Wedding Invitations

It’s time to pick out wedding invitations, but where should you go?  To me, it seemed that there weren’t very many places in the Hill Country area that dealt with wedding invitations.  I turned to online sites.  Yes, it is a little unsettling not to be able to see the invitations in person.  With that being said, you have options.  If you plan ahead you can order samples of invitations that you like and narrow down your choices.  Here are some places you can use for your wedding invitations.

I have heard wonderful things about Wedding Paper Divas.  You can order anything from save the dates, to menus, to wedding invitations meanwhile using the same theme for all of them (if you choose to do so).  It is great to see a large variety of items.   So what about samples?  You can order samples at any point and they normally have some sort of specials going on, which means you may even get lucky and save money on your purchases from Wedding Paper Divas.

Wedding Paper Divas
Wedding Paper Divas

I have personal experience with the next website, Storkie.com.  This website was very user friendly and I quickly found what I was looking for.  There are just as many wedding invitation options on this website as there are on Wedding Paper Divas.  You can order up to five invitation samples at no cost.  I ordered a small amount of invitations to send out quickly and I was very pleased with the outcome.  Storkie.com has a very quick turnaround time.

Storkie.com
Storkie.com

Vista Print is another website that is inexpensive for your wedding needs.  They have all sorts of goodies such as, programs, invitations, magnets, and save the dates.  You can customize any of those items or try their user friendly templates.  This website runs specials all the time.

Vistaprint.com
Vistaprint.com

For those of you that would like to see an invitation sample in person, without the wait, Paper Source is the place for you.  They have several large binders full of invitations for you to look through.  Some of the binders you will find in the store are Vera Wang, Crane & Co., William Arthur, and Paper Source.  There is no doubt you will find the invitation that fits your budget best.  I used Crane & Co. for my wedding invitations and they did not disappoint.  If you are looking for a classic and elegant look, they are a great fit.

Paper Source
Paper Source

Here are some helpful tips to begin your invitation search:

1.  Invitations set the tone of your wedding, keep this in mind when you start looking.

2.  Begin looking for invitations at least four months in advance.  This will give you time to hire a calligrapher for your invitations.  The calligrapher will also need plenty of time to be able to complete your order if they are in their busy season.  It will also cut down on shipping if you order your invitations with plenty of time.

3.  Have your guest list count ready so that you don’t order too many over or under your actual count.

4.  Whether you are searching online or in person, ask how long it will take to have a particular invitation made.

5.  Ask if there are invitations that take longer than others, this will save you time if you are in a hurry to receive your invitations (colored guilted edges take longer than other invitations).

6.  You will most likely need several appointments to finalize your invitations.  Make appointments and time to schedule these visits in.

7.  If you are ordering invitations online, give yourself time to order a sample or several samples.

8.  Have an idea of the wording you want on your invitations. Do your research.  Do you want both parents on the invitation?  What time will your wedding be at?

9.  Don’t forget to ask about postage.  Yes, some invitations will cost more to send out than others.  Square shaped invitations or heavy invitations will have a more expensive postage stamp.

10.  When you receive your invitations, take a completed invitation to your closest post office and have it weighed.  They will be able to tell you which postage stamp needs to be on your invitation.  You do not want your invitations to be returned because your stamp was not enough for the style/type of invitation.

11.  Right now they are changing the prices of postage stamps.  Take this into consideration, it could affect your timeline to send out invitations.

12.  If you are hiring a calligrapher, you will be giving him/her a guest list.  Ask him/her how he would like you to word the names for the invitations.  You may have to make updates to your guest list to fit his/her criteria.

 

*Betsy Villanueva

 

 

 

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How To: Honeymoon in Italy

Rialto

Buongiorno! I’ve never been on a honeymoon in Italy before, but I have been around the country a few times. Italy is an absolutely beautiful place that offers a variety of scenery, weather, food, wine and activities.  I recommend visiting in late spring or early summer; it should be mostly warm during the day and cool at night this time of the year. There are many things to do and see in Italy but chances are you don’t have time for that long of a trip, so I’ll tell you how to make the most of a few of my favorite places in this 12 day honeymoon trip! As for where to stay, let me say that not all hostels deserve the bad rep and I very much enjoyed my stay (I stayed in a total of 4 on my last trip); you can usually find a lot with rooms for two people. But! This is your honeymoon, so if you’re looking to splurge a little then don’t worry; the hotels have just as much character as the hostels.

