Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wedding Etiquette Q & A

If you have any questions regarding etiquette or wedding procedures, feel free to ask me. I would love to help answer any questions you have!

Can women wear white to a wedding?
From Ms. Etiquette herself:
“In the past, no female guest would dare to wear white—the bride’s traditional color.  Today, that rule is no longer in effect, and you may wear white, with caution.  Whatever the shade of white, the outfit should in no way distract from the bride’s or her attendants’ dresses.  A creamy white, street-length sheath or tailored silk suit might be just fine, but not a full-skirted, white evening gown.  If you have any qualms, wear another color.” - read the comments in the feed too, very interesting!

So what are escort cards?
They are cards that are used to inform your guests of their assigned table where place cards are to let your guests know of their assigned seat at that table.
The wording that you would use on each card is the guests' name and then table number 1 (or the table to which they have been assigned). The way that you would address the cards would be
Adam Scott - the full name of your single guest
Dr & Mrs. Oliver Williams - for a married couple
Amanda Jameson & Guest - if an invitee has brought with them a guest whose name you do not know 

What music should we choose?

So many great music ideas on this blog http://www.soundtracktoido.com/?p=4222
This is also a great idea!! During the Mother/Son dance, the first verse and chorus are danced as a solo for the Groom and the Mother of the Groom. Then the Master of Ceremonies opens the dance floor up to ALL mothers and sons to join in the dancing. This is a nice opportunity for fab photos and lasting memories – I would encourage you to give it a shot at your reception.

Help me with wedding invitation etiquette:
Who is doing the inviting? 
Is it your parents on your behalf, or is it you with your parents, or is it just you? 
Are you “requesting the honor” of your guests’ presence, or are you “tying the knot,” “please join us”? 
Amidst all the prettiness, figuring this stuff out can be a rather difficult task. Plus, in this day and age, we don’t keep address books anymore when I can contact everyone on Facebook, Twitter, email, text, mobile phone, home phone, etc.
Luckily, zillions of brides have the same challenge, so here are some excellent resources to help you nail down your wording!

Usually after doing a little research, you’ll find some combination of options that will solve most of your problems.  And of course, if you have a wedding planner or invitation designer, they’ll be able to help too.

Other great resource boards for all your wedding invitation wording and etiquette: 

Invitations set the tone for your wedding-formal, casual, creative, etc.
Wedding program:
Wedding party member’s names (and their relationship to you two)
A list of the ceremony’s traditions
Names of musical selections and musicians-and relationship if related
Titles of the readings and names of the readers
Honor the memory of lost relative if needed
Thank your parents and grandparents if needed
Save the dates: mail out as soon as you have your wedding date and location booked-include wedding website, but DO NOT put wedding website on formal invitations and DO NOT put the registry on your formal invitations, include them in an enclosure or if you have a website the registry can go there too

How many should I order?
Save the dates: guest list including wedding party + 25 extra
Total invitations: guest list including wedding party + 25 extra
Total envelopes: guest list including wedding party + 50-100 extra
RSVP cards: set up rsvps to your wedding website or have guests reply by phone. You could also have the rsvp be a postcard to save on cost and postage
Directions and Accommodations on website or send out an email
Wedding program: total rsvp + 30 extra
Place cards: total rsvp + 30 extra
Thank you cards: more than guest lists since you could you then for pre-wedding parties

Expect 15-20% to not be able to attend
**Always take one set to the post office to see what the postage will be.** 

After much debate and searching the internet regarding when to send out the rehearsal invitations these are my thoughts. If you are planning on inviting everyone to the dinner and you plan on designing the invitations for the rehearsal in the same manner, style, design, formal manner as the wedding invitations, then I would include them in with your wedding invitations, plus this saves on paper and cost for postage. But if you plan to have more a fun less formal style for the rehearsal invitations and you do not plan to invite everyone to the dinner then send them out after the formal wedding invitations.

http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/when-do-i-send-out-rehearsal-dinner-invitations
MightySapphire says: Definitely send them together...in the same envelope if that's possible!

http://www.herecomestheguide.com/wedding-party-ideas/detail/rehearsal-dinner-etiquette/
When do the rehearsal dinner invitations go out?
“Four weeks before the event and, of course, after the wedding invitation,” says Michelle Martin of Out of the Envelope. “And never put the rehearsal dinner invite in with the wedding invite!” she warns. “Remember, even though rehearsal dinners are a part of the wedding festivities, they really are two separate events. Formal invitations are perfectly elegant for weddings, but feel free to express your creative selves with color and thematic elements for the rehearsal dinner invites.”

