The path of true love never did run smooth, and every wedding throws up its awkward moments and problems along with the joy and excitement. For instance, how do you tell your best friend that her three small, noisy children are not invited to your special day? Or, indeed, any other small, noisy children? How do you juggle the presence of your mum and dad together if they've been divorced for a decade and still can't hold a civil conversation? How can you avoid inviting lots of relations you don't ever see, although etiquette may demand it? Do you invite your ex? His ex? And so on.
One sensitive area is the issuing of wedding gift lists. Even more sensitive is the notion, increasingly popular these days, of asking your guests for cash donations towards an item you're saving for - a sofa, a rug, a designer object you covet. It's very practical but can seem rather coldblooded, and needs to be handled carefully.
Clearly, it's best not to say, 'Well, we've got everything we need, so some money would be nice.' Or to send one of those irritatingly cute rhymes that disguise the request for money under a flowery verse. If your friends and family know you're saving hard for a particular essential item, the grapevine should soften the blow when you do ask for contributions.
Or, if you would like help in paying for the wedding instead, ask for a little something towards the flowers, or the fee for the photographer (who could provide your guests with some special photos of their own in thanks). If the cash gift is funding a specific aspect of the day (apart from the catering!), let your generous guests know.
Also, they could help treat you on your honeymoon, with a day's scuba-diving or a helicopter flight, a day's spa pampering or a special celebratory meal. Again, let them know exactly how they've made your wedding better.
Asking for cash or cheques upfront seems graceless, and many people now opt to set up a cash box at the venue, so that cash gifts or cheques can be dropped in without comment. This gives cash donations anonymity - and may help the happy couple to feel less uncomfortable! This can be discreetly mentioned on the wedding invitations, but of course, the giving has to be totally optional...
For more hints and tips that will help take some of the stress out of organising your big day, check out our wedding information pages. They're an indispensable source of wedding planning tips and style advice for any bride to be and we are adding to them all the time so make sure you visit us again.
And don't forget to browse Henry Kaye's complete range of of stunning wedding shoes (for brides, bridesmaids and pageboys alike), stylish pageboy outfits, gorgeous bridesmaid dresses, and exquisite wedding bags and beautiful wedding accessories.