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A Little Girl’s Dream Come True

Growing up, I remember looking at the framed wedding invitation on my mother’s dressing table quite a lot as a little girl. The nine-year-old me thought it was just beautiful to look at the formal Olde English text and my parents’ names, but I think my favorite part was the passage on the invitation that read “request the honour of your presence.” Something about that spelling, “honour,” just struck me. From then on, whenever I’d dream of the day my prince would come, I’d think about that beautiful wedding invitation on my mother’s dressing table.

When my prince finally showed up and we got down to the serious and very important business of planning our wedding, I started poring over wedding invitation catalogs almost right away. I had a picture in my head of precisely the invitation I wanted (luckily, my prince did not feel as passionately about invitations and deferred to my choice): cream card stock, formal font, engraving, and of course that word “honour.”

After many wedding invitation websites and catalogs, many consultations of wedding etiquette books, and (I’m not ashamed to say) more than a few printers’ proofs, the box of wedding invitations arrived from the printer. Although of course not anywhere near as happy as the wedding day itself, opening that box made me very happy. There they were, at long last: the cream card stock, engraving, formal font, and my favorite “honour,” with my name right next to my prince’s name. My dream invitation was a reality.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’ve framed our wedding invitation and it sits on my dressing table, even as my prince and I approach our tenth anniversary.

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Destination: Your Wedding!

Are you planning a wedding and found, very quickly, that it’s all so overwhelming? Many engaged couples today are opting for a simple getaway, or destination, wedding.

Some folks look at it as a way to combine wedding ceremony and honeymoon into one, while others feel that the intimate and relaxing atmosphere of a destination wedding is the ideal part. Countless island resorts and cruiselines are definitely making it easier for the couple wanting a destination wedding – many such places even have an in-house wedding coordinator to make everything all that much easier on the bride and groom.

One area of destination wedding planning that isn’t necessarily easier for the bride and groom is putting together the guest list. Space for guests is typically very limited but at the same time, it’s all too easy to run the risk of offending friends or family by not sending them an invitation, even if they weren’t going to be able to attend. Although destination wedding etiquette is a fairly new concept, your guests will surely appreciate any efforts, large or small, that you might make towards their comfort and enjoyment.

For the bride and groom who want an extremely intimate wedding (in other words: just the bride, the groom, the officiant, and the photographer to prove it happened), it’s an especially delicate wedding etiquette dance to explain to friends and family who expect to be able to attend.

As you can see, a destination wedding may not be as simple, relaxing, and ideal as you’d like to think it is! But it can definitely be a lovely way to start a life together.

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Having a Wedding Etiquette Emergency?

Recently, I was going through boxes I’d stashed in the attic, literally doing some spring cleaning. Let’s just say that Goodwill is going to have to bring a tractor trailer to my house to do the next pickup of a donation. But one thing I found in those boxes brought me back instantly to those thrilling days of planning our wedding: I found my copy of Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette.

I’m not sure how I originally acquired the copy of Emily Post, I’m guessing it was a gift from my grandmother. The funny thing is that while I eventually amassed an impressive collection of bridal magazines and how-to bridal guide books, thinking back on the overall wedding planning experience, I think that it was Emily Post and her time-tested wedding etiquette tips that I consulted the most often. We didn’t even have a high-society wedding on Park Avenue in Manhattan, or in the ballroom of a century-old country club. We had a simple afternoon ceremony in an Episcopal church followed by an intimate cocktail reception at a minor-league baseball stadium. True, Emily Post doesn’t have much advice to give regarding baseball receptions, but her advice on everything else to do with etiquette and weddings is spot on and ever-reliable.

Ultimately, many boxes from my attic ended up going in the pile of things to go to Goodwill, but not my Emily Post. No, I’m saving that book. Someday my children or nieces will plan a wedding and we’ll have a wedding etiquette emergency…and Emily Post can come to the rescue once more.

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Wedding Etiquette Dilemma - To Do Assigned Seating Or Not

I ran across an online wedding etiquette article which had numerous common dilemmas and concerns. The one that jumped out at me was as follows:

“Do I have to have assigned seating at the reception? It feels so snooty.”