http://www.party411.com/rehearsal-dinner.html
You will want to send out invitations for the rehearsal dinner (and other weekend events) shortly after mailing the wedding invitation.  Your wedding invitation will most likely be formal, so your rehearsal dinner invitation should be fun!

http://www.rehearsaldinnerguide.com/faq.php
If your wedding invitations are mailed 8 weeks out, the rehearsal dinner invitations should follow approximately 2-3 weeks after the wedding invitations hit the mail. Always include an RSVP date so that your guest count is exact.


Here are a few things to remember while you’re planning your wedding expenses, timeline, and ordering:
Programs.  A lot of people are going with writing it on a chalkboard or window or something clever like that, but traditional programs are still quite common and it’s a beautiful way to recognize family members.  Things you would potentially include would be the wedding party, the order of the ceremonies, music, a memorial type section for friends & family who can’t be there, a “thank you” to friends and family, and perhaps reception information or directions.

Menus.  Again, the large sign thing is popular, but if you’re having a seated dinner, it can be a really pretty part of the place setting to design a nice menu that goes with it.

Food signs.  Especially if you’re not doing a seated dinner, it’s a nice idea to design food signs that coordinate with your wedding suite to tell people what you’re feeding them.

Place cards & escort cards OR a seating chart.  Sometimes this is an issue and sometimes it’s not.  If you care about where people are sitting, you’re going to need to let them know that, and that is definitely going to involve your stationer!  You could do a large seating chart and placecards, seating chart & no placecards, escort cards & place cards, etc.  This is going to depend a lot on the formality of your event.  But either way, it’s a detail that’ it’s good to have determined HOW you’re going to do it well in advance of the wedding.  You will probably be changing it up to the wedding date so your stationer will need to be very well prepared to get it completed in a short amount of time.

Thank you notes.  You’ll want to get thank you notes out pretty quickly, and it’s always nice to have ones with your new name on it that coordinate with your wedding suite!  Of course it’s not as much of a “day of” item, but it is good etiquette to get those thank you notes in the mail rather quickly.

Signs.  You may need directional signs for your venue or parking or the guestbook or any number of items.  Make a good list of that well ahead of time as you may want to print some larger than a stationer does normally, so they may  need to order different paper or outsource it.

Guestbook.  If you don’t go the traditional route and you want more of a series of cards or something custom, make sure you plan it in advance!

Favor tags.  If you want to personalize your favors, check with your stationer to see if they can do that for you.  You’ll probably want to have that further before the wedding so you can actually tie / stick them on!

How much time do we have to send out thank you notes for our wedding gifts?
Wedding gifts thank-yous should be sent out within three months of the wedding date, so be sure to acknowledge immediately to any presents you received before then. Be sure to put the pen and paper soon after you return from the honeymoon, share the writing duties and you'll have your thank you notes out in no time. (Diane Forden, Editor in Chief of Bridal Guide)

Sample Wording for Wedding Thank You Cards
Make Writing Thank You Cards Easy By Following These Examples
When writing wedding thank you cards, it's easy to get stumped on what to say, particularly when you don't know the person well, or when you just don't like the wedding gift. Make it easy on yourself by following these samples.

With all of these examples, use the more formal greeting "Dear Mr. Smith" or the more casual greeting "Dear John depending on how well you know them. You can also adapt the closing accordingly, e.g. "Sincerely," "With love," "Best Wishes," and the like.

A thank you card to a close friend or relative:
Dear Aunt Ann and Uncle Joe,
Thank you so much for the gorgeous lace tablecloth! It is beautiful and
we were both incredibly touched that you gave us this family heirloom. It was wonderful, as always, to see you at the wedding – I especially loved jitterbugging with Uncle Joe. I can’t wait to catch up  on your news and tell you all about the honeymoon and newly married life.
With love,
Christine

A thank you card to someone you don’t know very well
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Johnson,
Thank you for the beautiful vase that you sent Christine and me as a wedding present. I know we will enjoy it for many years to come. It was wonderful to finally get to meet you at the wedding. We really appreciate that you were able to witness such a happy day for us and our families.
Sincerely yours,
Todd Markham

