Bridal Buds WeddingWire Blog

Category: Wedding Planning

Summer Wardrobe, Winter Wardrobe! What’s in your Wedding Stationery Wardrobe?

What Do You Think?

Wedding Stationery Wardrobe: hand calligraphy, engraved, fold over note; two color invitation, and flat printed program with slate grey ribbon. Photo: Marjorie Maxfield.

 

What’s in your wedding stationery wardrobe?

Is that a gasp I hear from the bride, mother-of-the-bride and groom? Yes, everyone of the prime players in your wedding, including the father-of-the-bride, should be aware of the important role stationery plays in every wedding. Here are the basics that must be addressed, sorry about the pun, by the bride and her loved ones:

The Wedding Invitation

“The wedding invitation sets the tone for the wedding!”

Does your invitation’s design, wording, style mirror your signature style? Does it reflect what kind of event it will be?

No, you do not need to give away your color scheme, theme; however, if you are planning a traditional ceremony in a church, then that casual, destination by-the-sea look that you have always adored needs to be the theme of your first summer event as a married couple, not the invitation,

The wedding  invitation typically includes: an invitation, the reply set with the replay card and envelope; a reception card, unless your ceremony and wedding ceremony are at the same place.

Other wedding enclosure cards include:

Direction Map

A direction/map  card is convenient if the venue is off-the-beaten track or difficult to find even for an Map Quest savvy guest. Put the directions on one side and the map on the other.

Transportation card

Although you posted the information on your WeddingWire bridal site, it is a very nice reminder to your guests, not only the wedding party, that transportation will be provided.  The wording, centered on the “reception side card” reads: “Transportation will be provided from the ceremony to the reception.”

 Admissions card

Celebrities, rock stars, and other luminaries as well as those of us who desire a more secure wedding with no unintended guests, then an admissions card is for you. The wording:

Please present this card at

St. Patrick’s Cathedral,

Saturday, the twenty-second of June

Pew Card

For your honored guests who you want to seat in a special section of the church, then the Pew Card is your ticket! The wording,

Please present this card at

St. Patrick’s Cathedral,

Saturday, the twenty-second of June.

                                                                                                                                                              Pew number_____

Within the Ribbon Card

This was a mainstay in mid-century weddings to designate that there will be a “within the ribbon” section of the church for the close members of the family. At the church, white or creme ribbons are draped on the center aisle pews, to tell all guests these seats are reserved for the immediate family.

Within the Ribbon Card

Brides Reserved Section (Write name(s) in black ink)

Groom’s Reserved Section (Write name(s) in black ink)


Bride’s Personal Wedding Stationery 

Thank you, thank you! The bride has a duty to write a thank you note for every give, gesture of love that is given to her! No exceptions. So, she needs pre-wedding notes with her maiden name; and after-the-ceremony bridal notes with her married name. Note here, if you are not married in a civil or church ceremony you cannot use you married name or initials! This means on the wedding invitation, program or bridal notes!

I would suggest a fold over note. The most popular, i.e.. expected by the majority of your guests, has the initials, monogram of the bride (married name here). I might nudge you toward an engraved note. Why? It makes a big impression, tells a lot  about you and practically, you can, later, use your monogram die in a color ink.

I see blind embossed monograms (no ink used) as the premier note. Recently, I had a bride who had her initials designed by a nationally-renowned calligrapher, Christopher Watkins. See the sample above in a bronze. What she chose was even more awesome: the calligraphy was blind embossed!

If you prefer a more low key note, then flat print or use thermography, with your name or initials in black.

Mother-of-the-Bride, Father-of-the-Bride and Groom Thank You Notes

You bet, each one of these key players have thank you notes to write to friends, family, clergy as well as those who were gracious enough to give to their time and talent to your wedding day. Your Mother needs a fold over note; the gentlemen, a correspondence note with their full name at the top.

 

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How to Interpret Vendor Reviews

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With most business interacting online and selling their products online, it gives the consumer the opportunity to share their experiences more easily.  In fact, shoppers will most often find a forum specifically designed for consumer reviews and if not, then they may be able to respond on the companies Facebook or other business profiles. As a soon-to-be, you are going to want to have the best quality and the best service, so you will most likely be searching through the various comments on vendor websites and profiles to see what passed customers think. This is great, but let’s be honest, sometimes it is very hard to judge how accurate the reviews are, especially when they seem to contradicting. Take a gander at these tips on how to judge accuracy and interpret the reality behind the review.

