I hope everyone else’s planning is going well and that you all enjoyed a week filled with family and food!
I FINALLY ordered my invitations and couldn’t be happier with the result! I held off on ordering them for so long because it was the one thing I really didn’t have a clue about. Being a wedding director has its perks for the day-of tasks, but everything that has to be done leading up to the “big day” is a huge mystery to me like everyone else!
Luckily, the company I ordered the invitations through has a wonderful customer service line. I was able to call and speak with a representative who filled out my complicated order form with just the right wording. He even corrected me on having a ceremony at five o’clock in the “afternoon” instead of “evening!” Just to have peace of mind, I ordered proofs to be sent to my email for review.
Once I finalized my order, I received the invitations about four business days later. A couple of chick flicks, and tons of junk food later, my sister and I had all of the invitations set to be addressed and mailed!
Be sure when preparing to send your invitations to take one by your local post office to have it weighed. Most invitations will require extra postage, and the last thing you want to do is send out invitations only to receive them back a day later! While you’re at the post office, remember to buy postage for your response card envelopes (remember to make it easy for your guests to send a response to you!).
I’m cutting it a little close, but I am glad to have the weight of invitations almost off my shoulders!
I hope everyone had a fabulous (and filling!) Thanksgiving week! We’ll see if I still fit in my dress at my first fitting after a few slices of my mom’s scrumptious pumpkin pie!
I hope you are gearing up for a fun weekend outside in this GORGEOUS weather! Today I want to share with you some tips for creating your wedding registry. It was much more time consuming and stressful than I thought it would be!
1. Make a list of stores you want to visit beforehand. Compare what they can offer you!
Many stores will offer incentive programs to brides and grooms so that they earn extra rewards after the wedding is over. I opened a Macy’s credit card when starting my registry because they offer 5% in rewards to couples after the wedding date, in addition to 10% off all items purchased to complete their registry. 5% didn’t seem like that much to me at first, but our consultant said her daughter had about 85 people at her wedding, and had almost $400 in rewards built up!
2. Think about the style you want to show with your registry.
Sure that light blue ceramic cake stand is cute, but does it match everything else you are registering for? Think about colors, shapes and styles before you make your registry. And girls, make sure to talk to your fiance BEFORE you register for floral printed dishware! My fiance, Trey didn’t want to go begin a registry with me and my mom, but we decided beforehand that I could pick a more feminine china pattern, but he could do something modern and edgy for the everyday dishware.
The fine china pattern and stemware I picked! I love that Macy's offers a station to set everything up and see what it will look like as a place setting!
Can you tell a boy picked this? Just kidding! I really like Trey's much darker casual dining options.
3. Think Basics. What will you use the most?
Do you really need the $300 single cup coffee maker? Think realistically when you create your registry. Sure, it’s a great time to sign up for some big ticket items that a couple sets of aunts and uncles can purchase as a team, but think about what you really need and use in your daily routine. My mom and I joked about how one of the most useful things from her registry was a $35 handheld beater for mashed potatoes and cookie dough!
4. No matter how much preparation you do, you are in for a long day!
I thought I had enough preparation by taking a look at the checklists stores give you beforehand and looking at china patterns online. Oh, how wrong I was! My mom and I spent 5 HOURS in Macy’s alone on Tuesday. Sure, we took a half hour Starbucks break, but it was a physically and emotionally draining day! Luckily, our consultant was very patient, helpful and understanding, which made it so much easier for my mom and I to enjoy the process!
So my end advice for making your registry: think ahead, be practical in selections, and take your time! Bring your fiance, family member or close friend for support, and HAVE FUN! (Hard not to with those awesome scan guns!)
I hope your planning is coming along splendidly! I absolutely LOVE the gardens at Carl House! There are so many different areas that guests can utilize for their wedding and reception, or any other event for that matter. The gazebo and benches placed throughout the property give a sense of home that I have not experienced at any other venue I’ve seen. I love that I am getting married in the grand ballroom, but wish I could have another ceremony in the spring outside too! Take a tour of the gardens at Carl House with BB below!
Ordering invitations can be quite a complicated process for brides. When you think about it, we’ve been accustomed to just picking up invitations and envelopes for social events at our local Target or Hallmark store. It has always been assembled for us until now. When it comes time to order invitations for a wedding, there is often confusion over what to include on an invitation, how to word it, and if a reception, RSVP, and accommodation card is really necessary to purchase. I made a quick video to help explain what each part of an invitation is to help y’all figure out what you should and should not include for your wedding. Enjoy!
I got to thinking today about whether I had ordered all my wedding accessories and decided to make a mental check list…
Sash for dress- check!
Flowers for hair- check!
Bird cage veil- check!
