Weddings may focus on the couples getting hitched, but weddings also are special thanks to the many family and friends couples involved in the festivities. Some of the more successful weddings are ones where couples honor their guests and let them know how much they appreciate. Couples can let their guests know how much they’re loved by incorporating these ideas into their wedding ceremonies and receptions.
• Arrange seats at the ceremony (if practical) in a circular pattern around you so that everyone can have a great view when you exchange vows.
• Create a bathroom convenience basket for both the men’s and women’s bathrooms. Stock items that might come in handy, like mouthwash, toothpaste, first aid items, spare pantyhose, hair spray, sanitary products, moisturizer, gum, and other niceties.
• Provide prearranged to-go boxes so that guests can take home tasty tidbits from the meal or dessert table.
• Offer transportation between the ceremony and reception.
• Customize “do not disturb” door tags for overnight guests so they can ensure they get enough shut-eye after partying into the wee hours of the morning.
• Make sure the photographer takes photos of everyone at every table and then share those photos on a wedding website or via social media. Create a hashtag unique to your wedding so that guests can easily find the photos.
• Provide inexpensive slippers or flip-flops so that avid dancers can rest their toes in between songs.
• If valet parking service is not included, ask for an add-on so that guests get door-to-door treatment.
• Always be considerate of special needs by seating guests in places where they’re most likely to be comfortable. Keep elderly guests away from speakers and near exits to facilitate trips to the bathroom.
• Be mindful of all food allergies or requirements and have accommodations set up in advance.
• Honor those people who could not be at the wedding in a special way, including deceased family and friends.
• Include information about how guests can request songs at the reception. Pass on the information to the band or DJ.
• Encourage guests to get up and dance by making it fun. Put song lyrics from different songs on each table. When that song is played, that table has to join you on the dance floor.
• Remember to thank everyone for coming and follow up those in person sentiments with handwritten, personalized thank-you notes after the wedding.
article originally published by The Knot
Whether you're having an intimate 30-person gathering or a huge bash with 500 guests, you'll need a way to communicate with all of your wedding guests just in case plans go awry.
Perhaps your reception space was double-booked, or you've decided to push your ceremony back an hour to align with the sunset. You don't want to blast out the changes on social media (let's face it—you probably aren't inviting all of your Facebook followers, and your great-uncle Charlie hasn't ever touched a computer). If you want to spread the word—fast—to the right people, having a wedding day communication plan makes everything easier. Here are a few easy-to-follow tips to come up with one.
Think of a concise message your guests will understand quickly.
No need for a lengthy explanation of what happened. Keep your message to guests short and to the point. All they need to know is that plans have changed for some reason or another, and what they should do in the meantime.
Make sure your wedding website is accurate and up to date.
Your wedding website will get tons of views leading up to your wedding, because people misplace invitations or forget to bring them along when they're traveling. Make sure the main page of your site contains any new information guests should know and all addresses and times are accurate.
Assemble a group who can be trusted to start a phone (or text) tree.
You'll want to delegate this kind of a task to a few members from each side of the family, so it spreads evenly and no relatives are left in the dark—especially those who aren't likely to check your wedding website the day of, or ever. You'll also want to assign the task to a few friends on both sides of your wedding party to notify all nonrelatives. Once they start spreading the word via text or calling, and the people who heard from them spread it to everyone they know attending, word of mouth will have taken care of any snafu.
Use this handy trick.
Still worried you missed a couple people in getting the correct info out? No worries. Apart from telling your "How They Met" story and explaining where you're registered, one feature of our wedding website and guest list manager is to email every person on your guest list. You can choose to select guests one by one, depending on their RSVP, or you can select all. Simply add an email subject—something along the lines of "Please Read: Important Last-Minute Update to Our Wedding Schedule!" and write out a message to all your guests telling them of your change in plans. Phew, that was easy! You can also delegate this task to one of your bridesmaids or your parents if you're too busy getting ready or dealing with other last-minute details.
Remember that it's always better to be over-prepared.
