Tag Archives: advice

March 25

Ask Etta: Wedding Day Details to Include for Guests

Angie asks…

I am ready to order my wedding invitations, but I am not sure what details to include for my guests. Other than the date, time, and place, what other information should be on the invitation? Our wedding venue is a little tricky to find so I would like to give detailed directions to my guests, but I don’t want the invitation to look cluttered.

Etta says…

I’m going to let you in on a little secret that will help to keep your wedding invitation chic and stylish, and still get all of the information to your guests: Enclosure cards! Enclosure cards are the perfect way to share wedding day details like directions, special requests, and your wedding website with guests. While much of this information should be listed on your wedding website, it should be remembered that not all guests will be internet-savvy. Here are a few ways you can use this handy stationery trick.

Wedding Paper Divas Map Enclosure Card

Directions

Including directions with your wedding invitation is absolutely necessary if you have a difficult-to-find location. After all, you invited your guests – you want to make sure they can find the venue! However, your wedding invitation is not the place to include these directions. Simply list the directions on an enclosure card that accompanies the wedding invitation. Enclosure cards can even be customized to include a map of your location.

Wedding Paper Divas Information Enclosure Card

Special Instructions and Details

Listing nearby accommodation options is also helpful for out-of-town guests. Be sure to note if you have reserved a block of rooms for your wedding. Sometimes a bride will want to share useful information with her guests, like “The reception will be outdoors, so please bring something warm”, or “Shuttles will provided to and from the reception venue.” An enclosure card is the perfect place to convey these messages, and will save you multiple calls or emails to your guests.

Wedding Paper Divas Mini Enclosure Cards Effervescent Sparkle

Wedding Website and Social Media

Include your wedding website information on an enclosure card, so that guests know where to find these details, and more. For couples who are encouraging guests to use Instagram or Twitter to share photos during their wedding, including a personalized hashtag on your enclosure card is a fun touch. Alternately, you could include a request for no sharing of photos on social media sites. Our new Mini Enclosure Cards are the perfect size for any extra-special details!

Wedding Paper Divas Mini Enclosure Cards Donation

Gift Preferences

Your wedding registry should never be listed on your invitation. Instead, an enclosure card can be a simple way to announce your registry, or to direct guests to your wedding website for more information. You may prefer that guests do not send or bring gifts, but instead send a donation to a chosen charity. Use an enclosure card to be specific about your preferences.

Wedding Paper Divas Enclosure Card

I hope this helps, Angie! There are so many fun ways to customize enclosure cards, and to share the details of your wedding day.

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Have an etiquette question for Etta? Email us at blog@weddingpaperdivas.com and she’ll post an answer for you.

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May 21

Ask Etta: Guest List Etiquette

Kimberly asks…

Help! With large families on both sides, high school friends, college friends, work friends, and now my fiancé’s graduate school friends, the guest list for our wedding has gotten out of control. I’ve been told there is a certain percent you can expect to not show up – should I send more wedding invitations to guests than our wedding venue can handle?

Etta says…

This question seems to always confuse brides. While it may seem like a science to create the perfect guest list that keeps everyone happy, there is no hard and fast formula for guest attendance. You’ll hear some experts say to invite 10% over your venue limit, while others claim 20%– and I’ve even seen some pretty complicated math problems put forward! (Hint: if your guest list plans start to resemble your eleventh grade calculus homework, you’re making things too difficult).

Wedding Paper Divas Blog - Air of Affection Wedding Invitation

Remember, you might end up accountable for every person on your guest list. After all, if they are important enough to be on your guest list, you may be (and hopefully are!) important enough to them to warrant the travel. Keeping that in mind, I suggest you create two guest lists. The first will be the definitive list of must-invite guests. The second list will be backup guests, listed in prioritized order (think co-workers, club friends, or friends of parents).

Send invitations out to your first list over eight weeks in advance of your wedding date, and ask for RSVP response cards to be returned within just two weeks. This ensures that you receive responses in a timely manner – allowing you to start inviting those from the second list without cutting it too close to the wedding date.

Wedding Paper Divas Blog - Response Card

At the end of the day, you and your fiancé know your friends and family the best. If you know that Great Aunt Mary won’t make the travel to your wedding, but still wants an invite, then by all means, send her an invitation. On the other hand, if you know your groom’s graduate school friends will travel anywhere in the world for a good party, I suggest you make sure you really want them at your wedding.

