Helpful Tips

Wedding Website Tips

Classic-Rose-smallThese days, almost every wedding has its own website. It’s a great way to share information with your guests! Here are some tips for making your wedding website great:

  • Purchase an easy-to-remember domain. For example, MikeAndSarah.com is something you can even use in the future as a blog to keep your friends and family updated on your new house, growing family, etc. When selecting a domain, remember the shorter the better – this will need to be printed on your save-the-dates and invitation enclosure cards.
  • Include hotel information. Hopefully you’ve set up room blocks at two or three nearby hotels, so be sure to include booking instructions and rates. Also include the hotel’s direct phone number and address; if your guests are like me, they’ll want to add this information to their phones!
  • Also include travel information. Many cities have multiple airports, so let your guests know which one is most convenient. If your hotel offers airport transportation, include this information as well.
  • Share the weekend schedule. If you are planning a great welcome party, you won’t want your guests to miss it by booking a late flight. This also gives your guests a chance to plan sightseeing activities if they haven’t visited the area.
  • Feature some of your favorite nearby restaurants, shops and attractions. Provide links and a map, if possible, as well as hours of operation, and why you love these places.
  • Include links to your registries. This makes it easy for your guests to find this information, should they choose to send a gift.
  • Remember that not everyone is online 24/7. Be sure to send hard copies of important information to any of your guests that aren’t tech-savvy.

Welcome Bags for Out-Of-Town Wedding Guests

Bow Tie Bags Wedding Welcome BagsIt’s that time of year when we’re busy getting welcome bags/boxes ready for our spring weddings! We get a lot of questions about what goes inside these little packages. The most common items are:

  • Bottled water.  An absolute must!
  • Snacks.  Something salty, something sweet, and perhaps something with a local flair. (More on this below.)
  • Information about the area.  Contact the local visitors’ bureau or chamber of commerce, and they will be more than happy to send you brochures and maybe even coupons!
  • Information about the wedding.  If you have an action-packed weekend planned, include an itinerary and maps/directions if transportation isn’t being provided.
  • Contact information.  Assign a local friend to act as your concierge for the weekend to help with last minute questions from your guests.

From the basics, you can upgrade to include bottles of wine, personalized toiletry items like lotion or bubble bath, even slippers!  If you are planning a beach wedding, perhaps a pair of flip flops and bottle of sunscreen.  For a garden wedding, a lovely hat. Just remember that your guests will have to pack these items for their trip home, or leave them behind.

When our brides ask us for “regional” favorites, we suggest:

  • Peterbrooke chocolates
  • Florida oranges
  • Boiled peanuts
  • Datil pepper sauce
  • San Sebastian wines

Sound like a lot of work? If you aren’t working with a wedding planner who offers this service, check out Bow Tie Bags – you can customize your bag and its contents, and they will ship them directly to the hotel. (The photo above is one of their creations!)

Tips From A Recent Bride

Lauren and Ryan

Even as an experienced wedding planner, there were still things I learned from my own wedding! Here are my tips for brides-to-be:

  • Print out labels for your RSVP cards and put them on the back of the card, or write numbers on the back. You WILL get RSVP cards back that do not have return address on envelopes and the stamp from the post office from where it shipped from will only go so far.

  • Go to wedding expos! See what and who your choices are first hand and in person. Bridal shows give you a chance to see everyone in one place whether you are looking for one vendor or all of them, and you don’t have to drive all over town to find out they are what you are looking for. Hint: Take your fiancé! If he/she isn’t  a part of the wedding planning, they sure will appreciate you after a bridal show experience!

  • Please, oh please, don’t buy a dress that weighs more than you. I had a light strapless dress and the only thing I could think about 30 minutes until the end of the reception was taking it off! (And no, not only for that reason). You don’t realize how much a heavy dress can interrupt your night.

  • Do schedule a little nighttime photo shoot with your photographer. We did pictures around 10:00pm when everyone was comfortable on the dance floor. We snuck away and took some great shots, along with having a little breather and a few minutes of sweet alone time.

  • If you choose to wear a veil, as much as you love that veil and won’t have another opportunity to wear one, let me just share my experience before you make the decision to wear it the whole day. Everyone that hugs or dances with you will tug on the veil (without knowing, of course) and whatever style your hair was at the beginning of the day will look torn up! If I were to do it again, I’d take it of after dinner!

  • Do a fake cake! The bottom layer of our 5-tier cake was the only part of the cake that was real so we could cut into it and get those priceless pictures of smashing it in each other’s faces. The rest of our cake was in the kitchen already sliced and put out right after we cut into it. Instead of having waitstaff at your cake table for 30 minutes making a mess, it was already done.

  • Make an email address only for wedding correspondence. I had (my name)2B(future last name) and it worked great! If you want to stay in contact with any of your wedding vendors after the big day, send an email to specific people politely asking them to update their address book.

  • Do eat! My hubby and I didn’t make it around to everyone’s table. If that’s rude, we sure didn’t get any complaints. We noticed as we were eating, people came to us that were going to leave early or knew they weren’t going to run into us on the dance floor later.

  • I worried up until a few weeks before the wedding about what “Our Song” was going to be. It’s really easy getting frustrated finding a song if you don’t already have one when you’re listening to every word making sure its perfect. However, not you, your hubby, or your guests will hear every word like you did listening by yourself. My advise, pick a song that’s just special between the two of you.

  • Do make sure your in-laws and parents have a speech planned. Our wedding was pretty traditional. The groom’s parents threw the rehearsal dinner, where his parents said a little something, and my father had a toast at the wedding. I know it sounds very traditional, but it really sets the tone for two families becoming one. Everyone could feel the love our parents had for us and our new spouse with the words they spoke.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments below.

As Seen In Destination Weddings Magazine

Check out the latest issue of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazine, featuring my Expert Picks for three of North Florida’s hottest wedding venues!

Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Magazine

Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Magazine 1

Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Magazine 2

A Girls’ Guide To The Super Bowl

football field

I was raised in the South, where football isn’t just a sport, it’s a religion. But I know not every girl is as lucky as me. So if you are newly engaged and find yourself invited to join your fiancé for The Super Bowl Party, here are some tips.

  1. Don’t talk during the game. Unless it’s “that was an awesome play!” or “can you believe that call?” Listen to what everyone else is saying, and play along if you don’t know what context those phrases would be used in!
  2. If you must talk, leave the room. The kitchen is usually a safe haven for those that aren’t hardcore fans to take a break and chit chat. Just don’t hide for too long – pop back to the big screen every 10 minutes or so, and no one will miss you!
  3. Be helpful. If you are heading to the kitchen for a break, offer to bring back beers for everyone, or replenish the bowls of chips and pretzels.
  4. Pay attention. Don’t play on your phone or tablet. At least not the whole time. Besides, everyone knows that the Super Bowl commercials are just as important as the game! You won’t want to miss seeing what everyone will be talking about at the office on Monday.
  5. Don’t ask questions. This is not the time for Football 101. If you have a few minutes this weekend, and truly no nothing about the game, check out the Girls’ Guide To Football to get the basics.

The most important thing to remember is to blend in. Don’t pout, or whine about how long the game is lasting, or constantly remind the group that you don’t know what’s going on. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to find a cute outfit in one of these color combos! (Ask your fiancé which team he’s rooting for if you don’t have a favorite yourself.)

broncos-seahawks