Wedding Registry Etiquette
Today’s wedding registries aren’t always as straightforward as those from weddings of the past. Be sure to keep these wedding guest registry etiquette topics in mind as you decide how to approach this aspect of your big day.
Consider What You Need
Rule number one with wedding registry etiquette is that even if you feel like you already have everything you need, your guests still want to give you a gift. So take stock of what you have to see if there are any areas you may have overlooked where guests could contribute to your household, such as:
- Outdoor décor, like landscaping fixtures or patio furniture
- Tools, like electric saws, lawn mowers and snow blowers
- Guest room supplies, like extra bedding, an air mattress or spare towels
- Furniture, like a new bedroom set or a desk for a home office
- Travel gear, like camping tents or luggage
Make Things Easy
It’s considered good etiquette to make your wedding registry as simple as possible for your guests. The less work they have to do, the better. Here are some ideas:
- Have your close family and friends get the word out about where you’re registered. You can also include this info on your wedding website.
- Choose at least one store with easy online ordering. Offer the option to have gifts shipped directly to your home so guests don’t need to wrap it and bring it to the wedding.
- Select registry items in a range of prices so every guest can find something that fits their budget.
Creative Registry Solutions
If you like to think outside the box, you may be interested in offering one of these options for your wedding registry:
- Honeymoon fund
- Home fund
- Baby fund
- Donations to charity
If you choose one of these registries, it is considered good etiquette to also register at a traditional store too so your more “old-fashioned” guests will have an option that they are more comfortable with.
What Not to Do
Looking to avoid a registry faux pas? These are the big no-no’s when it comes to registering for wedding gifts:
- Don’t include registry information on your invitations.
- Don’t ask for cash.
- Always send a thank you note.
Now that you know all about wedding registry etiquette, you’re ready for the fun part: picking out the items to include on your list!
Signature Cocktail Ideas for the Creative Couple
One of the hottest wedding trends is specialty cocktails. It’s a great way for brides and grooms to add a personal touch to their event. At Hampshire House, we make sure couples have some tasty themed cocktail options no matter when their event will be held. Here’s a closer look at our seasonal specialty cocktails.
- Winter: At a winter wedding, you’ll want something rich and flavorful that evokes the holiday spirit. One of our favorites is the Spiked Hot Cocoa made with Malibu rum since it adds a warm, cozy vibe to the event.
- Spring: The spring calls for fresh flavors with just a hint of sweetness. Our The Other Flower Martini hits the spot with Hendrick’s gin and St. Germaine getting a splash of freshness from cucumber and lime.
- Summer: A thirst-quenching drink is the priority at summer weddings, which is why our Raspberry Peach Sangria is always a hit. It combines fruity flavors with the refreshing lightness of sauvignon blanc.
- Fall: Fall’s flavors are so distinctive, so it’d be a waste not to tap into them for an autumn wedding. At Hampshire House, our apple and pumpkin cocktails are incredibly popular with wedding guests.
Which flavor is your favorite? Pick one of these options or have Hampshire House come up with a custom concoction just for your event.
Three Brands You Didn’t Know Had Bridal Collections
While plenty of designers offer more traditional gowns for brides, there are also a number of alternative options available for modern weddings. Here are three brands you might be surprised to learn offer affordable and unique wedding dress options perfect for your Hampshire House wedding:
- ASOS: From cute tea-length dresses to lacy boho maxi gowns, ASOS offers a number of fashion-forward looks for brides. In addition to their collection of trendy wedding dress styles, ASOS also has a complete bridal collection that includes accessories, jewelry, lingerie, bags and more.
- J. Crew: If you love J. Crew’s simple, chic and slightly preppy look, you’ll love their bridal collection. They offer a number of elegant wedding dresses plus a great selection of bridesmaid dresses in stylish designs and modern colors.
- ModCloth: For those who want a wedding dress that suits their unique style, ModCloth is the place to go. This popular online retailer has some lovely looks that alternative brides will love, including non-white wedding dresses, vintage-inspired bridesmaid dresses and adorable bridal accessories.
What will your wedding day look be? Check out the selections from these brands for an alternative to the traditional bridal shop.
Creative Sweetheart Table Ideas
Unlike a traditional head table, a sweetheart table is just for the newlyweds. It sets you and your new spouse apart from your guests to enjoy a few moments with just the two of you before the party really gets going. Consider dressing up your sweetheart table with one of these ideas:
- Hearth Table: Set your sweetheart table right in front of the fireplace in one of our elegant rooms at Hampshire House. Add décor to the hearth to create a picture-perfect backdrop.
- Initials: Whether you paint wooden letters or find big neon light-up letters, adding your initials to the sweetheart table adds a personalized touch.
- Seat Signs: Hanging wooden signs that say “Mr.” and “Mrs.” on the backs of your chairs is romantic and sweet.
