get Free Internet
- Prices of Parking for Valet/Self Park/Special Rates for Overnight (no one likes to get an enormous parking charge on their hotel bill since they didnâ€™t ask pricing options before parking)!
- Restaurant hours
- Room Service hours
9).Â Local Attractions/Things to Do
- Sporting events (Phoenix Suns, Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Coyotes, ASU, Phoenix Open, NASCAR)
- Menus or List of Nearby Restaurants â€“ an assortment of area favorites with brief description of their menu, pricing and dress code
- Maps, brochures, and guides to local tourist spots in the city (you may be able to get this from the concierge at the hotel, or the cityâ€™s visitors bureau, or chamber of commerce)
- Discount coupons from the concierge, or local chamber of commerce
- Things to do with Kids (Phoenix Zoo, Wildlife World Zoo)
- Movie theaters
- Directions to nearest pharmacy or convenience store
- Directions to the nearest same day dry cleaner
- Day Trip or Weekend Trip ideas (Sedona, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, Prescott, Payson, Tucson)
Copyright 2013, Kim Horn, MBCâ„˘
Hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.
Kim M. Horn, MBCâ„˘
Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World
Scottsdale Wedding Planner | Paradise Valley Wedding Planner | Chandler Wedding Planner | Phoenix Wedding Planner | Destination Weddings
Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com
AZ State Coordinator Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 â€“ May 2012
2010 Annual Conference Chair (worked with David Tutera) – Assoc. of Bridal Consultants
September 2, 2012
DulceCreative.com - Jamie Denke Portfolio
As a bride or groom, your Wedding Guest List may be easy to compile, or may be your worst nightmare.Â This is the first time you will be combining both of your families for multiple events, and everyone has their own opinion on what is appropriate or inappropriate.Â Trimming the guest list may turn into a heated debate, yet this blog (since you cannot be with me 24/7) will fast track you to realistic solutions which work best for you!Â Your guest list WILL dictate how much you spend and your ceremony and reception location.Â If you invite 150 couples, this may easily translate into 300 guests.
The Ultimate Guest List.Â A magical number of family and friends which fits the size and style of your ceremony and reception sites, while staying within your wedding budget.
Invite Your Inner Circle of Family and Friends to Reduce Expenses.Â Your wedding guest list should be your closest, most intimate friends and family members.Â Â Focus on people who matter to you most.Â Who was your priority to announce personally you just got engaged?Â Although you may have an enormous family and circle of friends, it is important to trim the size of your wedding guest list to reduce expenses.Â Trimming your wedding guest list is the number one way to save money!Â If you havenâ€™t seen or talked to them in a few years, they may be the easiest to cut first.
Make an Extensive List.Â Ask your parents, your fiancĂ©, and his parents to compile a wedding guest list including everyone they would imagine inviting.Â Have them include and list their people in categories so it is easier when you are making table arrangements (i.e., wedding party, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family, friends, neighbors, bosses, co-workers, business acquaintances, college friends, high school friends, and distant relatives).Â Make sure everyone knows this is the â€śFantasy Wish Listâ€ť, and cuts will need to be made to stay within your budget.
Be Respectful.Â Count on one thing when deciding on your wedding guest list, disagreement.Â Everyone will have an opinion about your wedding, and especially about who should be invited.Â When you get your red pen to trim your list, make sure you are respectful to your fiancĂ©, your parents, and his parents.
Who is Paying, Divide Equally, and Apply Rules Fairly.Â If you are running into conflicts when trimming your list, consider who will be paying the bill.Â Budgeting for the wedding is something you must discuss at the beginning of your wedding planning.Â If your parents are paying for most of the wedding, they will obviously have more control of your guest list.Â Try to divide the guest list evenly.Â Make across-the-board, and clear-cut decisions on who to cut, (i.e., invite all aunts and uncles, yet eliminate third generation cousins).
Make Your MUST Have Â List.Â This is your â€śA Listâ€ť of who you MUST have at your wedding.Â This may be your parents, siblings, grandparents, and wedding party.Â The ones left on your list which did not make it to your â€śA Listâ€ť, will be your â€śB Listâ€ť.
