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  • Your Niagara Falls wedding – and some helpful advice

    Patti Wallington is the Niagara Falls areas only certified wedding planner; she heads the wedding team at Occasions in Niagara. We offer
    a full slate of wedding services for Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake for those who may be planning a destination wedding.
    With two decades of experience, no one knows the Niagara area better than Occasions in Niagara.


Niagara Falls Wedding Tips 2016

You’ve been anticipating your wedding for a year or even longer. You’ve read all the magazines, you’ve learned that Spring and autumn are the most popular to get married, you’ve scoured every website and wedding blog, you’ve picked your friends’ brains, you’ve got checklists to spare, you’ve picked the perfect venue and you’ve found the perfect dress in Charlotte. Despite being as prepared as you can be, there are bound to be surprises and things that will happen you didn’t bargain for. Here are some items to consider that will help even the most prepared of brides:

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Money, Money, Money

You might as well face it, your wedding is going to be expensive and you will likely go over budget. No matter how cautious you’ve been and how many negotiations you feel you’ve won, there are going to be times when you absolutely can’t barter your way out of shelling out a few extra bucks. You can try to be ready for it by building a buffer into your budget, but be aware that unexpected costs are bound to arise.

I Get So Emotional, Baby

Even if you’re usually a levelheaded individual, there’s something that touches everyone at weddings. It might be when you walk down the aisle, it could happen while listening to speeches or it might be your first dance. But your emotional cup is bound to runneth over. Make sure your maid of honour has some tissues handy.

RSVP Please

It is reasonable to think your guests would find the time to respond to something as important as a wedding. Yet, you would be wrong. You will need to track down some of your guests – or get your mother or wedding party member to do it – a couple of weeks before the big day. Also, be ready to see extra people at your wedding, such as your cousin who said she wasn’t bringing someone and then shows up with a new boyfriend or you’ve specified no kids at your wedding and your friend from high school’s there with her entire brood pretending the babysitter was sick.

No Bathroom Alone Time

When you need to go to the bathroom, bring your maid of honor. You will need help with your dress so it doesn’t get dirty. In fact, if you have a large gown, you might just want to step in and out of it to do your business.

Schedule, Schmedule

The wedding schedule will run amok. This is inevitable. Even if you’re on time for the wedding ceremony, it will run a little long, or the wedding photos will take too long and your dinner will be delayed or – and we suggest trying your best to make sure this doesn’t happen – the speeches will drag on. If you run ahead of schedule, that’s fine. People enjoy mingling. But stay calm if you get behind the times, the show won’t go on without you.

Something Will Go Wrong

No one’s wedding day goes perfectly. You can mitigate crises by hiring a wedding planner who will help smooth things out on your wedding day, but no big event (wedding included) goes off without a hitch. Don’t worry about what can go wrong, focus on your wedding day and just be ready to handle anything that comes up.

Enjoy Each Moment

This is the one piece of advice every newlywed will give to brides-to-be. But it’s a bunch of malarkey. Your wedding day is a busy day and you will feel rushed throughout most of it. You will enjoy each and every moment, but don’t feel as though you need to be living in the moment at each possible second. Make sure you go on a honeymoon afterwards where you will get the time to enjoy each other and spend some time reminiscing about your wonderful day.

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Niagara Falls Wedding Advice – How To Create Your Wedding Day Guest List

There’s no way around it – deciding who’s going to be invited to your Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding is one of the most agonizing things about planning a wedding. You’re going to be worried about hurting people’s feelings – and some might feel slighted that they weren’t invited – but you can’t invite everyone. To avoid minimal heartbreak, you need to make the decision about who to invited based on several factors. We’re here to help you decide who makes the final cut. Let me give you some old fashioned Niagara Falls wedding advice on this one:

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Dividing the Guest Count

Generally, the bride and groom split the number of invites in half for fairness. However, if the bride has eight sisters and the groom is an only child, these guidelines are negotiable. Whichever way you divvy up the guest list is entirely up to you, but make sure you do it in a manner that both of you feel allows you to invite the most number of people that matter

Parental Assistance

Tied to determining how the guest list is divvied up is the age-old question of who is paying for this wedding? If your parents are paying for the entire wedding, you must be willing to allow them a certain percentage of invitees. For example, the couple gets half of the guests and the parents gets a quarter each. This does not mean you should allow your parents to hijack your wedding. This is, after all, your wedding and you want people you know to attend. You can always decline their assistance and invite whomever you want.

Wedding Budget Cuts

Once you have an idea of who’s paying and what your budget can allow, you’ll have a good idea of how many guests you can actually invite. For instance, if your wedding is $150 a plate and you want to invite 300 people, but your entire budget is $5,000, this is not going to work. You need to be realistic about how many people you are inviting.

Create a Master List

While you’ve set some parameters to start, now let your imagination run wild and create a master list of everyone you would want to invite if money wasn’t an issue. This could include all your second cousins, your childhood friends and all your co-workers.

Start the Cut With Kids

You already know you need to whittle down the master list, so a great place to start is by determining whether you want to invite children. There are a few things to keep in mind with this decision. One, if you don’t invite children, some adults might not attend. Two, it must be a blanket rule. You don’t want to tell some people no kids and then they show up and see other kids there. That is a guaranteed way to offend.

Other Possible Cuts

The plus guest is always a debatable issue and a great way to cut down on potential guests. If your cousin has been living with someone for more than a year, chances are you’ll invite the plus one. But do you want to send out a plus one for everyone who might be invited as a single? We didn’t say making these choices would be easy! Other possible people you will want to cut are people who drink too much (if you don’t know them well), business acquaintances, ex-girlfriends/boyfriends and anyone from whom you are estranged.

Make Some Cutting Rules

And stick to them. The best way to eliminate people from your guest list is by coming up with a set of rules you both deem fair and that you can live with. Here are some examples

  • If you have never spoken to or met someone
  • If you haven’t spoken to them (not email) in three years
  • You’re inviting them only because you feel guilty
  • If you see someone only because they are friends with a mutual friend
  • If they’re out of town, would you visit them when you were in that city?
  • Would you still be friends if the situation (ie work) you knew them from wasn’t there?
  • In five years, will you look at your wedding photos and think, who’s that?

The A and B Lists

While this might not be advisable because of deadlines, you could consider an A and B list. This is a great way to get the most people to your wedding because inevitably, you’re going to have to leave some people you care about out. The A list contains your closest family and friends. The B list consists of people you really really want to come but can’t invite on the A list because of all the other factors we’ve already discussed. When you get regrets from the A list, you can invite the B list. It’s also good to have a B list because, generally, 20 per cent of your invited guests won’t be able to make it. You might be able to streamline this process through a “save the date” campaign before your actual invitations are sent out. The B list can also have a different RSVP date to accommodate more guests.

Be Firm

Just as you’ve created all your lists and feel in control of the list, don’t get trapped in the last minute add-on conundrum. If you’re talking to someone and they say, “I’m so excited to go to your wedding,” and they didn’t make the A or B list, don’t say “Me too,” and then run home and add them. Prepare yourself for these potentially awkward conversations by having a polite, yet firm, response. For example, “We want to invite everyone but because of our budget and the venue space, we aren’t able to.” And leave it at that. Then steer the conversation in another direction.




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