- Schedule a trial no matter who is doing your hair and makeup. We recommend scheduling a fitting on the same day as well so you can make sure everything works together – hair, makeup, jewelry, shoes, and the dress! Look at yourself in pictures, and take some throughout the day to make sure you start and end with your best face forward!
- Don’t wash your hair. It is much easier for your hair stylist to tame that updo if your hair is a bit on the dirty side. It’s also one less thing to worry about that morning!
- Cut back on the salt. Salty foods make you look and feel bloated. Eating a healthy, balanced diet before your wedding will help bring on the bridal glow from the inside out!
- Keep makeup on hand for touch-ups. Your maid of honor should have a bag close by with all the makeup you used when you got ready. At the trial, keep a record of what was used so you can purchase to have on hand in case touch-ups are necessary!
- Don’t get a massage the day before. If you want to relax with a massage, do it at least two days before the wedding. The day before doesn’t give your body enough time to recover (massages can leave you feeling a bit dehydrated and lethargic the next day).
- Wear waterproof mascara. Even the most seldom crier might shed a few tears on her wedding day – so plan for the possibility and wear waterproof mascara!
- Treat ALL your skin like a queen. Most wedding dresses reveal shoulders, back, chest or all of the above. Treat any area that will be visible as you would your face to make sure all your skin looks as radiant as possible for the big day.
- Use a high quality deodorant. Buy a few to test out before the wedding, and really put them to the test (all day at work followed by dinner and dancing)!
- Get your nails done. You might be perfectly capable of doing your own nails, but everyone deserves some pampering before their wedding. You are also much more likely to get long lasting, beautiful results when you leave it to the pros.
- Relax and smile. In the end, acting the part will go a long way! What happens happens, and all you can control on that day is you – so put on a smile and enjoy your wedding day!
After collecting RSVP’s for a wedding we planned in June, I vowed to write this post. It is very hard to create the perfect RSVP card. One that indicates exactly who is coming, the name of a guest if applicable, which person is eating which meal, and whether or not there are any food allergies involved. In general though, a few standard rules apply:
- If an invitation is addressed to just you and your spouse/partner/significant other, you should just RSVP with the two of you (or one if the other party is unable to attend). If you have children, find alternate care. If you must bring them, ask the couple for babysitting suggestions. Don’t just show up with your kids.
- If an invitation is address to “The Smith Family”, this means that you and your spouse/partner as well as your children are invited to the wedding. Indicate kids meals for anyone that will need it. This does not mean that you can invite your parents, siblings, etc. – it is not a family reunion.
- If an invitation asks you to initial a food choice – do so for each person that is attending. If you have the same initials, make it obvious who wants to eat which meal. This will make it much easier to create place cards and for servers at the wedding to give you the right meal.
- If you have a food allergy, even if the card does not ask you to identify one, PLEASE do so. It is much easier to prepare for these issues in advance than to let the kitchen know as dinner is being served that you cannot eat gluten/nuts/mushrooms/seafood etc.
- If your situation changes and you cannot attend the wedding – let the couple know as soon as possible! Often they can change the meal count until the Monday before the wedding, and even if you miss that deadline, they might be able to squeeze someone else in your place that forgot to RSVP.
- If the invitation is addressed with your name spelled incorrectly, write it out on the RSVP so that hopefully your escort card, place card, thank you card and future cards are all spelled the way you want it to. If you were addressed as Mrs. and are in fact a Dr., let them know!
- If you are booking a room at a hotel the couple has put a room block in place, but have a better discount through AAA or some other program, let the couple know that you will in fact be staying there. Often guests receive a welcome bag upon check-in, but if you’re not in the block you could get left out.
- Pay attention to the RSVP date – that is the date they would like to receive your RSVP in the mail. Final meal counts, linens, seating charts, floral orders, chair orders etc. all need to be in usually two weeks before the wedding.
In the end, have a great time at the wedding and take advantage of all the wonderful people you get to share an evening with! Hopefully these tips are helpful the next time you send in an RSVP!
I got an email last week from the author of a thank you note site – dedicated to writing thank you’s for hundreds of various gifts you might receive for the wedding! I wanted to share some of what Emily Easton does:
“Some brides and grooms get so caught up in the wedding that they tend to forget the excitement of others. But, Sweet You realizes that people are busy selecting gifts to please you. How lovely that you’re taking time to brush up on Thank You Note writing do’s and dont’s so you can express your appreciation.”
In addition to the standard notes, Emily also goes through difficult notes such as returning a gift, gifts you don’t like, or when you don’t know the giver of the gift. Happy note writing!