Who Should be Easier to Cut?Â When you start making cuts, your colleagues, out-of-touch friends, and distant relatives you havenâ€™t seen or talked to in over one year should understand if you want to keep your wedding guest list to your closest family and friends.Â Donâ€™t feel obligated to invite neighbors or other brides which have recently invited you to their wedding.
Limit Your Plus Ones.Â It is up to you if you will allow a friend to bring a date.Â Common courtesy dictates if your friend lives with, or is in a serious relationship with someone, this â€śplus oneâ€ť should be invited to the wedding.Â If your friend has a different person each month, this doesnâ€™t mean they should be invited.Â Talk with your friend first before assuming, and this is an easy way to get the name of their guest.Â If they canâ€™t give you a name, probably a good candidate for â€śno plus oneâ€ť!
Realistic Guest Counts, Holidays, and Special Events.Â On an average, 15% to 20% of your invited guests will not be able to attend.Â They may have prior commitments, may not be able to take time off from work, or have other obstacles.Â Your wedding date selection is important.Â Holiday weekends are when airlines are extremely busy, and airfares will be more expensive.Â If you plan your wedding during a major sporting event like Super Bowl weekend, your guests may have a difficult time finding hotel rooms, especially if the Super Bowl is in the same city as your wedding.
Master Guest List.Â Combine your personal guest list, your parentsâ€™ list, your fianceâ€™s list, and your fianceâ€™s parentsâ€™ list into one alphabetical master list.Â Check out this free template google docs â€“ Wedding Guest List Template.Â Enter your data or download from your computer in a format which is easily sorted in a multitude of ways.Â You will refer to this list repetitively to address invitations, check off RSVPs, keep track of RSVPs NOT received, for accurate guest counts, record gifts, mail thank-you notes, and much more.Â Here are some categories to include when making your Master Guest List:
a).Â Contact information.Â Include each guestâ€™s full name, address, city, state, zip, phone, and e-mail address.
b).Â Communication Tracker.Â Keep track of who you have sent the save-the-date, invitation, and thank-you cards to.
c).Â RSVPs.Â Use a check mark or a â€śXâ€ť when the guest has RSVPed, with how many family members will be attending.
d).Â Record Gifts.Â Write down gifts received.
e).Â Out-of-Town Guests.Â These guests will need information on guest rooms, and you may want to arrange for transportation to pick them from the airport, take them to the ceremony, and return them to their hotel at the conclusion of the reception.
f).Â Multiple Events.Â If they are invited to one event, by etiquette they must be invited to the wedding.Â You may want to have various spreadsheets for multiple events such as your Engagement Party, Bridal Shower, Bachelor Party, Bachelorette Party, Rehearsal Dinner, Golf Outing, Spa Day, Ceremony /Reception, and Brunch the Day After.
g).Â Dietary Restrictions.Â Indicate if they are a vegetarian, gluten free, diabetic, and list dietary restrictions to share with your caterer.
h).Â Children vs. Adult Count vs. Vendor Food Count.Â Note the age range of children so when you give the final guest count to your caterer you know numbers for adults, children, and vendor meals.
i).Â Guest Code by Relationship.Â Â Make a code for each guest so you know who is issuing the invitation, is it the Bride (B), Parents of the Bride (POB), Groom (G), Parents of the Groom (POG), Sibling (SOB â€“ sister of bride), Wedding Party (WP), Aunt (A), Uncle (U), etc.Â This will help you with seating arrangements, and if RSVPs are missing, it will be easier at selecting who would be best to delegate to confirm their RSVP status.
j).Â Table Numbers.Â If you are having reserved seating to a table, it will be easier to group your guests before you alphabetize your list.
k).Â Handicap Guests.Â If you have anyone in a wheelchair, you may want to seat them closest to the exit door so they have easy entrance and exit options.
Copyright 2012, Kim Horn, MBCâ„˘
To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.
Kim M. Horn, MBCâ„˘
Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World
Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings
Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com
AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 â€“ May 2012
ABC 2010 Conference Chair worked with David Tutera