Unique Wedding Invitations

Unique wedding invitations are very popular now! They give your guests a sense of who you are as a couple or they convey the theme of your wedding if you have one. Sometimes, unique wedding invitations are just fun to play with. You have a wide range of invites to pick from. These cute invites below allow you to put pictures on the back of you two!

We love incorporating themes in the invitations so you can use your color scheme when picking them out. They can be as ornate or simple as you want. If you’re a seasonal bride then you can definitely use the brilliant colors of fall or the lush greenery of spring in your invites as well.

A lot of the cost of course depends on how many guests you are inviting. A good rule of thumb is that perhaps 15% of those invited won’t be able to make it. But, you still have to shell out the money for the invitation so why not make it amazing? From beautifully laser cut out cards to “bride and groom” shapes, unique wedding invitations will stand out in everyone’s minds!

If you and your fiance are movie buffs why not make a fun, unique wedding invitation out of a movie poster? It doesn’t have to be exact but could find simple costumes from your favorite movies! Have a friend who’s good with photoshop put you two on the background and viola you have an invitation that most people will not have done before. Or you may want to make a funny wedding invitation. Play around with your sense of humor – maybe mug shots of you two as your invite! Finally, whatever you decide make it fun and personal!


Kid Free Zone

Kid Free Zone
Sometimes a wedding is for adults only. A kid free zone just makes it easier on the bride and groom and the place hosting the event. If an invitation says to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Schmoe, that does not mean Mr.and Mrs. Joe Schmoe and Sally, Suzy and Sam. We should assume (rather, we should know) that kids probably aren’t invited to this wedding since their names are not specifically address on the invite. Similarly, if you, your significant other, and your son are addressed and invited to attend a wedding as guests that does not mean your son’s girlfriend is granted a free ride to the party.
Make it clear to all others, definitely on the invitation and verbally if necessary, that sorry sir but no kids allowed.Weddings aren’t a throw together high school bash, but instead the result of months and sometimes years of planning and need I point out the obvious, they cost lots of moolah.  Perhaps money was tight, or the guest list was already over capacity and the groom had to invite his stepsister’s husband. Whatever the reason, respect the bride and groom’s wishes and don’t try to smuggle in your kids like it’s no biggie. Once they get there, they are guests and will need somewhere to sit and something to eat. And people will notice. Remember being a guest at a wedding is not a right but a privilege.


There is always another side too. Here’s the scene: a 20-year-old single mother are invited to your college roommates wedding. She has a six-year-old son who Grandma and Grandpa can’t possibly babysit and doesn’t see any other alternative to the situation. What to do? She should call the bride and explain her situation. Ask her if there are any exceptions she’d be willing to make. Some people don’t want kids at their wedding because kids can be sticky, disruptive, and loud, etc. However, and this is a big however, most brides don’t want kids at their wedding simply because they said so. They’re the bride, that’s what they want, and there doesn’t have to be a reason.  Whatever the issue do it with class and dignity and if all else fails, everyone usually understands that moms have to stay at home with the kids. Unless you’re in the wedding, this is just as valid an excuse as the bride requesting her wedding be a kid free zone.
Saying thank you

Saying Thank You

saying thank you
Saying “thank you” is always in style! So don’t be ungrateful – say thanks for your wedding! Here’s how to give wedding thank you’s to all the people who’ve helped you put it together, given you gifts, or just have been a shoulder to lean on.
Wedding favors are the first thank you to your guests. So spoil them in return! It need not be anything expensive, even just a sweet, personalized thank you message on their place cards, a slice of wedding cake individually packaged, a mixed CD sharing all your favorite moments. Be clever about it: why not give away those expensive flower arrangements on the tables, by adding a little tag or bag with a message for your guests to please take them home with them. Create a sweetie or cookie bar where guests can indulge, give bottled home-made jams, cordials, ground coffee, specialty tea, olives, infused salt, cupcake mix or honey. Any small token of thanks will do, the trick is just to make it special, personal and lovely.
It may be the final piece of your wedding correspondence trousseau, but the thank you is certainly one of the most important. A beautifully written and presented thank you note is the last impression you will leave with your wedding guests — not to mention the first impression of you and your mate as a newlywed couple.
Most guests do not expect to receive a note before the wedding; they know that the couple is busy preparing for the special day. However, aim to mail your thank yous no later than three months after receiving a gift. When you return from your honeymoon, spend a concentrated 15 to 20 minutes per day on this task. Because you will need to write a thank you note for each and every gift received, writing in short periods allows for each note to remain lively and original. One way to expedite the process: Share the responsibility with your husband. (He can help by writing notes for those gifts from his family and friends.)
Many couples like the idea of matching the look, color and feel of invitations to the thank you notes. By doing so ahead of time, you can save money on design, ink and plate charges by ordering them alongside the wedding invitations. If you’d like to continue the tone set by your invitations but not match them exactly, select a similar ink color, type style and printing method that relates to your overall style. Methods for printing thank you notes are the same as for invitations—engraving, letterpress, embossing, off-set, and thermography—but if your invitations were engraved, save money by using thermography for your thank you notes to achieve the same look.
A popular trend in thank you note design is continuing the logo, pattern or motif first introduced on your invitations. Recently, a bride chose to recycle the Moroccan symbol of a hand used on her save the date cards. Another couple included the monogram used on its wedding invitations, simply tweaked with an updated color. It is this attention to detail (in addition to your heartfelt words) that will make your thank you’s more than just notes; they’ll be keepsakes for your guests.
Regardless of its design, a beautiful and graciously handwritten thank you note is a gift in itself.

