Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How to Know If You're Invited to a Wedding With a Guest

A woman at the office stopped by my desk today to ask me a wedding question. She had received a wedding invitation in the mail and the RSVP card had a ____ next to "will be attending" so she wanted to know if that meant she could fill in the number 2 and bring a date.

I asked her what the outer envelope - the envelope the invitation was mailed in - read. As in who was the invitation addressed to. She replied that it was addressed to her. I confirmed that it didn’t read “and Guest” so I told her that she was not invited with a date and couldn’t reply on the RSVP card that she would be bringing one.

The wedding is out of town and she would have to rent a car to drive there and possibly stay overnight and wanted to know if there was any way she could bring a date since besides the bride she wouldn’t know anyone else.

I explained to her that she could always call and ask the bride if she can bring a date but that the bride will probably say no unless a number of people have replied that they won’t be attending.

It turned out that a few weeks ago the bride and the woman spoke and the bride asked her how her boyfriend was, to which the woman replied that they had broken up a few months back, and what her mailing address was. The question about the boyfriend was the bride determining whether or not to invite her with or without a date.

So if you are not sure if you are invited with a guest to a wedding check the outer envelope to see who the invitation is addressed to. Most couples will add “and Guest” if they are inviting you with a guest.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Copying Someone Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

But when it comes to planning a wedding brides want their weddings to be unique and stand out from the crowd.

When you're planning your wedding you may want to keep a few details secret if you're concerned that your friend getting married the month before may "steal" the idea.  I know it sounds crazy but it happens and some brides have meltdowns when they see "their" wedding detail at someone else's wedding.

If this does happen it's not the end of the world.  Simply decide if you want to keep the detail in your wedding or if there's a way to tweak it so it's still the same idea but not exactly the same thing (or it's better) or cancel the idea and come up with something else.

No one is really going to remember if you and your friend have similar details at your wedding except you and the recent bride, and possibly her groom.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Should Gift Amounts Be Reciprocal?

I think so. If you go to a wedding and as a couple you give the bride and groom $200 wouldn’t you be pissed if at your wedding they gave you $50? Admit it, you would. When it comes to giving wedding gifts there is a tit for tat issue that many gift givers follow. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

When you and your groom are going through your gifts make a list of who gave you what for two reasons. First, for thank you notes, which should be sent 8 weeks after you return from your honeymoon. And second to keep as a gift giving guide for you and other relatives - like your parents, grandparents, and siblings - for when you (or they) are invited to someone’s wedding.

I know some people will comment that this is in bad taste or that weddings aren’t about the gifts, but the truth of the matter is that even though you don’t get married for the gifts you still get them. It’s better to have a good idea what to give then to guess when it’s time to go to a wedding and have the couple feel insulted.

There is an exception to this tip. If you got married young and some of your friends came as single guests and either in the first job, still in school or unemployed and gave you a $50 gift -- don’t give them $50 when you go to their wedding years later. In this instance I would adjust for inflation or the fact that you have better jobs and that you had a +1 - your husband - at their wedding. You may want to bump up the gift value to $100-200 depending on your relationship.

Friday, June 25, 2010's Wedding Blog Awards - Nominate Your Favorite Blogs

If you haven't heard I just launched the Wedding Blog Awards over on  I've asked Marcy Blum, Colin Cowie, Eric Hildebrand, Mark Ingram and Liene Stevens to be the judges but you get to pick the nominees.

For four weeks - ending on July 22, 2010 - the public can nominate their favorite wedding blogs in 12 categories:

Best Blog for Wedding Inspiration
Best Blog for Wedding Planning
Best Bridal Fashion Blog
Best Community Blog
Best DIY Blog
Best Groom Blog
Best International Blog
Best Local Area Blog
Best Magazine or Wedding Website Blog
Best Real Bride Blog
Best Retailer Blog
Best Service Vendor Blog

The 3-5 blogs with the most nominations in a category will be the category finalists and then the judges will vote on the winner in each category.  The 5 blogs that receive the most nominations overall will be finalists in the Best Wedding Blog category.