- Special Table Coverings: If all your guest tables have the same color linens, consider making the sweetheart table stand out with a different tablecloth. You can find linens in lovely ombre shades or even a tablecloth with a glittery sheen.
- Unique Chairs: Like the linens, you can also set the sweetheart table apart by using different chairs from the rest of the party, like luxurious cushioned armchairs or even a little loveseat for two.
At Hampshire House, we can help your sweetheart table stand out on your big day.
Around the City: Boston Public Garden
Looking for something fun to do during your stay in Boston? The Public Garden is located just steps from Hampshire House and can fill an afternoon with beautiful sights in a relaxing setting.
The History of Boston’s Public Garden
The Public Garden was established by 1837. It was the first public botanical garden in the country, which is especially fitting considering its adjacent location to Boston Common, the country’s first public park. The garden, which covers 24 acres of land, was designed by famous Boston architect George Frederick Meacham. Forester John Galvin and city engineer James Slade also participated in the planning of the garden. Some of the key features of the park, including the bronze statue of George Washington and the iconic suspension bridge were added in the late 1860s. Boston’s Public Garden was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
Notable Garden Features
There are vibrant floral patterns included throughout the park. In fact, there are over 80 species of plants growing there. Visitors often spend hours strolling the meandering paths to view these stunning displays. The lagoon is also a favorite spot in the garden. Though it’s lovely from the shore, even better views are available via a swan boat ride on the lake.
Weddings in the Garden
Due to the beautiful surroundings, many couples choose to have their wedding held in the Public Garden. Besides those married on site, hundreds of couples use the garden as the perfect romantic backdrop for some of their wedding photos. It’s the perfect place to capture pictures of the happy couple along with their bridal party, family and close friends.
Be sure to add a visit to the Public Garden to your Boston visit itinerary. If you’re already planning a stop at Hampshire House, the garden couldn’t be more convenient to explore.
Bridesmaid Dresses You Can Wear After the Wedding
That oh-so-identifiable bridesmaid dress look is slowly fading away. Today, brides are choosing more contemporary looks for their bridesmaids which can be worn at events besides the wedding. If you want your bridal party to be able to get additional use out of their wedding attire, try one of these options we’ve seen at Hampshire House:
- Mismatched dresses: Few colors look good on all skin tones. That’s why letting bridesmaids pick their dress color increases the chance that they’ll wear the dress again. If you still want a cohesive look, give some general guidelines for what types of colors they should consider, such as “shades of blue” or “muted pastels.”
- Convertible Dresses: These dresses come with long straps from the waist up that can be configured in a number of ways, like strapless, halter, one-shoulder, etc. Your maids can wear them multiple times without repeating a look.
- Metallic Tones: Dresses with serious shine are currently on trend for weddings, and its good news for bridesmaids. These dresses have a fancy look that’s perfect for re-wearing as a cocktail dress in the future.
Consider one of these dress options for your wedding. Trust us, your bridesmaids will thank you!
Bouquet Ideas That Are Perfect for Summer
With so many flowers in season, it seems like a summer bouquet would be easy to create, right? In reality, finding something that stands out from the crowd can be difficult during what’s known as “wedding season” in Boston. Here are Hampshire House’s top picks for summer bouquets that brides will love:
- Ombre: It’s been a trend in hair and in fashion, and now it’s a trend in florals. A bouquet that gently changes from one shade to the next will look gorgeous against the backdrop of a white gown.
- Wildflowers: For a truly romantic look go with a wildflower bouquet. A less structured, free-flowing look is perfect for these colorful, long-stemmed flowers.
- Succulents: Add succulents to your bouquet to add a textured look. The sturdy, geometric shapes make traditional flowers appear even more delicate and beautiful.
- Twine: Traditional bouquets are wrapped with ribbon, but twine adds a rustic touch that’s ideal for outdoor summer weddings.
Choose one of these ideas to add a unique twist to your wedding bouquet.
Sizzling Summer Wedding Trends
One of the best ways to ensure that your wedding is a memorable event for you and your guests is by adding unique touches that fit your personality and tastes. Consider adding one of these cool trends to your summer wedding to make it a truly special occasion:
- Signature Drinks: What better way to cool down on a hot summer day than with a signature cocktail crafted by the bride and groom? At Hampshire House, we can help you come up with fun, flavorful drinks that match your tastes and even your wedding color palette.
- Succulents and Wildflowers: Many brides are incorporating substantial succulent or wispy wildflowers into their bouquets and centerpieces to create gorgeous floral arrangements.
- Unique Desserts: Cupcakes, pies, donuts, macaroons and other tasty treats are some fun summer alternatives to traditional wedding cake. Hampshire House can help you create a custom dessert plan for your event.
- Metallics: Gold and silver can make your décor pop and add a formal vibe to the event.
If you’re having a summer wedding, don’t be afraid to shake things up with some of these hot trends. Let Hampshire House help make your wedding vision a reality.