saying thank you


Engagement Party Planning

You’re engaged! Congratulations! Now, it’s time to celebrate. Plan a fabulous engagement party with these simple tips…

Schedule It Soon: The point of an engagement party is to celebrate your engagement, so don’t wait too long to plan the festivities. The engagement party should be held relatively soon after the proposal, within a few weeks or months. Just make sure the party is scheduled closer to your proposal than to your wedding day.

Spread the Word: The guest list can be as big or small as you want it, but one rule of thumb applies: anyone invited to the engagement party should also be invited to the wedding. Invites can be as casual or formal as you prefer too. An evite, word-of-mouth invite, or formal invitation is acceptable, depending on the overall theme of the day.

Choose a Theme: The engagement party’s theme and décor should be different than the wedding. This is your chance to have a little fun. Plan a beach BBQ or fall festival, or opt for a dreamy romantic evening outside. You definitely don’t want the engagement party to outshine the wedding, but it can be its own unique and inspired event.

Arrange the Food: Since the party can be as informal or formal as you choose, there is no set rule about food. If you’re hosting a lavish affair and money isn’t an issue, plan a nice dinner for your guests. Otherwise, it’s totally reasonable to serve hors d’oeuvres, gather for brunch, or simply have a dessert bar.

Have fun: The party is supposed to be a celebration of your engagement so don’t be afraid to have fun! Plan some interesting and exciting activities for your guests, such as games or dancing with a Chicago Wedding DJ.


Planning a wedding can be stressful, there’s no doubt about it. It’s expensive and time-consuming and no one seems to care about it quite as much as you do. With all of the added stress, it’s easy to become a little irrational and difficult to deal with, despite your best intentions. Here are a few ways to avoid becoming a total bridezilla in the months leading up to your nuptials…

Keep Your Priorities Straight: Yes, there are invitations to be mailed, flowers to be arranged, dresses to be ordered, food to be selected, but what’s the point of all of that? This wedding, above everything else, is about uniting your life with another, making a public declaration of your love, and committing to become husband and wife. As important as the favors or centerpieces or seating chart might seem right now, at the end of the day, your wedding is about you and your fiancé. When you feel the pressure of wedding planning creeping up on you, take a moment to remember why you’re putting together a wedding in the first place.

Keep Yourself Organized: Regardless of how big or small your wedding day is going to be, there are still tasks to be done. One of the biggest causes of bridezilladom is overwhelming stress. Avoid the added anxiety by staying on top of things. Buy a wedding planner, make checklists, and plan your time efficiently.

Continue Living Your Life: Although it may feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the month to get everything done before saying “I do,” it simply can’t be all wedding, all the time. You (and most definitely your fiancé) need a break from the wedding stress from time to time. Set aside non-wedding hours each week where you can spend an evening with your partner having fun and talking about anything but the upcoming nuptials. Or set up a girls’ night with some friends or an afternoon of solitary pampering.

Ask for Help: You don’t need to carry the full weight the wedding on your shoulders. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends, family, and most certainly, your fiancé (Operation Groom Involvement). Even if you’re a total control freak, there are always tasks that can be done by others, you just need to reach out to the people in your life. However, when you ask…

Be Respectful of Others: Be considerate of time and expense when asking friends and family for help. Your maid of honor and bridesmaids should be there for you in your time of need, but it’s unreasonable to expect them to be at your beck and call 24 hours a day. Be honest with them about your needs and schedule a time that’s convenient for them. Be thoughtful about their budgetary concerns and limitations when picking out dresses, shoes, and activities they’re expected to participate in. Wedding Timelines.

