Northshore Magazine

Northshore January February 2016

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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46 | JANUARY + FEBRUARY 2016 Above, Janie Haas; Below, Amy McLaughlin a beautiful handmade throw for her wedding," Haas recounts. "It was incredibly special, and it came from such a heartfelt place." The amount of money guests spend on the gift can vary widely according to their age and their relationship with the couple, but McLaughlin suggests: "Generally, it's understood that younger guests may not be able to afford the most expensive gifts; close relatives and friends will often spring for the priciest items off a couple's registry." Guests do have a grace period for choosing and send- ing gifts; anytime within a year of the ceremony is acceptable. ETIQUETTE FOR THE BRIDAL PARTY In Haas's opinion, one of the wed- ding party's most important duties is to make the engagement period enjoyable for the happy couple, whether this means hosting a bridal shower or bachelor or bachelorette party or going as a group to choose bridesmaid dresses. The bridal party is typically responsible for plan- ning the bridal shower, and Amy McLaughlin suggests that an unre- lated maid of honor or bridesmaid should host. "It's generally poor eti- quette for the bride's family to host the shower," she explains, "although they may help behind the scenes to plan or pay for the event." ETIQUETTE FOR THE BRIDE AND GROOM Once you finalize the guest list, an impeccable seating chart is the next step. Brides and grooms may wonder where to seat themselves; McLaugh- lin recommends a sweetheart table, for the bride and groom only. "That way the couple won't need to choose which family members or friends to sit with," she explains. Alternatively, Haas often creates a large head table for couples, their wedding party, and any plus-ones at the head of the dance floor. As for the rest of the ta- bles, Haas has a rule of thumb: "Try to place at least two couples who know each other at every table. If each person or couple at each table has at least one person they know al- ready, they'll feel more comfortable." Social media has found a place at weddings in recent years. McLaugh- lin has clients who create wed- ding hashtags for guests to use on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. "If a couple has a wedding hashtag, it's absolutely appropriate for guests and couples to post photos during the event," says McLaughlin. Haas typically advises couples to create a wedding website, as well. "It's a great way to share photos, updates, and information," she explains. One place social media has yet to infiltrate is the sending of thank- you notes; both planners insist on hand-written thank-yous. Although a late note is better than no note, it's ideal to send one within two weeks of the ceremony, according to McLaughlin. "It may be appropri- ate to pre-empt with a phone call or message, but that doesn't replace the hand-written card." Janie Haas Events 125 Coachmans Ln. North Andover 978-725-5956 Amy McLaughlin Lifestyles 254 High St. Newburyport 978-255-2623 CONTACT photograph by Elise Sinagra (top), by Rachael Kloss (bottom) TRY TO PLACE AT LEAST TWO COUPLES WHO KNOW EACH OTHER AT EVERY TABLE. IF EACH PERSON OR COUPLE AT EACH TABLE HAS AT LEAST ONE PERSON THEY KNOW ALREADY, THEY'LL FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE." —JANIE HAAS

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