The winners will receive a Waterford crystal award.  Waterford makes the People's Choice Award.

I'm not allowing From "I Will" to "I Do" to be nominated in any category so don't bother nominating it, but please visit and nominate up to three of your favorite wedding blogs using the Nomination Form.

Category finalists will be announced on or about July 26th and the winners will be announced around August 18th.  If you have any questions you can always email me.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

You're Engaged! That Doesn't Mean You Have Everything Planned

My sister called her boss to tell her she got engaged and after saying congratulations she asked the new bride-to-be who she was wearing?  As in who was her wedding dress designer.  Torey was engaged for maybe an hour at this point.

Don't be surprised if you get some rather specific questions right away.  People - friends, relatives and strangers - are all excited for you and they can't help themselves.

You'll be asked about the date, location, vendors, theme, details and of course your dress.  It's okay to say that you don't know the answer to any of these questions.  Just smile, thank them for their well wishes and tell them that you're still in the early stages of planning and nothing's been decided yet.

Not every woman dreamed of her wedding as a child and planned every detail.  It's okay not to know what you want right away.  Pick up a few wedding magazines, log on to wedding planning sites, browse bridal blogs for ideas and keep a list in your wedding organizer and a folder on your desktop of what you like and want.

It may not happen over night but I promise you things will fall into place and once you have your answers you'll be so excited when people start asking you about your wedding plans you;ll be upset when no one does.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Thought on Wedding-Day Hair

No bride wants to look back at her wedding photos years after the wedding and think that her wedding looks dated.  As in, that wedding is so 1985.

You want your wedding to be timeless, classic and you also want to look like you.

When picking your wedding-day hairstyle it's important to choose a style that looks natural on you.  A style that won't make people take a second glance to confirm that it's you.

I always wear my hair down or pulled back in a half-ponytail, so when I got married I chose to have a cleaner version of a half-pony.  My hairstylist got me a fall (fake hair, sort of like a half wig) so my hair looked thicker and he pulled the front of my hair away from my face.  Looking back I like the style, I just think I should have worn something sparkly after I took my veil off because it was a little plain.

Anyway, the point is that I didn't wear some over-the-top up-do that didn't look like me at all.

And the same thing goes for makeup.  It's okay to go a little more sparkly or dramatic on your wedding day but it's not Halloween so don't go overboard.  You want your groom to recognize you too.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rehearsal Dinner Location Idea

I've written tips before on spending non-wedding planning time with your fiance.  I've also written tips on how a movie with a wedding in it can double as date night and wedding planning time because you can take mental notes on wedding ideas and inspiration.  But here's another one:

Why not plan date nights at restaurants you're thinking of hosting your rehearsal dinner at?  You can enjoy an evening out without talking about wedding planning but by the end of the meal you'll have a good idea if this restaurant would make a great location for your rehearsal dinner.

You can also have one or both sets of parents come with you to test out menus or plan night's out with friends and have them join in the fun!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Must-Read Bridal Shower Tips

I love going to bridal showers.  They're so casual and fun and the bridesmaids can really do whatever they want as far as location, food, entertainment and theme goes.

If you're planning a bridal shower - or are the bride and can have some influence on the one about to be thrown for you - here are some planning tips to keep in mind:
  1. Guests expect shower games as part of the entertainment.  Yes, sometimes they can be cheesy but sometimes cheesy can be fun.  Don't be afraid to make up your own game or put a new twist on an old favorite like Who knows the bride or groom best? and The Newlywed Game.
  2. Guests expect that the bride will open her gifts at the shower.  If there are more than 25 gifts the bridesmaids should form an assembly line to help speed up the process - unwrap, keep track of who gave what, repackage, trash detail and ribbon bouquet.
  3. Speaking of ribbon bouquets.  Forget the ribbon hat and make the bride a ribbon bouquet that she can then use at her rehearsal.  Bring extra ribbons, paper plates, scissors, tape and a stapler with staples to create the bouquet. And don't forget to pose for a picture with the bride!
  4. Favors are usually something that guests can't really use but they don't have to be.  Think about giving guests something they can really use like a mug, magnet, notepad or monogrammed handkerchief. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Two Must-Read Tips for Your Bridal Registry

