Saturday, September 22, 2012

Invitation Tips

Because the invitations reflect the tone of your wedding they should be considered early on in your planning activities.  Once you have developed your guest list, selected your ceremony and reception venues and decided on the degree of formality you wish to express throughout your wedding, you can comfortably begin to search for your invitations and other printed materials. Do not be overwhelmed by the myriad of choices that are available for you.  At one time, there were few options in paper and print styles.  Today’s bride has a wide range of both from which to select. 

Consider these points as you shop for your paper trousseau.
  • Take your business to a store that specializes in wedding papers.  The staff there will have the expertise and experience to help you with paper selections and correct wordings.  Their advice can end up saving you time and often money as well.
  • You will likely be ordering more than just invitations so consider these other items as well:
Save the date cards, insert cards (directions or other information) RSVP cards, place cards and table assignment charts, menus, thank you cards, programs and of course the invitations.  Figure in all of the options as you look at pricing.
  • When you place your order, be sure to order extras of every item.  Make sure that you send one of everything to yourself when the rest go out so you can monitor the delivery dates.
  • Be sure that you allow enough time to order, address and send the invitation packages.  Double check with your print specialist on the time frame required for satisfactory order completion.  Most experts agree that invitations should go out 6-8 weeks prior to the ceremony.
  • Consider purchasing special issue postage stamps rather than just ordinary stamps.  Check with your local postal service for the options that may work for you.  Be sure to check on delivery times if you select a personalized stamp pattern.  Always take a sample of your fully “loaded” invitation package to the post office to verify the amount of postage to put on each.  How embarrassing to have it arrive at your guest’s home with “postage due”.
  • Always, always double-check the proofs of the invitation copy.  Have someone else double check you as well.  It is easy to skip over and not notice errors in copy with which you are so familiar.  A misspelled name can cause unnecessary delays and expense.
  • If children are being invited to the wedding and reception, their names are usually included on the envelope, clearly letting the parents know that the children are invited.  If children are not to be included, just the invited guest’s names are on the invitation.  This lets the parents know exactly for whom the invitation is intended.  If children are not being invited to attend – for whatever reason, plan how you will handle requests from guests who wish to bring their children.  Have alternative plans in place in case this becomes an issue.

When you are ready to begin the selection of your invitations and paper trousseau, be sure to spend time with one of our experienced consultants who can make sure you have a perfect invitation for your perfect wedding.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


The history of bridesmaids is time and culture dependent.  However, their main charge seems to have been to “protect” the bride, “intervene” on her behalf and/or help outsmart the evil spirits who gathered as a group at weddings and other happy events.

Today’s bridesmaids still fulfill some of those roles, even if the evil spirit happens to a former boyfriend with too much champagne and too little class, or a college roommate who thinks it would be fun to “steal” the bride between the ceremony and the reception.  Bridesmaids can often be the voice of reason when they hear “Let’s ______, it’ll be funny.  You’ll see.”  They can put a stop to nonsense early.

Bridesmaids give up time and money in return for the honor of being witnesses to the bride’s very special day.  We urge our brides to remember the important role they play in her wedding and to pay attention to thanking them for their help and caring.

Here are some tips we have gathered over the years.

  • Selecting the bridesmaids’ dresses does not have to be an occasion of conflict.  Cost, style, color and accessories can be issues only if you let them.  If you can help financially, by all means do so.  If your wedding party represents a wide collection of sizes and shapes, work closely with a skilled and experienced wedding consultant who knows the best vendors to chose to work with your wedding.  An experienced retailer will work hard to make sure that the shopping experience is rewarding for all, and will insure that what you have ordered is what you’ll receive.  If the bridal retailer is a member of National Bridal Service, you can relax and know that all will be well.

  • Make sure that your bridesmaids are getting enough attention from you.  Keep them in the loop about events and plans.  Accept help if it is offered.

  • Make sure they have a clear idea of what to do and what you expect.  Your maid of honor can take on the responsibility of keeping all maids in the loop.  Don’t be too demanding.  Just because your wedding is consuming your every waking moment, bridesmaids do have lives beyond the wedding.

  • Be sure to assemble a survival kit for the wedding.  Work with your personal attendant to make sure all necessary items are in the kit and trust her to bring it to the dressing area of the ceremony location, and to reclaim it after the ceremony. A good wedding planner will always take good care of this.

  • Make sure to thank bridesmaids often.  Thoughtful gifts are appreciated. 

Take time to ask questions, share concerns and plan ways to make bridesmaids feel truly a part of this very special day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Center of Attention

Brides frequently ask us about centerpieces for their wedding reception.
The list of options is long and varied but these are some of the most often used by brides.

If your florist is providing centerpieces for your reception, work closely with him/her to be sure that the theme or color thread you have chosen for your wedding continues to the reception area.  We have seen weddings where one theme dominates the ceremony and another is chosen for the reception.  If the two are complimentary, it is soothing.   If the choices are worlds apart, it can be jarring to move from one to another.  Complimentary themes are comfortable.

If you are handling reception centerpieces on your own, here are some ideas to keep in mind.
  • A centerpiece should never block a guest’s view.
  • If color has been a theme for your wedding celebration – introduced in the invitations and save the date cards – it should continue through the reception and any next day celebrations you plan.
  • For informal centerpieces arrange flowers to have a “just picked” look.  Use wild flowers or branches of seasonal flowers for an unusual impact. 
  • Formal centerpieces are usually symmetrical in either a triangular, circular or rectangular shape.
  • Flowers may be used as a centerpiece and/or casually placed at each place setting.
  • Create a still life with fruits, flowers and vines arranged on a lovely tray.
  • Pitchers – used singly or in groups, make attractive containers.
  • Pretty baskets filled with blooming plants and tucked in with moss work well.
  • Arrange several crystal candlesticks on a mirror as a centerpiece.  Insert candles in your color theme or use creamy white.  Just remember that they should be tall enough to be above eye level or low enough so that the flame will not be annoying.
  • Also grouped on a mirror, consider using wine glasses each with a flower afloat.
  • If the facility can handle it, some centerpieces can be hung above the tables in special baskets.

Remember that the size and shape of a centerpiece should be in proportion to the table and flowers should never be so fragrant that they overpower the food served.

Contact us for more centerpieces ideas.