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.
Your Wedding Website – 8-12 months before
A Maid of Honor Emergency Kit as a Gift and Necessity
Maid of Honor Emergency KitA maid of honor emergency kit does not mean that you, the humble maid of honor, will be required to put out any literal fires or resuscitate a bride with a mighty case of the vapors, but it will prepare you for any other wedding-related emergencies on the big day. A maid of honor emergency kit is usually equipped with all of the wedding day essentials: safety pins, mouth wash, and (my personal favorite) earring backs. A maid of honor emergency kit will make it much easier for you to fly about the day-of putting out (metaphorical) fires and keeping everything and everyone in line. If you are a bride looking for the right gift for your ever-present and ever-supportive maid of honor, look no further than the maid of honor emergency kit. A maid of honor emergency kit, though helpful on the day of the wedding, is great for any planner who loves to be prepared for anything. There are any number of things that can rip or fall apart or lose a button the morning of a wedding marathon, and a maid of honor emergency kit is a wonderful tool to have standing by. Designate someone to watch over the maid of honor emergency kit (minding that it doesn't have to be the maid of honor), and make sure you keep an eye on where it is throughout the day. You never know when you might pop a seam or need to prepare for a very special kiss - your maid of honor emergency kit will be ready to help!
Honeymoon Luggage Tags Make Great Gifts
Honeymoon Luggage TagsFor the adventurous couple about to embark on the journey that is wedded bliss, honeymoons are the only reason to even bother with a wedding. If you’re a wedded or nearly-wedded couple (or just a family member or friend looking for just the right gift for your favorite honeymoon-bound couple), think about rounding up some honeymoon luggage tags. Honeymoon luggage tags are a practical gift to get for someone else or yourself, and they’re the perfect way to begin a long, blissful honeymoon. No matter where a couple is going, it’s almost guaranteed that they’ll need honeymoon luggage tags. Nothing is more stressful than missing luggage, especially on your honeymoon. Use honeymoon luggage tags to keep at least one major annoyance at bay on your honeymoon. Honeymoon luggage tags are also a great gift because it might be the first time the couple will see their new married names in print. Be sure that the couple you’re gifting honeymoon luggage tags to is planning on a name change – and check out the specifics. As a gift to yourself or your favorite honeymooning couple – you can’t go wrong with honeymoon luggage tags!
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!
A Car Wedding Cake Topper for the On-The-Go Couple!
Car Wedding Cake TopperIs your favorite part of a wedding the moment the bride and groom drive off into the sunset at the end of the reception? Think about topping your wedding cake with a car wedding cake topper. A car wedding cake topper is a beautiful way to show your guests your love for the open road, or maybe even for your car in particular! Many couples find that a car wedding cake topper is a fun way to display their love for their particularly favorite kind of transportation - motorcycles, classic cars, or otherwise. A car wedding cake topper is your chance to show that love to your friends and family on your wedding day. Like other couples might display a little version of their pets atop the cake with them, some couples opt for a car wedding cake topper! The car wedding cake topper is also symbolic of the union of which you are celebrating. A car wedding cake topper symbolizes the journey the two of your are about to embark on together; it's about moving forward as a team. A car wedding cake topper isn't just for the couple who spends their weekend waxing their '57 Chevy, it could be for any couple ready to drive off into the sunset together for the rest of their lives. Start your journey with a car wedding cake topper!
Wedding Cupcakes and Wedding Cupcake Accessories
Wedding CupcakesThe new (and persistent) trend in wedding confection is wedding cupcakes, and it’s no big mystery as to why. Wedding cupcakes offers a cuter and easier option for the couple who aren’t interested in the hassle of a full-size cake, and they are just so darn adorable. The work as dessert, they work as favors, and wedding cupcakes can be styled to fit the look and feel of your wedding for a fraction of the price. Plus, with wedding cupcakes, you don’t have to skip all the fun accessories! Many brides opt for wedding cupcakes simply because they can be made at home (or by an experienced friend). If you chose to use a professional bakery for your wedding cupcakes, you can still save by making them unique to your wedding all on your own. Personalize wedding cupcakes with wrappers (not the birthday party wrappers of old, but posh, clean, stylish wrappers) and display cases such as miniature bell jars. With the right accessories, all wedding cupcakes fit in at every style of modern wedding. Stack your wedding cupcakes up in a tower or place them gingerly at every place setting – with the right accessories, there’s no way to go wrong with wedding cupcakes.
Wedding favors are a great way to thank your guests for their attendance, though finding something that hasn’t graced a thousand other rented lavender table linens can be tough. What sort of wedding favors will guests actually USE after the reception, and what can you guarantee won’t be tossed into a drawer and forgotten about after the drive home? If you’re going to shell out a few extra hundred bucks on something special for your guests, how can you be sure it’s something they’ll enjoy? Here are a few ways to create memorable wedding favors for your guests:
This doesn’t just mean another bag of bulk chocolate peanuts – try something a little different for your reception. Did you and your fiancé split a bag of Hershey’s Kisses on your first date? Fill an elegant paper bag with these romantic sweeties and be sure to print up an explanation for their existence on the side. Your guests will love the sentiment, and who doesn’t love Kisses?