I just saw Sex & the City 2 and I have to say that was some wedding. Ron Ben-Israel’s Swarovski crystal cake, Liza Minelli officiating and performing Single Ladies, the all men choir singing Sunrise Sunset during the was an over-the-top wedding with loads of inspiration. And of course I walked away with a few tips.

Here’s one on registry:

The movie opens with the four ladies visiting Bergdorf Goodman to buy wedding presents for the happy couple. Carrie says it’s under Stanford Blatch and Charlotte says that it may be under Anthony’s name too.

Your registry should be listed under both the bride’s name and the groom’s name since some guests may not be familiar with both of your last names. Think about it. Do you think your dad’s boss will know your fiance’s last name? Will your fiance’s cousin know your name? Probably not. And that’s why registries are listed under both names.

As for the shipping address for gifts you can decide to put your home address or one of your parents’ homes as the place to send gifts. We gave a grandparent’s home address since they live nearby and we were pretty sure someone would be home to accept packages. We didn’t want to worry about packages left on the stoop.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bridal Diapers

I try not to repeat posts on From "I Will" to "I Do" that I write for but I had to make an exception.

A colleague emailed me about a new trend she read about on a message board:  Bridal diapers.  Of course this is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard and I don't believe that it's an actual trend the way the color purple as a wedding color and bow details on wedding dresses are but bathroom emergencies can happen so I came up with some useful tips on how to handle a pee emergency at your wedding:

1 – If you feel the urge to pee then make a beeline for the bathroom and grab a friend who can help you get in and out of your dress.

1b – If your wedding dress is complicated to get in and out of, bring said friend to your fittings to learn how to get the dress on and off.

2 – Bring a friend or two with you to the bathroom to hold up your skirt so you can pee.

3 – Don't drink too much of anything to avoid the need to pee.

4 – Make sure to use the bathroom before you get into your wedding dress.

Click over to to see photos of real brides in bridal diapers.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Honeymoon Compromise

Do you and your fiance have different ideas of what your honeymoon vacation should be? You want to visit the spa and relax on the beach, he wants to go mountain climbing.  Look for a location that will offer activities that will please both of you.

If you have more than a few days to get away you may want to consider flying off to a second location after a few nights at one destination. My advice is to do the relaxing on the second half of your trip.

You may want to visit a travel agent to discuss your options. He or she will have great ideas for honeymoon destinations that will please both of you and may be able to get you discounts on your flight, hotel,  activities and meals while you’re on your honeymoon.

Don’t forget to make sure everyone knows you’re on your honeymoon while you’re traveling. People and businesses love to toast newlyweds and you may get some wonderful perks while you’re on your first vacation as husband and wife.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You and Your Bustle

If your wedding dress even has the smallest train it may be worth having a bustle added to it. Dance floors are crowded and you don’t want anyone stepping on it, which could tear your skirt or cause you to trip and fall.

Talk to your seamstress about your bustle options and then at your final fitting have one of your bridesmaids come with you to learn how to bustle your dress.

Do not ask your mom to tie your bustle even if she offers it. Mom is probably in a formal dress and it won’t be so easy for her to get on her knees to tie or button the inside of your skirt.

Remember to add safety pins to your wedding day emergency kit in case your bustle rips. You can use the safety pins to pin the bustle back together.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Registries are NOT Greedy, Dirty or Unromantic

Enough already with the registry being something greedy or dirty or making weddings unromantic.

