Friday, March 26, 2010

Weekly Round Up: A Mini Vacay

Happy Friday dear readers! Mr.G and I are taking a mini vacay for the next few days to celebrate his upcoming birthday so I am taking a few days off from blogging - but I promise I'll be back shortly!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Parents Roles at the Wedding

Throughout your wedding planning process, your parents have been helpful, annoying, frustrating, full of advice, financially contributing, emotional, a sounding board, a co-decision maker - they've either been very involved, minimally involved or not involved at all. And I am willing to bet that not once during the wedding planning was there ever a conversation about their role on the actual wedding day. Obviously, your father may be walking you down the aisle, your mother will help you into your dress, but realistically, aside from the 'traditional' parent roles {i.e. you may dance with your father and he'll make a toast} you probably haven't discussed much else.

On your wedding day, your parents are going to be going through an emotional process {even if they claim they aren't} and they have some official responsibilities throughout the day but for the majority of your wedding day, their role hovers between being a host and a guest. And that non-specified role may put your parents on edge. Its hard for them to just let go and enjoy being a guest and allow your vendors to do their jobs. They don't need to be the ultimate host or hostess on your wedding day. But, if you haven't talked about this prior to the wedding, they may not understand that you are fine with them not being the ultimate host that day.

Let them know that while there are official tasks they need to perform on your wedding day, for the most part they just need to be a guest and celebrate your wedding!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wediquette: How Many Escort Cards Do I Need?

Is it okay to do one escort card per couple? (Single guests would still get their own).

Choosing how you want to address you escort cards is entirely up to you - but keep in a mind a few factors:

~ Every guest that RSVP'ed yes to your wedding should receive an escort card

~ Decide if you are using salutations: Mr. & Mrs. or just Bob and Jody

~ If you are having the escort cards calligraphed - there is a cost per card, so if you want to keep costs down, choosing one card per couple will certainly bring the costs down since you will have less cards to be calligraphed

~ Escort Card display - if you aren't using a large table, you want to make sure that there will be enough room to display all the cards

Ensuring that you have you escort cards in order is entirely dependent on guests being responsible enough to RSVP on time - if not, get them on the phone - you'll need a final count close to the wedding date!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Take Break for Safety's Sake!

Its really easy to get all consumed by the wedding planning process you are going through. There are a million blogs, magazines and websites to gather ideas / images and advice from. There will always seem like there is something to be working on regarding the wedding: refining the guest list, going through the budget, pulling together DIY projects for your favors - the list goes on and on. At some point, your wedding will probably be the predominant topic of every conversation.

What you need to do is take a break from all the wedding planning. STOP reading everything on the internet about weddings and talk about something else. Catch up on your favorite TV shows, go to the gym because you want to be healthy not to fit into a dress, talk to your bridesmaids about their lives - do whatever it takes to not do a single thing related to the wedding.

Taking a break will actually help your wedding planning because being able to step away for a few days / weeks will give you clarity and will bring you back to the process with a fresh, clear mind. Relaxation throughout this process is key to not letting it drive you nuts.

So, if anyone asks why you suddenly aren't only talking about the wedding, you can tell them that I told you to take a break!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Musings

Welcome to Spring!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Weekly Finds: Knowledge is Power in Wedding Planning

I am LOVING the weather this week. I cannot wait for spring, flip flops and maxi dresses. I am really hope that this year we're light on rain, there are no more snow storms {yes, I've experienced them in April in NYC before} and that sunshine abounds. There's something about that vitamin D that makes me feel better :)

Some good, informative reads this week:

I've fallen for photographer Melissa Jill's blog, since she is so on the money with certain topics and I love her tone. Check out her reasons for hiring a wedding planner here and Melissa breaks the silence on the myth of the Preferred Vendor List - its a must read for anyone planning a wedding.

There's a new fabulous site for the engaged: Nearly Weds by Offbeat Bride. Be sure to check it out!

Go and enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wediquette: No Children Allowed!

How do you tell your guests that we are not inviting their children to our wedding? What will they say when they see our family members children there?

