Make Writing Your Wedding Thank You Notes Easy as 1-2-3!

June 4, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Wedding Planning

Every bride is touched by wedding or bridal shower gifts. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to see just how many family members, friends and loved ones care enough to give you something special. And then a bride realizes that she must send thank you notes to each person. For some brides this can be 75 to up to 400 thank you notes! This is a lot of thank you notes to write for any single person to do.

But thank you notes should be written and they are an important bridal task to be accomplished. Bridal etiquette says that you actually have a full year to write your thank you notes – but we’d like to think you get them in the mail a bit earlier than that! What brides need is a bit of a system for writing their thank you notes. Try some of our tips to writing your thank you notes and you’ll be writing them as easy as 1-2-3!

Set aside certain times to write thank you notes. Schedule an hour or half hour each week to write your thank you notes. Having a certain time to do this is very useful. Knowing you will do it during this time takes a lot of stress off of you and you’ll know you will get a lot done. Many brides admit they multi-task and write thank you notes while watching television or getting other things done. You could write them on your lunch hour at work if this was convenient for you.

Consider setting a goal to write a certain number of thank you notes each day or time period. This is especially ideal if you are pushing yourself to write these thank you notes and get this task done. Knowing that you need to write at least 10 thank you notes will help you work hard to write them. You’ll get at least 10 completed, if not more.

Take notes as you unwrap gifts of who gives you what. This is an important bridal tip many brides have used for years. To remember their great aunt gave them candlesticks or their old college roommate gave them an espresso maker. Using these notes can help you write personalized thank you notes.

The best thank you note is thoughtful and to the point. A thank you note doesn’t have to be long, it simply needs to be thoughtful. Thank the person or couple for their gift and say how much you’ll enjoy it. If they came to the wedding thank them for coming and that you enjoyed seeing them there and hope they had a good time.

Get your stamps and thank you note supplies all together in one place. A savvy bride knows to stay organized with her thank you note writing she’ll need to keep her thank you note supplies all in one place. Get plenty of stamps, a good pen and lots of thank you notes. You don’t need to be ready to write thank you notes and not have what you need available to you. Keep it all in a box or bag, right on hand.

Have a list or file of thank you notes to write. Cross of the names as you go. This will keep you from writing two thank you notes to the same person. It’s an easy mistake to make, but any bride wants to avoid this.

See! These thank you notes for brides can be as easy as 1-2-3! Happy writing!

Niagara Falls – Taking the Plunge

When it comes to celebrating the love and commitment you share with your partner, you want to go big. Everything the two of you share is so spectacular that it only makes sense to get married at one of the most majestic locations on earth: Niagara Falls, Ontario.

It’s an historic place for romance. The daughter of the third United States President, Aaron Burr, honeymooned there in the early 1800’s, as did Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother. People still flock there today to pledge their love.

Honeymoon Capital of the World

Niagara Falls has been a popular destination for wedding ceremonies and honeymoons for hundreds of years, leading to its fame as the “Honeymoon Capital of the World.” Perhaps it’s the beautiful spring weather or the rainbows that dance in the mist of the falls. Something about the beauty of the location puts its seal on forever.

Fallsview Weddings

Many couples that get married in Niagara Falls want one thing, to wed somewhere overlooking the falls. The Tower Hotel features a wedding chapel on the 25th floor, where the special couple and guests can take in the awe-inspiring sight. During the day or night, both the Canadian and American sides of the falls can be viewed from this chapel. It’s a match made in Heaven, a perfect place for your wedding, since you’ll already be floating on air.

Fallsview

Niagara-on-the-Lake

In this quaint town just outside of Niagara Falls, you can say your vows in an historic church or a romantic vineyard. Many of the hotels feature spas for a before-the-event pampering session. Cozy inns will enchant you and your guests and the friendly town is colorful and full of life. In the spring, the smell of flowers fills the air.


Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens

Couples who want to celebrate their special day surrounded by nature can take advantage of the botanical gardens’ lush greenery. The secluded wedding arbor provides an intimate ambiance, and the hidden willow pond will make you feel as though you just stepped out of a fairy tale. The reception can be held in the Butterfly Conservatory Terrace for a unique experience. Or get as close as you can to the falls without getting wet in the Elements on the Falls Restaurant.

