Friday, March 30, 2012

Our RSVP By Date is a Few Days a Way and We’re Still Missing Responses. How and When Can We Find Out Who’s Coming?

I would wait a few days past the RSVP date listed on the reply card before you call or email guests who you haven’t heard from yet.  It’s okay to divide the list: Ask your mom and his to reach out to relatives and their friends and you and the groom contact your friends.
When you’re asking don’t be accusatory, be casual about it and say that you didn’t hear back from them and you’re hoping they can make it.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

How Do We Decide What the Groom Should Wear?

The groom’s attire should reflect the formality of the bride's wedding gown and the wedding. If you’re in a ball gown he should be in a tuxedo. If you’re getting married on the beach he should be in light slacks and a white button down.

Before shopping for him you should have picked your wedding date, time of day and location and your wedding dress.  Just as your wedding gown's style will be dictated by the time of day and the venue or setting, so will the groom's.

Kleinfeld’s new Men’s Department has a great guide to the different formal wear and suiting style for men. You can see it, along with their product selection, at

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What Should the Engraving On Our Wedding Bands Say?

If you have to ask then don’t engrave them. Engraving your wedding rings is like getting a tattoo -- it should be something important, meaningful to you and not some trendy thing you read in a celeb tabloid magazine.

Simple options are your names, wedding date, a quote or lyric that has meaning to you and your fiance.

When choosing wedding bands ask what your engraving options are regarding character count and find out how long it will take to have the engraving done. As long as you aren’t in a rush you should take some time to think about what you want and if you can’t think of anything don’t engrave them. You can always go back to the jeweler and have them engraved after the wedding.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What Do We Do If a Wedding Vendor Doesn’t Show Up On the Day of the Wedding?

It’s very rare that a situation would arise where a vendor wouldn’t show up on your wedding day.

You should read your contract and ask the vendors you meet with what their back-up plan is if they get sick or have a family emergency. A professional will have someone they can call to fill-in for them -- especially your photographer and videographer. The florist, baker and caterer have people working with them to create your wedding details so you may not even notice if the person you interviewed isn’t there on the day for set-up.

If a vendor can’t make it, he or she will most likely reach out to you as well as their back-up and notify you of the change in plans.

You should have a contact sheet with all your vendors’ names, email and numbers -- and list their back-up or secondary contact at the company too -- so you can contact them if you get concerned.

On the day of the wedding try to let it roll off your back and enjoy the day. When you’re back from your wedding you can call a lawyer, if necessary.

Monday, March 26, 2012

How Do We Find Names for Signature Drinks?

Your signature drinks don’t have to have creative names so don’t stress out over finding one. You can use the name of the drink (Cosmopolitan, Manhattan, Rum & Coke) if you don’t have time or can’t think of something clever. If your caterer is concocting new drink recipes for your wedding ask him for some naming ideas.

But if you want to have original names look to your wedding’s location or theme for ideas. You can also use the color of the drink for inspiration and you don’t have to have the word “cocktail” in the title.

Think about why you are serving this drink -- is it a favorite? Is it the color? Does it fit your theme? For example, a Mad Men inspired retro wedding may want to serve a martini bar and each drink can be called by its known name. If your wedding is on the beach, make up playful names with beach-y words: tropical, sunburst, wave, etc...

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Mom Said I Need a Trousseau. What Is She Talking About?

A trousseau is a wardrobe for a newly married woman. Literally clothes and accessories, so if mom is buying you definitely want one. While the tradition of a trousseau has become outdated, some women have turned the trousseau into their honeymoon wardrobe or lingerie specifically.

Ask mom what she is thinking to find out what type of clothes or lingerie she wants to buy you. This could be a fun outing for the two of you to spend time together before the wedding.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Parents are Paying for Our Wedding But My Fiance’s Parents Want Their Names on the Invitation. Should They Be?