The beautiful thing about having this type of plan in place is that it applies to so many last-minute changes. Does it look like rain? Follow the communication plan and let everyone know about your plan B scenario. Is there crazy traffic on one of the main routes to the reception hall? Send out your email. While we hope none of these things happen to you on the day of your celebration, it never hurts to be over-prepared.
Haven't set up your wedding website yet? See our latest designs here, and check out our guest list manager here if you need some help keeping track of your guests.
Wedding Ideas + EtiquetteCommunicationRelationshipsWedding WebsitePlanningGuest ListWedding Party
article originally published by The Knot
There's nothing better than having your parents around to lean on for their planning advice, emotional support and helping hands. While the "mother of bride" job title comes with a certain set of expected duties (which we've laid out for you below), your mom should be whatever source of help you need or that suits her strengths. If she's meticulously organized and loves to take the reigns, let her handle some logistics. Is she more laid back about the nuts and bolts but gifted with an eye for design and aesthetics? Tap her for style decisions and mood board input. You know your mom, and she knows you. For a traditional list of mother of the bride duties, read on.
1. Research and Scout Venues
The mother of the bride often helps the couple check out ceremony and reception sites. Whether she actually accompanies you on site tours or pitches in doing research, calling for quotes or asking friends and family for recommendations, it's up to you how hands on you'd like her to be in the venue hunt.
2. Act as a Point Person for Vendors
You and your partner are only two people (presumably with busy schedules), so the mother of the bride can be helpful by serving as either a main contact or just an extra point person for your wedding pros. This will be a godsend, especially if your wedding is taking place in your home town where she lives while you two live elsewhere.
3. Be Your Wedding Dress Confidante
Depending on how close you are with your mom, enlist her help on all things wedding dress or suit related. Can't bear to make a dress decision without her? Don't. Definitely bring her with you to trunk shows, bridal salons and fittings for her expert eye, good judgement and motherly nod of approval.
4. Take Charge of the Guest List (at Least Partly)
Of course, you and your partner should be the majority vote when it comes to your guest list—but the bride's mom can be super helpful by compiling and sending you all the names and addresses to be included on the master list. In addition, she can connect with your partner's family about who's on their list and manage the tricky task of limiting the number of guests, if necessary.
5. Give Input on the Ceremony Program
The mother of the bride is a great resource to tap for family, cultural or religious traditions to incorporate into the wedding ceremony. If she feels strongly about having you include something in particular—be it an important heirloom or a significant unity ceremony—have her do some research and help you plan the best way to infuse it into the program.
6. Find a Look She Loves
Forget what you've heard about mother of the bride outfits. If she wants guidelines, let her know what you'd love to see her in or what would complement the rest of your wedding details and overall vibe. Other than that, she's free to find a gorgeous gown, suit or other style that makes her look and feel amazing. To be courteous, the mother of the bride should stick to traditional etiquette here: Get in touch with the in-laws to make sure they don't either clash or match exactly (although, if they do, everyone will survive—promise!).
7. Attend or Plan Prewedding Events
It's no longer a faux pas for the bride's side to host the shower (it used to be frowned upon because people thought it made the bride's family look greedy for gifts, but that's pretty much irrelevant now). So if your mom wants to throw you a shower, she absolutely should. The same goes for the engagement party and rehearsal dinner. At the very least, the mother of the bride should attend the shower.
8. Know What to Do and Where to Go at the Ceremony
Your mom can escort you down the aisle herself or with your father. In a Jewish ceremony, both parents often accompany the bride down the aisle. At Christian ceremonies, if the father of bride is processing with the bride, the mother of the bride can take her seat in the first pew directly before the ceremony. You can also make your mom part of the processional lineup, even if your dad is walking you down the aisle. The mother of the bride can process first before the wedding party, or follow the wedding party and come down before you.
9. Stand in the Receiving Line
This only applies if you're having a receiving line, of course. As a reception host, she should head up the line and greet/thank/hug guests as they arrive at the reception (or exit the ceremony).