Days 1-5: Florence

Florence

Start your trip by flying in to the Airport of Florence and taking either rental car, bus, taxi or limo service to your destination. It is fairly easy to walk to the majority of the sights Florence has to offer but you may want to stay near Stazione Santa Maria Novella, the train station (buses and taxis also wait here). 5 days gives you plenty of time to leisurely explore the city and maybe take a few side trips, too. I recommend seeing the Duomo and climbing the steps to the very top; the view is simply stunning (go in the morning before it gets too hot or in the evening)! There are many museums but a few of the more famous ones are: the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia (which houses the David), Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens. Make sure to walk through all the main piazzas (Santa Maria Novella, Santa Croce, Repubblica and Signoria) as well as take a romantic sunset stroll over to Ponte Vecchio, a bridge across the Arno River with shops along it. There’s also a wonderful leather market, Mercato de Porcellino, not far from Piazza de Repubblica where you can try your hand at bargaining. Be sure to check out my favorite tour company, Florence For Fun, and take a day trip to Rome, Pisa or Lucca! I highly recommend their Chianti Hiking and Wine Tasting tour! (Personally, I only recommend one day in Rome because it is so hot, crowded and expensive- tourist trap.)

Days 6-8: Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

The Amalfi Coast is still on my list of places I must visit one day, but on my last trip I went to Cinque Terre and fell in love (to be fair, I do that a lot in Italy)! I recommend Cinque Terre if you’re feeling adventurous and ready to explore, and the Amalfi Coast if you would prefer to relax on the beach. Cinque Terre is a collection of 5 cities on the coast of the Italian Riviera that all have beautifully colored houses perched on the cliffside overlooking the Ligurian and Mediterranean Seas. They have the best white wine I have ever tasted; it’s really spoiled me as I can’t find it here in the States. Make sure to get a National Parks Pass that will also give you access to the train. Hike from Riomaggiore to Manarola on Via dell’Amore, also known as Lover’s Lane, and visit the amazing beaches in Monterosso. If you choose to visit the Amalfi Coast you can spend your time on the black sand beaches of Positano, the Emerald Grotto and the island of Capri, or take a trip to Pompeii! Also, don’t be surprised if you see giant lemons; locals use them to make an alcoholic treat called Limoncello.

Days 9-12: Venice

Venice

I’ve recommended 4 days here because if you prefer to save money by taking the slow train, it may take half a day to get from the coast to Venice. First thing you need to do in preparation for a trip to Venice…get a map! If you have a smart phone I recommend downloading City Maps 2Go, either free or $2.99 on iTunes. It has detailed maps including attractions, transportation and your current location. It can be very easy to get lost in Venice, but  don’t worry because that can be fun; the hard part is getting un-lost and back to your room at the end of the day! The food is great all over Italy but Venice is where you must try seafood, even if you aren’t a fan of it. Of course, you also have to take a romantic gondola ride; it is definitely worth it to pay the extra for a narrated tour. Try to find a gondolier who seems eager to tell stories. Chances are if you ask them about their life or their country, they won’t have a problem talking all about it! Make sure to walk over the Rialto bridge, another one filled with shops. Be careful when buying things in this area as it’s a huge tourist trap and you will find a lot of items made in China. Also be sure to check out Piazza San Marco and the Basilica, a Murano glass demonstration, and like I said before, don’t be afraid to get lost!

If you choose to honeymoon in Italy then I hope you love the country and its culture as much as I do and I wish you the happiest time! One more note that’s very important: when taking the train, make sure you fill out all the information on your ticket and get it validated in one of the machines, usually green, near the platforms before getting on your train! You will be charged another full price ticket if you are caught on the train without a validated ticket! Once you learn your way around Italy’s transportation system it can become quite easy and almost second-nature to you. I have found that Italy is full of friendly people but if you’re having any difficulties then just remember, the more effort you make to learn their language and culture, the more friendly and helpful you will find the locals. Ciao!

- Nikki

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Which Wedding Movie is for You?

This weather makes you want to stay in and cozy up with some hot chocolate, so why not watch some fun wedding movies alone or with your gals.  Whether you are about to be engaged or recently became a fiancé, get pumped up to begin your wedding planning by watching some wedding themed movies.

