Infographic: A Guide to Invitations

Ah.. the wedding invitations. Invitations are easily the most looked over detail of the wedding. So take the guess work out preparing your invitations with this easy to read guide by




Top 10 Wedding Guest Complaints


Your wedding day is about sharing your love and commitment for your fiancé with those closest to you. You want it to be a memorable day filled with love and joy from all who attend. Well, if you ask anyone who has been married they will tell you that you can’t control everything and especially not how the day goes. You can’t control rain, sickness or a broken dress straps but you can be proactive in making sure it’s the best experience for not only you and your future husband/wife but also those who have come to share their love with you on your special day. Here are 10 common complaints from wedding guests and how you can help head off some of these potential sticklers.

1. Don’t pick an inconvenient date

I get it, getting married on Valentine’s Day sounds ridiculously romantic. Becoming husband and wife at the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve would be a memorable event. It’s an incredibly romantic gesture for you and your fiancé but it’s not as fantastic for your guests.  It’s important when considering your wedding day to remember commitments that other may already have.  Here are some dates that are best to avoid.  If you are still really set on a specific day here are a few tips to help ease the stress of loved ones.

– Take to your wedding party and close relatives before finalizing your date

–  Let your guests know well in advance, send out your save-the-dates as soon as possible

– Check your local calendar to avoid conflicts in the area such as a local parade, outdoor music concert, or large event in the area

2. Be clear about invitations

One of the most stressful tasks you will do while planning your wedding will be deciding on the guest list. Even more frustrating when someone assumes they get a plus one or worse a plus 5. Here are some tips in dealing with this tricky topic.

– Address your invitations clearly.

– Write the names on the RSVP card. Avoiding any potential confusion by writing in the names on the response card allowing them to check off their response.

– Be up front. Wedding websites are a great way to inform your guests of hotel locations, important locations and special instructions. One of the most common RSVP blunders is a guest assuming their children have been invited. If you have decided to not include children at your reception your wedding website would be a great place to bring this to your guests attention.

– Address the issue head on. If there was a miscommunication its best to address it immediately.

** As a general note it is customary to give an unmarried guest with a long time significant other a +1. **

3. Seating

You always want to make sure your guests are comfortable. When your guests are enjoying themselves they are more likely to stick around to enjoy the night. Most important things to remember are:

– Make sure your guests have enough room. There is nothing more frustrating then having to move your chair every couple minutes so guests can get by. Or to be knocking elbows with the person next to you.

– Keep arrangements out of eye level. Keeping your table arrangements either low or high allows for your guests to freely communicate without leaning to the side to see one another.

– Assignments. Guests prefer not having to worry about seating. So, if it’s an option plan to assign the seating. Also, when assigning the seats consider which guests would enjoy sitting near one another.

4. Avoid Cash Bars

Just watch wedding planner David Tutera’s reaction when we asked him about them and see for yourself.

– If you can’t afford to have a fun bar invest in supplying a few specialty drinks, cover wine and beer, or be creative and have a free coffee bar.

5. Check the Weather

If you live in a location with unpredictable weather or have chosen a season that tends to be particularly hot or cold make sure to include in your budge accommodating for this.

Hot location.

–       Convert your programs into fans for guests to use during the ceremony

–       Make sure there is shade for your guest

–       Provide cold drinks or a cool place for them to relax

Cold location

–       Especially if you are considering an outdoor wedding, I would recommend investing in an outdoor heater

–       Provide guests with free shawls

–       Have a bon fire or a heated area for guest to take a break from the cold

Most importantly, make sure your quests are aware before hand so they can dress appropriately. This also is true for beach weddings or a location that requires a lot of walking for guests.

6. Provide Friendly Food

I went to a wedding recently that my husband ended up eating a piece of bread and some fruit. He is allergic to nuts and every items at the reception had walnuts drizzled in the food. It’s important to consider big food allergies when planning your wedding such as nuts, shellfish and fish. If these are some of your favorite food not a problem, just make sure to include some allergy free options as well. Same goes for vegetarians and gluten free option.  If you know a large portion of your guests have diet restrictions you should try to accommodate that will at least one option for them.

7. Excessive Break between Wedding and Reception

I have to admit that I had a three-hour gap in between my wedding and reception. Knowing this would be a problem for some of my guests with small children I included in our invitations places near by to visit in between. It happened to be in a metro area, walking distance from the free public zoo. Ideas:

–       If you know that there will be a large gap make sure your guests have something to do in between.  Such as yard games, or local restaurants.

–       Provide them with local brochures for activities in the area.

–       Make sure the reception is available in case they want to arrive early.