  1. Take a Step Back: This goes for both negative and positive reviews, and what we mean by this is to read reviews critically and don’t just soak up what someone says online as the absolute truth. Reviews online are very easy to do and can be done without any sort of filter. This means that yes, reviewers can speak their mind, but also that there is not any accountability or filter.
  2. If there is a star system and a comment box, look at both: An easy mistake when there is a star system available is to use that as your only gauge, but I cannot even count how many times a comment contradicts how many stars are given. This will happen when there is an auto or default setting, so if a reviewer forgets to set a star level, they may be leaving a positive review with no stars or a negative review with five stars.
  3. Read the Positive and the Negative:  This is important when buying just about anything. If you only read the pros, you may miss some cons that may make or break the purchase for you.
  4. What is not important to one person, may be important to you. For example, if your mother is a die hard cheesy sci fi fan and she gives a review to a movie saying the fight scenes were epic and the evil monsters look so real, you may want to be wary that the main actress will scream just a few seconds too late and that the zombies make up is smeared half way through the film.
  5. Does this reviewer have a name? This goes along with the first tip. If the reviewer is anonymous, it may be that they just forgot to or didn’t see the point in filling out who they were, but it could also mean the person wanted to say something nasty without being caught OR that the business owner wants to fluff their reviews. Both happen, but not always.
  6. Keep in Mind the Client. Who do wedding vendors sell to? Stressed out brides or people feeling the effects of being so closely related to stressed out brides.  With this, there may be some overreaction and perhaps a few dramatic claims that the customer service was completely awful. So keep in mind, that the customer service could be perfectly adequate, but was unable to provide the bride with the exact shade of purple that she was looking for.
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Registries For Older Couples? Of Course!

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Couples of all ages are tying the knot and using cash gift registries as a way to kick-start their lives together.  For many, this means help with a lot of firsts: first home, first car or first baby. As an older couple, you may have already gone through many of these events, but there are still tons of ways in which you and your loved ones can celebrate your new life together. Read on for a few tips:

1. Register For Experiences

These never get boring regardless of how many you’ve had, and the options are endless! Why not register for an unforgettable honeymoon to Hawaii, as Hope and Roger did? Or sign up for tennis and dance lessons? Each wonderful experience you have as a couple adds to a lifetime of priceless memories.

2. Register for Home Improvement

Even if you already have a home, that doesn’t mean that there’s no opportunity to make some much wanted adjustments. Some couples may want to replace time-worn kitchen equipment with the newest versions, or add a few rooms to their home. Steve and Mel used their wedding registry as a way to fix up their future home in France. Cool stuff, huh?

3. Register to Bring in the Family

A wedding isn’t just a union of two people; it’s a union of two families. This holds especially true for older couples with children of their own. So why not use a registry to make merging into one big happy family as seamless as possible? One idea may be a trip to Disney World with all of your loved ones, both new and old. Another may be to add a swimming pool or play room for all of the kids to congregate in. Take a look at Abdi and Laura’s registry for some ideas.

4. Register For Charity

As you get older, material things may not seem nearly as important. Experiences with loved ones may take precedence but so can giving back to a cause that you’ve always cared about. Having family and friends donate to a charity or organization of choice can add that much more meaning to the start of this new chapter in your life.  Check out Rayna and Eli’s contributions toward American Jewish World Service as an example.

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How To Go Green At Your Wedding Reception!

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You’re starting a new life together; why not start a new commitment? A new commitment to go green. Living an eco-friendly lifestyle is one of the best things you can do as a new couple. So, get a head start planning your eco-friendly wedding now! Below are tips on how to go green for your wedding reception:

1. Food and Catering

The food and catering for your wedding reception is a great way to incorporate eco-friendly elements. Buying local food and beverages can help in reducing the amount of transportation needed for your big day. When you go to buy your local food, choose organic products. They aren’t as wasteful and they taste better! You can also donate any excess food and drinks instead of just letting it go to waste.

2. Flowers

Flowers are normally a big part of wedding receptions. Many flowers imported into the U.S. are normally sprayed with pesticides and fungicides, and who wants that at your reception? Local and organic flowers are not sprayed with these chemicals and also reduce transportation needs. Also, you can buy seasonal flowers which are often less costly and also helps in fuel use.

3. Waste Cans

With all the food and beverages being served at your wedding reception, you can expect a lot of trash to accumulate. This is a great opportunity to include eco-friendly ways. Set out recycling trash cans that are for certain things. For example, you could have containers for paper, plastic, bottles, can and whatever else you can think of.

