A Bridal Shower Guestbook for the Busy Bride
Bridal Shower GuestbookIf you’re planning a bridal shower for the special bride in your life, you might want to start poking around for the right bridal shower guestbook. Just like the wedding itself, a bridal shower needs a fun way to record attendance for the couple. The wedding isn’t the only party the couple will want to look back fondly on for the rest of their lives – showers, parties, and get-togethers all have a special place in our hearts. By providing a bridal shower guestbook, you’re giving your bride that opportunity – and she’ll be thankful! Find a bridal shower guestbook that fits the bride’s personality for a formal and fun way to greet guests as they appear. A bridal shower guestbook is also a handy tool for the bride who wants to hop on “thank you” cards as quickly as she can. With a list of guests that attended (not just the ones invited!) a bridal shower guestbook is a handy hint that helps the bride decide what she’s going to write in her cards. If you’re planning a bigger bridal shower, a bridal shower guestbook is a must. It can be pretty embarrassing to write “I loved seeing you at my shower!” when a guest only sent a gift. Gifts are not a requirement at wedding events, but a bridal shower guestbook can help a bride manage the ones she will probably receive.
Gifting and Giving a Bachelorette Party Veil
Bachelorette Party VeilNothing is more fun than the rain “congratulations!” you’ll receive during your bachelorette party, but you won’t have a chance to hear them if no one knows you’re the bride! A bachelorette party veil (often accompanied by a sash or tiara) is a fun way to designate the lady of honor during your bachelorette bash, and it can even be re-used at your bridal shower or at a future bride’s own pre-wedding parties. Make your “something borrowed” a little more fun and original by handing down a bachelorette party veil! It isn’t as sentimental or expensive as jewelry or actual bridal accessories, but a bachelorette party veil is just as bridal!
If you’re trying to find the right gift for the soon-to-be bride in your life, think about gifting a bachelorette party veil. The bachelorette party veil is an early wedding gift that the bride can cherish in the months leading up to the wedding as well afterwards. Good for work bridal showers, engagement parties, and (of course) the bachelorette bash itself, nothing bridal-themed will get more use before the wedding like a bachelorette party veil!
Pretty Difficult A croquembouche is an elegant pyramidal French dessert that often substitutes for a fluffy wedding cake during the reception. It features a big beautiful pile of crunchy chocolate-drizzled crème puffs (chocolate optional) held together with delicate strands of caramel, often piled so high that they look like sugary spider webs. This dessert is great for an engagement party because you can eat it on the go without losing any of the elegance you expect from a formal dessert. Engagement parties tend to be smaller than weddings, and this dessert scales up or down with ease. You can mingle, chat, and grab a crème puff on the go.
The croquembouche isn’t a recipe for beginners (unless you want to brave hot caramel over a long period of time), but if you’re in love with the style of this dessert without possessing the cooking credentials you need to pull it off, there’s no shame in finding a bakery to do the delicious dirty work.
How To Petit Fours for the Bridal Shower
Not So Bad Afternoon teas and casual garden parties are popular bridal shower themes, but you have a chance to set your event apart by taking a crack at baking the bite-size dessert cakes yourself. The recipe is easier than it looks, and the end result always ends impressively. If you’re feeling adventurous and you have the extra time, browse for different recipes to make your dessert plate that much more impressive. Or you could cheat (like me) and decorate each of them a little differently.
High Heel Cupcakes for the Bachelorette Party
E for Everyone! These cupcakes have been floating around blogs for the last few weeks, and there’s something oddly intimidating about them – but they look more complicated than they are. Anyone can whip up a batch of cupcakes (with or without a box) and buy a pack of graham crackers; the real challenge in this recipe is decoration. Spend an afternoon experimenting and finding what works and what doesn’t – you can eat the evidence of your failures. You could also print out the recipe and provide a decorations and pre-baked cupcakes for the girls at the bachelorette party itself. Spend the evening decorating, chatting, and laughing at inexplicable sprinkle failures.
Your Wedding Website – 8-12 months before
A wedding website is a great way to organize the details of your wedding in a way that your guests can access and enjoy as soon as they get their save-the-dates. The website is where you’ll put details about local hotels, directions to venues, registries, and even your unique proposal story, so feel free to make one as soon as any of those details are nailed out. You can always add information as you progress in your planning and spend the extra time tweaking details. Your Save-the-Dates – 6-8 months before Save-the-Dates are for letting your guests know to make travel plans ahead of time. If you’re having an entirely local wedding, don’t even worry about sending them. If not, it’s important to balance when you send them out. Your guests need to book hotels, find a way to get time off of work, and maybe even book an extended stay babysitter. If you’re planning a summer wedding (high traffic vacation time) or a Christmas/Thanksgiving date, send them out as early as eight to nine months ahead of time. Just don’t send them out so early that everyone tacks them up on their refrigerators and forgets about them.
