Tag Archives: planning

June 8

Bridal Shower Themes and Inspiration

Looking for inspiration for the perfect bridal shower? Our guest blogger, Carey, from Dessy Group’s Bridesmaid Blog has a list of themes the bride-to-be is sure to love!

The bridal shower is normally a pretty standard affair. The bridesmaids invite the bride’s closest friends and family, have some delicious goodies, open gifts and have a good ol’ time. This is all well and good, but what about shaking it up a bit and finding some alternatives to the traditional? After all, this is the one shower you’ll throw for that great best friend of yours who doesn’t always follow the rules herself, right?

It’s time to add some variety and excitement to this fun party. A few of my favorite alternative bridal shower themes include:

Wine Tasting Bridal Shower
If you live in a wine region, spend the day hopping through the wineries. For more elegance, rent a limo to drive everyone around. If you don’t live in a wine region, have each guest bring a bottle of wine from a different country or region. Fill the tables with cheeses and fruit to accompany the wines.

Co-Ed Bridal Shower
That’s right, involve the groom and his buddies too. It’s becoming a more popular idea, and for a good reason—boys should have fun too! This could be anything from an intimate dinner to a pool and bbq party. Gifts could range from household items to the couple’s hobby or sports-themed gifts.

Stock the Bar Bridal Shower

Have all guests bring their favorite cocktail mix ingredients and help this bride stock her home bar. Of course, having some on hand for the shower is a pretty good idea too. Favors could be wine stoppers or tiny bottles of liquor.

On the Water Bridal Shower
If you live near the ocean or a lake, rent a boat or yacht for a day. Make sure a captain is included and have the guests sip champagne and enjoy the views as the celebration takes place.

Spa Day Bridal Shower
A great one for the ladies. Who doesn’t love a day of pampering? Arrange a day at a local spa where you can all get your favorite treatments while chatting the day away. Small gifts could be brought to the salon, or you could continue the day of relaxation at one of your homes.

Alphabet Bridal Shower
Assign each guest a letter of the alphabet and ask them to bring a gift that starts with their letter. Let them know they can be as creative as they’d like. You could also extend this theme to the food for the day.

Tea Party Bridal Shower
If there’s a local tea café, make reservations for the afternoon. Make sure there are a lot of tasty sweets and small sandwiches to accompany the tea. No local café? Buy a great selection of teas and sweets at your local grocery store and make your own party!

The most important point here is to have a great time with the girls. If you have any other unique bridal shower ideas, comment here and I would love to hear them and spread the word.

Happy planning!

Meet Carey

Carey Gordon, MBA, is a blogger for The Dessy Group. Originally from the Midwest, her work in Marketing and Communications has taken her to positions abroad in both the UK and Cyprus. She is currently based in Berkeley, CA.

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May 28

Your Wedding Stationery Checklist

Planning a wedding can feel overwhelming, but don’t worry! Wedding Paper Divas is here to help. Not only do we make it easy to personalize the elegant wedding invitations of your dreams, but we’re also happy to help you with style, etiquette, wording and more.

If you’re wondering when you should send out all of your wedding stationery from save the date cards to announcements, keep this simple timeline handy to make sure you’re on top of it all:

Save the Date Cards

  • Order: Seven or more months in advance
  • Mail: Six months ahead of time, or earlier for destination weddings or out of town guests

Wedding Invitations

  • Order: Four to six months in advance
  • Mail: Two to four months before your wedding date

Thank You Cards

  • Order: When you order wedding invitations
  • Mail: Within two weeks of returning from your honeymoon

Announcements

  • Order: When you order wedding invitations
  • Mail: Address the envelopes two weeks before your wedding, then ask your maid of honor to drop them in the mail the day after your wedding

Plus, Don’t Forget Your Programs, Place Cards, Menus and Accessories!

  • Order these items one to two months in advance of your big day

If you have any questions about your wedding stationery, feel free to contact us by email, phone or Live Chat. We’re always thrilled to hear from you!

Have a great weekend, and happy planning from all of us at Wedding Paper Divas!

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May 25

Planning the Bachelorette Party!

Think being a bridesmaid is all work and no play? Get tips on making the most of the bachelorette party with this fun guest post from The Dessy Group’s Bridesmaid blog.

To celebrate your friend’s last days as a single girl, you don’t have to live it up with clichéd craziness. There are many ways to celebrate this monumental moment with your girlfriends. Here are 10 bachelorette party ideas that are sure to bring out the laughter and (just a little) craziness.

1.    Pampering
Make a day-long appointment at a local spa. As you all get pampered with pedicures and manicures, facials and massages, you can talk about what to do next.

2.   Fancy Suite
Have everyone chip in on renting a fancy suite at a really nice hotel for a night. You can order in or bring whatever food you like, plus cocktail mixes to add to the free ice. Play games, tell stories and enjoy view and fancy room.

