the Event Essentials


How To Avoid Becoming A Bridezilla
August 31, 2007, 6:25 pm
Filed under: "wed"iquette, Advice and Tips from Experts

A recent post on my knot chat board inspired me to find an article related to Bridezillas (Thanks “turkey”). So I searched the web to come across a fun little article on A Houston Wedding. com

Bridezilla \bride-zil-a\ n : a bride-to-be who focuses so much on the event that she becomes difficult and obnoxious.

How to Avoid Becoming a Bridezilla

Bridezilla

Everyone loves a bride, but very few people can tolerate a “bridezilla”. A bride is a woman who is engaged to be married and is happily enjoying planning her wedding and all other aspects of her wedding. A bridezilla is an engaged woman who is so stressed out planning her wedding that she makes everyone around her (including herself!) miserable. Planning a wedding should be a fun, exciting time in your life, not a time of excessive stress and misery. As a newlywed recently married in Houston, there are several stress management tips that that I learned and would like to pass along to anyone currently planning their wedding.

Perspective

Many brides get overly caught up in the numerous details surrounding their wedding, which often results in panic and stress. While your wedding is inarguably a very important, special day in your life, it’s very important to realize that it is truly just one day. I would advise any bride to focus on the ‘big picture’ and try to avoid getting caught up in worrying about every single, little minute detail of the wedding. Of course it is important that you plan your wedding carefully to avoid any problems, but at the same time there are going to be some details so minor that truly it makes no difference if they are done or not. For example, does it really matter if all bridesmaids do not have the exact same color of toenail polish the day of the wedding or if the mother-of -the-bride’s dress is similar to the mother-of-the-groom? I know it’s easier said than done, but try and focus on the excitement and nostalgia of the marriage itself and focus less on things that truly won’t matter even one year from now.

Delegation

Keep in mind that there are likely several people that you know (friends and/or family members) who would be thrilled to assist you in some aspect of the wedding. It’s incredibly easy to feel like only you can be ‘trusted’ to get wedding tasks done properly but often, there are minor tasks that you can delegate which would help you immensely. For example, if you don’t have the time to contact all your wedding vendors right before the wedding to confirm everything’s on schedule, why not ask your sister to do that for you? Just give her a list and consider it done. No time to pick up the bridesmaid’s gifts? Chances are your mother would be glad to help out. Your friends and family can’t read your mind. Unless they have recently been through a wedding, they probably have no idea what needs to be done unless you tell them (this includes the groom, too!). As long as people do not feel like you are taking advantage of them, they are often honored to be asked and very happy to help.

Sense of Humor

You simply have to maintain a sense of humor during the wedding planning process. Believe it or not, you will be surprised at some of the seemingly insensitive things that will pop out of people’s mouths while you are planning your wedding (“You registered where?? Oh, I hate that store…why on earth would you register there?”). Try not to take any random comments too seriously and just laugh them off. It’s important you not stress over other people’s perceptions of what your wedding should be. Also, in all events leading up to (and including!) your wedding, it’s highly likely that something may go wrong or not exactly as planned. Just to provide a little anecdote on this issue, I arrived at our rehearsal dinner (along with the wedding party, their dates, our families, etc) to find out to my chagrin that nothing was ready for us…in fact, the night manager had no idea we were coming (apparently some slight miscommunication between the day shift who I been talking to and the night shift). At first I found myself getting really upset and distressed, until I realized that they could accommodate us just fine and I was causing everyone else to be upset. It turned out to be a perfectly wonderful evening. The point of my story is if anything goes awry, just roll with it, make the best of it, and chances are everything will work out just fine.

Treat Yourself

My favorite stress management tip is that if you find the wedding pressure bearing down on you, take some time out from all the planning to treat yourself. Schedule an appointment for a facial, manicure, pedicure, or massage (or all the above!). Plan some time to meet with friends over coffee or drinks and request that you all talk about things other than your wedding plans (or, in reverse, ask if you can “vent” to them, depending on what you feel would help you the most). Another fun way to relax and still be in the wedding mode is to rent classic movies like “Father of the Bride”, “My Best Friend’s Wedding”, or “The Wedding Planner”. Alternately, you and your fiancée could have a ‘date night’ where just the two of you spend time together. Taking some time out to relax and enjoy yourself will help make the overall planning process more fun for you.