A thank you card when you’ve received cash or a gift certificate
Use the thank you card to tell the givers how you used it. For example:
Dear Terry and Vicky,
Todd and I wanted to thank you greatly for the check you sent for a wedding gift. We are saving to buy a new car, and your gift will help us reach our goal. We can’t wait to take you for a spin around the neighborhood.
Best wishes,
Christine Markham

A thank you card for an item off of your registry
Dear Jack,
I am writing to thank you for the place setting of china that you so kindly sent for a wedding gift. Todd and I now have a service for eight. I’m sure we’ll use it for years to come. Wedding china is such a thoughtful gift and an instant family heirloom.
Thanks again,
Christine Markham

A thank you card for a donation to a charity
Dear Alice,
Thank you for your thoughtful wedding gift to the ASPCA in our names. As you know, this charity is very dear to both Todd and I; they do such wonderful work for all of the animals in our area, as well as across the country. We can’t imagine a more wonderful present than a donation to such a cause.
With best wishes,
Christine Markham

A thank you card when you don’t like the gift
Dear Mrs. Goreham,
Thank you for the wedding present of the velvet painting of dogs playing poker. It is certainly a unique gift; you are always so thoughtful and generous. It was so nice of you to join us at our wedding, and Christine and I hope to see you soon.
With love,
Todd Markham

A thank you card for someone who sent a gift but wasn’t at the wedding
Dear Mr. Jacobs,
Thank you so much for the gold-plated doodad you sent Christine and me as a wedding gift. It was so thoughtful of you! I’m so sorry that you couldn’t attend the wedding – it was romantic and went just as planned. I’d love to get together soon so you can see the pictures!
Best,
Todd Markham  

We sent our our invitations  and our "RSVP by" date is approaching soon, and we've only received 10 RSVP cards back out of about the 50 invitations we sent out. Around the time of our RSVP date, we need to give our caterer the final head count so they know how much food to prepare. What should I do?
The witty long answer: Yes, the polite thing to do is send in an RSVP.  And no, you shouldn't have to chase these people down or beg for a response.  But, unfortunately, that's what you're going to have to do.  The problem is that, despite what I said previously, most people really do mean to RSVP.  However, if you have 100 guests, you can bet that about 9 of them will lose the RSVP card, 7 will be unsure if they can come at all, 4 will think they already sent the card, 6 will have told your mom/partner/father-in-law that they're coming and assume that counts as an RSVP, and 3 of them will have lost the invitation altogether.  And every single one of those people will be apologetic and swear they ALWAYS send in their RSVPs.

Because of your loveable scatter-brained guests, you're going to have to make some phone calls or send some emails.  Sure, it's irritating, but what's the alternative?  Stress and freak-out about the guest list until the day of?  Pay for an extra 16 pounds of mashed potatoes for guests who aren't coming?  Put aside a hour or two, send a mess of emails to friends, make some phone calls to relatives and maybe another family member will help step in to help with going thru the list and calling. Plus to save on deadline stress make sure to make your RSVP deadline 1-2 weeks before you actually need them.

If you're still worried, talk to your caterer.  They may swear that they need an exact head count for your event, but they've been in the business a while.  Your caterer knows that mishaps happen and they will have a few extra plates available for inevitable eventualities (and reality check: you might end up paying for a few people that don't show.  You will probably want to light them on fire, but you will also live through it.).  Of course, your caterer is not going to tell you this because they want your count to be as accurate as possible.  But ask them what they do about extra guests who show up; they'll be able to reassure you a little and you can breathe easier and put your megaphone down.

But before you do ANY of that, wait a bit and cut your guests some slack.  If you sent your invitations at least nine weeks beforehand and while that's plenty of time for your guests to make travel arrangements, that's also plenty of time for them to forget they have a response to send in.  I have a feeling that you'll get a mess of RSVPs back either the day of your deadline or a few days later.  

And finally, a pro-tip.  For those of you who haven't yet sent your RSVP cards out, NUMBER THEM, and give corresponding numbers to your guest list.  You will be shocked by the number of people who send an RSVP card just marked "yes" without any hint as to who the hell is responding.  You can thank us for the numbering system later, after you've made note of which of your friends and relatives struggle with, well, logic. ****Amazing idea!****

