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Though we know so many of our readers are already located in the South, we wanted to put something in V2 for those ladies who might not be lucky enough to live south of the Mason-Dixon Line… but who are smart enough to be planning nuptials in our fair region!  We hope our special destination wedding guide came in handy, wherever you might be getting married! 

The eight-page spread featured advice from stationery favorite Minted; planners Beth Helmstetter, Alison Hotchkiss, and Kelly McWilliams; luxury wedding consultant Rebecca Grinnals; wedding dress guru Randy Fenoli (y’all know we love him!); and many more.  Pick up a copy to see the rest!

In case you missed it, we’re giving away magazines!  Order a copy this month and we’ll give you another copy free for a friend!  Order here.

 

Written with love by Southern Weddings
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Hey, y’all!  Welcome back to another Southern Etiquette.  Today’s question comes from Rebecca in Virginia.  She writes:

“I am confused about the etiquette of the rehearsal dinner.  At first, I thought it was to only include the wedding party, immediate family and grandparents.  Now I have run across the idea that it also includes all out of town guests.  If a majority of both sides of the families are from out of town, wouldn’t this be like having two weddings?  Not that I am not up for having two parties all about me, I am just wondering who to invite and not invite!”

Great question, Rebecca, and one that’s increasingly relevant as more and more couples plan destination weddings and full wedding weekends.  Emily Post advises:

“The guest list normally includes all members of the wedding party and their spouses or partners; the close families of the couple; and special guests such as the officiant and his or her spouse.  Is the host obligated to invite out-of-town guests?  Though a nice thing to do, this is entirely optional.”

Agreed.  It is never incorrect to only invite “the essentials” to a rehearsal, but it is also a lovely gesture to open up a welcome dinner to the whole guest list.  As for your concern that doing so would essentially be like having two weddings, I’d recommend making sure that the two events are very different in tone and formality.  A great example is Kristen + Grant’s celebration in Sea Island, GA.  You can see their relaxed clambake welcome dinner here, and their glitzy, glam wedding here and here.

Another option, if money is a concern, is to hold a welcome dinner but not host it.  My sister is having a destination wedding this August.  90% of the guests will be traveling, so we want to spend as much time as possible with those we love and don’t get to see very often.  We’ve organized a welcome dinner at a local lobster shack on the Friday before the wedding.  On the card detailing the weekend’s events, we wrote “We recommend budgeting about $12 per person planning to eat lobstah!” as a gentle indication that we wouldn’t be picking up the bill.

What do y’all think?  Are you hosting a welcome dinner?  Are you holding one?  Do you think either is a better option?  Why?

Email me if you have a question you’d like to see discussed on the blog!  I’d be happy to take a stab at it.

Written with love by Southern Weddings
7 Comments
  1. avatar nb reply

    I have been part of a wedding party (destination wedding ) and was obviously included in the dinner portion. The bride then invited all the guests for dessert at the same location. It was a low cost way to include everyone.

  2. avatar kaity reply

    I’m definitely dealing w/this situation. All our family will be out of towners and only 15-20 guests out of our 80 person wedding will be local.Of the truly local guests, one of them is going to be our officiant – so I feel obligated to invite that circle of friends too, leaving me with nearly all guests at both events.I don’t mind, but it’s overwhelming to think about!

  3. avatar Julia reply

    "Lobstah"? New England destination wedding? Maine, maybe? Perhaps my FAVORITE place in the world. Great advice, by the way!

  4. avatar Emily @ Southern Weddings reply

    You got it, Julia! We’ll be in Maine this August — can’t come soon enough!

  5. avatar ShannonP reply

    We did a happy hour event before our rehearsal dinner which everyone was invited to. We supplied appetizers and left it as a cash bar. It was a great way to see all the out of town guests (though in towners were invited as well) before the wedding but keep our actual rehearsal dinner size smaller. Plus, it gave extended family members and friends a meeting time and place where they could congregate before heading out to their own dinner.

  6. avatar Emily reply

    We had a pig pickin’ as a rehearsal dinner and invited everyone, which turned out wonderful. Friends are surprised when we tell them there were 200+ people at the wedding, because they say it felt so intimate, partially because of having spent the night before getting to know everyone.

  7. avatar Cathy reply

    Being brought up in the north, we only had the wedding party and partners with the grandparents. Both of our children are getting married in 2017, both in Charlotte. Much to our surprise my son told us he wanted to invite all out of town guests, there are many!! Now is upset with us that we don’t agree. He hasn’t offered to help with the expenses and I don’t think the venue will hold the amount of people. On a side note, the brides mothers friend owns the rehearsal venue where I was expected to use. HELP!!!

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Like so many weddings these days, Katharine’s will be a destination affair, with only about 5% of her guests local to the Boston area.  To keep her guests informed, she and her groom put together a wedding website chock-full of helpful and hilarious information.  Read on for more details and a few sneak peeks!

From Katharine: Last week, I revealed Kyle’s and my pick for a wedding photographer.  For those of you who missed the post, any guesses as to who we chose?   Take a peek here!

