Inspiration for your road to the altar

The Savvy Wedding Guide

July 25, 2008
One of my friends sent me a link to this today – Chow.com has this great Savvy Wedding Guide online. This is what the first page of the guide offers up as a description:

“When you are planning your wedding, people will say you need to do many things: serve this appetizer, use this plate, order this cake, and don’t forget to register for china. Brides- and grooms-to-be are inundated by individuals whose chief desire seems to be to extract the most money out of them as possible. We talked to caterers, pastry chefs, bartenders, retail registry specialists, and other insiders to hear their tips and tricks. And we quizzed couples, recently and not-so-recently married, on what they liked about their weddings, and what they would have done differently. The result is our handbook on how to get the biggest bang for your buck on food, booze, and gifts.”

I wish I had seen this while we were at the earlier stages of planning (sadly, there are no tips for what to do when your band leaves you high and dry). But there are some seriously great tips on registries, catering, and even how to write a good toast. Which, as I am sure we’ve all witnessed at some past wedding, can be tricky business. Besides good advice, all of the pictures associated with the guide amuse me:

Happy Weekend!

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I’ve been a fan of Gryphon Stationers for awhile…I was actually inspired by some of their designs to create our invitation suite. So I am very excited to introduce you to our guest blogger for the day – Trina of Gryphon Stationers!

Thank you Darci for the privilege of being a guest blogger! Here are some helpful tips and advice for tackling the Invitation process so that it’s fun and creative.

The very first glimpse your guests have of your wedding will be the Save the Date or Invitation. This is the first hint at what kind of event they will be attending and therefore is one of the most important decisions to make in your wedding planning. Wouldn’t it be great for your guests to know whose wedding they are invited to by the look and feel of the invitation?

Designing your invitations
Think outside the box, literally! Go beyond the standard 5×7 invitation (no ‘card’) and think about different ways to package your invitations. Invitations can be packaged a variety of ways and incorporate a variety of materials. Think multiple fold-over cards, stickers, folders, ribbons, booklets, etc.

Think beyond the colors of just ecru and black, even for the most traditional occasion. we love a modern twist on the traditional. Engraving is perfect for this because you can engrave on any color stock. Why not reverse the standard of ecru and black? Try a black paper stock and pair it with white text and a metallic silver, pewter, or gold as accents. Better yet, go bold. Use a dark stock like brown, red, or eggplant and pair it with a bright color such as Kelly Green, Tiffany’s Blue or Canary Yellow.

Ordering your invitations
It important to really sit down and go through your guest list beforehand and figure out how many invitations need to go out. We have had it happen more then once when a couple orders too many invitations based on their actual head count and not the actual number needed for invitations. Take into account that a couple only requires one invitation.

Ordering extra envelopes
At Gryphon, we automatically include a few extra envelopes for every order. Reason being, whether you’re hiring a calligrapher or hand writing the addresses yourself; no one is perfect and there is bound to be a mistake. We do however, recommend ordering up to 25 extra envelopes just to be safe; this is an added expense but well worth it as it saves the heartache and stress when addressing with limited room for error.
If you are going to hire a calligrapher, we recommend speaking with them first as many calligraphers request 10% of the total for overage of envelopes. This means if you’re sending out 150 invitations, you will need 15 extra envelopes.
Have fun.

Designing your invitations is a fun process. Enjoy it!

As Graphic Designers, we wanted to develop a system where couples could take a hand at being the designer and create their own wedding invitations. We’ve created a system where you can’t go wrong! The Gryphon site offers high-quality letterpress and engraved printing, with a multitude of handsome motifs, monograms, colors and fonts to create the style that’s perfect for you, all from the comfort of your home.

If a one-of-a-kind invitation is what you’re looking for, we also offer custom services where the sky’s the limit.

Thanks, Trina! If you have any questions for her please feel free to leave a contact or shoot me an email and I’ll forward it along.

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Wedding Day Timeline

April 10, 2008

Today we have another “expert advice” post, this time by the lovely Melissa DiStefano of MasterPiece Weddings. Melissa is one of the sweetest people I’ve encountered through the wedding blog world and I am excited to share her great advice with all of you (she was also nice enough to send along the lovely pictures from Caroline Johnson that are sprinkled throughout the post). So, without further ado, here is Melissa:
I feel so honored that Darci asked me to be a guest blogger for her! For those of you who I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Melissa DiStefano, I have a blog here, I am a wedding consultant and I absolutely love helping brides!!! There are so many things that I could write about – so after thinking long and hard.I decided to talk a little about the time line of your wedding and helping your wedding flow.

The timing of your wedding is a vital part of the entire wedding process. You are designing, producing and orchestrating a party for 200 of your closest friends and family. This timeline not only assists with the flow of your day for you, the bride, but also for all of your wedding vendors. One very important aspect of the schedule of events is knowing when the photographer is going to start taking pictures. Because that will determine how much time prior to your ceremony you need to take photographs.

Let’s start with your wedding day, what is your first appointment that day? Is it Spa, Make-up, hair? Let’s say it’s your hair and make-up at 10AM and your ceremony is at 4:30, here is my typical wedding day schedule:

9:00 Flowers are being delivered to reception and set up begins
10:00 Hair and Make-up at Spa
11:00 Leave Spa for Hotel to start getting ready
11:30 Personal Flowers are delivered to the Garden Building
12:15 Private time for Bride and Groom prior to pictures
12:30 Pictures begin with Bride and Groom and Bridal Party
1:30 Move to Garden to take photographs with Entire Family
3:30 Leave Garden, everyone head to church
4:00 First Guest at Ceremony
4:30 Ceremony Begins
5:00 End Ceremony (I always give 30 minutes for Standard Ceremony – its average timing is 18 minutes 37 seconds)
5:15 Bride and Groom take photographs with Minister
5:30 First Guest at Reception for Cocktail Hour
6:30 Guests are invited to Hall for dinner and formal reception
6:40 Announce Bride and Groom
6:40 First Dance
6:45 First Course of Dinner is served
8:00 Father Daughter Dance
8:05 Mother Son Dance
8:10 Toasts and Cake Cutting
8:30 Dance, Dance, the night away
9:30 Bouquet Presentation to sister
9:40 Keep Dance Floor Open until 10:30
10:30 End Reception

This is actually a real reception for us. First, all receptions are different, this is NOT how all wedding receptions go. Secondly, things are done differently in Florida than they are in other areas of the country. Thirdly, we separated the dances at this particular reception because it seems that guests get board easily, and they start talking and joking quite loudly when all three dances are done in succession.

It’s also very important that each one of your vendors receives the same timeline. You wouldn’t want your catering manger to ask you when you’d like to cut the cake, and then 10 minutes later the photographer asks you when you’d like to cut the cake, then 3 minutes later the DJ – having a solid timeline helps create a nice even flow, and everyone is prepared. This also is avoided if you have a Wedding Consultant there to help you control the flow of your day. Because remember, once the reception starts you’ll want it to flow nicely, not necessarily worry about the time you have down to cut the cake.

Remember the more you’ve planned in advance, the less likely you are to worry about things on your wedding day. Happy Planning!

Thank you, Melissa! I hope you all enjoyed the post…feel free to leave any questions in the comments section or shoot me an email.

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