The First Blog
Well this is the first blog Ella's Garden has posted. We are excited to start a blog to help out our current bride and grooms as well as future ones. One thing I do know is wedding planning is stressful and overwhelming. However, it shouldn't be. Many brides have never been married, stood in a wedding or been to a wedding. Not everyone has the knowledge and expertise like Ella's Garden does. Well, I am glad to be able to share experience and knowledge with you.
We plan to post about our events but also have blogs that are helpful to the brides. I could list everything in one blog to make it easy but then I wouldn't have anything to blog about.
So today, let's discuss one of the second steps of planning your wedding. I say second because the first should be booking the venue and hopefully it is Ella's Garden. So after you have the venue one of the items to do is... invitations.
Invitations sound fun don't they?! Due to pinterest and etsy they make life easier but also more difficult...so many choices!! Well here are some pointers:
1. Don't have an invitation that is too busy. Keep it simple but elegant.
2. Get creative. Everyone loves something different. It will stay on someone's fridge even after the wedding is over if they love it.
3. Print a map and add it to your invitation. Not everyone has a smart phone or GPS. (I know shocking). I cannot tell you how many times I have received calls from a guest that is lost. We even had a groom go find a guest once. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE include a map for all guests, especially out of town guests.
4. RSVP's. Guess what?! No one RSVP's anymore. It is sad to say this but it is like pulling teeth to get people to RSVP. All venues need a firm headcount so you have to get creative. Post an email or website to respond to. If you want to stick to the traditional RSVP response card, put a small number on the corner of each one. Why? At least every bride has received a response card with the number of guests filled out but no name. Then you are going down your list trying to determine who it could possibly be. If you place a small number on the back of the response card and coordinate it with your guests list then you will know it is. For example, you have Jane Smith as guest number 23 and you put a small 23 on the back of her response card. Lastly, if you do not get a response after sending out invitations, it is okay to call the guests and ask if they are attending or not so you can advice your venue and vendors.
5. Stamps add up quickly. One stamp for each invite plus the response card. Be prepared for this expense. If you send a save the date then it will be more.
6. Do not print your own invitations. Hobby Lobby's Wedding aisle makes everything look so easy and enjoyable. Believe me, printing your own invitation is a very difficult task. Trying to find the right font, centering the invitation and then putting it in the printer just right. Save time and buy them pre-printed from a vendor or have a vendor make them for you. The few dollar savings is not worth the headache.
7. On your invitation, have a space on the response card for any food allergies. It is more and more common to have a food allergy and guests love it when you consider this for them. The day of the wedding the guest will not mention this to you and eat what they can. However, if you have a special meal prepared for them they are thrilled. Their eyes light up and they are so pleased that you were thoughtful enough to make something special just for them. Everything bundt cake makes gluten free individual cakes. This is a cute way to have a small piece of cake for your guest. Who doesn't want cake?
8. Invitations should be sent out a few months (2-2.5 months) before the wedding. Have the RSVP date due back at least 30 days before the wedding. This allows you enough time to secure the final headcount. If you are still missing responses then you will have time to call each guests before your final headcount is due.
9. Don't forget the hashtag or snapchat filter so guests can start using it.
10. Guest will invite other people you don't want to attend or someone you did not invite. This happens all the time. To control this...learn to say no, jk. But a kind response would be, I am sorry but our venue can only accommodate a certain number of guests so if we do have any open room we would love for you to bring your guests. At this time we are fully booked to the capacity. You can always consider adding guests once you finalize the RSVPs.
11. Have your A and B list. Send out your A list first. Once you receive a no from an A list guest then you send one to a B list guest. So what list did you make?
12. Guest will say they will not come, then they will come and guests that say they will come, won't. This happens all the time. The 20% won't come rule is not always true. There a lot of factors in your guest list (are they from out of town, do they have to find a sitter, etc) so it is always best to stick to your guest list responses and rely on those. Some guest will end up not making it despite their response card and some will come last minute and bring their new girlfriend that they just met a month before. It is always best to stick to your total verified headcount for all your vendors.
13. Adult only wedding on your initiation. Some weddings are for adults only. You can put on your invitation adults only. Another cute way of suggesting adults only is: "We would like for you to enjoy a night out so find a sitter and come celebrate with us." There are many different ways to work the adult only request so guests are not offended.
14. Time. Some people are ALWAYS late. For a wedding you should always arrive early. However, life happens. If you have certain guest that are known for always being late, have their invitation time 30 minutes earlier than the rest of the guest. You don't want them to miss it.