Hey, is this a good idea?

Today’s column – not religion, not culture nor traditions. I can’t be so serious all the time!  Because I spend a lot of time on the internet, especially concerning weddings, I was thinking about how overwhelming it can be. There are so many ideas ‘out there’ – advice, cute ideas, you can easily get turned around. When considering the vast number of suggestions, you would do well to ask yourself, is this useful? And, does this reflect us?

Of course, not that everything must be practical, some things are chosen just to be whimsical, or beautiful, evocative, or add to the vibe you’re seeking for your celebration. But there are a lot of dumb trends hanging around, too. And it’s never clear cut. Let me share a few examples, some can go either way.

A wedding website can be great or a waste of time. That’s true for most websites, actually, and yours can be an important and useful tool, if you provide information your guests need, especially if they are traveling to your location. You could include directions, accommodations, things to do in the area – and it will have value. There is only so much that can fit on an invitation, so go ahead and make use of a wedding website, they are pretty standard now and usually free. You can even offer an RSVP tool on it. But if you don’t have good content for a wedding website, it’s a waste of your time and your guests’ time. Don’t feel like you have to have one!

Definitely a good idea! (Rhinehart Photography)

Speaking of destination weddings… welcome baskets in your guests’ hotel rooms can likewise be useful or wasteful, depending on what you put in them. Snacks and beverages are great (maybe they won’t have to indulge in ridiculously overpriced hotel mini-bar.) Sunscreen if you’re somewhere it might be needed, is a good one, but don’t put items people will be stuck with especially if they are flying, or just packing them to  take home, stuff  no one needs. Don’t fill it up with Chachkies!If you don’t have enough useful items to put in, maybe skip it. No one is going to be disappointed. Plus, this could be another cost you may want to avoid.

Any item that has the wedding couple’s names and date on it is kind of silly when you think about it, because who (other than perhaps the couple’s parents) really wants something with someone else’sname on it? And do you know anyone who actually needs a new mug, water bottle or beer koozie? However, there is always an exception. If, for example, you were to get some beautifully handcrafted mugs, then by all means, go for it. Support your local artists and crafters! Now that is something worth keeping. I’ve seen too many favors, plastic and other junk, left behind and trashed.

A very useful favor – to be used at the ceremony and a great take-home! Well done!
(photo provided)

And speaking of those favors – whether or not to give them is frequently debated. Are they a waste of money, or a thoughtful token of thanks? Yes, they can be meaningful, given some thought. Food items are almost always appreciated but try not to skimp and give teeny-tiny samples. A one-time and done bottle of honey, jam or maple syrup is wasteful given the amount of packaging for the small amount of product. The ‘candy bar’ might be falling out of favor,  but personally I still love it! In case you are not familiar with this, it’s a table full of candy with gift bags for guests to scoop up their choices and fill ‘er up! Any delicious take-home treat is always a winner! Small pre-wrapped pies are delightful. Try not to eat it on the ride home.

Making a donation to your favorite charity in lieu of a favor is meaningful and expresses something about your values. Leave a note card on the table explaining why you chose it, even encouraging guests to also support the cause.

If you are having a ring bearer, you can go classic on this – he simply carries a pillow with the rings tied on (real or otherwise, depending on the age). But I also like the ‘ring security’ idea – with the boy (or it could be a girl) with sunglasses and little briefcase clearly labeled. The child is the little security guard for this big important package. Signage for boys and girls is also adorable. Things like ‘Uncle Pete – here  comes your bride,’ or for your own children, ‘Daddy, here comes Mommy.’ Other examples include ‘Wait til you see her,’ ‘They didn’t trust me with the rings,’ and  of course, simply ‘Here comes the Bride.’ There are lots of examples of appropriate and adorable signage for children. What I don’tlike is signage that implies it’s the groom’s last chance to run away. Funny, I suppose, in an outdated way. 

Another trend is women (and some men) writing messages on the bottom of their shoes, for purposes of a cute photo. I’d like to think this little love note is not intended to be stomped upon. Is this one more thing you should add to an already large to-do list? Does your photographer have a list of ‘must have’ photos or are they listening to you? Or perhaps you would like to have those shots, but let it be your choice. Which raises the question: do you want the wedding captured photojournalist style, or something more formal? These are things to think about in advance and ask: is it us?

Some wedding trends come and go quickly. Only you can decide what you like. Mason jars which were all the rage a few years back. If it’s your thing go for it, mason jars are nice for many things, especially canning food, but also for flowers for a rustic look, but they are not easy to drink from, at least without a straw. Who needs straws anymore? So passé. 

And a wall of donuts? I’m sorry, I just find this weird.

There are countless little details, and many of them are adorable, but try not to get too carried away with this stuff. I think that’sa good idea.


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