Wedding invitation planning…you may not realize just how many steps there really are to organizing and preparing your invitations. From creating your guest list to finalizing all your ceremony and reception details, many things affect your wedding invitation preparations.
There really are no absolute deadlines for many of the steps in your wedding invitation process. Although there are some general timeframes that you may find helpful to avoid last-minute rushing since you have so many other things on your mind as well.
Here is a basic timeline to simply use as a guideline for your invitation planning:
9 months – 1 year
- Begin working on your guest list so you will know how many wedding invites (and maybe save the dates) to eventually order (one per single adult, couple or family invited).
- Start your wedding invitation shopping so you can narrow your choices down to only your favorites. Ordering samples, which are usually blank, will give you a chance to see the paper and design up close.
- If you are planning to mail out save the date cards to guests, begin searching for your preferred design of them as well.
7 to 8 months
- If you will be sending save the dates, place your order based on the number of guests to whom you will be mailing them as they are optional.
- Give some thought to how your wording will read by browsing through sample wedding invitation verses.
- If sending save the dates, prepare and mail them.
- Select your wedding invitation design and gather all the details that will be printed on them such as date, times, name and address of location(s), etc.
- Determine if you will also be ordering any invitation enclosures or added options – response cards, reception cards, direction/map cards, pre-printed return address on envelopes, decorative envelope seals, colored lining for inner envelopes, matching thank you or informal cards. Some of these options may not be available depending on your chosen style. You may also be able to order matching menu, table and place cards for your design. You will save on separate shipping costs by purchasing as many items as you can all in the same order.
- If you are including response cards, check with your dinner location to see how far in advance they need your final guest count so you can select the RSPV date that will be printed on them (typically 2-3 weeks before wedding). You also need to decide whose address will be printed on the response envelope or postcard meaning they will receive the replies.
- Finalize your wording and place your wedding invitation order. Remember to order some extras now so you won’t run out if there are last-minute guests to invite and so you also have a few as souvenirs. If the option is available, order some extra envelopes just to be safe.
- Check your guest list making sure you have complete addresses for everyone.
- Consider mailing your wedding invites using custom wedding stamps. Many online retailers provide you with the alternative of choosing from pre-designed wedding postage or simply uploading a photo to create your own stamp design. NOTE – Have one of your ready-to-mail invitations weighed at the Post Office BEFORE purchasing your postage stamps so you know you are using the correct amount for each one.
- Fold and/or assemble your wedding invitations, if necessary.
- Hand address mailing envelopes and write guest names on inside envelopes, if they are included.
- Purchase and apply postage stamps to the response card envelopes or response postcards, if they will be included.
- Assemble all wedding invitation pieces and insert them into already addressed envelopes.
- Take one fully assembled and sealed invitation to the Post Office to have it weighed to determine the correct amount of postage needed.
- Purchase your stamps or order custom wedding stamps with appropriate postage amount required for mailing.
- Seal the envelopes, apply postage stamps and mail them all at the same time directly at a Post Office location.
- Prepare and mail any other related wedding invitations…rehearsal dinner, post-wedding brunch, etc.
- Keep track of the response cards as they are returned by checking off their names from your guest list.
- Contact any guests who didn’t mail back their response cards.
- Provide final guest count to reception/dinner location.
That pretty much takes care of everything related to your invitations prior to your wedding. The only thing left to do is to write and mail out your wedding thank you cards, especially if you ordered them with your wedding invitations. They should be sent out about a month after the wedding and no more than three months after.
Again, this is just a guideline for your wedding invitations process but hopefully it will help you stay organized which is the key for all of your wedding planning.
You often hear the phrase ‘modern wedding invitations’ but what really classifies them as modern.
We all know modern is the opposite of traditional. When it comes to wedding invitations, traditional brings to mind a simple white or ecru invitation card, classic black ink, a standard font style and two envelopes for mailing. Modern wedding invitations, on the other hand, let you be more creative and unique which seems to be quite appealing to today’s couples who tend to look for ways to truly personalize their weddings including their invites.
Here are some trends that you may feature on your modern wedding invitations depending on the design you choose and the options available:
· Multiple Lettering Styles – A larger and sometimes fancier font style is used to emphasize the couple’s names on the invitation compared to the rest of the wording.
· Contrasting Ink Colors – A second distinct ink color can be used to highlight certain details on your wedding invitation like your names.