Maid of the Mist
Maid of the Mist

Thrill-seekers can seal the deal on the Maid of the Mist boat tour. This is the closest you can get to the falls, but be careful about getting some water on your wedding gown. The roar of the water and the phenomenal view from below the falls will take your breath away.

A Winter Wonderland

If you’re not worried about getting cold feet, get married at Niagara Falls in the winter. During the colder months, an ice bridge forms from one side of the river to the other, and the snowy backdrop is striking. Snuggle up to your love after dark when multi-hued lights illuminate the falls. The transformation of the icy panorama to a rainbow-colored fantasy world is absolutely stunning.
You don’t have to go over the edge in a barrel to take the plunge at Niagara Falls. The thundering cascade is every bit as extraordinary as your wedding will be. Fireworks reflect off the mist many nights during the year; perhaps they will explode over your special night. Whether you celebrate the moment overlooking the falls or in a picturesque nearby village, your wedding party will share the event of a lifetime.

Gina Hamilton is an insurance consultant and a resident of London, Ontario. She also contributes content for Kanetix, a full-service insurance company; including home, business, vehicle, travel and health (including visitors to Canada).

The Difference Between a Wedding and a Marriage

Article provided by Lipgloss Culture – We are genuine, bold, open-minded, curious, adventurous and not afraid to tell it like it is. We live busy lives, have diverse interests, and are always trying new things. We count on our girlfriends for support and advice. Our motto is to work smart, play hearty, and look good while we’re at it!

There are millions of women around the world who yearn to one day have a beautiful wedding. They eagerly want to find “Mr. Right” and be whisked away in his arms and into happily ever after. From dating often; searching on the internet and even going on television shows to fight for their Prince Charming, many women long to hear their very own wedding bells. However, it seems that in today’s society, many women who are so committed to getting married do not comprehend the difference between a wedding and a marriage. Many women and men as well are so fixated with the fantasy of an extravagant wedding that they don’t give much thought to life after the wedding ends and the reception hall closes.

More people need to realize that a wedding is just a ceremony where the “I do’s” take place whereas a marriage is the lifelong partnership between 2 people. A wedding is merely a show that tells the public that a union has been made between 2 people. All shows must end and in this case, when the wedding ends, the marriage comes into play. By understanding the difference between the 2, many more women and men, might begin the think longer and harder about rushing into a marriage. It is something that should not be taken lightly and should be given much thought because after the dream of a fabulous wedding is over, reality begins to knock at the door, just waiting to enter.

In the United States, about 50% of marriages end in a divorce. According to studiesoflove.com, the first 2 years of a marriage are the most crucial. This discovery is an astonishing one being that in the first 2 years of marriage, the “honeymoon” phase should still be in effect. Many believe that the first few years of a marriage should be a great time for a couple because the couple should be enjoying their new lives together as the first time as man and wife. Unfortunately, this belief is not as true as previously thought. How is that?  Why are the first 2 years of a union between 2 people who are suppose to be happily and madly in love so difficult so early in their marriage? That’s just it. The newlyweds are finally in a MARRIAGE. The fun of the wedding is dead. The food, family, friends, laughter, music, decorations, elegant dresses and sophisticated tuxedos are a thing of the past and reality has struck. With the end of the wedding and the beginning of the marriage, many couples begin to realize that they were so in love with the idea of an amazing wedding that they never gave much thought about live after. These couples finally see that they might not actually know or even love their spouse as much as they thought because only desire of a glamorous wedding was what really mattered to them at the time.

Moreover, according to divorce statistics.org, 45%-50% of first marriages end in divorce, 60%-67% of second marriages end in divorce and 70-73% of marriages end in divorce. As you can see, the more marriages that occur between people, the higher their risk of divorcing. One thought for the reason for these statistics are, is because as some people who have been previously married decided to get married again…and again, the thought of love and commitment to their new spouse becomes less and less important. Love and commitment for their new partner are not top priorities anymore. But wait, weddings still are great! The show of your huge diamond ring and your insanely expensive dress and the most beautiful reception that your guests ever saw will definitely leave them in awe. Your already married friends will surely eat their hearts out when they see how much better your wedding is to theirs. This sadly is the thought that millions of soon to be married people, especially women think when they are planning their weddings. With the constant images of how incredible your wedding could possibly be, who has time to think about true love, commitment and the rest their lives with their soul mate? Clearly not many.

