Wedding Gift Etiquette

From toasters to travel, newlyweds will receive lots gifts to celebrate the start of their marriage. Before you start planning your registry, though, it’s worth considering wedding gift etiquette.


  • Don’t expect gifts: Although you’re likely to receive gifts from all of your guests, don’t expect a gift from everyone. Gifts aren’t required, and there’s absolutely no minimum amount your guests should spend.
  • Never ask for cash: While honeymoon registries are becoming more common, it’s never acceptable to ask for cash gifts. Some guests will give you a card and check, but many guests won’t feel comfortable with this and will prefer to buy you something tangible.
  • Register for different price points: You might want to deck your house out with the finest linens and china, but your unemployed cousin probably can’t afford those types of gifts. By registering for gifts at many different price levels, your guests won’t feel like they have to spend more than they can afford. It can also be worth registering at two stores for more price variation. Some guests will also prefer to shower you with a lot of smaller items rather than one big-ticket item.
  • Be thankful: Always send a thank you card, and send them within a month of your wedding date. Be genuine, personal, and grateful in them. If you get a gift you really don’t like, thank the giver and make a decision whether to keep or donate the item itself.

There’s a lot to consider with every part of your wedding planning, but finding amazing Northern Virginia wedding vendors is easy. Visit our member directory to get in touch with them!

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How to Get Your Wedding Party Where They Need to Be

If you are planning a wedding with multiple venues, such as a church for the ceremony and a different reception location, you’ll need to plan transportation. While the guests can be expected to make their own way from one place to another, you will need to make arrangements for the wedding party.


It’s common for the bride to make a grand entrance at the ceremony location. Whether this is in a luxury car or a horse-drawn carriage, the bride will generally travel with either her father, her mother, or her maid of honor, or more than one of the above if space allows. The rest of the bridesmaids should be given transportation to the ceremony in one or two additional cars. They might want to drive themselves, but don’t assume they will.

After the ceremony, the bride and groom will go together in one vehicle, often the one the bride rode to the ceremony in. The rest of the bridal party, including the bridesmaids and groomsmen, should be given transportation. This can be in cars, carriages, or even a school bus!

Whatever you choose for your bridal party’s transportation, make sure they know what they will need to do in advance. Plan your transportation well in advance, and confirm with everyone where they need to be, and how you would like them to get there.

To find out about wedding transportation in Hunt Country, or to learn about our area’s other top wedding vendors, check out our member directory today!

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3 Ways to Make Sure Your Photos Disrupt Your Wedding Day

You wouldn’t want to have a wedding without photos to remember it by. But too often, the wedding photos can disrupt the flow of a wedding day. Here are a few ways to ensure that your guests don’t get bored while you’re getting your photo taken.


  1. Give your guests entertainment (and food!): If you want to do formal photos of the wedding party after the ceremony, make sure your guests have something to do. Have some entertainment and food for them as they arrive at the reception location. This can keep them from getting bored and hungry while you get all the shots you want.
  2. Stage the photos: More and more couples are opting to do a photo shoot before or after their actual wedding day. By doing the posed, formal photos on a completely different day, you never need to be away from your guests. Have your photographer there on the day to capture candid shots of your guests, though!
  3. Slip away during the reception: After the ceremony, meal, and toasts, the guests will be in full party mode. Although you might also be ready to party, this can be a great time to slip away for a special photoshoot as newlyweds.

Of course, an experienced Northern Virginia wedding photographer will be able to help you figure out the right time for your photos. To get in touch with all the great wedding vendors you’ll need for your big day, check out our member directory today!

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Using the Internet for your Wedding

The Internet has steadily grown since it was first invented, and now a large majority of people use it for all sorts of functions, but does it have a place at your wedding.  Weddings should be an event all about the sentiment, but there are several ways you can involve technology and the world wide web on your big day.

Chasing RSVPs can be so much easier with email.  People often mean to RSVP, but never get round to it, but for those last minute stragglers, what not send an email reminder giving them a faster and easier way to let you know if they’ll be there?

More people shop online these days, and so instead of having a wedding list in a store, why not use several stores where there are things you might like with an online wedding list service.  This way online shoppers can browse at their leisure and enjoy buying their gift, and you get a greater amount of choice in places you can get presents from.

There are hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter these days and so why not invite people to share their best wishes with a hash tag?  Stating ‘tweet us your best wishes with #JohnandJaynesBigDay means that you can easily see everyone’s online congratulations.

For more information on the best resources and planning your wedding visit our website.


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Floral Trends for Fall Weddings

Fall might not be the season you associate with lush, beautiful flowers, but if you’re planning an autumn wedding, there are some great floral trends that are perfect for your big day.


  • Wildflowers: Loose bouquets of local wildflowers are always a great choice, and they fit perfectly with the Fall wedding trends. They’re great for rustic, romantic, or casual wedding styles, too.
  • Evergreens: Emerald is still the color of the year, and bringing in the deep evergreen shades can be the perfect addition to your wedding’s floral arrangements.
  • Bright colors: Vibrant colors are a big trend for Fall weddings, and one place where you’ll be seeing them is in flowers. Exotic blooms are great for the autumn, as they can add contrast and excitement.
  • Tree styles: The falling leaves outside can be your inspiration inside, too. Tall, tree-like centerpieces are a great choice, and can be created with a combination of wooden and floral elements.

