Tag Archives: tips

April 25

Wedding Advice and Tips from Newlyweds

Once the big day comes to a close, there’s no one with better insight on what mattered, which details weren’t worth stressing over and how to keep perspective on the whole process than the newlyweds themselves. Here’s what some of our Facebook fans had to share:

“Enjoy every single second… it flies by so quickly… even the planning!” – Melissa

“Don’t get too drunk at the alter xx” – Samantha

“Elope….I wish I had! This is stressful!” – Courtney

“Relax. Don’t sweat the little things. Things will go wrong and there is no reason to stress over it. I had probably one of the worst things happen (my grandpa passed away 4 days before the wedding funeral was day before) everything else that went wrong was nothing compared to that.” – Emily

“Let family and friends help!! I know it’s “YOUR” big day. But you can’t do it all. I was sooo glad that I didn’t mind letting my mother in law, and my mom, and my husbands aunt help out. If I would have been a total control freak, it would have been miserable for me and them!” -Rheanna

“Pick three things you care about the most and let the rest go. I cared about location, the dress and photography. As I found myself crying over the font to use on the napkins that would be thrown away, I realized I was wasting my precious time and energy on things that didn’t matter and/or that I didn’t even care about.” -Brittney

“If your wedding planner has you just breeze through the ceremony rehearsal, and you want to practice it again, practice it again! It’s your day…don’t let someone else dictate what’s important.” -Whitney

“Skip the little (but super costly) details that people won’t even notice/care about.. things like: personalized napkins (they end up in trash anyways.. got to Target or other retailer and get funky/fun solid or patterned ones in your colors…” -Samantha

“Take a few minutes at your reception to stand back and watch all the hard work you did come to life! It was one of my favorite moments when my husband and I sat at our sweetheart table and watched our guests enjoying themselves!!!” -Amy


January 23

The Perfect Proposal: Things to Know

We’ve heard that 80% of engaged or married women say their marriage proposal wasn’t exactly romantic, and we think that’s just plain sad! Sure, not everyone wants to plan out an elaborate scavenger hunt across the city or arrange for a flash mob to take over the street to help pop the question, but there are some simple things you can do to ensure that your proposal is as memorable and wonderful as it deserves to be.

Here are our top tips for the perfect marriage proposal:

1. Know What You Want.

Planning a wedding is one thing, but planning to spend the rest of your life with someone is an entirely different story. Make sure you really know what you want. Can your relationship survive the best of times and the worst of times? Will this person be your partner through thick and thin? Can you stand his or her mother at every family holiday? A happy proposal starts with true commitment.

2. Get Family and Friends Involved.

My personal favorite proposal stories are private, but then include friends and family for a celebration after. Have them make a surprise appearance or play a part in the big event and it’ll make it that much more special for your future spouse.

3. Find the Right Ring.

Don’t get cynical on me just yet! I don’t mean that the ring you choose has to be gigantic or pricey, but it does have to reflect the person you’re giving it to. From vintage styles to chic and modern ones, offbeat colored engagement rings to heirlooms handed down through the family, all you have to do is make sure it’s the right style. After all, this is one of the only accessories that will be worn every day for the rest of your lives together!

4. Pick the Perfect Place.

Get creative and make it personal. There are probably places in your city where everyone seems to propose (here in San Francisco, it’s Coit Tower), but if that spot isn’t personally relevant to you it won’t have the same impact. Trust me—you could propose at the diner you two love to go to for Sunday morning breakfast and it’ll mean more than a fancy restaurant you’ve never been to before.

5. Make a Speech.

I know you’re probably nervous and hoping to just blurt out, “Marry me!” to get it over with, but this is a special moment and the person you’re asking to spend the rest of his or her life with you is going to be hanging on every word. Now is the time to dig deep and come up with a few short things you want to say to lay a foundation of love, respect and trust to build a marriage upon. Just don’t get cliched—no one wants to hear that they had you at hello!

What’s your best advice for someone getting ready to pop the question? Leave us a comment and let us know!


January 10

The Divas Dish on Receiving Lines

Receiving lines are a time-honored wedding tradition, but does that mean it’s an absolute must? Here’s what one reader wrote in:

Dear Divas,

Do I have to have a receiving line at my wedding? My mother says it’s required but I’ve been to plenty of weddings without them. Please help!



Dear M.C.,

Your mother is right that proper etiquette requires a receiving line for a wedding of 50 guests or more, but beyond just the rules of proper wedding planning we think they are a good idea.

Almost any bride will tell you that your wedding day will fly by—and that it’s incredibly difficult to get face time with each of your guests, eat something and still manage to see your new spouse for more than just a dance or two. The receiving line takes a lot of the drama out of it, giving you a minute or two to see each and every person in attendance.

