Thursday, March 26, 2015

Formal or fun, on paper or electronically, how to get those RSVPs in!

You’re getting close to your big day – you know what you’re wearing, who’s in the wedding party, and where it’s going to be. Your Save-the-Dates and then your official invitations went out. But only half your guest list has returned their RSVP cards and the deadline for your caterer is coming fast! What do you do?

The first thing is make sure you gave yourself some “wiggle room.” Make your response card deadline at least a few weeks before your deadline with the caterer. That way, you have time to hunt down the guests who have not responded.

How do you get your guests to return these? Sample response card from our friends at Respond if You Please.
Make it easy for your guests to RSVP. Yes, the traditional form is to print a response card with your invitation suite and supply a self-addressed, stamped envelope; that’s never wrong. But if you have a less formal wedding, or you just want to give your guests options, there are plenty of electronic ways to get RSVPs, too! If you have a wedding website, create a section for people to RSVP. Send out emails, and accept RSVPs that way, too. You can even make a closed Facebook event to get people to respond.

Get help. If the guests who haven’t responded are from one side of the family or another, ask family members to help. Perhaps your mother-in-law-to-be can get her cousin on the phone for you! (It’s also a great way to direct the energies of a person who wants to help, but doesn’t know how!)

What ways have you gotten your guests to RSVP? Share them in the comments!  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tips on shaking that wedding planning overload!

You are as excited as ever to be marrying your sweetheart, but there comes a point in planning most weddings when you start to feel more than a little overwhelmed. We have some tips to help you get through the stress and re-energize yourself!

Organize. Use a wedding binder or an app to keep yourself on track, and make good lists. That way, you won’t get too sidetracked as the planning progresses.

Take a break. Really! Take an evening and go out with friends, or have dinner with your sweetheart. Make a promise to yourself that you won’t talk about the wedding. Just enjoy a dinner, music or movie without letting wedding planning enter the conversation. Your seating arrangement chart will still be there in the morning, but you’ll be more refreshed and ready to attack it!

Stop looking at Pinterest. Once you’ve made your decisions, give Pinterest a break too. Every idea looks fantastic and you can only do so many different things. At some point, you have to tell yourself it’s okay to stop looking. The themes, colors and favors you choose will be perfect for your wedding, so don’t let yourself get caught up in “Pinterest regret.”

Delegate. Let your future mother-in-law pick up the flowers, if she wants to. Or give the task of alphabetizing the escort cards to a member of your wedding party. People will want to help – let them!

Enjoy. Yes, the two of you are planning a very important event. And yes, you have a lot to balance. But take time to remember why it’s such an important day and step back and enjoy the process.

What tips do you have to make the wedding planning process easier?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Start spreading the news!

When you’re newly engaged, you want to tell the world! With social media, it seems like you can with just a push of a button. But that’s not the only way to get the news out – don’t forget the traditional engagement and wedding announcement in your local newspaper.

Newspaper clippings of your engagement and wedding announcements are a great keepsake to tuck into a scrapbook. It’s also a great way to tell your entire hometown that you’re engaged – even the people you’ve lost touch with! While not every couple can get their wedding announced in the New York Times,that doesn’t mean you can’t contact your local paper!

Each newspaper is going to have a slightly different format. Your best bet is to visit your local paper’s website. Most papers will have a “contact us” link on their site so you can call their news department.

Once you find out who to talk to, ask if they have a specific form they wish you to fill out. If there is a form, print neatly and carefully to save yourself from spelling errors! If you want to attach a photo, ask for their photo guidelines. While most papers’ guidelines aren’t as strict as the New York Times’, each newspaper does have them.

Which newspapers should you choose? If you and your sweetheart are from different hometowns, you’ll want the papers for each of you, as well as the newspaper where you live now. Include both your daily and your local weekly newspapers, too!

Also, since you’re going to want to print your engagement and wedding in the same newspapers, ask for the guidelines for both announcements when you call for the engagement form. That way, you won’t have to make a second round of phone calls! Even if you’re planning a lengthy engagement, you can put the wedding announcement form in your wedding planning book to fill out later. 