It’s more important to have a pleasant relationship between the in-laws, so while etiquette dictates that the host of (paying for) the wedding is listed at the top of the invite you may want to find a compromise that makes everyone happy. Here are wedding invite guidelines:

The first line of the wedding invitation is the “host line” which means that whoever is hosting the wedding is listed in the format of:

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith invite you to…

When a parent is not hosting the wedding but would like to be listed on the invitation you can include them after their child's name in the following way:

Daniel Johnson
son of Jack and Susan Johnson

If the hosting parents don’t really care if they share the hosting space with their future in-laws the hosting line would read:

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Johnson
invite you to…

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Do We Have to Give Wedding Favors to Our Guests? Won’t They Just Throw Them Out?

You don’t have to give wedding favors. They’re not a mandatory item like the wedding bands.

I like the idea of wedding favors because it’s another way to play with your wedding’s theme. To ensure that your favor isn’t tossed in the trash choose something that can be used right away -- food is great as a snack on the ride home, a CD will likely get listened to in the car or a charitable donation which can’t be used by guests, but will be noted and appreciated.

Another idea is to have a photo booth during cocktails and the photos taken are the favor. Or set up a dessert buffet with bags or pastry boxes for guests to pack up for home.

I wouldn’t spend too much time on your wedding favors. If you can’t think of something you’d like to leave for guests then don’t leave them anything. Better not to force it and spend money on something you’re not really into. You can use those funds towards another detail you’re really excited about.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Must-Attend NYC Wedding Event

It’s that time of year again: New York magazine’s annual Weddings Event -- which coincides with their latest issue, a must-have for tri-state area brides. This year’s event is Wednesday, March 28th at the Metropolitan Pavilion from 5 to 8pm.

The event features the best in NYC bridal: Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, Naturally Delicious, Jarrell Entertainment, Kleinfeld Bridal, Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier, Judy Paulen Designs and more!

Tickets can be purchased online at for $40 for 1 or 2 for $60. And this is definitely an event you want to bring a friend to -- your fiance, a bridesmaid, your mom or grab a bride-to-be you met in a wedding message board!

And if you can't make it to the event make sure to pick up the latest issue of New York Weddings filled with everything a bride and groom getting hitched in the Big Apple (or surrounding area) need to know!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Quick Reader Survey

Can you please complete this quick survey? It's 100% anonymous and a way to learn more about brides and grooms and the engagement/wedding planning process.

The link to take it is here and it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes of your time.



Friday, March 16, 2012

Should the Groom Buy or Rent a Tuxedo?

His decision should be based on several factors:

Budget: Can he afford the cost of a new tux, or is it more economical to rent one and buy one when he can afford it down the road?

Other Events: If you and your groom will be invited to a number of events in the near future (weddings of friends/relatives, business and charity functions) than it may be better to buy a new one. Renting a tux for every occasion will add up and the cost of buying now may be more affordable in the long run.

Suit Style: For looks that aren’t the classic black tux but have tails or cutaway jackets you may want to rent since you’re not likely to wear this specific style again.

You should also visit both retailers and rental shops and try on different styles to see what looks best on him as well as what all the costs are. Factor in prices for the style of pant and jacket, all the accessories (buttons, cufflinks, ties, vest, cummerbund) and for the number of days you’re going to be renting it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What Should I Expect at My Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial?

At each trial you are testing out your wedding-day hairstyle and makeup colors and application. It’s important to bring photos of what you like, and you can bring photos of what you don’t, to show the hairstylist and makeup artist what you want, or what you don’t.

For your hairstyle trial it’s important to bring any hair accessories you are planning on wearing -- tiara, headband, hairpins. You can also bring your veil to see how that will look. But make sure to have it pressed after the trial so it’s not wrinkled for the wedding. You may also want to wear a top that has a similar neckline to your wedding dress’ so you can see what the style will look like in a bodice of the same cut.

Once the style is finished and you like it -- you should feel comfortable to make comments/adjustments that are both positive and negative -- and make sure to take several photos. For your hair, you need pictures from multiple angles -- front, both sides and above. For makeup you only need a front shot but you want to write down every color used and where -- foundation, powder, blush, eyeshadow, liners, lipstick, mascara -- so on your wedding day you and the makeup artist remember what you liked.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

If I Want a Photojournalist Photographer What Should I Look For?

