By Carley Roney
Are wedding favors necessary?
Q: We’re trying to find ways to cut wedding costs. One thing that we don’t think is important is wedding favors, but my mom disagrees. What’s your take?
A: There are two schools of thought here: Some people say favors aren’t necessary. After all, you’re already wining and dining your nearest and dearest. Others think you need to offer an extra token as a thank-you for coming.
We tend to agree with the latter. (Sorry.) This doesn’t mean you have to sweep guests off their feet with a swag bag filled with budget-busters like personalized bottles of wine or gift certificates to a nearby spa or restaurant. Rather, elegantly packaged truffles or sugar cookies are enough to show you care.
It’s the little details like your favors that guests will notice and appreciate. Plus, favors give you a great opportunity to further personalize your day.
For instance, if you’re wordsmiths, give each person a vintage book you found at a flea market. Maybe you and your fiance love to golf? Personalized tees in your wedding colors would be cute. Or if you’d prefer not to give material items, make a donation in each guest’s name to your favorite charity.
Is it all right to have more than 10 bridesmaids?
Q: I’m fortunate to have many close friends. Is it OK to have more than 10 bridesmaids?
A: You can, but you may not want to. Things can get out of hand if the wedding party is too big.
Before you start making those calls to your friends, you should take into account the size of your ceremony site. Will everyone fit up front? Consider the logistics, too, like finding a dress style (or even a few styles) that 10 women will like. That process alone could put a strain on even the closest of friendships.
However, the number of bridesmaids you have is solely up to you. If you want all of those friends standing next to you at the wedding, so be it.
Another thought: You can have your bridal party walk in the procession and then simply sit in the first row. (Or you may want to have just the maid of honor and the best man stand up with you and your groom.) This way, everyone gets honored and it won’t get too crowded at the altar.
We’re pretty sure your friends won’t complain about being able to sit comfortably during the ceremony!
Must there be a receiving line?
Q: Do we have to do a receiving line?
A: Of course not — but you do have to personally thank every single guest for coming to your wedding.
Receiving lines help you get this out of the way early on, so you can relax and enjoy your party later.
If you’re really against the idea, you should instead take some time at the reception to go around to each table. That way, you won’t feel rushed to get through a long line of people waiting to get to the party.
Fun options for non-dancing wedding guests
Q: We’re having a very small wedding, and we know that most of our guests don’t dance. We want to do a first dance, but other than that, what can we do to make sure that our reception isn’t boring?
A: There are plenty of ways to entertain non-dancing guests.
The first thing you can do is to have some music playing in the background (that way you’ll never hear crickets). Next up, pick an activity that matches the mood of the day. We’ve heard of couples renting a photo booth complete with a funky backdrop and a bin full of silly props.
For an outdoor wedding, set up lawn games or a s’mores bar around a fire pit, along with some comfy lounge furniture that encourages mingling.
Bottom line: As long as you have a few interactive elements to keep everyone busy and you’re surrounded by good company, your wedding will be just as fun as a full-out dance party. And you never know — some of your friends and family members may surprise you and want to dance.
Having a space for your first dance and available music will give them the opportunity to do so if the mood strikes.