Show Your Appreciation: Don’t forget to say ‘thanks’ to everyone who’s lent a helping hand throughout the planning process. Nothing says bridezilla more than an ungrateful or entitled bride. Be sure to express your sincerest gratitude to everyone—friends, relatives, vendors—who give of their time and finances to help make your wedding day a beautiful reality. Thank you card etiquette.

Pre-Wedding Mistakes to Avoid

As the wedding day draws closer, there are so many tasks to oversee and arrangements to make, it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks. Prevent wedding day disaster by avoiding these major pre-wedding mistakes:

1. Ignoring the Budget: As difficult and often annoying as it is to plan (and stick to) the wedding budget, it’s absolutely imperative. When you and your spouse start your new life as husband and wife, you don’t want to be buried under mounds of debt. There are a vast number of online resources, smart phone apps, and books/magazines that will help you compile a reasonable and specific budget. Take advantage of these resources to ensure that you can have the wedding of your dreams and still afford to eat afterwards.

2. Inviting Too Many Guests: The pressure to include more guests than you originally planned for can be significant, but you have to stand your ground. Be sure that you don’t invite more guests than you have the capacity to host at the wedding or reception site. Talk to the coordinators at both venues about the maximum number of guests each facility will hold and plan accordingly. Don’t assume that X amount of people will turn down the invitation. If all else fails, you can send out a second round of invitations to guests you’re on the fence about once you receive RSVPs from guests who can’t attend. Reception Seating Guide

3. Ordering Dresses Too Late: If you’re planning on having your wedding or bridesmaids dresses custom-made, you’ll need to leave at least six months for the designer to complete the task. If you’re purchasing from a bridal store, you’ll still need to allow time for the dresses to be ordered, shipped, and altered. Trash The Dress Store Your Dress

4. Forgetting To Book Hotel Rooms: If you have a large number of out-of-town guests joining you for the wedding, you need to reserve a block of hotel rooms in advance. It’s most convenient to have all wedding guests staying at 1-2 hotels, near the wedding site, for transportation. Although it can be challenging to estimate the number of guests that will be traveling in for the wedding, it’s imperative that you book the hotel rooms well in advance. Most hotels will give you a special rate for your guests and will allow you to cancel rooms within a few days/weeks of the ceremony. Be sure to include hotel information in the wedding invitation or save-the-date mailing.

5. Screwing Up The Marriage License: Every state and county has different laws and rules about marriage licenses so do your research ahead of time to ensure that your wedding will be legal. For example, in Illinois there is a mandatory 24-hour waiting period and marriage licenses are only good for 60 days from the date they’re issued. So make sure you plan to apply for your marriage license more than one day, but less than 61 days before your nuptials.

6. Trying a New Diet or Beauty Regimen: While you clearly want to look your best on your wedding day, go about it a healthy way. There’s nothing wrong with eating right and working out to drop some unwanted pounds, but don’t try any last-minute, extreme dieting plans before the wedding. And definitely steer clear of any new beauty regimens in the immediate days before the ceremony. Crazy diets and new beauty treatments can have adverse effects that can leave you looking splotchy, sunburned, sick, or broken out. Bridal Beauty Kit

Wedding Programs – A Creative Take

Wedding programs have been a part of the wedding day tradition for years.  They give the guests the basic who, what, when and where of the wedding day festivities.  Though couples often spend a great deal of time and money creating the perfect program, we find that all too often, guests grab a program, give a glance, and then tuck it into their purse or jacket pocket, never to look at it again.  Lately, we are loving the idea of programs with a purpose: give guests the basic wedding day details, plus some fun extras to help pass the time between when they arrive and when the bride makes her grand entrance.  To make your program fun, festive, and functional, check out the three ideas below.   (We’ve even included examples for each!)

Give your guests some extra info. Consider this a fun fact guide to the special couple.  Use the backside of the program to include trivia type information about the couple, including where they met, special places they’ve traveled and post wedding plans.

Jordan and Ricky met in their college tennis class.  Ricky took the class to improve his tennis skills, while Jordan took it to work on her tan!

The couple is honeymooning in Jamacia.

The couple has traveled to 9 different countries together.

The couple’s song is “Collide” by Howie Day.

Say something about each other. This option is a great way to give guests a peek into the couple’s feelings about each other, as well as their silly sides.  Ask a variety of questions to the couple, and note each of the partner’s responses to the same question.  You’ll get a combination of laughs, smiles, and heart warming answers.

Describe your partner in one word.

Matt: Encouraging.

Allison: Fun!

What was the first thing you noticed about your partner?

Matt: Her smile.

Allison: His laugh.

