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Three things that make you ask “What the heck do I do with this?” at my wedding

Inevitably, there comes a point in the planning process where you’re going to be analyzing the smallest, and I mean smallest, of details for your wedding day. There are three specific things that are going to literally make you stop in your tracks and ask “What the heck do I do with this?”
 

It’s not your fault, just things you don’t really think about until that day or a few days before your wedding. If you have a wedding planner, chances are all this will be discussed with you. But if you are the majority of couples that don’t hire a wedding planner and do this all yourself, here are some things you need to know:
 
RELATED: 21 ESSENTIAL THINGS EVERY BRIDE OR GROOM MUST DO THE WEEK BEFORE THEIR WEDDING
 

What the heck do you do with your bouquet?

 

Ok, so this is kind of a two-parter here…
 

The first question should be “How the heck do I hold my bouquet?” Nope, it’s not in front of you. The correct answer is actually at your waist. You don’t want to hold your flowers in front of you because it blocks your face and your dress. Think about it. You’re not presenting the flowers to anyone, you’re just holding them there as an accessory. It drives me crazy when I see brides holding bouquets in front of their torso, but, it’s an easy, natural and comfortable move to make, especially when you’re a bit nervous. Just rest them easy at your waist.
 

The second question that comes up is “What the heck do I do with my bouquet at the reception?” Well, a lot. If you have a suite to get ready at your venue, you can leave your bouquet in there for the night. If you want to enter the reception room carrying your bouquet like most brides, you can assign a member in your bridal party, or your maître d’ to hold your bouquet while you do your first dance. Then take your bouquet and keep it as the centerpiece at your sweetheart table.
 

What the heck do you do with your engagement ring?

 

You may be thinking “wear it, obviously!” Yes, and no. The proper way to wear your wedding bands is the wedding ring first, then engagement ring on top. Why? Along with the tradition of your ring finger having a vein that leads directly to your heart, your wedding band should be worn first as it’s closet to your heart.
 

Now, if this is something that you don’t really care about, you can just keep your engagement ring on, have your spouse put your wedding ring on top of it, and switch them later if you want.
 

If you are superstitious or want to stick to tradition, however, you’ll want to wear your engagement ring on a different finger. Usually, the same finger on your right hand. Now, if you’re right-handed, your fingers may be bigger since those muscles get used more, and your ring may not fit. Same goes if you’re left-handed, the muscles on your right hand may be smaller and the ring may be too loose. If either of those is the case, entrust your engagement ring with someone you trust like a parent, who you know is going to have a small bag with them to hold it until after your ceremony.
 
RELATED: ENGAGEMENT RINGS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEYOND THE 4 “C”s
 

What the heck do you do with your car?

 

Remember, you’re going to need to get home the next day. This one always makes me chuckle because this happened to us. It wasn’t until the day before our wedding when we were like “How are we going to get home tomorrow?” Trust me, you’ll be asking the same question. Your limo will be taking you to your locations, but what is your “get home” plan?
 

You have a couple of options here. One, hitch a ride with a guest. Simple. Just ask them first so they know to wait for you before they leave.
 

Another option is to see if your hotel or your venue will allow you to leave your car in their parking lot overnight so it’s already there the day of your wedding and will be there the next morning waiting for you. Usually, they won’t have a problem with that and understand your unique circumstance.
 

Do you have a question about what do with something the day of your wedding? Let us know. We’d love to answer it for you?
 

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

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bohemian Hudson Valley Wedding at Locust Grove J Ferrara Photography

21 Essential Things Every Bride or Groom Must Do The Week Before Their Wedding

It’s the week leading up to your wedding. Excitement and nerves are raging and you feel the clock is ticking to make sure everything gets done on time. There are so many last-minute details to remember, so we put together a list of 21 essential things every bride or groom must do the week before their wedding. We’ve broken them down into three categories: Logistics (the nuts and bolts of the day), Personal (what you need to do for yourself), and Specifics (the little details you may forget).
 

LOGISTICS:

 

Prepare your marriage license – Make sure you have your marriage license all set and ready to go. Sometimes, the license will be signed during the ceremony, and sometimes, it will be signed during the rehearsal. In either case, you need to make sure you have this document ready for signage. Without it, your marriage isn’t legal. For more information on how to obtain a New York State marriage license, click here or below.
 

