Wednesday, October 19, 2016

WEDDING NOTES™ - Guest Etiquette

You have received an invitation to the wedding of a good friend or family member.  Consider it an honor to be selected to help those close to you celebrate a wonderful part of their lives.

Once you have sent an RSVP with a positive response, you become an official guest at this party.  You will no doubt bring an appropriate gift, but did you realize that another gift you give to the couple is the knowledge of how to be a good guest and the wisdom to use that knowledge.

Here is a check list of do's and don'ts that you can use to insure that your behavior will fit the occasion and not be a reason for the couple to grimace on their anniversary.


  • ·         Send back your RSVP in a timely manner.
  • ·         Arrive at the wedding at least 15-20 minutes before the ceremony is to begin.
  • ·         If you are unavoidably delayed, stay standing in the back of the church.
  • ·         Keep your phone on silent.
  • ·         Dress appropriately.
  • ·         Have fun dancing at the reception but do not call attention to yourself or partner.
  • ·         Respect your host's choices even if they aren't what you would choose.
  • ·         Send your gift to the bride or the couple at least a week prior to the event.


  • ·         Change your mind about attending once the RSVP is sent.  Don't cancel and they decide to show up anyway.
  • ·         Sit in the front rows.  They are reserved for family.
  • ·         Text or tweet during the ceremony.  Don't take and send photos of the bride before she does.
  • ·         Wear jeans or sweats unless specifically requested by the couple.
  • ·         Get in the way of the professional photographer hired to capture the moments of the wedding.
  • ·         Trash talk the couple's choices.
  • ·         Don't take ceremony or reception photos without the couple's approval.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

WEDDING NOTES™ - Great Shape

All brides search for a wedding gown that has the "look" and features they want.  Whether it is simple or ornate, there truly is THE GOWN for every bride.  The guidance of an experienced consultant who knows each designer's specialty can put her in the perfect dress.  The hands of a skilled alterations expert can make the gown of choice fit beautifully.  But even those professionals can't change body shapes without help.

Some designers construct a wedding gown with built in bras or corsets.  That can come as a surprise to a bride from a generation that thought corsets disappeared with the end of the Civil War. But the designer who adds the proper "infrastructure" to a gown knows what he or she is doing.

If your gown of choice does not have a built in minimizer or enhancer, rely on the skill and advice of a trained consultant who can help you find the proper undergarments to make the most of you and your gown.  The proper bra and slop and other "control" items like Spanx can help you feel and look your very best on this special day.

Be sure that the undergarments you choose are neutral or skin toned.  You don't want a surprise color peeping out our showing through.  Be sure to try on the undergarments with your gown and have a friend or relative take photographs front, back and side so you know all is secure.

Far from being uncomfortable, today's undergarments are designed for both comfort and camouflage.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

WEDDING NOTES™ - Elegance on a Budget

Quiet Elegance is always in style.  And no matter your budget, you can have a "proper" ceremony and reception.  A wedding that is perfect for the two of you is just that - perfect!  Here are some tips to consider.

  • ·         A garden luncheon or a wedding brunch can be just as special as a five course sit down dinner.

  • ·         One or two special attendants are really all you need.  Remember that the larger the wedding and number of attendants, the greater the expense.

  • ·         Having a reception that serves only cake and punch is certainly acceptable.  Asking guests to buy their own dinner is not.

  • ·         Hosting an alcohol free reception is fine.  Having a cash bar isn't.

  • ·         Registering for items the couple want and need is fine.  Asking for money instead of gifts isn't.

  • ·         Sending email invitations instead of printed or handwritten ones for a small wedding isn't.

  • ·         Limiting the number and size of bouquets for the wedding party works well.

  • ·         Neglecting to send thank you notes within acceptable time frame is not appropriate.

Every part of a wedding, even one done on a very limited budget, can and should be done with style and good grace.  An affordable wedding can be as memorable as a lavish one.  Guests will remember the beautiful personal touches, not how much money you spent.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

WEDDING NOTES™ - Tips from Our Brides

These are some ideas from brides who were searching for ways to make their day memorable and more fun.

1.  Make a special keepsake of your wedding invitation by mailing one to yourself.  Don't open it.  Keep it in your wedding guest book and save it for future generations to open.

2.  Ask all friends and relatives to write a favorite recipe on the back of the reply cards.  Keep them in a special box throughout your married life.

3. If you can't decide on a color theme for your wedding, consider using the colors of your birthstone(s)- yours or both.

4. If you plan to "throw your garter" wear two and keep one for your memory box.

5.Buy a new silver dollar with your wedding year on it and add one to your collection on each wedding anniversary.

6.  Pick a charity of your choice that you both support and make a donation on your wedding day.  Then every year, make a donation on your anniversary.  If yours is a second wedding and you really don't want gifts, let guests know that you'd prefer gifts to that charity in lieu of gifts to you.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

WEDDING NOTES™ - Manage Reception Costs

The best advice we offer brides on budgets is "Spend where you need to, save where you can".
Couples who come to us for ideas on how to save money without crushing their bridal dreams find wonderful and practical ideas.  Done in the right places, there are many ways to save costs and take nothing away from the wedding they have planned.

Because receptions tend to be the biggest ticket items, major savings can be realized through some minor adjustments.  Consider these!
1.  Find a location that both fits the occasion and requires very little decorating enhancements.  Many spots are fine the way they are.  If a bride is determined to add to the decor, most wedding planners would agree that creating one large decorative element is not only dramatic, but also more budget friendly than a dozen or so smaller elements scattered about the room.
2.  When planning for decor enhancements, always imagine the room full.  We counsel brides not to spend money on decor items that only the first few guests walking in will see.  Don't waste money decorating the skirting of any tables.  Think tabletop and up!
3.  During receptions, caterers will say that people tend to take less food if it is passed by the wait staff than if it is placed on a buffet table.  This also tends to be true about beverages like champagne or a special themed cocktail.  The good news about this factor is that less food and liquor can be ordered and your guests still feel pampered.
4.  If you feel you must serve a sit down dinner, we suggest that you consider instead of ordering one high end entree consider half portions of two main entree items.  For example ordering half portions each of prime rib and chicken breast, you will likely bring down the cost per plate while offering guests a selection with depth.
5.  If you have a band or entertainers, order sandwiches for them rather than full banquet meals.  Have them available in a separate room.  It gives them a chance to "take a break" and provides food that is "grab and go" if it is necessary.