Thank you Kim and Studio P Photography for the photos!
Newly married couples have been given gifts for centuries. At one time, after the couple furnished their home, they were expected to return any practical gifts they received but did not use. Today’s couples are congratulated by gifts from friends and family and the gifts they receive help the couple stock up on the items needed to make a house a home.
To truly value and enjoy the gifts that a couple will receive, we suggest that they make excellent use of bridal registries.
- Don’t hesitate to register. Your guests really want to buy you something you want and will enjoy. Registering saves your guests time and keeps you from having to return duplicates. Don’t feel like you are “begging” for gifts. Rather, you are in fact, providing a welcome service to your guests.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to register. Many of your guests will want to buy gifts well before the actual event. Some buy engagement and shower gifts from the registries as well.
- Include your partner in the selection process so that the registry lists include things that you will both enjoy.
- Register at two or three places. This gives your guests a range of options without overwhelming them. Pick at least one specialty store, a mid price supplier and an inexpensive retailer. It is recommended that your lists include an equal number of mid price items and lower cost items and a smaller list of big- ticket items.
- Our experience has shown that brides who are planning large weddings should register for a lot of items which those who have smaller guest lists might consider registering few items.
- You may wish to list your registry locations on your web site. But never, never, never, include this information in your paper invitations.
For answers to more questions, stop in and talk with our experienced consultants. We can guide you through the process and make very helpful suggestions.
Ah, engaged life. Fancy parties in your honor, a legitimate excuse to plunk down thousands for one dress. You never expected the downside: hissing at each other in bridal registry departments, screaming matches over the wedding guest list. The engagement period can be a minefield of hot topics that can trigger huge blowouts — sometimes a seating plan is not just a seating plan.
“Planning the wedding is a trial run for your future marriage. The things you battle about now are clues to where you’re going to have trouble in the future,” says Tina B. Tessina, psychotherapist and author of True Partners: A Workbook for Building a Lasting Intimate Relationship. Here’s what lies behind the most common pre-wedding blowouts — and how to resolve them.
“His family’s guest list is getting longer and longer every day, and they’re not even chipping in for the wedding.”
Tessina warns that this particular argument is “a prototype for future financial dealings.” Her advice: Be businesslike. Say to your beloved groom, “This is what your family’s guest list will cost, this is what my family’s guest list will cost. What can we do to limit the cost? Will your family chip in?”
Dr. Patrick Gannon is a licensed psychologist in private practice and the co-creator (along with his wife, Dr. Michelle Gannon, also a licensed psychologist) of Marriage Prep 101, a course designed for engaged couples. He suggests that there may be more here than meets the eye. “Always be on the lookout for conflicts like these to be about ‘hidden issues.’ Are either of you sensitive about issues of fairness or balance? Does one of you have a greater sense of obligation to your parents that the wedding be a certain way?”
“He doesn’t even seem to care about the color of the table linens — what is he, insane?”
Tessina warns that you could be expecting too much: “He’s a man. Most men are clueless when it comes to design and decor.” This doesn’t mean that you should give up on including him, however. “Find out what he is interested in and encourage him to participate in that part,” she says. Michelle Gannon concurs, and adds, “Make sure there are not any underlying issues; say that he feels he should defer to you because you are the bride so it’s ‘your day’ or he feels that your parents or his parents are interfering with the wedding plans.”
You’re spending big bucks on your dress; he wants to spend some of that cash to go to Bora Bora on the honeymoon.
This time, Tessina is not on the side of the bride. She asks, “What entitles you to spend big bucks on the wedding dress? This needs to be an equitable deal. At least the honeymoon is something you’ll both enjoy. Sit down with him, like two adults, and work out the finances of the wedding together.”
“Why isn’t he making an effort to understand my traditions?”
Patrick Gannon advises first being sure that the groom understands what is expected of him — the poor guy may not even know that you want him to learn about your traditions. Gannon suggests that this topic may even bring the two of you closer and says, “If handled calmly and sensitively, a discussion like this can be an opportunity to get to know yourself and your partner better just by getting clear about what these traditions mean and say about each other.”
He wants dark green ink; you want pale green. He wants candles on the tables; you think they look silly. And so on.
“So,” comments Michelle Gannon, “you wanted your fiance to be more interested in the wedding details. Now you have a more involved groom, and a new problem. Both of you need to share the power and decision-making regarding wedding plans.” She has a plan to accomplish that: “Decide on priorities by having each person rate on a scale of one to ten the importance of each detail. Remember, it’s good practice to learn early on how to prioritize, negotiate, and compromise. These skills will come in very handy later on.”
