Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Grandmother Said She’d Buy Me My Wedding Dress and Then Gave Me $200. Can I Tell Her the Dress I Want Costs More?

I think you have to base the answer to your question on what you know about your grandmother. Is she living solely on social security and $200 is a lot for her? Or do you think she’s just not aware that the wedding dress you want costs more?

Grandma was probably married 50+ years ago and may not have gone wedding dress shopping in a long time, and therefore not aware what prices are. Why don’t you invite grandma to go shopping with you and let her see the style of dress you want and the price tag that goes with it.

If she can afford it maybe she’ll give you more money towards the dress, but if she can’t, thank her graciously and pay the balance without telling her.

Above all, make sure grandma knows that you appreciate her gift.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Do We Need to Provide Ceremony Seating? We Want a Really Casual Ceremony Setting Where Our Guests Stand Around Us.

You should provide some seating for your guests, especially if a number of them are older (think grandparents' age), pregnant or children. Mark these chairs as reserved so an able-bodied adult doesn't take a seat from granny.

You may even want to assign an usher or two to guard the chairs and escort guests to their seats to ensure that they know they’re there for them.

Friday, September 23, 2011

We Can’t Agree on a China Pattern to Register for, What Should We Do?

Why not register for both! These days most fine china patterns are dishwasher and microwave safe so there’s no reason you can’t use it every day.

If the two patterns are complementary you could register for five or six settings of each pattern so half of your 10-12 set is made up from the design you like and the other half what your fiance likes.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Fiance is Reluctant to Take Dance Lessons, How Can I Convince Him to Take Them?

While you can’t force him to take lessons you can explain how important it is to you and hopefully he’ll agree. If he won’t see if you can make a deal. Is there something he really wants for the wedding, your honeymoon, home? Would you be wiling to give in on that issue if he agrees to take the lessons?

Also, find out why he’s adverse to it and maybe you can work around the issue. If he feels uncomfortable in a class environment opt for private lessons. Maybe he’d be more comfortable with a certain dance style.

You can also talk to the dance school to see if they have any ideas -- you’re not the first bride to have this issue.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Do We Need to Supply Toiletries in the Restrooms at Our Reception Site?

No you do not. While it has become customary for the host to leave a basket with various toiletries -- tampons, pads, tissues, hairspray, floss, a sewing kit -- for guests in case they needed something, I really don’t think this is necessary.

Think about it, if you have your period you’ll bring your own tampons/pads. How many times have you gone somewhere and needed a sewing kit or hair styling supplies?

While the gesture is appreciated, you can put your money towards another detail or just save it for the honeymoon.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Can We Email Our Wedding Invitations and Supply an Email for RSVPs?

I would say no, though my usually answer of you can do whatever you like also applies. But I really do think a wedding invite should arrive in someone’s mailbox, and not in their inbox.

Save-the-date cards, in my opinion, are fine for email, but make sure granny and her generation get a hard copy, or at least a phone call, if they don’t have an email account.

If you’re making a green statement by emailing your invitations you can also make it with a wedding invitation that is made from recycled paper or cotton and uses eco-friendly inks.  A number of wedding invitation companies are eco-friendly including Oblation Papers & Press and Crane & Co.

Another e-invite don’t is the emailed RSVP. Maybe I’m old fashioned but it’s appropriate to include an RSVP card and envelope set for guests to send their replies or you can send an RSVP postcard and save on the extra printing and a few cents on the stamp.

Monday, September 19, 2011

We Mailed Our Save-the-Date Cards and a Few Guests Told Us They Wouldn’t Make the Wedding. Can We Save Some Money By Not Mailing Them an Invitation?

The general rule is if someone receives a save-the-date card a formal wedding invitation should follow. Regardless of what they told you you should still send them an invite. What if their reason for not attending changes?

Knowing they can’t make it can also allow you to move some B-list guests to your A-list. You can either send some B-list guests an invite when you mail your wedding invitations or just hold them until the no RSVPs arrive.

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Fiance and I Can’t Agree on a Wedding Favor, Can We Have Two?

Yes. You can decide to give everyone two favors or give half the guests one favor and half the other. Splitting the two favors among your guests may save you money since you’re buying one per guest total instead of two items for everyone.

But before you order either figure out if one can be used in another part of the wedding. For example, would one item work well in a guest room gift bag? How about as favors at the rehearsal dinner?

If you’re not adamant about it, let your fiance have the favor he wants -- how many things has he asked for anyway?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We’re Looking for a Hotel for Our Out-of-Town Guests. Do We Need to Give Them Several Options?

You may want to since your guests may have different needs. A family may want something more casual with family-friendly restaurants, while a couple without kids may want a more romantic setting to make it a short vacation from home.

Price is another factor. Whichever hotel you choose you may be able to score a discount for your guests (10% is the usual for group bookings) but that may still leave the price too steep.

Try to choose two hotels -- one family-friendly and more affordable -- and one a little more luxury. Make sure to tell the hotel when you block the rooms that it’s for a wedding and get the discount and end date for the block in the contract. Double check the spelling of the name for the discount code, it’s usually your last name, your fiance’s or a combination. And then make sure all this information is correct on your wedding website and save-the-date cards.

In rare circumstances you can choose three hotels, at three price points, but that’s probably not necessary.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We Want to Have an After Party, but Limit It to Our Friends, Not Our Parents’ Guests. Can We Do That or Does Everyone Get to Go?

You can limit your after party to a select number of your wedding guests and inform them of the details with a separate invitation to the party. You can slip a card into your wedding invitation -- like Kate and Wills did -- or send an invite on its own.