This can be a tricky one because some guests simply won't understand why their children are not invited - at the end of the day - its not your problem. If your wedding isn't child-friendly, do not spend time apologizing for it. Its an adult affair, end of story. Now, instead of the tacky "no children please" line at the bottom of the invitation - address the invitation to exactly is invited from that home: Mr. and Mrs. Bill Smith. If you were inviting kids, it would read: Mr. and Mrs. Bill Smith & Miss. Samantha Smith. If you are afraid you'll have some stowaways in the form of children: call the parents and explain that the evening is for the older crowd, but if it is a destination wedding, their children are certainly welcome to the weekend and that you will provide a babysitter while the parents attend your celebration. It's the least you can do.

If you are allowing only your family to bring their children, guests should not have an issue with this. It is at the end of the day, your wedding and you make the decisions regarding whose invited. Most family members kids are "working" that day anyways in the form of a ring bearer or flower girl, so they should be accepted at the reception.

In the event an un-invited child is at the reception, try and accommodate them to the best of your and the venue's ability, but beyond serving them a child's meal, you aren't obligated to do anything further. Perhaps once the parents realize its not a kid friendly affair, they'll get the hint.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Wedding Planning Does Not Equal Drama

You're engaged. You're planning your wedding. Why must you believe all the TV shows and blog posts that you must have drama surrounding your wedding? I am here to disspell the myth. In my experience, drama is created out of two things:

1. Family members providing too much advice, stress and frustration
2. You're pressed for time and don't feel like the wedding will come together

To both of things I say: PLAN EARLY and DON'T LISTEN TO THE WHITE NOISE. Family members are excited, nervous, and scared regarding your wedding. Perhaps you're the first to get married therefore this process is entirely new to everyone. Which means, there is a learning curve and as the engaged, you need to educate you parents, his parents, anyone involved in the planning or finances of the wedding about your wedding planning process and what you want. Its your day, right? Not your mother's, father's or anyone else's. You are walking down the aisle, you are exchanging vows, you are signing a marriage license. Not anyone else, so why listen to all the drama that they are creating for you?

If you've procrastinated or fallen behind on a few items on your wedding planning checklist - do not panic. Panic equals drama. Simply re-organize with your fiancee, and pick up where you left off. I promise, it will all come together in advance of the wedding. Don't overextend yourself or lose site of the point of the wedding day: you are getting married. Having amazing DIY favors is not important. Your guests will still love you.

So the tip of the day is simple: white noise, drama and panic out, rational thinking and calmness in.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Musings

Rain, rain go away ...

Friday, March 12, 2010

This Wedding Planner Needs a New Home

I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be using my blog to place a "wanted" ad but we've got to move soon, haven't found a place to live yet and I am hoping that you, dear reader, may be able to help since I am losing my patience with this whole experience!

Without further ado, here's my apartment rental wishlist:

In either Manhattan or Brooklyn: 2 bed / 2 bath, charming and spacious, with private outdoor space {for Lulu and Maxwell to romp around in!}, washer/dryer and a kitchen that actually holds all my stuff and a dishwasher ... it can be a walk up {we don't mind!} just not the 5th floor. Oh and closets would be nice {we have 2 now and its not enough!}.

I, of course, have fallen deeply in love with a townhouse remodel that was on Design*Sponge earlier this week and can't get it out of my mind:

Oh the light, the simplicity, the bookshelves ... a slice of heaven to a gal like me. If you've got what I am looking for, I'd LOVE to hear from you @ lisadee @ andersongreenevents dot com.

Merci & Happy Rainy Weekend!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Moment of Quiet in the Wedding Planning Storm

I've been writing so much these past few weeks about different aspects of wedding planning, I thought we all needed a little zen moment of calmness ... For me, the most serene I feel in life is when I am in my home country of South Africa - particularly in the wine lands of Franschhoek or on Safari. The simple beauty of nature always makes me feel relaxed and comfortably. There's something about being on safari and realizing that although we are humans at the top of the food chain, these animals are so much more powerful than we are that really makes me appreciate things.

