Tips for Keeping Your Guest List Small

Weddings are an exciting event! We understand your desire to celebrate with the masses. We also understand how difficult it can be to invite everyone you want while staying within your budget. Here are a few tips to trimming down the guest list and making the most of your special day.

Start with the must haves. There are friends and family that simply must be included on your list.  You know who these people are, they have shared pivotal moments with you over the years. Start your list with these names first and make sure it includes parents, siblings, grandparents, and close family that cannot be eliminated. Now that you have created, you’re “A list” it is time to think of co-workers, friends, and extended family you would like to include. As harsh as it may seem, it is crucial to prioritize these names to make sure you do not overextend your limit.

Carefully consider the children you plan to invite. Children bring joy and laughter to any wedding, but if everyone on your guest list can bring their kiddos along, your numbers will quickly double. State clearly on your invitations who is invited. For those guests who seems confused or upset with this decision, a one-on-one conversation may be necessary. Communicating that their precious bundle of joy is not the only child left off the list may help ease any frustrations.

Set expectations. First, understand that it is an honor that people want to celebrate your marriage with you. After spreading the good news of your engagement, go ahead and start planting seeds that you intend to keep the wedding small. If this is well communicated from the beginning, it eliminates a disappointing surprise when an invitation doesn’t show up on a later date.

If you find it challenging to keep your guest list small, remind yourself repeatedly that you are not obligated to invite everyone you know. You and your fiancé should create your list first while taking suggestions from parents and other family second. Also, keep in mind that not everyone you invite will be able to attend.

Am I Forgetting Something? Your Wedding Checklist

There are so many details to consider when planning a wedding which can seem a little overwhelming. For many, managing a checklist is the easiest way to rest assured that no item has been left behind.  Here is a list to get you started.

  • Take time to talk with your fiancé. Make sure you and him are on the same page when envisioning the perfect day. Here are ways to get on the same page with your fiancé.
  • Discuss your budget. If you have a total amount of what you can afford before you get started, making decisions with your wedding vendors will come a little easier. Here are some tips to help with budgeting.
  • Coordinate a wedding planner. If are choosing to hire a wedding planner, now it the time to interview and find the right match.
  • Select your ceremony and reception locations. Popular wedding venues need to be secured far in advance. Once you have a date on the calendar, you can work with vendors who are available on the same day.
  • Find an officiant. If you are not getting married in a church, you will need to hire a licensed officiant to perform the ceremony.
  • Select your wedding party. Ask close friends and family to stand beside and support you at the altar.
  • Create a guest list. It is easy for a guest list to get of hand when you don’t want to hurt feelings. If you find that your numbers get out of control, here is how you can trim down your list without hurting feelings.
  • Plan your menu. Take time with your caterer to select your menu options. Make sure you sample! If your caterer is not making your wedding cake, now is also the time to find a cake vendor.
  • Select your flowers.  Be sure to match the flowers to your color scheme.
  • Photographer/Videographer selection. Many photographers include engagement photos in wedding packages. Be sure to ask!
  • Book your DJ or Band. There are pros and cons to both. Just make sure who you select can play and mix your music of choice.
  • Select your wedding gown and bridesmaids’ dresses.  This is always one of the most exciting events of wedding planning. Take a group with you and have fun! Here is some help for choosing the perfect dress for you.
  • Start planning your honeymoon.  Many trips and flights need to be booked in advance. Be sure you allow plenty of time to get to your top destination!  If you are unsure, here are the top 6 honeymoon destinations of choice.
  • Select and order your invitations. It is customary to send your invitations eight weeks prior to your wedding date. If you want to send a save-the-date card, prepare to send those anytime from six months to a year in advance.
  • Organize the seating arrangements. Once your guests begin sending responses to your invitations, you can begin organizing your seating chart. If you are not hosting a seated dinner, now is the time to organize all other seating details.
  • Book transportation to and from the ceremony.  On your wedding day, the last thing you will want to worry about is transportation. Consider if you want to arrange a ride to the reception, to the hotel following the reception, if you want your wedding party to have a ride, etc. Here are some creative ideas to get you started.
  • Coordinate hotel blocks for guests. Many hotels offer room blocks and discounts for large parties. It is easy for guests to add a room under your block and stay close to the other guests.
  • Create party favors. This is not a necessary, but an added gesture to let your out of town guests know that you are grateful they traveled to celebrate with you.