I just read a post on Jezebel and an article in the Washington Post about couples not registering.

A wedding registry is actually a gift to your guests. Think about it. Guests want to buy you gifts.  Some will buy you more than one and it’s hard to shop for someone whose interests you aren’t 100% sure of. Except for maybe your best friend or siblings it’s hard to buy a great gift from someone. I know it’s hard for me to find the right gifts for friends on their birthdays. I almost always get a gift certificate to a spa because I’m pretty sure everyone would like that.

If you are a couple who already “have everything” than register at a store that sells items that reflect your hobby or interests. You can register at a wine store, sporting good stores or create a charity registry for guests to make donations to specific charities. Or ask a favorite store if they’ll create a wedding registry for you.

If you do decide not to register don’t be surprised if you start getting gifts that you don’t need, want or can’t use. You’ll be surprised – and not pleasantly – at what you get. I’ll never forget the plastic tray my sister got as an engagement gift in an unmarked box and no gift receipt – and she had registered. Or there was my friend who didn’t re-register for her shower and she was shocked at what she got, including a fake Louis Vuitton duffle bag wrapped in a garbage bag or the wrought iron spiral tea light holder that would never fit in her NYC studio apartment.

And not registering for gifts doesn't mean your guests will just write you a check.  Most people will want to give you a product, especially as an engagement and bridal shower gift.

Trust me – I’m talking from experience – create a wedding registry. It is more frustrating to guests when there isn’t a registry for them to refer to.

Even Santa Claus asks you to make a wish list of gifts!  So do your guests, and yourselves, a favor and create at least one registry list at a store you and your fiance like.  Trust me.  You're not being greedy, you're being thoughtful.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Catering Tip for Your Wedding Menu

A group of wedding bloggers and freelance writers were invited to a special event at the Plaza Hotel last week. The catering company Great Performances hosted a casual cocktail hour and their chef d'cuisine, Mark Spooner, talked to us about new trends in cocktail hour and dessert.  the event was held in the historic Grand Ballroom.

Of course, I asked why pigs-in-a-blanket weren't there and I was told that PIBS are not trendy, they're a classic!

When you're planning you're wedding menu, talk to your caterer about what foods you and your fiance love as well as what foods you don't enjoy, but then listen to what your caterer recommends.  He or she will be able to tell you what is popular with guests, what the latest trends are, which foods you may not want to serve and why as well as what foods you can afford.  You may want a raw seafood bar but your budget may not allow for it.

Remember that your wedding vendors plan and execute weddings every week.  They are the experts, are sure to have great ideas and be able to guide you in the right direction.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Heal Your Heels

I was at breakfast to day with Kelly Faetanini the designer of the Jewel by Priscilla of Boston this morning and she asked me what I blog about and as I was giving her some examples of my tips from everyday life the woman at the next table interrupted us.

She said that she had a wedding tip that she thought I should share:  She said that it's very hard for women to wear high heels to outdoor weddings where there is no floor and your heels sink into the ground - they also get damaged.

She didn't know why people didn't think they could were flats to outdoor weddings so they aren't constantly digging their shoes out of the grass or dirt or in rainy cases, mud.  Or why the bride and groom don't think of having a floor rented to help the situation.

I don't remember if I wrote about Sole Mates but they are clear or black plastic covers to protect your high heels.  I don't know how much they'll prevent you from sinking into the ground but they will help prevent damage to your choos.  Sorry shoes.   Sorry had to do it.

As for flooring.  If you are getting married outdoors it may be worth renting a floor, especially if the ground is uneven or extremely soft.

We went to an event in a tent where the only floor was the dance floor and it had rained the day before so the ground was soaking wet and muddy.  Of course I was wearing satin open toe heels and they were almost destroyed.  The heels kept sinking into the mud and the mud kept soaking up the front of the shoe too.  Luckily I have a great cobbler who saved them, but it was touch and go there for a few days.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Don't Flash Your Guests

I was searching youtube for a specific wedding video I had seen a few weeks back for a story on and came across this first dance.