Shutterbooth is offering a discount in honor of Halloween – $200 off your rental cost! This is a great solution to the favor dilemma (yes, people will actually take their photos home rather than leave a trinket unwrapped on the table), and a great way to entertain guests who are not tearing up the dance floor all night long!
I worked with Candid Memories for the first time on the 10th of the month for Tabatha and Marlon’s wedding. After the wedding, I asked them to do a little interview with me to educate the general public about their service. They jumped at the opportunity, and here is the result!
Q : You rent digital cameras (among other things) to weddings replacing disposable cameras. I can say from experience I NEVER recommend disposable cameras at weddings.So why would I recommend Digital camera rentals instead?
A: Most wedding consultants cringe when I say this, but disposable cameras were a great idea, they were just limited by technology. With digital cameras you get better quality pictures, more pictures (up to 195 per camera) and your pictures are hosted online so all your guests can see them.
Q: Ok, so the pictures are better, but what do you do with a bunch of Candid Pictures, especially considering a bride will have a professional photographer onsite too?
A: Professional pictures tend to feature a lot of posed pictures of the Bride and Groom and their immediate family. That’s what they are supposed to do, but what about the other 200 guests you invited? An album full of Candid Pictures can be assembled easily and affordably (even onsite!) and can sit on a coffee table to enjoy every day.
Q: Digital cameras are much nicer then disposable cameras, but are they too nice? What do you do to prevent cameras from disappearing?
A:There are two reasons people steal disposable cameras. They take a great picture and they want to be able to keep it, or they take an embarrassing picture and they don’t want you to see it. With digital cameras you can delete embarrassing pictures, and you can view, download and purchase all the great pictures online. There is no reason to take the cameras!
Q: Lets talk about price point. I can buy a digital camera for $5.00, and you rent digitals for $20.00 Why the price difference?
A: First better cameras cost more money, the $5.00 disposables don’t take the same pictures that a $10.00 camera does.Also, you still have to pay to develop pictures sight unseen, and you need to pay even more for a CD.
Q: I have seen a lot of disposable cameras sit on tables unused. Do guests actually use these cameras?
A: Heck yeah! Guests have no incentive to use disposable cameras. What do they get out of it? Digitals are fun. Each camera holds 195 pictures. Some cameras get 20 or 30 shots, but some guests go crazy and fill the cameras up.
Q: You can do onsite Wedding album as well right?
A: Yes! These albums need to be seen to be believed! The bride and groom leave with a wedding album the day of the wedding! Its incredible. Basically you can do two albums
1. Guest Created Wedding Album- We provide a 100 page 4X6 album that sits next to the printer. Guests are instructed by a Candid Memories Rep, the DJ or the wedding planner, that it is their job to fill this wedding album. It’s a living document that evolves throughout the day.
2. Guest Book- This is best done with Candid Memories representatives on hand. We take pictures of all the guests at the wedding and have each couple or group fill out “best wishes” cards that give the guests the opportunity to leave the bride and groom a short message. This usually fills half the album, with the remainder of the album filled with pictures from the wedding and Ceremony.
Q: I would consider this to be an add on service. How do I squeeze this service into a budget among all the other necessities?
A: I understand that no bride is going to chose our service over a DJ or a photographer, but we have several different price points and several different levels of service. We can fit into most budgets!Pictures are one of the only tangible items to survive the day.
Q: I would put Digital Camera Rentals in the same category as photo booths. How do you think your service stacks up to them? They are incredibly popular.
A: We are simply a more complete service. And on top of that we enter the market at a much more attractive price point! With Candid memories we get guest shots, as well as pictures on the dance floor, grandma doing the shuffle, cutting the cake, and all those great family group shots. Guests can leave with a full sized 4X6 image in a custom photo folder. They can view and download those pictures for free as well as purchase enlargements on our website. They get more for less!
As a wedding planner, I get dozens of emails each week from vendors who want me to refer their products to my clients. Of course, I love all the great ideas! However, I cannot possibly look at every new photographer, baker, invitation designer etc. that is out there – it would take all day.
Yesterday in the mail, I got this cardboard “envelope” from Synecdoche Photography. They had emailed asking for my address to send materials, which usually results in my receiving generic business cards and maybe a brochure. Clearly this stood out, as I have photographed their materials and am now blogging about it – this is how to present yourself!
Not only is the packaging presented in a very interesting way, it is also very informative (I am a planner – I need to know your pricing structure so I know if you are a good fit for my client). It includes cards to hand out, blurbs about the photographers, and a thank you. We all like feeling appreciated – add a Thank You! In addition, it includes a statement that their materials were printed on recycled materials, which earns a huge plus in my book.