“Why does he think we should be married in New Jersey just because we live here? We need to be in South Carolina with my family. His relatives can fly in from Ohio.”
“Ask that question for real, not just rhetorically,” suggests Tessina. “Why does he want to get married at home? Maybe having friends at the party is more important to him than having family. That’s a reasonable want. Perhaps you can scale things down and have a wedding at your family’s home and a party in New Jersey.”
“For his best man, he picked his jerk of a college roommate who’s just intent on getting my fiance drunk at our wedding.”
It’s time to be both supportive and sensible. According to Tessina, “He and his former roommate may have a strong bond — just make sure there are some more reasonable men around them to keep a lid on things. Arrange with your brother or a male friend to befriend your fiance and help him resist the ploys of the best man.” Patrick Gannon recommends sharing your anxiety with the groom, so you can handle the situation together. He says, “If the best man has a drinking problem, the groom might address his concerns directly to the best man before the wedding.”
He says, “Who is this detail-obsessed, wedding-magazine-reading woman and where is the girl who used to sit with me watching baseball and drinking beer?”
Drop the Martha act. Your guy may have a point. “He’s right,” says Tessina. “If the wedding has become more important than your relationship, that’s a warning sign. Yes, you want a lovely wedding, but not at the expense of your relationship. After all, what’s the point? Keep your future in mind.”
“Why is he so intent on planning our divorce when we aren’t even married yet?”
This could be a blessing in disguise, according to our experts. “If you pay attention, the prenuptial agreement can be as big an asset for you as it is for him,” says Tessina. “It’s another way to discuss essential financial issues before you commit.” Naturally, the prenup brings up more than just finances for many couples. “This is usually experienced as an emotional issue between the couple, often involving feelings of trust, commitment, and faith in each other and the future of the marriage,” says Patrick Gannon. “Don’t let this issue remain unresolved, because it can erode the love you have for each other.”
He is good friends with an old girlfriend and wants her to attend the wedding. You wouldn’t mind if she were dead.
Tessina minces no words on this topic. “Oh, grow up. You’ve already won this battle — he chose you. Don’t mess up things now by being petty and jealous. Those are not becoming traits. Befriend her, get to know her, and you may like her yourself. Invite her to help with a shower. If you’re too insecure to do that, perhaps you should rethink getting married. You may not be ready.” Michelle Gannon points out, “You two need to discuss how involved ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends are going to be in your life together.”
Atlanta Brides – Did you & your fiance have any disagreements?
Reflecting both economic issues and generational trends, we are seeing some shifts in the wedding sites being chosen, the foods served and the size of the wedding itself. We meet with brides who are asking for ideas for their “smaller but tasteful” weddings.
These are some of the key ideas brides are embracing as they plan receptions.
- They are trimming the guest list. After creating a rough draft of all the possible guests, and multiplying that number by the caterer/reception venue chef’s estimate per person costs, couples are balancing the guest list with their budgets.
- Budget conscious brides are selecting other days and times than Saturday evening. By selecting a morning or afternoon wedding and reception, there can up to a 25% reduction in reception costs for food and beverages. If the couple were to select another evening other than Saturday, the savings can be approximately 10%.
- We are also seeing a change in foods served at evening weddings. We are seeing trends toward smaller portions. More couples are choosing to serve passed hors d’oeuvres and appetizers instead of a sit down dinner. Couples are choosing finger foods – foods to eat while walking around and talking.
- While couples will still have a wedding cake for pictures, it tends to be much smaller than those previously ordered. In place of the large wedding cake, they are serving cupcakes, cake bites, cake pops on sticks and push cakes – all part of the “finger food” trend.
- In some areas, dessert “stations” remain popular additions to the centerpiece wedding cake. Brides have chosen cheesecake stations, chocolate stations, pie stations and sundae/frozen yogurt stations that feature mini root beer floats and ice cream sandwiches along with various toppings.
Contact us and talk with one of our experienced consultants who can give you many more ideas to create the wedding that is smaller, more intimate and more reflective of your life style.
Thanks to Martha Stewart Weddings for the tips on better posing! We thought the information was useful for you to love your cherished photos even more!
For Your Portraits
Aim to Flatter: During formal pictures, “stand at a slight angle, not straight on,” says Donna Newman, a photographer in Miami. And remember the basics: Take a deep breath, exhale, then tilt your chin down and look up. Also, people look slimmer when photographed from an elevated point, so ask your pro to hop up on a chair for some shots.
