Wedding invitations may sound simple enough, but there’s a little more to it than that. As two friends of mine who are getting married recently found out, details in the wedding invitation (like the date of the wedding…yes, they actually left that part out) can be easily overlooked. So here are the basic things you need to make sure of before you ship out your beloved invitations:
1.) All general information is included. Who is getting married, the date, time and place of the wedding (and reception, if it is in a different location), the dress code and a picture of you and your fiancé need to be included. And yes, a picture is essential. You may know who your grandmother is, but if she’s got 12 other grandchildren to keep track of (and she’s in her mid-80’s), a picture will be an invaluable help to her.
2.) A map and accommodation information. Sure, it may seem incredibly unnecessary, what with all the GPS systems nowadays, but don’t assume all your guests have this technology. Even so, many of the weddings I travel to are located in Western Maryland, and there’s definitely no internet connected in the middle of the mountains. A map is always useful. In addition, you are going to have guests that are attending your wedding from out of town, and it will be a huge help if you can provide them with a few options of where to stay.
3.) RSVP instructions. If you want people to RSVP by mail, it’s essential to include a self-addressed, pre-stamped RSVP card. If you want people to RSVP online instead, you need to give them directions to website or Facebook page, etc. However, it’s best to keep an open mind. Your grandmother is probably not going to have a Facebook page and most likely won’t be able to navigate to your website. Make sure she has an actual RSVP card that she can mail back. Put a number on the back of the RSVP card that you track. As some guests forget to put their names on the card.They just say yes, 2 attending.
4.) Website and related events. If you choose to have a wedding website (a fantastic idea, and I explain why here), add it in with your invitation. Related events would include a rehearsal dinner or brunch, a round of golf or a mid-day hike. Just make sure that you’re inviting the right people to the right event. If you don’t want all 200 guests to show up to the rehearsal dinner, make sure all 200 of them don’t get an invite for it.
5.) Registry information. In some circles, putting registry information in your invitation can seem rude (yes Martha Stewart, I’m talking to you), but many people (myself included) that it’s even more rude to leave them in the dark until they get the courage to ask you or one of your family members where you are registered. Giving them a heads up in your wedding invitation isn’t rude, it’s considerate.
Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Offering Wedding Gowns, Bridesmaids Dresses, Mothers Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals. Call today to book your appointment or online!
Everyone everywhere has something to say about wedding planning. Everyone has an opinion on what kind of colors look best together, what kind of music people will dance to and what kind of dress will be easiest to dance in. Engagements, however, seem to be in a world of their own. There is no wrong way to propose and every story is romantic no matter what the circumstances. Nonetheless, there are a few things about getting engaged that might take you by surprise.
1.) You will have to tell your proposal story a million times. And then probably a couple times after that. Everyone will want to hear this story. Some couples choose to put their proposal story on their wedding website so people can read about it there, therefore saving themselves the time and monotony of telling the same story over and over again. Of course we think the retelling of the story is half the fun of being engaged. A 20-year married couple rarely gets asked to tell that story.
2.) Your proposal will be different than how you pictured it. In your proposal fantasy, your family was there or you were in different circumstances. Maybe you hadn’t just gotten home from the gym, in sweaty clothes and smeared makeup. But these details don’t make your story any less special, they actually make it more so; they make it real, and real is better than any fantasy.
3.) Everyone will want to know wedding details. You probably haven’t even thought about what flavor of cake you’re going to have or if you’re going to have a DJ or a band playing at the reception, but people will ask you anyway. People will want to know when you’re going wedding dress shopping and if you need any help with anything. They will offer up help with the planning and will often bombard you with (unsolicited) advice. Take it all in stride, though; these people don’t mean to be intrusive, they are just genuinely really, really excited for you.
4.) Some will be a bit grumpy. In the midst of all the people that are happy for you, there will most likely be one or two that aren’t so thrilled. Your older sister might be upset that you’re engaged while she’s still single, and your best friend might have a problem with your fiancé. Just keep your head up. True friends know that what makes you happy makes them happy, and sour family members have a way of coming around in the end.
5.) Your relationship will feel different. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been dating for 10 years, and have considered yourselves married for that same amount of time, someone just asked you to spend the rest of your life with them and you said yes. Even without a ring, this is a huge deal. For many people, the wedding becomes simply a formality to make it all official; the engagement is where it became serious.
Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Wedding Dresses, Bridesmaids Dresses, Mothers Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals. Call to make your appointment or book online!