 
 
 

Create and distribute timelines – It’s important for all members of your bridal party, as well as your parents and those involved in the wedding, to know what’s going on that day. Timelines are especially important for your vendors. Not only do they need to know what time to show up and where to show up, but they’ll actually be helping you schedule much of your timeline. Your salon, for example, needs to know what time the photographer is coming so that they can have you all ready for photos.
 

Prepare and distribute contact info – Just as important as the timeline, contact info is key. All members of the bridal party, all vendors, parents, and the venue should be on the list. Your number should be included as well, though I would designate a person to field all your calls, especially on your wedding day. You don’t want to be answering or dealing with phone calls while you’re getting ready.
 

Take enough time off from work – Requesting time off from work should be done months in advance of your wedding, and you want to make sure you take off enough time. Check with your employer to see if you can carry over days or time if you think you are going to need more than what you are given. If your wedding is on a Saturday, I suggest taking three or four days prior. You also want to make sure you take enough time off for your honeymoon. Most couples take two weeks off, though when you take your honeymoon is totally up to you. Some couples take off right after their wedding, others, depending on their situation, will wait a few months. Even if you wait a few months, take a few days off from work after the wedding so you have time to wind down and mentally get back to “reality”.
 

Drop off all items for your wedding to your venue – Your wedding venue should provide you with a timeline of when things are due for them, such as payments, final headcount, etc. Included in this list is a date of when your wedding items such as favors, menus, place cards, and guest book need to be dropped off. My suggestion is to not do this the day before, but two days out. You are going to be very busy the day before your wedding and you don’t want to have to worry about making a trip to your venue – especially if it’s out of town – the day before your wedding.
 

Confirm all appointments – Even though you booked your appointments months and months in advance, and probably checked and double-checked on them, do it again. Call your hair salon, makeup artist, florist, limo, baker and any other vendor you are working with to confirm everyone is on the same page, and that everyone knows what time to be where.
 

Prepare final payments for vendors – Make sure all your final payments to your vendors are made or are set aside to give them the day of your wedding. The last thing you want to do is forget to pay someone.
 

Plan a rehearsal – No matter if your wedding is a quiet backyard affair or a formal banquet hall event, a rehearsal is very important. There are lots of moving parts to a wedding and people need to know where they need to stand or sit, when they need to come out to music, who is holding bouquets, when to do a unity ceremony, what’s going to happen at the end of readings or when to say your vows. This doesn’t have to necessarily be done the day before your wedding, but it needs to be done close to it.
 

PERSONAL:

 

Get enough sleep – Nerves may get the best of you, therefore, making it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep, and that’s totally normal. However, you want to make sure you give yourself enough time to make up for that. Plan ahead so you get to bed at a reasonable time. Night owls, this means no late nights and early morning. Plan a good 6-8 hours of sleep each night of the week leading up to your wedding. This not only will calm your nerves, but it’ll give you more clarity and composure.
 

Schedule “me” time – Yoga or meditating are great ways to de-stress. Even just a few minutes of quiet deep breathing or scheduling in a nap can be an excellent way to recharge, refuel and get centered. The days leading up to your wedding are going to be very busy, chaotic and stressful. You need to take care of yourself. Being on the go all the time can lower your immunity, and you don’t want to be sick on your wedding day.
 

Don’t party too hard – it’s very easy to want to just live it up the week leading up to your wedding or even the night before, but trust me, partying too hard is just going to leave you with a ton of regret. Yes, have a glass or two of wine. Yes, enjoy yourself at your rehearsal dinner. However, drinking too much or staying out too late is just going to have a snowball effect when you don’t have the time to be nursing a hangover or the patience to be working off a few hours of sleep.
 

Don’t change your routines – Now is not the time to be trying new routines. Keep everything as “normal” as possible. Don’t try new skin routines, or a diet regimen, or sleep routine. Stick with what works well because you don’t want any negative surprises on your wedding day.
 