3.    Find a Themed Night Out
Many bars and clubs offer different themed nights. Plan your party around one and dress accordingly.

4.    Make a Themed Night In
Don’t want to spend a bundle on a club? $8 drinks can be a bit of a bummer, so plan your own themed night at your house. Pick a theme from 1980s costumes to your favorite movie stars, hold your own contest and dance away to your personally picked music.

5.    Karaoke
Yes, cheesy, but also so much fun! Gather the girls together to belt out your favorite tunes.

6.    Scavenger Hunt
This one takes a bit of planning, but is very much worth the time. Make clues and a treasure map and hit the town. Prizes can be as fun and varied as you like!

7.    Potluck
Not your grandma’s potluck—bring your favorite dish, but accompany it with your favorite cocktail fixings.

8.    Beach Weekend
Whether you’re a short drive or a short flight away, consider taking a weekend just for the girls. You can usually find great package deals if you do some searching. Imagine two full days of lounging on the beach with your piña coladas, soaking up the sun. Very nice.

9.    Luxury for a Day
Hire a stretch limo stocked with champagne and goodies. Have the chauffeur drive you high class ladies around for a day of shopping and lunching. Then, arrange for a pick up for the evening. Stop at a nice restaurant and your favorite lounge bar.

10.    Martinis, Anyone?
This could be out or in. Do a crawl of your favorite martini bars (making sure to include some food stops, too!) or have each person bring their favorite mixes and have a martini night at one of your homes equipped with games and good times.

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May 4

A Bride’s Diary: Your Wedding or Your Parents’ Wedding?

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

Even before my fiancé and I were engaged, we dreaded talking about the subject of our wedding guest list with my parents—mainly my mom. I was never sure if my mom was joking, but she claims that she needs to invite everyone and their mother to the event. Literally.

Being American-born Chinese and not understanding why it was necessary to have a huge wedding, I have always asked her why and she responds with, “Because they invited me to their kid’s wedding.” But neither I nor my fiancé know the friend of a friend she needs to invite to our wedding, so we launched into a constant battle with neither side gaining ground. My mom even told me, “If you’re not having a big wedding, then just go to city hall and get the marriage license.” I actually considered it.

Then this dilemma got me thinking—as an American-born girl, I envision a wedding differently than my parents, who immigrated here. Maybe since weddings were often arranged in ancient China, the tradition evolved to be more about the joining of two families than about love, but I cannot imagine my wedding including more than 300 people, nor do I want to; my options of venues would be limited with that kind of guest list.

I brought up my concerns with my parents and though I wasn’t able to make a dent into their long guest list, they did, however, bring up the fact that we could always hold two banquets.

Two banquets might sound a little interesting, but they assure me that many American-born Chinese couples do the same thing (and I can see why). I would be able to have the smaller wedding I want with close family and friends, and my parents would be satisfied with the huge Chinese banquet they want. I quickly brought this up with my fiancé, but he wasn’t as accepting as I was.

He asked, “Won’t that make our first wedding, the one we want to have, not as special?” I didn’t really think about that. All I want was to somehow satisfy both my parents and my fiancé and me. And I’m sure many couples, especially ones who have destination weddings, hold two receptions for guests who couldn’t make it. This is kind of the same idea.

All in all, this experience has taught me that it’s good to start talking to parents early about your wedding plans, especially those that secretly want to be involved. Work out a compromise with them. You don’t need any more stress and headaches added to your wedding planning.

We still haven’t finalized any plans yet, but it’s nice to know that there are other options out there beyond running away to elope!

Meet Becky

Becky and Erick met eight years ago through their parents. Both of their parents were into performing Chinese Opera along with Erick, and all 3 of them were in the same opera association. During the summer of 2001, Becky volunteered to help out backstage during a performance where she first saw Erick, but he didn’t notice her at first (he claims she was never there!). The two eventually started to hang out more during the summer of 2002. They started out as friends, and then started dating when Becky joined Erick in Southern California for school. Seven years later, they’re engaged!

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April 27

How to Throw a Bridal Shower

Need some tips on how to throw the perfect bridal shower for your BFF, sister or friend? Don’t worry. Guest blogger Carey from Dessy Group’s Bridesmaid Blog is here to help!

As a bridesmaid, one of your most important and fun tasks is throwing the bridal shower. You and the other bridesmaids get to throw one big, fun and memorable party! You can keep it simple and supply some favorite foods and fun games, or you can make it a theme. A wine and cheese party anyone? Pick your favorite bottles paired with amazing cheeses, crackers and fruit. You could go for a 50s or 80s retro-style theme, or even a cookie theme where each guest brings their favorite homemade cookies with recipe and varying utensils to help outfit the couple’s kitchen. The possibilities are endless!