It’s also important to note that you should have your guest list (mostly) finalized before you send them out. A save-the-date is as good as an invitation, and guests will be confused and potentially offended if they don’t “make the final cut” and receive an invite. Your Registry – 6 months before
You can bump that registry deadline up if your circle is into engagement parties (as the point of a registry is to let everyone know what you want and need for gift giving occasions), but there really isn’t any reason to put together a registry until someone offers to throw you a shower. You don’t want your favorite items being discontinued way before your wedding date, especially if they’re part of a set and you end up with half a stemware set.
If you do end up setting up your registry early, avoid registering for sets of things and just throw some items on it that can be purchased singularly. You can always go back and add/remove items at your convenience. Your Invitations – 8-10 weeks before
It’s important not to send your invitations out too soon, as you don’t want them collecting dust on a desk for three months. If you didn’t do save-the-dates, however, it’s equally important that you let your guests make plans well ahead of time. Be careful, though - any more notice than10 weeks and your guests are going to forget about their RSVP date.
Your RSVP cards, by the way, should carry a date of about two weeks or so before the wedding. Ask your caterer when they need the final headcount by, and give your guests a few days of a buffer zone; you want plenty of time to make a few calls to guests who missed the deadline. Your Thank You Notes – within 2 months… within 2-3 weeks if it comes ahead of time
Get your thank you notes done as soon as you can – trust me! Any time between a month and two months after you return from your honeymoon is fine, but you can only help yourself by doing them as soon as you can. If you wait much longer than a couple of months, a note will just draw attention to the fact that it took this long to send a note.
If you receive a gift before your wedding date, you generally have a few weeks to send a note out, but don’t wait too long; your guests like to know that everything arrived in one piece.
Why You Should Purchase and Store your Wedding Linens
Wedding LinensIf you’re hosting your wedding at a location without available wedding linens, you have a couple of options: either rent them for the evening or buy them outright. Not many brides opt for purchasing their own wedding linens, but if your party is small enough, they can actually save you money in the long run, especially if you entertain a lot. Wedding linens are a special and important part of your wedding décor, why not keep them? Pass them along to your future children? Here are a few reasons why you should opt to purchase wedding linens, even if you’re only getting napkins, placemats, or table runners: For Entertaining
If you entertain a lot, or even if you plan on entertaining ever again, saving your wedding linens will be worth it. Bust out those wedding linens at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other meal opportunity at your disposal. Bonus points if your wedding linens come with a monogram; it adds a hint of “Man, she really knows what she’s doing” to any holiday party. For Posterity
More than wedding photos, actual wedding artifacts (such as your wedding linens, your preserved bouquet) are going to become family treasures down the line. Give your progeny pieces of your wedding day to carry with them to pass to their own children. Your wedding linens will mean more then than you know. For Sentimental Value
Just like with the sentimental hand-me-downs, the emotional value of keeping your wedding linens is indispensable. You won’t regret keeping them, as your wedding linens will speak to the emotion and magic of your wedding day every time you open the linen cupboard.
Floral Wedding Accents – Love Never Dies!
Floral Wedding AccentsA ceremony and reception space can be a daunting cavern to fill, and fresh flowers tend to skyrocket a wedding budget faster than you would expect. You don’t have to eliminate fresh flowers from your favorite florist in order to keep your budget in check, however, you just have to supplement with floral wedding accents. Floral wedding accents are any bunches of arranged flowers (often paper or silk) that you can use to bulk up the beauty of your reception or ceremony space. There are floral wedding accents for all venues and budgets, and they are often a wonderful way to get flowers in places that might otherwise go without. Many brides love to use floral wedding accents on the backs of chairs or the pews in a church – especially for more strict churches (or any other indoor venue) who don’t want to be cleaning up leaves and pollen once the event is over. Floral wedding accents and fixtures are also wonderful if you’re planning on transporting flowers from one venue to another. Floral wedding accents don’t tend to wilt in the car or drip all over the backseat! Guests also love to take floral wedding accents home – whether they’ve been incorporated into the centerpieces, the favors, or elsewhere. Because floral wedding accents never die, your guests will be reminded of your wedding for a lifetime!
Including Mr and Mrs Chair Decorations
Mr and Mrs Chair DecorationsWhile preparing the aesthetic for your wedding reception, think about adding a set of tasteful Mr and Mrs chair decorations. Mr and Mrs chair decorations are sashes or signs that attach to the back of your chair during the reception. The signs can be homemade, but you should be extra careful to integrate them seamlessly into your day; you don't want them to look out of place! Mr and Mrs chair decorations make for wonderful photo opportunities, and depending on your seating chart, can make it easier for guests to orient themselves in your reception space. Use Mr and Mrs chair decorations during the reception for a fun and festive addition that guests will be sure to appreciate and enjoy. After the reception, Mr and Mrs chair decorations look wonderful on your honeymoon vehicle (substitute a "just married" sign for re-appropriated Mr and Mrs chair decorations!). Before the wedding, Mr and Mrs chair decorations are fun additions to your bridal shower or bachelorette party (just the "Mrs" sign, of course!), and make wonderful decorations before and after the big day. When you're setting up the reception space, just make sure you don't forget the Mr and Mrs chair decorations!