What is your partner’s worst habit?

Matt: She is always running late.

Allison: He’s cranky without his morning coffee.

What are you most looking forward to about married life?

Matt: Sharing a life with my best friend.

Allison: Experiencing all that life has to offer as a team.

Let guests hear from friends and family. This program option is a great way to get your family and wedding party involved in the wedding in another special way.  Ask friends and family a question or two about what makes the couple tick.

Why do you think Kristin and Nathan are such a great couple?

Marla (brides mom): They balance each other perfectly.

Josh (best man): She understands his loves for football and even puts up with his ratty old jersey that he swears is good luck!

Kendall (sister of the bride): They both take time to enjoy the little things.

Barry (pastor): They have their priorities set and make time for what is important.

Here is a little info about save the date cards.

Destination Weddings: Post Wedding Party

If you’re planning a destination wedding, chances are a large number of family and friends will be unable to attend the nuptials. That might be part of the appeal for you, but you’ll still want to offer friends and family a way to celebrate with you. Hosting a reception at a later date gives you a great opportunity to party with loved ones who couldn’t attend the ceremony. Here are a few pointers for planning a bash after your destination wedding:

1. Invitation: Hosting a larger party following the destination wedding allows you the opportunity to include more people in your celebrations. It might be tempting to send these people an actual wedding invitation, assuming they won’t be able to make it, and include the info about the late reception with it. Unless you’re willing to accommodate these guests at the destination wedding, don’t send them an invite. You might be pleasantly (or unpleasantly, as the case may be) surprised at the number of people willing to attend your destination wedding, raising the costs for you considerably. Instead, send them a separate invitation strictly for the post-wedding reception/gathering. Depending on how long you’re waiting between the actual wedding and the party, you may want to wait until after the wedding and send the invitation along with a marriage announcement.

2. No Gifts: Proper etiquette states that if a guest isn’t invited to the actual wedding, you should not expect to receive a gift from them. Granted, most people attending your reception will want to commemorate the event with a present, but it shouldn’t be expected, which means that it’s best not to include registry information on the invitation.

3. Casual vs. Formal: The great thing about hosting a separate gathering is that it removes a lot of pressure from you, as the bride, about the overall feel of the event. Because it’s slightly unconventional to host a reception on a day other than the wedding day, your options are limitless. You can organize something as formal as an elegant, sit-down dinner or as relaxed as a backyard barbecue. It’s entirely up to you.

4. Cost: A post-wedding reception can be a costly affair, especially if your guest list is large. If you chose to have a destination wedding to save costs on a massive, lavish party in your hometown, you might want to consider an informal gathering for the post-wedding reception. If you and your new husband have recently purchased a home, call it a housewarming party and prepare the food yourselves or rent out pavilions at a nearby park to host a barbecue. If cost isn’t an issue, plan the reception of your dreams at your favorite local venue.

5. Festivities: It’s perfectly acceptable for your post-wedding reception to feature all of the events and traditions of a conventional wedding reception. You can have your first dance as husband and wife, cut the wedding cake together, and toss a bouquet. If you prefer to opt for a low-key or unconventional gathering, that’s fine too! There are no rules about what you do and don’t need to do!

6. Attire: What you wear is up to you, but guests will love to see you in a wedding dress! Plus, wearing a more traditional wedding gown will certainly place you and your new husband at the center of attention. If your post-wedding party is more relaxed, consider purchasing a casual white party dress to wear.

7. Photos: Don’t forget to display photos from your destination wedding for guests to see! It’s a great way for attendees to feel like they’re part of your celebration. If you have video from the big day, schedule to show it on a television or screen during the gathering or let it run on a continual loop somewhere in the venue for guests to watch.

After everything…be sure to read our blog on Thank You Card Etiquette.

Save The Date Cards: A Brides Guide

Although save-the-dates are not absolutely necessary, these cards have increased in popularity with the rise of destination weddings and modern guest lists spread over the country. Since they are a relatively modern concept, no real rules apply – a fact which sometimes causes confusion for brides when planning their wedding stationery. We’ve sorted through the information that’s out there to bring you the real ins and outs concerning save-the-dates…

Who Needs Save the Date Cards?

If your guest list includes a number of out-of-towners or if your wedding takes place during a holiday or other peak time, you are a prime candidate for save-the-dates. Since invitations don’t go out until 6-8 weeks before the big day, save-the-dates are the perfect way to give wedding guests a preliminary heads up so they can begin making travel arrangements. These days, however, more and more brides send these cards regardless of the time and location of their wedding. Why? Save-the-dates provide a fun opportunity to get the word out and foreshadow the style of your big event!

