It's the little things.

Weddings.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of weddings on any given Saturday. Fridays and Sundays, too, but mostly Saturdays.

So, what is it that makes YOUR wedding different than all the others?

YOU.

You, your fiance, your personality, the things that make you YOU. As individuals and as a couple.

I've recently come across some really cool "little things" that people have done and are doing to add their personality to their wedding that I thought were worth sharing. Pinterest is, of course, FULL of ideas of things you can DIY, etc., but these were a few I thought were pretty cool.

  1. Programs.
    • This "off-beat" idea was awesome and a great way to communicate with your guests about some of the decisions you made for your wedding and what your expectations are for them as guests. I also liked how different it was from the traditional wedding program. The site I found it on calls it the "funniest wedding program ever", which is definitely an overstatement, but, it is still a really neat idea. Check it out at the link below.
      • http://offbeatbride.com/2011/12/funny-wedding-program
  2. Save-The-Dates.
    • This is a great place to showcase your personality and who you are as a couple in a more casual way. Incorporate some of your favorite activities into your engagement photos so you'll have some beautiful photos to use, and you can add personal touches by sealing your envelopes with stickers of the two of you!
  3. Escort/Place Cards and Favors.
    • Pair your escort card with your wedding favor.
    • Personalize it for your guests.
      • One of the coolest ideas I saw recently was the use of a photo of the bride/groom with each guest. This may not work for larger weddings if you don't have a photo of yourself with each guest, but for the smaller, more intimate weddings, this would be a fun idea.
        • You have the photo on the front and the you can write the table information on the back, or on the front. You could also use pre-made labels (shipping labels, address labels, etc.) with the table information and a fun memory of you and the guest, or just a special message for them. Maybe even a "thank-you" for making the time to share in your celebration. I love these or these for this!
    • Keep with the theme, and keep it personal.
      • Two weddings that stood out to me for their personal and themed  escort cards and favors were Lauren & Dan and Kathleen & Andrew.
        • Lauren's dad is a beekeeper and they used honey from his beehives as their favor.
        • Kathleen & Andrew had their wedding in a library, and in keeping with that theme, the escort cards were little "books", and each table name was based on a genre of literature or one of their favorite author's names. The other thing I loved was that their centerpieces were stacks of some of their favorite books and were the guests favors to take home.
Write here...

Here's to the happy couple! PART 2

So, you've been asked to give a toast at a wedding. This is an honor, and let's be honest, slightly terrifying.

What in the world will you say?! As someone who was fortunate enough to be asked to give a toast at a wedding, I can completely identify. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Three Tips for the Toast:

  1. Toast, Don't Roast. Be appropriate. Remember, you are at one of the most important events in the couple's lives, in front of all of their family and friends, and keep your comments in line with that. There's no need to recall ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends, or any drunken escapades or one-night-stands. Keep it classy and share stories that are appropriate for the couples' boss, co-workers, grandmother and your mother to hear.
  2. Short and sweet is never a bad thing. You want to keep your toast on the order of 2-3 minutes, and typically no longer than five minutes. Remember you probably are not the only one giving a toast, and a lot of times, dinner won't be served until after the toasts are completed. Also, in my experience, when toasts go over a few minutes in length the person giving the toast is usually rambling and not really saying much of anything.
  3. Practice makes perfect. Be sure to take a few minutes to write your toast ahead of time. This gives you a chance to try your speech out on a friend of spouse before showtime, and it lets you get comfortable with what you've chosen to say. You'll find it easier to look up from your notes and make eye-contact with the guests of honor when you've had time to practice.

More tips to come! Stay tuned!

Here's to the happy couple! Part 1

Ah, the wedding toast. One of the key pieces of any reception, and one of the biggest sources of anxiety for those asked to deliver them. Fear not! In the coming weeks I will share some tips to help you with your wedding toast, and for the bride & groom, a couple of pieces of advice as you choose who you may want to deliver a toast or speak on your behalf at your reception

To get us started, let's look at the WHO.

Who usually gives a toast at the wedding? Traditionally speaking, here are the basics:

  • The Best Man- typically goes first
  • The Maid/Matron of Honor- typically follows the Best Man
  • The Couple- if the couple chooses to offer a few words at their reception, they will usually follow the Maid/Matron of Honor
  • The Parents- Traditionally the Father of the Bride will offer a toast to the couple and a thank-you to guests and the Groom's family. The Father of the Bride would then be followed by the Father of the Groom if the couple elects for him to speak as well.

As with other traditions in the wedding world these days, the rules are that there aren't really that many rules any more, so if you want to skip having anyone do a toast, you can certainly do that, or if you want to have someone else do the toast, that's okay, too. The only thing I warn against is "open-mic" toasting, but we can get into that in another post...