First up, a classic, The Princess Bride.  This movie is a postmodern fairy tale that has the perfect combination of romance and comedy.  It is a great pick for you and your man to cuddle up and watch.

The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride

Another romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney is My Best Friend’s Wedding.  If you have a best friend of the opposite sex as your best man or maid of honor you will get a kick out of this movie.

My Best Friend's Wedding
My Best Friend’s Wedding

Next on the list is Wedding Crashers.  If you want your man to watch a wedding themed movie with you, this is the one to pick.  It is a raunchy romantic comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.  Wedding Crashers is sexually explicit, but don’t let that scare you away because it has its sweet moments. This one will keep you laughing.

Wedding Crashers
Wedding Crashers

Can the list of wedding movies get any better?  It just did!  The Hangover will keep you laughing.  It is another great pick for you and your man to watch on cold days like the ones we have been having here in the Hill Country.  Starring Bradley Cooper (who doesn’t enjoy watching him?), Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Helms this movie gets you and your significant other pumped up for your bachelorette or bachelor outing.

The Hangover
The Hangover

Thinking about having a girls night with your bridesmaids?  Watch Bridesmaids.  Bridesmaids is a comedy about a bride and her five bridesmaids.  It mostly focuses on the life of her maid of honor so this movie will definitely be appreciated by your gals.

Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids

Then, there is Bridal Wars.  If you and your best friend are getting married you should have a movie night and watch this.  It is about two best friends (Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway) that clash when their wedding plans get ruined.  They both want the same wedding and have dreamed of their big day since they were little, but things go wrong.  It is a good movie and can show you what not to do when you are both planning the wedding of your dreams.

There are many wedding themed movies out there that will get you excited for wedding planning, wedding related events, or your big day.  Grab your favorite snacks, cozy up and enjoy these movies.

 

 

*Betsy Villanueva

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bachelorette Party Games

scavenger hunt

I recently attended a bachelorette party in San Antonio and will be attending another one in New Orleans this summer. We played a fun game to help the bride prepare for her honeymoon and it got me thinking about what games we could come up with for New Orleans! So here are just a few ways you can celebrate with the bride-to-be whether it’s a casual dinner and drinks or a night out on the town.

Name That Lingerie

lingerie

On the invite for the bachelorette party, the maid of honor (MOH) listed the bride-to-be’s size and requested that everyone bring a set of lingerie. After dinner, each gift was opened and the group helped name each set. The MOH will put together a “menu” using the names we picked. On each night of the honeymoon, the groom will pick an item off the menu and the bride will wear it. We had so much fun coming up with different names, ranging from sweet and innocent to sexy and mysterious. Some ideas we had include: Pink-a-Boo, Wild Thang, Nip Slip, Turqoise Delight and everyone’s favorite, The Cherry Popper.

he said she said

The MOH created a list of quotes from the bride and groom, some obvious and some difficult. We each had to circle the name of either the bride or groom next to the quote we thought was theirs. Whoever had the most correctly circled won a prize! Depending on the type of bachelorette party you have this could mean cute little trinkets or a drink at the next bar. This game is a good way to get to know the bride or groom, whichever you don’t know as well, a little better as well as encourage conversation between members of the group who don’t know each other.

Who Knows the Bachelorette?

bride

This game is similar to the previous one except it’s all about the bride-to-be! The MOH hands out sheets of paper with facts about the bachelorette for guests to finish filling out. Some suggestions for this are: drink of choice, shoe size, most overused phrase, her nickname for her fiance, honeymoon destination, etc. The game works best if there is a mix of easy and difficult questions.

scavenger hunt

You can have a lot of fun with this game if your bachelorette party is a night out on the town! Get a photo with the bartenders, photobomb a stranger’s picture without being caught, take a picture with a cop pretending to handcuff you, take a picture with a flaming shot and then take it, ask someone to marry you, find someone with the same first name as the groom, etc. Be creative and have fun! Keep in mind who is going to be attending the party because that could change the tasks on the scavenger hunt, especially if you know someone very outgoing.

Drink If….

cocktail

This is a good game to start the night out with! All participants must drink if… you’re the youngest, the oldest, holding a beer, wearing a necklace, have blue eyes, hate your boss, don’t know the bride’s middle name, etc. This game is probably best planned by both the bride-to-be and the MOH together since the bride will probably know more about all the attendees. Have specific people in mind when listing the drink if… tasks, it will make it more fun if everyone is assured a chance to drink if…

Last but not least, the hangover kits!!

hangover

Please be kind to your bridesmaids and MOH and provide them with a handy kit to cure any illness the next morning. You can put things in there like aspirin, sunglasses, breath mints, gatorade, water, altoids, bandaids, alka seltzer and 5 hour energy. Your bridesmaids will be sure to thank you for this (and yourself, too)!