Don’t sunbathe – We all know sunbathing is bad, and we should be wearing SPF, so don’t go out and sit in the sun in the days leading up to your wedding. You don’t want to be burnt or have unsightly tan lines. If being tan on your wedding is something you want, talk to your salon to see if they offer spray tans, or even better, see if they offer natural spray tans without the harsh chemicals. Whatever you do, don’t use tanning beds!
 

Don’t try new foods – This kind of goes along the same lines as not trying new routines. Trying new foods is always great. I love doing it. But, before such a big event, you better be safe. Leave being adventurous at the door until you are on your honeymoon or until you get back. The last thing you want is to try something new and then realize you have a reaction to it and get sick.
 

SPECIFICS:

 

Get yourself organized – Gather all necessary items such as garments, your suitcase, paperwork and any other day-of essentials and keep them in one, easy-to-get-to location. We have a great list of things to pack for your wedding day here or below:
 

 
 
 
 

Prepare your welcome bags – You want to make sure that your welcome bags are assembled and available at the hotel(s) your guests are staying at prior to the day your first guest arrives. Some guests may arrive the day before, some might check-in that day. Check with your hotel to confirm a drop-off date.
 

Go to the bank – This is one of those things that might be on your to-do list, but could get pushed back. You want to go to the bank for several reasons. One, you want to make sure you have some cash on you or ready to take with you for your honeymoon. Second, you want to let your bank know of any traveling you might be doing so that they can put an alert on your card. You don’t want to go away on vacation and have your bank cancel your cards thinking they might have been stolen.
 

Break in your shoes – Guys and girls, I can’t stress enough how uncomfortable dress shoes can be if you haven’t broken them in or stretched them. Don’t put yourself through the agony of painful feet. Break your shoes in, wear them around the house, dance in them, do whatever you need to do to make sure they feel good. Inevitably, you might just want to bring a change of shoes altogether when it comes time for dancing, but be sure to give your feet some love.
 

Make sure all DIY projects are done – Make sure all of your DIY projects are done at least a week in advance, if not more. The week and days leading up to your wedding shouldn’t be spent with a glue gun in your hand. I love a good craft project, but there comes a time when you have to walk away from the craft table and let it be.
 

Exchange gifts with your spouse – Here’s why this should be done before your wedding and not the day of. Simply put, Pictures and time. If you are not doing a first-look and are seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony, when are you going to have time to exchange gifts? Also, remember, opening gifts makes a great photo op, which is usually done as you are getting ready. You want to make sure you give each other your gifts prior to the wedding so that you have something to open when your photographer arrives.
 

Finish your vows – Waiting until the morning of your wedding to write your vows or finish them is not good. Try to plan to have these done at least a week ahead of time. That gives you time to go back, edit, change things around and really make sure they’re perfect. Plus, if you are the DIY-type, it gives you a chance to do something really creative with them.
 

What’s on your week-of to-do list?
 
Featured photo credit: J. Ferrara Photography

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Lavish Hudson Valley Wedding at Whitby Castle

When you think of the Hudson Valley weddings, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Castle weddings probably aren’t on the top of your list, but this stunningly regal and lavish wedding at Whitby Castle in Rye, NY will have thinking otherwise.
 

Jamie and Dale got engaged in Paris, and so a castle wedding was only fitting! Their wedding was dripping in gorgeous details…from jewelry, to flowers, to signage, this couple has exquisite taste, and their wedding photographers, The Ramsdens, captured every detail perfectly.
 


 

Vendors…
 

Venue: Whitby Castle

Bride & Bridemaid’s Dressess: Lady Gray Bridal

Hair: Lulu’s Hair Studio

Flowers: The Flower Barn

String Trio: Capriccio Ensemble

DJ: Enriquez Entertainment

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Maltese Cross

3 Ways I Incorporated My Maltese Heritage Into My Wedding

Here’s a little fact about me. I’m Maltese. Usually when I tell people that they literally look at me like I have two heads. The conversation usually goes like this…

 

“Mal-what?” they ask.

 

“I’m Maltese!” I say.

 

“Oh, like the dog?”

 

“Well, not exactly. My family comes from Malta?”

 

“Malta? What’s that?”