11 Sample Words of Congratulations Messages
  • May your love bloom brighter and your companionship grow sweeter with each passing year. Congratulations on you wedding.
  • Wishing both of you a world of happiness and joy on your wedding day.
  • May your marriage be filled with all the right ingredients: a heap of love, a dash of humor, a touch of romance, and a spoonful of understanding. May your joy last forever. Congratulations!'
  • Your wedding day may come and go, but may your love forever grow. Congratulations to the perfect couple!
  • Congratulations to a beautiful couple. Wishing you a wonderful journey as you build your new life together.
  • Wishing you both the happily ever after you deserve. Congratulations on your wedding day!
  • Through the storms of life, may your love for one another be steadfast and strong. Wishing you joy and happiness on your wedding day. Congratulations!
  • Just a note to say how happy we are for you. Wishing you a lifetime of the greatest joy, love, and happiness. Congratulations to a wonderful couple!
  • Words are just not quite enough today/ when your love will light the way/ to a wedding filled with joy never ending/ the warmest wishes are what we are sending.
  • Like a lighthouse on a dark night, may your love for one another always shine brightly. Congratulations on your wedding day.
  • May the years ahead be filled with lasting joy. Congratulations to a couple whose match truly seems made in heaven!

You can also use verses, quotations and poems in your card or letter. You can use quotes alone or with a brief message of your own. The type of words will also depend on your personality as well as your relationship with the couple. While a humorous message might be acceptable for a close friend or family member, steer clear of humor and opt for a simple and genuine message of congratulations for an acquaintance or co-worker.
from  this link and much more great info there!

Bridal Shower and Wedding Registry Tips:
·         Register gifts in all price ranges.
·         1/3 under $50
·         1/3 between $50 and $100
·         1/3 over $100
·         Do not try to decorate your home with your registry.  More than likely you will be moving in a few years as your family grows and careers change. 
·         Write your thank you notes promptly!!! 

Do I have to pay for my bridesmaids to have their hair and makeup done?
No, you aren't expected to pay. Your bridesmaids can take care of their own hair and makeup. Some brides, of course, are able to absorb the fees as a thank you to their attendants, but if your budget is limited, you are certainly not obligated to take on this additional expense. (Diane Forden, Editor in Chief of Bridal Guide)

Should my flower girl, who is very young, sit at the head table with the rest of the wedding party?
Considering how young most flower girls and ring bearers are (usually ages 4-8), they should be seated with their parents. Or if you are planning on having a lot of children at your wedding you may want to have a "kids" table strategically placed near their parents. Also consider a special kids menu, provide crayons, coloring sheets, games, or toys, to keep them happy. (Diane Forden, Editor in Chief of Bridal Guide) Or have a young high school student be designated as the "babysitter" for the night and pay her to help out watching the kids so the parents can have fun. 

It’s important to decide how many portable toilets to rent. If you have too many you are wasting money. If you don’t have enough portable toilets then people are waiting in lines and missing out on the work or fun they should be taking part in, whichever the case may be. The general rule is this. You should have one porta potty for every 50 people for a one day event. If the event goes over night or lasts a couple of days then you should double the number of portapotties you have. Hence, if the event is going to go 24 hours or more then you should have 2 portable toilets for every 50 people.
1 Portable Toilet - 50 People (One Day-8 hours or Less)
2 Portable Toilets- 50 People (More than one day)

Tips are not just words of advice
Though you may think you've accounted for every imaginable wedding expense, there is one fee that might elude you: the tip. Rewarding vendors with a tip is expected, and it will serve as a thank-you for a job well done. But figuring out whom to tip, how much to pay, and when to offer it can be tricky. While some vendors include gratuities in their fees, many will leave the amount up to you -- and the level of service they provide can influence what you give them. Tips can add up quickly, costing you a few thousand dollars. Most tips should be handed out the day of the wedding, so it's wise to assign the job to a friend or family member or your wedding planner.
According to Emily Post, you should plan a gratuity budget for the following:
Valet parking
Coat check
Powder room attendants
Delivery truck drivers
Limousine drivers
Waitstaff
Bartenders
Table captains
Wedding Transportation
Should I tip? Check your contract, because a gratuity is usually included. If it’s not, then one is pretty much expected.
How much? 15-20% of the total bill
When? When the driver picks you up or after the last ride

Officiants - While it isn't necessary to tip priests, ministers, rabbis, or other religious officiants (many of them, in fact, won't accept cash tips), if you want to thank them for their services, consider making a donation to their organization or house of worship.
How much? Approximately $100

Catering Staff - Many caterers include a gratuity in their contract to be divided up among the workers, but be sure to ask. If the gratuity isn't included, plan on tipping all staff members, including the catering or banquet manager, waiters, bartenders, chefs, and other essential workers who help serve guests.
How much? $5 – $10 per person