-Nikki

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Registry

It’s time to create a registry for you wedding and your showers.  You can practically register anywhere now a days, but here are a list of places to register at to get you started.

myregistry.com
myregistry.com

Why register at myregistry.com?  You can go to any store you like and add anything from that store to your registry at myregistry.com.  Chances are, you won’t find everything you want or need from one particular store, but with myregistry.com you can add items from several stores.  This gives you and your groom exactly what you want without having to settle for something you kind-of like.

Find a store that has a broad range of things for you to choose from.  When you create your registry someone will always tell you to register for many things, even if you think it’s too much.  This gives your guests the ability to pick things that are in their budget, while also having several choices.  Also, keep in mind that several stores offer some sort of a bonus if you register with them.  For example, Bed, Bath, and Beyond offers you 20% off on the remaining items on your registry that was not bought.  This allows you to purchase the items you still need at a discount.

Next up on the list of preferred registry stores is Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  This store has practically everything you could possibly want to register.  When the customer service desk tells you they have more things online to look at and choose from, they really mean it.  They have a larger selection of items online than they do in stores.  Don’t forget to browse online to find some great items.

This department store has a variety of items to offer with great pricing.  Macy’s always has sales, which works to your advantage because guests can get you a better gift for a good price.  Plus, you can add clothes, jewelry, or other items around the store.

Dillard’s has nice items from you to choose from if you are looking for a step up on quality, that is also reasonably priced.  The selection isn’t as large on appliances, but they do offer furniture, clothes, makeup, and shoes that can be added to your registry.  Who doesn’t enjoy a little black dress?

 

Target offers a $20 gift card if you register with them.  Registering here is particularly great for your groom because he can register for all of the items needed for upkeep of your house.  This is a great choice to register at for a couples shower.

Try to set up a few registries, especially for people traveling to the wedding, because some stores may not be in their particular area.  For example, I did not choose to register at Macy’s because my fiancé’s friends and family are from Mississippi and they don’t have Macy’s around them.  I chose to register elsewhere in Mississippi for their convenience.  Most people send gifts directly to your home, but some prefer to give you the gift at the wedding so keep that in mind if you find a website that doesn’t have an actual store for your guests to visit.

*Betsy Villanueva

 

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Homemade Spa Treatment

epsom-salt-detox-bath

So your big day is coming up and you used most of your budget already? No problem! You don’t have to go to a fancy spa to get pampered before your wedding, you can do it right at home with your bridesmaids. I would recommend gathering the materials and preparing the following concoctions prior to the day you wish to use them, just to save time, unless the directions specifically say to prepare and use while fresh.

exfoliating scrub

Homemade Exfoliating Sugar Scrub by Foxy Whole Foodie

To make about 1, 1/2 cups you will need the following: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup slightly melted coconut oil, and your favorite essential oil.

You can use all salt or all sugar but you may find that sugar dissolves more by itself. Add the sugar and salt to a container that you can seal, maybe an old exfoliating scrub container. Melt the coconut oil in a bowl for about 5-8 seconds and gently stir; it will melt at 75 degrees. Add the melted coconut oil to the sugar and salt mixture, and stir until it seems fully mixed. Finally, stir in about 15 drops of your favorite essential oil to give the scrub the desired scent.

deep-hair-conditioner

Natural Deep Hair Conditioner by Petit Elefant

You will need: 1 shower cap, 1 avocado, 2 tablespoons olive oil (or coconut oil), 2 tablespoons water, and 2 tablespoons whipped heavy cream.

