Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just a bit of silliness to share

I love's Wedinator.  So much silliness goes on at weddings, and somebody finally harnessed that to turn a profit.  Occasionally, I'll share things I find there here, so keep your eyes open.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Did you know that are actually enough rules about wedding stationary etiquette to fill a large book?  Really.  I read it.  Very dull, frequently outdated and pricey.  Here is my short(er) and simple(r) guide for invitations.

Start looking for invitations 3-4 months before you need them.  If ordering from a printer or thermographer, expect them to take around two weeks.  Engraving takes longer.  Printing at home is quicker, but in my experience, it adds unnecessary stress.  A professional can make the invitation process much quicker and easier.

Picking an invitation can be daunting.  there are literally thousands of options to choose from.  The invitation is typically the first glimpse guests have of your event, but you don't have to do anything elaborate or flashy.  A simple white or ivory card with black or grey lettering is the classic for a reason.

  • If your invitation requires assembly (like ribbon tying or difficult folding, make sure you will have time to deal with this.  
  • Be careful when you pick a font- if it's too difficult to read, some guests may not be able to read it.  If you are absolutely in love with ornate curling fonts (I love Spencerian calligraphy), consider using it only for your names, while printing the rest of the invitation in a more readable font.  
  • You don't have to spend a fortune on your invitations.  Most people will throw them away eventually.
  • Postage on wedding invitations is nearly always more than a first class stamp will cover.  Take a completed invitation to the post office to have postage calculated before you send them out, or you will end up mailing them twice, which gets expensive.
Wording your invitation is a bit tricky.  Old ettiquette rules are still followed by most couples.  These are the three most common combinations I saw when I was doing wedding stationary orders.

Formal, traditional

Mr. and Mrs. Bride's Parents
request the honour of your presence 
at the marriage of their daughter
Bride's First and Middle Names
Groom's Full Name
on Saturday, the eight of Month
Two thousand and eleven
at time o'clock
Location Name
Location address
City, State/Provence

Please note that honour should be spelled with a "u" on wedding invitations.  Honor without is reserved for military and funerary purposes.  You can also substitute handfasting, hand fasting, commitment ceremony or wedding in the place of marriage.  The groom's parents can be included under the groom's name by adding a "son of" line and the following line of their names.  A verse, short poem or quote can be included at the top of the invitation if you like.

Formal- bride and groom inviting

Bride's Name
Groom's Name
request the honor of your presence
at their marriage
on Saturday, the day of the Month
Two thousand and eleven
at time o'clock
Location Name
Location Address
City and State/Provence

Informal, traditional

Bride's Parents
request the pleasure of your company 
at the wedding of their daughter
Bride's Name
Groom's Name
on Saturday, the day of Month,
Two thousand and eleven
Location Name
Location Address
City, State/Provence

Reception cards need not be included if the reception directly follows the ceremony in the same location.  If not, include reception cards.  Pre-addressed and stamped RSVP cards will make your life a little easier when get a guest count, but keep in mind, that you will probably have to call or email a few people who won't respond.  The reception card is a good place to specify attire, no gifts please or no children.  Even better, pass the message along through word of mouth.

Invitations are a necessary and time consuming part of wedding planning.  The options and etiquette are dizzying, I know.  It took years for me to get to the point I could just do this without reference.  If you need help, contact me here, or contact a professional stationer in your area.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Avoiding Bridezilla

Weddings are stressful, and anytime we are under unusual stress, the potential for flaring tempers increases exponentially.  Bridezilla, a rather recent term for an old phenomenon, is now part of our slang (I used to call it going bridal when I was in the wedding business).  It describes a bride who loses sight of what's important in planning a wedding and who becomes unbearable and selfish, alienating everyone around her.

Very few people plan to let wedding stress turn them into monsters, but it happens (three days before my wedding, I rather rudely informed a bride getting married a week after me that I couldn't give a shit about her problem, because the tuxedos for my wedding and three others were MIA- while I was at work at a bridal shop).  Here is my advice for keeping things in perspective, both as a bride and as a former wedding professional:

  • The goal of planning a wedding is to have a marriage after all is said and done.
  • When dealing with wedding professionals, remember, they talk to brides all the time.  To them, your wedding is one of many.  Expect courtesy and professionalism from them, not special treatment (especially if you are asking for more than your contract spells out).
  • You want to still be on good terms with your friends and family after the wedding, so don't let little things like picking out bridesmaids dresses or using a different DJ become fights.
  • You can't please everybody, but you can take a moment to listen to what people say, even if you don't do what they want you to do.  "I'll keep that in mind" and "Thanks for the advice" are handy phrases.  Noncommittal and polite is the way to go.
  • Every wedding I have ever been to or worked on had a disaster of some degree.  You can't control the weather, other people or traffic.  Chances are, your guests will never be aware of the problem unless it's pointed out to them.
  • Kids are kids, not miniature adults.  Don't expect anything else.
  • Some people will not like your choices.  Develop a duck's back against criticism.
  • Your significant other loves you for who you are, and that is what really matters.
  • Don't forget to say "please", "thank you" and "I'm sorry".
Going a little crazy while planning a wedding is normal.  Keep the stress reactions to a minimum and everyone will thank you for it.  If you feel overwhelmed, stop and take a breather.  Ignore your planning for a few days, go for walk or put your foot down to prevent yourself from being walked all over.  Smile, be happy, and keep your eyes on the prize.  This will all be over before you know it.