The best way to keep up with all the best wedding flower trends for the coming season is to work with an excellent wedding florist. To find out about the best Northern Virginia wedding florists, check out our member directory today!

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4 Ways to Make Smartphones Welcome at Your Wedding

Smartphones and other tech devices can be seen as a wedding nightmare. Whether it’s guests sending texts during the ceremony or views being blocked as guests take photos, they can cause some basic problems. However, they can also be a great addition to your wedding day.

  1. Ask guests to upload candid photos. Having guests share their photos with a hashtag can make things fun, and give your guests a way to be interactive after the wedding. They can also give you a free alternative to disposable cameras.
  2. Make a game. Wondering what to do to keep your guests entertained while you’re posing for photos? Give them a scavenger hunt! A game like this can get your guests relaxed and in a fun mood, while giving you a bit of extra time.
  3. Give extra information. You probably don’t want to send a 20-page invitation, but might have more you want to tell guests. From area attractions to attire advice, you can give guests a link to lots of information by including a simple QR code for them to scan.
  4. Remember the guests without phones. The best way to make people happy about smartphones at your wedding is to remember those that don’t have them. Consider including a phone-free area at the front of your ceremony, where unplugged guests can sit with an unimpeded view.

For more tips about planning the perfect Northern Virginia wedding, get in touch with our great members. They can help you plan every aspect of your perfect wedding day.

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How to Stick to Your Wedding Budget

Knowing your wedding budget is important, but actually sticking to it is crucial. Overspending can mean extra stress and even starting your married life in unexpected debt. There are ways to stick to your wedding budget, though. Here are a few.


Apples to apples: When you compare vendors, make sure you aren’t comparing apples to oranges. One vendor might have a higher price, but they might have more included. Pay close attention to what you get for a given fee, and note any potential extra charges you might face.

Take a breather: Don’t rush into anything. Take time to read contracts (take them home if you need to), especially. You might fall in love with the idea of something, but give yourself time to think befor you make any big commitment.

Work with professionals: Don’t get lured into the DIY trap. Working with wedding professionals can often save you money, and can save you a lot of stress as you approach your big day.

If you’re looking for great Northern Virginia wedding professionals, check out the members of Hunt Country Celebrations!


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3 Ways to Avoid the Post-Wedding Blues

The post-wedding blues can be a real struggle for Virginia brides. After a great wedding, you should be happy, but instead are left with a sense of emptiness. Here are three ways to avoid this common type of depression.


  1. Plan ahead: One of the major causes of post-wedding depression is having too much time on your hands. Whether you plan to start a new hobby or plan on cleaning your house for a fresh start, get something scheduled for soon after your wedding.
  2. Take a mini-moon: While jetting off on a honeymoon might not be possible, book a mini-moon for after your wedding. If you have friends and family in from out of town, you might want to plan a short vacation for after they leave, so you can spend more time with them.
  3. Work with great vendors: The easier your wedding planning and wedding day are for you, the less you’ll feel depressed after the fact. When you work with great vendors, you can also be sure you don’t get hit with extra costs that can lead to financial stress after your wedding day.

To find out more about the many great members of Hunt Country Celebrations, check out our member directory today!



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Give Your Wedding Guests Some Direction

As you prepare for your Northern Virginia wedding day, you know where your venues are, but do your guests? Don’t take for granted that they’ll know where to go, especially if you have separate ceremony and reception locations. Instead, give them foolproof directions.


In your invitation, include a map with of your venues and any other important locations. Be sure to also include details like street addresses and ZIP codes so that guests using sat navs have all the information they need.

For some venues, it might be helpful to signpost the way, too. Check local rules about temporary signs first, but even simply marking the way with small signs or balloons in your wedding colors can be a huge help.

If you are having the reception at a different location, include another map in your program. Many guests won’t have their invitation with them, so this can be a big help and keep your guests from getting lost.

When you work with the many great members of Hunt Country Celebrations, you can be sure to get all the great advice and help you need to make your big day perfect. To find out more about them, visit our member directory today!

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3 Ways to Be a Great Wedding Guest

When you’re planning your wedding, it can be difficult to really picture how the guests will experience your big day. As a guest, you might be tempted to compare a wedding to your own wedding, whether it was years in the past or you’re still planning it. Here are a few ways to be a great wedding guest.


  • Dress appropriately: It might be surprising this even needs to be said, but many couples are shocked at what guests wear. Pay attention to the requested attire mentioned in the invitation, and remember that much of the old etiquette rules still apply.
  • Be happy: Whether the venue, food, or music is to your taste or not, enjoy the day as a celebration of the couple’s love. You might not have made the same choices, but the bride and groom did because it’s what they liked. Don’t complain about it.
  • Be inspired: If you’re planning your own wedding, go to other weddings with an open mind. You might see some of the same ideas you’ve been considering, or even be at the same venue. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t, and what you love as a guest instead of as a bride.

If you are planning a wedding in Northern Virginia, you can find plenty of help and inspiration with our vendors. Check out what they have to offer and find out what they can do to make your wedding dreams come true.

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