4. Decor

There are some simple ways to incorporate various eco-friendly products into your decorations at the reception. For example, use soy candles. They don’t release toxins into the air that all of your loved ones are breathing. Another thing you can do is use tablecloths made of organic and recycled fabrics.

5. Favors

Wedding favors given out at the reception can be very costly. Also, a lot of times they are just gifts that are going to be tossed in the trash, which is not good for the environment. Some alternatives are edible gifts or potted plants. Not only are these types of favors better for the environment, but they have less of a chance of getting tossed in the trash.

As you can see, going green for your wedding reception really isn’t as hard as you might think! All of these are simple and easy things you can do to help incorporate eco-friendly elements into your big day.

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Registering to Start a Family

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These days people are getting so creative with their approach to registering. They’ve realized that it’s an amazing opportunity to truly share their story with friends and family and let them be part of making a dream come true. For many, this dream is about starting a family. To them, the best gift would be helping them with their goal in becoming parents, so that is what they register for!

preschool-children-playing-clip-art-i4-580x105

 

Because the costs of IVF, adoption or other methods are very high, a great idea to raise funds in order to start a family is through a registry. When you’re making your registry, think of all the necessities you will need to pay for in the process of becoming a parent, such as medical or donor services.  Also, an in depth “About Us” page detailing what your plans are can help your friends and family know what you are trying to achieve.

Your family and friends can make gifts to cover some (or all) of these costs and help make your family expansion a reality. An invaluable way to keep those people close to you connected with your journey in life can be to thank them by sending updates on the progress to becoming parents and then showing them your child’s growth once they are in your life.

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To get an idea of how it can be done, take a look at Jonas and Suzy’s registry or Lesley and Michelle’s registry for some great setup ideas. For example, both registries make good use of their “Welcome” and “About us” pages, writing a few paragraphs about themselves.  Within both registry pages, the more expensive gifts are separated into less expensive parts so that more people can help chip in.  Be sure to explain each item requested in the description box in order for people to know how that gift will be used — sometimes the IVF or adoption process can be confusing. This is a great way to help people understand all that the process requires.  The “Guest Book” page is a nice way of letting your friends and family leave messages of support to you.

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Congrats on your wedding and good luck on your journey to parenthood!

 

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A Back to “Real Life” Post-Wedding Checklist

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Whimsical Pittsburgh Opera Wedding

Wedding bells. Flower petals. Dancing lights. Stars. Romance. All in one day is a whirl wind of fun, affection, and sharply focused enthusiasm. After that day, and even after the honeymoon, you will be settling into life again, but this time with a partner in crime! So, because wedding planning doesn’t seem to stop at “I do”, here is a quick checklist to help new couples gain there footing in post-wedding chaos and changes.

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A Bright Pink and Orange Florida Keys Wedding

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Florida keys wedding

Kim and Matt had a fantastic destination wedding in Key Largo. Their ceremony was at the San Pedro Catholic Church and their reception at the Marriott Resort, right on the water. The weather was typical Florida Keys perfect, the bride radiant as a Florida sunset. See below for more photos from this event.

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Creating a Green Wedding Registry

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If you care deeply for the environment and want to keep things eco-friendly, there are plenty of ways you can make your registry green as grass:

Eco-Honeymoon

Believe it or not, you can still indulge in a romantic, all-expenses-paid trip halfway across the world without damaging the earth. As many couples are beginning to find out, eco-tourism is an easy way to achieve just that! With the help of organizations such as Elevate Destinations, you can choose from many resort locations with sustainable practices in place. You can also bypass the hotels completely and instead volunteer with local communities while learning how to live sustainably.

eco-honeymoon

Turn Your House into a Green House

Sometimes you don’t need to look any further than home. You can register for all the materials you need to begin an organic garden, as Jacob and Alisha did in their registry. If you still need help furnishing the rooms in your house, you can request various sustainable products such as compostable trash bags, or a rug made from all-natural fibers.

organic gardening

Give Back to the Environment

Who said your loved ones have to give you housewarming gifts that you might not necessarily need? Instead they can contribute to a green cause of your choice. Tim and Freya, for instance, gave loved ones the choice of donating to CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Planting trees on your behalf is also a great way to add that much more oxygen to the atmosphere.

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There are so many ways in which protecting the environment can make your wedding day that much more special. And frankly, just creating an online registry is an act of being green it is completely virtual: no shipping, no gift wrap, no need for returns!

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The First Seven Days: To Do and Not To Do

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Your Engaged! Hurray!

Now What?