I hope this helps, Kimberly!
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Have an etiquette question for Etta? Email us at blog@weddingpaperdivas.com and she’ll post an answer for you.

 

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May 15

Father’s Day Inspiration: Give the Gift of Memories

From the latest tech toy to a new driver for the golf course, there are plenty of options for great gifts for Dad. But to make this Father’s Day extra special, we’re suggesting the gift of time. Clichéd as it may sound, giving Dad a bit of one-on-one time might just be the sweetest gift he receives this year. Here are our ideas for some great activities:

5 19 AM

  • Looking Back: We love the idea of giving Dad a visual reminder of your appreciation for his support on your wedding day, by making a wedding photo album. Pour his favorite cocktail, set out some snacks, and stay in for a night of reminiscing about your wedding celebration.

Wedding Paper Divas Blog - Fathers Day Ideas Movie Night

  • Make a night of it: Take Dad out for a movie date – his choice, of course! Whether it’s the summer’s hottest blockbuster action movie, or the latest sports biopic, he’ll appreciate getting out of the house and having his choice of the movies Mom won’t see (no sappy romance flicks here). Splurge for the extra large popcorn.
  • Revisiting Old Memories: Take a trip down memory lane and surprise Dad with a visit to your favorite place as a kid. Whether it’s tossing a baseball and playing on the swings at the neighborhood park, or visiting the tigers at the zoo, taking the time to remember the special trips you took as a child will let Dad know you appreciate his time – both then and now.

Wedding Paper Divas Blog - Fathers Day Ideas Game Night

  • A Battle of the Minds: Now that you’re both adults, go head to head in a board game with your old man. Or pull out a classic game you loved as a little girl (we’re thinking Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, or Hungry Hungry Hippos).  He’ll probably still let you win – old habits die hard, after all – but the quality one-on-one time is the real prize here.
  • A Quality Call: Live too far from Dad to do one of these activities? Just pick up the phone and call him. Your time and attention are the best gifts he could get this Father’s Day, and making a dedicated call to catch up on life, current events, sports, or whatever he wants to talk about will bring a smile to his face.

Send a Little Love

Wedding Paper Divas Blog - Fathers Day Ideas

Find this Father’s Day card and more at Treat.com

Really want to pull at Dad’s heartstrings this Father’s Day? Here are a few tips for writing a note to dear old Dad.

  • Remember the little things:  Did he stay up all night helping you write that book report in fourth grade? Or teach you how to tie your shoes? Pointing out the little moments in which Dad came to the rescue can lead to a larger message of appreciation.
  • Reflect on Inspiration: Let Dad know exactly how he’s inspired you – perhaps in your career, travel choices, extracurriculars, or even in friend choices. By telling Dad how he’s inspired you, you’re reaffirming all the wonderful things about him.
  • Look Forward: You’re at the point in your life where Dad could soon transition to Grandpa. Let him know how excited you are for this next step, and how you know he’ll be a wonderful Grandpa.

We hope these ideas help you make Father’s Day even better this year. Share your own ideas in the comments!

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May 14

Ask Etta: Are Wedding Programs Really Necessary?

Tasha asks…

Hello! I was wondering if it is necessary to have programs for the wedding ceremony? Thanks!

Etta says…

Wedding programs are an oft-forgotten piece of a complete wedding stationery suite. While programs aren’t absolutely vital to wedding success (you wouldn’t get very far without a wedding invitation!), including a program at the start of your wedding ceremony offers the bride and groom a special way to include their guests in the ceremony.

Wedding Paper Divas Blog - Ceremony Programs (1)

I particularly recommend creating a wedding program if you will be holding a religious ceremony, or one incorporating cultural rites. Explaining to guests why certain passages are read or certain rituals are performed will create a richer experience for all involved.

A wedding program is also the ideal place to list the wedding party, and to thank friends and family for coming to celebrate the happy bride and groom. It is also commonly a space for the couple to acknowledge any deceased loved ones, such as grandparents.

Wedding-Paper-Divas-Blog---Ceremony-Programs-Optical-Occasion-3

Tip: Passing out ceremony programs is a great kid-friendly job! If you are searching for a way to include a younger niece, nephew, or cousin, I suggest giving them a sweet basket filled with programs to hand out to seated guests. Alternately, ushers traditionally will hand out programs as they direct guests to their seats.