The word photojournalist used to differentiate these types of photographers from the old-fashioned shots from the ‘80s and ‘90s, but today I feel that almost everyone uses the term because it became a popular one brides use.

A photojournalist in theory, and photographers please chime in if I’m wrong, will capture the moments of the day and not have people pose for them. You won’t be recreating your cake cutting or bouquet toss, the photographer will have captured it as it was happening.

Today, you’ll find that most photographers will show albums of these types of images -- where they’ve captures the natural flow of the day -- and when you talk to brides and grooms who’ve worked with them you want to hear that they didn’t even realize the photographer was there.

Whatever type of photographer you want to hire, it’s important that:

1 - You like him and feel comfortable around him
2 - You like their work and have seen a COMPLETE wedding album, not just their greatest hits
3 - You can afford them -- both the cost for the day of the wedding and the album and prints

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Do I Have to Provide Meals for the Vendors at My Wedding Reception?

I think you should, specifically for the vendors working the entire wedding -- which can last 6 hours or more. Talk to your caterer about having meals prepared for the musicans/DJ, wedding planner and her staff, the photographer and videographer and their assistants. These are the vendors who will be working your entire wedding day and they will need food and drinks (non-alcoholic ones of course) in order to stay awake and energized.

The makeup artist and hairstylist, dresser, officiant, baker and florist (and their teams) won’t be spending more than a couple of hours with you so you don’t need to offer them a full meal.

As for what you serve it can be casual: sandwiches, wraps and salads. They won’t expect to be served the same meal as your guests. And for the cost, that will depend on your caterer. Some will throw it in and others may charge a $20pp fee. You can negotiate this with them or ask your wedding planner to coordinate sandwiches, drinks and a snack for vendors from outside source.

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Mother-in-Law Keeps Mentioning I Can’t Wear Strapless for the Ceremony, But the Church Hasn’t Said Anything. What Do I Wear?

I would check with both your officant and the wedding manager at the church (person you booked the wedding through) to find out what the policy is. Some houses of worship have strict policies on how much skin you can bare -- shoulders covered, capped sleeves, sleeves to the elbow, sleeves to the wrist. You don’t want to show up on your wedding day and be turned could happen.

If you’d prefer to show more skin than the venue allows, talk to the bridal salon where you bought your dress about cover-up options for the ceremony -- options that can be easily removed for formal photos and the reception.

As for your mother-in-law: If it turns out the church doesn’t have as strict a policy as she does/wishes, it’s your wedding so wear what you want to wear and don't talk about your wedding dress in front of her. On the big day she'll be too busy greeting her guests that she probably won't notice or mention your neckline.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

I Love Vintage Stamps, Does It Make Sense to Use Them On Our Wedding Invitation Envelopes?

The cost of one stamps is 45 cents and your wedding invitation will probably cost at least 60 cents with so many inserts adding to the weight. To place vintage stamps -- assuming their denominations are all between 1-30 cents -- you will need a huge envelope to get to the total you need to mail one invite. And remember that an oversized envelope will also add to the price of mailing.

I think a better option would be to design a vintage-looking stamp at This way you get the vintage look but don’t have to worry about buying dozens more stamps to meet the rate you need or getting an extra large envelope.

Another option is to use vintage stamps on invitations for events with a limited number of guests -- bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner. This way the rate to mail is lower and you won’t have the extra cost of 100+ envelopes to find stamps for.

If you're looking for vintage stamps, Champion Stamps is a great resource.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

I Don’t Want My Bridesmaids to Buy “Bridesmaid Dresses,” Where Can I Recommend They Shop For a Dress?

That depends on what your requirements are.

Even though you are being “nice” by letting your bridesmaids choose their own bridesmaid dresses, you should still set some parameters as to color, length and formality. You want everyone to complement each other, especially in formal portraits.

If you want a relatively easy color to shop for -- black, navy, white -- then your ‘maids shouldn’t have trouble shopping at department stores or mall shops. But, if you’re requesting a specific shade -- coral, lavender, sunny yellow -- then they may have the best luck at a bridesmaid dress retailer.