Bring a Friend : Have her stand off camera to carry on a conversation — bonus if she’s the funniest bridesmaid. “There’s nothing more attractive than a sincere laugh,” says Thayer Allyson Gowdy, a San Francisco-based photographer.
Hold the Bouquet with One Hand: Rather than clasping both hands around it, clutch it loosely with one and let the other hang naturally by your side. It’ll look more relaxed.
Be Nervous — It’s Okay: Everyone’s a bit jittery on the big day. Rather than forcing a smile the whole time, let yourself be real. “If I can catch the bride staring anxiously out the window or welling up with her mom, I know I’ve got a good one,” says Gowdy. “Raw emotions make for gorgeous photos.”
Just You Two
Ask for Some Alone Time: At the start of your session, have your photographer give you a few minutes while she discreetly shoots, paparazzi-style, from a distance. You’re more likely to act natural without a third party right there, Gowdy explains.
Take a Walk : Hold hands and set off on a short stroll, even if it’s just across the lawn. “The hair moves, the dress flows, and there’s energy to the image,” says Gowdy.
Kiss (Yes, Really): It may feel cheesy at first, but it’s your wedding — go for it. “I joke and tell couples, ‘Okay, you two, you can finally make out,’ and they always laugh and have an awesome kiss,” says Gowdy. “Let your guard down, and you’ll get a beautiful image.”
Use Props: And no, we don’t mean moustaches. (It’s official: They’ve jumped the shark!) Seek out items that are part of the scenery. If there’s a statue outside your city venue, climb on. Getting hitched by a lake? Pose in a rowboat.
Your Wedding Party
Find a Backdrop: The ocean is always nice, but a wedding party lined up in front of funky hotel wallpaper or peeking out from the windows of a B&B is interesting, too.
Get Moving: As with the bride and groom, it helps to walk. Newman likes to have giggling flower girls and ring bearers chase the bride and bridesmaids while she shoots.
Use Furniture: Varying the height within a group can look much better than the standard lineup. If you have couches or vintage chairs set out for the reception, take a seat.
Make It Look Random: Max Wanger, a photographer in Los Angeles, often staggers people or asks everyone to look in a different direction. “Group shots are best when they’re not so uniform,” he says.
Catch the Guys Off Guard: Most men aren’t exactly pro posers, so Wanger likes to capture them doing something — like clinking glasses of Scotch or throwing a football.
Any other tips for posing or unique photography ideas?
Her bridal gown was by Essense of Australia, and featured satin rusching with organza flowers. Congratulations, Mallory and Cody!
Invitation specialists help brides create the wedding invitation of their dreams. They know that the invitation sets the tone for the wedding it announces and as such is an early indicator for the guests as to the type of celebration to which they are invited. Our experts field all sorts of questions and are knowledgeable about the various paper styles, font types and wording variations that brides are seeking. They are also asked about the appropriateness of certain wording choices. We know that more and more brides are making selections that blend the historically formal with the contemporary feel of today’s preferences. However, the rule of good taste does still have punch and invitation specialists are being asked if it is ok to ask for gifts of money on the wedding invitation. The answer is a clear and consistent NO!
There is no socially acceptable or tactful way to include in invitation copy the fact that the couple would prefer cash in place of gifts. This situation is more likely to occur with a couple in their late 20s or early 30s who have been living together for some time prior to the wedding. They tend to have all household necessities and are not inclined to establish a traditional gift registry. They may be planning to buy a house and would prefer cash gifts. This is a worthy preference but the invitation is not the place to spread the word. For that they need to rely on word of mouth. The couple needs to tell their parents, friends, and members of the wedding that when asked about gift preferences, cash is the couple’s preference.
But as Emily Post reminds us, “There is no dictating to guests what they must give; it’s their prerogative to choose.”
Our consultants recommend that if you are asked directly what you want for a wedding gift, be polite and say, “We’re saving for a down payment on a house, so if you’d like to give a check, that’s how we would use it. But whatever you decide will be terrific. Thank you for thinking of us.”
Not everyone is comfortable giving cash. They don’t like giving money. They prefer a tangible gift. And that is terrific. And because there are guests with this preference, we suggest that brides set up a traditional gift registry too to accommodate the guest who prefers to give a gift other than cash.
Every so often, you come across photos that look so perfect that it’s almost unbelievable. Courtney’s bridal portraits by Bryan Scott of Ardent Story Photography are one example! Don’t they look like they are straight out of a dream?
Courtney wore our Lili Isaac ballgown with a long train, and cathedral veil for her wedding on May 29. Congratulations, Courtney, you are absolutely beautiful!