This is one wedding tradition that has stood the test of time. We recommend that you have one to make your life a whole lot easier on the big day!

Would you give the same advice? Leave 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!


November 20

Photography Advice from a Pro

Are you planning on sending a photo holiday card this year to your friends and family? If you need some advice on how to take a beautiful, professional-quality picture, here are some helpful tips from talented wedding photographer Manus Chau, of Manus Chau Photography.

photography tips

What’s the best way to light an indoor photo shoot? Shoot near a natural light source if at all possible. Windows and skylights work well. Don’t be afraid to draw the curtains and open the doors!

What’s the best lighting for an outdoor setting? Avoid harsh direct sunlight. Don’t shoot on a clear, bright, sunny day at noon. Instead, try shooting earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon when the light isn’t as bright. Watch out for shadows on the face, too.

What do people most commonly forget when they’re planning a photo shoot? I advise people not to forget about the background. Remove any clutter indoors and make sure you have a pretty backdrop for your photo. Then try to take lots of photos from a variety of angles. Shoot from the floor and get a shot from high above you. Take as many photos as possibleyou never know—a shot you think is a mistake may be THE shot you had in mind.

What’s your very best advice for couples taking their holiday photos? Have fun, laugh and capture real moments and emotions. Those always make the best photos.


November 14

Advice for Couples Planning Their Honeymoons

We asked, you answered! Here’s some of your best advice for couples planning their honeymoons from our Twitter stream and Facebook page:

“Don’t book it through an agency! We booked our trip online and we got seven days in Venice, Florence and Rome for only $3,100 total! It even includes three 4-star hotels with breakfast buffets and our flight. So save money and book it on your own!” —Lily

“Print out all reservation confirmations and keep them in a folder in your carry-on or purse. Reservations like plane tickets, hotel room, rental car, additional attraction tickets, dinner reservations, etc. It saves time and proves you have reservations in case their computer systems go down.” —Alison

“Let everyone you come in contact with know that you’re on your honeymoon. We went to Napa and received free desserts with dinners, free wine tastings, etc. People are very accommodating when they find out you’re on your honeymoon!” —Johanna

What’s your best advice for couples heading on their honeymoons? Leave us a comment and let us know!


November 12

Wrong Name on Personalized Gifts? Today’s Diva Dish

What would you do if your wedding gifts had the wrong name on them? Here’s our best advice:

Dear Divas,

My new husband and I were thrilled to receive a few personalized gifts for our wedding, but there’s one problem. Most of them are personalized with his last name, which I’m not taking. I know this is still a bit nontraditional, so we don’t know what to do. Help!


New Bride

Dear New Bride,

Over the years we’ve heard from plenty of brides who aren’t taking their husbands’ last names, husbands who take the brides’ last name and any other combination you could imagine. In these cases, we think it’s best to ask yourself two important questions.

1. Will you use it anyway? Some things like personalized stationery you most certainly won’t be using, but other household items might not be so bad. If you’re likely to use it anyway, why not keep it?

2. What would you prefer if you were the gift giver? If Great Aunt Ruth is going to be mortally offended by your not taking her precious grand nephew’s name, it might be best to just thank her for the gift and then tuck it away in a cabinet. But in most cases, the gift giver would rather know about the mistake than see a thoughtful gift end up in your next garage sale.

What advice would you give to New Bride? 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


November 4

Diann Valentine’s Condo Remix

We’re happy to bring you this weekly tip from celebrity wedding planner and Wedding Paper Divas stationery designer, Diann Valentine. To shop for her designs, check out our Diann Valentine collection.

One of my favorite interior projects was the redesign of a small condo that was screaming for a transformation. My client and I shared a love of vivacious color, and she allowed my imagination to scurry about as I reinterpreted the next phase of her residential life.

She communicated that her living room and dining room were where she spent most of her time, so the first task at hand was to eliminate the yellow walls. The main purpose for this space was for getting cozy on the sofa to watch a good movie, entertaining in the evenings or taking an afternoon nap. This space was simply too bright for its intended use. The deep aubergine created a sexy atmosphere for a single professional woman at the prime of her life and career.

The fireplace was my favorite element! The modern mantle with a metallic chrome finish, the octagon tiles in gunmetal, the Swarovski crystal fireplace screen and the Doberman were gorgeous additions for this room!

The master bedroom was next! It was not representative of the perky personality who sat across from me describing how she woke every morning to the sunlight creeping in full of joy and expectancy for the day ahead. Using glorious textiles and wallpaper from Osborne & Little and Liberty Furnishings, I gave her master bedroom a face lift that matched her zest for life!