A bridesmaid dress retailer will offer a variety of styles, by several designers, in a rainbow of colors. Each girl will easily find a flattering silhouette in the color of your choice.

Some national bridesmaid retailers include, David’s Bridal, Bella Bridesmaid and the online retailer

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Does My Sister Have to Be My Maid of Honor?

It’s customary for the bride’s sister to be maid or matron of honor, and if she has more than one sister, for the role to be shared between them. Regardless of how close you are, it’s probably best to ask your sister to stand with you at the altar, especially if it will cause a family rift if you don’t.

I know several sisters who aren’t very close but they still stood as each other’s maid of honor at each other’s weddings. The bride’s best friend a/k/a the first choice for MOH can be a bridesmaid and still take part in helping the bride shop for her wedding dress, craft various wedding details and plan the shower and bachelorette parties.

A wedding is a family event and it’s important that you try to avoid any arguments or fights. Ask your sister to be your maid of honor and your BFF to be a bridesmaid. She’ll understand.

Monday, March 05, 2012

We’re Really Looking Forward to Our Honeymoon, Can We Register For It?

There are a number of companies that offer Honeymoon Registries where guests can buy you meals and activities (tours, shows, spa treatments, etc.) at your honeymoon destination. Each program is different so I suggest doing some research on several companies before deciding which one to register at.

There was one bride who told me that the site she registered at looks like guests are gifting you specific things to do while on your honeymoon, such as dinners, massages, sightseeing tours, but in reality the site would send the couple cash, less a 10% fee. I do not recommend this type of program because it is deceitful to your guests.

If you do register at a honeymoon registry company I suggest you also register at a traditional retailer so guests who would like to buy you something for your home have that option. You will find that guests of your parents’ and grandparents’ age may go this route.

Friday, March 02, 2012

How Do We Know Which Wedding Photographer To Hire?

It’s very important that you look at complete albums shot by the photographer you are interviewing. You don’t want to see a highlight or “greatest hits” album with the best shots they’ve ever taken. You need to know that he or she can capture every moment from getting ready through the ceremony and reception and take great formal shots too. If a potential photographer is not able to show you a complete album you may want to meet with someone else. That’s a red flag.

Also, if you’re hiring a photographer from a group or studio who reps multiple people you should ask to see the album of the person they are trying to book for your wedding. You don’t want to look at various albums and not see the work of your photographer. You should also meet with this person before your wedding to make sure you like his or her personality.

And speaking of personalities, you and your groom should both feel comfortable with the person you’re interviewing. Your wedding photographer will be in your face all day and should be someone you like and want to be around.

You also want to make sure you can afford the photographer you hire. Do not hire someone that you cannot afford -- I’m talking about shooting the day of the wedding + the album and prints. It’s okay to splurge on a great photographer by taking some money from another wedding area, but do not hire a $10,000 photographer if you can’t really spend more than $5,000.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

I’ve Heard the Parents of the Bride & Groom Should Give Their Future Son/Daughter-in-Law an Engagement Gift. Is This True?

Wedding or engagement tradition dictated the bride’s parents give the groom a watch and the groom’s parents gift the bride a pearl necklace. Today the gift doesn’t have to be a watch or necklace, or you can skip this tradition altogether.

While not as popular as it once was, I think it’s a nice idea -- as a kind of welcome to the family - to gift something special to the bride/groom from the parents. These types of gifts are sentimental and can become family heirlooms.

Remembering that it’s the thought that counts, if your parents are thinking of giving their future son/daughter-in-law an engagement present make sure it’s something that he/she will cherish. It can be something which can be worn at the wedding (jewelry, watch, cufflinks) or an item he or she will truly appreciate. If possible, have it monogrammed or engraved to note the occasion.

Just like many wedding traditions you can tweak it to make it what you want it to be or forget it altogether.  I wouldn’t tell anyone that they have to give a gift. A gift is something they should want to give and can afford to give.


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