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When planning a wedding and you have a lot of guests coming from out of town. It's a nice idea to make up a little kit for each one containing a local map, suggestions for restaurants, etc. This will make them feel more welcome and make their stay a little easier.
Being a solo wedding guest isn't always fun. Before you invite an escort, look at your wedding invitation. If it's addressed to you alone, you're not invited to bring a guest. If the words “plus guest” appear next to your name on the envelope, you're welcome to bring a guest with you.
The only exceptions to this rule are for guests who are married, engaged or living with a significant other. If you're unsure, feel free to call the mother of the bride, but do not badger her into allowing you to bring a guest. Many couples can't afford to pay for meals for boyfriends and girlfriends.
Wedding planner guides will give you helpfull tips for keeping your wedding planning simply. You can use 3x5 index cards to keep track of your guests (keep them in a recipe box for easy organizing). On each card, write the guest's names, address, phone number, if they've RSVP'd, and how many guests would be attending. Later you can use the same cards to keep track of what gift they gave and whether or not you've written them a thank you note.
When out of town wedding guests are incurring the expense of long distance travel, make their arrival special. Prior to the date, send a newsletter with information gleaned from your local chamber of commerce on events and attractions in the area. Buddy local relatives for livery service from the airport and to the reception. Leave a small welcome basket in their hotel rooms. Garner a "block booking" rate from a hotel close to your wedding venues.
Do you have a set limit for the number of guests you can invite to the wedding? Divvy it up fairly: 1/4 for your parents, 1/4 for your fiance's parents, 1/4 for your friends, and 1/4 for your fiance's friends. Of course, if anyone has 'leftover' spots they can't fill, use them as 'overflow' for out of town wedding guests or friends.
Unless your children are specifically invited to the wedding (i.e. the invitation reads 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith *and family*), arrange for a sitter. More and more couples are choosing to have child-free weddings, and it's better to be on the safe side than to infringe on the wishes of the bride and groom.
If you're going to a wedding and you have a question about the gift registry, what to wear, whether there will be kids at weddings, or anything else, try not to call the bride or groom---they're stressed as it is! Instead, give a call to the mother of the bride or to the best man or maid/matron of honor. They're usually privy to the wedding details and will be able to answer your questions.
When you have a large number of children attending a wedding, it can sometimes pay to hire a baby sitter. If the parents are close relatives, they might offer some money toward the cost (be sure to remember the added plate to the reception costs). The caterer can make "special" dinners for these children...hotdogs and hamburgers, star shaped veggies, dips and even homemade baby food. Special wedding ceremony seating arrangements can be made for the children to be seated at a special table and be supervised by the babysitter or one of the parents. You might also call upon a few of the teenaged girls invited to help.
Some parents who pay for weddings insist that wedding guest lists include more of their friends than their child's friends. If there's no guest limit, this isn't a problem, but if you can only have a set number of guests, be sure to talk with your parents about making sure you get to invite who you want to be there----regardless of who's paying, it's your wedding, not your parents'.
There's no rule for guests proper wedding attire, but you should still proceed with caution. If it's a subtle red and a fairly informal dress, it would be fine with nude hose for a daytime wedding. If the dress is fire-engine red and rather slinky, it wouldn't be proper for either a day or evening wedding. If you're going to an evening wedding and you have a dark red, tasteful 'dressy' dress that isn't flashy, it's up to you. You don't want to steal the bride's thunder---ask yourself, "Would it be awkward if I were wearing this and standing next to the bride?" Where you live might also be taken into consideration; in a large city, no one would bat an eye if you wore red to a formal evening wedding, but in a smaller town or suburb, it could be viewed as a fashion faux pas. If you want to be perfectly safe, find another dress.
It's not necessary or customary for guests to call or send a note to whomever hosted the wedding thanking them for a good time. Most guests thank the hosts as they leave the reception; you are considered a guest and usually bring a gift for the couple, so it's the couple who should be thanking you for attending.
If your planning a wedding reception for grownups-only, but you have people coming in from out of town with kids, ask the hotel for the name of a good babysitter and arrange to have the sitter watch them at the hotel during the wedding and reception.