How to Throw a Green Wedding Shower

April 8, 2014 by  
Filed under Bridal Parties, Featured

Green is chic these days, but it’s not an easy road to travel, especially when we’re too excited by the sound of wedding bells.  Contrary to popular thought, throwing an eco-friendly wedding shower doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.  The following are small changes you can make to standard wedding shower décor, food, and more to make the special day special for the earth, too.

Invitations

  • Buy invitations made with recycled paper and printed with vegetable-based inks. Think Green Printing.
  • Send postcards so you don’t have to waste paper (or money) on envelopes.
  • Alternatively, send e-vites.  With an elegant design, there’s nothing cheesy about them.  For recipients without an email address, give them a good old fashioned phone call.
  • Politely announce that you are throwing an eco-friendly shower.  (This can be tricky.  Try not to make too many specific requests, except for the one below.)
  • Politely ask guests not to wrap their presents with conventional wrapping paper and to instead use napkins, bandanas, clothing, bath or dish towels, and other reusable items.

Location

  • Opt for a room with lots of windows so you can cut down on the electricity bill.  Sunlight is more flattering than fluorescent lighting, anyway.  Alternatively, have the party on a grassy lawn.
  • If it rains on the day (grumble, grumble), just use CFLs, compact fluorescent lights, which come in a variety of shades and styles to suit your needs while eating up less energy than incandescent bulbs.

Food, Drink, and Utensils

  • Two words: farmers’ market.
  • Talk to local growers and discuss what sort of shindig you’re planning.  They’ll be happy to help you with their tried-and-true recipes, organic and fresh flowers, and maybe local wine.
  • If you’re already buddy-buddy with the vendors, they might offer you a discount (but try to resist pushing for one; farmers have it rough these days).
  • For dishes and utensils, avoid plastic and paper, even if it’s recycled.  The best way to go is by using your own dishes.
  • Consignment shops and thrift stores will also have nice dishware and silverware for cheaper prices than many other stores.  (Best of all, you won’t be consuming so much as re-using, making your carbon-footprint smaller.)  Bring the shower into the kitchen when it’s time to clean up instead of throwing plates away.
  • Use real napkins instead of paper ones.  Keep them for yourself or wash and present them to the bride.

Décor

  • Potted plants like succulents and flowers in terra cotta pots make great centerpieces.  Try to get your plants from the farmers’ market.  Columbia is today the dominant producer of American cut flowers.  That’s a lot of CO2 for a few roses.
  • Soy wax candles burn cleaner and longer than conventional candles.  Make sure the wick is lead-free.
  • Instead of streamers and balloons, strategically place potted bamboo shoots or even dried stalks in tall vases for an eco-chic feel.
  • Sprinkle the tables with flower petals, seeds, or pretty leaves instead of confetti.

Favors and Gifts Ideas

  • Organic, fairly traded chocolate
  • Homemade and naturally scented soaps (if you’re just not the DIY type, look for a local soap maker on Etsy)
  • Organic and cruelty-free beauty products
  • Reusable tote bags
  • Bamboo kitchen items like cutting boards, spatulas, bowls, and dish towels
  • Indoor composters (try the Bokashi bin)
  • Cotton or hemp shower curtains

Bio: Alexis Bonari is currently a resident blogger at College Scholarships, where recently she’s been researching federal student loan consolidation as well as teaching MA scholarships. Whenever this WAHM gets some free time she enjoys doing yoga, cooking with the freshest organic in-season fare, and practicing the art of coupon clipping.

Tip on Choosing a Wedding Reception Hall

wedding-reception-hallPlanning a wedding and all that goes into it can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. If you want a traditional wedding you can still keep it simple and less stressful. The key to planning any type of wedding is to be organized. The more people involved in the decisions the more chaotic it will be.

The wedding reception is usually one of the most memorable parts of the wedding.  This is why it’s important that the location and atmosphere of your reception reflect your personality and style.  In deciding on picking a reception place you need to consider how large a reception it’s going to be and your budget restrictions.

Wedding receptions can be held almost anywhere, including hotels, country clubs, and historic buildings with banquet halls.  There are also the options of private gardens, restaurants or some type of outdoor space.  Words of caution, if you are planning something outdoors make sure you check out the weather for that time of year. You should also have a plan in case it does rain. You can be creative with where you have your reception.

