When and How to Include Absent Guests at Your Wedding


How to Include Absent Guests at Your Wedding

Brides and grooms are only too aware of the stresses involved with organising a wedding especially when it comes to matters of the RSVP.  No matter how much notice you give your invited guests, there are always going to be those that are unable to attend your special day. Geography can put more than just miles between you and, for example, a family member abroad. And under much more emotional circumstances, loved ones that are no longer with you will want to be commemorated in a way that is special to you, but appropriate to everyone else.

So just how do you include absent guests at your wedding?

Absent guests are inevitable, so here’s just some ‘no-show’ how-to’s that can mean the difference between giving yourself extra stress or working out a way to overcome an empty chair and creating a talking point that lasts beyond the cutting of the cake.

Missing Wedding Guests

  • Something Old – restore treasured family photographs, use them in your invitation, perhaps the images of both parents on their wedding day or why not set up a table of framed photographs of everyone who can’t be with you on your day.


  • Something New – Skype wall – long distance relatives can be just as involved on your big day and even play a part if you use some of the incredible communications apps and services now available. Skype is free, immediate and can be the bridge between thousands of miles. Check with your chosen venue for their wifi facilities beforehand. If you have a really organised best man or maid of honour (or perhaps give this job to someone else as a special project) ask each of those that are unable to attend, to send you a congratulatory video message. There are literally hundreds of free editing software packages available online to help you put together a really witty or emotional compilation of messages to play at the reception.




Aimi and Chris’ Spring Themed, Barn Wedding. By Marianne Chua

Today’s wedding is full of spring goodness and gorgeous colours, courtesy of Marianne Chua. Aimi and Chris held their beautiful barn wedding in March, so not long ago at all! They chose a beautiful spring day and were so lucky with the weather! This Suffolk location is absolutely stunning and certainly had the wow factor that Aimi and Chris were looking for. Full of loads of handmade and DIY touches they really managed to make the wedding their own by adding lots of personal touches. From the decoration to the entertainment, the outfits to the flowers, the day is just gorgeous!

Our wedding day was full to the brim with love and laughter. It was so special in every way, we have memories from the day that will last a lifetime.

2 Spring Themed Barn Wedding by Marianne Chua 3 Spring Themed Barn Wedding by Marianne Chua

Aimi and Chris were married at Smeetham Hall Barns in Suffolk on 15th March. In just over a year they had planned their big day and tied the knot in front of their closest family and friends. “The venue made us both say a big WOW when we arrived to view the barn, we just knew it was perfect for us plus the location was ideal as it so close to home.

4 Spring Themed Barn Wedding by Marianne Chua

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Ask The Experts – Wedding Entertainment: What Does Your Money Buy You in 2014? From Alive Network


Budgets for Wedding Entertainment

Choosing the entertainment for your wedding can sometimes be a real head scratcher. There are so many options out there for you to choose from and so many different price ranges. But what can you get for the budget you have? and what do you need for your dream wedding entertainment option? Today I  have enlisted the help of wedding entertainment agency Alive Network to shed some light on this rather daunting of topics to help guide you along the entertainment budget highway!




‘Planning your wedding budget can seem like an endless waiting game for quotes to come in, and then juggling the figures to see what you can allocate to your wedding entertainment. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if suppliers could give you set prices, plus an idea of how much a given budget will actually buy you on the day!’

‘That’s the inspiration behind Alive Network’s wedding entertainment price guide, giving you up to date and competitive prices for all types of wedding entertainment, from bands and DJs to magicians and musicians. You can get an instant quote for any of our 4000+ artists on our website at any time, plus an availability check, as many of our acts are booked up to 18 months in advance!’


Wedding entertainment budget: up to £250 

Best buys: kids entertainment, ceremony and drinks reception music

  • Create a special atmosphere at your wedding ceremony, whether greeting guests on arrival with a traditional bagpiper or signing the register accompanied by romantic harp music. Your wedding ceremony musician will probably be happy to then move to entertain at your drinks reception (for a little extra), so consider a solo classical guitarist or a cocktail pianist.
  • Any children you’ve invited will love you both forever (and so will their parents) if you provide something special just for them, whether a children’s entertainer, balloon modeler or juggler.

Wedding entertainment budget: up to £500

Best buys: small format wedding entertainment, and surprise extras

  • If you’re planning a small, intimate wedding, or your venue doesn’t have much spare space, £500 buys a surprising selection of musical entertainment, including some exceptionally talented duos and trios performing jazz, swing, pop, and easy listening.
  • It also buys you some superb interactive entertainment, such as lightening-fast caricaturists, formal toastmasters, amazing street magicians and circus performers. In fact, over 35% of our performers at Alive Network are available for hire for less than £500, a genuine bargain in this day and age.
  • Best of all, 95% of all Alive Network’s wedding DJs fall into this budget range, so you can afford to enjoy a live DJ keeping everyone up and dancing all night long (all night).