10. Enjoy the Party
The mother of the bride sits at either parents' table, the head table with the couple or mix in with other immediate family or good friends. Chat with your partner and your parents about how you'd like to seat everyone for dinner. If you're doing a more formal first dance sequence, the mother of the bride typically shares a dance with both the father of the bride and your partner after the newlywed first dance.
11. Be Your Rock
The mother of the bride is just that—your mom. She's a well of wisdom, solid advice and emotional support, and her biggest job throughout the wedding planning process is to be the amazing mom she's been for you all along.
You're a week away from saying "I do"—and trust us, we know you're soready. But with seven days to go, there are a few seemingly small but important tasks that need to be checked off your list so they don't fall through the cracks. You don't want to be at the altar ready for your groom to break the glass and then realize that there's no glass, right?
1. Overcommunicate With Your VendorsTo make sure everyone is on the same page (so they don't need to call you or your point people on the day-of) call every single wedding vendor and confirm, then re-confirm each arrangement you have with them, including, but not limited to:
4. Schedule Any Beauty AppointmentsYour fingers will likely be texting all week, which makes it even more crucial to keep your nails fresh. Make any minor beauty appointments you want done that week. Think: a mani-pedi, waxing, massage, blowout and facial. This goes for your groom too—make sure his hair is trimmed and face is shaved (if that's the look he's after). Any experimental beauty treatments (like facial peels, lasering, hair coloring and drastic cuts) should be done a few months in advance, just in case they don't turn out as expected.
5. Arrange Help for Any Guests Who Need ItIf you have any ill or elderly guests coming to your wedding, it will be meaningful for them to know you're so glad they can attend. Show your love by making sure they have proper transportation to and from the airport and your wedding events and that they have a comfortable place to stay. You can ask family members, friends or attendants to help with any pick-ups and drop-offs.
6. Hand These Items OffGetting married also means having a lot of important things to distribute among your family and attendants.
8. Deliver Welcome BasketsWhether it's you or an attendant, deliver your welcome baskets for guests to the hotel concierge. Make a list of names, delivery instructions and any additional information you have to prevent any mix-ups.
This article originally published on The Knot.com
We're not saying you need to jump into wedding planning immediately after your engagement—but after celebrations have ceased (for the most part) and the confetti's been cleaned up, it might be time to start spreading the word about your wedding details.
Of course, you want your guests to be able to mark their calendars and save the date, but you also want them to get excited for what's to come! And the easiest way to do that is to create your wedding website.
Seriously, we mean it when we say it's easy—for you and your guests. All you have to do is pick a theme (we have over 100 designs here at The Knot), add your details once you have them (like your venue, date and time) and you'll be set.
Turn on your digital RSVPs so your guests can easily add plus ones and meal choices—without ever having to step foot in a post office. You can also add the details about your accommodations (like your hotel block!) and things to do in the area (to guarantee your guests are never bored during your wedding weekend—not that they would be otherwise).
The best part? When you create your registry on The Knot, it syncs with your wedding website—turning it into a one-stop shop for your guests trying to buy you gifts.
Lastly—and this is a big one—your guests get a 20 percent Rent The Runway discount when you give them a code found on your wedding website dashboard.
Now, what were you waiting for again? Go create your wedding website here.
Pros of Having a First Look Contemplating a first look?
By The Knot
More couples are doing first looks—45 percent, to be exact, according to The Knot 2016 Real Weddings Study. Although nearly half of couples decide to sneak a peek at each other before walking down the aisle, the choice usually comes after a fair amount of deliberation. So what's the best decision for you?
Pro: You save time by taking the bulk of your photos together before the ceremony.Pair your first look with couple portraits (and wedding party shots) before your ceremony to translate that romantic feeling in photos and free up more time to enjoy cocktail hour with guests. Just make sure that whatever secluded spot you choose, it's one that's away from any guests to prevent them from seeing you.