Everyone has their favorite part of the wedding; maybe it’s the moment the groom first sees the bride, the food or just the open bar. Many of my friends enjoy the act of getting dressed up, while personally, I’m all about the cake. A wedding with good cake is a fantastic wedding indeed.
However, as much as your guests may differ about their favorite parts of a wedding, they tend to be on the same page with what they appreciate the most. Read on for some of the best suggestions for a wedding your guests will truly enjoy.
1.) You keep things moving. Nothing makes people antsy quite like having nothing to do. Taking photographs between the ceremony and the reception is a common practice, but making your guests wait three hours between wedding and reception can be a little much. When dinner is over, get on with the cake cutting; don’t dawdle! When people get hungry and thirsty they get cranky, and the last thing you want at your wedding is a group of 200 cranky people.
2.) You keep them comfortable. A ceremony in direct sunlight is understandable, but don’t make your guests sit in that climate for 45 minutes! No one wants to start off the reception sweaty and sunburned. And on the contrary, don’t subject your guests to a freezing cold room for the entire night; especially your elderly guests.
3.) You keep things light. Too many rules can stress people out. There’s nothing wrong with having a set schedule for things (an order in which tables are served, for example), but anything too stringent will make guests wonder just what they are allowed to do. Is it an appropriate time to dance? Can they approach the bride and groom for a hug or will they be ushered away?
4.) You keep speeches short and appropriate. You know the ones in your wedding party that have a tendency to go on and on and on and on and on; so nip it in the bud and make sure they keep their speeches to a 5-10 minute maximum. It’s also a smart idea to read through the speeches first. What your best man thinks is a funny story could actually end up ruining the entire evening. Case in point: a recent wedding I attended where the bridesmaids’ speeches turned into a bridal roast, and the father of the bride didn’t wish the happy couple any congratulations, he just talked about how proud he is of his son that couldn’t make it that night.
5.) You provide them a ride home. Chances are, your wedding couples are making the silent deal they often make with each other; one of them can drink while the other will stay sober for the drive home. Making sure they have free transportation at the end of the night is a perfect way to let them both enjoy your wedding without any of the risk.
Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique. Offering Wedding dresses, Bridesmaids dresses, Mothers Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals. Call to book your appointment today or online!
It seems that no matter how many weddings I attend or how many post-wedding conversations I have with the bride, the same mistakes keep popping up over and over and over again. And it’s not necessarily their fault; after all, we all like to think we’re going to do whatever it takes to make our wedding the best wedding of all time. But just in case you’re the reasonable type that wants to learn from others’ mistakes, here’s a list of the most common:
1.) Going over budget. Honestly, it’s a slippery slope. If your wedding ends up costing $10,132 and your budget was $10,000, you’ve done a damn good job as far as I’m concerned. But things tend to add up pretty quick, and before you know it your big day could be passing the $15,000 price mark. Unless you always want your wedding to be a sore subject, stay within your means.
2.) Being predictable. This is your day to do whatever you want! You don’t have to play “Here Comes the Bride” when walking down the aisle, you don’t have to get married in a church, and you don’t even have to wear a white dress! So many brides and grooms complain later about not making their wedding day more personalized.
3.) Taking over everything. Fun fact: your groom is a part of this wedding, meaning his opinions need to be valued as well. Even if he’s completely not involved in the planning, there are going to be one or two things he’s passionate about, like the band or the food. And if he doesn’t want to make a decision, he’s sure to at least tell you what he doesn’t want. He might not be able to decide between buttercream and cream cheese frosting, but he knows he definitely doesn’t want lemon.
4.) Not hiring professionals. Let me be perfectly clear here: you need to hire professionals for certain aspects of your wedding, period. All those gorgeous wedding photos you see on Facebook from your friends’ weddings? A professional did that. Hire your little sister and your photographs will look exactly like what they are; photographs that were taken by your little sister.
5.) Undervaluing comfort. Those four inch heels you bought for your wedding dress? They’re going to hurt later. That gown that weighs 22 pounds? It’s going to wear you out. In either situation, you are going to be spending some time on the sidelines taking a breather. Many brides regret not bringing an extra pair of flats or a lighter, more danceable (yes, it’s a word) dress for their reception. This is your wedding, so trust me when I say you’re going to want to be participating in it as much as possible.
Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Wedding Dresses up to size 30, Lily’s Bridal offers bridesmaids dresses, mothers dresses, and tuxedo rentals. Call to book your appointment today or online.