Lastly, engagement and wedding announcements usually run when the editor has space for them; make sure you follow the newspapers' deadlines so you have the best chance of your announcement getting printed as quickly as possible!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

It's the bridal show of the season!

We are ready to bring you the premier wedding show of the season! The annual Southbury Bridal Show is happening in just a few short days -- please join us from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 1, right here at the Heritage Resort, Southbury.

We are so thrilled to be working with Respond If You Please again this year to bring you the best the area has to offer. The top wedding industry vendors in the area are ready to impress you with their expertise and talent, not to mention some amazing show discounts and gifts!

And while it’s called a “bridal” show, both brides- and grooms-to-be are welcome! We will have sampling of cakes, cupcakes, food and treats, special show promotions and discounts, cash bar and more prizes and give-aways than you can imagine!

Best of all, this event is FREE to attend for brides, grooms and their guests! While pre-registration is not required, it is suggested. We want to be sure that our vendors are fully stocked with giveaways and prizes.

So, to pre-register, visit the bridal show's website.

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Going to a bridal show? Try these tips on how to get the most out of it!

Bridal and wedding shows are a great way to get a lot of information in one place. But if you don’t plan ahead, you can find yourself overwhelmed by so many choices.

Be prepared. Bring a notebook with questions ready to go so you know what you’re looking for. If you already have a DJ, but not a florist, don’t spend too much time at the DJ tables and instead focus on the floral arrangements. Or vice versa, if you are looking for an amazing DJ.

Make address labels. Every vendor at a show will give you the option to join their mailing list. Make up some labels with your information (name, address, email) and use them to sign up. It will save you a lot of writing at the tables. There are many easy tutorials online on how to make them, depending on your computer system.

Ask for special bridal show deals. Many vendors will have special offers for attending the show. Some ask you to simply mention you saw them at a show, while others may require you to book at the event itself. But if it’s a vendor you’re happy to be working with, always check to see if they are offering a special deal!

Bring a buddy. Whether it’s a member of your wedding party, a family member, your sweetheart or another good friend, having someone with you will also help keep you from being overwhelmed.

Do you have tips on how to get the most out of a bridal show? Tell us in the comments!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Want to catch your guests having fun? Try a photo booth!

Couples are always looking for ways to get photographic evidence of all the fun their guests are having. While many weddings have used the “disposable camera on the table” trick, another option is the photobooth.

While the idea is like those booths we used to find at the mall, the wedding photobooth has a lot more options. Most wedding photographers either have a photobooth set-up, or work with someone who does, so your best bet to start is to check with your wedding photographer. And, depending on the set up, today’s photobooths give you much more flexibility for how many people you can fit in. It’s not just for two people to squeeze in together anymore!

Next, you need to think about props. Again, some photographers will have prop options, but if you’re having a themed wedding, here is where you can have lots of fun. Is your wedding Star Wars themed? Have light sabers on hand to catch some epic duels! Roaring 20s theme? Fake cigarette holders, flapper-style hats, fake mustaches and top hats will get your guests laughing. Whatever your look is, the photobooth props should match. Check your local party store for lots of ideas!

You can even use the pictures as favors. Again, work with your photographer on pricing options, but those old-school photo strips are a great giveaway.

Last, but definitely not least, work with your venue so they know you’re planning a photobooth. You’ll want to set aside enough space for the whole set-up.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pre-registration is open for the Southbury Bridal Show

Did you get engaged over the holidays? Or hoping to be engaged on Valentine’s Day? Pre-registration is open for the free Southbury Bridal Show, to be held right here at the Heritage Sunday March 1, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It’s a fun-filled day of local experts and professionals in photography, wedding attire, invitations, confections, transportation, jewelry, makeup and more. There also will be gourmet appetizer sampling and a cash bar. Best of all? It’s free! And everyone who pre-registers will receive a copy of “The Little Blue Book,” to help plan your wedding day.

The pasta station in the Terrace room was a big hit at the 2014 Bridal Show
Colorful tables and helpful vendors await you at the Southbury Bridal Show

To learn more, visit The Southbury Bridal Show and pre-register