Tuesday, July 7, 2015



Thanking those special people in your life who have stood up with you - parents, family and your wedding party attendants - deserve a special thanks for being an important part of your special day.

Knowing that you and your finance are not the only ones who will look fabulous that day, makes this gift idea so special.  Attendants have their hair done, their makeup done and are looking good.  Why not make this day last for them.  Your parents and the groom's parents are formally attired.  Dad is in a tuxedo!!!  The men in the bridal party are looking fine. Your gift to each of them?  A professionally done individual photograph taken by your wedding photographer.  Make it a head shot of each person.

Chances are many have never (or at least recently) had a professional head shot photo taken of themselves.  Why not provide them with one on a day they are likely to look wonderful.

Photographers are unlikely to care what they are directed to shoot.  Make arrangements with him/her well in advance of the wedding.  These photos will likely be shot prior to the ceremony.  Advance notice will enable the photographer to plan time and place for the photos (against a plain backdrop- not the church).

You can plan it as a surprise or alert the wedding party in advance.  Your choice.  But gifting people who matter to you with a professionally done formal headshot for passports, ID cards or social-networking pages is a great gift and one to be appreciated.  It is a lovely way to say thank you for being part of our important day.

For more ideas, phone 605.348.8816 or email us at audrasbridalgallery@gmail.com OR audras@rushmore.com

WEDDING NOTES - Guest Replies

WEDDING NOTES - Guest Replies

When selecting items for one's paper trousseau, very few brides neglect to order reply cards and envelopes.  These have become "essentials" when attempting to calculate the number of guests to expect at the reception.

However, having sent them out with the invitation package, know that there will always be a number of guests who never bother to reply.  Your choice is to go with some industry average that calculates that up to 10% of invited guests won't attend and won't let you know they aren't coming so you can plan accordingly or you may wish to contact those "silent" guests directly and ask if they are planning to attend.

Some brides elect to make the calls themselves, others involve their mothers in the contacts or the groom's mother as well. As Martha Stewart says, "Once the R.S.V.P. deadline printed on the reply card is come and gone, you are well within bounds to start reaching out to tardy invitees."

When you do call, keep the message short and sweet.  Martha suggests these words:  "I wanted to be sure you got our wedding invitation.  I need to get the final numbers to my caterer this week, and we'd love to know whether we'll be seeing you there."

We know that some brides-to-be are considering a "B-list" of invited guests.  We don't condone that practice but know that it happens.  Some advice:  If you are planning to use this approach, we offer these considerations:  Most people will figure out they are "second-tier" guests when the invitation comes to them two weeks before the wedding date.  If you are determined to use a second round of invitations, at least be strategic about it and up the dates when your invitations go out.  Send your first round of invitations out up to 10 weeks in advance and set the R.S.V.P. to at least 5 weeks before the wedding date.  Once regrets start coming in, you can still get a few invitations out to names on the B-List if you are determined to do so.

For more ideas, phone 605.348.8816 or email audrasbridalgallery@gmail.com OR audras@rushmore.com





WEDDING NOTES - Giving Gifts

WEDDING NOTES - Giving Gifts

With wedding season in full swing, we frequently hear questions about gift giving.  Guests at multiple weddings in a year want to know answers to their questions:  How much should one spend and how should one give it?

Most experts agree on a couple of things: 

1. The closer the guest is to the bride or groom, the more one is expected to give and 

2. Do not give more than you can afford just because of those expectations.

Lots of wedding advice comes from the "cost-of-the-meal" tradition of gift- giving.  This just means that guests give a gift roughly equivalent to what it cost to host them.  But advice from The Knot.com, says "location and cost of the reception should not be the burden of the guest."  Instead, consider using these guidelines suggested by the website:  "A distant relative of the bride or groom or a co-worker should give $75-$100:  a friend or closer relative should give $100-$125: a closer relative, up to $150."  That advice includes cash gifts and gift items.

However, having offered those guidelines, there are other elements to consider.  If one has to spend a lot to get to the wedding, spending at the lower level should be considered.  Whenever possible/feasible, purchasing items from the couple's gift registry sites is best. 

If a person has financial obstacles to consider, he/she can offer hand -made gifts or framed photos or make a charitable donation in the name of the bride and groom.

It is important to remember that as a guest, you are invited to witness an important event in the couple's life and to celebrate that event with them.  There is no obligation to give a gift.  Also, there is no obligation to honor a couple's request for cash only gifts nor does one have to honor what one couple requested in an enclosure that directed the respondent to "check the box for where you want your cash gift to go - to cover champagne on the plane or in the suite at the hotel or the limo or at dinner".  One guest faced with those options, decided to "send just a congratulations card.  There is no etiquette today that defines how crass our society has become."

For more ideas, phone 605.348.8816 or email audras@rushmore.com OR audrasbridalgallery@gmail.com


WEDDING NOTES - Friends and Attendants

WEDDING NOTES - Friends and Attendants

Selecting your attendants for your wedding can be an easy choice for some but for others, an agony of indecision.  If you are planning a small intimate wedding with only the sister of the bride and the brother of the groom in attendance, it couldn't be simpler.

If however, your dream is to have all of your close personal friends with you at the altar, there are some issues you may face.  Cost is one!  If the bride wants all of her sorority sisters in the wedding but the groom doesn't even know that many people he would ask, there's a potential problem.  Some choices need to be made. 

It is very likely you will have to make concessions when finalizing your wedding party.  Keep these ideas in mind as you complete your choices.

·         Before you start naming names, the bride and groom must agree on quantity.  Each of them should have a potential list of candidates for attendants.  Let's say your list contains 8 names.  If you agree on five attendants each then you each take the top three on each list and slot them in.  Next you alternate choices.  It doesn't mean one person gets all his or her top choices, but they each get some.

·         Ignore the old formula that said the number of bridesmaids a bride should have was one for every 45-50 guests.  Have as many as you can afford without looking like opposing softball teams at the altar.

·         If you are searching for a way to let someone know how much you'd like her to be a bridesmaid but can't - make her an honorary attendant.  Ask her to be your personal attendant.  Ask her to handle the guest book and be an official hostess.  Make sure she has a corsage.

·         If you have two best friends and don't want to decide between them, ask them both to share maid/matron of honor duties.  If your older sister is married and your younger sister is not - you have a matron of honor and a maid of honor.    The married attendant stands next to the bride during the ceremony and manages her train and veil at the altar and holds her flowers.  The maid of honor holds the groom's ring and any specialized readings, prayers or special ceremonial items.  Both of them would give reception speeches.  Both would receive special attendant gifts.  They can be dressed identically or choose gowns with minor adjustments.


For more ideas, phone 605.348.8816 or email audrasbridalgallery@gmail.com OR audras@rushmore.com