Day 1: If you got engaged during the day then your day starts the day of your engagement, but if you got engaged in the evening or night, then your day one of engagement starts the following morning. On day one, you should NOT start making your list of to-dos. It is way to early! Take a breath. Day dream. DO call your family and close friends and share your good news, but DO NOT forget to cuddle with and stare deep into the eyes of your soon-to-be husband. Day one is a day for excitement and romance.

Day 2-3: On day two and three, you still should be in la-la-land. Giddy, happy, excited, and not worrying about the money. On day two, feel free to start browsing wedding blogs, looking at pictures, and start putting together a wedding inspiration board. If you are on Pinterest, you may already have a wedding board with all the good ideas you have seen over the years, but it is a totally different thing when it is a real wedding you are looking to create. You might want to peruse through that secret wedding board first and pick out what you really like and get rid of the stuff you know you have no interest in realistically doing. Then by day three, start looking at nailing down a color scheme or wedding themes that really speak to you and your relationship. So, DO start looking around and picking out your favorite wedding styles, colors, and themes, but DO NOT think pinning it means it is set in stone and again DO NOT start pricing things out or building your enormous checklist. It is not time to stress out yet.

Day 4-5: Day four and five are questions day. By day four, you should write out a list of questions you have on wedding planning, budgeting concerns, and logistics (i.e. dates). DO NOT think you are going to have the answer to every question by the end of the day, but today is a day to start looking at what it is you are going to need to do over the coming months. After creating a list, circle or start the ones that your are most concerned about and then start asking those questions. This could mean Googling wedding traditions, venue prices, looking for a wedding planner, sitting down with your fiance and discussing a time frame, who you’re going to ask to pay for what, and how involved and who will be involved in the wedding planning and decision making process. Then by day five you may want to meet up with parents or whoever you want involved in the planning process to have an initial planning meeting. If you are meeting with parents, I would suggest keeping it simple. Work off your list and keep it on topic. Write down issues or tasks that get brought up, but DO NOT try to solve every single one. This can be more of a celebratory engagement pre-planning planning meeting. DO start figuring out what goes into planning a wedding , DO develop a working or tentative budget and who is paying for what (It is important to establish this early), but DO NOT try to plan everything in one evening.

Day 6: On this day feel free to look at planning tools, but concentrate on figuring out what your time table is going to be. Pull out your and your fiance’s calendars and start seriously talking dates. This can be tricky because it is tempting to try and accommodate everyone you love around you, but it is important to pick a date that is right for your. Sure, it wouldn’t be the best idea to pick a date that you know is the same as your cousin’s graduation, but don’t take into account Uncle Rod’s work schedule or around your parent’s vacation schedule. Pick a day that works for you and the important people will be there. If you can’t decide on an exact date, then try and narrow it down within a two week time frame. After you pick your date or date time frame, pull out the list of to do’s and questions you generated at your pre-planning planning meeting, and look at what tasks or decisions need to be done by when and create a tentative timeline. This is where your DO want to start working with online planning tools and organization. It may seem way fast to already be nailing down the date by day six of your engagement, but you really can’t do anything until you know when you are going to be getting married.

Day 7: This is appointments day. Taking a look at your time table, call and make appointments for the tasks you need to accomplish first. For example, if you have decided you want to hire a wedding planner, then you need to make an appointment with one. Or, if you have the exact date, then you will probably need to start looking at venues. So, you would need to make appointments for venue tours. After you have set up your initial appointments, gone over your timeline, and set a budget cap, then it is time to relax. DO go out on a date and DO NOT worry about any more planning today!

By day seven, you will not be even close to being done, but if you follow this timeline, then you will have proactively set yourself up to be organized, relaxed, and ready to tackle the challenge of wedding planning. Quite honestly, if you reach day seven with a date set and even the vaguest sense of what you need to do first, then you will be in pretty good shape!

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Thank You Favors for Wedding Gifts!

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There are many ways to say, “thank you” after a bridal shower. Some people like to send cards and some prefer emails, but you have more than just these 2 options! Here are some creative ways to show your thanks:

Personalized Photographs

Customize your thank you notes with photos of you and your significant other to personally say, “thank you” to your guests. And to make it even more personal, wear a shirt that says “thank you” in the photo or pose with a sign.

Frame it!

Create a DIY frame that says, “thank you” on it. With this personal touch, your guests would be sure to bring it home with them.

Favors

Place your favors, whether candy or other goodies, in a box and print the words “thank you” on top. It adds a nice touch to your favors and makes for a tasty treat.

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