Pro: A first look could ease any nerves before the ceremony. If you're an especially emotional person, or you know you're going to be jittery or nervous, a pre ceremony glimpse may be the way to go.
Besides doing your first look photos, you can also maximize this time to sneak in a few moments alone with each other that you may not get later on.
Pro: If you're worried about crying at the altar, you can get your tears out of the way before. It's every bride's dream not to sob at the altar with mascara all over her face (one glistening tear hardly ever happens), so if you know you'll likely turn on the waterworks during the ceremony, a first look could help get some of your feelings out beforehand. Your first look photos will be that much more emotional and moving, and you'll have plenty of time for makeup touch-ups before the ceremony.
5 Wedding Superstitions You Can Totally Ignore
Jealousy, evil spirits and bad luck omens? Puh-lease. Here are wedding day myths you can forget about—or put your own twist on.
by The Knot
There are a lot of wedding superstitions out there, both good and bad, but trying to keep up with them will only add to your wedding stress. Our advice? Forget about them. This list has all the silly superstitions that are perfectly okay to ignore—or to put your own twist on with a little creativity.
1. You can't see each other before the wedding.
The Superstition: Back in the day, couples weren't supposed to see each other until the last minute, so the groom didn't have the chance to change his mind. (We know—crazy, right?) This custom gradually morphed into the general idea that it was bad luck for a groom to see his bride on their wedding day.
Our Take: Today, some couples stick to tradition because they like the excitement and anticipation of seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony. But we say, do what makes you happy. We know lots of couples who've bucked tradition and stayed in the same room the night before, had breakfast together the morning of and (most conveniently) scheduled their joint photo session with their photographer before the ceremony. Nothing beats an emotional first look photo, and it'll help calm your nerves and up the excitement to have a moment together before your "I dos."
2. Steer clear of yellow roses (or you'll be green with envy).
The Superstition: During the Victorian era, The Language of Flowers—a book that assigned flowers different emotions and meanings—was popularized all over Europe. According to the volume, tulips stand for love and passion, and stephanotis means marital happiness. On the flip side, yellow roses were said to symbolize jealousy.
Our Take: If you love a flower, give it your own special meaning, especially if it has some significance to you, and don't worry a bit about what those Victorian florists would've said. We've seen some seriously gorgeous yellow floral arrangements (without a hint of jealousy in sight).
3. You're doomed if you drop the ring.
The Superstition: Get ready for this dramatic idea: As tradition goes, if someone dropped the ring during the ceremony, it meant that person would die.
Our Take: Obviously that's some grade A nonsense. But it does lead to another a good point—if you have a ring bearer handling your rings (especially one who's very young), make sure your wedding bands are tied tightly enough, and that you hand the ring pillow off to him at the last minute, just before he walks down the aisle. No, you're not doomed if the rings fall, but it could be a little awkward and stressful.
4. The bride has to be carried over the threshold.
The Superstition: Ancient Romans believed carrying the bride over the threshold of the couple's home protected her from evil spirits.
Our Take: Do it for fun when you get home from the honeymoon, if you want, as a nod to a harmless tradition. Or give it a contemporary twist: Walk hand in hand into your new home together instead. But we're pretty sure evil spirits have got nothing on you, so don't take this one too seriously.
5. Don't get married on a Saturday, in May or on the 13th of the month.
The Superstition: This actually refers to several superstitions. According to English folklore, Saturday is the unluckiest day of the week to marry, while Wednesday is supposed to be the best. But it looks like this myth hasn't affected anyone's preference for saying "I do" on a Saturday (it's by far the most popular day of the week to do it). The fear of marrying in May actually dates back to the Romans, who held their festival for the dead in May. There's even a nursery rhyme that reads, “Marry in the month of May, and you'll surely rue the day." And finally, there's the infamous unlucky number 13.
Our Take: Attempt to book your dream venue while following those calendar-related myths and you'll immediately understand why you should ignore them. Unless your family tradition dictates you find a lucky or auspicious wedding date, choose any beautiful wedding day that works for you, and don't look back.
