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Celebrating & Preparing For Your Big Day with OurWeddingDay.com Today is Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How To Tastefully Use Social Media at Your Wedding

Nov09

Check out this new Mashable article, How To Tastefully Use Social Media at Your Wedding.

"As social media becomes more and more a part of our lives, etiquette failures can occur when there are so few precedents.

"A wedding day is the perfect example of this. You want to share your special day with your social circle, especially those who can’t attend, but where do you draw the line?

"We’ve talked to experts in the wedding industry and a recent bride to try and establish the ground rules for tastefully using social media at your wedding."

See what their experts had to say here.

We've had a lot to say in the past about how technology and social media can be used in sweetly celebratory and inclusive ways (live video feeds, for example) and how they can be used in ways that is completely inappropriate (like Twittering at the altar), and we feel thrilled to see pretty much eye-to-eye with Mashable on this.  A good read!

Read more:


Including Women on “His Side” of Your Wedding Party

Oct08

In today’s world, if your fiancé’s best friend is a woman, he can ask her to be a Groomswomen or a Best Woman. No one should raise an eyebrow, and if they do, chances are that they are the ones who are behind the times.

Your fiancé and the woman taking on either one of these roles simply needs to know the etiquette protocol. A female groomswomen wears an outfit similar or the same to that of the bridesmaids. To distinguish her from the bridesmaids she can add an accessory that matches something the other groomsmen are wearing. While a female groomsman should not walk guests down the aisle, she can hand out programs. Another nice idea is to assign her the job of helping friends move into the receiving line after the ceremony. When she walks down the aisle, have her escorted by one of the groomsmen, just as you would a bridesmaid.

A best woman should wear a dress of her choosing, and make sure it doesn’t clash with the maid of honor’s outfit. She can either join the groom at the altar or walk down with the rest of the wedding party.

Both the best woman and the groomswomen are invited to all parties, and can host the bachelor party or any other pre-wedding bash. If women are on the man’s side, make sure all the other men are informed, and any romp to a macho bar is reconsidered. When people of the opposite sex are in your wedding party, it’s common to also have co-ed showers and co-ed bachelor/bachelorette parties, or to opt instead for a simple engagement party.

As for duties, nothing changes. The groomswomen will have to be fitted for her outfit at the same time as the bridesmaids, and the best woman usually takes care of tips, picks up and drops off tuxes, and makes a toast at the reception. Both buy a gift for the couple, and both should be given a gift from the groom.

Read more: Groomsmen 101: Their Role on Your Big Day, The Bridesman or Man of Honor and Your Wedding Party: Who Does What?


Save the Date Invitations: Etiquette for Drawing Up Your Final Guest List

Oct07

Depending on the size of your wedding, one of the most difficult decision processes is drawing up your final guest list. Before sending out save the date invitations, there is a lot to consider. Should the coworker who you are on friendly terms with yet don't spend time with outside of work be invited? What about distant cousins you haven't spoken with in ten years? Or the old friend from junior high school who surprisingly invited you to her own wedding last year?

Coworkers and Church Friends
Save the date invitation etiquette can be ambiguous. But there are a few rules of thumb that aid in the process. For groups of people – such as coworkers or church friends – you should invite all of them or none of them. With the exception of a coworker who has become a close friend, and whom you spend personal time with, it should be clear that you either decided to invite colleagues from your department, or you simply couldn’t invite any. Dealing with it in a “cut and dry” manner can help avoid hurt feelings.

The same theory goes for church friends. If you aren't pressed to cut down on your guest list, and you are inclined to do so, then go ahead and invite the 15 members of your community group. But unless you are close friends with someone, it's not obligatory to invite them.

Family Members
With family members, there is an inevitably more grey area. If you're doing a lot of the planning with a parent, he or she may have strong feelings about which family members are invited. Use discretion, and remember that this is your big day and you can invite who you want. If you have a great aunt who loves to know what's going on in your life, or who always remembers to call you on your birthday, then she would obviously be hurt if she were left out.

If you have a lot of family out of state (even if they are unlikely to attend), it is still best to send them wedding save the date invitations, as they will want to feel like they are part of the celebration. They'll also want to know where you are registered, or if you have a wedding website where they can look at engagement photos or find updates on your choice of honeymoon destination.

For out of state family members who plan to attend your wedding, they will need to know your wedding date three to six to even eight months (if travel is required) in advance so they can begin looking into travel arrangements like airfares and hotels. Depending on your wedding location, they may even want to make their annual vacation as part of this trip.