Week of the Wedding: How to Help Family & Friends Have a Great Time
The big week has finally arrived, and you’re just days away from your wedding. While it’s a thrilling time for you and your future spouse, your friends and family are just as excited about you two tying the knot. To help make this event even more memorable, consider these tips for keeping your guests entertained and informed through the week of the wedding:
Hand Out Welcome Bags
It’s a great idea to give welcome bags to your bridal party and any out-of-town guests. Those who are unfamiliar with the Boston area will love having a handy guide that includes a wedding week itinerary and directions to the Hampshire House and other venues included in your celebration. Plus, you can give your guests a guide to some of Boston’s hottest attractions so they can enjoy exploring the area during their visit.
Schedule a Welcome Event
In addition to welcome bags, a welcome event for your guests is another way to include them in the excitement of your wedding week. Whether it’s a laid-back evening of drinks at Bull & Finch Pub or an elegant brunch at one of Hampshire House’s fine dining restaurants, gathering your guests together before or after the wedding also ensures that you get quality time with every guest since the actual wedding day often feels like it goes by in a flash.
Create a Wedding Website
Today’s modern couples are making unique and easy-to-navigate wedding websites that provide a ton of helpful information for guests. This site can be a go-to resource for family and friends that need to double-check anything from the ceremony time to the venue address at the last minute. Plus, you can add lots of fun details to the site to help guests feel involved. Include an online guestbook that they can use to leave you notes of congratulations or even some marriage advice. Add your engagement photos to the site and include details about who’s in the wedding party. These little touches help guests feel included and increase excitement leading up to the wedding day.
Plan a Wonderful Rehearsal Dinner
Another event that can potentially be held at Hampshire House is your rehearsal dinner. The mansion provides a luxurious backdrop for treating your officiant, bridal party and closest family members to a nice dinner the night before your wedding. It’s also a great chance for your loved ones to give toasts and celebrate you two as a couple in preparation for the big day.
Arrange for Childcare
If you’re having an adults-only wedding, it really adds a nice touch to offer an off-site childcare option for parents who you’ve invited to the wedding. That way, guests feel more comfortable being away from their little ones and will be able to truly enjoy your wedding celebrations. Some kid-friendly weddings offer an on-site childcare option just to keep kids entertained during the reception so parents can relax and have fun.
Make Transportation Easy
Even at venues with a convenient location such as Hampshire House, some out-of-town guests may not know the easiest ways to get to and from your wedding. Send those family and friends a simple guide to local transportation, including options for cabs, ride sharing and public transport. If most guests are staying at one hotel, you may even want to provide a free shuttle to and from the venue.
If you want your guests to enjoy every minute of your wedding week, focus on finding ways to make their experience stress-free. Whether it’s giving them lots of options for local activities or including them in some pre- or post-wedding activities, these ideas are sure to make your guests feel welcome at this special event.
Just about everyone struggles with the guest list for his or her wedding. While you may want to invite everyone you know, your budget, your venue and your planning team make it so that it’s just not possible to do so. When it comes time to actually send out the invitations and create the seating chart, you’ll be faced with some tough decisions about how long to keep the guest list.
To make this decision easier, it helps to decide exactly how many people you want to invite before you even start thinking about specifics. Is it your dream to have a very large wedding, or would you be happier with something smaller and more intimate, with just a few close friends and family? Luckily, Hampshire House has you covered with smart tips for deciding on a small or a large wedding.
- If you’re on a budget, a small wedding is the way to go. While this may seem obvious, many couples aren’t exactly honest with themselves about how much money they have to spend on a wedding. Sit down with the people paying for the wedding and go over exactly how much you have to spend; if it adds up to less than you thought, consider downsizing the guest list to give yourself some extra funds.
- If you’re planning the wedding yourself, you may want to go with a small wedding. While professional wedding planners specialize in organizing the transportation, seating, meals and drinks for a large number of people, the average person likely doesn’t have that type of expertise. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches (and you’ll be able to enjoy the big day more) if you go with a smaller guest list.
- If you aren’t particularly social in your day-to-day life, go with a small wedding. You shouldn’t have to invite a large number of people just because you’re getting married, and you’ll likely feel much more comfortable socializing with just those nearest and dearest to you. Planning a large wedding often makes more reserved people feel stressed out (especially on the big day), so save the hassle and pare down your guest list.
- If you and your new spouse are starting completely from scratch once you’re married, you may want to have a large wedding so that you can receive more gifts. While this may seem a bit tacky, keep in mind that the reason why people give gifts is to help the new couple. The people in your life will genuinely enjoy contributing to your new life together.
- If you have a very large, tight-knit family, you may want to opt for a large wedding. This is even truer if both parties have large families. You’ll save yourself the pain of making some difficult cuts from your guest list, and in the end, you may regret not inviting some of those important people.
- If you want your wedding to take on a fun, party-like atmosphere, you may be more partial to a large wedding. This is especially great if you hired a band or a DJ, or if you’re an extremely fun-loving, social couple in your everyday life.