· Pockets – Becoming increasingly fashionable, this style has a pocket for holding the wedding invitation and possibly a separate pocket for any enclosure cards, depending on the specific design.
· Self-mailing – So named since they turn into their own self-mailing piece eliminating separate mailing envelopes. Some designs have an envelopment, which may be colored, that wraps around all the invitation pieces for easy mailing. Another self-mailer design option are seal and send wedding invitations that actually fold and seal up into their own mailing piece.
· Bright and Bold Colors – Today it is easier than ever to make a personal statement with your invitation colors either through your paper, design or ink choices. You can also create a unique look by combining colors that you may not normally consider as complementary but really look stunning when paired together.
· Distinctive Sizes & Shapes – You can easily select a wedding invitation design that has a unique shape such as being square or is an unusual size such as tea length.
· Patterns – As part of the invitation design, patterns are becoming stylish including paisley and retro motifs.
· Colored Papers or Envelopes - Make your wedding invitations eye-catching by choosing a design that has colored paper stock or colored envelopes. Just be sure to choose an ink color that will look good on the colored paper.
· Recycled Paper – For those striving to be more eco friendly, there are now many beautiful wedding invitation designs that are printed on recycled papers.
· Embellishments – Ribbon has become quite popular as an added special touch to wedding invitations.
Everyone’s idea of what modern wedding invitations are may vary but the above trends are definitely options that will make invites look more contemporary. Your invitations will surely reflect your own unique personal style using any of these options.
For many people, walking down the isle is the biggest day of their life. They spend months looking for the perfect dress or tuxedo for the traditional wedding ceremony. The whole occasion is usually very formal and organized. Even the couple’s first dance can be static and frankly, quite uninspired. Some waltz and act like they are at a regal ball while others like to have more fun using the time to be silly while shaking a leg. This post is about those who like to actually have fun when they dance. You’ll see songs and dances you know, but also ones that will surprise you. Either way, you’ll certainly get a kick out of these funny first wedding dances.
Evolution of Wedding Dance
Crazy in Love
Come Fly With Me – Skills!
Original Wedding Surprise – Viral YouTube Goodness
Chariots of Fire
Charleston – AMAZING!
Or, the Groomsmen can just dance by themselves
You’ll only have your first dance song once (at least per wedding), so you want to make it special. While there have been many brides and grooms who have decided to shake it up a bit, there is something to be said for a sweet and romantic traditional first dance.
There are, however, some things to remember when picking your song. Not the least important of which is the length of your song. Of course, it is your day, but you don’t really want to keep your guests from the buffet line for 7-9 minutes while you dance your first dance. A good length is anywhere from 2.5 to 4 minutes long. We’ve picked some songs here that fall into those time constraints, but have a nice sentiment and (in some cases) an opportunity to show off some good dance moves. Here we have your top 10 first dance songs for your wedding. Enjoy.
10. You Say It Best (When You Say Nothing At All) – Alison Krauss (3:55)
Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz wrote this song in the mid-eighties, and it first appeared as the A-side to Keith Whitley’s single release from his album Don’t Close Your Eyes (Lucky Dog was the B-side). The song really got exposure in 1994 when Alison Krauss and Union Station recorded at Keith Whitley tribute album. It’s been played at weddings all over the world, and remains one of the most popular first dance songs.
9. Can’t Help Falling In Love With You – Elvis Presley (2:57)
Written by seminal songwriters of their time for a little film called Blue Hawaii, Can’t Help Falling In Love With You is one of the most romantic releases by the King of Rock and Roll. If you’re looking to spice it up a little, try the UB40 version, released in 1993.
8. We’ve Only Just Begun – The Carpenters (3:06)
Despite it’s unlikely beginnings (it was originally in a bank commercial), this classic Carpenter’s tune is a mainstay of adult contemporary music, and is still in high demand at weddings all over the world. While not The Carpenter’s Grammy-winning tune (which was the sticky-sweet “Close To You”), “We’ve Only Just Begun” certainly helped The Carpenter’s win Best New Artist in 1971, and the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998. While Karen Carpenter died suddenly and tragically in 1982, her clear and beautiful voice stays current even today.