 Maintaining a checklist is a sure-fire way to assure you will not forget any important factor that will make your wedding day extra special. Ask some close friends to help you add items to your list!

How to Fight Wedding Day Illness

There are many small details to think of when planning the perfect wedding, but one thing you may not have considered is your health. Although is an exciting time, there are a lot of moving parts that can cause added stress. This stress can take a lot out of you, and possibly lead to illness. If it does, don’t fret. Take these things into consideration and plan ahead. 

Before the Wedding

The months leading up to your wedding is critical for self-care. Here are a couple easy things you can try to help you stay germ free.

  1. Vitamins: Realizing that stress can play a part in your overall health, add vitamins into your daily routine. Vitamin C is an excellent supplement to start months before your big day to boost your immune system and help your body fight bacteria.  
  2. Steer clear of germs: If a friend invites you for drinks and mentions they have been fighting a cold, politely decline. Simply staying away from infected people will reduce your chances of catching something you don’t want to walk down the aisle with.  
When All Else Fails

If you do wake up on your wedding day and find that you are under the weather, don’t panic. A little adjusting and the help of a few close friends will get you down the aisle.

  1. Add extra time: You may not have an abundant amount of energy to spare, so add in a little extra time for hair, makeup, and anything else you need to get yourself ready.
  2. Medicate: Unless you have allergies, rotate Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen to get you through. Together these medications can help you reduce fever and ease discomfort when necessary.
  3. Rest: Relax and take breaks as much as possible.
  4. Drink: Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water and beverage with electrolytes to give your body what it needs.   

If sickness lands you in the hospital on the day of your wedding, it’s okay. Your health is more important than any event. Yes, even your wedding which can be rescheduled. Stay in touch with your vendors and let them know your situation. Sometimes communication is key in business. Many reputable companies are happy to do what they can to accommodate and unforeseen circumstances. 

How to Choose Your Wedding Veil

Wedding veils are one of the most elegant and beautiful accessories you will choose to compliment your dress on your wedding day. But, not any old veil will do. Here are a few tips to help you select the right one for you.

Compliment Your Dress

Many dresses already have a veil selection that matches the accents of the gown. But, don’t limit yourself.  If the veil looks perfect and completes the look, run with it. But, if you choose to keep shopping, be sure to find options that are similar in style and color. If your dress is ivory, stick with the same color scheme. A white trim on a veil will not blend well with your ivory ensemble. If you are wearing a formal gown, choose a longer veil that accents its elegance.  Shorter veils tend to be made for a more casual look.

Hair Styles Matter

Consider your wedding day hair in advance. If you are having a hard time deciding, take some practice photos with different hairstyle options. Do you prefer the photos with a certain look? If so, wear your hair in that style on the day of your veil selection. Make sure your veil choice sits on your head in a way that will compliment your hair style.

Be Comfortable

Your veil will be worn for a large part of your wedding day. And, you will want to keep it on for wedding photos. It is important that your pick not only compliments your dress and hairstyle, but also photos well.  If you are taking wedding photos outside on the beach, a veil with a lot of material could get caught in the wind. For indoor photos, a veil that fall nicely and fits comfortably on your head will keep you happy and create a lovely accessory for your photo album.

As you are having fun trying on veils and feeling like a princess, don’t be afraid to ask for help! The consultant at the bridal store should also be an expert at helping you make the right selection. But, at the end of the day, accessorize in a style that makes you feel beautiful.

 

 

 

 

Ideas for Renewing Your Vows

If you want to celebrate a milestone in your marriage, or just remind each other of your growing love, consider a vow renewal celebration.  You can make it an intimate gathering or even host a huge party. Whether you go big or small, here are a few great ideas for celebrating.    

Destination

Did you fall in love with your honeymoon destination? Plan a return visit! For many couples, taking a trip down memory lane and reminiscing about the romantic newlywed moments is a fantastic to keep the spark alive. Even better, do it in the exact location where your journey as a couple began.  While you are there, find an officiant to renew your vows. It will be a treat to compare honeymoon photos with your visit years later.