Elise’s Advice in the article was: “You don’t have to have assigned seating, but it sure can come in handy. If you have guests who don’t get along or just a bunch of shy people who might cling to the walls, you might want to use a seating chart to help your guests get along.

When you plan your tables, think about mixing extroverts and shy people and avoid creating a “dud” table for all the people you don’t want to deal with. Mix it up, and let the charismatic types help with the conversation.”

As for me, I’ve been to both receptions with reserve seating and others without. I’m always relieved when the seating is already arranged with our name. It avoids the whole awkwardness of what table to sit at and who to sit with. There have been a couple times that I have gone to sit at a table and the one person at that table (which sits 6-8) rudely tells me those seats are saved. Sometimes they were and other times they went empty the entire night.

The original article can be found at:
http://manhattan.about.com/od/manhattanweddings/a/weddingetiquett.htm

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Reception On A VERY Tight Budget - Dollar Stores Can Have Some Great Decorations

One of the main concerns of “the engaged” who are on an extremely tight budget, is they literally don’t have the money to spend on a nice reception, but they don’t want their low budget reception to look tacky either. I am here to say “rest assured engaged friends, it can look nice and no one will ever know you hit the dollar store”.

Even I didn’t really think that was possible until I visited the dollar store the other day. I was absolutely floored with some of the things they had in there for only a dollar. I’m no stranger to the dollar stores, so I know that more often than not, the quality of the items are poor and it is easy to understand why the items are only a dollar. However, this time was different.

In the very front of the store were all kinds of authentic looking decorations for a Hawaiian themed party. I’m not talking the plastic fake look stuff either. I’m talking real bamboo, grass trims, grass skirts, nice baskets, sea shells, nice torches, etc. I’m thinking they must have someone new with a creative mind working there now, because they even went as far as creating little projects as displays, to give people some fantastic decorating ideas.

My first thought was “wow, someone could have a real nice party or reception with these items and it won’t even look tacky”. So keep your eyes peeled and don’t wait until the last minute to look for your decorations, or you’ll miss out.

That’s all for today’s wedding etiquette blog. Make it a great one.

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Giving Guests Info On Transportation Continued…-Wedding Etiquette

On Friday we touched on the wedding etiquette topic of transportation for guests in a big city. I had some additional thoughts on the subject and a story to share with you.

Friday’s blog was specifically talking about the New York City – Manhattan area. Cities like this generally have an incredible public transportation system (for the sake of necessity) and having a car can be more of a hassle than it’s worth. Your out of town wedding guests may not realize this. So be sure to let your guests know this before they waste money on a rental car and deal with the frustration of clogged streets and few parking spots. With this in mind, be sure to provide them with detailed maps and public transportation info. Bombard them with resources if needs be. It’s better to have too much info than not enough.

Also, not all maps are created equal. If you provide a map, be sure it’s a good and accurate, dummy proof map with legible printing. A few years back a friend was given a map to a wedding reception. It was incredibly vague, not to scale and confusing in every way. It wasn’t until after spending hours and money getting lost on the bus, he discovered the place was within walking distance of his hotel the whole time.

If you don’t have time to give every guest specifics, refer the guests with internet access to a website or blog where they can view, download and print the info.

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Transportation For Guests In A Big City - Wedding Etiquette

This wedding etiquette dilemma found in an online article brings up some good points about transportation in a big city for guest who aren’t so city savvy.

The dilemma is:
“My wedding and reception are happening downtown, completely off the grid. A lot of guests are coming in from out-of-town and aren’t necessarily so city savvy. Do I have to provide transportation for them from their hotels to my venue?”

Advice given in the article:
“No. A wedding in New York City is very much like a wedding elsewhere: guests are expected to provide their own transportation to the wedding. Of course, if you feel it is absolutely necessary to hire a bus to transport your crowd, that is a generous courtesy (and has the added benefit of keeping your guests together so that they all get to your wedding on time).

Alternatively, you can provide a map and include transportation suggestions (taxi, subway, bus, car service).”