The recipe calls for olive oil, but I much prefer to use coconut oil as a substitute whenever I see a recipe that calls for olive oil. Combine all of the ingredients and comb it through your hair. Put on the shower cap and wait for about 20 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. You may want to shampoo your hair afterwards as it will probably smell like avocado.

facial steam

Facial Steam by The Mountain Rose Blog

You will need: 1/8 cup organic Green Sencha Leaf Tea, 1/4 cup dried organic Lemon Balm, 1-2 tablespoons dried organic Peppermint

The ingredients may take a little longer to find because they are organic but this facial steam will moisturize, relax muscles, plump wrinkles, eliminate toxins and dirt, and increase circulation. Place the three ingredients into a large glass, or ceramic, bowl. Boil water, pour it into the bowl and immediately cover it with a towel. The hot water will cause oils to be released from the ingredients and you do not want them to escape into the air. Let that steep, or sit, for about 5 minutes. Place the bowl so that you can comfortably lean over it with your face over the bowl. Remove the towel, place your face over the bowl, and recover the bowl plus your head with a towel so that the steam doesn’t escape. Close your eyes and breathe deeply for about 10 minutes, and you should feel refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated!

epsom-salt-detox-bath

Detoxifying Bath Soak

I mentioned to my grandmother one day that I had been looking for a good detoxifying bath recipe that didn’t have too many ingredients and she gave me this recipe. You will need: 1 cup Epsom Salt, 1 cup baking soda

Fill your bathtub with as much hot water as you can handle, remember it will seem extra hot when you first get in but your body will adjust. As the tub is filling, pour the Epsom salt and baking soda slowly near the faucet. I usually swirl the water around with my hand a little to make sure it spreads to the other side of the tub, too. Once the bath is full, get in and soak for 40 minutes. You will sweat! I repeat, you will sweat! It may feel a little uncomfortable depending on how hot the water is but try to last the full 40 minutes if you can (if you can’t, its ok; I got out after 30 minutes the first time I tried this). Drink plenty of water during and after this bath. I buy the Epsom Salt that has eucalyptus in it for added benefits and a pleasant smell. You can use ginger root shavings or an essential oil to create the aroma you prefer.

body butter

DIY Body Butter by Bes Skincare

You will need: 1 cup Coconut Oil, 1 tsp Vitamin E oil, your favorite essential oil

You can easily buy a body butter from stores like Bath and Body or Victoria’s Secret, but if you want a cheaper, more organic lotion then making your own is the way to go. Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix on high for at least 5 minutes or until it is creamy and whipped. Put the mixture into a clean glass jar with a lid you can seal, and store it at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

-Nikki

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How To: Include Your Pet

pet-in-wedding-4

You have a pet that you adore and want to include on your wedding day? No problem!  Here are a few ways to include your pet on the big day and things to take into consideration while trying to decide whether to include your pet or not.  You must first decide if it is appropriate to have your pet at your wedding depending on the type of wedding you are having or the location of the wedding.  If you are having your wedding on a ranch or out in the country having your pet at or in your wedding would be no problem.  If your wedding is at a hotel, in a church, or is very formal it is best to keep your pet at home.  Ask your venue what their pet policy is.  The temperament of your animal must also be taken into consideration.  Is your pet aggressive, hyper or loud?  If that is the case then many things could go wrong at your wedding and having your pet present would be a problem that you don’t need to be worried about on your big day.  Even if you have a good tempered pet, remember other small issues may arise.  For example, if your dog sees a squirrel will he/she want to bark or chase after it?  Does your dog need to be watched throughout the day?  If so, someone needs to be in charge of your pet because you will be busy on your wedding day.

 

Wedding-DogsYou can have your pet wear some shade of the color scheme you have picked out for your wedding.  Your pet can also wear an outfit to match either the groom or bride or even just a cute collar to spruce up your pet.

If your dog or cat can manage walking down the aisle without being too distracted by your guests, he/she can walk or be walked down the aisle to stand by your side during the ceremony.  Your pet can be the ring bearer if you secure the rings on the pillow or simply attach the pillow to your pet and keep the rings with your best man, either way it is a cute picture to have.

STUDIO-EMP_pets_8521

Cute-Cat-Photobombed-By-A-Wedding

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Bellingham Washington Wedding Photography

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ashley-rose

pets-in-wedding_large

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Let’s talk pictures.  If having your pet throughout your whole wedding day is not possible, but you really want him/her involved take a few pictures with them on your wedding day.  Make sure that your pet is clean and groomed and won’t get you or your groom dirty.  Also, do not allow them to climb or jump on you because it could tear your dress or ruin the tux in some way.  Have someone there to help you control them during pictures.

If you include your pets on your big day do a run through with them so they get an idea of what it will be like and so you can feel comfortable on the day of your wedding knowing that they will be well behaved.