This week, we want to show off one of the very first things we checked off our to-do list.  While most couples dive right into photography portfolios, catering menus and dress shopping, my tech-savvy fiancé and I headed straight to the web to create our very own wedding website.

I’d seen and heard of virtually all the wedding websites out there, but my very favorite sites were those hosted by Wedding Window.  After stumbling upon our first Wedding Window site, and Kyle + I fell hard and fast for their highly-customizable, fully-loaded sites.

But let’s back up a minute.  Why bother with a wedding website in the first place?  Besides the fact that it’s fun as all get out to watch a couple’s love story unfold on the world wide web and to see their upcoming wedding take shape, there’s an infinitely more useful and practical side that makes wedding websites a must-have for today’s modern bride.

1. The 4 W’s: With a wedding website, a couple can easily – and interactively – share all the who, whats, whens and wheres of their big day with family and friends.  Think of it as a one-stop shop for your guests to plan for your wedding and share in your celebration – from both near and afar.   Want to make sure dear Aunt Sally knows when and where the reception is and how she’ll be getting home after a long night of dancing?  Have a list of hotels where your out-of-town guests can book rooms near the festivities?  Need to let everyone know your wedding is a western-themed event?  A wedding website is the way to go, folks.

2. Introductions: It’s a guarantee your family and friends will feel more involved in and get more excited for your big day if they’ve been introduced to all the major players beforehand.  A wedding website is a fun and easy way to introduce your fiancé, bridal party and family to your guests.  Sure, they likely won’t remember every member of your twenty-person bridal party or memorize the names of each of your fiance’s six siblings, but it’s a good start.

3. Celebrate!  For most of you brides-to-be out there, you’ll likely enjoy a 9 – 18 month engagement.  A fun and interactive wedding website can help fill the down time between the excitement of your engagement and the anticipation of your big day.  One catch?  To keep the buzz up and questions down, make sure to update your site regularly.  Add new details about your weekend as you plan them, post those tear-worthy engagement pictures of you and your betrothed, start an online countdown.

From Emily: Though it was pretty much over once Wedding Window caught Katharine’s eye, there are several other great options out there for those who haven’t yet made a decision.  My sister chose Project Wedding for hers (we love that PW collaborated with stationery greats like Elum, KenzieKate, and Hello!Lucky to ensure beautiful interfaces!).  Wedding Wire has also collaborated with design-savvy businesses including Martha Stewart Weddings, Wedding Paper Divas, and the Green Kangaroo.  Lastly, we think Wedding JoJo has fabulous, clean, modern options.



Help a girl out: Did you create a wedding website for your big day?  Which site did you use, and what did you think?

Previously:

Intros + Inspiration Boards

The Bridesmaid Dress

The Photographer

Project Wedding and Wedding Window are SW sponsors.  For more info about advertising with us, email Katharine!

Written with love by Katharine
8 Comments
  1. avatar Marie Charity reply

    What a great looking website! How fun! You guys look so cute together!

  2. avatar ShannonP reply

    I used wedding window as well and I loved them! It was really easy to use and allowed us to convey a lot more information to our guests than there was room for in the invitations. We were able to introduce all of the wedding party and write up how we know them and why we love them as well as tell the story of how we met, how he proposed, what we’re doing now and what we’re doing next. Also, we kept the website live for a while after the wedding and were able to link all the professional photos through there as well so that guests could get a glimpse of them as well.

  3. avatar Leigh reply

    We used wedsite.com and have been very happy with our "wedsite" (leighandryan.com). :) It allows us to upload a ton of photos and has a unique "photo album-esque" layout. We’ve been able to convey all of the important info and introduce all of the key players who will be so important on our big day! I also love the above suggestion of uploading professional photos after the wedding (we went with SW featured Altmix Photography and couldn’t be more excited). Loving all of the Big Day updates by the way :)

  4. avatar Amy Ruocco reply

    Thanks Katharine! We’re so honored that you chose WeddingWindow.com to host your wedding website. You did a lovely job with it. Best wishes to you both.Amy

  5. avatar Dennis @ Wholesale Fresh Flowers reply

    I have not thought of the idea to create a wedding website but it totally makes sense. After reading Katharine’s reasoning for creating a wedding website I don’t know how any modern day couple inviting guests who live outside the ceremony destination can organize a wedding without one.

  6. avatar Catherine reply

    I honed my ActionScript 3 skills and slaved over a custom Flash website. It was a long process but I’m so happy I did it! We’ve gotten great responses and so many questions via the "Send a Message" page and it’s been a good resource for our guests. Fun stuff: http://www.catherineplusandrew.com

  7. avatar Nicole-Lynn reply

    We used http://www.mywedding.com! Free and will always be available to look at, doesn’t expire. After the wedding I plan to load the pages onto a cd so we can keep it forever :)

  8. avatar Alex reply

    We used Weddingjojo.com and loved it! The customer service was great and they made one of the themes into a custom colorway for our wedding.

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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