Bridal Party Shirts for Any Time
Bridal Party ShirtsYour bridal party will be together on several occasions as one unit before the big day: think bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, and any late nights where you’re frantically calling your maids to help you finish hot gluing ribbons to programs. Everyone will also be together on the morning of the wedding, primping and preening to look their best for your nuptials. A great way to get everyone a fantastic gift (and promote unity and a team-like attitude) is to spring for bridal party shirts! Bridal party shirts are a great gift for any part of the planning process: get them for the girls the day before the wedding so they can wear them during the morning, or hand them out when you first select your wedding party. Bridal party shirts work any time, and “transfers” make it easy to make any shirts bridal party shirts! The great thing about bridal party shirts is that everyone will look like a team in candid photos – during the bachelorette party, the rehearsal dinner, or even under the hair dryer! Bridal party shirts aren’t just for the adults in the group, either. Most flower girls love feeling like they’re an important part of your day, and bridal party shirts will make them feel included. Don’t be surprised if you see your flower girl wearing bridal party shirts to school even after the wedding!
Who Will Host?: Typically, the engagement party is thrown by the parents of the couple, though no one is obligated to throw one. This isn’t one to plan for yourself; you really should wait for someone to volunteer.
Who Will Go?: An engagement party is often just family, though you should always be careful to try and invite only those who will be invited to the big event. The one hosting and funding the event is the one who decides the guest list, but you might want to be conservative in your recommendations if you’re asked.
Etiquette: An engagement party isn’t a very common pre-wedding shindig, so breaking etiquette isn’t a big concern. If you’re being thrown an engagement party before wedding plans have really started, you probably haven’t created a registry, so it’s unlikely that guests will ask for that info. A Bridal Shower
Who Will Host?: It’s possible that several people will volunteer to throw you a bridal shower, but you should try to accept only one or two.
Who Will Go?: Again, this is an event where only people invited to the wedding should be invited. You aren’t obligated to invite every female guest to the shower (cramming 50 women into a kitchen is logistically difficult).
Etiquette: Thank you cards are customary for bridal showers, just be sure that you aren’t having guests fill out their own addresses on envelopes as they watch you open gifts. Take the time to thank each of your guests with a lovely card, as this is an event where gifts will likely be “showered” upon you. A Bachelorette Party
Who Will Host?: This is usually one for your bridal party, though your Maid of Honor doesn’t have to take the lead. Usually the maids split the bill, but that isn’t a requirement.
Who Will Go?: Bachelorette parties are often much smaller than showers, and many brides like to keep them for quality time with the bridal party before the big day. Again, make sure that everyone invited will also be invited to the wedding!
Etiquette: Try to keep your focus on your own party instead of checking on your fiancé all night via text. This is supposed to be a night for you and your girls – enjoy it! A Rehearsal Dinner
Who Will Host?: You and your fiancé do! The rehearsal dinner is your time to thank your wedding party for their participation in your wedding, and this is one event where the bride and groom usually foot the bill. Sometimes the parents will take the check, but don’t count on it – try to throw your own rehearsal dinner.
Who Will Go?: The people in your wedding party – that means ring bearers, those doing readings and prayers, the families, the bridesmaids – everybody.
Etiquette: No one is asking you to host a dinner at the fanciest restaurant in town; a backyard picnic is more than enough. This is your opportunity to gather everyone involved with your wedding together and thank them collectively. If you’ve prepared gifts (or some members of the wedding party want to give a speech, and there isn’t enough time during the reception), this is the perfect time.
Wonderful, Whimsical, Personalized Wedding Vases
Personalized Wedding VasesCreating your own centerpieces for you wedding reception can be difficult and frustrating if you're a newbie. The empty space within the vase is often hard to overcome, and something about the blank side of glass just isn't personal enough for you. Never fear, hypothetical flustered bride! Personalized wedding vases are the answer. Personalized wedding vases allow you to fill your reception space with color and sparkle while simultaneously adding touches of personality to your day.
Personalized wedding vases can either be engraved with your names or wrapped with color and text, depending on your preference. The benefit of "wrapped" personalized wedding vases is color uniformity. Your wedding colors can be synched up to your personalized wedding vases to create a more unified look and feel to your guest tables, dessert tables, and any other tables you can cram into your event space. Personalized wedding vases may feature your monogram, names, wedding date, and any theme you might be playing with for your wedding day. Use the colors of your personalized wedding vases to compliment the blooms within for brilliant (and simple!) centerpieces.