8. Don’t offend Grandma with Kanye West

Sure, you might love to dance to “Gold Digger” but that doesn’t mean your grandma does. Keep all guests in mind when selecting music for your reception. Here are some easy tips:

–       Don’t seat elderly guests by the speakers

–       Play music that is easy to dance to

–       Never play music with inappropriate language

–       Stay with slower, safe songs and move to the louder music to later in the evening

–       Play music at a reasonable level. Weddings are a great opportunity to catch up with friends and family so make sure your guests can still enjoy one another’s company.

9. Disorganization to the max.
I once attended a wedding where the cocktail hour became two-and-a-half hours long because the bride and groom wanted more photos in the moonlight. Imagine the look on guests’ faces when we finally sat down to our seats and waited another hour and a half before dinner was served.

– Create a timeline of events and assign someone responsible for keeping you on track

– Don’t be a Bridezilla. Yes it is your day, but there are potentially hundreds of people that are spending their day celebrating with you. So make sure to keep them in mind as well.

10. Don’t forget to do thank you’s

It is so easy to watch the day just pass you by without getting a chance to talk to everyone. So take a break from the dance floor and chat with your guests. Even a quick hug or thank you for coming will be enough to make your guests feel appreciated.

Thank you cards: Even if you had a chance to thank everyone at the wedding for coming, you must send thank you cards. This is something that everyone expects and because some guests make special arrangements to be at your wedding be sure to make the card personalized.  My tip for you is to split the cards up between the two of you and tackle a handful of cards every day. Most people don’t expect a thank you card for a month or two.

Top 10 Wedding Guest Complaints

How to Give the Perfect Toast

Giving a toast can be a nerve wracking event. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are 10 tips to keep in mind when preparing to give your toast.




10 Wedding Day Regrets

wedding day regrets

It’s the most wonderful day of your life. The last thing you want is to look back and have regrets. Here are the 10 most common regrets brides have on their wedding day.

1. Not hiring a videographer

When your standing in front of all your friend and family breathing it all in, it doesn’t matter how “in the moment” you plan to be. You just can’t capture every moment. You can’t see your father wipe away his tears as your husband glances at you lovingly which is why it’s important to have someone there to capture those moments so you can focus on enjoying the day. You may feel it’s just an extra expense now but you will be grateful in 20 years that you can watch those moments together again.

2. Not getting un-watermarked images as part of your photographers contract

I truly cannot believe that this is still a common practice for wedding photographers. What Bride doesn’t want to be able to put her wedding photos on Facebook, or create your own custom digital book without having to worry about watermarks? It’s your day! With all the fun and creative things you can do with digital photos now, so why limit your options?

3. Making guests wait to long to eat

With potentially hundreds of people celebrating with you, it’s important to keep their needs in mind as well as your own on your wedding day. Hungry people usually equals one of two things… crabby people… or drunken people. When your guests arrive at the receptions and there is no food for them to eat. The first thing they will do is head to the bar. This can get pretty expensive for you if you opted to have an open bar and it can also lead to a short night because guests have had too much to drink or are now tired from waiting to eat for too long.

4.  Not having the band play “your song”

Now days its becoming undesirable to have anything cliché at your wedding. But there are key elements of a wedding that your guests, parents and wedding party will expect you to do. Having a first dance with “your song” is one of them. If you want to spice it up pick a nontraditional first dance song or add your own flair to it. My father surprised me during our father/daughter dance by inviting all fathers to dance with their daughters. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

5. Not having an open bar

If you cant afford to have a full open bar opt for a specialty cocktail or a partial bar that offers only wine and beer.

Here is David Tutera’s professional opinion


6. Not booking a great hotel for our wedding night

After your wedding you will be exhausted. It’s the best day of your lives but it’s also the more exhausting. Renting a hotel room close to the reception will be something you won’t regret. Not only can you enjoy the night without worrying about how to get home but there is something refreshing about waking up in a room that is not your own. It’s like a fresh start, which is fitting for your new marriage. If you have kids or pets make sure to make arrangements for someone to take them for the night so you can fully enjoy your first night as husband and wife.

7. Not taking enough family photos

As frustrating as it can be to get everyone in for a family photo it will be worth it. How often do you have this combination of people all in the same place? So take advantage of this moment in time by capturing it with a photo.

8. Not having toned arms for your photos

Wedding dresses are made to be flattering in all body sizes but in most of them your arms and shoulders are completely exposed. You will see the most results for your wedding day if you focusing on toning your arms to get those great wedding day photos.

9. Not taking 10 minutes to soak it all in.

The day goes by in a blur. Its important to get away from the crowd and have a “moment” with one another where you really let the gravity of the day sink in. It’s a moment that however brief you will remember for a lifetime.