 

“An island in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Sicily”

 

“Oh, so…your Italian?”

 

“Nope. Maltese.”

 

Malta

Photo taken by my cousin

Then I go into my favorite part where I get to talk about Malta. How it’s a country composed of three “tiny” islands (about 200 sq miles) between Sicily and North Africa with a population a little over 400,000. How it has some of the oldest ancient ruins on earth that predate the pyramids of Egypt. How it has its own unique language (Middle Eastern/Arabic with a mix of English, French and Italian) that’s the only Semitic language that’s written in the Latin alphabet. I could go on and on because I love educating people about Malta.

 

I’m first generation American on my father’s side, second generation on my mother’s side. In fact, if you do the math, I’m probably more Maltese than American (though I’m proud of both my heritages equally). But here’s the ironic part…I’ve never been to Malta (yet).

 

I’ve come close twice. Once in college when I was studying abroad in Europe (but wasn’t allowed to travel outside of the group I was with) and once the year I got married, when my cousins went. I couldn’t go then because between saving and planning for a wedding and saving for a house, it just wasn’t financially possible at the time. So, visiting is still on my bucket list.

 

That being said, because I’m so proud of where my family comes from, it was very important to me to incorporate my Maltese heritage into my wedding. I’ve said over and over that one of the best things about weddings is that it’s a great opportunity for the couple, even though they are coming together as one, to showcase their induvial styles, religions, heritages, cultures, etc. So, here’s what I did…

 

RELATED: 3 UNIQUE WAYS TO SAY ‘THIS IS US’ AT YOUR WEDDING

 

I incorporated my Maltese heritage in the details

 

Maltese Cross

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” This is a rhyme brides know all too well. The “new” was easy…that was my dress. The “blue” was easy…stickers I put on the bottom of my shoe that read “I Do.”

 

The “old” and “borrowed” was tricky. I was trying to figure out what those could be and then my mom had an idea to look through her jewelry box.

 

As we were going through the box which is full of family heirlooms, I found a magnificent filigree Maltese Cross pin that belonged to my grandmother as well as some lace she made. Making filigree jewelry and lace are traditional Maltese arts. My thought was to use them both on my bouquet. While I opted, in the end, not to use my grandmother’s lace (for fear of getting it stained from the flowers, or oils from my hand), I did have lace wrapped around my bouquet as homage to her and attached the pin to it. (There’s another story here on how I lost the pin on my wedding day and miraculously found it the next day…but that’s a whole other story for a whole different day).

 

I incorporated my Maltese heritage through romantic proverbs

 

Maltese wedding

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

My husband is Irish, so Irish wedding traditions and blessing are easy to find. Maltese wedding traditions and blessings, not so much.

 

Most Maltese are Roman Catholic, in fact, we’re some of the oldest Catholics in the world, dating back to 60 A.D. So, other than having a full Roman Catholic mass wedding, it was really hard for me to find ways to incorporate Maltese wedding blessings. Not to mention, the Maltese language is very complex, so I needed to find blessings that also had English translations.

 

I thought a cool thing to do would be to have Gaelic and Maltese love proverbs scattered on the tables during cocktail hour. I went online to see what I could find, because we know that if it’s online it must be “true”, right (haha!), and held my breath that what I found was correct (I’m not too fluent in the language). My saving grace was that if they weren’t right, only a few people would know. Thankfully, I have a cousin in Malta who looked over the sayings and said that, for the most part, they were right, so I went with it.

 

RELATED: 4 THINGS YOUR GUESTS REALLY WANT AT YOUR WEDDING
 

I honored my Maltese heritage by keeping my last name

 

My last name, Zammit, is not common at all over here in the States, but in Malta, my last name is like Smith or Jones here. It’s very common.

 

When couples marry, 98% of the time the bride takes the groom’s name. However, I didn’t want to lose my very Maltese name. Now, I know no one can take my heritage away from me, but without my last name, no one would be able to tell, from the outside, what or who I am. It’s very much a part of my identity and how I define myself.

 

A disclaimer here is that changing your name is a very personal decision. Everyone is going to have a different reason for changing or keeping their name, and whatever you decide is correct. For me, I wanted to keep my name but also honor my husband and our unity by taking his name as well, so, I hyphenate my last name.