Here are some images taken by my mother in law from our last trip to South Africa:

{typical African sunset}

{beautiful lavendar fields that surround the many vineyards}

{the ever changing Franschhoek Valley}

{on our drive into the Kruger game reserve - not even into the open lands yet and Rhino's!}

{leopard's are really quite incredible}

{this lionness was checking out a giraffe kill - amazing sight}

{dinner in the bush - so romantic}

{typical roadblock}

{relaxing before we stalked her through the bush}

{face off - the leopardess had already eaten so she wasn't interested in the water buffalo}

{dinner in a boma - a classic Zulu tradition}

{bath time}

{cheeky boy - he later stole the bread basket off our lunch table!}

Where do you feel most serene?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wediquette: Deciphering The "Plus One" Debate

My husband's old college friend is getting married and we just received the invitation but only his name was included on the envelope. My husband called to see if this was a mistake. Nope. The bride explained that they're trying to keep the wedding small and they're only inviting people close to them. My husband reminded her that he's married now, but no, she was firm on her decision. To add insult to injury, we recently had dinner with another mutual friend and he was surprised that I wasn't invited because he was with his girlfriend of three months! His girlfriend doesn't even know the friend getting married! His invite actually said "plus guest" and I'm not even invited to the wedding with my husband! We understand that its their wedding and that they can invite whomever they'd like but we can decline the invitation if we want as well. My question is this...are we being unreasonable in doing so?

Firstly, this etiquette question is one that resonates deeply with me as something similar happened to me. Long story short, we were engaged, and my now husband got invited to a friends wedding in LA {anyone whose ever met me knows my fantasy of moving to LA} without me. We'd been living together for almost 4 years at this point and had been engaged for close to six months.

It was no doubt, a slap in the face to not be invited - especially if you are engaged or married. We all get that everyone is working within a certain headcount or budget, but it would almost be less hurtful to just not invite either of us instead of just inviting one half of the marital unit. You might as well say "your wife / husband / fiancee doesn't actually exist in our minds" hurtful!

If you really feel strongly about attending this wedding as a Mr. & Mrs. - cite Emily Post who says that: "Partners of invited guests must be included in a wedding invitation. This includes couples who are married, engaged, or living together. Allowing single guests who aren’t attached to a significant other to bring a date is a thoughtful gesture, but one that is not required"

In the example above the bride has just about broken every wedding etiquette law: not inviting the wife of a potential guest, yet allowing a newly minted girlfriend to get the invitation. I'd let the bride know of her faux pas and if she doesn't relent, don't feel obligated to go.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Scheduling Appointments in a Timely Fashion

Firstly: vendors, like everyone else are busy. They are working on multiple events at a given time and most vendors work their schedule in a first come, first served manner. Which means that when you are scheduling a meeting with them - be quick to respond and quick to confirm a meeting.

In an industry where everyone's calendars get booked out years in advance {no, seriously, they do}, most vendors have a very good idea of what their schedule looks like months in advance {side note: it also means that their family has to plan in advance as well if they want said vendor to be at said family affair}, so there's no need to think its strange to make appointments months in advance.

On the flip side, if you have to cancel an appointment, do so when you first realize you need to cancel. Have a legitimate reason {not, I'd rather be having dinner with my friends} and give them some additional dates that work to re-schedule. No one likes to be stood up at the last minute.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Musings

Congratulations Sandra!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Happy 1st Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary Sarah & Tom!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Weekly Round Up: Advice on Wedding Costs

I had many get organized plans dreamt up for this past week - especially since the husband has been away and I thought that since spring is hopefully around the corner it was time to do my annual overhaul of stuff and spring clean. Um, not so much, I actually don't know where the week went - lots of fabulous meetings and tomorrow I get to celebrate the impending birth of a childhood friends son. Yay!

I stumbled across some fantastic posts this week, read on:

Nancy Liu Chin {fabulous SF florist} has had her intern blogging - its quite insightful into the dedication of a florist.

The amazingly talented Jasmine Star shares some thoughts on the family portrait session at a wedding. It doesn't need to be a time suck at all!

My friends over at The Good Life Events posted 5 tips on choosing a venue - very helpful!

And lastly, over on myKPw, there's an excellent post on photographer pricing - a must read. Part One & Part Two

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Business & Wedding Planning: Confidence In Your Wedding Planning Decisions

In Business, having confidence is key. If you believe in yourself and show it, its much easier to convince other people to believe in it as well. Having confidence in a job interview is also important because no one wants to hire someone who lacks confidence and conviction. At the end of the day - having confidence in your decisions, in business, is integral to getting the job done and doing it well.