7. Shameless – Garth Brooks (3:32)
Billy Joel originally wrote the song and it appeared on his album Storm Front. While it didn’t exactly set the music world on fire, it certainly caught the attention of an up-and-coming Garth Brooks, who covered it on his album Ropin’ The Wind in 1991. The song reached #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks and remains one of Brooks’ most romantic and most-requested songs. Plus, it’s easy to dance to.
6. In My Life – The Beatles (2:18)
Few songs have a sentiment that is 100% right on. This brief Beatles tune, which appeared on the 1963 album Rubber Soul. John wrote the lyrics, Paul wrote the melody, and what was born was a sweet little ditty that is perfect if you a) want a REALLY short first dance song that gets your point across or b) really hate dancing and just sort of want to sway but still look cool because you picked a Beatles song. It’s a win-win, really.
5. The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra (3:22)
There are oh-so-many versions of this song, but this is the version we like the most. The lyrics are just lovely (“with each word your tenderness grows/tearing my fear apart/and that laugh that wrinkles your nose/touches my foolish heart”), plus it’s got a nice little rhythm to it if you want to do something OTHER than just stand there and sway. Plus, it’s an all-about-the-bride song, which is never a bad thing.
4. Forever & Ever, Amen – Randy Travis (3:34)
For the country fans out there, this is lyrically perfect for a wedding, plus it’s got a little bit of a beat that you can dance to. Released in 1987, the song won a Grammy, and is one of Randy Travis’s best known tunes. Check out the sweet performance from a groom to his bride here, or take a listen to the original song (link to Randy Travis video) and tell us it’s not a near-perfect first dance song.
3. It Had To Be You – Harry Connick Jr. (2:51)
Written by early bandleader Isham Jones and released in 1924, this song has been performed by a slew of artists in many different films. Remember Casablanca? Annie Hall? We guess an ionic movie deserves an iconic song. And so does your wedding. The lyrical sentiments are sentimental and appropriate, if not a little melancholy (It had to be you/wonderful you/I wondered around/And finally found/Somebody who/Could make me be true/Could make me feel blue/And even be glad/Just to be sad/Thinking of you”), and it’s a classic standard that is well-loved and remembered. What could be better?
2. Lucky – Jason Mraz with Colbie Callait (3:23)
Maybe you’d like something a little more current. This cute little ditty just screams WEDDING SONG with it’s lilting melody and it’s romantic lyrics (“Lucky I’m in love with my best friend”). Destined to be a well-loved and often-used song for first dances, it makes the list because of its potential, but it’s a good choice also because it hasn’t had a chance to be overdone. Plus, even if your older relatives don’t recognize it, they can’t deny how catchy and sweet it is.
1. At Last – Etta James (3:02)
Call us cliché, but we’ve seen some of the most romantic and beautiful first dances danced to this song. So many, in fact, that we’re showing a clip from a movie rather than a clip of a bride and groom dancing to it. There are too many to pick from. Although the Beyonce version is nice (and Presidential), the Etta James version is a classic – you literally can’t go wrong with it as your first dance.
- 10 Baby Boomer Songs That are Still Alive and Kicking (makethelist.net)
- Music Countdown – Songs with Numbers (bizarrebytes.com)
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- Take My Sweater: Favorite Songs (weddingbee.com)
Choosing a personal wedding planner can be a frightening task.Finding someone you trust enough to plan one of the biggest events of your life is not something you should take lightly, but is something that will help you create the wedding of your dreams in an efficient and well thought out manner.Here are some tips to find your ideal personal wedding planner.
Look for a personal wedding planner with a certification in wedding planning.Certified personal wedding planners will have the knowledge base to skillfully plan and execute your wedding.They will know the ins and outs of the wedding business, and will have hands on experience in all aspects of wedding planning. A certified personal wedding planner will take the guesswork of your preparation by approaching the process as a business transaction.As your personal wedding planner, he or she will be there to plan your wedding in a full time capacity. Wedding planning may not be your day job, but it is for a number of highly talented professionals.
You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive, so why hire a personal wedding planner without seeing their previous work? Their previous events don’t have to mirror the type of wedding you hope to have, but if their clients express that they were communicative and attentive to the desires of the newlyweds to be, this will speak highly of their ability to plan the wedding that you want.
Ask for references of one or two former clients who have either given a statement for the personal wedding planner to use, or people you can call and speak with about their experience with the planner.Also ask to see some pictures of previous events just to get a feel for the spectra of things the personal wedding planner is capable of planning.