 

Hopefully, learning how I incorporated my heritage into my wedding will give you some ideas on how you can do the same for your wedding. What specific part of your heritage or culture are you incorporating into your wedding? We’d love to know.
 
Featured Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

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Creative Ways To Make A Wedding Guest Book You’ll Love For Years To Come

For the longest time, I never really got the point of a wedding guest book.

 

I mean, you know who you’re inviting to your wedding, you know who’s coming to your wedding, and between your shower and wedding, every guest gives you a card with a nice sentiment written in it, so why do you need a guest book? Right?

 

Well, in the last 7-10 years, guest books have really taken on a life of their own. This once minute and somewhat boring detail of a wedding has now really grown into something really special and personal. No longer are they a formality, but a very personal creative keepsake of your wedding day. From thumbprint trees to puzzles and everything in between, guest books are rarely ever books anymore.

 

Because this detail is often something that’s very personal, many couples tend to DIY it, or at least purchase one on Etsy, made by someone else. Since it’s a very crafty and creative element of your day, we decided to reach out the largest DIY wedding resource to get their insights into what you can do for your guest book at your wedding.

 

RELATED: DIY WEDDINGS: 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW

 

Do you need a guest book?

 

wedding guest book

Photo Credit: Emma Cleary Photo and Video

The short answer is no. You can have whatever you want at your wedding, and you can also eliminate whatever you want at your wedding. Actually, most of the weddings I’ve gone to haven’t had a guest book at all! Remember, like I always say, there are no ‘rules’ when it comes to weddings.

 

Why have a guest book?

 

“Guest Books are a staple piece for the bride and groom so they can remember who came to their wedding or wedding shower,” says Debbie Louis, owner of the DIY Bride website and chief wedding planner and designer of A La Mode Events .“It also allows the guest the opportunity to share a memorable message (congratulatory or well wishes) to the couple… It can also be creative to represent the theme of the wedding.”

 

Just like your photos, your guest book is a tangible memento from your day. It’s really cool to look back years later at something people sign or create on the day of your wedding. Imagine your little flower girl or ring bearer signing their name the way little kids do, and then looking back at it 10 years later when that little guy or girl is now a teenager. Imagine seeing a message in your grandparent’s own handwriting and having that sentiment to keep forever.

 

RELATED: WHAT IS IT REALLY LIKE TO BE A DIY BRIDE?

 

What kind of guest book should you have?

 

If you are going to do a guest book, I’m a big proponent of not having anything at your wedding that you can’t reuse again. So, I’m always in favor of having a guest book that you can actually use or display in your home. My first thought is to make this something fun. Look at your style, your passions, interest or decorating style to give you an inspirational starting point. Louis says “I Love pictures that tell a story, colors or a theme. You can get über creative with these simple three things. But you should dig deep and figure out what you love in order to properly personalize.”

 

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

For example, my husband loves baseball, especially the New York Yankees. Knowing that I didn’t want just a plain old book, I thought about something that was a bit of a novelty, something that was different, and something that we could hang in our new home. After doing a bit of research, we decided that our guest book would be a baseball bat with our names and date etched into it that everyone could sign. It was a HUGE hit!! People loved it and were talking about it for weeks after. In fact, one guest wrote on the knob (the bottom part of the bat) “Best guest book ever!” It’s now hanging in our home office. I guess we knocked that one ‘out of the park!’ Sorry, more bad puns…I can’t help myself.

 

Anyway…take a look at your overall theme, what makes you happy and choose something that really depicts your personality and something that will be fun for your guests as well.

 

What are some unique, easy and personal types of guest books?

 

“Some really cool guest book ideas are puzzle pieces,” says Louis. She also suggests if you love to travel, you can have people sign decorated globes, or another idea is to have guests sign a photo mat surrounding an engagement photo which you can then frame and hang in your home. You can make a photo book and have everyone sign it. “Also the photo strips from a photo booth are usually easy and classic,” Louis says.

 

So, we want to know if you are having a guest book, and, if so, what type of ‘book’ is it going to be?