My response:
I knew a couple who actually saved a block of rooms for guests at a specific hotel and also arrange a bus to pick up and drop off there. Having only one common pickup location was much easier than multiple pick up locations. Of course this option isn’t always affordable for everyone’s budget. In a low budget situation, be sure to provide your guests with ample info for all the transportation options. Especially include GOOD maps.

The original dilemma article can be found at:

http://manhattan.about.com/od/manhattanweddings/a/weddingetiquett.htm

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Think Twice About That Gift - Wedding Etiquette

Sometimes we receive gifts that we just don’t know what to think about. Sometimes we receive gifts that may come across as insulting. With this in mind, let me share some stories…

Story #1
A dear friend of mine often puts together a gag honeymoon basket as a creative wedding gift, for her friends and family. Some of the items are very useful, while others are meant as a joke and not really intended to be used. (Although, the couple can if they want to). The main gag gift was often handcuffs. Everyone thought it was hilarious until the last couple she gave it too. Apparently the bride had a traumatic experience in the past and the gift triggered an anxiety attack. That was a lesson to my friend and all of us, to be extremely careful when choosing a gag gift.

Story #2
In this next story, Becca and her husband had received a belated wedding box filled with little gifts from her parents (his in-laws). The little gifts each included clever little phrases that went with it. Unfortunately the comments on his gifts seemed to be written with bitterness and insulting. For example, the tape measurer said something along the lines of “measuring up” to his in-laws expectations. For most people, it would sound cleaver, but it was no secret that his in-laws disapproved of him. So this came across very critical.

So as gift givers, if you choose not to get something from the recipient’s gift registry, a big wedding etiquette must is to stop and think twice about how your gift may be interpreted.

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Donating To Charities vs Receiving Wedding Gifts - Wedding Etiquette

Here’s one wedding etiquette dilemma I don’t run into very often…

“I want people to give money to charities instead of buying me presents, but my mother says that it isn’t fair to force people to donate when they really want to buy things. Is there any way to do both?”

It never ceases to amaze me when people are so caring and want to make sacrifices like this. The most amazing to me was when I attended a Jane Goodall presentation earlier this year. It was announced that there was a nine year old boy in the audience who recently had his 9th birthday. In the birthday invitations they requested donations for the Jane Goodall foundation instead of birthday gifts. He raised $500 and got to give it to her himself. How many nine year olds do you know who would make such a sacrifice? Wow.

Anyhow, going back to the wedding dilemma…

If someone absolutely insists on giving you a gift vs donating to a charity, say thank you and accept it gracefully. If you refuse, you run the risk of insulting them. Is it really worth it to ruin a relationship over?

Apparently there is a web site called the “I Do Foundation”. It lets you donate a percentage of the purchases through your registry to the charities of your choice.

The original etiquette dilemma was found at:

http://manhattan.about.com/od/manhattanweddings/a/weddingetiquett.htm

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Indiana Jones Themed Wedding - Wedding Etiquette

With the new upcoming Indiana Jones movie, it’s no wonder that people are getting the Indiana Jones bug that seem to be the motivation for the theme of their weddings. Can you imagine having an Indiana Jones themed wedding?! That would be so fun!

Even Harrison Ford (the real Indiana Jones) is including this theme into his own wedding.  A theme like this would certainly put the cake designer and wedding planner to the test. That is why Harrison Ford and fiancé Calista Flockhart have hired celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver to design their cake.

Harrison and Calista want a fun original wedding cake, and that’s exactly what they’re going to get. Apparently the cake will resemble the giant boulder (boobie-trap) that rolls down the tunnel right behind Indiana, in the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’s going to have a sponge cake center with a marzipan coating. This is one cake you’ll definitely need to keep the kids away from (perhaps even some adults). Otherwise you’ll end up with a finger licking boulder.

According to an online source, Jamie Oliver was hired after Jennifer Aniston praised him for his culinary talent.

If you’re an attendee of this wedding, you are very lucky. Be sure to take a picture of the cake for us and remember your good wedding etiquette manners.

To see the original article, visit:
http://www.confetti.co.uk/article/view/10901-7895-0-Jamie_Oliver_to_create_Indiana

_Jones_cake_Weddings.do

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