Earlier today I did a post on weddings and bathroom baskets which you might like to read.
I also have been thinking about other things that I like at weddings and which may or may not be of use to you if you are planning a wedding.
Firstly I should say, obviously you have to go with your own personal choice, and what I have below is just my personal opinion. Also, if the budget is unlimited then heck go with everything. But this post might be of use to you if the budget is limited (as it generally is!). So it's kind of tips like, if you can only afford either this or that, well go with this.
Spend money on things your guests will value. For example not many people notice the flowers. It might be really important to you but will not be to many of your guests. Whereas food and drink will be noticed by your guests. In my opinion!!
Wedding favours - yes or no?!
My answer to that is yes AND no. It all depends on what it is. If it's not going to cost you anything - for example stones from the beach with names on them, then why not?
If it is going to cost you money then only go with favours for something that you guests will really like...otherwise I personally think you are wasting your money. (Again, if there is no budget knock yourself out with wedding favours).
Good wedding favours, in my opinion: a mini bottle of alcohol (e.g. Baileys for the ladies, Jack Daniels for the men), a Newbridge silver Christmas decoration if a December wedding.
I personally always like the traditional Italian almonds for wedding favours.
Food before the wedding:
Provide some au d'oevres for your guests before dinner. It's a long time between the church and dinner at Irish weddings.
Do not skip the toast drink. And definitely do not do wedding favours/photo booth over the toast drink. You have been warned :-)
Do the speeches after the meal. Once your guests are brought into the room where dinner is served, they expect food soon.
Give your speechmakers very specific instructions on how long speeches should take. The full/total time for speeches in my opinion should be 45 minutes.
I like the idea of speeches being done during the reception before the meal. Why not? You don't have to follow the usual formula for Irish weddings
I LOVE photo booths!!!! If you can afford it I love the polaroid camera photo booths. You will need to organise this some way in advance because apparently the film can be difficult to get a hold of - you can get it online. You can buy a ready made pack of "props" online but I personally like when silly things (boas, sunglasses, hats etc) have been picked up from a variety of different shops.
I especially like when a prop to pose behind/beside is provided.
For guests: It's your responsibility to get as a good photos as possible :-) Make good use of the prop if provided, swing off it/use it as unusually as possible. If no prop provided swing around and take the photo in a different part of the room than everyone else e.g. prop yourself up against a fireplace. It will give the b&g something to smile at when they see the photos the next day.
Do NOT hog the photo booth. Take one photo, maybe one more a couple of hours later and leave it at that!
If there is a lot of film later on during the night why not take the camera and go get some pics of the b&g on the dance floor :-)