Now, that is perhaps not a reflection of the photographs themselves. However, Synecdoche absolutely set themselves up for the right first impression, and my willingness to take a look at their blog and see what they are all about. Thank you!
At a recent Knot event, the emphasis was on creating more environmentally friendly weddings and events. I have had quite a few clients recently who are using local and organic food, cutting back on paper products, encouraging shuttle services etc. to reduce their carbon footprint during their wedding – and I love that they are doing so! Some ideas from the Knot on this very topic include:
Picking a caterer who offers local produce and seasonal or organic foods is a great step toward an environmentally friendly event. This does involve some research into venues that allow outside catering, but your wedding planner should be able to help you locate several options for you! Even better if the caterer is willing to donate any leftover food to a shelter at the end of the night.
Another option is to select a venue that benefits from your event – like a museum, cultural organization, or art gallery (the DIA is pictured above). The great thing in doing this is that more often than not, you can also bring in your own caterer! Other local options are Cobblestone Farm in Ann Arbor, and the Henry Ford Museum or Estate in Dearborn.
Kate Aspen provides some environmentally friendly favors like these seed packets that guests can plant after the wedding – the whole thing goes into the ground! For more local options, nurseries can sell you small trees or local seeds to plant as well!
Finally (for this time anyways!) you can go to a local farmer’s market to order your flowers – only recommended if you can pick them up that day and have your fabulous planner place them in your recycleable mason jar vases or other containers that you are sure to use again! These flowers can be given to guests at the end of the night, to a local hospital, and used at the morning-after brunch!
There are so many other ways to make your event more environmentally friendly – contact me if you would like to hear more ideas, and happy planning!
Doing a lot of the work for your wedding and want to tackle floral design as well? I am going to start out with a warning, because there is a huge difference between DIY place cards and DIY flowers. For one, place cards (and card boxes, and favors, and other inanimate objects) can be done well in advance of the wedding day. In addition to that, you cannot be guaranteed that the flowers will come in the exact shade, size, or quality that you envision – no matter which vendor you use (Costco and Sam’s Club also offer bulk/DIY flowers).
Those two variables are enough to make any bride a little nervous the week before the wedding. Add in shipping issues and time constraints (will you really have time to assemble bouquets the night before or the day of?) and honestly I do not recommend doing the flowers yourself. However, I know a lot of brides are on a tight budget – so here is a vendor that does do quite a nice job of supplying bulk floral for weddings – Fifty Flowers.
Fifty Flowers offers free FedEx shipping on all wedding flowers. They provide a flower care and preparation guide as well, where pictures and descriptions explain what to expect, and how to prep, hydrate and bloom your flowers. Depending on the type of flowers you order, there can be a substantial visible difference in the appearance of the flowers after they have time to hydrate and bloom.
The Wedding Report often send out data on wedding trends, and I thought it would be fun to highlight a few now that the year is coming to and end!
For 2008, the number of ceremonies held indoors was 52% vs. 48% outdoors. Now, this is of course nation-wide data, and Michigan does see fewer outdoor ceremonies and receptions! Non-traditional indoor venues are more popular though, with couples choosing locations such as the reception hotel, museums, galleries, theaters, and alma maters for a more unique indoor ceremony site.
Turning to receptions, 69% nation-wide were held indoors, vs. 31% outdoors. Tented weddings are wonderful, as they still keep out most of the elements (and in Michigan, that’s a plus!).
For 44% of couples, the ceremony and reception take place at the same venue. This is great for those looking to cut down on costs: typically, the ceremony is included or deeply discounted if you also hold the reception at a given location. There is often no need for a limo or shuttle service since everything is happening at the same place. Delivery fees are reduced for flowers and decor, and often the DJ can play ceremony music as well if string instruments are out of the budget!
Speaking of the economy, there is one trend that is disheartening. A total of 62% of couples are forced to cut their wedding budgets due to the economy by an average of 32%. Even worse, 16% of couples are postponing their weddings an average of 10 months. This results in a loss of deposits, a struggle to keep on budget as usually this decision is made after the venue has been booked (and therefor couples are stuck with certain minimums and/or food costs).
With so many couples trying to save on cost, the need for someone to help coordinate, budget, negotiate contracts, and set up DIY items becomes even greater – which is one of the reasons why I think my business is continuing to grow! 2009 is going to be a great year, I have so many exciting weddings coming up that I can’t wait to help unfold, and a couple for 2010 already in the works. I also have plans to add a “timeline only” service to couples who cannot afford a planner but need help organizing the day in a way that they can understand and that will make them more comfortable going into the big day!