Musicians/DJs - Tipping customs vary, depending on whether you hire an independent band or deejay or book through an agency. For independent bands that book their own gigs, tipping is not customary. If you employ your band or deejay through an entertainment agency, the company will usually either include a gratuity in the contract or suggest that you give each band member or deejay a little extra in cash. 
How much? $15 – $20 per musician, or 15% of total fee

Stylists/Makeup Artists - Even though it's a particularly special day, you can still tip stylists and makeup artists as you would for a regular appointment.
How much? 15-20%

Photographers, Videographers, Florists and Wedding Planners - For people who own their own businesses, as many of these vendors do, tipping isn't necessary. However, if you feel that the service you received from one of these vendors was extraordinary, an additional 10 percent tip would be a nice gesture. 
How much? 15% of her fee, or a nice gift is always appreciated
When? We recommend sending a thank you note and your check or gift after you return from your honeymoon. Or you can give it with all the other vendor envelopes when you give them before the wedding.

Q.
How does the unity candle work? When is it lit? Can the two sets of parents light it, and then the bride and groom use it to light theirs?
A.
The unity candle is lit by the bride and groom from two separate family candles, representing the union of your families and the fact that you and your fiance are creating a family of your own. Often your mothers light the family candles, and then you two each hold your family's candle to light the unity candle together (it may be a larger candle, or a different color, and it's placed in the center, with the family candles off to your respective families' sides). But your dads can be in on it, too -- a nice option, because it mirrors the commitment you two are making and reminds everyone present of your parents' commitments. Usually the unity candle is lit directly after you exchange vows.

Do you have to give your parents gifts for your wedding?
Giving your parents a gift is not required, but it is a wonderful way to express your gratitude for everything they've done. The timing of presenting your gift is completely up to you. There are no right or wrong ways to do this, just whenever you feel it is best. There are however, four main times when gift exchanges have commonly taken place. Review the possibilities to find which is best for you.
(One of our clients gave the moms a special gift during their wedding ceremony & my husband and I waited to save money and gave them copies of our wedding prints in frames for Christmas & some people give their parents a "parent album" from their photographer)


During Preparations
A gift can be given while shopping for the wedding dress, picking out bridesmaids dresses or while in search of the best dress for the mother of the bride. For the groom, consider presenting your gift while getting fitted for your attire or even on the night of the bachelor party.

Rehersal Dinner
This is the event where most engaged couples choose to give out gifts. Typically a speech is given by the bride or groom about what the parents have done and how they are appreciated, then the gifts are presented. The rehearsal dinner allows the opportunity for an intimate focus on the gift exchange shared with your immediate family and the wedding party.

Wedding Reception
The reception is a time for the bride and groom to be the center of attention and it is not likely to be chosen as a time to hand out gifts. However, if you would like to make a public gesture in giving your parents their gifts, this is the time to do it. Take time out of your reception, to honor your parents and give them with their gifts.

After the Wedding
Waiting until after the wedding may lead to some disappointment as your parents may feel that you forgot about them, or perhaps did not care to express gratitude. However, if you are short on time, and maybe even cash, family will understand and you can still make a special moment out of it by creating an event for your gift giving. Take your parents out to dinner, or somewhere for the weekend and provide them with their gifts.

The Knot Complete Guide to Weddings in the Real World:
-Jewelers of America Organization www.jewelers.org must sign a code of ethics that states they will not sell a blood diamond.
-Pay all deposits with your credit cards that way you’ll have the law on your side if the vendor doesn’t deliver on their promise. C.c. companies are legally required to investigate any claims that a customer has been wrongfully charged
-Consider facing your guests at ceremony and have officiant’s back to guests
-Donate any leftover reception food to a food bank or shelter and flowers to a retirement/nursing home
-Best way to save the top of your wedding cake is buy a freezer-safe plastic container that will fit the top tier and give the container to caterer or reception hall manager before the reception then ask a parent or friend who lives in your area to be in charge of placing the container in their fridge as soon as possible and save for you. Also cover your container with tin foil to help preserve it longer.
-2 weeks before call people on your invite list who have not rsvp
-Calling it off? make sure all vendor contracts are signed and maybe have a cancellation waiver to get at least 50% of any deposits back
-Make your napkin an interesting part of the table décor.
-If you plan to have a wedding around 2pm and will have cake, desserts, drinks and light snacks make sure guests know they will not have a full meal. On the invitations clearly state snacks and cake will be served post-ceremony.
-Fun Rehearsal dinner themes: Honeymoon preview, backyard bbq, wine tasting, beach bash, your heritage, retro style