Wedding Paper Divas Blog - Ceremony Programs Pure Adoration

An added bonus to a wedding program? If your wedding location gets hot, it makes the perfect fan! I have seen great DIY projects that turn programs into fans.

I hope this helps, Tasha!

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Have an etiquette question for Etta? Email us at blog@weddingpaperdivas.com and she’ll post an answer for you.

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February 12

Holding a Pre-Destination Wedding Reception: Ask Etta

While we dish about the hottest trends and latest designs, we also know how stressful prepping for the big day can be. Meet Etta, our expert in all things etiquette. She’s ready to delve into your every dilemma.

Debbie Asks…

My husband and I have a very large group of friends that have been a part of my son’s life, and we want to have a celebration before the destination wedding (definitely not after). We are inviting all the people that will be invited to the destination wedding, plus all our other close friends.  What do I call this type of celebration? And do I have to state “no gifts’? Should I stick an insert with the invitation explaining that we are having a small destination affair?

destination invite

Etta Says…

Thanks for writing in, Debbie.

Holding an “at-home” or local celebration is quite common for couples who chose to have a destination wedding. But usually these receptions take place two to six weeks after the marriage ceremony (and thus celebrate the newlyweds).

With no marriage completed, hosting a wedding reception may be a bit misleading for your guests, particularly since the ceremony will still be over half a year away.

Since you are planning the celebration prior to the destination wedding, I suggest that you host a send-off celebration for the engaged couple. I also recommend that your celebration be a casual affair – which it sounds like you are planning.

An engagement party invitation or couples shower invitation can easily be modified to fit this unique celebration. Simply alter the wording along these lines: “Please join us to celebrate the upcoming marriage, and send off the happy couple with your best wishes.”

Destination pre reception

It can feel awkward to host a second reception, when attendees have not been invited to the destination ceremony. But remember that you are making an effort to include all loved ones in the celebration of your son’s marriage. It is widely understood that destination weddings are smaller, more intimate events – and your guests will be happy to be included in this larger celebration.

Formal etiquette calls for no mention of gifts on the invitation, even in the case of requesting no gifts. It is appropriate, however, for you to share this information yourself, in casual conversation.

If you do hold the reception after the wedding, a wonderful way to notify guests is through a wedding announcement, along with a photograph from the destination wedding, which requests their attendance at the reception.

I hope this helps, Debbie!

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Have an etiquette question for Etta? Email us at etta@weddingpaperdivas.com and she’ll post an answer for you.

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August 5

Wedding Advice: Rant or Rave

Whenever someone goes through a new stage in their life, people tend to offer up advice (solicited or not). Do you think there are words of wisdom that could be helpful for a couple about to embark on the path of marriage? Or would you prefer to pave the way on your own?

We’d love to hear about the best wedding advice you’ve received (or given)? What about the worst? Rant or rave!

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July 1

Gifts Meant to be Used at the Wedding: Rant or Rave

We recently heard a story of a bride-to-be receiving a personalized wedding cake topper at her shower. It wasn’t on her registry. It wasn’t something she wanted. It wasn’t even something she liked. Yes, it was a sweet gesture (and cost a pretty penny). Should she feel obligated to use it at the wedding? Or should she stand her ground and make sure the wedding day reflects her and her fiancée’s tastes down to every last detail?

What would you do if you received a gift that was expected to be used at the wedding? Rant or rave!

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March 21

A Post-Wedding Celebration: Today’s Diva Dish

Sometimes family and friends can’t be there for the wedding itself, so an after-the-fact celebration is necessary. How do invitations work for a post-wedding celebration? Find out in our response to this reader’s question:

Dear Divas,

I am hosting a reception in honor of the marriage of my daughter, which took place last November in Jerusalem, Israel. None of her family or friends attended. Therefore, they will be invited to help them celebrate upon their arrival here at home in July. I don’t know whether to send wedding invitations, save the date cards or party invites.