The couple does a traditional dance and then it evolved into a few other dances - sort of like an evolution of a dance.  But what caught my eye was two things:

  1. She pulled her strapless dress up a few times to prevent from flashing their guests 
  2. and
  3. She kept slipping and stepping on her train
When having your alterations done it's very important that your bodice fits tight enough so that you don't even have to worry about a flasher moment - granted some of her moves are not traditionally done at a wedding.  Try jumping up and down during your fittings to see if and how much the bodice slips - if it does you may need to have it taken in a little bit more.

And to prevent stepping or slipping on your train - for you, your groom and your guests - it's very important to have a your skirt bustled.  You'll feel so much more comfortable and be able to move around with ease on the dance floor and when chatting with guests if you have your seamstress add a bustle.

Remember to have a friend come with you to your final fitting to learn how to bustle your wedding dress - you probably won't be able to do it yourself.

And if someone doe step on your skirt - bustled or not - here's some expert advice on what to do.

Here's the video that inspired me to write this post:

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Secret Celebrity Weddings on WEtv

Okay, so this post is a bit of a plug.  I was interviewed months ago on Secret Celebrity Weddings - a special for WEtv that will air tonight and probably re-air many times in the future.

One of the things I learned about secret celebrity weddings is that while the main reason for the secret is to protect their privacy everyday people can do some of the same things for their own wedding.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick had a surprise wedding - they surprised their guests who just though they were going to a party.  You can do the same thing, though I would wear a wedding dress instead of a black dress like SJP wore.  She's been quoted as saying that the black dress was her one regret.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer garner were married on a tropical island with one witness - their offiicant, the bride's co-star, Victor Garber.  There are plenty of secluded beaches you can choose for an intimate wedding.  Talk to local resorts and hotels on the island of your choice to find out what your options are.

You can watch the show to learn more about secret celebrity weddings, but when looking to celebrities for wedding inspiration remember that there are ways to have those details at your budget.  Just think creatively.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Do I Have to Ask Someone to Be My Bridesmaid If I was Hers?

Yes and no.  I feel like more and more brides are stressing out over who has to be asked to be a bridesmaid lately.

Being a bridesmaid is an honor - yes, and honor - it's expensive and comes with a large price tag too.  There's the shower, the bachelorette party, the gifts, the helping, the dress, the day-of...the list can be as long as the bride needs or wants it to be.  And with each of these to dos comes a budget.

If you are having bridesmaids it's important to talk to your fiance about the number of people in your bridal party (remember you have to buy all of them a gift and pay for their boutonnieres and bouquets and meals and dates) and you need to decide if you want an even number of bridesmaids and groomsmen or if you are okay with an odd number - more on one side.

So who do you ask?

Siblings come first - and step- and half-siblings.  If you're not close to a step- or half-sibling confirm with your parents if not asking them will cause a rift in the family.  Sometimes it's just better to add someone than start World War III.

Close relatives depend on the closeness of the relationship.  For example my sister is closer to some of our cousins than I am so they were in her bridal party but I didn't feel that I needed to ask them.  If you are close with a cousin feel free to ask her but don't assume you have to invite all your cousins.

Friends.  If there's a group of friends you may need to invite all of them so one person isn't left out.  But if you do decide to limit the group make sure the excluded ones are invited to the shower, bachelorette and wedding.

You were her bridesmaid.  If you were someone's bridesmaid and have drifted apart since then it's okay not to ask her to be your bridesmaid.  If you think that you've two grown apart the other person has probably thought the same thing.

It's important that you ask your closest family and friends to be your bridesmaids because of the responsibilities, price tag and the amount of time involved.  Most people when asked to be a bridesmaid will not turn you down so think about who you really want to be up there with you and ask them.