While your personal wedding planner is first and foremost a professional dedicated to the business of planning weddings, make sure you choose someone you are comfortable working with. You will be working with this person for an extended period of time, and feeling a connection with this person as a trusted party to act in your best interest is crucial.You will want to have the comfort of knowing that your personal wedding planner is listening to your desires and is someone you can envision yourself working with in great detail.
Photo by SWBatzer
With much emphasis on such a big day and with so many venues, services and suppliers in the wedding sector it can make choices very difficult for couples planning to get married with costs escalating to more than they imagined. Not only this but you also have to rely on all of these services and products to provide the quality as promised and to be delivered on time which can only add to the stress leading up to, and sometimes on the special day itself – after all there is no ‘take two’ on this day!
Couples need peace of mind and confidence from the beginning stages through to and on the day to make everything they planned for happen on time, look amazing, taste exceptional and feel outstanding – just as the couples anticipated. These days more and more people break from the traditional way of things especially as gay couples have opportunities to tie the knot now. The special day should enhance towards the couples’ personal feelings, tastes and style and reflect towards them and not necessarily the guests or family’s love for things. A common trend is for couples to have these occasions at a home or hired ground under a wedding marquee which might not save much money, but can create and tailor the special occasion more under their control. Therefore not restricted to venues availability and constraints, especially the ones who like to party until the early hours of the morning.
Planning and preparation is the key for any successful wedding celebration however simple or complex. So it is always a good start to write a bullet point list of thoughts and overall spending budget intended. To give yourself a better idea of what is available and the costs involved it is recommended you browse the web and also attend wedding exhibition and fairs. Even then couples may find all this too much with significant range of products and services with prices varying dramatically.
For couples that need a little help, inspiration, or just simply do not have the time for planning their own wedding or civil ceremony due to busy life schedules, feel comfortable turning over the details to a trained professional. Wedding Coordinators arrange as much or as little as you like, from sourcing recommended suppliers through to designing and creating the occasion from start to finish. All the hard work is already done from knowing what services, suppliers and products are value for money and would only confidently recommend these as they would do a fantastic professional job. Wedding coordinators have a reputation to uphold and the cost for these services should be free as commission would have been established from these services and therefore costing the clients no extra money. A good wedding coordinator can make all the difference as they are able to offer professional assistance and make sure that everything runs smoothly. Their aim is to be in the background dealing with everything efficiently, so you can confidently relax and totally enjoy the big day.
A company called ‘How Can We Help You?’ do all this and more by going the extra mile with fastidious attention to detail. With reputable years of experience they give inspirational ideas from the traditional, quirky to simple weddings and civil ceremonies helping clients through the planning stages adhering to time constraints and budgets making the whole experience stress free. They can arrange everything from venues, marquees, invitations and stationary, full wedding catering , budget planning and gift lists, through to the cake design, music and florists. From initial concept design through to the laying of the very last place card, they maintain a high level of excellence, ensuring the wedding day is not only perfect, but exceeds client’s expectations. They meet clients frequently prior to the big day to gain a clear and concise understanding of what is envisaged for the day. Attending rehearsals, liaise with suppliers and the venue ensuring couples that everything is just as they imagined, running smoothly according to schedule with every last detail checked. With knowledge, expertise and creative flair, they work with clients every step of the way, turning their Wedding Day dreams into reality.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you were the person that will create your own marriage dress on your big day? Naturally it would be. The reason is because you get the opportunity to make a statement with all the unique touches you add to your wedding dress, such as matching your wedding ring set.
Today, thanks to the advent of technology and easy accessibility to data, more and more brides-to-be are getting into planning their own marriage dresses. Unlike before when information is limited re design and its technicalities, modern brides can have their dream marriage dress created by themselves. Now, they can see their dream marriage dress created before their very own eyes the way they need it to be.
Considerations in coming up with your own marriage dress
If you are the kind of bride who would want to look absolutely unique, then you must find out how to design your own wedding dress. This job might appear frightening at first, but if you wish to do it your own way, you can overcome that “I couldn’t do it” mindset and start working. Read more
These days, the Church isn’t the only place where you can have a marriage. This could be done in the backyard, the beach or the countryside and since such places aren’t that formal, it is only right to wear a casual wedding dress.
But before you start out and buy one, you must consider just how casual are you wanting your wedding dress to be. Glaringly , this has to do with where the marriage will take place and the theme.