Getting the place for your wedding reception is one of the first things you should do after you have set the date. Many places are booked up to a year in advance.  You should always shop around.  The time of year and the place you choose could affect the price dramatically.  You can look for reception halls in your phonebook or search on the Internet for wedding reception halls.  This way you can find out information such as, how large a place is and how many people it will hold. You can look at menu listings and pricing information.

This way you can make a list of ones that you are considering and cross off others that are either too small are not in your budget. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, you can call and set up a time to visit the different places. Make sure that you bring along  a notebook to write down all the information so you can refer to your notes later.

While you are look at the reception halls you can ask about the availability of the place during your wedding date.  When you think you have found the right place make sure you consider whether it is within your  price range. You should be certain that the price you are quoted includes the dinner for the number people you estimate.  Make sure you consider whether the wedding reception hall will adequately fit the number of guests you will be having.

Other information to find out is whether the reception hall requires you to work with their kitchen or with only certain caterers. Make sure you ask if the wedding reception hall charges for the room as well as the food.  There can be many hidden costs so make sure you ask lots of questions such as is there a cake cutting charge.  You also want to ask about any restrictions on how you can decorate the wedding reception hall.

When you have narrowed it down and have found the perfect one; you should book it immediately. Wedding reception halls are often booked more than a year in advance and you will want to make sure it will be available on your wedding day.  You will now be able to have the wedding of your dreams plus you’ll have a wonderful reception.

Photo by klaxon

Unique Proposal Ideas

March 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Engaged, Featured

underwater scuba proposal

There are many different unique ways to propose. Here are some ideas to help you to make the day you propose a very special one she will remember for a lifetime.

A creative way would be to E-mail a 3-D animated graphic of a loose diamond with a message that says ,”Will you marry me?”  Be there when she opens the e-mail so you can see her reaction and present her with your ring.

If you both like heights, you can arrange for a private hot air balloon ride. You can ask her to marry you while you are drifting through the clouds.

Another unique idea is if your loved one is a schoolteacher or works in a large office that has an intercom system.  You can get permission to record a message to be played over the intercom. Then you can be there in person to give her the diamond with everyone cheering you on.

If you both are adventurous and are both skilled scuba divers and snorkelers you can arrange a special dive with a few of your friends. You can write your message on the diver’s slate and show her. When she nods her head in agreement, put an inexpensive expandable ring on her finger. Then when you get back to the boat you can present her with the real ring.

You can also do a treasure hunt. You can deliver a letter to her with a bouquet of flowers. Have her follow clues and at the end of the hunt you will be waiting to give her the ring.

Hire a plane to fly a banner with your proposal on it. Then be ready to get down on one knee and propose.

You could hire a magician to entertain you and your girlfriend.  For the last trick at the end of the show you could have the magician magically make a ring box appear.

At a professional sporting event arranged to have your message displayed on the scoreboard, and then present her with the engagement ring.

If you’re going to propose to her on Christmas, you can put the ring in a box and hang it as an ornament on the tree. After all the presents have been open tell her there is one more special gift for her to open.

You can put the ring in several layers of boxes so that each box will fit inside another to make your ring look like it is a big present. Have her unwrap the present and when she finds the ring asked her to marry you.

You can take her away for the weekend to a fancy hotel.  You can decorate the room with rose petals and scented candles. Make a trail with rose petals which leads to the bed. Have the ring sitting on the bed in the middle of a rose petal shaped heart.

No matter what you decide this will be a moment that you both will never forget. This is only the beginning to a bright new future.

Photo by LabLab

Honeymoon Trends for Newlyweds

January 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Wedding Planning

azura-island-mozambique-honeymoons

While traditional weddings and vows are still the most popular there has been an increasing trend for something different. It may be a value for money, adventure or exotic wedding and the travel industry has certainly benefited from the change.

According to recent surveys the average cost of honeymoon is $1,402 per person. This compares to the average of $421 per person for a “normal vacation”. Those aged 18 to 24  spend the most at about nearly $2,000 per person. Over one third spend in excess of $2,500. The U.S census records state that 2.5 million people get married annually and it is easy to see why newly-weds are a force in the market.