It is rather informal compared to a traditional reception, yet nonetheless one that will include cocktails, dinner and dancing. This gathering will celebrate a homecoming, congratulations on your marriage and farewell again (as they plan to go back there to live). Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Kathy

Thanks so much for writing in, Kathy! Here’s what our etiquette experts suggest:

  • Save the Date Cards: If you are inviting anyone from out of town or anyone who will need to make any sort of arrangements in advance in order to attend the event, we would strongly recommend sending save the date cards. They let everyone know that the big event is coming up soon.
  • Wedding Invitations vs. Party Invitations: We recommend sending wedding invitations, but selecting a design that matches the more casual feel of your event. We also think our new collection of photo wedding invitations would work perfectly in your situation, since it will allow you to use photos from the wedding in your design. Here are a few examples:

  • Suggested Verse: Here’s a sample of what the text could look like:

[BRIDE'S PARENTS] are happy to announce
the recent marriage of their daughter
[BRIDE'S NAME] to [GROOM'S NAME]
on November X, 2010 in Jerusalem, Israel

Please help welcome the happy couple home
at a reception in their honor…

Do you agree with our advice for Kathy? What would you recommend? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Do you have a question for our wedding experts? Send your etiquette, wedding planning or style dilemma to blog@weddingpaperdivas.com and we’ll post an answer for you.

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March 7

Bride’s Diary: Meet Tammy

Wedding Paper Divas is bursting with staff grooms- and brides-to-be who are currently planning their weddings. We’re happy to share their stories with you as a part of this fun feature!

I am an indecisive bride-to-be. I jumped into wedding planning with nothing in mind. My fiancé asked me many times what my dream wedding would be and how I wanted my wedding to be when I was little, but to be honest, I never thought about it. So now I’m here, six months before my wedding with only a little vision of how it will be, but I’m not stressed about it either. Here’s why:

From the venue selection to the wedding dress, things just fell into place. I decided to get married at The Brazilian Room at Tilden Park because I was looking for a tree around the area to be married under.  (The place is pretty too, of course!) I picked the reception venue because it was the restaurant I have lunch with my grandpa at every weekend, and it was accessible for him since he’s needs a wheelchair. So what I’ve been told was the hardest part wasn’t hard after all!

The next part was to try on a wedding dress. I had no idea what type of dress I wanted, what style I wanted it to be or how I wanted myself to look in a wedding dress. I just wanted it in ivory. My first attempt was not so pleasant since the place had a small variety of dresses and I didn’t see anything I wanted. But my second dress fitting session was a success!

I tried on four dresses and ended up with the one that I thought I wouldn’t try but the sales person insisted I give it a shot. I loved it, and it was on sale, too! So that wasn’t really too hard either.

The invitation part has actually been the toughest for me. I don’t know what type of theme I want my wedding to have, and I don’t know which invitation best suits me. Along with that, I have to do a Chinese version for my relatives who prefer to read invitations in Chinese. I’m still in the progress of picking out the right one, but I feel like we’re almost there.

I didn’t have a clear vision of what I want for my wedding, but I’ve got plenty done already. So I want to hear from you, fellow brides! Am I good? Or have I not been through the worst yet?

Meet Tammy
Tammy and Jacky met on an online dating website about three years ago. Tammy was Jacky’s 30th birthday present, and Jacky was her trial after her cousin recommended that she check the website out. After long emails and text messages, they met and have been inseparable ever since. He arranged a surprise getaway for her and took her to Disneyworld, where he proposed. They plan to marry on September 10th in Berkeley, California.

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March 7

Labels on Wedding Invitations: The Divas Dish

We recently received this envelope etiquette question from a reader, and thought it would be the perfect topic to share…

Dear Divas,

Is it acceptable to use labels on wedding invitations? We want to use a calligraphy font on clear labels.

Thanks,

MJ

Dear MJ,

Unfortunately, wedding etiquette strictly forbids the use of labels for wedding invitations. Here’s why:

  • Labels make your wedding invitations far less personal than they should be
  • They usually ruin the look of your invitations
  • Envelopes with labels are more likely to be thrown away (as if they are a fancy credit card application) than handwritten envelopes
  • Your Grandma will never forgive you!

We know it can be tempting to try to opt for this time-saving measure, but we recommend that you hire a calligrapher, ask your bridesmaids to help or otherwise carve out the time to hand write addresses on your envelopes.

Would you give MJ the same advice? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Do you have a question for our wedding experts? Send your etiquette, wedding planning or style dilemma to blog@weddingpaperdivas.com and we’ll post an answer for you.

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