This is also a great option if you want to make something special for your guests. Many couples choose to jar their own homemade jam or package mom’s winning chocolate chip cookies. Mix delicious with meaningful for favors that will whet your guests’ appetites.
It’s not that symbolic wedding favors are terrible – it’s just that you might be left with ten or twenty unclaimed boxes from couples who can’t bring themselves to shelve another knick knack. Instead of landing your guests with something they’ll have to keep on their mantle, try something new – something useful. Tea infusers, honey pot wands – they don’t have to match mini fridges or hedge trimmers in practicality, but they should be something that has a purpose other than “taking up space.” Wacky Favors
These favors are great for events that are little more casual (or at least informal). Your guests don’t need to go home with gold wristwatches for your generosity to be appreciated, so think about doing something a little unexpected. This is a great time to hand out fun props on the dance floor, bubbles and sparklers for the big exit, or even water guns. Again, this is not something I would try to pull off in a grand painted ballroom, but might be better suited for a laid-back park reception. The pictures will be wonderful, and you can be sure that your guests won’t forget about your favors!
The Right Alternative Wedding Bouquet
Alternative Wedding BouquetFlorists are a big part of wedding day expenditures, which is why many brides are eschewing big-budget bouquets in favor of an alternative wedding bouquet that better speaks to their style needs. An alternative wedding bouquet does not equal plastic flowers stapled together last minute, it's actually quite the contrary. A lovingly-made alternative bouquet might be just what you need to make your big day as special as it can be. So what, exactly, is an alternative wedding bouquet composed of? The short answer is - whatever you want! If you want an alternative wedding bouquet fashioned from seashells, ribbons, silk, crystals, or anything else you can think of, you're in luck - am alternative wedding bouquet is already assembled and waiting for you. This type of bouquet is wonderful for beach brides who believe that azaleas have no place at a bonfire, or just the sensitive bride whose nose just can't stomach a perfumed aisle on her wedding day. An alternative wedding bouquet is an exciting alternative that will turn heads as you walk down the aisle! An alternative wedding bouquet is also much easier to preserve than its fresh cousin - keep the memories alive forever without the expensive preservation process!
Place Card Holder Wedding Favors Consolidate Time and Space
Place Card Holder Wedding FavorsWhen designing the favors that you want to distribute to guests during your wedding reception, it’s important to remember simplicity. With place card holder wedding favors, you kill two birds with one stone and guarantee that your trash cans won’t be full of tiny strips of expensive stationary by the end of the evening. Place card holder wedding favors combine the place cards (sometimes called escort cards) and the wedding favors into one glorious gift for your guest. Place card holder wedding favors are a great idea for weddings of all guest list sizes, and they help cut down on clutter on place settings. Instead of finding room for the place card, place card holder, and wedding favor, they’re all combined into place card holder wedding favors. The consolidation of space isn’t all that’s important in place card holder wedding favors – they also make for wonderful and cohesive accessories. The stationary on your place card holder wedding favors (or lack thereof) will match the favor seamlessly, and might help to pull together the aesthetic of your table design. Place card holder wedding favors also make for a livelier (and less bare) escort card table. Guests can be excited for their place card holder wedding favors from the moment they cross the threshold into your reception!
Your wedding planning experience will vary depending on the budget and look and feel you’re going for on your big day. While most brides will choose something elegant, understated, and refined (probably something with soft lighting, a plated dinner, and white branches), there are always a handful of brides who will scoff at such a venture and opt instead for a bouncy house. This is for those brides. The “wedding experience” is not universal, and nowhere is it written in stone that you must conform to a certain set of standards for your event to count as a wedding. Do you want your guests to kick off their shoes and dance barefoot in the grass? Do you want orange dreamsicles instead of a fancy cake? Do you want the youngest members of your family to have as much fun as the oldest? Cool. Here are a couple of ideas for your awesome wedding:
A Bouncy House!
A bounce house is a colorful air-filled palace of joy and bruising. As long as all kids are properly supervised (and you make it clear that there will be no lifeguard on duty during the reception), there’s no reason why a bounce house couldn’t be a great addition to your reception. Obviously, this venture is best suited to outdoor weddings, but you’ll be amazed how fast your guests turn into 5-year-olds as soon as the thing is inflated. The pictures you’ll get due to the goings-on of the bounce house will be worth every penny you drop on the house (and, by the way, the pennies will be much fewer than other wedding staples, such as a photo booth). Crayons!
For the brides who still ask for the kids menu due to the many coloring opportunities, this option might quicken your pulse. Forget fancy (and expensive) linens for butcher paper and small buckets of crayons at each table and watch your guests glue their noses to the table as they try to beat their neighbor at tick-tack-toe or doodle all through the night. Brides with more traditional weddings can pull this off too, though you might restrict it to the kids table or opt for fancier buckets. If you’re going for a casual wedding where crayons and a bounce house won’t be out of place, just make sure you warn your guests on your invitation or save-the-date. You don’t have to spell it out for them, but the style of the stationary and accompanying casual pictorials can be helpful.