There is no doubt that wedding planning can be a stressful experience. However, it is important that you make an effort to enjoy your engagement and the planning process because it is a wonderful time of your life. Enjoy!

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What is a Bridesmaid?
August 29, 2007, 5:40 pm
Filed under: "wed"iquette, Advice and Tips from Experts

I have seen a lot of problems with brides and their bridal party attendants lately (mostly girls), so I thought I would post this fun article that I found on About.com just in case there may be a bride out there that would want to share this article!! My girls were the greatest!! I was definitely lucky to have chosen the 4 best girls to be by my side and honestly don’t have any regrets about choosing them. The only hickup we had along the way was whether or not Chip N Dales or Thunder From Down Under was a better show at my Vegas bachlorette party!! 🙂

My Bridal party

Being a great attendant

A bridesmaid is first and foremost someone who the bride wants to be a part of her wedding. Perhaps she is a sister, or a very close friend; her friendship and support of the marriage is meaningful.

More than that, a bridesmaid and/or maid-of-honor serves a practical purpose. During the hectic time of planning a wedding, she is a confidant, advice giver, doer of menial tasks, errand runner and more. A bride should have at least one bridesmaid (preferably the maid-of-honor) who is reliable, cheerfully helpful, organized, and who lives close to the bride.

A bridesmaid’s duties might include:

* helping the bride shop for her dress and bridesmaids’ dresses
* when asked, giving advice on decorations, favors, music, and more
* helping the maid of honor to plan a bridal shower, and, if appropriate, chipping in for the costs of food, decorations, or venue
* helping to plan a bachelorette party (this the bridesmaids may pay for or split the cost with the other attendees)
* helping the bride dress (and stay calm) before the ceremony
* providing moral support at all times
* telling others where the couple is registered and other details, such as when they will return from their honeymoon, where to send
gifts, and any name changes.
* being useful at the wedding reception.
* The couple may ask you to help direct guests to the guestbook, assist with a special moment, make sure that vendors have arrived,
or do crisis management. You might also want to stick around after the reception and make sure things are cleaned up and wedding
presents secured.
* being social. Be sure to talk to as many guests as you can, making them feel warmly welcomed. If there’s a dance floor, help get the
party going!
* consider throwing (or helping to pitch in for) a day-after brunch. These events are great to help the couple catch up with out-of-town
guests, and have a more relaxed environment to socialize in.

A good bridesmaid also makes sure she is helpful rather than a hindrance. This means being where she needs to be, on time, ordering her bridesmaid dress at the right time, and not badmouthing the bride behind her back.

A Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor has additional duties. She is the person whom the bride most wants to honor and celebrate her friendship. At the wedding ceremony, she has the honor of being the last to walk down the aisle before the bride, and stands next to her during the ceremony. In addition to a bridesmaid’s duties, listed above, a maid of honor should:

* help with wedding planning, such as researching locations, florists, caterers and other vendors.
* volunteer to help address wedding invitations and/or announcements
* make sure her fellow bridesmaids have ordered their dresses and accessories on time
* helping with the rehearsal dinner
* holding the bouquet during the ceremony
* giving a meaningful toast during the reception.

The Expenses of a Bridesmaid
There is a considerable expense involved in being a bridesmaid, including cost of apparel, travel and hotel room for the ceremony, hosting a party, as well as a shower gift and a wedding gift. A bridesmaid can save money by asking others to pitch in for the showers, wearing a dress she already owns (if that’s okay with the bride), making her own dress, and staying with friends. She can give her friend the gift of time – i.e., the gift of addressing and stuffing the invitations. Also, a bride may pay for some of the expenses if her budget allows it.

The Bachelorette Party Planning

A bachelorette party should be a fun experience for a bridesmaid to toast the bride and have a blast with both new and old friends. The party planner should be sure to keep the bride in mind always. Just because the wild maid-of-honor might want a stripper doesn’t mean the bride will. Consider if the bride is more a gambling-in-Vegas type of gal, or a sitting-by-the-pool-with-a-white-wine-spritzer girl. Read to get some ideas and hints. Most of all, a bachelorette party should be a unique amazing experience that’s both a total blast and an enormous bonding time.