Just to offer you an idea, if the marriage will take place during the summer, the ultimate causal wedding dress is a sundress. You have your choice of a halter, thin strap or strapless top. It’s far better to get a skirt that is short rather than long so it does not get dirty from sand or soil when you’re walking down the makeshift aisle. To finish the look, you can even put a hat on rather than covering yourself up with a veil.
As for the material, you must not get an informal marriage dress that is made from brocade, heavy silks or velvet because it is too heavy. You must also only add a few embellishments to the causal wedding dress because it also adds some weight.
The casual wedding dress should be made of flowing fabrics because it drapes well and is less vulnerable to wrinkling. Examples of these include batiste, chiffon, charmeuse, crepe, damask, duchesse satin and illusion nets.
However, if this is occuring in the autumn or fall, this is the time you can consider using heavier material. You will potentially need a wool jacket over the skirt to also help you stay warm. Read more
If you are looking to buy that special someone an engagement ring or a ring to show how much you care you should first be knowledgeable about diamonds. By knowing some basics about diamonds you can make a smart choice which will also fit into your budget. The more you know about diamonds the better you will be at the finding a high quality diamond at a reasonable price. The first thing you should be aware of is what jewelers call the 4 C’s; which are cut, color, clarity and carat weight. These are the things they use to obtain the value of the diamond.
One thing to consider is the brilliance of the diamond depends heavily on its cut. The cut give a diamond the brightness that makes it shine. The diamond cut is on a grading scale which is; Ideal, Very Good, Good and Fair/Poor cuts. The Ideal cut gives maximum brilliance and is more expensive. Very Good cut diamonds let in a lot of the light and have a good deal of brilliance. The Good cut diamond offers quality and beauty for a reasonable price. Fair to Poor cuts only reflect a small portion of light and most reputable jewelers to do not carry this cut.
It is normal for diamonds to contain some type of flaw or inclusions that happened when they were formed in the earth. The clarity of a diamond takes into account the number, size and visibility of the flaws. The less flawed diamond will create more brilliance and therefore are highly prized and pricier. It is possible to find a diamond with some imperfections that still has brilliance and sparkle.
No color is the most desirable in a diamond because it allows the most reflection of light. Jewelers refer to a professional color scale to grade the color of a diamond. The highest rating is the letter “D” for colorless and the color scale goes to Z. Diamonds that are graded J through M may have a very faint hint of yellow in the diamond and look stunning in a gold setting.
The unit of weight a diamond is measured by is called a carat. Large diamonds are higher priced because they are less common than small diamonds. The standard is usually the larger the diamond is, the higher the price will be. Your budget will help determine the size of diamond you will want to choose. If you compare diamonds you will find one that is the size and quality you desire.
When you are looking for diamonds it is in your best interest to look for ones with a Diamond Certificate. The Diamond Certificate will give you all the information about the diamond. It will have the specifications of the 4C’s and also a diagram explaining all aspects of the diamond. If you buy an uncertified diamond you are not going to know exactly what you’re getting. The Diamond Certificate is like a blue print on the diamond and will have all the properties listed. An appraisal is not the same as a certificate; an appraisal gives the approximate retail replacement value of the diamond.
A diamond engagement ring can be a substantial investment and you should choose carefully and wisely. If you use the information provided you will be able to make a knowledgeable decision. By being informed you will be able to get the best quality diamond that will fit within your budget.
- The Perfect Wedding Bands (weddingsetups.com)
- Adding Sparkle to your Wedding Attire.. (weddingsetups.com)
- Tips for Selling Your Old Gold Jewelry (lawrencereaves.com)
- The Perfect Diamond Engagement Rings – Stones In Diamond Rings (thediamondringreview.com)
HAPPY FEET: THE BEAUTY OF FLIP-FLOPS
There was a time when flip-flops would be viewed with derision, because they were considered as casual, items of footwear that could just be worn to suitably informal locations such as the beach or garden parties, at best. Many of you may still recall the commotion that was kicked up when a few members of the North-western Women’s Lacrosse team appeared at an official White House reception in thong sandals when critics derisively called them ‘flip-flops’. Now, that was only as 2005, but the humble flip-flop has come a long way since then. This writing and associated ones that follow will show how flip-flops are not just acceptable, but favored attire for all kinds of formal occasions, including weddings. Read more