Friday, September 30, 2011

Napkin Folding

Dress up your table settings...
by using cloth napkins as multi-purpose decorations.

       This is an easy and inexpensive way to add a little something special to your reception tables. Cloth napkins can be folded into an eye catching design simply to add interest to your table settings or they can be folded to be both eye catching and utilitarian. For example; Highlight your favors or a thank you note or used to them to hold a favor bag, utensils, or menu card. See the photos below for inspiration!
          Ask the person in charge of your event, at your reception venue, if they provide cloth napkins. If they do ask to see the colors and styles. You can also purchase them online or rent them from your local rental store if they do not offer the color or style you are looking for. Linen, satin, and taffeta are currently the most popular fabric choices but there are many options. Your wedding planner can certainly make the folded napkin magic happen or your venue may offer to tackle the project. If you would like to take on the napkin folding yourself try for some easy folding instructions.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Seven 'Deadly' Wedding Sins

1. You didn't order enough!? When ordering everything from hors' deourves to table linens to favors the quantities matter. Don't leave yourself one candle short of  completing your fabulous centerpieces or leave a whole table of guests wondering why everyone else got favors and they didn't. Count...recount...and count again. To be safe order a couple extra of things you think you might be short on or might need more of later.

2. Hiring the wrong or unqualified wedding planner can really damper an otherwise well intended idea. For example if your DJ or Florist says they will double as your wedding planner you may want to think twice because they may have other weddings that day  to tend to or may not really be aware of how much they will be taking care of nevermind the fact they already have a pretty 'heavy' task of doing their job correctly on your wedding day. Make sure the wedding planner you hire only does one wedding per day and is certified. Also, family or friends that offer to be your wedding planner have good intentions but likely have little (planning their own wedding) to no experience in planning major events so they may not know how to handle negotiations with your vendors, know all that truly needs to be done in the allotted amount of time given, how to deal with surprise issues, or you might find them distracted from their 'duties' more than not during the festivities...etc. Let a professional take care of everything so your family and friends can join in on the memory making and have fun with you on your wedding day.

3. Ordering a wedding dress in a couple sizes smaller than your actual size is a big no-no. As tempting as it is to give yourself incentive to loose a few pounds before your wedding refrain from this evil wedding sin. You might find yourself regretting your order and praying for miracles to happen. Any good taylor will tell you it is always easier to take a dress in than let it out. Keep in mind that some fabrics really are next to impossible to let out. You can still keep your weight loss goals but if you aren't able to make them in time it won't add stress or disapointment to your otherwise joyous wedding day. Listen to the advice of your tailor and the sales person at your bridal salon...they are there to help.

4. Procrastination is not your friend when it comes toplanning a wedding . Waiting to hire vendors may cause you to miss out on your top picks. I am not telling you to start hiring vendors the second you get engaged or let's say two years away from your wedding date. What I am saying is if you love the vendor and have the down payment available book them sooner than later. Another procrastination no-no is waiting to unwrap or put together your favors, centerpiece items, or other decor. You would never imagine how many hours it can take just to take favors out of their shipping boxes, remove tags, put them into a different container and/or tie ribbon onto them. Also, waiting to give your final head count to your caterer can cause them to go with your contracted amount: meaning they will use the total number of people you initially said would be attending your wedding. This can cause you to pay for the 150 people you invited rather than the 110 people that responded yes they will be attending. These are just a few reasons why you should stop procrastinating. Consult your wedding planner or other professionals on your wedding team for guidelines on task deadlines.

5. Letting your family and friends dictate YOUR wedding details is a good way to create wedding regrets. This is your wedding and it most likely will be your only one so this is your time to shine and get what you have been dreaming of since you were just a little girl. People tend to get excited when a wedding is announced and instantly want to give advice. This advice is often unwanted because every bride and groom have completely their own wedding style. Just because your cousin had white cala lillies and she is pressuring you to do the same does not mean you have to go with her suggestion. Sometimes couples will also get pressure from family or friends that offer to pay for a wedding item or service. For example your wedding cake: The person offering to pay should be invited to the tasting with the knowledge that they are there to be support not to do the decision making. They should not solely determine the flavors you finalize with the baker. If that person insists on you choosing flavors you and your fiance do not like in order in exchange for them paying for the cake thank them for their generousity but kindly decline there offer. Let them know you will be paying for the cake. That way save yourself from a disappointment without offending your loved one. Of course being a bride doesn't give you rights to treat people badly (no 'zillas please), but you should remain firm with your choices if you feel strongly about them. The bottom line is choose things that will make you and your future husband happy because it is afterall your wedding day.

6. Under estimating the amount of time you need to comfortably complete a wedding day activity can easily created stress. Be generous with the amount of time you designate to each activity and check travel times as well. Give yourself at least an hour for photos after your wedding ceremony (add another hour for large families or photo enthusiasts) plus travel time to the photo location and then to the reception. Remember to take into consideration that there may be traffic. Also, be sure to give yourself a few minutes to relax between photos and being announced into your reception.

7. Hiring family or friends instead of  professional vendors sounds like a great money saving tactic, but most times leaves couples disappointed with the final product. These kind and thoughtful people have good intentions and commonly start out motivated to help. All too often they end up wrapped up in the festivities which causes them to forget essential wedding day tasks they should be taking care of, they aren't as well equiped as they originally thought they were, or they don't know how to handle an issue that pops up. These things happen not through carlessness, but becasue they just haven't had the experience a professional has. Think of it this way; Most people wouldn't want their cousin to cut their hair just because they have a pair of scissors or certainly wouldn't want 'uncle Bob' to perform sergery on them unless he was a sergeon, so why have a friend be your dj because they played music from their ipod at their child's birthday or allow a family member that just happens to have a camera take pictures of one of the most important days in your life. Give yourself a little extra piece of mind and hire a professional.