Invitation Etiquette
August 9, 2007, 10:01 pm
Filed under: "wed"iquette, Invitations

Another great article from http://www.elegala.com on Invitation Etiquette

Invitation Etiquette

Inviting partners and guests
If an invited guest is married, engaged or living with a significant other, that partner must be included in the invitation. A single invitation addressed to both individuals should be sent to spouses or couples who live together, while separate invitations should be sent to each member of an engaged or long term couple who don’t live together. Inviting single guests with a date is a thoughtful gesture, but one that is not required. If you are inviting a single guest with a date, try to find out the name of your friend’s intended date and include that person’s name on the invitation. Otherwise, inner envelopes may include “And Guest,” indicating that he or she may bring any chosen escort or friend.

Inviting Children
To invite or not invite the little ones – this is a situation that can quickly get ugly. Make your decision and stick with it – then inform your guests through carefully addressed invitations:

Children over 18 who are invited to the wedding should receive their own invitations – regardless of whether or not they live with their parents. If you don’t send them an invitation – it’s clear that they’re not invited.

Children under 18 who are invited to the wedding should have their name included on the invitation. If you’re inviting Joe and Mary Smith without their two little ones, their invitation should read “Joe and Mary Smith.”

If you’re still worried that some guests may add write-ins on their reply card – print the names of those invited on the reply card as well.

Guests Who Ask to Bring a Guest
Your guests should know better! It is never appropriate for a guest to ask to bring a date, and you have every right to politely say no. However, if you discover that a guest is engaged or living with a significant other, you should extend a written or verbal invitation.

Invitations to out-of-town guests
Many brides ponder whether or not it’s appropriate to invite long distance guests for whom it may be impossible to attend. Use your best judgment. Is this person truly a close friend who would want to attend your celebration? If so, failing to extend an invitation may be insulting. Remember, these days friends and family are often spread all over the country, and people are accustomed to traveling. On the other hand, if you haven’t spoken in years, an invitation may look like no more than a request for a gift. In those cases, send a wedding announcement instead, which carries no gift-giving obligation.



The Cash Bar Issue
August 9, 2007, 9:59 pm
Filed under: "wed"iquette, Reception

I found this fun and informative article on http://www.elegala.com/ today and thought I would share since this seems to be a very common question.

THE CASH BAR ISSUE

Yes, weddings are expensive. Yes, couples should be on the lookout for budget saving tips. Yes, weddings are expensive – we know. But never – under any circumstances – should you ever consider hosting a cash bar at your reception. Think about it – you would never ask anyone to pay for a cocktail in your own home. People at your reception are still your guests, even if the event is not held in your house. That said, if a full bar is not within your budget, consider these alternatives:

1.) Host a soft bar, in which guests can order champagne, beer and wine.

2.) Find a reception site that allows you to bring in your own alcohol; you will save serious cash, and anything unopened can be returned for a full refund.

3.) Cut down the size of your guest list – the only significant way to reduce costs in the first place.



Seating Chart Help
July 10, 2007, 8:45 pm
Filed under: "wed"iquette, Reception

I found this really helpful article in the March/April issue of Brides magazine. As a planner I always try to advise my clients that a seating chart is very important. All too many times have I see guests look like a deer in headlights when there is no assignments. You don’t have to do specific seats if you don’t want to, but at least assign a table and allow your guests to then choose where to sit.

seating chart

Seating Chart

Preparing one of these is a little like doing a jigsaw puzzle – you have all the pieces and must figure out how to make them fit. Take these pointers into consideration as you creat your layout:

— Seat elderly guests away from the dj or band so there’s a difference between them and the loud music.

— Tables that are closest to the head table are usually reserved for the immediate families of both the bride and groom. Other family member (aunts, uncles, cousins) should be placed as close to the head tables as possible.

— If either set of parents is divorced, keep the peace by letting each partent host his or her own table.

— Seat groups of friends together. If you have single friends who don’t know anyone, pair them with other singles who have simular interests or personalities.