While planning their wedding, impressive couples can sometimes find it difficult to separate the good ideas from the bad. Just because you’ve seen something done at another wedding doesn’t necessarily mean it’s okay to record it yourself. Ten Difficult Things To Avoid Are:

1. A dollar dance with the bride. I don’t care how many times you’ve seen this, it’s never acceptable. And no, you shouldn’t have a “money tree” either.

2. A bar. These people are your guests – you can’t expect them to pay for your reception. You didn’t call her and ask her to pay for your wedding dress or bridal jewelry, did you? Graciously serve what you can afford. If that means beer and wine instead of French champagne, that’s perfectly fine. Or create a signature drink. It’s a very stylish way to avoid the expense of a fully open bar.

3. When talking about the wedding dress, be very careful with lace-up or corset backs. If they’re not done particularly well by an expert in corset making, they just look trashy. Also, watch out for the risk of back fat squeezing through your shoelaces – very unsightly, and it can happen to almost anyone, no matter how slim they are.

4. Let’s talk about accessories while we deal with the bridal ensemble. You will surely want to be full from your hair to your feet on your wedding day. Just remember to keep it tasteful and match your bridal jewelry with your other accents. For example, if you wear a grand and opulent tiara, choose a delicate pendant instead of a three-inch wide rhinestone choker to adorn your neck. They want you to wear your accessories, not for them to wear you!

5. For the gentlemen – don’t try to get too creative with your black tie. A waistcoat or cumber waistband in a color that matches the bridesmaids’ dresses is fine, but a waistcoat covered with cartoon characters crosses the line. And do I have to mention that a tuxedo print t-shirt is scary and not smart?

6. This one is for the guests: the invitation is only intended for those to whom it was addressed. This means that you cannot bring your children or cousin to visit for the weekend unless they have been specifically invited.

7. Bridesmaid Abuse. Please remember that your bridesmaids are not indentured servants. Because they are close friends of the bride, they are likely to volunteer to help her with shopping, favors, etc., but a bride should not require that these women devote every spare minute to preparing for their wedding for the year leading up to their wedding. Also, you can’t make unreasonable demands on your friends’ appearance. If you liked them enough to ask them to attend your wedding in the first place, you should like them enough to let them be at the wedding themselves.

8. Include registration information with the wedding invitation. When you put the details of a bridal register on the invitation, it looks like the guest will need to bring a gift in order to be admitted to the reception. While most guests are likely to be happy to give the newlyweds a gift to help them start their new life together, it is not required.

9. And while we deal with gifts, here is one of the hardest things of all: the failure to send thank you notes for each and every gift. Handwritten notes, no generic preprinted things on the desk at the front desk, and for God’s sake no emails! There is a common misconception that a couple has a year after the wedding to send thank you notes. This is inaccurate – the year is the length of time it is considered appropriate for a guest to send a wedding gift. The easiest way to edit thank you notes is to write them within a week of receiving the gift. That way, the excitement of opening the package is still fresh on your mind and it’s a lot easier to be sincere.

10. The latter is also for the guests: no giggles about whether the bride is “pure” enough to wear white!

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