Thursday, May 7, 2015

Your Invitations and Paper Needs

WEDDING NOTES - Your Invitations and Paper Needs

If you are planning to celebrate your wedding over a holiday weekend, or your invitation list will include a number of out-of-town guests, Save-the-Date cards should be an important part of your plans. Generally, they are sent out as early as six months prior to the wedding.  Because they will give guests a sneak preview of the degree of formality and tone of the wedding, try to select cards that are consistent with the invitations you will send later.

Formal wording and paper styles should be used for invitations to formal and church weddings.  Traditional fonts would be appropriate.  If your wedding is expected to be less formal and held in a hotel or reception facility, you may use a somewhat more informal style with your wedding papers. Individuality can be expressed by choosing unique sizes and textures of papers.  You may also choose to add color, overlays and/or ribbons.

Know that announcements are nice to send to those who live far away or who are unlikely to be able to attend wedding.  They are addressed, stamped and ready to be mailed immediately after the ceremony.  Usually the bride's mother (or trusted associate) is responsible for mailing them.

Unless the wedding is a totally informal and intimate event, plan to include a printed reply card with a self-stamped, preaddressed envelope.

Optional enclosures you may wish to choose are cards for dinner preferences, or if the wedding is planned as a weekend event, guest may be give the option to choose activities they may wish to attend.

Plan to mail your invitations ten to twelve weeks prior to the event. 

For expert advice on the time lines recommended for ordering and mailing all of your paper items. Call 605.348.8816 or email OR  to insure that you will have all that you need when you need it.

What If?


The old saying - "The Best Laid Plans..." should be considered when you are actively planning your wedding.  It's not bad luck to anticipate potential areas of concern and have a Plan B.  Our consultants are creative realists and can help you develop a fabulous Plan A but they know from experience that backup plans (Plan B) are wise.

Here are some of the recommendations from our experience wedding planners.

*Have an emergency kit packed and ready.  It should include a sewing kit that has thread in all the colors that are in your wedding party - white, ivory, black/grey or other tuxedo shades, colors for bridesmaid gowns and both mothers.  It should include needles, pins - safety and straight, scissors, a few paper clips, mending tape.  One bride related that during the receiving line she leaned over to kiss a relative and in the process, he unknowing stepped on the front of her gown.  When she stood up, the entire front of her gown's skirt ripped out at the waist.  A quick repair job with the contents of her emergency kit saved the day.  Also include Kleenex, spot remover cloths, aspirin, breath lozenges, feminine products, make up, hair spray and any necessary medications.  And always have a bit of florist's tape.

*Have a backup plan to cover the what ifs.  If someone has to drop out of your wedding party at the last minute - what will you do?  Find someone in the same size to replace the person or consider how important is it to have the exact number of male and female attendants?  If you are planning an outdoor wedding and reception, what will you do if it rains or storms?

*Remember that everything can be fixed in some way.  Use your imagination and try to anticipate some possible solutions.  So you are one boutonniere short - it's not the end of the world.  Clip some blossoms from either the maid's bouquet or the bridal bouquet.  Go to you emergency kit for the magic green tape florists use to fashion arrangements and voila!  Problem solved.

*Trust your feelings.  If something doesn't feel right, pay attention.  Your instincts are probably right.  Plans that feel right to you are the ones to go with.  Others can make suggestions but the final choice is yours.

Your wedding will be wonderful.  Mishaps can occur but if you don't panic, neither will anyone else.  At one bride's wedding, the processional was complete and the ceremony about to begin when she noticed that the altar candles had never been lit.  No one else noticed so she wisely ignored the lapse.  Her wedding was beautiful.  Yours will be too!

Themes and Centerpieces

WEDDING NOTES - Themes and Centerpieces

All parts of planning a wedding can be fun and exciting.  Our experienced consultants can help you with all aspects of the wedding so feel comfortable asking our advice.  We love to help brides plan all parts of their upcoming wedding, but centerpieces and party themes are among our favorites.

Selecting the flowers and interesting pieces that will decorate your celebration can be a daunting task but the results from carefully chosen centerpieces can be a dramatic way to pull together the theme of your wedding.  We have many, many suggestions.  The most obvious one is that centerpieces should relate to and emphasize that theme.

If your wedding is around a holiday, the theme and its expression is obvious.  Christmas, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Independence Day all suggest the colors and elements.  Other themes require more thought but are just as fun to create.

Is your wedding and reception near water?  If yes, use ship's lanterns or bowls with tropical fish swimming over shells and sand in the bottom.

Is your reception in the country at a farm house or barn?  Use checkered tablecloths and make a ceramic or straw rooster the center of each table.  Add miniature bales of hay and/or summer flowers and greens in milk bottles or canning jars.

Incorporate seasonal fruits in centerpieces.  Big bunches of strawberries in the summer, gingham tied baskets of apples in the early fall, pumpkins and gourds with fall leaves would also work.

Celebrate your heritage with national colors, flags, patterns and fabrics. Oriental poppies, tartan plaid table linens, silver trays piled high with Mexican wedding cakes all make a statement.

Create a circus atmosphere with balloons, candied apples, popcorn and candy floss.

If both the bride and groom are teachers, the school house theme is perfect with paper chains, chalk boards, posters, report cards and lots of numbers and letters.

Call 605.348.8816 or email OR  for a wealth of ideas of how to make your celebration special.

The Little Party AFTER Big Party

WEDDING NOTES - The Little Party AFTER Big Party

Weddings are a big deal!  They are important milestones and deserve to be celebrated in the best style you can manage (or afford).  The ceremony is the most important, followed by the reception for one's family and friends who have joined the couple to celebrate their union.  But a newer/smaller celebration has joined the mix - the AFTER PARTY which is held to continue the celebration with those closest to the new couple.  In other words, it is known as "let the good times roll".

Because so much time and effort and planning has gone into the wedding event, more and more couples are electing to plan and hold smaller and more intimate parties after their guests have headed home.  Usually included in these events are both sets of parents (if they are still in party mode), members of the wedding party and a few close friends of the couple.  Keeping the party going - albeit at a slower pace - works for many couples today.  If that appeals to you, here are some ideas for your party after the big party.

* Be sure to let family and those close friends you plan to invite about your after party so they can plan accordingly.  You could include a special card in the formal invitation which informs a select few of your plans or you can send a separate invitation to the party.  However, a word of warning.  Be sure to let the after party invitees know that this is "exclusive" so they don't spread the word.

* If your reception is in a hotel and you are staying there, the natural gathering spot is your suite of rooms or a smaller party room in the facility.  Make those arrangements when you are booking the reception, and order the snacks and beverages you plan to serve.

*Maybe there is a small, intimate jazz club or a 24 hour breakfast spot that may be favorites.  Make arrangements in advance with the manager and specify a likely time of arrival so that your party will be welcomed and there will be room for them. 

*Arrange for special foods and refreshments that are different from what was served at the reception.

*This is a perfect time to relive the ceremony and reception by looking at photos that everyone has on their iPhones.  Believe it or not, but there are lots of things happening at a reception that the bride and groom will have missed.  Their presence is pretty well orchestrated throughout the ceremony and reception/dinner/dance.  Now is their time to share in all the fun little things that happened of which they were unaware.

For more AFTER PARTY ideas, call 605.348.8816 or email OR