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What to Look for in 2013

Here are a few wedding trends we’re looking forward to seeing more of in 2013! Short Wedding Frocks
Long elegant wedding gowns have always been a staple during the summer wedding season, and with good reason. They’re special and beautiful, and girls the world over dream of wearing one as they walk down the aisle to meet their future spouses. Shorter, more inexpensive dresses have become, in recent years, a breath of fresh air for brides who have revised their dreams for something stylish and a little more practical. Cute and spunky, I’ll take a short cotton dress over a lengthy satin train any day. Nothing beats a summer wedding and a no-nonsense bride who’s more interested in the food and dancing than a perfect bustle. Plus, no one steps on your nice white dress when it barely reaches your knees! More Personal Wedding Favors
Hosting your guests should be your first priority as a couple, and that attitude is reflected perfectly in personal wedding favors for your friends and family. When you’re spending a hunk of your wedding preparation time developing and making one-of-a-kind favors for your guests, it reflects a selfless attitude on your part that has been trending in the wedding community (hooray!). Your wedding is as much about your guests as it is about you, and personal wedding favors are a wonderful way to express your gratitude to the people in your life who love you and support your marriage! Geeky Invitations and Save the Dates
There’s something so wonderfully endearing about a photo shoot featuring a bride and groom interpreting their favorite scenes from Disney-Pixar’s “Up,” a valiant battle between a couple and an approaching zombie horde, or – my favorite – a comic book-style invite that features an illustrated couple costumed as superheroes under a punchy wedding date headline. Invitations and Save the Dates can be a fun opportunity to express your personality and quirks to your guests, and I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of a Save the Date with two people in love smiling from inside a blow-up Death Star.
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Keeping your Wedding Deadlines Straight

When you start your wedding planning, it’s sometimes hard to keep up with all the various deadlines. How long do you have to write a thank you note if someone sends you a gift six weeks before the big day? Is a year too early for a wedding website? Save-the-dates? Here’s a quick run-down on some of the more important wedding deadlines you don’t want to miss:

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.

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Save-the-Date Tips for the Skeptical Bride

Many brides wonder about the necessity of “save-the-dates” as they compile the charges that pile up during the wedding planning process, but they do have their purpose within the framework of your nuptials. Why should you bother - and how should you go about creating and distributing your preemptive wedding stationary? Read on for some quick tips for your save-the-dates: Guests from Out of Town:
Save-the-Dates are important for your out-of-town guests. A (timely) wedding invitation won’t make it to their front door in time for travel plans and timely accommodations (especially if your nuptials fall during a high-travel season) – they need to know well ahead of time that they should be planning to travel for your wedding. There is such a thing as “too early” for save-the-dates, however. Ten to six months ahead of time should be plenty warning for your far-away friends and relatives.   The Wedding Website:
Your save-the-date is a great place to debut the address of your wedding website. It doesn’t have to be perfectly finished yet, but allowing your guests to check out a few pertinent details can’t hurt, specifically locations of hotels with blocks of reserved rooms or registry information for pre-wedding parties. Save-the-Date Etiquette:
Save-the-dates come with their own set of etiquette rules, so don’t wield them without thought. Save-the-dates are not like wedding announcements – everyone who receives a save-the-date must then receive an invitation to your big day. The same goes for the opposite – make sure, if you plan to send out save-the-dates, that everyone invited to your wedding receives one. If not, the people who don’t get one will feel like they weren’t originally intended as guests.   Some Creative Save-the-Date Ideas:
Save-the-dates are fun because you can be so creative with them. Many brides opt for magnets, postcards, or even stop-motion YouTube videos to stand as their save-the-dates. Just make sure that if you are going to DIY your save-the-dates, try to keep it simple. 200 balloon printed save-the-dates sound wonderful until you’re staying up until 3am with a hot glue gun and your last nerve. Have fun!
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Sending out your Save the Dates

Save the Dates: The Sooner the Better!

 

Save the Dates

  Wedding invitations and thank you notes aren’t the only bit of wedding stationary you will have to worry about if you’re in the planning stages for your wedding. Wedding etiquette suggests that save the dates are a great idea if you want to help your guests plan for your big day. Save the dates aren’t as formal as your wedding invitations (only one envelope required!), and they’re much simpler. Save the Dates should be sent as soon as possible (six to eight months in advance if you’ve got the time), and they allow your guests to make travel plans and mark their calendars before other events and obligations get in the way. Save the dates are really helpful if you’re planning on getting married during a high-travel season (such as the beginning of summer or over a holiday weekend). So what should you include on your save the dates? You don’t need much – just the intended date of your nuptials and some hint as to the level of formality of the event (the fancier the save the date, the fancier the wedding). Some couples choose to include their wedding website on the save the date, which will allow you to provide your guests with updated information about the venue,  directions to the ceremony, and even hotel info (for those ariving from out of town). The most important thing about your save the dates is this: make sure your guests won’t lose them. A good way to avoid missing save the dates is the make them magnetic! Guests love the convenience of sticking a wedding reminder on their fridge, and you can rest easy knowing that your friends and family will be ready for an invitation!
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