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!