How to Decide What to Wear to Your Photoshoot
Top tips for getting the most out of your professional photography session.
If you are prepping for your first photoshoot you probably have a couple questions about what to expect. A common concern for people having their photos taken for the first time is what to wear.
7 Top Tips for Deciding What to Wear for a Photoshoot
The Top 20 Wedding Photography Mistakes Not to Make
Here's what not to do, according to the pros themselves.
by The Knot
Not to play favorites—because we love all vendors—but your photographer is one of the most important pros you'll have at your wedding. After all, they're solely responsible for the wonderful wedding photos you'll get to pore over, cherish and have as a keepsake forever.
And if you want those photos to be as perfect as possible, you're going to want to listen to what some professional photographers have to say. Read the biggest mistakes professional photographers have seen other couples make—so you can avoid them—below.
1. Not Finalizing the Wedding Day Schedule"
Talk to your photographer before finalizing the schedule for your wedding day. There's a lot to consider in terms of photographing and natural light. Certain times of day are more photogenic than others (midday sun casts harsh, unflattering shadows on the face while late-day sun casts a beautiful, warm glow on everyone).
2. Not Sticking to the Finalized Schedule"
Pay attention and respect the schedule you and your photographer to your wedding. Being an hour late can make or break your images. Don't just assume it only takes 10 minutes.
3. Letting Relatives Get in the Way"
We have a name in the industry for a guest who shows up with pro photo equipment and takes 'unofficial wedding photos'—we call him Uncle Bob. Uncle Bob may think he's doing you a favor by taking more shots for the couple, but usually he just gets in the way and makes us miss our shots. Tell Uncle Bob to leave the camera at home and just enjoy his time at the wedding without working."
4. Not Explaining How You Like to Look in Photos
"Beauty is really very subjective. I ask my clients to send a photo of themselves before the wedding that they like and one that they don't."
5. Focusing Too Much on Taking Photos"
A good photojournalist can capture the story of their day and some artistic portraits while keeping time away from loved ones to a minimum."--
6. Not Getting a Second Shooter"
Sometimes couples want to save a little money or feel it's too obtrusive for more than one photographer to be present on the wedding day. But consider this: The second photographer offers another unique point of view throughout the entire day that you would not have had photographed [otherwise]."
7. Not Getting Help Organizing Your Guests"
Designate someone [trustworthy who] knows your family and friends to be in charge of organizing people for portraits. That person can gather the people needed, direct them on what shots they'll be in, and then release them when they're done. It keeps things moving quickly, smoothly and enjoyably."
8. Trying to Make Things "Perfect""
Just have fun. Whether it's getting a little cake on your face or some detail didn't turn out 100 percent like you'd hoped, go with it, have fun and keep smiling."
9. Skipping the First Look
"[In my opinion], a first look is so much better than trying to rush couple portraits after the ceremony—especially if your ceremony runs a bit late, which most do. You end up trying to rush to get to the party."
10. Trying to Pose"
A good photographer gives direction for a reason: to get the best moments and shots from the day. The best thing to do is relax and act natural. Be in the moment. Be hopelessly in love with each other—the pictures will turn out [amazing.]"
11. Waiting Too Long to Book Your Photographer"
If you find a great photographer, book them! Good photographers book a year or more out and won't be available forever. Nothing is more frustrating than choosing a wedding photographer and then finding out that they booked your date a week prior."
12. Looking at the Camera All the Time"
Some couples want candid photographs, but they always feel like they need to look up at the camera and stop what they're doing. It could be an instinct, but remember—unless the photographer asks you, try to act natural for the best journalistic shots."
13. Not Providing a List of "Don't Takes""
Let the photographer know before the wedding if there are certain photos you don't like. It can be anything from 'I don't like the photos you took of us not smiling' to 'I don't like wide-angle close-ups.' It totally throws off a photographer's creative approach when a bride or groom spills their feelings while you're in the zone."