What’s our style?
Traditional (at a country club, traditional gown and colors)
Modern (in a loft, sleek centerpieces, and a tall modern cake)
Intimate (at home, at a winery, or a restaurant)
Glamorous (totally over-the-top, from the centerpieces to a five-course menu)
Theme (use a favorite city or hobby to inspire all the wedding day details)
Cultural (a black-and-red banquet-style affair for a Chinese wedding)
Beach (a seaside affair with nautical elements and blues and greens)
Destination (in Italy or the Bahamas; a vacation for guests)

Groom & groomsmen style:
- Very Formal/formal daytime: cutaway (morning coat), waistcoat, striped trousers
- Very Formal evening: Black tailcoat or tails
- Formal evening: Tuxedo, or black dinner jacket and matching pants
- Semiformal day: Stroller-cut jacket and pants in dark color
- Semiformal evening: Black dinner jacket and matching pants
- Informal day or evening: sharp business attire, khaki or chino suit, navy blazers and chinos, or navy blazer and white flannels for a Gatsby look.

Recessional after ceremony:
Christian- Bride and Groom, then Flower girls and ring bearer, then Honor attendants (maid/matron of honor and best man), then bridesmaids and groomsmen, then parents

Jewish- Bride and Groom, Bride’s parents, Groom’s parents, then Flower girls and ring bearer, then Honor attendants (maid/matron of honor and best man), then bridesmaids and groomsmen, then Cantor and/or rabbi

After recessional: Receiving line forms, cocktails, champagne is served, if Jewish wedding brides’ father and maybe grandfather do a blessing over the bread and wine, toasts, special dances, eat, dance, bride toss her bouquet, groom toss the garter, bride and groom cut the cake, bride and groom exit


Where does everyone sit at the head table?
Classically, the groom sits to the bride's right and the best man sits to her left. The maid of honor sits to the groom's right. Depending on how large the table is, the other attendants can also be seated near the bride and groom.
(So that when you are looking at their faces it will be Mr & Mrs)
If you are at the table looking at the back of their chairs this could be the order:
Bride’s Mom, Bride’s Dad, Bride, Groom, Groom’s Mom, Groom’s Dad
Family Tables: Often, the parents of the bride and groom sit opposite each other at a large family table, with grandparents, the officiant (only if they are friends with them), and other close friends. An alternative is to have the bride and groom's parents "host" their own tables, consisting of their family members and close friends. In the case of divorced parents, each parent may also host his or her own table, smoothly diffusing any awkwardness or discomfort.