Everyone has gone to a wedding at one time or another and witnessed what we all like to call “a train wreck.” And yes, while this always tends to make a good story for the guests leaving the party, the bride and groom on the other hand would probably rather do without the huge scene on their big day. And to make sure the person everyone is whispering about isn’t you, we’ve gotten together a little list of proper wedding guest etiquette.
1.) Don’t wear white. It doesn’t matter if the only thing in your closet is a white sheet from a college toga party; don’t wear it. It’s rude, it’s inconsiderate and it’s the #1 rule of all weddings, meaning there’s no way someone will forgive you for not knowing it. Unless the bride and groom have specifically asked their guests to show up wearing white (which does occasionally happen for black-tie weddings), don a frock with some color to it.
2.) Keep your opinions to yourself. It doesn’t matter if you think the bride’s dress looks like a wet poodle, if your place card has a spelling error on it or if the cake looks crooked; keep it to yourself. There’s nothing the bride and groom can do about it, and frankly your opinion doesn’t matter. She picked her dress because that’s the one she wanted to wear, the cake is as good as it’s going to get and there are probably other errors you just haven’t noticed yet; because the bride probably hasn’t slept in a year and a half. Just tell her she looks radiant and let them enjoy their day.
3.) Be on time. This is the couples’ big day, and you showing up late will only draw attention to yourself. Some couples even have someone man the door after the ceremony has started; ensuring their precious moments won’t be interrupted by the loud squeaking of a wooden door and echoing footsteps and whispers as someone desperately attempts to find an empty seat. The last thing you want to do is walk in during a moment of silence for the bride’s late mother. As a matter of fact, give yourself an extra half hour to get there, just in case traffic or directions prove to be more difficult than you thought.
4.) Get them a gift. Have an old sweater you’ve desperately been trying to re-gift to someone else? Sorry, but you’re just going to have to keep trying. This is not the day for cheap gifts. Get them a gift card or something off of their registry. And if you include a card (of course you need to include a card), put in the time to figure out how to spell both of their names.
5.) Turn your phone off! Do you really want to be the one responsible for ruining the moment just before the bride and groom kiss for the first time because your college buddy just had to send you a picture of his new riding lawn mower? That ruined moment will be on their wedding video….forever. Turn your phone off and don’t even think of turning it back on until the reception is well under way.
Planning a wedding is a full-fledged ordeal, as everyone probably knows. However, there seems to be one aspect of the wedding that is generally left out of the planning; the end.
And it’s left out for good reason. This is supposed to be your magical day, so it’s completely natural to not want to think about all your gorgeous decorations being ripped from the walls and stuffed into the nearest garbage can. However, that time is going to come, and unless you make the appropriate preparations, you yourself could be the one tearing down your own wedding at 1:00 in the morning, and nothing ruins Christmas faster than seeing the Christmas tree sans ornaments.
So here are some things you need to make sure to add to the wedding planning to-do lists:
1.) Cleaning up. Unless you’re having the celebration at a private residence (like your parents’ home), you need to be aware of the closing time. Some venues require you to be cleaned up and out by a certain time, while others simply require the party to be over at that time and will allow you to come back in the morning to pick up the remnants. Either way, this needs to be sorted out.
If you are planning on going straight to your honeymoon from the wedding, you need to have someone on hand that will help with the cleaning. Maybe the venue does their own cleaning (did you budget for that?) or maybe you can ask your parents and some members of the bridal party to stop by the next morning to help out.
2.) Getting guests home. If you’re going to provide alcohol at your wedding, you need to provide a way for guests to get safely home. Whether it’s a cab that has been rented out for the night, or a “tipsy trolley” (as we call them back home), which is a bus system that can be scheduled to pick up guests at a designated time and take them back to their hotel. Maybe there is a member of your wedding party that has already stated they won’t be drinking and can help out with taking guests home. Either way, it’s essential to make sure everyone gets home safe. If an accident occurs after the reception your wedding will surely be thought of as a sore subject for years to come.
3.) Getting your stuff home. A few years ago I attended a wedding where the bride and groom had everyone meet at a local beach for the ceremony and reception. As many of the guests walked, and brought their individual presents, at the end of the night there were no vehicles at the reception. This wouldn’t have been a problem except there were quite a bit of presents. Someone had to make the trek back up to the hotel, pick up a car and drive back down to get the presents. Naturally it wasn’t a huge deal, but it was still a pain in the neck.
Make sure you have a way to get everything from the reception that you’re keeping back to your home or hotel room. This includes presents, leftover cake and food (if you didn’t have a caterer), whatever flowers or decorations you need to preserve (many florists allow you to return flowers for a small refund, provided they are in good condition the next day) and anything that can’t be left in its current location (stereo equipment on a beach, for example).
Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Offering Wedding Dresses up to size 30, Bridesmaids Dresses, Mother’s Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals. Call to book your appointment or schedule online.
For many couples, an engagement is a happy thing! You instantly go into wedding planning mode and start creating a guest list. For other couples, however, with parents that have recently split-up and aren’t necessarily on pleasant terms with each other, an engagement can bring about an instant feeling of dread. Just how the heck are you going to get them both in the same place and acting civil for an entire night? With wedding vows and alcohol being thrown into the mix? It can seem like a disaster waiting to happen, but we’ve come up with a few tips that should ensure complete civility at your upcoming nuptials
1.) Plan your invitations accordingly. If your mother refuses to have her name in the same space as your father’s name, you’re going to have to be a bit creative. Maybe just writing it as, “Along with our parents, we would love to invite you…” would do the trick. Or perhaps your mom just doesn’t want your dad’s new girlfriend to be mentioned (fair enough). Sitting down with everyone (together or separately) will help nip any potential problems in the bud.
2.) Work that seating chart. Not only do you want to seat them far, far away from each other, but it’s also smart to seat them at a great table. Maybe your dad might be a good fit with some of your fiancé’s college buddies. He’ll be drinking and dancing in no time, and will probably forget about your mom on the other side of the room. Do the same with your mom; don’t sit her at a table with your aunt where the two of them can nitpick about your dad’s new girlfriend across the room; sit her with some of your happiest and most welcoming friends and she’ll be in a much better mood by the time the food is served.
3.) Give your wedding party and vendors a head’s up. Make sure all the necessary people know the situation. There’s nothing more awkward than the photographer asking for a picture with your parents when everyone clearly can’t wait for the picture to be over. Maybe have a set of pictures with just your mom, then have them leave and ask one of the groomsmen to get your dad for the rest of the pictures. Plus, you can have your Maid of Honor and Best Man on the lookout for any potential problems.
5.) Stand your ground. If your parents are just refusing to get along, with your mom refusing to come if your dad is going to be there, tell her too bad. This wedding is not about them; it’s about you and your fiancé starting your lives together. Either they have to grow up and get over their feelings for each other for one night or they can both miss out on one of the biggest milestones of your life. It’s up to them. Now you focus your attention to other things, like your dress.
Lily’s Bridal – Marland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Wedding Dresses up to size 30 – Book your appointment today!
DIY Wedding Tips
If you’re planning on doing most of your wedding on your own, you aren’t alone. Weddings are one of the most expensive purchases many people make in their lifetime, alongside a home, a car and an education, so it’s perfectly natural to want to cut some costs by doing most of the grunt work on your own. However, if you aren’t careful, some of your do-it-yourself ideas could turn into an absolute disaster. To prevent that from happening, we’ve got a few tips for you:
1.) Keep it simple. Just because you’re doing the bulk of your wedding on your own doesn’t mean you should tackle what a professional could easily do. If you can’t afford a florist, don’t try arranging 40 centerpieces and 12 bouquets all on your own; that would be near impossible and incredibly stressful. Instead, keep it simple; instead of intricately arranged bouquets, have your bridesmaids carry delicate collections of dried wildflowers or a simple bunch of baby’s breath. Even some creative, like a pinwheel can add an interesting (and easy) touch.
2.) Choose a location that does most of the work. Choosing a completely blank space, like a white tent, means you have to decorate the entire thing. Instead, choose an already beautiful spot, like a beautiful old church, an enchanting garden or a relaxing beach. Think about it; with plenty of light shining through vintage stained glass windows, would anyone even notice a bit of streamers by the door?
3.) Go for high impact. Instead of drowning yourself in hours and hours and hours of work, choose small tasks that have high visual impact. Go for bright colors or vivid accents. This not only cuts down on the cost of the materials you’ll have to use, but also the time it takes to put the look together.
4.) Look for the best deals. Just because your local party store has the streamers you want doesn’t mean that’s where you can get them for the best price. In this day and age of online shopping, you can get virtually anything you need for the lowest possible price with a bit of research. Check a variety of stores, including online stores, vintage shops, yard sales and even with friends’ that have been recently married.
5.) Prioritize. Doing things on your own means you can’t do everything. There are going to be some things that you simply have to let go. Focus on the main points of your big day and make sure those aspects come out as perfect as possible. A few things are most likely going to fall through the cracks, and that’s okay, just as long as those are very minor things.