10. Not changing shoes

I’ll say it again. It’s a loooong day! Your feet will get tired. If you want to spend the night dancing like most brides do its important to pack a separate pair of shoes. If you went for a more conservative approach for the wedding here is your chance to add some color or flair. Just make sure your alternate shoes are comfortable or have a reasonable heel to last the whole night.

For more read here.


Wedding Party Responsibilities 101

Weddings can be really stressful at times, that’s why you have your favorite ladies… and gentlemen by your side. Here is an easy breakdown of the duties of your wedding party to help ease the load.

Drink Calculator

One of the biggest expenses at your wedding will be dining. This include hors d’oeuvre , dinner and drinks. Most caterers charge by the plate, so how do you determine the budget for drinks? Here is a quick guide to help you get started.

As a general rule most guests will consume two drinks during the first hour and one drink each following hour. When planning an event serving wine, beer and spirits, the general rule of thumb is that:

50% will prefer WINE
30% will prefer BEER
20% will prefer MIXED DRINKS

If you do not anticipate serving mixed drinks at your event, then you should plan on 60% of your guests consuming wine and 40% beer. Use this sheet to calculate how much you need. Or click the link below to auto generate.

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Are your wedding Flowers In Season?

No matter what time of year you are getting married in, it’s important to know what flowers are in season. Some seasons can be trickier, but you don’t want to fall madly in love with a flower that will cost 10 times more than you are willing to pay. So know ahead of time what will be within your price range so you can set realistic expectations. Here is a guide to what will be in season for your wedding.

Seasonal FLowers

Registry 101

Registering for gifts is one of the few non stressful things you will do as an engaged couple. Its fun and exciting to walk through the aisles and choose gifts that you will use in your lives together.

Glasses of champagne

I like to remind people that there are several types of gifts to add to your registry. Type 1) Things you actually need and will use. People really want to give you gifts that you will actual use, not ones that will site in storage. Type 2) Things you plan to use. Like serving dishes for future holidays together, or camping gear for your first road trip. Type 3) Special occasion items. These are the items that you may rarely use but they will be used on special occasions and bring you back to your wedding day with memories of love.

Its a fine line on choosing how many of each of these items should be included in your registry so here are some types to finding the right balance.

Tip 1.
Even out the price range – Lets face it not everyone will spend the same amount of your wedding gift so you want to be sure to give people lots of options. Here is a general guideline.

30-50% of your items should be under $25
20-40% of your items should be between $25-$50
10-20% of your items should be between $50-$100
5-15% of your items should be between $100-$200
5-15% of your items should be over $200

Tip 2.
Register at more than one place – Its good to give people options. Especially if they are traveling or would prefer to shop online. I like to encourage people to register at 2-3 places. Any more than that and there choices at each store will be very limited.  Here is a list of some great places to register.

Bed, Bath and Beyond
Crate & Barrel
Pottery Barn

If you are outdoorsy or like to work on home improvement projects consider registering at Menards or a specialty shop. also has a great registry that allows guest to purchase the item anywhere and mark it off your registry as purchased.

Tip 3.
What to Register for – You can find lots of registry checklists to help you go through the basics. Most people register for dishes, towels, bedding and small furniture.  The truth is though is that you know what you need, what you want and what you will use. So register for what you actually want. I don’t mean a new xbox or a flatscreen t.v. , I mean things that you will both use and that people can see you using. If you don’t even throw parties or have guests over don’t register for a fancy set of serving trays. If you never plan to use china then don’t register for it, if you are big campers register for camping gear or a tent. You will be surprised what people give you when they don’t like anything on your registry. 🙂

Tip 4.
Send Personal Thank You Cards – No one looks forward to sending out hundreds of thank you cards. I get that. But these are people that are an important enough part of your life that you invited them to share in one of the biggest moments of your life. So thank them for that. Thank them for coming, for their gift, and their support. Make it personal.  You don’t have to finish them all in one sittings. When I got married my husband and I split the list and each wrote 5-10 cards a night. It was painless and gave me the mental energy I needed to put thought into each card. Trust me its worth it!

Tip 5.
Have Fun! – Your getting married, enjoy it! Enjoy the overwhelming amount of love that you feel when all the people in your lives come together in one place. Enjoy registering and envisioning your lives 10 years from now using that pasta maker with your husband, or the cookie cutters you will use with your kids.  Make some memories!

DIY Bridal Makeup Ideas

Maybe you are one of those hands on brides that like to control every aspect of your wedding. I get it, been there! Here are some tips for getting that wedding day look on your own. Not getting married? Try it out for your next holiday party!


How to Be a Cool Bride – Summer Wedding

Weather can be incredibly unpredictable. Planning ahead and being prepared for all the elements can be a make or break. If your a summer bride you know that heat can put a big damper on your wedding photos. Here are some tips to keeping cool on your wedding day.