Thursday, July 31, 2014

Yes, you do have to send out thank you notes!

Many couples choose to change many traditions associated with weddings – and that’s great. Each wedding should be personal for each couple! But one thing that’s really not negotiable is the thank you note. Sure, it may feel like a tedious process, but it’s an important one. 

Get stationery. You can choose anything that fits your style as a couple. Just like with invitations, a casual backyard wedding will have different thank you notes than a formal wedding will. In fact, you can order your thank you notes at the same time as your invitations, if you like, so that everything fits your theme

You can get your thank you notes at the same time as your invitations. These are from Respond If You Please
Have a good list. Generally, the people who have you pre-wedding or wedding gifts were invited to the wedding, so you have their names and addresses. You also will want to send a thank you note to anyone who helped you on your big day. Perhaps a co-worker coordinated your shuttle from ceremony to reception site. Your sister went above and beyond in making your centerpieces. Thank you notes to them would be appreciated too!

It’s ok to use a template. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. Just fill in the blanks!

Dear (Aunt Sue),
Thank you for the lovely (steak knife set). We can’t wait to (use them in the kitchen in our new house). It was great to see you at the wedding. (I’m sorry you couldn’t make the wedding, and you were missed.) I hope we can get together soon!
(Pat and Chris)

Get help! Both of you got married and both of you will get use from the gifts. Both of you should be working on the thank you notes, too! According to Emily Post, your notes should be sent out within three months of your wedding. Having the two of you work on them together will make that a reality! You don’t have to do them all in one sitting – just a few each a night will get the job done.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dessert options besides the traditional wedding cake

Many couples dream about the elaborate tiered wedding cake they will have at their wedding reception. But what if you or your sweetheart doesn’t like or want cake? Or, perhaps you want more choices than just cake alone! There are plenty of other dessert options out there that are “wedding day worthy.”

Cupcakes or cake pops. If you want to get just a little away from tradition, the wedding cupcake or cake pop display is great. You can choose different flavors and give your guests options, but it still feels like everyone is having cake!

Would you have a naked cake at your wedding? What about NO cake?

Mini dessert bar. If you want to give your guests a variety of dessert options, the mini dessert bar is always fun. Min brownies, cannoli, cookies and more make for a delicious dessert!

Anything on tiers.  If you don’t want cake, but still want the feeling of an impressive dessert, display your dessert on tiers. Because of its height, whatever you place on the tiers will look even fancier. What you choose is up to you: pies, donuts, cookies! They will all look fantastic on display!

Depending on how many people you’re serving, and how much dessert you want to offer, you can have special desserts as an addition to your cake or instead of it!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

How to be a good wedding guest

Most of our advice is aimed at brides and grooms to help them plan their big day. But there are some rules for being a good guest, too! Here are ways you can help the happy couple have a great day.

Send in your RSVPs. You’ve probably already gotten a save-the-date, and you’ve checked your calendar. Most of the time, you know if you can make it to a wedding or not. So don’t put it off – send in your RSVP as soon as you can!

Don’t add a “plus one.” Your invitation should be fairly clear as to who is invited. If you aren’t sure, it’s ok to reach out to the couple or their immediate family for clarification. But don’t assume you can bring a date – or your kids – without a clear invitation.

Arrive to the wedding on time. Which, of course, means early. You should plan to be in your seat 20 minutes before the ceremony is scheduled to start. If that means you have to leave early to avoid traffic, so be it. But you don’t want to upstage the couple by arriving during the ceremony.

Follow the dress code. Dress for the formality of the wedding. A backyard or beach wedding will have a different dress code than a formal religious ceremony. Tradition says wearing all white or all black is a no-no.

Follow the couple’s requests regarding picture taking, social media, and using your phones. Don’t text or blog during the ceremony unless the couple asks you to! If the couple has asked for an “unplugged” ceremony, then leave your phone in your pocket or purse. That being said, if the couple has made it clear they’re happy to have their wedding on Instagram or some other social media site, then share away!

Try to find out answers without asking the couple. Most weddings now have a wedding website you can visit, which will probably have all the answers to all your questions, from hotel rooms to schedule. If you can’t find your answer there, ask the maĆ®tre d’ at the reception site, the wedding planner or the mother of the bride or groom. Try not to bother the couple themselves, if you can avoid it!

Have fun! Enjoy yourself. Dance, if there’s music. Drink, but not to excess, if there’s a bar. Celebrate! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pinterest is a great tool – but who do you follow?

Almost all of us use Pinterest as a great inspiration for many things like decorating and recipes – but the way it puts all sorts of wedding ideas at your fingertips is a great resource for anyone planning one. But how do you sort through all the noise to get to the ideas you really want to use? It starts with who you follow. Sure, your maid of honor, best friend and college roommate should all be part of your Pinterest life, but who else?

Us. Sure, it sounds obvious, but we post pictures from most of our weddings right on our Pinterest pageThat gives you a great idea of how other couples use the space. If you’re not having your wedding or reception with us, then definitely follow your venue’s account!

We still love this sweetheart table!
Your other vendors. Your photographer, florist, caterer and DJ probably all have Pinterest accounts. Again, this will give you the chance to see what they offer other couples and how you can take those ideas and make them your own.

Other bloggers. Find wedding bloggers who appeal to you. We love The Knot and Offbeat Bride. But maybe you’re a Martha Stewart weddings kind of person. Or you’ve found a blogger who really “gets” you. Make sure you’re following them, too! 

The important thing to remember about Pinterest, though, is while it’s a great tool for finding inspiration; you want to be sure you’re not overwhelming yourself with too many different ideas. Take a Pinning break now and then and you’ll come back refreshed!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

What’s the best way to get yourself organized?

Planning a wedding, for most people, is the biggest event they will plan in their lives. Unless you’re planning the very smallest of weddings (and maybe even then!), you’ll need something to help you organize all the little pieces for your big event. But what’s the best tool to use? Honestly, the organizer you will actually use is the best one, but here are some options for you to consider.

A pre-printed binder/organizer will fit the needs of most weddings. It may be a little one-size-fits-all, but it will help you decide what you need and how you need to do it. You can find them in most bookstores and online.

Binders like this can be found at most bookstores or online

A website or an app will help fit the needs of a tech-savvy bride or groom. An app on your phone has the added benefit of always being with you. Of course, that means you won’t have a place to keep things like receipts, brochures or swatches, but you can always pair an app with…

A plain binder, accordion folder or other folder system. This way you can have just the items you care about in your system, and leave out the ones you don’t. You can also modify a pre-printed organizer and place it in a plain binder if you’re avoiding the overly “bridal” look.

Do you have your own system for organizing your wedding planning? Tell us about it!