The following gives some examples of honeymoons taking place today.

The All-Inclusive Honeymoon

Although Jamaica was responsible for starting the trend of all inclusive packages this has spread and practically every Caribbean destination offers these facilities. All-inclusive make it less stressful. Everything is taken care of from the flights, hotel, food, drinks, tips and other items.

For those that wish to get married at the resort the price of the minister or officiant’s fee, the cake and the marriage license will be included.

In many instances all the guests will also be included.

European Destinations

The United Kingdom is the most popular European destination followed by France and Germany according to the North American Association of Tour Agents.

Additional more honeymooners are traveling to less traditional places such as Malta, Turkey or Portugal. With the opening up of the eastern Europe places such as Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland are also seeing an increase in honeymoon couples.

Mexico and Canada

The devaluation of the currencies in Canada and Mexico has increased the popularity of these countries as honeymoon destinations.

Mexico offers sun, sand and surf with everything the Caribbean islands has to offer, but Canada is surprisingly more popular.  Couples looking for a white honeymoon find it in ski areas such as Banff, Whistler, and Jasper, and those seeking big city culture seek out cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

It is considered that a persons’ money can go up to 40% further in Canada. The other interest in Canada is the fact that they can experience France without going having to take the time and spend the money necessary to actually go there.

Staying Close to Home

Despite the growing attraction of traveling abroad for a honeymoon the largest percentage still remain with the U.S. It does of course make a great deal of sense since the size of the country ensures that most types of honeymoon can be catered for.

The most popular city destinations are Las Vegas, Orlando, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco

The quick trip is also increasing in popularity. Lifestyles today are very different and peoples’  needs have changed. More and more time is spent working and in many instances couples already have children, either because of a previous marriage or started a family prior to deciding to get married. Taking a long vacation is not practical when there is a family to look after.

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Do-It-Yourself Wedding Invitations Save Money

January 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Wedding Invitations, Wedding Planning

3130604838_49f5759834_oYour wedding invitations are crucial. They create your wedding’s first impression to family and friends and set the tone for the festivities to come. They should reflect your wedding’s theme and level of formality. Ideally, they impress and intrigue, and kept in a scrapbook or album can continue to do so for many years.

Start at your local craft store. You’ll find tons of ways to express your chosen colors and motifs. Wedding invitation kits are widely available and will save you the time of buying components separately. If you wish to choose your own elements, check out the specialty paper selection – elegant invitation papers include vellum, linen paper, mulberry paper, and parchment. For card-style invitations, pick a heavy weight paper like cardstock for the outside card and a thin paper in a complementary color for your inserts. Be sure that whatever you plan to print on will work with your printer’s ink type and fit in the feed tray. Buy more than enough sheets to complete your project, inevitably you’ll have to trash a few. And don’t forget the envelopes! Read more

Choosing a Wedding Caterer Checklist

January 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Wedding Caterers, Wedding Planning

wedding-catererFor any couple planning a wedding, a long list of factors comes into play from invitations, music, and even alcohol consumption at the reception. Of course, while the wedding should be a time of vibrancy and life, it is also a time of responsibility, especially when alcohol will be served. The key is providing the right amount of alcohol so guests can enjoy a drink or two but without going so far that drinking becomes a potential problem. One of the best ways to ensure your reception is perfect would be working with a reputable caterer.

Whether you are planning a fancy sit-down dinner or just appetizers, finding the right caterer is essential to a wonderful reception. But where do you find one if you have never thrown a catered party before? There are several places you can look to find caterers in your area. Read more

Finding Right Wedding Photographer

Wedding PhotographerYou have spent a lot of time and money planning your special day. You have taken great pride in the kind of wedding you are going to have. One thing you will want is your special day recorded for all time.

Pictures of your wedding and reception are something you will treasure for the rest of your life. You want someone taking those pictures who know what they are doing, and how to get the memorable shots.

Professional vs a Friend?

Most brides and grooms face this decision. They have a friend who loves to take pictures as a hobby and offers to take their wedding pictures as a gift. Saving money is something everyone wants to do, but there are some places you shouldn’t scrimp on. Your wedding photographs are one of those things. Unless your friend has a job as a photographer, hiring a professional is the best choice. Professionals will have the best equipment and have the knowledge to get the right shots. Read more

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