I remember trying on veils the day my mom, sister and I went shopping for my wedding dress. I knew that I wanted a bird cage veil, but my mom asked if I wanted to try on a full length veil just to see. The sales girl brought us a very simple, long veil to try, but we all started laughing as soon as it was on my head. Not my style at all! It’s funny how something as little as a veil can be such an expression of a bride’s personality!
Click to view the six basic veil length types as shown above. Compliments of weddingbee.com
Monika and I got to talking about veils today in the office, and we decided to look up the history behind them. Some of the reasoning for wearing a veil is quite funny. Check out some of the traditions and superstitions below!
In ancient times, when a man would throw a blanket over the head of his woman of choice and cart her off.
To confuse/ward off evil spirits trying to corrupt the bride the day of her wedding.
And our personal favorite…In an arranged marriage, to keep the bride’s face hidden so that the guy didn’t bolt during the ceremony if he didn’t like what he saw.
Star Jones makes history with the longest veil on record...27 feet! Compliments: Everything but the Dress Blog
Do you have a family tradition to wear a certain kind of veil to your wedding, or is it more of a fashion choice? We’d love to hear your stories!
Carl House is excited to announce that we have new rental items for our brides to use!
It’s a new trend for brides to have bird cages for guests to place cards in on their gift table. No need to order one that you only use once just for the event…we have one available in-house for all clients to use!
Our bird cage from Etsy will have ivory ribbon and a champagne card reading "Cards."
We have also noticed that clients enjoy displaying pictures on their guest book table for friends and family to see during their reception. We now offer a 15” digital photo frame for brides and grooms to show pictures without overloading the guest book table with frames. Just bring in an SD memory card with the pictures loaded on it; the frame will play the pictures in a slideshow for you! No work required!
Plug your SD memory card in and let the slideshow begin!
Want to have one of these items at your next event? Be sure to talk to Kelsey about renting the bird cage or the digital photo frame. Your guests will surely enjoy them!
You may not see them the entire day under your dress, but shoes are the one item that can make or break how much fun a bride has on her wedding day. I’ve seen countless brides come in with the cutest pair of color coordinated heels that wind up killing their feet before they finish their pre-ceremony pictures! Here are my wedding day shoe tips and tricks-of-the- trade:
Make sure they fit! Nothing is worse than trying to glide down an aisle with a shoe slipping off your heel with every step. If the shoe doesn’t quite fit but you are absolutely in love with it, invest in a good pair of inserts that will help fill the extra space.
My Caparros heels are so comfortable! (Photo Credit: zappos.com)
Break them in. It may seem ridiculous, but start wearing your shoes around your house at least two weeks before the wedding to help loosen them up. Walk around outside on a sidewalk to scuff the underside and increase your traction.
“Are you gellin?” I am in love with the line of insoles and inserts that Dr. Scholl’s makes for heels! You can buy them at any grocery store or Target. I bought my first pair of gel inserts for my cousin’s wedding a year or so ago and still switch them in and out of my shoes. Believe me, they are worth the $10!
Dr. Scholl's come in many varieties to fit any kind of heel you may choose to wear. (Photo Credit: makeupandbeautyblog.com)
Bring them to ALL of your wedding dress fittings! Don’t rely on how high the heel is by measuring or looking it up online. I have a friend who was supposed to have her last dress fitting yesterday, and the company hemmed her dress too high for her heels. Luckily, she brought her heels to every fitting, so the company can’t charge her for the adjustments. Better safe than sorry!
Buy a different pair of shoes for pictures and reception. Who needs to know that you switched from your super cute, but super uncomfortable shoes after the ceremony? Buy a pair of jeweled flip flops or flat shoes to quickly switch in to during the reception and post-ceremony pictures. I bought this awesome pair of Toms shoes to wear during my reception. Comfort with a hint of bling! : )
Shoes with a cause! For every pair of Toms you purchase, the company sends a pair to a child in need around the world.
I hope that everyone’s planning is coming along smoothly! I’m heading home to see the parents this weekend…in addition to my birdcage veil and wedding dress sash just in from Etsy!
Love that my veil will match the color of my dress!
Not on my dress...but this is my belt!
I even bought this funny (and quite frankly, kind of creepy) little Styrofoam head from Hobby Lobby for the veil to shape itself over the next few months.
Not even my dog will come near this thing!
This week’s wedding blog post is the first of several VIDEO posts that I will be sharing on YouTube and this blog. BB and I talk about my wedding planning, summer trends to keep your guests cool, and discuss our new Facebook competition for the best engagement story. Click the link below to view the video! Up next week…the basics of wedding invitations. Carl House YouTube
I hope you all are surviving in the AWFUL heat and drinking lots of water! I’ve been keeping busy addressing and mailing out some of my save-the-dates. It’s hard to track everyone down to send over their addresses! Try to keep a relative in mind whose brain you can pick to get all of your or your groom’s relative’s addresses.