 

Featured Photo Credit: Emma Cleary Photo and Video

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What You Need to Know About the Tone of Your Invites

There’s something about sending out wedding invitations, even more so than save the dates, that makes your wedding feel ‘real.’ This mailing will determine so much going forward. It determines your final guest count, it starts the ball rolling for seating charts, it gives you an idea of what your guests would like to eat, and believe me when I tell you that the first RSVP card you get back will make you squeal like a baby!
 

From the guest’s perspective, your invite is a treasure trove! Believe it or not, your invite is sending messages to your guests that go far beyond the who, what, where, and when.
 

Your invitations are actually giving your guests a sneak peek into you, as a couple and your style, and for some guests, that may be the first time they see this side of you. We already spoke about save the dates and what you need to know about them, but today we’re going to discuss wedding invitations in general.
 

Before we get down to the nitty gritty specifics in future posts, we want you to know that your invite is so much more than just a piece of paper. We asked local invitation experts to share their knowledge with you so that when it’s time for you to choose your invitations, you’re better prepared to make decisions. The unknown causes stress. My motto is: The more informed you are, the less stressed you get.
 

RELATED: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR SAVE THE DATES

 

Your invitation sets the tone for your wedding

 

Photo Credit: Graphic Nature, LLC

Most invitation experts agree that your invitation sets the tone for your wedding. Amy Eddy and Stephanie McHoul, owners of Graphic Nature, LLC, in Fishkill, sum it up nicely in the motto of their business: “You set the date. We set the tone.” Eddy says,“”it’s the only thing your guests receive ahead of the wedding to indicate what kind of event they are going to.” McHoul says your invite is your guests first look into what your day is going to be like and that ”The invitation is always going to be a timeless reminder” of that day.
 

”Nowadays everything is custom, and that’s what we do,” says Eddy. “Invitations should set the tone for the wedding, should reflect the couple, the day, it’s the only thing your guests are receiving that they can keep if they like.” And remember, it’s also one of the few mementos you and your family will keep also.
 

Frankie D’Elia, owner and creative director at Fitting Image Graphics, Inc. in Carmel, says, “Your wedding invitation is a reflection of you both as a couple and your personality. It is also your guest’s first glimpse of the feel and vibe of your wedding.” He suggests that before you select your invitations (and there is a reason why invitations are one of the last things you do in your planning process…more on that in future posts) to talk to each other about what you want your wedding to look like and if you want any special theming. He says Pinterest is a great venue for inspiration but the great thing about custom invites is that you can make them whatever you want. “We suggest that you save these ideas, and share them with us when we have our first meeting,” he said. “We specialize in creating completely unique invitations; we can even combine ideas or themes from you!” So, if you want a classic elegant and formal look, and your partner wants a sporty theme, going custom can help you achieve that, and also gives your guests an opportunity to get to know you better.
 

Kristal Walden, owner Kristal Walden Graphic Design in Beacon, reiterates a lot of the same points, saying your invite “sets the tone for the actual day, it sets the tone for the wedding, it sets the tone for what your guests are going to experience, what your guests are going to expect.” She tries to capture the couples personality in each and every design, because “You don’t want to pick a design that your guests are going to look at and say ‘this isn’t them!’ It needs to be you.”
 

RELATED: THE ONE THING THAT CAN RUIN YOUR WEDDING AND 4 WAYS TO PREVENT IT

 

Which brings me to my last point. If reading all that makes you even more stressed and worried about if you are going to do something “wrong,” don’t worry! Jeanne Stark, owner of Hudson Valley Ceremonies in Rhinebeck, says there are no wrong choices and if you don’t want an invite that matches your theme, that’s OK! In the grand scheme, outside of you and your family “Nobody is even really going to remember what your invitations look like. The only ones who keep their invitations are the moms and the bride,” Stark says. “Go with what you like, go with what you can afford…it can be part of your theme, it can be something that sets the tone, but it doesn’t have to.”
 

Wedding invitation trends

 

Photo Credit: Fitting Image Graphics, Inc.