Or you can do what my friend Deena did.  She asked about 8 friends to be her bridesmaids in photos only.  We each wore our own long black dresses and posed for photos.  None of us walked down the aisle or stood at the altar.  Her mother hosted the shower and the group hosted her bachelorette.  It worked out great for everyone.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Registry Tip from the B-List Event at the Wedgwood Showroom

A small group of bloggers attended an event at the Waterford-Wedgwood-Royal Doulton showroom yesterday.  We met Lord Wedgwood, a number of senior staffers and Jorge Perez, the company's fabulous and very knowledgeable, spokesperson.

Jorge gave us a tour of the showroom along with tips on how to create a registry to ensure you have everything you need to entertain at home.  He had several areas set up and each one featured items used in traditional as well as non-traditional ways.  Here are some of the tips and ideas he shared with us:
  • Register for items that can be used in more than one way.  For example he used a pitcher to serve popcorn, crystal picture frames with the backs removed as serving trays and plates and cups and saucers to serve soup.
  • Make sure to register for a lot of bowls - in different sizes and patterns - because when you entertain you'll find that bowls come in handy for serving food, dips, vessels for flowers and more!
  • Mix and match your china patterns.  You can serve the first course with a different pattern from your dinner and dessert course.  So if you can't decide between two patterns, register for both!
  • Most china and crystal products today are dishwasher safe so there's no reason why you can't use (and enjoy) them everyday.
  • Many people assume that hand washing crystal will prevent breakage, but actually more crystal stemware is chipped or breaks when washed by hand then when washed in the dishwasher.
Several bloggers commented that they didn't think they would ever use china and crystal so they didn't register for it, and at the event they said they regretted that decision.  Don't make the same mistake - or have the same regret - remember to register for china and crystal and flatware.  You'll thank yourself later.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Wedding Invites Allows Follow Shower Invites

I was invited to a bridal shower - my mom and I are both going.  Dave and I were not invited to the engagement party but I'm assuming we'll be invited to the wedding.

My dad doesn't think so but since you only invite people to the shower who ARE invited to the wedding I'm assuming a wedding invite should arrive by the end of July.

When your bridesmaids and mom are planning your shower it's very important that they know who is invited to the wedding.  It is not appropriate to invite people to the shower who ARE NOT invited to the wedding.  Of course with every rule there are several exceptions:
  1. An Office Shower.  If your colleagues throw you a shower at work you are not obligated to invite all of them to your wedding and they are not expecting an invitation.
  2. Family Out of Town. If you live and are getting married in one location but many guests - on the bride or groom's side - won't be able to make the wedding because of geography it's common for the mother of the bride or groom to host a bridal shower with her local relatives and friends.
  3. Small Destination Weddings or Elopements.  If you and your groom are having a very small wedding with a handful of people, your close friends and relatives may decide to throw you a shower even though they know they won't be invited to the wedding.
The most important thing is to make sure that you don't come off looking greedy by having a shower with 50 extra people that are not going to be receiving a wedding invitation. 

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Family Dances

At the wedding of a friend a few years back the bride shared a special dance with her mother and halfway through the dance her sister joined in.

The bride's parents divorced when she was little and her father was more out of her life than in so she decided it was important to honor her mom.  (Dad walked her down the aisle and she did the father-daugher dance too.)

On the radio today a DJ asked listers to call in with their favorite moment at a wedding and one woman mentioned that she loves special dances and specifically mentioned a brother-sister dance.  I've never heard or seen this but it's similar to what my friend did and I think it's a beautiful idea.

A wedding is a wonderful celebration and there aren't many opportunities in life to honor and give thanks to those important to you.  Talk to your band or DJ about including an additional special dance in your reception but remember to keep it short - maybe even have it be not even half a song and then invite everyone else on the dance floor.

Yes, it's a special moment for you but after about 30 seconds your guests will lose interest and you don't want bored guests at your wedding.


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