Before the fun day begins there are a few things to remember. Don’t forget to keep a general timeline in order for all to run smoothly:

Two months before the shower:

  • Set the time and date with the Bride-to-Be. The shower should be scheduled within a month or two of the actual wedding date.
  • Prepare a guest list with the bride and groom’s help.
  • Figure out a budget. Will the bride’s family be pitching in? If not, the costs can be divided evenly amongst all of the bridesmaids.
  • If you’ll be using a restaurant or other venue now is a good time to reserve the space.
  • Decide if you would like a theme for the shower. If so, begin preparing for decorations, food, games, gifts etc.

One month before the shower:

  • Mail out the invitations.
  • Plan a menu and figure out who will bring what food and supplies.
  • Decide on games and prizes and purchase them.
  • Ask the bride where she is registered so guests can bring the much needed gifts!

Two weeks before the shower:

  • Find and wrap your gift to the bride-to-be.
  • Prepare shopping list including all decorations.
  • Confirm reservations or if you’re having the shower at home, make sure you have all necessary utensils, tables, chairs, etc.
  • Arrange for someone to videotape and photograph the shower.
  • Purchase thank you cards. On the day of the shower have each guest write their name and address on an envelope. This will make it easy for the bride to send out her thanks after the shower.

The day of the shower:

  • Decorate! This will be a fun day with you and the other bridesmaids-enjoy.
  • Pick up or prepare food.
  • Reconfirm any reservations and delegated responsibilities.
  • Get ready to have a fun and memorable day!

———————————-

Meet Carey

Carey Gordon, MBA, is a blogger for The Dessy Group. Originally from the Midwest, her work in Marketing and Communications has taken her to positions abroad in both the UK and Cyprus. She is currently based in Berkeley, CA.

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December 4

Rant or Rave: Seating Chart or No Seating Chart?

One of the Wedding Paper Divas girls recently attended a wedding that ran into a slight hiccup. A seating chart was made denoting where each guest should sit, but since the wedding planner was running late the staff failed to implement it. Instead, the reception became a free for all, with guests sitting wherever they please, the bride and grooms’ families complaining that they weren’t permitted to sit up front and waiters thoroughly confused as to which table had three prime ribs and which table only had two.

In short, it turned into a bit of a fiasco.

bride

This type of debacle begs the question—is it better to have a seating chart, or to simply go without?

What’s your favorite way to arrange guests at a wedding? Pre-arranged tables? Open seating? Front tables reserved for family but no strict seating chart?

Do wedding seating charts make you want to rant or rave?

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November 6

Rant or Rave: Weekday Weddings

If you’re in the midst of planning a wedding, you know that Saturday is the most expensive day of the week for your ceremony and reception, followed by Sunday, Friday and then the rest of the days of the week.

Everyone knows you can save money by having your wedding on an off-day, but would you ever consider a mid-week wedding?

Zigzag Zeal Save the Date Card

What are the pros and cons of a weekday wedding? Have you ever been invited to one or hosted one yourself? Do weekday weddings make you want to rant or rave?

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October 12

New Ways to Make Wedding Paper Look Posh

It’s probably not surprising that we love paper here at Wedding Paper Divas. We love stationery, of course, but we also love pretty paper decor and other creative ideas for turning classic cardstock into a fun and fabulous part of your ceremony.

As a result, we instantly fell in love with these two ideas from Adrienne and Jake’s wedding on the Joel Flory Photography Blog. The first photo is an example of a beautiful way to display your place cards using vintage shutters or a folding screen, bright ribbon, contact paper and a few pins or clips.

In the next few photos, you can see how the couple used a Rolodex to encourage friends to leave them little notes, advice or inspiration. It’s like a portable wishing tree using colorful paper! We love it!

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wedding-idea1

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September 24

Short Dresses for Sassy Brides

I don’t use the word “sassy” on a regular basis, but I can’t think of a better word for these short, flirty little dresses I saw on Style Collective! I love the ruffles and layers, and the punch of color on the bridesmaid options. So fun!

Short-Wedding-Dresses

Short-Colorful-Dresses

Would you ever wear a short dress? What type of wedding can you craft around a look like this? What do you think about this whimsical style?

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September 21

Fashion Tips from the Emmy’s Red Carpet

Most of my friends agree that one of the best parts of award season is watching the red carpet arrivals. From hair and makeup to glamorous gowns and exceptional accessories, there’s a wealth of ideas to be gained from watching celebs strut their stuff. Here’s a few of our favorite looks from last night’s Emmy’s:

White Doesn’t Have to Be Basic

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January Jones and Olivia Wilde take classic wedding hues to a new level with intricate gowns that combine architecture, movement and grace.

Backs that Make a Splash

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Kate Walsh and Jennifer Morrison had gorgeous gowns that looked just as stunning from the back as they did from the front. This is particularly important for a bride who will spend much of the ceremony with her back to the guests in attendance.

Jewel Tones Are Chic as Ever

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We love the way Julia Louis Dreyfus and Mary Louise Parker let their jewel tones pop by keeping their silhouettes simple and timeless. Keep this in mind for bridesmaid’s dresses they will be willing to wear again!

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