Custom Stamps Now At Minted.com

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8 • 12 • 2016  |  Tips & Inspiration
I don't know how many times we have heard it from our clients, but they are always so disappointed with the USPS postage stamps for their wedding invitations. Many have purchased custom or even vintage stamps, but it isn't always easy.  
 
With Minted.com now offering custom and stamps that match their designs, it makes it so much easier, with a one stop shop for all your invitation and paper needs. Even if you don't have invitations or save the dates ordered through Minted, there are many designs that can match many invitation suites, as well as custom options. Check it out, search for "stamps" in the upper left hand corner, and make your stamps as pretty as the rest of your invitation!
Cheers, 

  Kathryn

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Article from Style Me Pretty

What Wedding Guests Do Wrong
6 • 23 • 2016  |  Tips & Inspiration
It has been a while, but we thought this was a great little slideshow from Style Me Pretty about what not to do as a wedding guest. We see some of these behaviors often, and the most common offense is not adhering to the dress code. More and more we are seeing guests showing up in flip flops, shorts, tank tops (on men!), and even jeans. Unless that is what the invitation specifically mentions for attire, we recommend avoiding being the worst dress guest. When in doubt, overdress, or ask around prior to the wedding to see what the couple would prefer.  
 
(photo by Josh Gruetzmacher)
We also thought we would share this little cheat sheet in case it is hard to decipher the wording on the invite: 
 
The invite says: "White Tie" 
This is the most formal of all wedding dress codes (think state dinners and the Oscars). 
 
He should wear: 
A tuxedo, a long black jacket with tails, a white pique vest, and a bow tie. Black, formal shoes and even white gloves for dancing are appropriate. 
 
She should wear: 
A formal, full-length ball gown in a neutral color like dark brown or black. Glamorous makeup and dramatic jewelry and hair are appropriate. 
 
The invite says: "Black Tie" 
This is the next most formal wedding dress code and usually means the wedding is an evening affair. 
 
He should wear: 
A tuxedo. A black bow tie, cummerbund, and patent leather shoes are also suggested. 
 
She should wear: 
A chic cocktail dress or a long evening gown in a dark, neutral color like brown or black. The bride, wedding party, or friends can help answer questions about the appropriate dress length. 
 
The invite says: "Formal" or "Black Tie Optional" 
The wording here suggests something slightly less formal than black tie. This means that a tuxedo isn't required but the event is still formal enough for one to be appropriate. 
 
He should wear: 
A tuxedo or a formal dark suit and tie. 
 
She should wear: 
A long dress, a dressy suit, or a formal cocktail-length dress in a dark, neutral tone like brown, gray, or black. 
 
The invite says: "Beach Formal" 
This suggests an elegant beach wedding -- so dress to impress, but also dress for the elements (sun, sand, and water). Anything you'd wear to a nice restaurant on a summer day is appropriate. 
 
He should wear: 
A summer suit with a linen shirt (no ties required), linen pants or khakis, and sandals. 
 
She should wear: 
A formal summer sundress at tea- or knee-length with flat sandals. Makeup and hair can be natural and everyday. 
 
The invite says: "Semiformal" or "Dressy Casual" 
Depending on the time of the event, you'll want to dress somewhere between formal and casual. Wear darker, more formal hues for an evening fete; opt for light colors and fabrics for a daytime wedding. 
 
He should wear: 
A suit and tie, dark or light depending on the season and time of day. 
 
She should wear: 
A cocktail dress or a dressy skirt and top. 
 
The invite says: "Casual" 
Generally, casual means anything goes. That said, jeans, shorts, and tank tops are probably not appropriate unless they're specifically noted as acceptable. For the purposes of wedding wear, assume business casual to be on the safe side. 
 
He should wear: 
Dress pants with a button-down shirt or polo. 
 
She should wear: 
A summer sundress or a skirt or pants with a nice blouse. Makeup and hair can be natural and everyday. 
 
Main thing to remember is that you were chosen to celebrate in this couples' big day, and you were chosen for a reason. Guests lists are sometimes a tough task for couples as they have to maybe cut people that they would have loved to have there. Don't be the one they wish they didn't invite!  
 
Cheers, 

  Kathryn

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What Bride's Regret

Article on Martha Stewart Weddings
1 • 15 • 2016  |  Tips & Inspiration
Happy Friday! I saw this article this morning, and had to share it, since it lists the #1 regret we always hear from clients, and that was not having a videographer. This also includes the clients that had a friend that had a video camera at the wedding, it never captures everything, since they are also a guest, so it is definitely something to consider if you feel it will be important to you in the future. 
 
From a personal stance, I can truly say that we LOVE our wedding photos, and they are incredible, but I wouldn't be okay if we didn't have the film of that day. It captured so much, and being able to watch it with our 2.5 year old son a few weeks ago as we celebrated our 4th anniversary was priceless.  
 
(photo by Kate Harrison)
There are other things that this article points out that these brides wish they had done differently, and I can say that having a planner/coordinator is one we don't often hear from our own clients, since they hired us, but from friends that didn't think it was necessary. From the advice and guidance before the wedding down to every detail being executed on the wedding day, planners provide a high level of ease to brides knowing their day is in the right hands. 
 
