Thursday, August 29, 2013

What to think about when choosing your attendants

Choosing your attendants is as daunting a task as picking your dress, and might be just as important. These are the people that will be standing next to you, maybe even in matching chartreuse dresses! But whom do you choose? How many people do you ask? Well, like all things wedding planning, it’s up to the couple!
How many attendants to choose: Well, having more attendants means having more everything. More people to coordinate, more people to voice their opinions, but also more people to help with planning. Instead of adding another bridesmaid, perhaps your cousin who was in show choir would like to sing. Or your buddy with the booming made-for-radio voice can do a reading. It’s up to the two of you to decide.
You don’t have to have an equal number: Just like all bridesmaids dresses don’t have to be exactly the same, you don’t have to match your dear friend with your fiancĂ©’s second cousin just to keep numbers even. If your attendants are walking down the aisle, it doesn’t have to be in pairs; you can match up one bridesmaid to two groomsmen or vice versa.
You don’t have to split boys-vs.-girls: If the bride would rather have her brother on her side, while the groom wants his sister standing next to him, that’s fine. And for same-sex couples, splitting on gender lines makes even less sense. Choose the people you want to be with you and it will mean more to you in the long run.
Choose people that mean something to you, but also match your wedding-day needs: A laid-back groom may not want a wild bachelor party. His hard-partying friend might not be the best choice as best man, then.  A bride who wants exactly-matching bridesmaids with exactly-matching hair and dresses might not want to choose her punk-rock, pink-haired youngest sister.

No matter whom you choose, or how many, these are the people who will be standing up with the two of you on your most important day together. Pick the people you’ll want to cherish in the long run.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Taking care of your out-of-town guests

When you have a lot of out-of-town guests – or you’re planning a destination wedding – leaving your guests a welcome bag shows your appreciation to those guests who traveled to your big day.

Welcome bags can range from the small to elaborate. Simple gift bags can be purchased at any gift or card store in your wedding colors or you can go all out and make personalized baskets. What’s important is what goes in your welcome bag. We recommend:
  • Duplicate set of directions and times for all your wedding weekend events. Yes, you put them in the invitations and on your wedding website, but one more set can’t hurt.
  • Suggestions of things to do and places to go. Remind them of the amenities at your location. Here at the Heritage, guests have access to both pools (weather permitting), mountain bikes, walking trails, racquetball and more. Give them tips on local shopping areas (who hasn’t forgotten to pack something crucial on a trip?), museums and activities for the family.
  • Candy, snacks and water are a nice touch for guests who traveled a long distance to get to your wedding. That way, they don’t have to go off searching for a snack as soon as they arrive.
  •  If your guests are traveling with children, a coloring book and crayons or any other age-appropriate toy is a nice touch.
  • Any other comfort items you can think of. Sunblock for a summer wedding or handwarmers for a winter wedding; a first aid kit with things like Tylenol, Chapstick, Band-Aids and other necessities.
A welcome bag sets the tone for your wedding weekend. Have fun with it, and your guests will appreciate the time and effort you put into their comfort!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Changing your name… or not?

Women’s Health and Men’s Health magazines recently did a poll of their readers, asking men and women what they thought about a woman not changing her last name after marriage. No big surprise, a majority of men said they would be upset if their wife did not change her name, while women’s responses were more mixed.
Some women saw changing their last name as a symbol of unity in a marriage, while others saw it as a symbol of a long-gone tradition of the wife as “property.”
Changing your last name can be a difficult choice, particularly if you’ve used your maiden name professionally. Most businesses have a firstname-lastname policy for emails and you’ve made many contacts with your maiden name. Some women choose to continue to use their maiden name professionally, while using their married name in their personal life. Others choose to hyphenate, allowing both names equal time. 
If you do choose to change your last name, you’ll need to do so officially with the Social Security Administration, the DMV and on your passport. Some great tips can be found on the state’s 211 information pagethe DMV’s website and the State Department’s website.
If you’re traveling by airplane or on a cruise for your honeymoon, you should book all your travel using the name listed on your driver’s license and passport, even if you plan on changing your name. Unless you’re postponing the honeymoon until much later, there won’t be time to get your official paperwork changed.
What do you plan to do? Tell us in the comments: Will you change your name? Keep your maiden name? Hyphenate? Have your husband take your last name? 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Is there too much DIY in your wedding?

Pinterest. Wedding websites. Your best friend. Everyone seems to be on the do-it-yourself bandwagon. It’s a great way for couples to save money and give their wedding a personal touch. But with everything you have to do, does it make sense to add more stress to your wedding planning?

Know your strengths: Are you usually a crafty person? Is your home filled with beautiful, homemade projects that you’ve enjoyed creating? Then go for it! But if the last work of art you created was the handprint Thanksgiving turkey in second grade, you may want to reconsider the 250 elaborate lace-and-glitter-paint Mason jar lantern project.

Check your costs: Sure, DIY sounds like it will save money, but make sure your materials don’t cost more than the finished project would at a party or specialty store. And your time is worth something, too. Sometimes, it’s worth paying a little extra for a lot fewer headaches.

Be prepared for less than perfection: Part of the joy of DIY is that each piece is handcrafted. That means imperfections in the process, and your rustic tree branch candleholders may not exactly match the ones you saw on Pinterest. But isn’t that the point? You made it yourself, and it should reflect you!

Here at the Heritage, we are happy to work with you whichever way your party favors, centerpieces or place cards come to us: from you, your florist, or your great-aunt. Our wedding professionals will help you make your wedding spectacular, every step of the way.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fall brides are in their countdown!

It may be the middle of summer, but all you brides planning a fall wedding are getting close to your big day! Make sure you’ve got all those last minute details settled.

Get that checklist out: All those lists you made when you first got engaged? Make sure you’ve actually checked the things on them. Perhaps you’re a bride who stayed up-to-date with your wedding planner, or maybe the rest of your life got busy. Now’s the time to review the list and make sure something hasn’t slipped through the cracks.

Check in with your vendors: Have you given your wedding venue everything they need? When do they need the really-final-this-time-I-mean-it head count? Have you confirmed all your times and dates with your photographer, DJ, band, officiant?

Marriage license: You need this. Check in with the Town Clerk in the town you’re getting married. You need ID and to pay a fee. For brides getting married at the Heritage, you’ll need to go to the Southbury Town Clerk’s office:

All those last minute details: Clear out all the clutter, and make just your last minute-lists. Things like engraving for bridesmaids’ or groomsmen’s gifts, making sure all your honeymoon plans are set, making an emergency kit for the big day (we recommend Tide-to-go sticks, needle and thread, bobby pins, tampons, hairspray, umbrella and breath mints) -- all those small details. A fresh list will help you focus on the last things you need to do.

Relax and take time for yourselves: Yes, it’s important that everything gets done, but it’s also important for you to reconnect as a couple. Set aside an afternoon for a massage, go out to a nice dinner – and promise not to do any wedding planning talk! If you find you’re getting too bogged down in the nitty-gritty of wedding planning, take the time to remember why you’re getting married in the first place!