 

 

*Betsy Villanueva

 

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Wedding Etiquette

Weddings are about tradition, celebration, and above all else, love.  Weddings have evolved to keep up with the times and so has wedding etiquette.  The first rule to wedding etiquette is to be kind and respectful throughout the wedding planning process.  Be  a gracious bride/groom.

First comes the proposal.  How do you decide whether or not to ask the parents of the bride or groom for permission?  Personally, I think asking the parents for permission is a must.  It really depends on the bride or groom’s religious traditions, beliefs, and preferences.  Picking a ring is just as important as it was ten years ago, but the rule of saving two months salary to pay for the ring is no longer.  Men traditionally shop for the engagement ring themselves, but in recent years the ladies take part in the decision making process to ensure they get a ring they like.  Always remember the four C’s when searching for an engagement ring; carat, clarity, cut, and color.  Wedding bands will be exchanged during the ceremony and your ring finger should be bare.  Your wedding band is worn “closest to your heart”.

Engagement Ring
Engagement Ring

Now that you are engaged, how do you break the news?  First you should tell the children of the bride or groom, then the parents of the bride, and last but not least, the groom’s parents.  After these people have been told, you are free to tell the rest of your family and friends.  If the two set of parents have not met then it is important to make it happen as soon as possible.  It is lovely to see two families come together.

When one gets married there are several parties that take place throughout the wedding planning process.  The first is an engagement party.  This is hosted by the bride’s parents, but the grooms parents may also want to host an engagement party in their own hometown.  Gifts are not to be required at an engagement party, so do not include a registry card in your engagement party invitation.  Then there is the bridal shower. This is hosted by the Maid of Honor and the bridesmaids a few months before the wedding.  It is said that the mother of the bride or immediate family members should not host the bridal shower.  Only invite women that will be invited to the wedding.  You may include registry information in the bridal shower invitation.  The bridal party also organizes the bachelorette party.  They can ask other girls that are also attending the bachelorette party to help pay for the bride’s way.

Bridal Shower
Bridal Shower

When it comes time to invite people to your wedding there are always the ones you absolutely have to have and the others that you would like to have.  There may be people that you hadn’t considered inviting but that your parents would like to attend.  Take your parents into consideration when it comes to wedding planning and guests, especially if they are helping you pay for the big day.  If they are not helping with the wedding expenses then it is allowable to limit their input and their guests.  If the guests would like to bring a date then they are allowed to, unless it is a casual date then the casual date need not be invited.

There are simple rules that are followed on the wedding day.  Nobody, except the bride, wears white to a wedding.  The Bride should be the only one dressed in white unless there is a white theme.  Always greet and thank your guests for attending your wedding.  Give a special thank you to your parents and the wedding party and anyone else that has put in effort to make your day as special as possible.

Traditions to follow at the reception are the grand entrance, the first toast, father of the bride welcoming the guests, blessing of the meal, the first dance, father daughter dance, the cake cutting, the garter toss, the bouquet toss, and the exit.

Once the big day has come and gone and so has the honeymoon you still have a couple of things left to do.  You must send out thank you notes for the gifts that you received on your wedding day.  It should be handwritten and sent out as soon as possible.  Often brides change their names and if you choose to do so then you should change your social security card, passport, driver’s license, accounts, and credit cards.

The last thing to do is to save your gown.  It needs to be professionally cleaned and packaged.  This helps preserve the dress.  You never know, your daughter may choose to wear the dress someday.

Framed Dress
Framed Dress

 

*Betsy Villanueva

 

 

 

 

 

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Mr. & Mrs.

mr&mrs mugs

With an upcoming wedding comes the excitement of taking on a new identity with your fiance, Mr. & Mrs. Thankfully, there are plenty of accessories to support that excitement! Do-it-yourself has become very popular these days as it is cheaper and you can ensure the end result is exactly what you want. If you are a really good crafter, you’ll find a lot of helpful materials at your local hardware store or Hobby Lobby. No need to worry if you don’t feel that you are creatively talented enough to get the desired effect, there are plenty of online stores like Etsy that offer these items already made.

mr&mrs chairs

These decorations can be used on the backs of yours and your hubby’s chairs for the rehearsal and reception dinners. They also make good props for your wedding photos! So be sure to let your photographer know that you have them, and he can plan accordingly.