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Your wedding day typically happens in such a blur that it’s a wonder if you remember any of it at all. Think about it; between the dancing, the alcohol, the family and friends and the crazy emotions, it’s a wonder you even remember where you are throughout the day. But as it turns out, there are a few things that you end up remembering, and we’ve decided to list them for you, for your convenience.
1.) The transportation from the ceremony to the reception. Whether you took a limo, a horse-drawn carriage or even walked to the reception site, this is one of the most vivid memories for many couples. Think about it; it’s the first moment right after you’ve officially been announced as a betrothed couple that you are alone. The experience has even been described as time stopping; it’s quite, you hold hands, take a deep breath and then begin the second part of your day: the reception.
2.) The moment you first see each other. Both you and your spouse will not only remember exactly what you and your soon-to-be spouse were both wearing on your wedding day, but also exactly how you both felt upon first sight of each other. “Seeing her in her dress for the first time was something I thought I was ready for,” explains Greg. “But I had no idea how happy I would be to see her. I just lost it.”
3.) The unique distractions. There are so many emotions you need to control on your big day, many people create unique distractions to keep from crying. “I didn’t want to ruin all my professional makeup,” explains Madison, “so I started thinking about what my dogs were doing at home and how excited I was to eat a piece of wedding cake. I don’t remember much of what the Rabbi said while I was up there, but it worked!”
4.) The inside jokes. There are so many little things that are between just you and your fiancé. Whether it’s a little look from across the room as soon as your uncle starts in with his wedding speech, or a couple clever remarks you’ve both added into your vows for a little amusement between the two of you. The little jokes and quirks are part of what makes you such a perfect couple, and they are also some of the things you’ll remember for the next 30 years to come.
Suzie describes the end of the limo ride; “As soon as the limo pulled up to the reception hall, Brian announced ‘21st Floor: Menswear.’ It’s one of his favorite lines from the movie Liar Liar, and it still makes me laugh when he says it.”
5.) The morning after. The morning after is one of the happiest moments for most couples. “You’re very aware that this is the first day of your new life together,” says Tom. Anna had a similar reaction: “ I couldn’t wait to introduce him to people as my husband,” she said.
Lily’s Bridal – Maryland’s Premier Bridal Boutique – Wedding Dresses, Bridesmaids Dresses, Mothers Dresses, Prom Dresses, and Tuxedo Rentals. Call to book your appointment today 410-553-9336 or book your appointment online!
When it comes to things that you should budget for in your wedding, your photographer and your videographer should be at the very top of that list. They are the ones responsible for the safekeeping of your wedding memories. When you look 30 years down the road, you aren’t going to be able to remember every single detail of your wedding, but a video and some photographs will bring it all back in no time.
Of course, as with every wedding vendor, there are a few tips to doing it right.
1.) Get a jump on it. Everyone knows that in this business, the best wedding vendors are the ones that get booked the fastest, so don’t wait until the last minute or all you’ll have to choose from is the random guy that no one has ever heard of or your little cousin with a handheld camcorder. In addition, many wedding videographers offer similar packages to many wedding photographers. If you book them early enough, a save-the-date or reception video might be included along with your wedding video.
2.) Ask to see examples of their work. You’d be surprised how many people don’t take the time to watch a few clips of other couples’ wedding videos before settling on a videographer. Just as with any other wedding vendor, you need to see their portfolio in order to get a good idea of whether or not you will be pleased with their work.
3.) Get a list of callable references. References are going to be your best bets to learn everything you need to know. You’ll want to ask if they videographer was professional, polite, and made their subjects feel comfortable being videoed, if they showed up on time and stayed until the promised hour and if they succeeded in catching all of the important aspects of the wedding on video. You’ll also want to ask how intrusive they were when videoing; someone who barges their way up the aisle alongside you is going to be a real thorn in your side on your wedding day.
4.) Make sure they use HD. Many companies offer HD, but not all HD is the same. They should be using the most modern HD cameras with 1080p resolution. Of course if you are looking for a vintage or film grain look for certain aspects of your wedding, ask if they are able to do that sort of thing.
5.) Find someone that matches your personality. Your wedding videographer is going to have to look through hours and hours and hours and hours of wedding footage before determining what moments should be kept and which ones can be edited out. If you choose a wedding videographer that has different than you of what is ‘important’, you might end up with a wedding video full of cake close-ups and ceremony shots rather than one that recorded your brother performing some of his famous moves on the dance floor.
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