So how does confidence and conviction translate into your wedding planning? Firstly, it'll help you stick to your decisions. If you waffle over something or keep changing your mind about choices or decisions - you've lost the confidence in that idea. You've lost the confidence to believe that that idea is appropriate for your wedding. And once that happens, your wedding planning starts to unravel. You start having doubts about the color scheme, location, menu, whatever it is. You can't move forward, you can't check things off the massive wedding timeline you've got in front of you and panic sets in. You start to panic that you'll never get everything done in time for the wedding, you panic that the wedding won't be the way you want it. You panic because you've lost your confidence.

So, how does one not lose their confidence? Be firm when you make decisions. At the beginning of this wedding planning process, decide on what is most important to you regarding the wedding day. Use the important ideas / thoughts / feelings to guide you in your decision making process. Then, use your budget as a guide so that you don't overspend, lose your confidence and then panic. Then stick to your guns. If you have confidence in your vendors, you won't have room to panic. If you have confidence in your decisions, you won't have time to panic.

Who wants to live with regrets after the wedding? Be confident and you won't have any!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wediquette: Who Really Gets Invited to the Rehearsal Dinner?

I really wanted to say thanks to my "out-of-towners" so instead of a typical rehearsal dinner we are having a BBQ for all of our "out-of-towners". This just gives my fiance and I the chance to welcome them to our wedding weekend and thank them for coming to our wedding. I have done a wedding website and have a page on there for our out of town guests and I have the BBQ on there as well. Will the "in-towners" be offended??? Who traditionally gets invited to the rehearsal dinner anyways?

First things first, let's discuss the Rehearsal Dinner and who traditionally gets invited:

"Those invited should include the members of the wedding party (except for the flower girl and ring bearer), the officiant, the parents and grandparents of the bride and groom, and the siblings of the bride and groom if they are not in the wedding party. If the bride or groom has stepparents, they are invited with their spouses but should not be seated next to former spouses. The wedding party’s husbands, wives, fiancées, fiancés, and live-in companions should be invited, but it’s not obligatory that they have dates. The children of the bride or groom from a previous marriage also attend, unless they are too young. After that, any number of people may be invited (totally optional), such as out-of-town guests, close friends, aunts and uncles, and godparents. Junior bridesmaids and junior ushers may also be invited if the hour is not late, as may the flower girl and ring bearer (if supervised)."
{via Emily Post}

So, basically, invitees should include your wedding party, their dates {if you so choose}, close family and that's it. Anyone above and beyond that that you choose to invite is at your discretion. Whomever is footing the bill for the evening should sit down with the bride and groom and go through the guest list and the parameters for inviting people. If you'd like to include those who travel in for the wedding weekend, make sure that everyone who travels in gets a printed invitation. Make it known that their presence isn't required {just in case their flights or schedule don't allow for it} but that you are extending the invite. Guests are already committing time and money to travel to your wedding, don't put them in a position where they feel they must take a vacation day or change travel plans for a dinner. If too many people are coming in from town, or its a destination wedding where everyone is traveling in for it - make a firm decision on whether to invite everyone or not. And stick to it.

As far as putting the dinner information on your wedding website - skip it unless every single person invited to the wedding is being invited to the rehearsal dinner. You don't want people to be confused or hurt that they weren't invited.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Letting a Vendor Know You Aren't Interested

I'll preface this post with this caveat - I too have been one to forget, not everyone can remember to do everything, but ...

It's just plain common courtesy after meeting with a vendor to give them some follow up, regardless of whether or not you are actually going to use their service. Perhaps during the meeting you got a feeling that they weren't the right one for you - tell them then. Don't let your vendor waste time putting together a proposal if you know that you won't even consider them as a potential contender. If you liked them during the meeting but didn't like their proposal and are choosing to work with someone else, let them know. Its just polite to tell a vendor that you have decided on someone else. It allows them to pursue other potential clients for the same wedding date. Otherwise, vendors will continue to reach out to you for some kind of answer. Don't think that by ignoring them or not saying that you don't want to work for them will hurt their feelings. Everyone in business knows that you win some, you lose some. Vendors have a business to run and don't want anything outstanding. If you need more time to decide, tell them. But, also respect that many vendors work on a 'first come, first served' mentality - so if you take months to get back to them regarding your proposal - they may have gotten booked between then and now.

While these are expensive decisions to be making, please take a minute to reach out to the vendors you've met and tell them you've decided otherwise, its the right thing to do. And yes, vendors will respect your decision.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Musings

Remembering Chile Today:

{via National Geographic}