Ceremony

Many couples who are celebrating a milestone anniversary like to host a gathering of family and friends.  These ceremonies tend to mimic an actual wedding, but the possibilities are endless. If you like being escorted down the aisle followed by a seated dinner with dancing, this is your chance!  Or, be creative and change things up a little.  Allowing time for friends and family to toast during this type of celebration can affirm how you have grown together over the years.  

Unprompted Fun

If all the planning causes extra stress, but you are still interested in renewing your vows, consider a more spontaneous option.  The Las Vegas strip is filled with Elvis impersonators who would love to take part! But, if blue suede shoes aren’t your thing, think of all the things you and your husband enjoy together. If you like to hike, take it to the top of a mountain and express your unending love with nature.  If bowling is your thing, take it to the lanes and ask them to play your favorite song to follow. Making it your own is what really counts. 

Marriage is a beautiful thing and deserves to be celebrated. There is no right or wrong way to do it, so enjoy yourselves…and congratulations on your time together! 

Fall Wedding Trends

Considering a fall wedding?  It is a lovely time of year to get hitched.  The humidity is low, and the colors of changing leaves are brilliant.  While nature helps your ambiance, here are a few trends and tips for tying this beautiful season into your wedding details.

Deep, Rich Colors

Add accents of color to your cake, table settings, and overhead décor to include the rich tones of autumn. Some brides also like to add their favorite fall color into a hairpiece or other jewelry to stay extra festive.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

Seasonal Food

Comfort foods are a hit this time of year.  Consider soups, casseroles, and some macaroni and cheese on the menu with other savory choices.  Alongside your fall festive wedding cake, add a dessert table with s’mores, pumpkin pie, and some hot apple cider to wash it down.

Rustic Vibes

Whether you are hosting your events outside or in, keeping it rustic helps a fall motif.  Wood accents, fall flowers, and candlelight offers a cozy and intimate setting for fall weddings.

Take advantage of all that autumn has to offer when planning your wedding. Anything that brings a warm and cozy atmosphere is sure to be a hit!

 

 

 

 

 

Honeymoon Planning Checklist – Taking Off After Your Reception

You have been planning and anticipating for many months and now your wedding day is finally here! You are excited to finally tie the knot, and even better…get to your honeymoon destination.  If you are planning your trip soon after the wedding, here is a checklist to tackle before the festivities begin.  Taking care of these items in advance will help make the traveling process smooth and stress free. 

  1. Pack necessary travel documents in an easy to reach pocket of your bag.
  2. Have your luggage ready, to include all clothes and toiletries you will need on your trip.
  3. Plan a ride to the airport in advance that will be ready for your departure.  If possible, have your travel items in the car prior to picking you up.
  4. Ask someone to help organize gifts and anything else left behind at the reception. You can plan to have these items waiting for you when you return home. 
  5. Have a trusted person take your dress directly to the drycleaner for a later pickup. 
  6. Have your wedding coordinator or friend save and freeze the top layer of your wedding cake to enjoy on your 1st wedding anniversary.  
  7. Make sure any pets have a pre-arranged sitter, or drop them off to be boarded.
  8. Leave a housekey behind with a trusted friend or family member in case of emergency,
  9. Write down your travel itinerary and information for anyone who may need to reach you while you are away. 
  10. Plan transportation for pick up upon your arrival back home. 

If you have planned to leave for your honeymoon right away, we understand your excitement!  Just be sure to allow yourself a window of time for the unexpected.  If it is possible to give yourself a day to recover before travel, you may find the small break offers a little relief.  But, with a little help from friends and the right preparation, you will be sailing off into the sunset with ease.  Have fun!

Taming Those Pre-Wedding Jitters

Your wedding day is fast approaching, and all the major planning is behind you.  Just when you think it is time to sit back, relax, and wait for the festivities to happen…you are hit hard with pre-wedding jitters. Perfectly normal.  Here are a few things you can do to help calm your nerves. 