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Heather and Damian’s New Year’s Eve Wedding. By Claire Penn Photography

Today I have a gorgeous New Year’s Eve Wedding for you courtesy of Claire Penn Photography. This stunning Lancashire wedding is full of chic mismatched accessories that Heather the bride describes as  ‘stuff I liked’. She chose trinkets and accessories that she would like to see in her own house in colours of greys, creams and antique silver mixed with a little bit of blush to soften the tones. With the venue a definite from as long as Heather could remember, the rest of the wedding planning fell into place with a bit of help from Heather’s mother. Throw in the New Year’s Eve celebration and you have the mix for a beautifully elegant and fun wedding.

The perfect day that wasn’t just in our heads; it was actually happening. Best day ever!

2 New Year's Eve Wedding in Lancashire By Claire Penn Photography 3 New Year's Eve Wedding in Lancashire By Claire Penn Photography Heather and Damian tied the knot on New Year’s Eve in the much-loved venue of Mitton Hall Hotel in Whalley. “Mitton Hall used to be a restaurant called the Stone House many years ago and this was somewhere I (Heather) was always taken for my birthday meal as a child. When it was turned into a wedding venue I knew I would always get married there. Fortunately, when we went to the wedding open day, Damian loved it just as much as I did and in the year leading up to the wedding it was the location for many lunches with friends and family and I had my 30th birthday party there too.  We booked the wedding in October 2012, my dress was purchased the week after that, bridesmaids were sorted and outfitted by December, my lovely friend Kat has always been on standby since I met her in 2004 to do my flowers and then the rest of the details just happened through the course of the year.” 4 New Year's Eve Wedding in Lancashire By Claire Penn Photography 5 New Year's Eve Wedding in Lancashire By Claire Penn Photography (more…)



Boho Loves: Be Chic Hair Accessories – Win a £100 Gift Card

handmade cocktail hats and hair bands

I do love a competition on the Blog and today I am over the moon as I have a wonderful giveaway for you from BeChic Accessories. Hana From Be Chic has been kind enough to offer one lucky reader a Gift card worth £100 to spend on any item in the Be Chic Etsy shop! Be Chic design and make and a whole host of gorgeous hair accessories, hats and hair bands, all with a stunning vintage edge, suitable for many a bride!

Be Chic Logo 1 Be Chic Hair Accessories 2 Be Chic Hair Accessories

Competition Give Away Details

Prize value: £100 gift card for purchase of any item at www.etsy.com/shop/BeChicAccessories

How to Win

  • Pop Over to the Be Chic Facebook page and like it
  • Pop a Comment in the Box below telling us when your wedding is
3 Be Chic Hair Accessories 4 Be Chic Hair Accessories

Handmade cocktail hats and hair bands, feminine and highly wearable. All of them are handmade and designed by Hana using her favorite materials – lace, feathers, silk, millinery material, Swarovski pearls and crystals..




Bethany and Brad’s Rustic Outdoor Florida Wedding. By Stacy Paul Photography

I have a stunning wedding for you today from Stacy Paul Photography. It comes from sunny Florida, but today features somewhat of a wet wedding. This beautiful rustic wedding includes an outdoor ceremony and barn reception, and even though the rain poured down hours before the ceremony Bethany and Brad didn’t let this dampen their day. Luckily the rain stopped in time for them to say their vows and also let them have their gorgeous first look that they so wanted! I wish more couples would do a first look, it is such an amazing and special time to get some very personal couple photos and lets you get these shots out the way before the madness of the day begins! With a whole host of antique decorations loaned to them by the venue, this wedding is just oozing rustic and vintage glamour. You would never know this is a budget wedding either but Bethany was very clever where she spent her money, managing to create the whole wedding breakfast for $700. I hope you love this wedding as much as I do!

A whirlwind; nothing started out as planned. Lots of people in the wedding party were late and the weather wasn’t cooperating but everything worked out, the groomsmen were really helpful with rain damage control. It turned out to be amazing with a warm, romantic atmosphere and everyone had a wonderful time, which was really important to me.

2 Rustic Outdoor Florida Wedding By Stacy Paul Photography

3 Rustic Outdoor Florida Wedding By Stacy Paul Photography

Bethany and Brad chose Birdsong Barn as the perfect venue to marry in front of 120 guests on 31st January. “The atmosphere of the venue was perfect, as well as the garage full of decorations available for the bride to use.  It was also important to me to use a venue that did not restrict us to using specific caterers, DJ’s, etc. If it is important to you to have more than a few choices, Birdsong Barn is reasonable and very flexible and easy to work with. We were engaged for a year but I got 80% of the planning done in the last four months.”

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