Today I thought I’d share with you all some personal tips for wedding dress shopping. I love asking all of my brides when they come in for their first meeting if they have bought their dress, and if so, what it looks like (if the groom isn’t present, of course!). Every single bride lights up when I ask that question, which affirms my belief that finding the perfect dress is every girl’s favorite part of her wedding. It can also be a VERY stressful thing as well, so here are some tips to make shopping for your dress as fun as possible:
Look at wedding dresses ahead of time. Take a girlfriend to Barnes and Noble, buy some coffee and sit down with a stack of wedding magazines for an hour or two. I love flipping through The Knot, Get Married, and Brides Atlanta. Get a feel for what you like and what may not work so well with your body type. Being able to tell your sales person what colors, styles, and shapes you like will save you tons of time when you actually go shopping.
More of a computer gal? The Knot also has extensive collections of dress pictures like this one on their web site!
Keep your venue in mind. You wouldn’t want to wear 10 layers of tulle to a beach wedding! That’s one of the many things I love about Carl House- you can practically wear any style gown and it “fits” the location!
Casablanca Bridal is known for their classically elegant bridal gowns that would fit perfectly with the ambiance of Carl House.
Don’t bring 20,000 people with you. Select 1-4 supportive people whose opinions you highly value (Leave the outspoken, pushy friend at home for this one). I brought along my mom, sister and best friend to go shopping with me, which was the perfect amount of people!
Wear the proper undergarments! Two key words here ladies: nude and strapless. If you are a bit uncomfortable standing around in your underwear in front of a complete stranger like me, wear a nude slip also (I found it made some of the dresses easier to slip into also!).
In LOVE with this slip by Largo Drive!
You don’t have to cry for it to be THE dress. I am in love with mine, and didn’t shed a tear when I decided it was the one I wanted to buy!
Remember: It is YOUR decision!! Let people give you their feedback, but pick the one YOU love!
Hello everyone! I hope you all have been doing well!
My planning has been going great so far! I’m expecting my save-the-dates in the mail today, and can’t wait to send them out to my friends and family!
The first plan of action for any bride to take after booking her wedding is to send out save-the-dates and wedding invitations. Monika and I receive phone calls from brides all the time asking when they should send out save-the-dates and invitations, when to tell their guests to RSVP, and what to do if 20 people never send back their response card. I’ve come up with some basic guidelines for everyone to follow when handling mailings to guests:
Put some personal touches into your save-the-date. It's your day, after all!
Make an excel sheet with guest names (with suffixes so you know how to properly address envelopes!), addresses, phone numbers, and extra columns to keep track of RSVPs for showers and the wedding. It may take a while to consolidate all of the names and addresses, but it’s worth it in the long run to only have to reference one list!
Count up how many HOUSEHOLDS you will be sending save-the-dates to, not how many people! I made the mistake of ordering WAY too many save-the-dates by looking at the number of guests. (Oh well, you live and you learn!)
Save-the-dates can be sent out anywhere between 6 months to 4 months before the wedding. Be sure to include the date and the general location of the wedding. A good phrase to include is, “Formal invitation to follow.” This way you won’t have tons of relatives calling in to get all of the details you will be sending out later.
Be creative with the save-the-dates! The invitations generally are the more formal of the two, so this is the time to really try to incorporate your personalities! Consider magnets instead of a traditional card stock; your guests will be much less likely to lose them, and will constantly be reminded of the wedding if they put it on their fridge.
There is no need to put and RSVP on the save-the-date; this is simply a “head’s up” for all of the people you want to share in your special day!
I love invitations that sort everything into pockets!
Invitations should be sent out 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding. 2 months is the ideal amount of time. Many people forget about mailing response cards, so give them as much time as possible!
Keep in mind that if you have your invitations printed and sent to you, it can take a couple of weeks to receive them. Plan ahead! (Re-use your excel sheet for the save-the-dates here)
It is very important to order response cards with envelopes to include in your invitations. Buy stamps not only to mail the invitation, but also to pre-stamp the response card envelope as well. Print your address on the response card envelope too. Make it as simple as possible for your guests to RSVP, and more will actually do so.
Set your RSVP date at least month before your event. This gives the guests plenty of time to respond, and allows you to have an accurate guest count to give to your vendors.
Almost time for the wedding and it seems like no one has responded? Sit down with your groom one night after dinner and split the contact excel sheet in half. Call the guests who haven’t responded and say, “We just wanted to make sure you received your invitation.” A simple way to put the ball back in their court without feeling rude. This way they will respond in one of two ways; either, “Yes we did! I am sorry we haven’t gotten back to you, but yes, we will be able to make it!” or, “Yes, we did receive it, but unfortunately we will not be able to attend.” Quick and simple was to get an accurate guest count, right?
I am looking forward to sending out my save-the-dates and ordering my invitations soon! Hope you all have a fun time with them as well!