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  • Getting married? Whom to invite to the wedding, and why

    Wedding planner Joyce Scardina Becker has a simple system for compiling wedding-guest lists. Divide people into three categories: yes, maybe and no.


    "'Yes' includes parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, plus friends you see often," said Becker, president of Events of Distinction in California. "'Maybe' means relatives you see occasionally, new friends, neighbors and co-workers. 'No' includes distant relatives and old friends you rarely see."


    Your budget and venue will dictate whether you get beyond the yeses or maybes, she said.


    Becker's rule of thumb is a good starting point, but emotions create complications. Following are some dos and don'ts for brides and grooms who look before they leap.




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    • Invite true friends, not people you feel obligated to invite.


    • Compile the guest list together. "This is a reflection of you as a couple," said Elaine Swann, an etiquette coach based in San Diego.


    • Discuss the list with both sets of parents, if they're paying for the wedding. "If you're paying for your wedding, you have complete control of your list," said Swann. "If your parents are paying, it's their party."


    • Start early to allow for changes. "We made ours nine months before the wedding," said Simone Vega, New York City wedding planner and recent bride.


    • Over-invite. Wedding venues suggest you invite 10 percent more guests than you can accommodate to allow for nos. The exception is the very small wedding, where an exact head count matters.


    "We invited 240 and 200 came," said Melinda (Mel) Parrish, an Alexandria, Va., model who married in 2014. "The 40 (who declined) included some far-flung relatives."


    • Allow single guests 18 or older to bring a date ("plus one"). Who is or is not a worthy date is not your decision, Swann says.


    • Say "adults only" on the invitation if you do not want children at your wedding. "Then, don't make exceptions," said Swann.


    • If your partner has a large family, accept his larger list. "You're marrying a family, not just one person," said Swann. "This is now your Thanksgiving dinner!"


    • Handle each guest-list faux pas individually. If you can, ask a close relative to handle the calls. "Even though ours was adults-only, a few people replied that they would bring their kids," said Parrish. "My mom handled it."


    • Be forthright with those you haven't invited, notes wedding website —particularly those who try to wheedle their way onto the guest list. If someone you did not invite says, for example, "I can't wait to come to your wedding," reply with "We'd love to invite everyone, but with our venue and budget, we cannot." Then, change the subject.


    • Apply the same rules for second weddings. "It gets easier, though," said Vega. "You're older. You're not as likely to make decisions out of guilt."




    • Create A and B lists. "Thanks to social media, the B people will quickly learn they received their invitations much later than other people did," Swann said. "You'll hurt their feelings."


    • Let your parents bully you, warns, particularly if you are paying for the wedding.


    • Equate your guest list with a gift-solicitation list by including people you know will not come in order to get more presents. "That's gauche," said Swann.


    • Refuse to invite a parent's new partner because you don't like him or her. "It's only a few hours of your life," said Swann.


    • Invite people to the wedding but not the reception. "Imagine being the guest in the parking lot who realizes everyone else is headed to the party, but you're not invited," said Swann.


    • Send online invitations. "Your wedding is one of the most life-changing events in your life, not an informal party. Use paper," said Swann. She adds a caveat: "If it's really small, then you can call people."


    • Share your list on social media. It may be seen by acquaintances who have not been invited, and hurt feelings may result.


    • Assume a guest is a "yes" or "no." "Be prepared for them to come, no matter the circumstances," said Parrish. "One guest came even though her husband just died and she lived out of town."


    Bottom line, said Swann, "it just comes down to respect and consideration of your guests. With each decision you make, think about how they will feel."

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  • Borrowing for a wedding? You could regret it

    Wedding season is rapidly approaching, and if you're about to celebrate your nuptials, we have just one question – how are you paying for it? Hopefully you'd havesaved up enough to ensure that everything's covered, but research has revealed that a quarter of couples plan to borrow money to fund their dream wedding, something that could put a downer on future marital bliss.