What Not to Post About Your Wedding on Facebook
All-new wedding do's and don'ts for the online bride.
The do's and don'ts for posting wedding info on Facebook.
By: Terri Huggins
Are you the type of person who likes to shout her good news from the mountaintops? Nowadays that mountaintop usually comes in the form of the status update, comment box, Tweet field or group page on your social networking site of choice. Although you might like to share good news when it comes to job offers or scoring that fab pair of shoes, it can cause trouble when your news is about your wedding. Here, the do's and don'ts of social networking to help you avoid any pre-wedding blunders.
>>DO inform family members about your engagement before posting it on Facebook.
We call this rule number one in wedding netiquette! Once you've told your nearest and dearest in person or via phone, there's no harm in posting pictures of the ring or even the actual proposal to share your excitement.
>>DON'T ask friends to be in the wedding party through Facebook.
An invitation to join your bridal party is a statement of how much you value a friend or family member. Rather than take away from what should be a memorable moment, give your gal pal a call. Or better yet, invite her to lunch or for drinks to pop the big question. "We are losing touch with face-to-face communication," says etiquette expert Aimee Symington. "Being a bridesmaid is such a meaningful thing. Talk to your friends in person so that you share the moment and experience."
>>DO make status updates requesting opinions about wedding colors, themes or other ideas.
There is nothing wrong with asking for inspiration, says Jes Gordon, a New York City wedding planner. It may even make wedding planning more fun. However, she advises brides to know when to draw the line. "It's fine to send out a Tweet asking if Tiffany Blue is better than baby blue," she says. "Don't ask what you should include in your vows. That's taking it too far."
>>DON'T post pictures of bridesmaid dresses unless you truly don't mind the opinions of nosy strangers.
Posting shots of bridal attire is tempting fate. According to Gordon, doing so means opening yourself to lots of unwanted "feedback." Who needs that?
>>DO consider creating a wedding webpage as well as a page for the bridal party only.
On the wedding page you can include all sorts of useful information for your guests, such as directions, etc. On the bridal party page, include pictures, ideas, updates, schedules—whatever your attendants will need to discuss among themselves. The page should allow for the bridal party to communicate with each other.
>>DO look through friends' wedding photo albums on Facebook for real-life inspiration.
And have your fiancé join you! It's fun to do this together, and if he hasn't been too interested in wedding planning until now, seeing photos of his friends' weddings just might intrigue him enough to become more involved.
>>DON'T make a Facebook status directing friends to your wedding registry.
We know you're craving that state-of-the-art kitchen gear listed on your registry, but posting a link to it on your profile may come off as tacky and childish. "Though it might sound efficient, I'm afraid it gives the appearance of soliciting gifts," said Yifat Oren, a wedding planner in New York City. "Just remember that if someone wants to send you a gift, they'll figure out where you're registered."
>>DON'T use Facebook to invite guests to the wedding.
Most people ignore invites sent via social networking sites—which is surely the last thing you want to have happen. And with so many amazing choices of invitations available at affordable price points, it makes sense to go the traditional route. However, for your save-the-dates or rehearsal dinner invitations, it's certainly acceptable to send a convenient group message to select people on Facebook.
>>DON'T Tweet for honeymoon ideas before you and your fiancé have discussed your options together. 
Sure, it's fun to get friends' input, but again you should know when to draw the line. Sending a Tweet to 500 followers to ask for dinner and activity suggestions for your first night as a married couple is immature. Plus, you can start to feel somewhat overwhelmed with other people's suggestions, which after all are based on their tastes. "There is nothing wrong with asking other people whether or not Jamaica is a good place for a vacation," says Gordon. "Tweeting for things to do during your honeymoon is carrying it too far." And don't even think about announcing the dates that you'll be gone. Why should everyone know when your house will be empty?
>>DO refrain from putting a wedding ticker on your profile.
Of course, you're wildly excited and counting down the minutes till your wedding day, but not everybody else in the world is. Putting a ticker on Facebook or constantly updating your status may not only be annoying, but hurtful to those on your friend list whom you haven't invited.
THE "DO" LIST
Do utilize LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to locate reliable wedding vendors and deals in your area.
Check out the profiles of wedding planners on LinkedIn for references, and scope out the group pages of wedding pros in your area.
Consider following your favorite wedding pros or venues on Facebook or Twitter for company updates and deals exclusive to their social networking pals. 

Alcohol buying guides
The Green Bride Guide
The amount of alcohol you need at a wedding can vary significantly. Generally speaking, daytime receptions require less alcohol than nighttime events, and younger crowds drink more than older crowds. You know your guest bests, so you will be the best judge of how much and what they are likely to drink. A general rule of thumb is to provide your guests with one drink per person per hour-or four to five drinks per person for an evening affair. If you want to offer a limited bar with wine, beer and champagne, use the rule of five to calculate how many drinks you need.
A bottle of champagne = 6-8 flutes
A bottle of wine=5 glasses
A beer=1 drink
A liter of liquor=18 drinks

Many liquor stores allow you to return unopened beverages, which means you can err on the safe side without penalty. If you are having a full bar, use the following buying guidelines per 100 people:
Beer=2 cases (48 beers)
Champagne= 1.5 cases (18 bottles)
Red wine= 1 case (12 bottles)
White wine=1.5 cases (18 bottles)
Whisky= 1-2 liters
Bourbon=1-2 liters
Gin=2 liters
Scotch=3 liters
Light rum=1 liter
Vodka=6 liters
Tequila=1 liter
Dry vermouth=2 bottles
Sweet vermouth=2bottles

Great resource here! If you want to donate money to a fund for your wedding instead of doing favors, go to this website to see what grade your charity hasFor example, under Environment: Sierra Club Foundation has an A+, So how do they make the grade? "Groups included on the Top-Rated list generally spend 75% or more of their budgets on programs, spend $25 or less to raise $100 in public support, do not hold excessive assets in reserve, and receive "open-book" status for disclosure of basic financial information and documents to CharityWatch." http://www.charitywatch.org/toprated.html
  
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