This year I have been invited to no less than four weddings! I am very honoured to be a day guest at the joining of these four couples, but I also spotted an opportunity. Sadly, my digital marketing mindset is never far away, so I contacted the kind people at help! i’m getting married and they agreed to allow me to write my own run-down of each of the weddings. So the first of my wedding guest experiences in 2012 –
A June Wedding
The first thing to note is that this wedding was at the beginning of June. A safe choice for good weather and guest availability, you would have thought. I have to say that I think it was a good choice. Whilst we did not have the most sun-drenched early June (probably because we had a few Bank holidays and the weather just likes to mess with us!), the weather was warm enough but by no means unbearable. It was extremely windy and kept the ladies clutching at their skirts whilst outside, but unless you were a smoker (in which case it is your fault!) there was no need to venture outside into the strong winds anyway.
This couple already own their own home, which is fully furnished so they did not need a traditional wedding list. Instead they used the site http://www.blisslist.co.uk/ to share their honeymoon itinerary with their wedding guests and allow us to purchase different experiences for them. For example, they wanted to go to a show at their destination so divided the cost of 2 tickets into smaller portions of money and we bought 2 allocations of the 12 needed for them to fully cover the cost of these tickets. If we had wanted to we could have bought all 12 and bought them that experience, or we could just contribute. I thought this was a great way to take the pressure off your guests to think of a good wedding gift and also to buy one big thing.
This was without doubt my favourite wedding ceremony to date (although only the first of this year). The wedding was in a Country Manor and the Civil Ceremony was heartfelt, sincere and completely encompassed the personalities and taste of the happy couple. The first reading was Foxtrot From A Play, a light hearted and funny start to the Ceremony, putting the guests and bride and groom at ease. The bride entered to an acoustic rendition of Plainsong and the flowers were beautiful Calla Lilies in a dark plum and white.
This venue had a gorgeous interior so all the Wedding photographs could be taken in the entrance area, safe from the wind. They were able to take couple photographs, family photographs and a whole group photograph in this area, with more interesting backgrounds than a plain white wall, thanks to the sculptures and ornate decorations on the walls.
The Wedding Breakfast
The table decorations were simple but lovely, with wedding favours of sweets in small pouches, more Calla Lilies in white jugs as the table centrepieces and wine glass place cards.
I enjoyed the Wedding Breakfast of:
- Mousse of Smoked Trout and Dill, with Curly Endive and a Tomato Dressing
- Roast Loin of Pork on Honeyed Root Vegetables, with Glazed Apple, Crackling and a Calvados Sauce and Roast Herbed Baby Potatoes
- Chocolate and Grand Marnier Terrine
However, the more fussy guests were not big fans. But hey, you can’t please everyone! There was also free-flowing red and white wine throughout the meal with the waiting staff eagerly topping up glasses.
This couple chose not to have any evening guests at their wedding so after the Wedding Breakfast and the speeches we were ushered into a small separate room to watch the bride and groom have their first dance and then mill around the dance floor, bar and dining area.
The venue was the perfect size for the small number of people, although because of the layout a lot of people ended up hovering around the bar area which was between the two main rooms (the dance room and the dining room). Having more people would have filled the rooms better, although the queue for the bar would have been horrendous!
The evening buffet was halved bacon sandwiches/a vegetarian option and wedding cup cakes. The bacon sandwiches were sadly cold (and I was one of the first to get to them!) but served their purpose. They are a good filler for drunk guests with munchies, it was just a shame they were served on a platter rather than a heat preserving unit. The cupcakes were delicious! There were two slightly different shades of purple, with different fillings (although no sign informing guests of that fact). One was a sponge and banana filling and the other was chocolate sponge, with an unconfirmed, but I think peanut butter flavouring. If there was indeed a peanut butter flavouring in the chocolate cup cakes and no signs then this was a big risk, although as all guests had been there for the entire day a nut allergy would have been flagged already, so maybe they knew it would be fine? I am not complaining, it was delicious!
The thing I loved most about this wedding was how completely personal it was to the bride and groom. They added their own touches to a traditional day so it was not garish or out of character. It fit them to a T.
Top Take-Aways From This Wedding:
- Let your wedding day be a true representation of you as a couple and your relationship. Don’t try to fit anyone else’s ideas or stereotypes. It is your day!
- When it comes to the UK weather hope for the best and plan for the worst! From transport to photographs make sure you have a good weather and a bad weather option.
- There was no wedding gift table or wedding card post box, we had to ask the groom where to put the card and be taken to a back room. Even if your guests buy gifts etc online, they will probably bring a card so make sure there is a nice obvious place to leave it.
- Ask the venue to ensure that the evening buffet is served in a way that will keep the food hot so people can come a graze after dancing the night away later.
- For a buffet ask the venue to leave small signs (you could use left over place cards?) identifying what each food is
Alexandra Gaiger is a Digital Marketing Architect at ThoughtShift Ltd and a contributor to the help! i’m getting married blog, you can follow her musings (about digital marketing, shoes and other nonsense!) on Twitter @lottafizz and find her on Google+.