    Research from Debt Advisory Centre has found that the pressure to have a dream wedding can come at a cost for some couples, with 23% of those surveyed admitting that they borrowed to fund their big day – to the average tune of £3,800.


    Borrowing for a wedding? You could regret it


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    Unfortunately, many people regretted it afterwards, with almost half (47%) of those who took out credit for this reason saying that they wish they'd either borrowed less or hadn't borrowed at all. The financial hangover can last well after the honeymoon comes to an end, too, with 29% of couples still repaying their wedding debts after six years of marital life.


    This has the potential to ruin marital bliss, the report noted, as debt is one of the leading causes of relationship problems. The figures suggest that it could impact younger couples more than their older counterparts – those aged 18 to 25 are far more likely to use credit to fund their wedding, with 65% of those surveyed admitting to doing so. They're also the age group who are likely to borrow the most, with 15% taking out over £5,000.


    "As the culture of glamorous celebrity weddings has grown, it's easy to see why couples feel under pressure to recreate the lavish events they see in magazines," said Melanie Taylor, a spokeswoman for Debt Advisory Centre. "While celebrities can afford to spend enormous amounts on their dream weddings, for most people this kind of luxury is out of reach and it's not advisable to get into debt to meet these aspirations.


    "Getting married is about making a lifetime commitment, not just one day of extravagance. [It] might seem like the most important day of your life, but nothing is more important than your long term happiness and security, so keep this in mind and plan for your marriage, rather than your wedding day."


    It's all about thinking long term, and if you focus on saving the money for that dream wedding, you hopefully won't need to get into debt in order to fund it. Opening aregular savings account could be a great way to kick-start the savings habit – these accounts often boast higher rates than their traditional counterparts on the promise that you pay in a set amount each month, and after a year you could have a comfortable pot.


    Alternatively, if your wedding is further ahead or if you've already got a large lump sum that needs topping up, you could opt for a fixed rate bond of a term to suit your wedding plans. Easy access accounts are another option if you're seeking flexibility, and don't forget about ISAs to maximize your tax-efficiency.


    But, if you really must borrow to fund your wedding, make sure to do it sensibly. A personal loan could be an option, tying you in to set repayments so you're completely debt-free thereafter, and with rates at record lows it could be a great time to compare the deals available. Using a 0% purchase credit card could be another option, allowing you to spread the cost without accruing interest.


    Alternatively, if you've already used a traditional credit card to cover some of the costs, make sure you're not paying interest! Transferring the balance to a 0% balance transfer credit card will give you plenty of time to pay it off, and if you make sure to clear it by the end of the interest-free period, you won't need to worry about interest adding to the bill.


    No matter how you go about it, just make sure both parties are comfortable with the arrangements and then you can enjoy married life without the interference of debt stress.

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  • PM Modi, Sonia Gandhi Attend Wedding Reception of Lalu Yadav's Daughter

    NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi were among a host of political leaders attending the wedding reception of Lalu Prasad Yadav's daughter with Mulayam Singh Yadav's grandnephew in New Delhi on Thursday night.

    Leaders cutting across party line were at the ceremony which marked the union of the country's two foremost backward leaders and regional satraps.

    President Pranab Mukherjee was also there.

    PM Modi, Sonia Gandhi Attend Wedding Reception of Lalu Yadav's Daughter
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    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani were among those, besides Mrs Gandhi and PM Modi, who blessed the couple, Raj Laxmi and Tej Pratap Yadav.

    Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Home Minister Rajnath Singh were also present.

    Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was also there and sources said PM Modi had a brief chat with his ally-turned-rival.

    Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Janata Dal United (JDU) President Sharad Yadav apart from many Bihar and UP ministers attended the reception.

    The couple's tilak ceremony on February 21 had also seen an impressive gathering, including that of PM Modi, in Safai, the Samajwadi Party President's home town.

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