Enjoy the weekend,

  Kathryn

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Honoring Loved Ones At Your Wedding

article on the associated press
10 • 6 • 2015  |  Tips & Inspiration
A few months back, I was contacted by a writer doing an AP story on how couples have honored lost loved ones during their weddings. At first, I wasn't sure how to go about it, but then I remembered not only a majority of our couples struggling with this, but even my now husband and I as well. I agreed to do it, as I have seen so many different ways that loved ones had been honored, I felt it could only help couples that were having trouble with this as well, and needed ideas on how to best honor their specific loved ones, and what worked for them and their family. You can read the full article here
 
As I said in the article, there isn't a right or wrong way to do this. Some couples have chosen to only do it privately, as it might be too painful for them or another family member. Either way, it is important to have that conversation with your own families and see what works for you.  
 
My husband and I personally honored many loved ones at our wedding, as their names were printed on the program and read after a poem during the ceremony. I kept a piece of my grandmother close to me on the day by wearing her diamond pinkie ring that I was given after she passed away. It was nice to have something to look at throughout the day and be reminded that she was a part of it.
photo by Kate Harrison Photography 
 
Another bride we worked with had a locket with a photo of her loved ones attached to her bouquet, and it was subtle and something she could hold on to throughout the day.
photo by Carlie Statsky 
 
Wishing you all the best on your planning journey, and I hope to share more helpful tips and articles like this one soon. 
 
xo,

  Kathryn

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Wedding Invitation Etiquette

post provided by Shutterfly
9 • 16 • 2015  |  Tips & Inspiration
Your wedding invitation shares with your guests a small glimpse into your special day, and it also shows off your personality, wedding theme and style of marriage you are planning. Invites have changed considerably over the centuries, but etiquette is the one thing that remains the same. Many rules are still applicable, from addressing the envelopes to what information to include. Read on for tips on creating a flawlessly polished invitation that showcases your personality.
Preparing to Send Out Your Wedding Invitations: The invites are a relevant component of your wedding day because they provide your guests with essential details. While some elements of your wedding may not follow traditional guidelines, your invitations do have a set of time-honored customs that are best to follow. Here are the top 10 wedding invitation etiquette tips surrounding the most pressing wedding invitation-related issues.
Sending out your invitations: Invitations should be sent out between six and eight weeks prior to your wedding date. That gives guests time to make travel arrangements if they do not live nearby. If yours is a destination wedding, send invitations out three months ahead of time to give guests more time to plan.  
Outer and inner envelopes. Two envelopes are traditional but not necessary. You can eliminate the inner envelope to save money and postage. If you do use an inner envelope, it should list the names of the guests you are inviting. 
 
Assembling the pieces: To assemble, place the invitation on the bottom with the print side up. Stack other enclosures, such as a reply card, map and reception card, on top in order of size, biggest to smallest. Place the reply card under the return-addressed stamped envelope flap. Put everything in an inner envelope, print side up. With the names facing the back flap, slide the unsealed inner envelope into the outer envelope.
R.S.V.P. deadlines: A response date of two or three weeks before your wedding date allows enough time to get the caterer a final head count, which is usually requested one week before the event. It will also leave you time to finalize a seating chart.  
 
Spell out address details: You should plan to write out Street, Post Office Box, Avenue, and Apartment in full. This is also true for house numbers smaller than 20 and city and state names. Mr. and Mrs. are customarily abbreviated. 
 
How to list the names of couples: You should handwrite your guests' entire names on the outer envelopes. If a woman keeps her maiden name, write the names in alphabetical order. For an unmarried couple that lives together, write the names on two lines. 
 
Specifying a dress code: The simplest method to do this is to add dress code details on a reception card or in the lower right-hand corner of the invite. Acceptable notes include cocktail attire, casual attire or black-tie. Your invitation design will also provide a clue to your guests. A traditional, ultra-formal invitation with calligraphy and letterpress will give guests a hint of the formal nature of the event. A square invite with a whimsical font and vivid colors fits a much more relaxed situation. You can also steer guests to your wedding website, where you can go into further details about the dress code in a more informal forum. 
 
Placement of the return address: The return address ordinarily is on the back flap of the envelope, and should be that of the person whom you have designated to receive and keep track of the response cards. For instance, if your parents are hosting the wedding, then use their address as the return address. 
Including or excluding dates. Most guests understand that if the invitation does not indicate the options for bringing a guest, that means they should not show up with one. While it is nice to welcome everyone to bring a guest, if your wedding is small or budget is limited, your friends and family should follow your reasoning. If a guest responds with a number attending higher than were invited, call them and explain that you have an intimate wedding and that, regrettably, you were not able to invite everyone to bring a guest. However, if you realize that nearly everyone will be in couples, try to extend a plus-one invitation to a few single family members and friends. 
 
Choose your words wisely: Composing wedding invitations involves complex and beautiful etiquette guidelines. Traditionally, whoever is hosting your wedding is listed first on the invitation, and that can become complicated when divorced parents are hosting, when both sets of parents are hosting, or when you are paying for your own wedding. Customarily, you spell everything out, including the time of the ceremony.  
 
Wedding invitation etiquette is a vast and varied area, where traditions and trends come and go. Even if you think you are following all the rules, it is easy to overlook the lesser known, albeit still important, customs to help guide you through this portion of preparing for your big day.  
 
Bryan Passanisi is online marketer and writer living in Redwood City, CA. He graduated from The University of San Francisco with his Bachelor's Degree in Marketing. Bryan has managed a popular wedding blog and has created viral content. He currently is a blogger for Shutterfly.

  Kathryn

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