Save the Dates – Rules & Etiquette

Again, few rules apply. The only information you must include is your names and the wedding date, although we suggest including location information as well so wedding guests can begin their travel plans. Aim to send save-the-date cards soon after you secure your date and venue, or about 6 months prior to your wedding. Remember, everyone who receives a save-the-date also receives an invitation, so have your guest list finalized prior to sending them. Although formal replies are not required, you can get preliminary attendance estimates through word-of-mouth.

Save the Date Trends & Ideas

These cards will be the first impression of your wedding festivities, so take advantage of this opportunity to build excitement amongst your wedding guests. If you already know the colors and/or theme of your wedding, now’s your chance to provide a sneak peak. Or try including a favorite love poem or quote that symbolizes your relationship. Here are some of our favorite ideas and trends:

  • Use vibrant colors that will “pop” as soon as guests open the envelope.
  • Incorporate graphics that correspond with the season and/or location of your event. If you are planning a fall wedding try including colorful leaves, or include seashells for a wedding on the water.
  • If the timing is right, turn your save-the-date cards into holiday greetings. Incorporate your engagement photo or another photo taken shortly after the proposal.
  • Who says they have to be printed stationery? Set yours apart by turning them into scrolls, pens, stickers, magnets or a creative calendar-marker.

Wording Samples for Save the Dates

The content of your save-the-dates should be short, sweet, and to the point – providing a basic who, what, where, and when. There is no standard wording; they can be as formal or as whimsical as you’d like. In any case, make sure to include “Formal invitation to follow” somewhere on the card.

Here is the basic layout for the save-the-date cards:

Save the Date: [bride & groom’s name] are getting married on [wedding date] in [city, state]

Here are some other wording samples you might want to consider:
Please save the date:
May 4, 2006 for the wedding of
Mike & Ansley in Charleston, South Carolina

Fun & cutesy:
We’re Tying The Knot!
Justin popped the question, and Katie said yes.
Please join us on October 2, 2006
Orange County, California

For a destination wedding:
Please join us in paradise on June 17, 2006
when Lisa & Jay say “I Do”
in Maui, Hawaii


Thanksgiving Wedding Ideas

Thanksgiving is the perfect time for an elegant yet relaxed celebration, as the autumn holiday lends itself to natural settings, simple decor and comfort food. And while the general rule of thumb is to avoid having your wedding around a holiday, Thanksgiving presents an entirely different set of circumstances.  While you probably don’t want to hold it on Thanksgiving Day, the Friday or Saturday after can be a great option. Most friends and family will either already be in town or planning on traveling anyway – so making the trip to your wedding may not be a burden.  Plus, most of your guests will already have the day off. Need more convincing?  Here are some creative ways to plan your Thanksgiving wedding in style…

Ideas for a Thanksgiving Theme Weddings

Invitations and Stationery

  • Send out save the date cards as soon as possible since your wedding will fall on a holiday weekend.
  • Dress up ordinary wedding invitations and wedding with inexpensive silk fall leaves included in each mailing.

Wedding Flowers and Decor

  • Instead of gaudy arrangements featuring pricey blooms – keep your decor a simple enhancement to mother nature’s natural bounty. Use the autumn harvest for inspiration; think gourds, pumpkins, squash, gold dipped fall leaves…you get the idea.
  • Use hollowed out pumpkins or cornucopias for centerpiece holders.
  • You’re not confined to rustic and casual for Thanksgiving.  Create a posh Thanksgiving ambiance, and drape lush velvet in a rich chocolate brown or gold throughout your party space. Accent the scene with antique broaches, crystal candelabras and stemware.

Menu and Catering

  • The food is the main attraction for this party. You cannot go wrong with traditional favorites: turkey, red potatoes, corn bread dressing, green beans, and honey glazed carrots.
  • Consider incorporating your family recipes into your wedding menu and serving the meal family style (if your guest list is small).
  • Serve traditional fare in sophisticated, creative ways.  For instance, present soup or veggie puree in mini shot glasses or hallowed out gourds, or warm apple cider in glass mugs with cinnamon sticks.

Wedding Cake

  • To round out the thanksgiving feast – serve a pumpkin cake or even a tiered pumkin pie!
  • Favors

    • Make it – homemade goodies like fudge, candy apples, or jams presented in festive packaging always go over well
    • Bag it – fill mini burlap bags with coffee beans, bulbs, or any treat you desire, and tie a label with your monogram or wedding date to the top
    • Pour it – miniature bottles of maple syrup are a sweet treat
    • Fill it – miniature wood crates lined with straw and filled with goodies are a rustic touch