It is completely acceptable to send save the date invitations by email. Not only does this cut down on cost, it's convenient for everyone involved. Just keep in mind that some people may not have access to email or a computer, and in that case, make sure the word gets out to them via airmail or phone.

Read more: How to Make Sure They'll Really "Save the Date", Guests You Don't Want to Invite, But Have To! and Who to Invite to Your Bridal Shower


What to Do When Vendors Are Late on Your Wedding Day

Oct04

No matter how organized your wedding planning is, you need to be prepared for the unexpected, like late vendors. Traffic, illness, poor directions to the site—many factors can cause a vendor to be tardy. Make the most of it and don’t let it ruin your big day. You can also take a few preventative measures to keep lateness in check.

“If a vendor is late and it doesn’t affect your wedding too much, address it after the event,” says Danielle Bobish of Curtain Up Events in New York City. “Work around the problem; if a minister is late, do photos first, then have cocktails, and perform the ceremony afterwards.” Your main goal in an unfortunate situation involving a vendor is to make sure your day continues with few changes. Also, do not pull the vendor aside when they arrive to “have it out;” deal with the repercussions the next day or shortly after the wedding.

If your florist doesn’t show up for the wedding, that’s more serious. “If the florist missed the ceremony, you didn’t have flowers,” says Bobish. “Make sure you have copies of your contract and any other communications,” she adds. “If you feel you’re owed a refund, you need all the written material.” Sometimes a vendor overbooks himself, and, while the same rules apply as far as refunds go, think twice before recommending his services.

Luckily, reliable vendors always have an emergency contact, which is often written into the contract. “If a vendor is sick, they should call you immediately to let you know who will be taking over,” says Bobish. Should you be stuck in a position where there isn’t a replacement, improvise! “If the photographer is late, and there’s no substitute, tell guests to snap as many photos as possible,” says Bobish.  If you have a talented friend or relative in attendance, put them to work!

To save yourself as little grief as possible, have a list of all vendor contacts, and provide it to a reliable person on the day of your wedding. “Give it to your maid of honor or your mom,” says Bobish, or to your recommended “wedding day drill sergeant.” “Within a half hour of a vendor being late, have them start to make calls.” If you know someone’s not going to make it on time, make the best of it, move on, and remember the true meaning of the day.

Read more: Your Wedding Day "Dill Sergeant", How to Handle the Unexpected on Your Wedding Day and Delaying Your Wedding Date: Avoiding It and Handling It


Is It Okay to Get Married on a Holiday?

Sep14

Planning your wedding around a major, or even minor, holiday can be an exciting and unforgettable way to celebrate your nuptials. There are pros and cons to holiday weddings, however, and it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting into.

Religious holidays, like Christmas and Chanukah, can be problematic for friends and loved ones who have prior obligations or would rather not attend a wedding on a sacred day. You also need to consider the different religious or non-religious beliefs of your guests, and whether or not your service should include touches specific to the holiday in question. Reception halls and houses of worship tend to be more booked on all holidays, and vendors are in high demand.

If you’re intent on having your wedding in December, but don’t have a large budget, consider an at-home wedding. (For Christmas or Chanukah, a ceremony at home followed by a reception at a local venue is a nice compromise.) For a non-secular holiday like the Fourth of July, a backyard wedding is a great option, or a beach or park; always find out ahead of time about fees and restrictions.

An advantage to major holidays is that your site might already have much of the decorations, saving on floral or designer fees. Houses of worship frequently have decorations in place, as do reception halls and restaurants. When touring prospective sites, find out what their décor will be, and see if it can be incorporated into your wedding.

One definite “to-do” for a holiday wedding is to send out save-the-date cards and give guests as much time in advance as possible. As soon as you’ve booked the date, send out the cards, and follow up with reminders and updates on your wedding web site. A year’s notice is not too early for holiday weddings. Expect more RSVP “no’s” on holidays, as some loved ones won’t be able to change their vacations or annual holiday plans.

Since airfares and hotel rooms are more costly over most holidays (Valentine’s and Halloween being two possible exceptions), look into group rates as soon as you can. A great touch is to leave gift baskets with holiday themes. Your guests will get into the spirit even faster if they arrive at their hotel to find a bag full of stocking stuffers!

Read more: The Holidays Vs. Your Wedding Diet, 5 Ways to Pick Your Wedding Theme and How to Make Sure They’ll “Save the Date”


Solutions to Wedding Planning Problems

Sep02

If your wedding planning has turned into a chore, it’s time to step back and re-assess how you’re going about it. Even though the days and weeks leading up to your big day can get stress-filled, they should also be fun. Make sure you’re not creating problems where none exist.