mr&mrs coat hangers

Coat hangers are sometimes given to the bridal party to use for their bridesmaid dresses but there’s no reason you and your fiance can’t match them, too. Little details done right can come together and make the cutest combination!

mr&mrs etsy utensils

Silverware is a must on your wedding registry! Find a smaller engraved set that you can use on special occasions, like your anniversary. If you ask for a set for your bridal shower you can even use these Mr. & Mrs. utensils at your wedding reception.

mr&mrs napkins

Mr. & Mrs. napkins can be placed at the head table during the rehearsal and reception dinners. After the wedding, you can reuse them on special occasions or frame them for decorations in your new house together.

mr&mrs wine glasses

Mr. & Mrs. wine glasses are the perfect addition to complete your silverware and napkin sets at the head table. It might seem like overkill but if they are engraved in a simple and understated way, then all three pieces will tie together without going overboard.

mr&mrs fans

Fans are almost always present at outdoor weddings in the spring, summer, and fall. These Mr. & Mrs. fans can be used by guests to show which side they are attending for. Of course, your guests should be attending for both you and your fiance, but a great conversation starter for guests who don’t know each other is to talk about how they know the bride or groom.

mr&mrs mason jars

Mason jars are trending with the do-it-yourself crafting phase, as well as chalkboard paint. These Mr. & Mrs. props can be placed near the sign-in book for your guests to leave advice. They could also be used in a game where guests bet on whether the bride or the groom will win the game, and the money can go towards your honeymoon or house fund.

mr&mrs mugs

Who doesn’t like to wake up in the morning with a good cup of coffee or tea? These adorable cutout Mr. & Mrs. mugs are perfect for those early mornings when it’s time to leave the wedding and honeymoon behind and go back to work.

mr&mrs pillow

Engraved pillows have always been a wedding trend, and they are easy to customize whether you order one or make it yourself. Etsy has a lot of cute designs that you can order or use for inspiration and Hobby Lobby can be your one-stop shop for all of the materials you’ll need to do-it-yourself.

mr&mrs thank you cards

After you return from your honeymoon it is customary to send out thank you cards to all of your guests for attending, contributing, and/or bringing gifts to the wedding. What better way to thank them than with a Mr. & Mrs. themed card? These can be ordered as they are or customized for your wedding theme. Your guests will really appreciate you taking the time to thank them personally and specifically (have your Maid of Honor keep track of who gave you what item).

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My Life As A Bride

When I began planning my wedding I went to a Bridal Extravaganza.  It showcases many vendors in the Austin/Hill Country area.  The main reason I decided to go was because I wanted to get an idea of several different vendors that I could choose from.  As a bride you can get ideas for your wedding on practically anything, plus, you can try out any of the caterers or cake vendors and get a better idea of which you would like for your wedding.  I found the Bridal Extravaganza helpful because you can get a feel of what the vendors are like instead of just reading about them on websites or in bridal magazines.

I ended up choosing a caterer that was not at the extravaganza, but was recommended to me by my wedding planner.  Listen to your wedding planner people, they really know the best out there.  Suzanne Court is our caterer.  She does high-end food for Austin events and surrounding areas.  Suzanne is fantastic!  Her food is exquisite and her attention to detail and to your needs are above and beyond what I could have asked for in a caterer.  You will be working with you caterer quite a bit throughout the wedding process so pick someone that not only does great food but that you can communicate well with.  Do you pick plated dinner or buffet style dinner?  Plated dinners are very proper, but the price per plate adds up quickly.  Buffet style has become very popular and if it is done well it can look very classy.  Besides the venue, food is probably going to use up a good chunk of your budget, especially if you have many guests attending your wedding.  Food is important at any wedding.  It isn’t just about feeding people, it also represents the couple’s style and taste and ultimately ties in to the theme of the wedding.

 

Suzanne Court Catering
Suzanne Court Catering

 

Suzanne Court Catering
Suzanne Court Catering
Suzanne Court Catering

If you choose to have cocktail hour, hors d’oeuvres are typically passed out during this time.  This gives guests a preview of what to expect during the reception.

Suzanne Court Catering
Suzanne Court Catering

You can also add a bit more personality to cocktail hour by including a signature drink.  For my wedding we will be doing wine, beer, and a signature cocktail during cocktail hour.

Signature Cocktail
Signature Cocktail

If you are looking for an amazing caterer or event planner look in to Suzanne Court Catering and Events.

 

 

*Betsy Villanueva

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