The dressing room and vanity required a complete overhaul!

The kitchen was also in need of a witty update using the existing space. EuroStone counter tops in Bruno with mirrored flecks anchored the kitchen, while the iridescent lavender groovy stixx tile back splash reflected beautifully off of the black and stainless steel appliances.

Keep spreading the love,


November 1

Including the Groom in Wedding Invitation Shopping

Some people might consider shopping for wedding invitations to be something only the bride concerns herself with, but here at Wedding Paper Divas we know that grooms also have style to spare and plenty of insight to share. We love it when grooms are invested in the details of their weddings, but we also know that wedding invitation shopping requires both people in the relationship to practice the art of compromise.

Here are our top tips for ensuring that you find wedding invitations you’ll both adore for years to come:

  • Ask the groom how much be wants to be involved in the decision making process. Don’t assume that he doesn’t have an opinion, but you also can’t be sure that he cares about every little detail of your wedding invitations. Discuss the matter beforehand to clear up any confusion.
  • Similarly,one person can’t assume that the other will happily make all of the decisions alone. Having an open line of communication about all of your wedding planning will help everything run smoothly as you plan your journey down the aisle.
  • Get each other’s input on colors, themes and fonts as you browse through wedding invitation collections. You can get a general sense of your different personal styles by looking at wedding invitations together.
  • Finally, be willing to compromise when it comes to your wedding invitations. A wedding is all about building a future for the two of you together, so be careful to include the things that are important to you both so that your ceremony speaks volumes about your style as a couple.

What wedding invitation shopping tips would you share with engaged couples? Leave us a comment and let us know!


October 29

Tips for Second Weddings: Today’s Diva Dish

We know there are plenty of couples out there who have been married before, so we were happy to get this question from a second-time bride-to-be:

Dear Divas,

I am recently engaged, but I’ve been married once before. I’m so excited for my upcoming wedding and marriage, but sometimes I feel uncomfortable because I’ve done a lot of the pre-wedding hoopla before. What should I keep in mind as I plan my second wedding?

Thanks for your help,

Second Time Bride

Dear Second Time Bride,

Congratulations! We thrilled to hear that you’ve found someone special to spend your life with, and happy to help you nail down the details of your big day. Here’s some of our best advice for engaged couples who are planning a second wedding:

  • DO make sure this celebration is different from your first, whether you wear a bright color, dress it up or make it a casual affair. Sit down with your fiance and make sure you plan the perfect wedding for you as a couple (and not just another iteration of the first time around).
  • DO take your partner’s feelings into account. If this is a second wedding for you but a first wedding for your fiance, you might need to work a little harder to reach a compromise you’re both happy with.
  • DON’T forget to celebrate! This is the start of something wonderful and unique, so try not to make comparisons with your first wedding. Let this celebration showcase your distinct sense of joy as you start this new journey together.
  • DON’T sweat the small stuff. You’ve been through all of the drama before, and you probably learned that it’s much more important to focus on the marriage than the little details of your ceremony and reception. Don’t forget to stay focused on your relationship (and not just your napkin rings!).

Do you have any advice you’d share with couples for their second weddings? 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


October 20

A Bride’s Diary: Back from the Big Day…

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 fun feature! Kari is back from her wedding this week with wedding day tips for soon-to-be brides:

So, the saying is true. Your wedding will hands down be the absolute BEST day of your life. I mean, how can it not be? You spend all day with your family and your best girlfriends and you end the day with the man of your dreams. I made myself gag a little there, but it’s really how I feel, and how I felt that day.

Now that it is all over (tear), I learned so many things. For all of you soon-to-be brides out there, a few words of advice:

  • Take AT LEAST three days off of work before the wedding. I found myself scrambling up until the last minute working on little details.
  • Let people help you! As brides, we have a vision of how everything needs to be. This can still be done, but delegate the responsibilities and be very clear about what you expect.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. At the end of the day, it’s really not important.
  • Be nice to those around you. Don’t let your emotions start running wild. Remember, people are there to help, not make things harder.
  • Breathe, relax and take in every moment. It will go by WAY too fast. Take a minute at every stage of the day and realize what is actually happening. YOU’RE MARRIED!

Here are a few images that family and friends took on my big day (including my Wedding Paper Divas stationery!):

Life as a Mrs. (for all two and a half weeks) has been amazing. I highly recommend it…with the right person of course. For all of you brides-to-be, you have SO much to look forward to!

About Kari

According to Marvin, he met Kari at a college football game. Kari says the actual story is that they met at a mutual friends house. Wherever the love connection may have taken place, the two ended up becoming best friends and the rest is history. Four years after their meeting (or “meetings”), the two married on September 25, 2010 in San Ramon, California.