Scale back.
A big problem for many brides is aiming too high. There are variations on this issue, the most common being trying to fit more into your wedding than your budget can handle. Once you’ve decided on how much money you can spend, stick to it. There are ways to deal with disappointment, however. Should you be dead-set on an extravagant, six-tiered cake, get it, and nix the favors or the calligraphy. Make sure, too, that you spend money on the things you love and desire, not what other people insist you purchase.

Fantasy vs. reality.
Many brides get disappointed because something isn’t perfect. This can be a bridesmaid who cancels, a site that isn’t available, even a fight with Mom over the guest list. Part of the problem arises from “fairy tale” syndrome: that dream you always had of the perfect wedding. Now that you’re a big girl, you need to remember that, no matter how hard you try, not every aspect of the wedding will go off without a hitch. If you get depressed about that last-minute acne breakout, take a breath and remember why you’re getting married. Once you realize this is the day you’re taking the hand of the man you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with, the smaller things seem insignificant. Always look at the big picture.

This is not a democracy!
Another way for wedding glory to turn sour is when you allow too many people to make decisions for you. Between your mom, his mom, dads, bridesmaids, vendors, and pretty much anyone you ask, your wedding planning can easily turn into a focus group affair. Luckily, you’re the one who possesses the skills to keep that from happening. For every aspect of your wedding, rely on one person you trust to give you advice. It can be your husband for the food, your best friend for the flowers, mom for the dress, etc. Keep in mind that if you ask 10 people’s opinion on how you should wear your hair, you’re very likely to get 10 different responses. Trust yourself first and foremost, and remember that it’s your day.

Who’s wedding is this, anyway?
On a related note, know that no matter how hard you try to please everyone who’s invited to your wedding, some people will be disappointed (and may behave rudely!). Whether it’s their seats, being left out of the wedding party, not wanting to walk down to a beach in their shoes, or anything else, there will always be people who’d prefer you organized your affair differently. The only way to handle this problem is to remember that it is your affair, and you are allowed to handle it any way you like. Try and accommodate people, and listen to their complaints. In the end, however, it’s only the two of you who need to be satisfied.


Smart Ways to Deal with People Hinting for Invitations

Sep01

As nice as it sounds, not everyone can attend your wedding or be notified about the affair before the invites have been sent out. Since friends and loved ones often jump the gun, here are a few ways to deal with over-eager party-goers.

Once you announce that you’re getting married, a lot of people will drop hints that they would like an invitation. Most of those who say something are people you plan on inviting, so it’s easily solved by saying “We haven’t finalized the guest list, but we’ll let you know.” Remind those friends that it’s smart to keep quiet about the affair. It’s wise to work on the guest list ASAP, since you’ll have a rough idea of how to handle the inquiries.

Unfortunately, some of the hints will come from people who you can’t invite, or might have to relegate to the B-List. Should a co-worker inquire, the best way to handle the situation is to say that you haven’t decided yet on whether or not you’ll be inviting people from the office (the rule of thumb for weddings is that you invite everyone in your office, or just the boss). Your actual boss is unlikely to say anything, but if he or she does, it’s best to try your hardest to include them. Office diplomacy exists even during your engagement period.

A friend that you can’t invite is difficult, since you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Politely explain that your wedding guest list is limited and you simply don’t have the room. Mention his side of the family, obligations, etc. If he or she is on your B-List, say that you’re still trying to fit everyone in, and will let them know as soon as possible. Never tell a friend that you’re trying to fit them in if you’ve already decided not to invite them. It’s much smarter to let them know upfront that you don’t have room, then to keep them wondering.

The hardest hint-droppers are relatives. If you’re not inviting cousins, and they’ve asked early on, you might want to consider them for the B-List. However, know that once you start adding, your guest list will bloom. Should you be planning a small affair and are afraid of the fall-out from family members, let everyone know ASAP that it’s an intimate affair. A smart idea is to let parents or your maid of honor spread the word. It’s always better that people know the situation now than to be left hanging at the altar.


30 Fabulously Creative Wedding Invitations

Aug19

Web Designer Depot is displaying 30 creative and crafty wedding invitations, and they really are fabulous.

Above are a few of our favorites.

Visit their site for the full 30, then check out these articles on DIY Wedding Invitations and Invitation Etiquette 101.


A Wedding Photographer Speaks Out: "Feed Your Vendors!"