14. Asking for Too Many Shots"
If clients have done their homework and choose an experienced, reputable wedding photographer, then chances are that photographer doesn't need a two-page spreadsheet of every combination for family portraits."
15. Not Choosing a Photographer You Connect With
"Make sure we get along. I work with clients for sometimes two years or more. If we don't get along, it's going to be a very long and bumpy ride."
16. Skipping the Engagement Session
"Engagement sessions increase the confidence and comfort level of the couple in front of the camera and allow them to practice having their photo taken in a fun, no-stakes atmosphere. Ultimately, an engagement session will let the couple see why the photographer might tell them to do something funny, and this leads to wedding day comfort and trust in the photographer."
17. Not Hiring a Professional Photographer"
Choose someone who's a professional, not just anyone with a digital camera and a website. Make sure the photographer you choose has an education as a photographer, has apprenticed or interned with other photographers and paid their dues, or has the experience and ability to consistently capture the moments of your wedding no matter what situations may arise."
18. Falling for Photography Trends
"Too many times, to-be-weds fall for something trendy in photography. It's critical your wedding images stand the test of time and are valued for each following generation. Trends are fun but rarely last. Look for a photographer with a [generally] classic shooting style, and be wary of too much Photoshop and digital tricks and manipulations."
19. Forgetting the Details"
Think about spending a few minutes to decide what other elements are important to photograph. Did your sister make special wedding favors? Are you carrying important heirlooms with you? Bring an extra invitation and try to keep those special elements easily accessible for photos."
20. Not Smiling—All the Time
"Tell all of the individuals walking down the aisle to look up and smile. If they're too nervous to smile, they should at least keep their head up and stare down the aisle. This helps keep the face from the [unflattering angle] that happens when you stare at the floor while walking."
Engagement Party Planning Basics
Whether you're the hosts or guests of honor, read our engagement party primer for everything you need to know.
by The Knot
What It's For
People will want to congratulate you on your engagement, and let's be real: A party's a lot more fun than a phone call! It's also a great time to introduce key people from your lives who are going to be seeing a lot of each other (and possibly helping plan your wedding together) over the next year or so. "It's the first time you’ll have different groups of friends and generations really getting to know each other in a more intimate way," says celebrity wedding planner Jung Lee of Fête NY.
Traditionally, the bride's parents host the first official celebration, then, the groom's parents can throw their own party. A less traditional, but perhaps more appealing option, is to have both sets of parents come together to cohost an event. However, these days, more couples are tossing tradition aside altogether and throwing the engagement party themselves (just keep in mind that if you're doing the inviting, it's your responsibility to foot the bill too). Friends of the couple can also host (and may even volunteer to), but before you ask, be conscious of the financial implications.
When to Have It
The engagement party should fall within a few months of the proposal—otherwise known as the sweet spot between carefree, just-engaged life and the start of serious wedding planning. You'll want to give guests about a month's notice, so we suggest getting those invites out a couple months after the proposal.
Whose Turf to Have It On
The location really depends on who throws the party. If your hosts are local, you will likely be celebrating in your city, but if they live out of state, you may want to have it in their city. It comes down to discussing it with the hosts and figuring out the logistics to make it easier on everyone involved. Say you live in New York, but most of your family and friends live in Chicago: You may decide to have your party in your hometown (and enlist someone local to help you plan), host it in your current locale or even throw two parties. Just beware of tiring out your guests and bridal party with too many invitations before the wedding day is even close. Also, when picking the party location, consider where you plan to have your wedding—you may not want to ask guests to travel twice. “More of my clients are having multiple engagement celebrations because their friends and family are spread all around the country, but everybody wants to honor them," Lee says.
Where to Have It
Depending on how many people you want to invite, you can make an engagement party work almost anywhere—it's really up to the hosts. When choosing the venue, think about the vibe you want to create: If you like the idea of having a more elegant affair, you might want to rent out a private room at a restaurant, country club or wine bar. For something more low-key, a house, backyard or favorite local dive might be a better choice.