Remember, D’Elia said Pinterest is a great source for invite inspiration. However, scouring through Pinterest can be somewhat daunting if you don’t even know where to begin. So, we wanted to know what some of the latest trends real couples are choosing for their wedding invitations. Eddy and McHoul say the biggest trends they are seeing for the fall are softer neutral gold tones and deeper jewel-toned colors.
 

D’Elia says a lot of his couples have been requesting foil to make their invitations stand out. “Another trend we see is pocket invitations, which includes the invitation and wedding details (RSVP, accommodation card, hotel information, etc.) in one pocket. This is a very elegant and classy look and organizes all important wedding information into one place,” he says. Lastly, he points out that some couples even want that “WOW” factor…everything from custom shapes, laser-cut paper to look like lace, 3D effects known as quilling, to even invitations that light up…with real lights!! He says, “We even created wedding treasure maps and timelines as invitations.” So, as you can see, there is no right or wrong here. It really boils down to your personal preference and your budget.
 

In the next few weeks, we are going to dive deeper into the invite specifics, with a very special infographic to help you navigate the world of wedding invitations.
 

Featured Photo Credit: Design by Kristal Walden, photo by The Ramsdens

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30 Truths You Need to Know About Your Wedding (part 2)

I love being able to look back on our wedding day and seeing it not only as a the most incredible day of my life, but also taking things that I learned about myself and that day and sharing them with you, to help give you insights and prepare you for things that no one might not tell you about your wedding day. Today, we continue our list of 30 Wedding Day Truths…

 

RELATED: 30 Truths You Need To Know About Your Wedding Day (Part 1)

 

Wedding Truth #11 – You will watch your wedding video more than you think

 

Wedding photography is usually one of the first things couples book, but videography is sometimes the last and is often an afterthought. I know it was for me. We have great family videos but the one thing I did not realize was just how much I’d watch those videos after our wedding. I never thought I would watch them at all, so that’s why we opted out, which now I kind of regret. if you are on the fence about getting videos done, please invest in them. You’ll thank yourself later.

 

 

Wedding Truth #12 – Traditions don’t need to be kept

 

Photo Credit: Myles Studio Photography

Nowhere is it written that you have to follow certain traditions for your wedding. You don’t have to do anything (except sign the marriage license) that you don’t want to do. For instance, the first look used to be a real no-no, partly due to superstition, and now, almost everyone does one. You can walk down the aisle with anyone or no one, you can have a bridal party or no bridal party, you can have a best man or best woman, you can have a maid of honor or man of honor. Dances, toasts, and reception traditions such as the bouquet and garter toss don’t have to be done at all. We didn’t do the bouquet and garter toss, and guess what? No one missed it. want pizza instead of cake, go for it. That’s what makes weddings so great. It is literally a blank slate. So, traditions are there really as a guideline and as a source to show you what can be done, but it’s your day and you can make it your own any way you like. Now, if you are getting married in a house of worship, there may be guidelines you need to follow, so make sure that you run any plans past the officiant first to make sure it’s ok.

 

Wedding Truth #13 – You will be late

 

When was the last time you went to a wedding, or any event for that matter, that started on time? Even if you have a wedding day timeline (which I highly suggest you have) you will run late. I always like to think of the time on the invite as the time when guests should all be there and to help ease the anxiety a bit, I would warn your fiancé now that you may be late. Now I’m not talking super later here, but five to 10 minutes, probably. Why? Well, by the time the limo arrives, by the time everyone gets situated, by the time the music starts to play, and the photographers are set up and the bridal party walks down the aisle, that takes a few minutes. I think I was about 10 minutes late by the time everyone piled into the limo and got to the church and the bridal party got lined up. But don’t stress, if you plan for that little bit of slack, you have nothing to worry about.

 

Wedding Truth #14 – You might have to pay for people who don’t show

 

When you book your venue, in the Hudson Valley especially, many venues have guest minimums. That means you need to guarantee that minimum amount of people will attend, and even if they don’t you still have to pay for them. Say, for example, your wedding venue has a guest minimum of 100 people and you invite 100 people, but, by the time you get your RSVP’s back, only 90 people can make it. You still need to pay for those 10 no-shows. However, don’t let this worry you. Speak with your venue or your caterer to see if they might be able to throw in an extra appetizer, or up lighting, or even give you those ten meals to take home. What are you going to do with ten take-home meals? Well, you can give them to guests like your parents or grandparents so they don’t have to cook the next day, or you can stock your freezer so when you get back from your honeymoon, you can relive your wedding meal and not have to cook either.