Aug11

Justin Price is an award-winning photographer in Los Angeles with over 10 years experience throughout the country. Through his own photography company, Priceless Images Photography, as well as with other major wedding studios, he's photographed approx. 500 weddings, as well as shooting extensively in the fields of fashion and high art.  Now he shares his advice on feeding vendors, exclusively with OurWeddingDay:

Easily over-looked by the bride and groom on their wedding day is feeding their vendors.  A hungry vendor is not a happy vendor.  The photographer are often the only vendor with you from start to finish.  That is a long day.

I have shot weddings that have lasted anywhere from 8-12 hours, depending on the length of the ceremony, reception and how long the break is in between the two. During the reception when guests sit down to eat, and there is time to put my camera down for 10 minutes, is the same time the reception site should be feeding the vendors.  I have shot a few weddings where to my surprise when everyone sat down to eat and I went and asked whomever was in charge where I should go for the vendor meals, they just looked at me and said the bride and groom didn’t get any meals for the vendors.  Well I can tell you after shooting for 6 hours from the beginning of the pre-bridal, through the ceremony, family portraits and beginning of the reception, I am famished and ready to eat. And to hear that there is nothing to eat does not make for a happy photographer.  Especially knowing that I have another 3-4 hours to shoot on an empty stomach.

Most times it is the reception site overlooking asking the bride and groom, when they come in before the wedding, if they want meals for the photographer, DJ, and videographer.  But remember a full photographer is a happy photographer, and will have the energy to run around and capture all the great events at your wedding, like cake cutting, parents dances, bouquet and garter.

Another thing the bride and groom should be aware of is a lot of reception sites will ask you if you want “vendor meals” for your people.  What the bride and groom don’t know is they are paying $40 for a soggy turkey sandwich and chips as the “vendor meal.”  So make sure you ask the coordinator at the site what the vendor meal is: a left over sandwich, what the guests are eating, or something else.

Lastly, the smartest time to feed the vendors is when the first guests get their food.  That gives us time to eat.  A lot of reception sites wait until all the guests are served to serve the vendor meals and by that time the bride and groom who are served first are done and back to dancing or walking around to tables.  Keep your vendors happy and they will produce top quality work and results for you.

-Justin from Priceless Images Photography


Hiring Friends as Wedding Vendors: When Is It Okay?

Jul14

What could more joyous than having your nearest and dearest “work” at your wedding? For starters, terrible photographs, awful flowers, and strained relationships that might take years to resolve. While it’s not forbidden to “hire” friends to do the work of wedding vendors, know the pros and cons before you take the step.

There are two ways to get friends involved in your wedding: asking them or letting them ask you. The former means you are certain that Cousin Joe will be the best wedding photographer for your celebration. This might be true, provided Joe is a professional camera man. If he’s just got a good camera and enjoys snapping photos, don’t ask him. There’s no going back if the photos turn out terrible, and both of you are going to end up angry. This applies to florists, caterers, you name it. Also, non-pros sometimes forget that they are working, and either disappear when needed or imbibe too much.

If a friend asks you if they can play a major role in the wedding process (say, cater the affair), the same factors apply, with the added difficulty of saying “no” if you think it’s an unwise choice. Should you face this kind of situation, be sure to tell the person how incredibly grateful you are for the offer, but that you made a decision as a couple not to allow your guests to work at your wedding. Then be sure to tell him or her that you’d love to have them cook at a dinner party in the future.

If you do hire a friend to work at your wedding, you should treat them with the same respect and courtesy as you would a professional vendor—make sure they do the same. Offer to pay them the going rate, and maneuver only in accordance to what is reasonable. You still need to tip them and give them breaks, even if they insist on offering up freebies and no-tip services. No matter what they tell you ahead of time, you also have to sign a contract. If they won’t budge, remind them that it’s for their benefit too. If a friend wants to give you, say, the cake, free, as part of their services, only allow it if it’s their wedding gift to you, and don’t take anything that you think is inappropriate or will hurt their finances.

The one vendor area that’s a lot simpler for a friend to fill is that of officiant. Once again, the choice is yours, as it’s an extremely personal part of your ceremony. If you want to have a close friend officiate, find a quiet time to ask them, and don’t be hurt if they say no. Some people won’t want the responsibility, and some might be terribly nervous. If a close friend asks you, you need to be very frank in your response. If that’s not the route you’re planning, be honest and let them know you decided to have a member of the clergy take care of that job. For the record, anyone can become a licensed minister over the Internet; it’s easy and only takes a few weeks.


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