Whom to Invite
Etiquette used to state that you weren't to invite anyone to the engagement party whom you weren't inviting to the wedding, case closed. But now more couples live and/or host their nuptials far from their families and friends, and the formality of engagement parties is evolving, so expectations have changed. Engagement parties can now often include people who aren't invited to the wedding. If your friends want to plan an informal party at a neighborhood bar and email the invites a few weeks before, it's totally fine to include people you aren't sure will end up making the wedding guest list (coworkers, newer friends). And if your parents' good friends want to host a cocktail party at their home in your honor, let your parents invite mutual friends and business associates you might not have room for at your wedding.
However, if you two or your parents are hosting, the old rule sticks: When the wedding hosts send the engagement party invitation, it's considered part of the official wedding parties and guests assume they're invited to the wedding too. To avoid a sticky situation later, start working on your wedding guest list now. Then trim the engagement party list down to your wedding party, immediate family and closest friends.
How to Invite
Feel free to keep the invitations simple. You can even make them yourselves or send out a digital invite. If you've chosen your invitation designer already, see if they'll give you a special rate on engagement party invites. Don't worry if you haven't settled on a color palette or don't have a wedding date in mind yet—your engagement party invitations don't have to match the rest of your stationery. Also, make sure you have most of your wedding website done before the engagement party invitations are sent out so you can include the URL. The website is the easiest, and most subtle, way to spread word about your registry in case guests want to bring you a gift. You don’t have to have the whole site complete—just a link to your registry, a few photos and the story of your proposal (don’t forget to submit it to How He Asked!) will do.
What to Serve
There's no need to plan a five-course meal with a four-hour open bar. Anything from passed appetizers or tasting menu stations to a family-style buffet or casual cookout will work. Or get creative and serve up dishes that share something about you. "I had a bride and groom known for having Sunday Mexican dinners, so they had margaritas, mini fish tacos and great guacamole—it just made sense and was a genuine touch," Lee says. As for dessert, serve it if you'd like, but it doesn't have to be cake. Consider gourmet ice cream sandwiches, assorted baked goods or seasonal treats like candy apples or cotton candy.
How to Set the Scene
While of course it's fine for the décor and details to reflect your wedding colors and theme, like your invites, don't feel like you have to rush to choose them just so your engagement party can match. You might even consider picking a style and theme that are completely different from your wedding day to mix things up. If you're planning a formal ballroom wedding, go for a laid-back backyard party with vibrant colors and an outdoor setting to celebrate your engagement. Just a few small arrangements from your local florist can dress up any space (and it's a great way to try out a potential florist for the wedding). However, the real trick is not to upstage the wedding. So if you're envisioning a casual beach wedding with simple décor, a fancy cocktail party at a swanky hotel with over-the-top centerpieces might make that beach bash feel like a bit of a letdown.
What to Wear
Your wardrobe will depend on the setting of the party. For brides-to-be, aside from the obvious (don’t wear an evening gown to a backyard barbecue), keep it simple enough that you don’t outdo your wedding look, but special enough that you still stand out. As for the grooms, while you don’t have to wear a suit and tie or a tux, you should match your partner in formality. And if you have a specific dress code for guests, make a note of it on the invitation.
Crystal Vandegrift is a wedding photographer covering Virginia, D.C. NC and Maryland.
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Pictures were one of my top priorities for my wedding. I spent a lot of time reading through photographers and even contacting some. I was also pretty nervous, I had never been professionally photographed before. Crystal and her team were SO easy to work with and immediately took away the nerves. I trusted her completely and I am so happy I did. Cannot recommend enough! Ellen - Yorktown VA
If you're looking for an amazing photographer who is relaxed, has experience, and knowledge look no further. Crystal took our engagement and wedding photos. Not only were her photos amazing, but she is extremely responsive to messages and will even help you when planning your big day. It was important to us to work with a photographer who has experience with same sex couples, and Crystal and Casey did a great job capturing everything for my wife and I. We couldn't have asked for a better experience. - Emily - Nellysford, VA
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