Make sure the DJ or band leader doesn’t “remind” guests that the night’s not over as they play the last reception song, just move to the next room and keep the party going.

Your parents, and his, should be invited and if they insist on having a couple of friends on the guest list I wouldn’t fight them on this, especially if they’re still hosting.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thinking of Being a Wedding Planner? There’s a School for That.

Actually, it’s an Academy – capital A for The Niemierko Wedding Academy at The Dorchester. Yes, it’s in London.

And while the expense of the trip may make you stop reading, remember that it’s for business so it’s tax deductible. Or plan a trip across the pond and attend the Academy while you're on vacation.

The 5-day “master class” on wedding planning features advice from luxury planner Mark Niemierko and some of the top vendors he works with from flowers to cakes to dress designers. This October’s series will feature Bruce Oldfield, a favorite designer of Princess Diana.

Over the course of five days you’ll learn everything involved in the wedding planning process, including budgeting, etiquette, bridal fashion and beauty, tastings and design. You’ll learn how to create mood boards, get a lesson in production design and how to select the right rentals and use lighting to enhance the venue’s look and feel. Meals and of course champagne will be served.

Below is a video of Mark explaining what wedding-planners-to-be will gain from the experience and you can apply (just like with any school) here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Our Parents Haven’t Offered to Host the Rehearsal Dinner and We Can’t Afford to Do It. Do We Have to Have One?

No you don’t. While the rehearsal dinner is a lovely tradition, don’t feel obligated to host one if you can’t afford it.

You can still have a rehearsal even if you don’t have a rehearsal dinner. Make it clear to your bridal party that after the rehearsal everyone is on their own for evening activities. You don’t have to share that it’s a budget issue. If you’re not sure what to say you can explain that you have too much to do the night before the wedding and decided not to have one.

And even if you make it an early night you can invite a few girlfriends over to spend the night and make it an old-fashioned slumber party.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

One of My Bridesmaids is Pregnant and Due the Week of My Wedding. Should She Step Down?

You should have a frank discussion with her and ask her what she wants to do.

There’s no reason she needs to resign from your bridal party. They make maternity style bridesmaid dresses and she can sit in the front row instead of stand at the altar if she wants to.

But if she’s due the week of your wedding she may not want to take the chance of spending hundreds on a dress and accessories if there’s a good chance she won’t be able to make it to the wedding.

And just because she decided not to be in your processional doesn’t mean she can’t be involved in the bridal shower and bachelorette party.

When you bring up the topic don’t make it about your wedding, but rather her comfort level. And if she wants to remain as a bridesmaid don’t discourage her. Make a backup plan for who the groomsman she is scheduled to walk with would walk with if she’s not there - remember, he can join another pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

Thursday, September 08, 2011

I Saw a Wedding Dress Online But It’s Not Available at My Local Bridal Salon. How Can I See It and Try It On?

Bridal salons will generally buy select pieces of a collection, not the complete one. Find out if your local salon is having a trunk show for the designer of the dress you're interested in.

A trunk show is where the designer and/or a sales representative from the company brings the complete collection to a salon -- that’s every dress for the season and probably a few other best sellers.

Call your salon and ask when the trunk show for a particular designer will be held and make an appointment. Trunk shows book up fast so be sure to make an appointment as soon as you learn the dates.

If you missed the trunk show dates for the season visit the designer’s website and look for another trunk show near you and schedule an appointment for that one. You can either purchase the dress .at that salon or see if your local salon can order it for you and this way you won't have to travel far for alterations, which you may have two to four of.

And remember, a trunk show usually offers a discount on the purchase of a gown, it's usually 10% off.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Wedding Planning To-Dos for After the Wedding

Just because you’ve said “I do” and have returned from your honeymoon doesn’t mean your wedding to-dos are done. There are a number is tasks to tend to including: writing thank-you notes, changing your name and editing your wedding album.

I gave an interview to LifeShield Security on what newlyweds need to do after the wedding, plus a few married life to-dos you may find helpful, including how to keep the romance alive throughout your first year as husband and wife.

You can read it at lifeshield.com

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Be Your Own Best Editor -- Vera Wang

Martha Stewart Weddings Fall issue just hit stands and the issue celebrates iconic wedding gown designers -- Reem Acra, Amsale, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera and Vera Wang among them.

During the photo shoot they filmed interviews with some of the designers who shared their advice for brides still shopping for their wedding dress.  Here's what they had to say:

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Do I Have to Tell the Caterer How Many Vegetarian, Vegan and Other Dietary Restricted Meals We’ll Need?

Your caterer will probably prepare a certain number of vegetarian meals based on his experience of the percentage of guests who usually ask for one. If you know that there will be X-number of vegetarian guests at your wedding you can share that information so he’s aware of a minimum number of vegetarian meals to offer.

Vegan, gluten-free, kosher and other special meals should be ordered in advance since your caterer may not include them in his usually tally. Some of these meals may cost an additional fee.

Be sure to tell your caterer how many of each special meals there are, and if you can which table each guest will be at so the waiter brings the right meal to the right table.

You may not be aware of every guests’ dietary restrictions, including allergies, but your guests do. They’ll know to ask if something is made with nuts or has mushrooms in it and will take care of themselves. You don’t have to prepare for every possible situation.

I also suggest talking to your caterer about what they can do for guests with dietary restrictions and if they should prepare a few dishes on the side just in case or if you need an exact number to order in advance.


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