 

Wedding Truth #15 – People aren’t going to care about the details as much as you

 

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

I hate to sound like Debbie Downer here, but not everyone is going to remember the details as much as you. That was a hard one for me to swallow because, as a DIY bride, you take so much time to make all the details and to make sure everything looks perfect.  But, at the end of the day, people remember the food and the entertainment more than any other aspect of your wedding, even more than your vows or your ceremony…unless it’s something really different or unique. So, a way to destress is to know that, yes, you want a pretty and beautiful day, but you don’t have to go overboard on the details

 

Wedding Truth #16 – Personalizing your wedding is a great way to make it memorable

 

So, I just mentioned that the details may be overlooked by some, well, one way to make sure people remember your wedding is by personalizing it as much as possible. So, writing your own vows, perhaps a unique “tying the knot” ceremony, photos, memorials, dances, cake, etc. The more you can personalize your wedding, the less it makes it like every other wedding and the more it makes it your own.

 

Wedding Truth #17 –There is no such thing as a perfect wedding

 

No matter how hard you try to make your wedding perfect, there is no such thing as a perfect wedding. Something will not go as planned, it could be something as small as running five to 10 minutes late or something big, like your cake falling to the ground. Hopefully, the imperfections will be minute, but know that no matter what you do, something may not go as planned. But, here’s the best part. You know the details of your wedding inside and out, so if something doesn’t go as planned and you notice it, changes are, no one else will. That being said, however, the one factor no one has control of on their wedding day is the weather. It’s crucial to make sure you have a backup plan for the weather.

 

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Wedding Truth #18 – Perfection is what you make it

 

So, now that you know that no wedding is perfect, perfection is what you make it. A while back, I read a blog post called “Don’t make these color mistakes”. Talk about pressure! Listen, if you like two colors and put them together, they are perfect for you, and that’s what matters. It doesn’t matter if someone behind a computer in an office says you are making a mistake. If you like it, go for it. Also, if you get caught up in the fact that something didn’t go as planned, then it’s going to ruin the rest of your day. Your wedding day is not the day to keep planning, your wedding day is for you to enjoy the moment, get married, and soak in the memories you are making. At some point you have to just give it up. You’ve done all that you could do, you rehearsed and planned as much as you can. You just have to trust the process. To be extra careful that your day runs as smoothly as possible, you may want to consider hiring a wedding planner for day or month of coordination.

 

Wedding Truth #19 – The emotion of the day may not hit you until after the fact

 

Weddings are an emotional day, no doubt about it, but sometimes, the emotion of the day may not hit you until after the fact. You may be so pumped on adrenaline that it may take you some time to decompress and absorb your wedding day. Being around so many people, being on the go constantly all day makes it hard to sometimes take in everything that’s going on. For me, it didn’t hit me until we were on our honeymoon and I had time away from all of it to realize that I am married, that we had a beautiful wedding and that I just experienced the greatest day of my life.

 

Wedding Truth #20 – You can eat at your wedding

 

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

Often you hear of couples who miss their entire dinner because they were busy talking to guests or taking pictures. In my opinion, the only time missing dinner is OK is if the sun is setting during your dinner and you want sunset photos. Otherwise, if you want to be part of your cocktail hour and dinner and actually eat, you can. You need to make sure that you let your photographer know that you want to be back in time for cocktail hour. Traditionally, if you don’t do a receiving line at the end of the ceremony, couples will go around during cocktail hour or during dinner to say hello to each guest. If you are greeting your guests during dinner, my best suggestion is to visit each table during the first course. This way, the only food you’re missing is soup or salad (which your venue can pack up for you so you can have it later) and you grab your guests before they start digging into the main course. If you unfortunately need to miss dinner, make sure your venue packs up a meal for you to go, so that you can enjoy it later and has some snack foods available to you so you can nosh while you’re dancing to keep your energy up.
 

Featured Image Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

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