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More Wedding Tips by Deb Boxill

In Tips for a Crowd Pleasing Wedding, we tackled the basics of what makes a wedding reception into the perfect celebration. These next five tips are more about getting to the bottom of some of the stickiest wickets of wedding planning in general. Remember, reducing stress on your guests reduces the stress on you--and vice versa. With that in mind...

Who's Doing What?:

You know the saying "You get what you pay for"? Remember that if you're considering asking friends and family to take care of major tasks. Especially on the day of the wedding-- you want

your guests to have fun, not feel like they're at work.

This one's a little tricky. It is certainly fine to ask everyone to pitch in here and there, and some people truly feel more comfortable having something to do (you know who those people are). Some will offer their time, which is wonderful, and by all means, take them up on it. Just make sure they're up to the responsibility--clarify beforehand what's expected of them.

Asking major favors from folks who haven't offered, though, is asking for trouble. They might feel uncomfortable saying no, and wind up bailing at the last minute. It's easy for guests to get swept up in the excitement of the celebration--remember, they're there for the party--and neglect their duties. It's not a question of who should have done what--if something goes wrong, you're the one who'll be upset. If you want people to feel included, have them do things that can be done in advance (like help assemble favors), or require minimal attention, like hand out programs and be in charge of the guestbook.

Wedding Gifts:

This is easy. Do not ask guests for money or gifts in your wedding invitation. Including your registry information is a no-no. I know, I know, you want your guests to have that info so you won't end up with ten sets of hideous placemats, but them's the breaks. Besides, it's so easy these days to set up a wedding website (theknot.com and theweddingchannel.com are both great options) complete with registry information as well as other stuff like photos of the happy couple, how you met, and directions to the venue.

Enlist your nearest and dearest to spread the word--traditionally, this is an official duty of the wedding party. These days, that task could be as easy as composing an email with link to your site and hitting "send." Technologically stunted guests can still figure out how to pick up the telephone.

DO realize you can't please everyone.

 I'm not just talking about guests who keep kosher, are vegan, lactose intolerant, or have some other dietary concerns. (In general, providing one or two vegetarian options will solve that problem.) But in general, everyone is going have an opinion about how your wedding day "should" be. Don't take that on! This is your wedding. Decide which things are really important to you (hint: it's not going to be every single detail), and stand your ground--graciously of course.

For instance: You've decided that children under 10 aren’t invited, and your cousin huffily informs you that she won't be coming without her 3-under-3 in tow. Well, you have a decision to make. How important is your cousin to the big day? Would it cause more trouble to have the whole brood there, or have them boycott? It’s your call, but it is perfectly acceptable to say, "Oh, Betty, I totally understand. I would so love to have you there, but I understand that it would be difficult for you to leave them home. I'm so sorry you'll have to miss it."

Don't worry, be happy!

It sounds simple, but seriously, your attitude toward your big day will trickle down. No matter what, at the end of the day, you will be married to your beloved.

As I said earlier, some of the most fun weddings I've ever been to were also low-budget, no-frills, and downright disorganized, but it didn't matter because the bride and groom were just so happy to be together and appreciative of everyone who came. And I have to admit it-- the food was fabulous!