Take a Break

You have spent hours working out details and meeting with wedding vendors over the past few months, it is only natural to feel overwhelmed! Perhaps you have woken up in the middle of the night stewing over your seating chart? This is just a sign that you need to take a break.  YES, get away for a little while.  The wedding will not fall apart if you take a breather, don’t worry!  Plan a day out with friends and have lunch or get a pedicure. If you are up for the challenge, try to not even mention the wedding. It may be the biggest part of your life right now, but after some time passes, it may be nice to think about something else for a change. 

Write it Down

After you have taken a breather, write down everything that is creating anxiety. Your list may be long and seemingly tedious, but that’s ok.  Putting your thoughts on paper may be a sweet release.  If there are some to-do items on your list that are causing extra stress, consider asking a bridesmaid to help with the task.

Now that you have a complete list of what is making you feel jitters, find a close friend to walk through it with you.  Getting some things off your chest could help ease your jitters. 

Recognize What’s Going On

If your nerves are beyond planning and details and more focused on the traits of your fiancé that tend to annoy you, be assured that you are not alone. This happens to many brides before tying the knot. Stress can make these feelings seem a little more elevated than they really are. If you are concerned that there is something deeper in your relationship that needs attention, do not delay. Find a counselor or trusted advisor and work through your concerns before walking down the aisle. 

There is a lot that goes into planning a wedding, so the feelings of fear you have are ok. Just a little TLC and time away may be just what you need!

What to Know Before Engagement Ring Shopping

Becoming engaged is very exciting.  While your friends and family will be eager to congratulate you, more than likely their first words will be, “Let me see that ring!”  It will be with you always, so if you are beginning the selection process, here is a guide for choosing your style. 

Shape and Texture

Typically, the shape of the diamond if the first thing you will select.  Square, round, and pear-shaped stones are very popular this year, and each of these options are stunning and timeless.  But, keep in mind the difference between shape and cut of your stone.  While the shape reflects its appearance, the cut describes its ability to reflect light.   Try on a variety of options, as one may look better on your finger than the next.

After you decide which shape and cut you prefer, pay choose attention to its texture. Note your preference to the stones that are smooth on the top vs. the ones with more of an angle. It may be the determining factor between a few of your top choices. 

Color

While you may already know if you prefer a gold or silver band, you may be surprised to find that adding color into your ring gives it a beautiful edge.  Look at a variety of colored diamonds and even branch out into rings with alternative stones. For example, sapphires, emeralds, and amethyst are beautiful and each carry a special meaning. Diamonds aren’t for everyone. 

Yes, some couples like to shop for engagement rings together, but you may find that your significant other will surprise you! If you have a unique preference in mind, don’t be afraid to speak up…and no need to be conventional.  

Who Will Give Me Away?

Brides have been walked down the aisle by their fathers for many generations, and it is a beautiful wedding tradition.  Unfortunately, there are varying situations that leave brides wondering who will fill the spot of “Dad” on their wedding day.  Here are some alternatives.

Close Friend or Relative

Relatives that share a close bond are always a terrific alternative when a father cannot be present.  Brothers, uncles, step fathers, or cousins who have played a significant role in your past are a great substitute. Although, they can’t take the place of a late father, it is nice to have love and support from someone special who will stand alongside.   

If there are no family members that can fill this role, reach out to close friends.  Do you have a best friend who supports you and your marriage?  Remember, this is your day…the friend does not have to be male!  

Walk Alone

If deciding who will lead you down the aisle give you away during your ceremony is not so easy, rest assured that many brides are choosing to walk alone these days.  Simply asking your officiant to leave out the terminology, “Who gives this bride away…” is okay.  Many grooms meet their bride half way down the aisle and complete the walk by her side. This gesture is sweet, romantic, and speaks volumes to the start of a new life together.  If you are choosing to walk alone, but still want to honor your father, carry one single flower or candle to symbolize and honor his presence.

If walking alone is what you choose, note that many brides find this decision to be easier if they keep the decision close to heart before the ceremony.  Gathering too many opinions can become emotionally overwhelming and possibly stir up conflicting opinions.  The choice is yours, and there is not right or wrong answer.   

Whether you walk alone, or with a loved one, remember that you will be surrounded by friends and family who are there to honor your new marriage.